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LOS ANGELES — Less than six months into its fiscal year, Los Angeles is facing a $72 million budget deficit, according to a report released by City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana, budget advisor to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (who is currently on a trade mission to Asia) and the City Council.
Santana has recommended the city cut about $21 million from dozens of public agencies in an attempt to stem the flow of red ink. Adding to the city’s coffer woes, are the costs of the recent windstorms that caused heavy damage to Los Angeles County, including the city, and the clean-up of the Occupy LA movement’s two-month encampment near City Hall.
The interim report submitted by Santana calls for reducing the Los Angeles Police Department’s budget by $4 million; cuts of $1.7 million for the city attorney’s office; and $1.3 million in cuts to the Bureau of Street Services, which maintains about 6,500 miles of city streets and highways, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Santana is looking for an additional $20 million in cuts to city agencies’ budgets within the next four weeks. He believes Los Angeles could face a budget shortfall of at least $200 million when the new fiscal year starts July 1, 2012, putting everything from libraries to parks’ funding in jeopardy. Although the Villaraigosa administration has come up with an idea to help the parks – advertising. His office is exploring the idea of passing a law that would allow ads in city parks and the Los Angeles Zoo as one way to bring in revenue.
Photo : MacArthur Park Westlake neighborhood of Los Angeles, California