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L.A. County Expense Tab

February 09, 1992

The recent assaults on Richard Dixon, Los Angeles County's chief administrative officer, by The Times are a blatant attempt to twist the facts in order to promote the liberal political agenda of your newspaper.

Thanks, in part, to Dixon, Los Angeles County is nationally recognized as a pioneer among local governments in the use of modern management and budget techniques such as contracting out, which saves taxpayers more than $50 million annually, and incentives for department heads to come in under budget each year, saving taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.

By contrast, the City of Los Angeles has been hit with scandals; its refusal to pursue contracting out is keeping city streets dirty and police understaffed; its deteriorating sewer system and shrinking landfills have reached a crisis point through neglect.

In light of these facts, where is the balance and fairness in singling out Richard Dixon and Los Angeles County? The chief administrative officers of the county and the city of Los Angeles make almost exactly the same salary, and yet the county population and budget are three times those of the city.

Mayor Bradley and the City Council have expense accounts totaling $127,000, which is $10,000 more than the county's even though the city is only one-third our size. On a per-capita basis, the city's expense account, therefore, would be the equivalent of $381,000. Where is the L.A. Times story on this subject?

Reporting the news is fair game, but manipulating the news is a rigged game.

MICHAEL D. ANTONOVICH, Supervisor, Fifth District

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