City Councilman Mike Feuer will demystify the City Hall budget battles tonight at the monthly meeting of the Studio City Residents Assn.
An advocate for fiscal responsibility, Feuer has called Mayor Richard Riordan's 1996-97 plans for police expansion unrealistic.
During the budget wrangling, Riordan has pushed hard for rapid expansion of the Police Department, trying to make good on his campaign promise of three years ago to enlarge the force by 3,000 officers or abandon plans for reelection.
Riordan sought to add 710 officers to the ranks in the upcoming fiscal year, only to be rebuffed by the council, which approved funding for 450 officers.
Throughout the negotiations, council members have refused to rely on shaky or onetime funding to support the expansion. Instead, the council is considering putting a public safety tax on the November ballot, at the urging of Feuer and Councilman Richard Alatorre. Los Angeles voters have rejected a half-dozen police-related tax measures since 1981.