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Letters: L.A.'s budget progress

May 24, 2012

Re "An L.A. budget, with holes," Editorial, May 18

Since 2009, the city has undertaken unprecedented structural reform while addressing each year's shortfall, including:

Requiring employees to contribute 2% to 4% (from zero) of their pay for retiree health benefits, and freezing benefits for employees not contributing.

The elimination of nearly 5,000 positions, resulting in the smallest civilian workforce since Tom Bradley was mayor.

Pension reform and a 20% salary reduction for new hires.

Increasing the city's savings account to its highest level in 10 years.

Eliminating non-essential functions and departments.

Partnering with a nonprofit provider to enhance animal services.

The fiscal year 2012-13 budget builds on the city's efforts to eliminate its structural deficit through ongoing savings that are two-thirds structural.

More difficult work lies ahead. To be critical of City Hall for failing to adopt enough structural reform is not a fair reflection of the unparalleled progress achieved.

Miguel A. Santana

Los Angeles

The writer is the Los Angeles city administrative officer.

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