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Garcetti attacks Greuel budget proposal

April 03, 2013|By Seema Mehta
  • Eric Garcetti, candidate for mayor, addresses gathering at SEIU-USWW headquarters in Los Angeles.
Eric Garcetti, candidate for mayor, addresses gathering at SEIU-USWW… (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles…)

Eric Garcetti dismissed a new proposal by Los Angeles mayoral rival Wendy Greuel to cut office budgets for City Council members and the mayor by 25%, saying such a reduction was inconsequential given the size of Los Angeles’ deficit problem.

“That’s a drop in the bucket,” Garcetti told reporters after a campaign event at a community center in Echo Park. “What we have to be doing is not only leading by example, as we’ve done, but we need to look at pension reform, healthcare reform, those things that really give us bang for the buck, and most importantly, growing the economy. I think that’s really the long-term path to making sure we don’t have budget deficits at all.”

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Greuel, the city controller, said Wednesday she is considering trimming retirement benefits for current city employees.

Garcetti said Wednesday council offices had already trimmed their expenses nearly 25%, a proposal made by Greuel in a speech Tuesday at UCLA.

“That was the responsible thing to do in a recession, so that is something we’ve actually done,” he said. “While others, again, are talking about what they would do, we’ve done it.”

“Now, contrast that to the controller’s office, which has overspent every single year she’s been there,” he said.

Greuel’s office was budgeted $15.2 million in the 2009-10 fiscal year and spent $16.6 million. The next year, her office was budgeted $13.8 million and spent $15.6 million, according to documents provided by the Garcetti campaign.

However, during the same period, when Garcetti was City Council president, the council also spent more than its budget allocation. In the 2009-10 fiscal year, the council spent $27.2 million, about $4 million more than budgeted. The next year, it spent $25.6 million, nearly $5 million more than was budgeted.

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Twitter: @LATSeema

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