This is an archive of a past election.|
See http://www.smartvoter.org/ca/la/ for current information.
League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Jesse "David" Barron
The questions were prepared by the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles and asked of all candidates for this office.
Read the answers from all candidates (who have responded).
Questions & Answers
1. What do you think is the single most important issue facing the City of Los Angeles today? As Council Member, what would you do to deal with it?
First, I would repeal the city's businesses tax which is driving businesses out of town and causing high unemployment, which has a negative impact on the out of control budget that needs to be addressed and stabilized at the same time.
2. The City Administrative Officer has estimated a $200M budget shortfall for 2013-2014 increasing to $300M in 2015-2016. What steps do you propose to deal with this problem, and how much do you estimate each step would reduce the shortfall?
Follow up on former Controller Laura Chick's complaints regarding all the audits that her department completed. She found a lot of discrepancies and over-spending by the city and her audits were never acted on.
Repeal the City's business tax which has driven employers out of town. This will increase our tax base with additional tax revenue.Continue streamlining and decrease the time it takes to go through the permit process at Building and Safety which can take up to two years. That will enable us to advertise LA as a business-friendly city and employers will return.
The abolishment of the Community Redevelopment Agency, which was handing out close to three quarters of a billion tax dollars as welfare to wealthy developers and special interest organizations, was a good start in mitigating our fiscal crises. However, now the City of Los Angeles has created its own LA/CRA which we need to abolish before it also hands out hundreds of millions of our tax dollars to their politically connected allies, instead of being used for core services and improving local neighborhoods.Also, the mayor's unregulated, non-transparent "anti-gang" program, which receives untold tens of millions of tax dollars that has not been accounted for, should be abolished.Some of those programs are run out of city properties that could generate an income. Some "anti-gang" contractors pay only $1 dollar a year rent to occupy city facilities that could be rented out at fair market value.
I would do all I can to prevent departments from purchasing unneccessary new fleets of vehicles for the sake of just spending their entire budget, which they normally do. The city's growing employee pension bubble must be addressed to prevent the city from drastically reducing services and eventually declaring bankruptcy and layoffs. One solution is to go from a defined pension plan, to a defined contribution plan. That's where the city employee shares the cost of the pension plan instead of burdening the taxpayer with the entire cost. If the same City spending policies continue with the same incumbents, retirement age could go past 70 years of age. The are the services and departments should be cut. The mayors' office budget should be first. He tripled his budget from $8.6M to more than $26M and increased his staff from about 70 staff members to about 233 staff members, including establishing a satellite office in Washington D.C. This is the highest amount by a mayors' office in the history of L.A. The City's Finance Department, whose business tax has driven employers out of town, thereby creating record high unemployment.The newly created, non- transparent, Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency, which will be handing out hundreds of millions of our tax dollars as corporate welfare to wealthy developers and special interest organizations. If development projects are deemed promising, corporations should raise funds through private investors, not forcibly take from hard working tax payers, whose utilites and trash fees are becoming unafforable because rates continue to rise on a regular basis.
Again, abolish the mayor's unregulated, not transparent "anti-gang" program, which receives tens of millions of our tax dollars and whose employees have been arrested and convicted of crimes. Some of those funds can go toward more legitimate youth organizations. Stop funding to out of the country organizations, and cut funding to 501c3 businesses until our City budget is balanced.We should never sepend more than our income and we need to live within our means with a sustainable budget.
3. Do you support the ballot measure to increase the sales tax in the city?
No. We are already taxed to death. If we do as I suggested in the last question there is no reason to implement more taxes. We don't have an revenue problem, we have an overspending problem.
4. What role do you feel the City of Los Angeles has to play in addressing climate change? Please explain in terms of what you as a city councilmember would have the power to do.
Eliminate any excemptions to public and private institutions regarding emissions. Also, stop the trading of any unused emission allowances for cash to another company. Keep the DWP fom having a monopoly on Solar Power which would reduce its cost due to competition, and restore discount incentives to homeowners for solar power. Also encourage all buses that use fossil fuel to use alternative fuels and require that the purchase of any new vehicles by the city be hydrogen and/or hybrid fueled. Encourage the implementation of a monorail system for public transportation because it is non-invasive, more cost effective, efficient and gets people out of their cars. We cannot totally stop green house gases because they are a natural life cycle. But, we can help to balance and keep them from becoming excessive and destructive through conservation and public education.
5. How would you prioritize your local constituency versus the City as a whole when acting as a Council Member?
My first priority it to my community members who elected me because I made a promise to serve and protect them. My office will always be open and tranparent and community members will be kept well informed and requested to weigh in on all legislative issues of concern to them.
Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League.
Read the answers from all candidates (who have responded).
Candidate Page || Feedback to Candidate || This Contest
SmartVoter Home (Ballot Lookup) || About Smart Voter
Created from information supplied by the candidate: January 10, 2013 16:15
Smart Voter <http://www.smartvoter.org/>
Copyright © League of Women Voters of California Education Fund http://www.lwvc.org
The League of Women Voters neither supports nor opposes candidates for public office or political parties.