This is an archive of a past election.
See for current information.
LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Los Angeles County, CA March 3, 2015 Election
Smart Voter

Sheila Irani
Answers Questions

Candidate for
Council Member; City of Los Angeles; District 4


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?

Our budget and the structural deficit hampers our ability to address the pressing needs from our aged out infrastructure, unfunded pension liability for our aging workforce, and the number of employees that we need to keep the City well maintained. We need to adopt pension reform, reduce our fully loaded labor costs by charging employees 15%-20% for their benefit premiums, and adopt a live within our means charter. We need to review taxes such as bed tax, car rental tax, gas tax and utility taxes to see if there is room for increases without slowing down our recovery. Move away from the GROSS receipts tax to at least a net tax (on profits) and aim for a statewide minimum wage over a municipal one that will drive businesses to surrounding cities to escape paying it. Economic vitality and growth stems from improving our education system especially with regards to STEM coursework so that our youth build their human resources that can be marketed for a superior wage. Let's have our top municipal employees offer job skill development in the City Colleges and High Schools.

2. The City Administrative Officer has estimated a $300 million budget shortfall for 2015-2016. What steps do you propose to deal with this problem and how much do you estimate each step would reduce the shortfall?

1. Cap salaries to stop wage creep for retirement calculations and avoid overpaying department heads in return for political influence.
2. Stop wage increases until our deficit is tackled.
3. Increase retirement age and reduce percentage given for every year worked towards retirement calculation to no more than 2%.
4.Increase the City hotel tax to 17% and rental car fee tax;,charge taxes on rideshare "taxi" options (e.g. Lyft, Uber) and AirBNB style lodging. With 43 million visitors annually this will significantly increase revenues.
2. Attract a greater number of conventions, and music and award events that will require lodging, food, rental cars etc.and subsequent higher bed and sales taxes.
2. Increase amount employees pay for healthcare and other employee benefits.
3. Monetize assets: sell rights for millions to to light the sign a limited number of times a year, combined with secured access those evenings; allow for ads on LADOT buses, on trash cans in public areas, etc, charge for parking at congested parks.
4. Increase developer congestion mitigation fees to pay for parking lots and shuttles to bus/rail; building permit fees for large structures internalizing costs on infrastructure
5. Reduce starting salaries in departments that have high demand for jobs (e.g. LAFD).
7. Allow for more private contracting of services such as street repaving, cement work, landscape maintenance
8. Stop DWP sweetheart deals for Councilmembers and insure ratepayer fees are used for DWPs services and infrastructure for ratepayers
9. Reduce salaries of elected officials; $181,000 is the highest salary for a city councilmember in the nation.
10. Instead of building new parks in a city where real estate is so expensive why not work with LAUSD to use their playgrounds after school and on weekends and compensate them for it and offer programming through Beyond the Bell.

3. What is the single most important issue facing your Council District today, and how would you deal with it?

Overdevelopment and the resulting congestion and crime are deteriorating the living standards of many CD4 residents. Large scale developments need to pay for the costs of congestion and parking shortages. Their mitigation measures are rarely enforced and have little effect. Adopting elements proven to reduce congestion like shuttles to bus/rail, charging separately for parking from housing rent should be mandatory. Scaling back projects so that they are appropriate for the available infrastructure capacity. Developers may need to pay higher fees that can be dedicated for sidewalks, streets and tree trimming and for demand response vanpools. These vanpools will create better connectivity between commuters and rail stations and bus stops utilizing smart phone technology to reserve shuttles that will do group pickups/dropoffs in neighborhoods and connect to local stops. The cost is less than creating the thousands of parking spaces needed at transit stations, creates jobs for van drivers, uses existing "Uber" style algorithms that can be effectuated quickly and inexpensively and the funding can come from Measure R. Fees from higher permit costs will fund greater enforcement to insure that conditions are met before occupancy is allowed.

Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League.  Candidates' answers are presented as submitted.

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 8, 2015 19:27
Smart Voter <>
Copyright © League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
The League of Women Voters neither supports nor opposes candidates for public office or political parties.