On one side we have Antonio Villaraigosa, who made a promise last year that he would put 1000 more police officers on the streets of LA, and he would find the money to do so by raising the city’s trash fees. Now that the fee hike is raking in around $150 million in new revenue, AV is ready to make good on his promise, and hire more cops.
On the other side we have former LAPD Chief, Bernard Parks who, during Tuesday’s fit of ABB mania (anything to Bash Bratton) said that the city is badly over budget, and the LAPD is over budget too—ergo sum, nearly all that trash money ought to go into the general fund, not into the hiring of cops. In addition, Parks (whom the Daily News has taken to calling Bitter Bernie) is pushing for a cap to any cop hiring—money or no money—and he’s persuaded half the City Council to side with him.
The mayor’s response Wednesday afternoon was to say in so many words that he was willing to take this one to the wall. “The council is going to cap police hiring over my dead body,” snarled Villaraigosa.
Certainly, Antonio likes the drop in crime that’s occurred on his and Bratton’s watch and has no intention of giving it up. He also wants to keep his popular police chief happy. AND he wants credit for keeping last year’s promise of getting 1000 more cops on the street with the help of the trash fees.
So far the smart money’s on Antonio to win this one. But there are still a lot of balls in the air….so stay tuned.
By the way, the LA Times is so busy covering the WGA strike that it’s failing to report on the fight that’s ratcheting up at city hall. But the Daily News’ Rick Orlov is doing it up right. Check this story and this, and this one, for lots more of the details.
Oh, yeah, and one more thing: On Wednesday, Parks also introduced a non-binding resolution to ban the use of the N-word in Los Angeles.