Facebook pages were chock full of pictures of our Mayor and newest Council Members donning work vests and hard hats, filling pot holes as part of "Operation Neighborhood Council Blitz," where Neighborhood Council members were given some sense of "empowerment" in tabulating and submitting lists of potholes for repair consideration.
Potholes are a really good issue for politicians to go after because it's something simple to understand, creates great pictures for television and the papers and the idea of filling potholes generally offends no one.
Indeed, our own Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council's video production company was on the scene where Mayor Garcetti gave a stand-up, impromptu speech on the effort of the day. Later, the Mayor "kicked it" with street services workers recounting the various neighborhoods they had visited filling potholes.
We all appreciate any potholes that can be filled. LA is legend for them. In fact, after San Jose, LA has the worst graded condition streets of any city in the nation by international road condition standards.
The problem is when it's yet another photo opp with something worse lurking behind the corner.
That something worse is a currently on life support plan for the City to place a $3 billion - and yes that's billion with a B - bond measure on the ballot, one that is intended to repair our local streets, but we all know what happens with bond measures and blank checks.
That filling potholes and maintaining city streets is not such an essential municipal function that the cost for such should be borne out of the city general fund from all the taxes and fees we are already paying is incredible. What are they spending this money on? Anyone who followed the Mayoral race knows that a huge piece of the City's debt comes from higher than industry average pay rates offered to the unions that support politicians and gold plated pensions the leadership of these unions have been able to get from elected officials.
Jack Humphreville, a local business (he owns the Recycler Paper!) and an impassioned local advocate who is adept at rooting out waste, fraud and abuse in city government goes into deeper detail about the bond measure in this piece at The Fox and Hounds blog. Jack offers up what should be very strict rules and reforms IF such a bond measure is even to go through.
Get ready to open up your checkbook!