Los Angeles' CAO Shows How Trade-Offs Drive City Budgeting

Yesterday marked the release of the city of Los Angeles Mayor’s Budget for FY 2015-2016, and Chief Administrative Officer Miguel Santana delves into the details.

1 minute read

April 21, 2015, 9:00 AM PDT

By Molly M. Strauss @mmstrauss


City administration, at its core, is about revenue and expenditures. That balance determines how much a city can spend to expand its services, to create affordable housing, and to execute on any number of plans intended to improve quality of life.

The Planning Report spoke with city of Los Angeles CAO Miguel Santana to unpack these trade-offs, embedded in Mayor Eric Garcetti's recently released budget.

Santana frankly comments on labor negotiations, the city's ongoing structural deficit, and a recent settlement regarding street repairs. He also shares his perspective on a number of public expenditures at the forefront of Garcetti’s current agenda.

In the context of ongoing labor negotiations, he explains: 
"The city will continue having a structural deficit over the next few years... Our ability to remain balanced, to have healthy reserves, and to invest in services are at risk if we provide too-generous labor contracts that we ultimately can’t afford. We’re still dealing with the decisions of the past around that."

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