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Supervisor: LA County Residents Should Get Used To More Service Cuts

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(AP/FILE)

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A plan to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to hire janitors to clean restrooms at Los Angeles County beaches spurred some frank talk from a supervisor on Tuesday: Get used to it.

Supervisor Gloria Molina said residents should continue to brace from more reduced services, calling for a balanced approach to fiscal issues rather than appealing to individual complaints of “”some cranky jogger”

“We are going to get more complaints. That doesn’t mean that restrooms have to be dirty,” Molina said. “We have to look at a fair balance to maximize and meet the needs of the general public.”

Santos Kreimann, who heads the Department of Beaches and Harbors said the money to hire the janitors could come from Marina del Rey lease option and lease extension fees to be collected this summer.

The county also plans to charge the operators of summer camps for their use of beaches, and that money could go toward paying janitors, Kreimann wrote.

No decisions were made Tuesday about funding bathroom maintenance, but the Department of Beaches and Harbors adjusted its staffing to make certain the bathrooms were being cleaned and opened on time.

Molina said Kreimann’s plan was “solid,” but cautioned the board and public needed to accept that “it’s not business as usual” and public services would continue to be scaled back.

Lights are turned off at night at some county parks, and the state is closing some parks to save money, Molina said.

Supervisor Don Knabe said it was “not an option to use that low-hanging fruit (the janitorial jobs) to satisfy your budget needs when you have millions of people coming to your beaches.”

Supervisor Michael Antonovich suggested the department work with local police departments and state agencies to coordinate cleanup by those serving jail time or working off community service hours.

“Perhaps contracting with Caltrans for those people who are serving time that clean the freeways and other venues,” Antonovich suggested. “This could be a partnership with the state that helps the county maintain the cleanliness of the beaches.”

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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