LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Mayor Eric Garcetti was expected to deliver his first State of the City address Thursday as Los Angeles faces a projected $242 million deficit and administrative issues at one of its largest utilities.
KNX 1070’s Margaret Carrero reports the mayor’s speech at the California Science Center comes just one day after the release of a report detailing what one panel described as a crisis in city leadership.
The Los Angeles 2020 Commission, chaired by former U.S. Commerce Secretary Mickey Kantor, recommended steps including the creation of an office of transparency and accountability and the establishment of an independent oversight and rate-setting commission for the Department of Water and Power.
Garcetti has vowed to impose greater oversight of the scandal-plagued utility after complaints of a troubled billing system that left some customers with exorbitatant and inaccurate monthly bills, which in turn exposed long customer service call wait times as a result.
The mayor is also expected to address the city’s financial standing ahead of an expected budget fight at City Hall in the face of a ballooning deficit for the 2014-15 fiscal year.
A report released last month by City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana outlined several steps the city can take to get back into the black by 2018, including reducing its vulnerability to lawsuits, replacing jobs performed by sworn police officers and firefighters with civilian employees, and growing its financial reserves.
Despite facing a number of challenges in his first year, many Angelenos have been relatively supportive of the the mayor’s performance thus far.
“I have no complaints, so that’s good,” said one man.
“He learned from his father, the politics, dealing with people…I think he’s doing excellent as mayor,” another resident said. “Actually, I think he’s doing a helluva job.”
Garcetti is set to speak starting at 5 p.m. at the Wallis Annenberg Building of the California Science Center located at 700 Exposition Park Drive.