Council votes to turn over discretionary funds

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In a brief special city council meeting, members voted unanimously to find money in their district’s discretionary accounts to help lower the city’s debt.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa had called on the council to turn over $40 million, but it voted to raise only $12 million, or $800,000 per district.

Repurposing the funds is tricky because some have federal sources.

City officials had originally called for the council to give up all the money from so-called AB 1290 funds. These come from property taxes paid by residents in areas slated for redevelopment; typically the poorest neighborhoods in the city.
Instead, the council decided that each member will have until March 11 to figure out how to come up with the money in their own districts.

Council member Herb Wesson says today’s action will make the process more fair, and council member Jan Perry said each member needed to take a realistic look at the projects in their districts. In her case, Perry knows that will mean tough choices.

The council will consider more budget proposals on Friday.

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