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L.A.’s new 3-day work week: how far will budget brinkmanship go?

73 million dollars hangs in the balance of the Los Angeles officials fight.
73 million dollars hangs in the balance of the Los Angeles officials fight.
Bay Ismoyo/AFP/Getty Images

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What started with a political turf battle between the Department of Water & Power, Mayor Villaraigosa and the L.A. City Council over a proposed carbon surcharge has now escalated into a possible paralysis of city services and a full-blown budget crisis. It’s difficult to trace the steps between the City Council’s refusal to implement higher rates on DWP electrical bills and the Mayor’s call to shut down city offices for two days a week. The Mayor called for non-essential services, such as libraries, parks and seniors centers, to be closed twice a week, arguing that the DWP’s denial of a $73.5 million injection into the city’s general fund has forced his hand. The City Council and city unions are calling the Mayor’s threat a bluff, questioning how the DWP controversy is connected with this sudden budget crisis. Who will blink first in L.A.’s high-stakes game of brinkmanship?


Wendy Greuel, Los Angeles City Controller

Jan Perry, L.A. City Councilwoman from the 9th District

Bernard Parks, L.A. City Councilman from the 8th District

Madeleine Kerr, children’s librarian and member of the executive board of the Librarian’s Guild Local 2626, which is part of the Coalition of City Unions

Richard Close, president of the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association