Council Delays Actions Pending New Debt Policy
The Los Angeles City Council on Friday agreed to a moratorium on approving any new programs or jobs that will add to the city’s debt until a comprehensive policy on civic borrowing is adopted.
Acting on a proposal by Councilman Mike Feuer, lawmakers also required the city controller and the city’s administrative officer to recommend a policy on civic debt within two weeks to the council’s Budget and Finance Committee.
Both the controller, Rick Tuttle, and the administrative officer, Keith Comrie, have issued reports on the city’s rising debt, but they differ over how high that borrowing should go.
Too high a debt could threaten the city’s bond rating.
Several council members said they want to proceed cautiously because they don’t want to hinder the city’s economic development.
Still, Feuer said, a debt policy that incorporates the city’s spending priorities is needed before the council engages in its annual budget debates, set to begin in a couple of weeks.