Phil Jennerjahn: L.A. mayoral candidate
With the March 3 primary election drawing near, The Times asked all candidates for Los Angeles mayor to respond to questions about key issues facing the nation’s second-largest city. Here are the responses from candidate Phil Jennerjahn:
1) What distinguishes you from the other candidates in the race?
Leadership and trust. Some of the men running for mayor are fine, upstanding citizens and I believe they have honorable intentions. However, I don’t think any of them are leaders. They don’t inspire me to follow them. I have been chosen by others to be a leader in high school, in college and in the military. I don’t think any of the others have ever been chosen or elected to be a leader of anything.
Even Mayor Villaraigosa lacks leadership. He went running off to campaign for Hillary Clinton this last summer and abandoned his duties to the city of Los Angeles in a naked attempt to gain political leverage and further his own political career. In my opinion, he is a follower, not a leader.
2) Los Angeles likely will face a deficit of $400 million to $500 million in the 2009-2010 fiscal year, as well as steep shortfalls in the years that follow. If elected, how would you balance the city budget? Specifically, what programs or services would you cut, what taxes or fees would you increase, and what other measures would you take?
The city budget is overloaded with unnecessary things. I will lighten that financial burden as mayor. I am willing to eliminate entire departments at City Hall and subcontract out those services to private industry, which always works faster and cheaper and is more efficient. Unfortunately, I will also have to reduce staff. The city hasn’t laid anyone off since 1983. This is unacceptable. The city government does not have the right to continually expand at an unlimited cost to the taxpayers.
Like Gov. [Arnold] Schwarzenegger, I am ready to order a reduction in hours and services. Some city offices may have to cut back to being open only three days a week.
3) To cut costs, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is considering layoffs or offering early retirement to city employees. Do you support either or both of those alternatives? Given the increased need for government assistance in these bad economic times, is now the right time to reduce the number of city employees or cut hours at libraries and city parks?
Yes, I agree that layoffs and “sunset” options will have to be addressed and considered. Cutting hours doesn’t destroy a city employee’s job, it simply lessens their income and lessens the burdens on the budget. This entire financial crisis was caused by decades of liberal, destructive government policies. This city needs a conservative in power now more than it ever has in its history.
4) Do you support Measure B, the city’s proposed solar power initiative? Why? How do you believe it will affect Department of Water and Power rates?
Absolutely not. Measure B is almost organized crime by the mayor and the IBEW. The issuing of a $3.6-billion solar energy contract with no open bidding or free market competition is certain to skyrocket the eventual cost. Measure B is a huge payoff to the IBEW for their votes. I want your readers to watch two very excellent videos about Measure B. Here are the website links.
5) Should the city controller have authority to perform both financial audits and performance audits on
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