“…and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”
Sage analysis from the Bard.
It is difficult to be straightforward with others if you can’t be honest with yourself.
Villaraigosa’s Deputy Chief of Staff Matt Szabo and Council Member Bernard Parks must not have read Hamlet or saw the play, either that or this classic piece of advice went right over their heads.
They both weighed in on CAO Miguel Santana’s proposal that no new police officers be hired until the new fiscal year begins in July. The strategy would help the city close a $53 million deficit for the current year, although it would do nothing to resolve next year’s projected $350 million shortfall.
Szabo was quoted in the Times as saying the proposal “makes no financial or operational sense. The only way this plan saves any money at all is through a permanent reduction to the police force, which the mayor is not willing to entertain.”
Did Szabo say that with a straight face? When has he made an honest attempt to push for permanant concessions in employee benefits?
Szabo is clearly not being honest with himself.
True, Santana should be ashamed at himself for not developing and pitching a long-term strategy that can be used by the city as a framework for negotiating with the public unions. Szabo, who I assume has the mayor’s ear, has failed to impress upon his boss the importance of drawing a line in the sand with the unions. Maybe he has not even tried.
Bernard Parks, who is too often characterized as a budget hawk, criticized Sanatana’s idea as being “five years too late.”
Parks has offered little but talk over the last five years. As Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, most of the responsibility for developing a realistic strategy for the city is his. He has been in a position to influence the public throughout the financial crisis, but has done little to educate the citizens as to the consequences of ignoring the structural elements of the ongoing deficit.
He is not being honest with himself by criticizing Sanatana.
Once again, this latest round of finger-pointing is further evidence of City Hall’s avoidance of reality. The mayor, City Council and Controller have been afraid to push serious measures, limiting cuts to activities on the fringe, or temporary deferrals, none of which will rescue the city from its prolonged plight.