Outgoing Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will get a $265,000 send off at this year’s Celebrate LA event. President Clinton will be in attendance as will many celebrities including Placido Domingo, Pepe Aguilar and Ryan Seacrest.
The entire cost of the Celebrate LA “block party” won’t be absorbed by taxpayers, as Time Warner Cable, Wells Fargo, Disney, the Bohnett Foundation, LA 2050, and the Department of Water and Power and Port of Los Angeles will donate $190,000 for the event. However, the remaining $75,000 will be paid for by public funds for police and street services.
A union that represents city employees isn’t pleased about public funds being used for the celebration in light of budget cuts. In the past five years, Mayor Villaraigosa and the City Council have cut the city workforce by 5,300 positions, and in late April, Villaraigosa suggested that the new mayor forgo giving raises to city workers for four years to create a surplus.
Villaraigosa has said that after his term is up at the end of the month that he wants to “ride into the sunset for a bit,” but he has chosen to go out with bang.
The outgoing Mayor has been scrutinized before for how much time he has spent “on task” engaging in policy and in city business. A recent analysis by the LA Weekly shows that in 2012, 42% of Villaraigosa’s work time was spent on out of town trips, while 15% of his official work time was spent in the city working on city business.