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What's Up for Grabs in the City's Privatization Plan

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Mayor Villaraigosa went to the City Council on Tuesday to talk layoffs and other budgetary horrors for a couple of hours, and he made it clear he wants cuts made somewhere: "We can't continue to say no to everything. We can't say no to layoffs, no to furloughs, no to department elimination, no to parking meters, no to parking structures, no to the zoo, no to the Convention Center." The mayor is pushing privatization as one way to stop the bleeding--we've heard about the parking structures, but now the ball has started rolling on some variety of privatization for several other public properties. The Council agreed to look into plans for a public-private partnership for the Los Angeles Zoo; a private management and operations agreement for the Convention Center; and operations partnerships for Barnsdall Art Park facilities, the William Grant Still Art Center, and theaters including the Warner Grand. The Council authorized negotiations with the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association to operate the zoo, and the Daily News quotes the zoo's director saying the public-private plan is "worth looking at." The Council also agreed on Tuesday to look into folding the Environmental Affairs Department into the Planning Department and other agencies. [Image of Barnsdall Junior Art Center via Big Orange Landmarks]
· Mayor pleads case to council [LADN]
· Mid Year Financial Status Report / Third Year Plan to Fiscal Sustainability [LA City Clerk]