In Los Angeles – a city unable to fix its homeless crisis or fund its pension obligations – all 15 of its city councilors employ a staff of 22 to 36 aides. Of these, nearly 60 earn a salary of more than $ 100,000.
That data comes from OpentheBooks, a non-profit organization that posts information on local, state, and federal government spending.
The data further shows that Los Angeles’ 15 city councilors each take home more than $ 200,000 – a salary exceeding most members of Congress.
With other city employees, the situation is much the same. OpentheBooks identified around 20,000 city employees making more than $ 147,000 – costing taxpayers nearly $ 3 billion.
Meanwhile, this is all in place while the second-largest city is facing a burgeoning financial crisis, made worse by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
A 2019 audited financial report showed that the nation’s second-largest city held a debt burden of about $ 5.1 billion, which equates to $ 4,000 for every city taxpayer.
The report showed that most of the city’s financial problems stem from unfunded retirement obligations, including $ 8.5 billion in pension, and $ 2.7 billion in retiree health care benefits.
The city’s financial situation was already dire before the pandemic and will likely come out worse.