On Thursday Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel released a 40-page report on how federal stimulus funds have been spent in the City of Los Angeles. Last year the United States Congress approved the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) that set aside $800 billion for stimulus funds, $594 million of which has been allocated to the City of Los Angeles primarily for job creation and job preservation. As of now the City of Los Angeles has received $111 million in stimulus funding.
The audit states that the Los Angeles Department of Public Works (DPW) spent $70 million for 14 jobs, which in actuality cost taxpayers $1.5 million per job. The Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) spent $40 million for nine jobs costing taxpayers $4.4 million per job. The amount of time government officials have taken to secure government contracts has slowed the entire hiring process. The Department of Public Works and the Department of Transportation all together have established or saved 55 jobs, but by the end of the funding process aim to establish or save 264 jobs. Some of the existing employment contracts took over seven months to be approved.
Wendy Greuel strongly disapproves of the city’s slow job creation and blames the issue on the city’s usual bureaucratic issues. According to Greuel, “I’m disappointed that we’ve only created or retained 55 jobs after receiving $111 million. With our local unemployment rate over 12 percent we need to do a better job cutting red tape [in reference to bureaucratic problems] and putting Angelenos back to work.”