City fees increasing

Dear Editor:How can [Finance Director] John Michicoff explain, with a straight face, that the cost of a copy of a traffic collision investigation report jumped more than 7x; somehow he does and we let him slide with the line that the fee hikes still don't pay for the services. Isn't the cost of a collision investigation paid for as part of the police department budget, i.e. the report fees are only the administrative costs associated with getting a copy of a report? If it really costs $15 for someone at the station to make a copy or pull a report, we're doing something really wrong. If enough cities get cute and find a way to close their budget shortfalls with guaranteed revenue tactics like these, guess what we can expect from our insurance rates when we renew next year? Maybe our city needs to learn to stop spending on "city beautification" projects like putting islands on every major street in town, which only makes the roads feel more congested, requires more maintenance, etc. and instead save this money for the rainy days that are here. I was driving down Old River School Road the other day and I found it shameful that the road is in horrible condition; somehow there aren't funds to repave or repair this heavily-transited avenue, yet we can spend on landscaping every other street in town - do the powers that be know someone in the landscaping business? Like most cities across America, Downey needs to learn to make better use of their funds and take their jobs as elected representatives to heart. - Richard Martinez, Downey

********** Published: July 8, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 12