Austerity Becoming the New Normal at Los Angeles City Hall

Maybe it’s the new normal at City Hall, but in Mayor Eric Garcetti’s back-to-basics philosophy, there has been a definite reduction in the perks of working for a city official.

Unlike his predecessors, Garcetti has proven pretty frugal with city money, as evidenced by one issue that drives a lot of taxpayer activists up the wall — city-provided cars for staffers.

Garcetti has taken steps to lower the number of cars assigned to his underlings. In addition to the one given to him — tricked out with all sorts of security features — he has allowed only two staff members a city car. And those are folks who have public-safety emergency duties and are called out all hours of the day.

Two others in the mayor’s Valley and South Los Angeles offices are available on an as-needed basis.

Compared with his predecessor, it is a sharp drop. Former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa allowed 12 staffers to have city cars.

And Garcetti staffers who use their own vehicles on assignment are mandated to fill out a city reimbursement form that lists the mileage and the purpose of the trips.