Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

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.