Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa wants homeowners to dip into their pockets once again to pay for the expansion of the Los Angeles Police Department, saying a significant increase in trash collection fees is necessary to continue adding 1,000 officers to the force, reports the Los Angeles Times. The mayor made his case for a 38 percent increase in trash fees — which, if approved by the City Council, will have tripled since he took office in 2005.
The mayor vowed to carry out a reinvention of the city’s anti-gang programs. The trash fee proposal drew fire from neighborhood leaders. One of them said Villaraigosa and the council had already increased the fee from $11 to $26 in the last two years to pay for the police buildup. Another $2 increase is scheduled for July 2009.