160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! From the sounds of horror coming from some wings of Los Angeles City Hall these days, one might surmise that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa had proposed that bureaucrats offer up their firstborn to help pay for budget gaps. Or maybe that’s just what it feels like for city officials to be asked to do something new: To live within their means. The proposed city spending plan for 2007-2008, as crafted by the Mayor’s Office, is the tightest budget in years. Who knew Villaraigosa would turn out to be such a fiscal conservative? The $6.78 billion budget may be slightly larger, thanks to a 2 percent growth in revenue, but it’s constrained by the structural deficit and the rising costs of prior pay commitments to City Hall employees. To hear it from the City Attorney’s Office, which is protesting a $3.7 million cut to its $97 million budget, and the Animal Services Department, which stands to lose $300,000 for a rarely used service, these cuts could spell doom. But such complaints are mostly for show. City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo says the cuts will force him to eliminate gang programs. But Delgadillo can use his budget any way he wants, and by threatening gang programs, he’s just found the best weapons against the anti-gang mayor. Other city departments may be peeved that the Los Angeles Police Department is getting $53 million more to spend. But this is an acknowledgment of a promise to Angelenos. When the trash fee was hiked last year, city officials promised revenues would help grow the department’s force. It would be a betrayal to siphon off that money to make other politicians happy. The truth is that every city department will have to tighten its belt. And for the most part city leaders, including members of the council, understand this. Still, Delgadillo may have a point: His gang programs are effective and shouldn’t be cut while the council squanders millions on itself.
1 Grant Hall Queens Park Rangers have announced the signing of Grant Hall from Tottenhan for an undisclosed fee.The 23-year-old has penned a two-year contract after spending the summer on trial at Loftus Road.Hall was registered prior to the midday deadline and is therefore expected to go straight into the Hoops squad for Saturday’s Championship opener against Charlton at The Valley.QPR head coach Chris Ramsey told www.qpr.co.uk: “I’ve always liked Grant from when I worked with him at Spurs.“He’s an old fashioned defender – he can head the ball, he can tackle and he doesn’t mind putting his foot in when he needs to. But he can play as well from the back, and that’s what we’ll be looking to do when the opportunities present themselves this season.“He’s still a young boy and centre-half is a very responsible position, but he’s got experience in the Championship and that’s vitally important for us.”