This morning, the Los Angeles Times has an article stating that the City of Los Angeles could soon change an ordinance that makes homeowners responsible for sidewalk repairs in front of their homes. WTF!
The article, http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0509-sidewalk-20100509,0,3114527.story says it "the burden of mending pavement that has been cracked or lifted by expanding tree roots could soon fall to her — and tens of thousands of other Los Angeles property owners."
I don't understand how legally this can be done, but then again, I am not a lawyer. I know that the City shells out megabucks to defend itself in lawsuits, pay others to defend them in lawsuits, and pays out hefty settlements, because of these deteriorated sidewalks. So now, rather that bite the bullet, fix what needs to be fixed, they are going to make homeowners share in those costs too? Most sidewalk issues are because of the trees planted (by the city of course, and if you by chance cut the tree down, they have HUGE fines) So, what they are saying is.... it's our property when you do something you are not supposed to (homeowner) and we will charge you...but if someone ELSE does something wrong (like trip) we want you to pay part of any settlement and oh yeah, you have to pay to get it fixed. #FAIL
I have worked for a City for 25 years - thankfully not the city of LA - and because of this, I have seen and weathered many storms. It's beyond me, and I am sure I am not alone, as to why the City continued to pay for lawsuits, legal fees, etc., when they could have embarked on a capital improvement program, when the money ran dry initially in the 70's as they say, to deal with the problem. Just because the money ran out didn't mean the problem was going to go away. This I place blame on the powers to be at that time - if LA didn't spend its days dodging, avoiding, forcing blame upon others, and proactively sought solutions (other than pawning off on the homeowners) they might surprise themselves...stuff actually gets done. Look at Long Beach, proactive instead of reactive - we sure as hell beat them to that punch with there water department.
The City of LA didn't get to be as big a city as it is, without vision from its forefathers. It has no vision now, just a lot of high priced, ego stroking politicians that only are looking out for themselves. What a shame.