Before leaving office at the end of the month, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is set to use $75,000 in public money as part of a $265,000 block party despite recently passing a budget containing $108 million in unfunded obligations and personally being in dire financial straits.
Billed as "the Ultimate L.A. Block Party," guests will include former President Bill Clinton and mariachi performer Pepe Aguilar. Ryan Seacrest will emcee the event. Service Employees International Union local 721 has criticized the taxpayer expense. As the Los Angeles Times reports:
Currently, the Los Angeles budget is set to increase pay by 5.5 percent for many city employees but did not include any money to pay for the increase. Unless pay increases are funded by the end of the year, the city will add $108 million to the 2014-2015 fiscal year budget deficit. Over the past four years the city has faced $1.6 billion in deficits.