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Archived: EDITORIAL: Instead of Serving the Poor, They Served Themselves

So now the Los Angeles City Council wants to seize power of the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles.

What makes the City Council think they can do a better job of keeping track of the public housing authority’s budget and expenditures than HACLA commissioners appointed by the mayor?

Don’t get us wrong; a dramatic change needs to take place at the agency charged with providing federally subsidized housing to some of the city’s neediest residents. We’re just not sure that the city can claim some moral authority or greater expertise when it comes to keeping track of spending by city agencies and departments.

City Controller Greuel’s audit of the housing authority is just one in a long line of audits of city departments that have shown huge deficiencies when it comes to spending taxpayer and ratepayer money.

Audit of other city departments have found favoritism, nepotism, improper use of city equipment, autos and telephones, as well as other forms of financial waste and mismanagement.

The problem is that there is an attitude among some of the people elected or appointed to represent us, and among some government employees, that they are in their positions not to help the public, but to help themselves.

Unless strong ethic rules are put in place and vigorously enforced, there will be those who will continue to take advantage of their position in order to enrich themselves, rather than live up to the trust tax-payers have afforded them.