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Wednesday, Jun 7, 2023

Collections Position Mulled

The Los Angeles City Council’s Budget and Finance Committee was expected to discuss Sept. 15 the creation of a new position to oversee collection of unpaid bills owed to the city. With the city facing a budget deficit estimated at $406 million, officials are considering ways other than cutting services or raising fees to make up the shortfall. The oversight role, dubbed a “Collections Sheriff,” was brought to the council by the Valley Industry & Commerce Association and its Audit Sub-Committee Chairman Mel Kohn. That the city council was still discussing the matter was a disappointment as each passing day means the money is not collected, Kohn said. “The fruit is on the ground and nothing changes in the collection process and we are going forward with no one enforcing it,” Kohn said. In a June 2007 report, City Auditor Laura Chick found that that approximately $502 million in bills had gone uncollected, including large amounts from more than five years ago. The unpaid bills include ambulance transportation fees, industrial user permits, police response to false alarms, and expediting planning department cases. The association doesn’t expect the city to collect on that full amount but even a fraction helps narrow the budget deficit.

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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