This was a fun little spot for LA Weekly about how certain privileged employees are enjoying free gas on the city’s dime while the rest of the city is paying outrageous amounts of money on gas. Thanks to Brian Guillian for the assignment!
It comes up every year when the mayor announces steep new cuts to city services like the fire department, park hours and libraries. A huge number of city political employees who do not perform street services or need to criss-cross the city eight hours a day as part of their job get free gas from the taxpayers, including 100 or so political aides to the Los Angeles City Council and another several dozen aides to Villaraigosa. It’s unheard of in most major cities, a holdover from times past. In an obscure garage that no private citizen could ever access, the free city gas pumps sit, churning out free gas all day long in an era of $4 gas for residents. It took public embarrassment for the city to close its $1 million/year calligraphy office — city employees who did nothing but create fancy scrolls for the city council to hand out to various civic groups and insiders every Friday during a ceremony of mostly hot air. Will the yearlong free gas and free cars for the personal aides to the council members and mayor become the next big embarrassment?