Every time I think I just might be getting used to the fact that there will always be a few people in this world that just never get it, I come across an article like the one below.
David Goldstein - Los Angeles (CBS) 11:59 p.m. PDT, October 27, 2011
"While the City of L.A. is laying off workers and cutting back services, we uncovered one city agency spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a party. And we obtained the video to prove it. It was like a Hollywood premiere party, complete with a red carpet and paid with public money.
Port of L.A. Executive Director Geraldine Knatz was the host.
If the attendees did not look like stars, they might have felt like them. We found thousands of dollars spent for dancers, wine to toast the party, and even miniature Oscars.
“I’m appalled,” said a fisherman, who has been at the port for 18 years and thinks some of the money should have been used for improvements in the harbor — not partying.
“That’s one hell of a party. Why weren’t we invited? We paid for it,” he said."
Click HERE to read the rest of the article.
For the uninitiated ones, like Councilman Zine, the Port of Los Angeles is a City run business, and it makes a profit by the way. It's a proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles and unlike a number of other ports in the US, the LA Harbor is completely self-supporting. It receives no public funds but it can issue bonds. The port receives revenue from grants, fees for shipping services (docking, wharfing, piloting, and crane rentals), rent for use of port land and buildings, as well as royalties and interest. These funds are used by the port to pay off its bond debt. The port also pays for various city services like fire and emergency medical services to the extent that the services directly support the port.
One of its prime directives is Trade Development. You have to spend money to make money in business. New ideas, new technology, investment in infrastructure and business development are all critical components of any robust venture.
Korea, just one of the ports trading partners is growing their trade with the US by leaps and bounds and consistently ranks as one of our top 10 partners.
The Office of the United States Trade Representative said on October 12, 2011 that
"The United States and the Republic of Korea signed the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement in June 2007. On December 3, 2010, the United States and Korea concluded new agreements, reflected in letters signed on February 10, 2011, that provide new market access and level the playing field for U.S. auto manufacturers and workers.
The U.S. International Trade Commission estimates that the reduction of Korean tariffs and tariff-rate quotas on goods alone will add $10 billion to $12 billion to annual U.S. Gross Domestic Product and around $10 billion to annual merchandise exports to Korea."
In case you missed it, that's US EXPORTS TO Korea.
And to Dennis' statement that "It is money residents around the port say should be used to better serve the people, not the partyers." Well keep in mind that our illustrious councilman represents the San Fernando Valley; so maybe he isn't getting the news out there. Come on down to the port Dennis and we'll show you around. The capital improvements are many, from the redesigned waterfront along Harbor Bl. to the newly opened park/buffer zone in Wilmington. My eyes and my 33 years actually residing in San Pedro tell me you just don't get it.