Los Angeles may be a Mecca for the rich, famous, and wannabes but there is little glamour in running a city of more than 4 million people. Governing responsibilities are shared among the city's mayor and city council, while more than 40 various commissions, departments, and bureaus see to the more mundane daily operations that keep the wheels spinning. Elected every four years, the mayor appoints most commission members (subject to approval by the city council) and serves as the city's executive officer. Also elected to four year terms, the city's 15 district council members represent Angelenos' needs and wants in the political system. The city has a budget of approximately $7 billion a year.
As of 2010 the City of Angels faces a $485 million budget deficit, as well as double-digit unemployment and a 30% decrease in construction activity. It has taken steps to cut costs by implementing a retirement incentive program, reducing overtime costs in all departments, consolidating small departments, and seeking lower-cost vendors -- in short, focusing on its core services. Los Angeles was awarded $592 million in federal stimulus funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to create jobs and complete capital projects; the funds cannot be used to reduce the city's budget deficit. – less