We've heard a lot of concern about how the loss of a measure to raise city sales tax might affect public services, especially police and fire.
But another side effect is now in the offing.
The city of Los Angeles may require neighborhood councils to cover the cost of their own elections, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.
The proposal would ask neighborhood councils to put 20-percent of their annual budget toward the elections in 2014, or not hold them at all.
In our area, that would affect the Greater Echo Park Elysian, Elysian Valley-Riverside, Silver Lake, Rampart Village and Los Feliz neighborhood councils.
Budgets have already been cut from $50,000 to $37,000.
Ari Bessendorf, the newly elected president of the Echo Park-Elysian Neighborhood Council, was critical of the idea.
There are many areas of the City budget that would be more equitable places to cut, " said Bessendorf in an email. "For example each City council member earns a salary greater than that of a United States Senator, and more than 40 percent greater than the equivalent position in New York City."
Bessendorf noted that neighborhood councils, instead, are staffed by volunteers and provide cost-effective outreach to the community.
Silver Lake's Neighborhood Council lobbied especially hard last year when it looked like elections might be postponed due to budget issues.
"All we ask for is to receive our just do so that we can represent real people at the grassroots," said Charles Herman-Wurmfeld, a member at large from the SLNC, in an email.
"When the city Council speaks this way or threatens this type of cut, it is a direct challenge to democracy itself, and very cynical, shortsighted and backwards."
Herman-Wurmfeld, who has represented the council at citywide budget meetings for neighborhood councils, also called for a Los Angeles-wide forum to work through these issues.