The Los Angeles River was a pet project for former First District Councilman Ed Reyes, who spearheaded efforts to raise awareness of the river and create more parkland and recreational uses. In fact, a few weeks before the term-out Reyes left office in late June, the City Council approved his request to shift $500,000 in funds earmarked for First District redevelopment projects and services into an account for river-related projects. But Gil Cedillo, the new First District Councilman, apparently has different priorities.
In one of the Cedillo’s first actions as First District councilman, he asked his council colleagues to rescind the $500,000 transfer to benefit river projects. Instead, Cedillo wants the $500,000 used to “address community needs in Council District One, inasmuch as Council District One has identified alternate community priorities for these funds,” according to a council motion. Last week, the City Council voted in favor of Cedillo’s motion.
But what are those “community priorities” that will be funded with the $500,000 once budgeted for the river? It’s hard to say because so far Cedillo’s office has failed to respond to several requests for details on how that money will now be used.