While San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom was recently chided for his water bottle usage, the city of Los Angeles hasn’t been much better.
It was recently reported that the city of LA spent $184,736 on bottled water in 2008, “despite a mayoral directive that it should not be provided at the city’s expense.”
City officials are encouraged to use coolers or pitchers of tap water for special events, and those that wish to drink bottled water “can do so at their own expense,” said City Controller Laura Chick.
Despite a 2005 memo for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa stating that city funds were not to be used on bottled water, certain city departments continued to spend funds on the plastic bottles.
The biggest spenders were found to be Public Works ($69,696), Los Angeles World Airports ($31,429), Los Angeles Police Department ($19,708), General Services ($19,508), Transportation ($14,595), and Harbor ($11,993).
The Department of Water and Power cut their spending down from $31,160 in 2004/05 to $3,419 in 2008, while the departments of Community Development, Commission on Children Youth and Families, Fire, Housing, Library, Neighborhood Empowerment, and Personnel ceased purchases altogether.
Although spending has been reduced, public employees continue to expect the city to foot the bill for their bottled water. Such blatant non-compliance is hard to swallow.