The Angelena II is a 73-feet-long yacht valued at about one million dollars.
Those one million dollars came from Los Angeles locals' tax money...
That's right, taxpayers funded the city-yacht. And now the city is prepared to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to renovate the Angelena II at the expense of taxpayers again.
In 1988, the Port of Los Angeles acquired the “boat” – what Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa calls it – in order to host public relations tours of the harbor. The two hour tours are free of charge to almost anyone.
Sweet "boat", Image courtesy of CBS Los Angeles
According to the ship's logos, more than 4,000 people had been on-board for a cruise last year. However, the mayor said each individual partaking in one of these alleged cruises was merely doing so on “business.”
Los Angeles reporter David Goldstein interviewed Mr. Villaraigosa on the matter:
“They’ve gone to see why the port is such an important part of this administration’s priorities. We have got to promote trade. That’s why I was in China, Japan and Korea,” Mayor Villaraigosa said.
“It’s not a perk to get them out on the water,” I asked?
“No. No,” he replied.
Business or not, those tours and cruises are extremely expensive endeavors for the port. For the two captains alone it cost the port $147,000 and an additional $106,000 for two deck hands. Fuel and ordinary maintenance tacked another $32,000 onto the port's bill.
Latest plans to upgrade the yacht's engines – more eco-friendly low-emission hybrid motors will replace the current engines which no longer meet California emissions standards – will cost nearly three quarters of a million dollars; an estimated $698,000!
Tom Schatz with Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) said the Angelena should be sold because it's a big waste of money for taxpayers in Los Angeles as well as taxpayers across the entired United States...Not to mention, the city is already behind in debt by $70 million...
Meanwhile, it sounds like the port won't set its pride aside – they still think it's “worth it” to throw the taxpayer dollars away so they can show off their fancy port.
Check out the CBS Report below: