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If you contact Gerrie Schipske through this site on any matter pertaining to the City of Long Beach, a copy of your contact will be forwarded to her official city email as an official public record.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sidewalks and Verizon

The story begins three years ago when Verizon tore up hundreds of sidewalks in El Dorado Park Estates so it could install its fios systems underground.

All went well with most of the sidewalks but many didn't set well.

I have been out walking that area for the past couple of months and have inventoried many, many sidewalks with Verizon tags that are trip hazards. Anything raised over 1/4 inches is considered a hazard. So after several emails and meetings and on site inspections -- including today at 10 am -- Verizon and the City are working out how to get the sidewalks fixed.

This coming Monday morning, the City and Verizon will start removing sidewalk panels to figure out what caused the problem...and I will keep walking and making my inventory of sidewalks and streets that need to be fixed.

Planning a Wedding

Not ready to give up politics and for a wedding planning career -- but it has been fun and exhausting to help my daughter, Kerrie get ready for her upcoming wedding. From putting together jordan almond packets to stringing flowers to hang on the gazebo and a last minute dash to the bridal gown center because the gown didn't fit.

It will be a sweet wedding and small. Thinking good thoughts that it won't rain on Saturday so we can have an outdoor wedding.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy New Year --Things I am Doing This Week

  • I am out walking the district -- both to talk with constituents and to inventory sidewalks and streets-- and to remind people about the tree recycling program.
  • Saw a young couple decorate the gazebo at Good Neighbor Park for their wedding later in the day. That gazebo and lights in the trees have made a big difference in the park.
  • Getting ready for my daughter's wedding this coming Saturday. Wow. I still can't believe that I am going to be a mother-in-law.
  • Working with Historical Society of Long Beach on bringing a Smithsonian exhibit here in January.
  • Writing more grants for funding Rosie the Riveter Parka and Interpretive Center.
  • Trying to get organized for the coming year.
  • Seeing lots of movies. So far my favorite is "It's Complicated" with Meryl Streep.
  • Finishing my video presentation: Early Aviation in Long Beach -- so I can show it when I do book signings.
  • Watching the squirrel who has taken up residence in the tree outside my office window. He is so busy out there. (No, that isn't a photo of my squirrel -- but I thought it was funny...)
  • Being thankful for another wonderful year of life with my family and friends!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Steven Spielberg, Bonnie Raitt, Rosie O'Donnell and The Eagles

I get Google Alerts everytime my name appears in the media so I can keep track of what's out there...

Got a blast from the past. 2000 campaign for US Congress to be exact. Up popped a google alert today that Steven Spielberg gave me $2000.

Well he did. So did Bonnie Raitt, Rosie O'Donnell and Don Henley of the Eagles fame. Actually I raised over $1.2 million for that campaign...a good portion of it, thanks to President Bill Clinton who did a fundraiser for me.

You can check out Open Secrets at to find out who gives to whom on the federal level...

or Little Sis, which google picked up and I never heard of before.

Wow, I cannot believe that was 10 years ago.

275 Residents Comment on Lobbyist and other Reform Issues

In response to my online survey, 275 residents responded to a series of questions concerning reforms needed in the City of Long Beach. Below is the summary of their votes and the comments they posted. I did not edit the responses, other than removing the names of those who responded to the survey.
1. Should the City of Long Beach join the other 5 major cities in California and pass a law requiring the registration of lobbyists?
Number of Response(s) Response Ratio
Yes 254 92.3%
No 12 4.3%
Other 5 1.8%
No Responses 4 1.4%
Total 275 100%
88 Comment(s)

2. Who should be required to register as a lobbyist?
Number of Response(s) Response Ratio
Only those persons or companies who are paid to lobby 38 13.8%
Any person paid or employed to lobby on behalf of a business or organization 62 22.5%
Non profit organizations such as: Chamber of Commerce, labor unions, Camp Fire, etc. 11 4.0%
All of the above 192 69.8%
None of the above 10 3.6%
Total 275 100%
52 Comment(s)

3. Should all elected officials be required to disclose if they have had discussions or meetings with someone (other than a constituent) who has a matter pending before the City Council?
Number of Response(s) Response Ratio
Yes 236 85.8%
No 16 5.8%
Not sure 20 7.2%
No Responses 3 1.0%
Total 275 100%
62 Comment(s)

4. Should key city staff be required to report if they have had discussions or meetings with someone who has a matter pending before the City Council?
Number of Response(s) Response Ratio
Yes 233 84.7%
No 17 6.1%
Not sure 22 8.0%
No Responses 3 1.0%
Total 275 100%
56 Comment(s)

5. Should elected officials be permitted to accept gifts of any value from a lobbyist or a lobbyist's client?
Number of Response(s) Response Ratio
Yes 30 10.9%
No 227 82.5%
Not Sure 12 4.3%
No Responses 6 2.1%
Total 275 100%
85 Comment(s)

6. Some cities require that key city staff and elected officials post on the city website within 30 days of receiving or using a gift. Should Long Beach require posting within 30 days?
Number of Response(s) Response Ratio
Yes 215 78.1%
No 25 9.0%
Not sure 18 6.5%
No Responses 17 6.1%
Total 275 100%
91 Comment(s)

7. Should elected officials be required to post their schedules on the city website so that the public can know who is meeting with them?
Number of Response(s) Response Ratio
Yes 188 68.3%
No 38 13.8%
Not sure 43 15.6%
No Responses 6 2.1%
Total 275 100%

8. If the City Council again refuses to pass a lobbyist regulation law, do you think the issue needs to be placed on the April 2010 ballot so that the voters can decide whether or not Long Beach needs to regulate lobbyists?
Number of Response(s) Response Ratio
Yes 226 82.1%
No 23 8.3%
Not sure 20 7.2%
No Responses 6 2.1%
Total 275 100%
65 Comment(s)

9. On a scale of not important, important and very important, please rate how important is it to you whether or not the Mayor and City Council support regulating lobbyists and disclosing their activites?
Top number is the count of respondents selecting the option. Bottom % is percent of the total respondents selecting the option. Not Important Important Very Important
12 56 201
4% 21% 75%
77 Comment(s)
  • I think it would not hurt to make Paid Lobbyists register with the city as long as their is not some system that takes weeks and months or requires approval which opens the door for favoritism.
  • eliminate the lobbyists all together, let the city officials get elected on merit and integrity.
  • All lobbyists. Anyone who wants to meet with a publicly elected official or city staff.
  • Absolutely!!!! Long Beach residents need to know what the lobbyists "Government Relations" reps are doing.
  • Mike Murchison is Tom Dean's lobbyist (along with former City Manager Jerry Miller) and with his direct "longtime personal friendship" with Deverlopment Services Chief Craig Beck has incredible access -- the public needs to know how this friendship impacted the Sean Hitchcock Lloynes lot scraping situation, the Los Cerritos Wetlands "Land Swap" and other major development happenings.
  • i disagree with you and robert garcia
  • why are the two of you pushing this issue so hard?
  • Big monied lobbyists only want what is good for their corporations. The citizens always come last when lobbyists can throw their money around behind th scenes.
  • I support full disclosure/sunshine type laws, but would be opposed to fees for registrations of lobbyists, as this could be a back door way of restricting lobbying activities to those who could afford it and squeezing out grass roots and non-profit lobbying groups.
  • Do ya think?
  • Not just yes, hell yes. Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of how Long Beach politics works, knows that a tiny clique of insiders runs most of what passes for Long Beach politics making sweet heart deals. Example: Occidental Petroleum's bid to take port oil revenues over with the help of the Mayor and City Council. The public needs to know what is going on.
  • I think it should also extend to state and national politics.
  • we have too many lobbyists working for the City !
  • I don't consider this as of particularly high priority, but it should be done.
  • Lobbyists should be regulated in all cities.
  • However the ordinance needs to be specific and include all entities who will/may be involved, lobbyiest, unions, etc. It cannot be a watered down law that means nothing and has a lot of loop holes. I suggest the council take the time to start with a solid foundation and work to make it a sound ordinance.
  • I was not aware that lobbyists were NOT required to register.
  • They shouldn't have to, but since people in authority don't have the sense to avoid improprieties themselves, it will have to be regulated. :-\
  • Mike Murchison has been greasing the palms of city hall far too long. I like Craig Beck but is time that these lobbyists are identified.
  • The entire country should be regulated
  • Requiring registration is concerning. I have "lobbied" on behalf of community gardens to my councilmembers and do not feel it is neccessary to register. If someone wishes to lobby they should have that right. Regulations would have policy set out by ethical guidelines and apply to everyone, I do not see a need for registration. Giving personal information to the government is something that worries me.
  • Especially because term limits tend to make councilmember less experienced in handling complex issues and leads to lobbyists having greater influence in their decisions.
  • Not having this law allows for bad governing.
  • Reasonable attention should be paid to this
  • City which may be excessively hospitable to certain business interests.
  • no brainer
  • absolutely! the recent example of craig beck getting cozy with murchison proves the need!
  • I noticed the stories so far printed have conveniently not mentioned that murchison has worked or is working for tom dean.
  • Yes. For the sake of transparency in our city government, there should be a lobby ordinance. A lot of people in this city feel that there is not a judicial process at city hall, and that backroom dealings are how everything gets done. An ordinance would assist in halting this type of unacceptable behavior.
  • City officials should encourage transparency. This is a start!
  • More transparanc neededy
  • What is the registration for and how is it checked. Having something in place with no protocol is worthless. Give us some idea of what this question truly means, details!
  • Although Lobbyists play a role in the education of elected officials on both sides of an issue, there needs to be full disclosure of the meetings and the intent. This allows the constituent groups a better understanding of who is in bed with who...
  • I'm not entirely convinced that the following statement copied from above is true. As I recall, as a former employee, under Jerry Millers' management, (2005/2006) an employee ethics program was initiated that made accepting gifts in the line of duty a violation ...
  • "The City of Long Beach also allows the acceptance of gifts from lobbyists, even though gifts to public officials and employees can be perceived as attempts to influence City operations and can erode the public confidence."
  • What would even be the downside!!!
  • yes ...take a look at don knabe's office and you begin to question the morality of lobbyists...others as well trips are NOT the only perks given and taken...wrongfully
  • Absolutely!
  • Stop it with the Nannyism. You don't know better than anyone else. Work on your CRIME RATE instead.
  • The passage of a law requiring the registration of lobbyists is essential to promoting integrity in government on all levels.
  • I am seeing a lot of issues in Signal Hill as well, so if that small town is having the same problems, I'm sure Long Beach is too.
  • The tragedy is that we don't have such regulations on the books now. There is no absolute freedom in society; especially noted should be the lobbyists.
  • I've got 21 years here in Development Services. Playing by the rules and full disclosure is badly needed here in Long Beach. Managers make premature promises to developers and event promoters, etc., and break the rules to fulfill them - even when the Brown Act or other public protection processes (Coastal Act, CEQA)get in the way. Pointing this stuff out doesn't help your career.
  • Regretfully, it appears that those given the responsibility of managing the city left their integrity in the trash can when they accepted the position. You can not legislate morality, but this legislation may be needed anyway.
  • Although the influences of lobbyists in theory do not automatically denote impropriety, transparency and restrictions in these matter alway reassure a somewhat cynical constituency,
  • I had always sided with the "Lobbyists"...those underprivileged sectors of constituants lobbying for better healthcare, maintenance of our roads, hunger programs...until I found that the roll of "Lobbyists" had changed. Now I find that Lobbyists are big money corporations (etc), lobbying for agendas that more than likely don't help the little folk of our fair(?) city
  • Absolutely!
  • lobbyists are rodents.....they should be arrested.
  • More government at more cost. It's the staff and electeds who need to be regulated through disclosure. Not the lobbyists. Of course, as elected, it's easier to regulate others so you can be free to do whatever or take whatever you want, which you often do.
  • Gifts of any kind to "government" officials have always been prohibited to avoid any semblance of persuading them. Even as a puny engineer at Rockwell International ( a defense contractor), I could not receive gifts from subcontractors worth more than $5. It's mind boggling that LB thinks it's above federal and state rules regarding such. It shows that the council members are self serving. They would lose all these frills and they would need to disclose the truth.
  • I need more specifics
  • Lobbyists are fox in sheeps clothing. Gifts to government officials at any level should never be allowed.
  • I believe staff should be hired to collect the information a lobbyist could provide. Delete lobbyist altogether. I would rather see an objective review of a subject than a biased review with someone who has a financial interest in selling the outcome.
  • The public process must be transparent, no matter how slow and painful it must become.
  • Transparency is important in all government activities.
  • I would hope that our elected officials would be savvy enough to know that their constituants may vote them out in the next election if they are viewed as "dirty"
  • Lobbyists are too influential already. I dont want any around!! So do register them all and maybe some will leave.
  • We need to regulate lobbyist. It is unethical to accept gifts valuing more than $20. I erodes public confidence and impacts integrity of our elected officals, including city councilmen and councilwomen.
  • I want to know who might be influencing my public officials.
  • Our city representatives should primarily listen to us--not to those who wish to profit by issues on which our representatives vote. Lobbyists should be allowed to express their positions in writing--or at open city forums. That's what we do--they should not be allowed to do more.
  • Sounds like a good idea, but I don't know enough.
  • I fear unintended consequences.
  • Let's eliminate temptation by prohibiting the acceptance of gifts from lobbyists. We need decisions made on what the people want not what will help the lobbyists get what they want.
  • Thank you for supporting this move to require registation of lobbyists and help find a way to prevent acceptance of gifts.
  • Lobbyists are legally bribers.
  • In addition to regulating them, there needs to be an easy access site to see what they do to influence the city.
  • This is a must!
  • Should elected and appointed officials charged with representing citizens be free to accept bribes to influence their decisions or behavior? Madam, lobbying should be outlawed! Lobbying is an insidious undemocratic invention designed to thwart legitimate evaluation of facts that pertain to public natters.
  • This is LONG OVERDUE because some really bad decisions have been made over the years due to lobbyist influence with end result being negative impact on most of us while favorable impact on the minority (certain unions, for example) represented by loybbists.
  • This is a good idea regardless of the size of the municipality.
  • There needs to be some interaction with the businesses that Long Beach has relations with, whether existing or new business.
  • Not only should lobbyist be required to register, but also elected public officials and city staff should be prohibited from accepting gifts of any significant monetary value from lobbyists or contractors with whom the City has potential or actual business.
  • Laws regarding ethics pervade our society. Its difficult in the business world to even give a token at the holidays. As a result, it seems reasonable that Long Beach follow suite.
  • It is just short of totally unbelievable that LB does not already have such regulations in place.
  • I think that the law should be passed for Lobbyist's registration. Why should an official receive a gift for doing his or her job?
  • Only IF both business interests AND ALL UNION representatives are included. Unions, especially the City's employee unions, are the groups that do the most "lobbying." They start their "lobbying" well before the official is elected. Unions give the most money to election campaigns to influence the way the official that they got elected, by their members physically working for the candidate and through the money the union spent on the candidates behalf, for the sole purpose of ensuring that the
  • This subject is something that has always just begged for conflict and corruption. As such it is one most certainly in need of regulation. These are different times and we cannot, and should not allow mandates passed years ago to exist to the detriment of public confidence
  • We need to know who is trying to influence our council members and departments.
  • Most definitely!
  • I am sick of the lobbbyist running the government instead of the people. We have to know who is paying for our laws. It is a sad state of affair when money has more power, than what is right!!!Thank you for standing up for fairness!
  • if the lobbyists and the council and staff are doing things legally why would it concern them so much?
  • The city's monitoring of lobbyists should be at least as rigorous if not more so than the federal government.
  • This should apply to all who lobby the Council including Non-Profits, Unions, Corporations,Business Organizations, Chambers of Commerce and other quasi-official organizations within government.
  • Such a law is long overdue.
  • We NEED "SUNSHINE" on what influences our city officials! Shameful we are the ONLY one of the 5 major cities which does not have such a law!
  • All lobbyists and their associates (friends) need to be registered as a way of allowing the public to be better informed on what may influence decissions of our elected officials. This should also apply to key city staff. An informed public will cause less confusion and allow better decissions to be made without undue influence from outside sources.
  • Although Mr. West said he doesn't need a law to control his employees, apparently he isn't addressing this issue in the absence of such a law. Also if City employees who act as gatekeepers to City resources see nothing morally or ethically wrong with maintaining friendships with vendors who want access to those resources, then they need a law that spells it out for them. Since no or few City officials see that having exclusive access to such gatekeepers is a problem, there needs to be a law.
  • I'm always for transparency in government, the more, the better. I want any elected official to be beholden to their constituents, not lobbyists.
  • Let the sun shine in! We need all the transparency we can get, if we want to consider ourselves informed voters.
  • Talking to the lobbyists is fine but bribing smells.
  • In today's corrupt political climate it is unheard of to not allow the public to know who is influencing our public servants. We need a law requiring the registration of lobbyists as well as full disclosure on who is paying how much for what kind of influence. This information should be available to the public via the Internet.
  • Stop lobbying all together. At the state and national level.
  • I think the recent publicity about the director of the RDA and the lobbyist vacationing together is an embarrassment to the city. I'm sure this kind of thing has been going on, un-noticed for far too long, and it really makes me wonder about the about the way things get done in Long Beach and I think the time for transparency in government is long overdue.
  • Perhaps such a regulation would minimize the influence of lobbyists because they would have to make their interests known.
  • Only to require that they register, but no other real restraints...just know who they are.
  • I'm in favor of holding our elected officials accountable by disclosing their activities. Lets call for an Accountability Ordinance.
  • I do not believe that a Chamber of Commerce should be required to register as it is their job to protect the rights of not one business in our city, but all the business. Lobbying organizations are working for 1 specific business or industry.
  • Labor unions may be non profit but there is still a political element to their mission.
  • In regard to "non-profits" there probably should be some distinctions as to the goals of the lobbying - should look at how other cities and government entities handle these situations.
  • don't most candidates running for office depend on monies from labor unions?
  • Not 501c3 non profits. But maybe certain non-profits that have a PAC such as labor unions.
  • A "non profit" oragnization like the Chamber of Commerce is just a tax dodging front for corporations. Labor unions and true nonprofits have nothing to hide. If they are all required to register, no wolf-in-sheeps clothing gets to sneek in undetected.
  • If full disclosure means anything, it must mean everyone gets identified.
  • All of the above, but not charitable non-profits, such as Camp Fire. And the person should spend some portion of his time lobbying -- not just making one request.
  • The requirements need to be refined, but meaningful disclosure is important.
  • A lobbyist is a lobbyist. If you're going to lobby the city on behalf of anyone you should be registered.
  • I don't know about the non-profits; it depends on just what they are. Something like a charity: probably not. Labor unions: absolutely!
  • Only orgs with PAC's
  • The government should not be able to discriminate. Who's to say who's "right" and "wrong"? Why should a "paid" lobbyists be treated any differently than a charitable organization? We all deserve equal treatment.
  • Yes, non profits too!
  • Profit takers are the culprits.
  • I would like to check the first two boxes, but think there should be a way to exempt people like
  • attorneys representing organizations when there are legal issues involved. In these cases attorneys are usually just advising city officials about the law, which city officials don't always know enough about.
  • I include non-profits to prevent their use as a "loop-hole" way to employ a lobbyist. For example, I am sure it would not take 2nd+PCH very long to figure they could still have Karl Kemp lobby for them as an employee of some made up non-profit, such as "friends of 2nd+PCH".
  • Anyone with a vested interest should be included.
  • again this question is vague. Is a salesman from a company a lobbyist? He or she is lobbying to sell you something, right?
  • If you want a meaningful answer give us a meaningful question
  • Non-profits should not have to register. There is a basic understanding that non-profits are seeking support of their cause, and their cause is specific to their mission statement. Business lobbyists and professional lobbyists often support who ever will hire them, so they are not focused on the better good
  • influence is influence
  • The police and fire unions must be included.
  • Any one acting on another's behalf. Isn't that the definition of a lobbyist? If I am advocating for myself then no.
  • Some will argue that prosecution of lobbyists for non-compiance will be too expensive. Loss of political freedom is more expensive; we elected other people to do the public's business.
  • There should be no charge to register as a lobbyist.
  • As good as some of the nonprofits and their goals are, they should still be treated as lobbyists because it would be hard to know where to draw the line.
  • Those Non-profit organizations that do not offer financial stimulus to our City Council, etc should not be regulated
  • An organization does not need to register, but anyone that receives payment for lobbying on their behalf should be required to register and disclose that relationship.
  • All lobbyist should be transparent.
  • If they have nothing to hide, it shouldn't be a problem.
  • All of the above have positions which largely benefit the agency with which they are affiliated. We citizens should listen to the logic of their views--but we should know whether these views are influenced by the agency to which they belong.
  • There is a distinction between presenting facts for consideration and stressing one-sided viewpoints. The latter whether or not from a paid messenger is unethical and when accompanied by favors should be regarded as illegal.
  • This list is a prime example of HOW MUCH influence and pressure exists on all of you (council members) as well as other public officials. While I do not think some organizations have an "agenda" (such as Camp Fire!) but focus on the principle here...TRANSPARENCY so that WE THE TAXPAYERS that pay your salary KNOW what is really going on behind closed doors.
  • Plus labor unions
  • Since I am a member of the Long Beach Mounted Police, which is a non-profit, I did not vote for non-profits.
  • I would not have included charitable organizations or the Chamber, but you threw Unions in there. While I have respect for Unions in their role of protecting worker rights, I find Long Beach politicians support the Unions TOO much. I often find that because of this "security" the Unions do not go to the bargaining table in good faith.
  • Neighborhood associations/organizations should be exempt. They are no more than "collectives of constituents".
  • I think the City council should monitor the persons or companies as to what they stand for,
  • As long as all Labor Union leaders and staff ALSO are included, since it is their dollars that buy elections more than any other in Long Beach
  • This is the bane of government - lobbyists at every level of our governed states have been altering and influencing the populist word for decades now. This must cease and return government back to "for the people, by the people".
  • Any person or business outside of City business who can or have the perception to buy or influence public policy, spending and law.
  • Especially the unions.
  • Non profits generally conduct advocacy related activities so i do not believe they need to be registered unless they are lobbying for passage of specific legislation.
  • Some government agencies such as the Local School Boards, Costal Authority, etc. should also be required to register if they lobby any Council members or staff.
  • There must be transparency across the board. A lobbyist is a lobbyist, no matter his/her source or employer. Anyone who seeks access to City decision-makers with the intention of influencing their decisions needs to be identified. If they are on the up-and-up, why should they object?
  • The NGOs still get paid, still have vested interests.
  • Would that include the Library foundation?
  • The names of companies and individuals paying the lobbyist must also be disclosed, as well as the amount of money being paid. The goals of the lobbyist should also be disclosed.
  • Although I believe non-profits should be exempt (except for the Chamber and labor unions), if such a requirement would make know who influences city regs, I would support it. The non-profits I am referring to tend to lobby for the interests of a greater variety of disenfranchised parties, not business interests.
  • You know what's best.
  • Please don't leave out non-profit groups. It's okay to have a group such as a homeless shelter lobby you, but we should still have a right to know about it. Registering as a City of Long Beach lobbyist isn't a bad thing, and it might help residents like me get behind something if I know certain non-profits are for or against it.
  • I think that any discussions pertaining directly to the matter pending before the council should be reported, but if an individual goes on a social outing and is not given complimentary favors, there needs to be no reporting. We all know a lot of people in this big little city of ours and many of us have grown up together. I do not think that friendships need to be broken because of this. Just being more careful is important
  • But this is no good, so yes we vote that they disclose, now what?
  • YES - there are many unreported, unknown meetings, e-mails, communications of various types that need to be reported ... the paid lobbyists in Long Beach have incredible access and patronage.
  • Good records will protect any elected official.
  • We need to know everything that will affect the decisions of the City Council.
  • why leave out constituents
  • No, I think organizations building a relationship with elected officials is important. However, if there is registration for lobbyists, then disclosure in this context should be done if there has been meetings with those lobbyists prior to a matter pending before the City Council. But no disclosure necessary for meetings with community groups that are not registered lobbyists. I think community groups are constituents too and its natural to want to be heard by their elected official.
  • Transparency please!!!!
  • Yes, we need to know the anatomy of Long Beach politics. How else will we understand who gets access and has influence unless we have information about how public officials conduct the public's business?
  • Certainly. Clandestine meetings with lobbyists doing business with the City should not be allowed.
  • Too bad they don't do it anyway.
  • just lobbyists, not everyone is a paid lobbyist
  • This i favor, it does not require registration from lobbyists, but does ensure that we hold elected officials accountable and creates transparency.
  • Who is a constituent? If I live outside your district, but have business interests in your district, or in the city as a whole, I should not be treated differently than a gadfly that lives in your district. Long Beach needs well informed councilmembers. You can't represent the city as a whole if communication is curtailed or limited. That's one of our prolems now, Long Beach is being Balkinized.
  • Every elected official should list the people and organizations who contribute to their campagin funds on their website so that it's easily accessed.
  • Might be entirley too sweeping; let's not micro-manage.
  • As a constituent of the City of Long Beach, I want to know who is meeting with all of the elected officials.
  • define discussion. If someone says something to you in passing does that require disclocure?
  • All I have to say is "Studebaker LLC"
  • Meetings and discussions with lobbyist as indicated in question 2. Should be required to be noted in the elected officials records.
  • Communication is the key to common sense leadership
  • Prompt disclosure (every month) must be mandated. Not 2 or 3 times a year.
  • affiliations affect voting bias,
  • Only if $$$s or favors were exchanged.
  • This is a basic tenet of ethical conduct!
  • This should be part of an ethics code covering such behavior. And a Councilperson's "diary" should be part of the normal examination preceding voting on upcoming elections.
  • Disclosures should be written. It should not be necessary to make manditory statements at mettings.
  • Constituents should fall under the measure and regulation of question 1. Being a constituent does not preclude the potential undue influence available tobusiness interest that happen to fall in (or for that matter out of) the Long Beach City boundaries
  • YES! YES! YES!
  • Only if gifts (financial or otherwise similar duty) are involved
  • Full disclosure!!
  • This would be great. Meetings to mean meetings, lunches, talks.... CONTACTS
  • i.e. registered lobbyists
  • Government should be transparent. What are they hiding?
  • Transparency is very important.
  • The model used by the Coastal Commission should be utilized.
  • some privacy needs to exist I do not really know what this question refers to...
  • absolutely!
  • What do they have to hide. If they have spoken to an outsider--why is the outsider interested in issues which affect me more than him/her?
  • Transparancy is absolutely essential for the proper functioning of a democracy.
  • I believe in transparency but also some level of discretion so we must first be very clear with definitions of "constituent" versus "others" involved. Maybe incorporate language to ensure that organizations do not do an "end run" around registration and disclosure by sending a 'messenager' disguised as a constituent on behalf of the organization. Also, I think that "all elected officials" should be whittled down to a common sense list for key stakeholders and decision makers.
  • If elected officials are unwilling to voluntarily disclose discussions, then a requirement to have them do so is necessary. If elected officials had acted with openess in the past, we would not be having this discussion!
  • There is no limit to how restrictive this could be. It becomes bothersome in complying to all interactions
  • Transparency in government helps ensure honesty.
  • Depends on what the matter is, if the council member is involved, etc.
  • From the standpoint that a public servant's calendar should be public.
  • All meetings should be discussed by all members of the Council.
  • AND including if that "constituent" is or has been a campaign contributer to that official.
  • They should also be required to disclose discussions with constituents who may benefit or be harmed by pending matters. Being a constituent does not preclude the possibilty of undue influence for personal benefit for the council member or the constituent.
  • This is something called "transparency"!
  • We must not trust the elected officials to "come clean" with their own ability to be forthright and honest. Time and time again we have examples of our elected officials behaving as if they are above the law.
  • It should all be transparent. No possible "back alley" negotiations. It'll protect the city official as well.
  • with the caveat that the discloseure be limited to posting to their website. This could become a problem if they were to notify each constituent by mail or telephone. Make it the resopnsibility of the constituent to look to a specific place for lobby activities.
  • Most Definitely
  • We need to have more transparency with our public officials.
  • Either these interactions are transparent or they are not. There is no such thing as partial transparency in government. Again, unless people are trying to hide something, why would such openness in the governing process bother them?
  • And deal harshly with coverups.
  • Discussions with Staff should also be disclosed. Add Planning Commission, RDA and the Port Commission.
  • Onus should be on elected officials not people doing their jobs
  • I say yes provided there is truth and honesty in divulging who elected officials are being influenced by. Is there a plan of how this mechanism would play out?
  • Same as above. Only if the discussions were about the subject before the council or a subject that will at some point be before the council.
  • But this is no good, so yes we vote that they disclose, now what?
  • Define "key". Any city staff above a certain title or position or pay grade?
  • Yes, all of this should be available to public viewing.
  • that's unrealistic
  • key city staff have to interview both sides in matters pending before the city council
  • Same comment as #3. Just report meetings with registered lobbyists (if/when that happens). Then there is accountability.
  • City staff have been the worst offenders making deals behind closed doors with corporate interests.
  • Transparrency please!
  • Yes, see previous comment.
  • The key word is "key" city staff.
  • Yes, those discussions or meetings should be a matter of public record.
  • Who would this be? Department leads?
  • this is getting a little excessive
  • Report to whom? What about attorney-client pivilege? It is difficult to formulated recommendations without access to people with information. Internal monitoring for possible or potential ethics violations can be implemented, but this should not be used to deter people or businesses from expressing their opinions to staff.
  • Normal discussions are OK
  • Councilmembers rely heavily on city staff to gather information and to make recommendations on pending issues. Councilmembers and their constituents should be aware who city staff is meeting with.
  • who does the key staff person report to? If it is their supervisor or to the city council?
  • Come on why is this questionairre so vague, you have something in mind, ask it.
  • As a matter of protocol, the City Staff will advise the Council in an open forum on the issue anyway, so this would be redundant.
  • Meetings and discussions with lobbyist as indicated in question 2. Should be required to be noted in the elected officials records.
  • Report to whom? This must be made public.
  • one hand washes or dirty's the other
  • Only if $$$s or favors were exchanged.
  • Ditto to the comment above.
  • See #3 above.
  • Individuals with matters bfore the council have ample opportunity to speak openly to both the council and/or the open seesion. Private close door meetings hae the potential appearance of impropriety and should be disclosed. Again honest business dealing don't fear transparency.
  • YES! YES! YES!
  • Of course
  • Staff is also limited on gifts and contacts, outside giving out info on when and where meetings are held.
  • If they have discussions w/lobbyists, it should be a matter of record because they will be surrogate lobbyists when they tske those discussed matters to council members or other key city staff.
  • Again, government transparency is the key.
  • Staff should be under the same scutiny.
  • If the city staff has impact on city council decision on the pending matter
  • In light of the recent wetlands issues with Public Works Director Mike Conway and Development Services Director Craig Beck, it is imperitive any lobbyist regulation include key city staff.
  • Definitely. City staff are not monitored as closely as elected officials and have more opportunities for influencing commissions and elected officials. They should be providing unbiased recommendations.
  • I say yes because this could be a conflict of interest
  • Yes!
  • Whether elected, appointed, hired, or a volunteer, no person with potential influence in a public matter should be exempt from reporting lobbying.
  • Similar approach as that stated in answer for question #3 except the leash should be much shorter since 'key city staff' should have transparency due to their positions, roles and responsibilities.
  • There is no limit to how restrictive this could be. It becomes bothersome in complying to all interactions(same as #3)
  • Transparency in government helps ensure honesty.
  • From the standpoint that a public servant's calendar should be public.
  • Isn't it standard policy to do this?
  • Publish their synopsized calendars at month's end including "off the record" chats at social functions and with their personal "friends" who are trying to influence things.
  • By requiring the same standards of staff you remove the plausable deniabilty excuse.
  • Yes, but of course there must be some conditions around what is reasonable for reporting purposes. Description of reasonable is vague as well, this is an interesting area..what you want in your coffee, cream and/or sugar is not applicable. What is applicable is "how are you going to vote on an issue and let me tell you about the budgetary implications of such a vote" that should be reported..public funds pay these people to perform duties representing their constituents..not the lobbyists.
  • If it's all on the up-and-up then it shouldn't be a concern.
  • All key city staff that have the authority to bind the city by their decisions should come under the same rules as the elected officials. This would include the City Manager and his staff, Police Chief and his staff, Head of the City Utilities, etc.
  • See comment on Question #1
  • The term "key" needs to be defined clearly. I think that anyone who is in a position to influence an issue, either directly or indirectly, should be subject to disclosure rules.
  • Add Planning Commission, RDA and the Port Commission.
  • WILL THEY?????
  • But define "meeting", is going on vacation with a decades long friend a meeting? How about going to a Christmas party of a neighbor? Are lobbyists allowed to have friends? What about city employees, before they are hired do they have to purge their friends list?
  • For years key city staff have worked behind the scenes with lobbyists who are looking for something the City of L.B. can wind up paying for. Some projects in the past have not been in the best interests of the city or the public and there is no accountability. Back-room influence needs to stop.
  • No gifts should be given in any circumstance. A card can say everything needed.
  • Best If no gifts are accepted - but at minimum the gifts should be reported.
  • every one gets discounts - any business person is a voter, correct?
  • I think if we registered lobbyists, then the gifts should be reported. That said, I would limit the value of the gift. For example, a gift during a holiday season that is valued less than $50 seems reasonable to allow as long as it is reported. Gifts from registered lobbyists to elected officials that are valued at more than $50 should be prohibited.
  • Use the federal government limit of $25.
  • If they're allowed to accept gifts, there should be full disclosure of these gifts.
  • Perhaps limit the amount...say $25. That should cover lunch (including the tip).
  • Why should we tolerate bribery? Many politicians appear to be hardly above the status of a prostitute. No gifts.
  • This is a small comunity. Suppose a lobbyist is a family member (cousin, in-law, etc.), or the two families are good friends and exchange meals at each other's homes? There should be some lower limit of the value of the gift.
  • Considering how campaigns are financed, I am not sure how meaningful this really is.
  • I think withen a limited amount - under $250
  • Unless a very modest gift, such as a box of candy, a plant, pen, etc. with a value of less than $50.
  • Absolutely not! Why isn't this illegal already?
  • Absolutely not. They should have the moral fiber and sense not to do it anyway, but again, apparently some do not.
  • Bribes are bribes. Who tells you of those bribes.
  • But with a $100 limit.
  • probably should need to just disclose or register the gift and approximate value
  • Obviously this is a conflict of interest.
  • There should be a $25.00 dollar limit, like with the U.S. congress.
  • Set a low limit similar to IRS rules.
  • There should be a $20 limit to any gift.
  • Conflict of interest
  • Only if disclosed.
  • maybe allow "token" gifts, value less than $50.
  • NEVER!!!
  • If a lobbyist buys you lunch is that a bad thing. An offical can go to lunch with a supplier to the city and not report it, right? What is the difference. I believe that if our officals do not have the integrity fo the job then fire them or don't hire them in the first place.
  • People given authority have a responsibility and legislating their job performance isn't the way to get quality results.
  • There should be a $ limit
  • Provided they disclose the gift, the value and the reason for the gift in a timely manner
  • not even a soft drink
  • Gifts over some minimal amount ($50?) should be always reported. This includes gifts to public officials family too.
  • Other government employees, including those in the rank and file, such as court clerks, are prohibited from accepting any sort of gift or gratuity. The same prohibition should certainly apply to all public officials, whether elected or appointed.
  • As long as the gift is disclosed. I believe it is the secret gift that causes undue influence.
  • As long as all gifts are disclosed, then yes. That will limit the gifts accepted!
  • There should be a value limit.
  • Without exception, no.
  • There is no need for any gifts at all. They receive a salary for doing their job.
  • ...but this must be disclosed!!
  • calendars and coffee mugs would be allowed, but anything over $20 should be disallowed.
  • as long as it is disclosed and taxes are paid
  • Are you kidding me???
  • Define "value." That's the rub.
  • No more than $3.
  • ABSOLUTELY NOT! Can a police officer accept a bribe - No.
  • Nominal gifts should be acceptable within a certain limit, such as $50.00
  • Conflict of interest.
  • Absolutely not!
  • Small value gifts should be allowed, such as dinners during which city business is discussed.
  • Defining value and the gift's influence is difficult. Make the lobbyist ordinance a bright line ordinance with no gray area.
  • If the salary paid is not enough to support the position, perhaps the official should look for other employment - maybe the private sector would offer more remuneration.
  • Elected officials get paid to do their jobs. That pay should motivate them--not gifts.
  • NEVER!
  • Bribery has no place in our city!!!
  • If a person wants to serve the public properly, it should be with the knowledge that accepting favors of any kind is not allowed.
  • Different officials have different 'thresholds' for what could tip the scale with them. Again, transparency becomes an issue so avoid the muddy waters and gray areas - JUST SAY NO.
  • $10.00 or less
  • Amount of gift should not exceed $50.00 and should be reported.
  • Gifts - even small ones - can influence a person's opinion of an individual/organization. Elected officials should strive to maintain as much objectivity as possible. Anything that could cloud that objectivity should be excluded. As an elected official, why would one even want to open up the possibility of scrutiny, taking focus away from the issues and putting the spotlight elsewhere?
  • 1. This is open to interpretation. A cheap monogrammed pen, desk calendar, light business lunch, etc., MAY be acceptable.
  • I would establish a limit on the monetary value of gifts. Accepting a pen is one thing but accepting a paid vacation is quite another.
  • If businesses have limits for their employees, it is reasonable for elected officials (and city staff) to have them, too.
  • Or trips/vacations or meals.... Or any thing else that one might interpret as a "bribe".
  • A gift is a token of friendship and it should be noted as such. No need for extravagant gifts.
  • Within limits. If you get a cake or cookies ok. A mercedes is out of the question. Where I work the general rule is "If you can eat it you can keep it" plus you are expected to share it with the staff. Try eating a car!
  • Plus, Does it pass the "smell" test?
  • Only of nominal value. "ANY GIFT" could be construed to even include a business card, birthday card, or Holiday card!
  • A ban on meals travel and discounts of any kind should be included. This is the norm when dealing with vendors in private industry and should be mirrored by public policy.
  • Even a small gift can place an official in "debt" to a lobbyist.
  • Limit the amount, just as we do in the private sector. Report all gifts, so that way those who fly under the amount but give numerous times are reported.
  • Absolutely not.
  • What, their not paid enough, now they need gifts. Of course not getting gifts will give them another excuse to request pay increases.
  • With the caveat that the gift should not exceed $25.00. (Federal tax deduction limit) Adjusted for inflation. I can see no harm in someone picking up the tab for coffee and pie or some other deminimus items. To restrict it to the point beyond that would create an accounting nightmare.
  • It is payola & should not be permitted
  • Limited value, if done.
  • Anything of value is an obvious influence! Outrageous!
  • The value of the gift, the recipent,the gift giver,and the gift giver's association with an organization or product should be identified. These values to be placed on an easily accesible listing and/or web site.
  • Any accepted gifts to officials could or would allow undue influence in the decission making process. We need more inpartial decissions made by our elected officials, etc..
  • The only reason I can think of why a lobbyist would give a gift, or cause one to be given, is to influence someone - or thank that person for allowing him/herself to be influenced. If lobbyists would not otherwise go around distributing gifts randomly, they should not be allowed to give them to elected officials OR PAID CITY STAFF.
  • Anything over $25
  • Duh!
  • Only token gifts of minimal value.
  • We don't allow doctors to accept pens or pads or fancy dinners from industry anymore hoping to restrain undue influence. Why should lobbyists who can have an even bigger and farther reaching impact on each individual's taxes and quality of life be any different?
  • A limit on value (e.g. $25) should be imposed. This is standard practice for all government contractors and city officials should be no exception.
  • If they accept then gifts to should be donated to charity.
  • Yes, only if elected officials are required to divulge the gift and giver. If the value exceeds a certain threshhold the city official should recuse his/herself from voting.
  • There should be a low cap on the total amount any officials can receive in a year. Something like $500 in one year from all sources.
  • We have a situation before the Council right now where a Councilmember appears to have accepted a $100 gift from an entity with an issue before the Council to be voted on very shortly. This should be reported.
  • But only if they are allowed to accept gifts to start with.
  • what about support from unions in the city that get you elected
  • Only from gifts given by registered lobbyists.
  • Depends on the value of the gift. If a $25 limit is not set, then all gifts >$25 should be posted.
  • Even though I am strongly opposed to City Employees accepting gifts in the first place, but if this is allowed then they should be open about it.
  • Transparency issue again. Gifts under $25 probably need not be posted.
  • I dont think any city staff should be able to accept any gift, so there would be no need to post on the cities website.
  • The elimination of gifts means posting won't be required.
  • They shouldn't be allowed to accept gifts or money, but if they do it should be required to publish it on a website and in print.
  • should not be allowed
  • They shouldn't accept the gift to begin with.
  • See question 5, they should not recieve ANY gifts
  • This question would not be applicable if city officials were prohibited from accepting gifts, which they should be.
  • Detirmine the depth of the bribe
  • no, again, to put it on website getting excessive and time consuming, but there should be a centralized office where they submit/disclose basic info about the gift. keep it simple.
  • They should not be recieving gifts. Policy should be set based on matters of ethics and the will of the people. That is the ideal of the democracy, gifts compromise this ideal.
  • Yes, if over the limit established by the legislation.
  • If etiquette suggests a "Thank You" note should be
  • written within 7 days, then the city employee can certainly find time to post it within 30 days on the website. It should be days.
  • This representa a potential loophole if an elected is lobbied the same day an issue is on the agenda; still, something is better than nothing.
  • #7 below. Not personal details like dr appt or sick child, etc.
  • They shouldn't be permitted to accept gifts at all.
  • They shouldn't be taking gifts - we all know that is just bribery - who is kidding whom? I think everyone is sick and tired of the unethical conduct of the lobbyists and some politicians.
  • I think this would be prudent to know before an EIR or project is approved.
  • If gifts allowed.
  • again you haven't defined your question clearly. Is a cup a coffee a gift and must it be reported?
  • This is not an absurd question it is a fact about something that happens every day in business.
  • No Gifts
  • no gifts
  • ...if not sooner
  • see above
  • and "charitable " gifts donated in their name or to their causes
  • No gifts period.
  • A smart practice.
  • Disclosure in an open forum like a website will avoid the appearance of impropriety.
  • Or less!
  • Electeds and City Officers should not take any gifts. Period.
  • Any gift should be made public within 72 hours and should be returned. Public official should waive the right to gift from those coming before them on city business.
  • If they are allowed to accept ANYTHING they should post it within one week, and sooner if there is any matter coming before them regarding the gift-giver in less than one week.
  • 30 days sounds reasonable...unless this occurs just prior to an election. Then it should be posted immediately
  • They should not be allowed to accept gifts.
  • There should be no accepting of gifts!!!
  • Better within 14 days
  • No gifts... No need!
  • Gifts should not be allowed in any form
  • It wouldn't be necessary if the practice was prohibited.
  • Within 10 days would be better, they should also need to disclose the gift verbally at a council meeting if the giver was affiliated to anything that was being voted on, but not yet posted to the city website. The transparency should be there.
  • But why are they being allowed to accept them?
  • They should post the detail of the offered gift which they should not be allowed to accept - see 5 above.
  • If not 30 days, 60 days is timely enough.
  • I still prefer zero gifts.
  • Yes, if gifts are allowed.
  • gifts should not be part of the lobbying process at all.
  • The same should be for meetings with others. The calendar can be published after the event so the security of our representatives is not compromised by telling the entire Web where they will be.
  • They should not accept any gift with a dollar value of $20 and above.
  • I don't think that they should receive gifts. If they are allowed to receive gifts then they should have to post them within 30 days. I would even make it much less than 30 days.
  • I'd surely like to know when I read that my representative is voting on something, that he/she has received some outside motivation for the vote.
  • 7 days. not 7 business days, 7 days.
  • No gifts means NO gifts. Period.
  • They should not be receiving gift in the first place.
  • Receiving or using a gift should be illegal, and therefore no posting would be necessary.
  • They should not accept any gifts therefore there would be no need for a posting
  • If gifts of any amount are allowed (per #5) then you must have transparency as stated multiple times in previous answers on this survey.
  • thats weak. require them to post before even getting the gift
  • Anything to encourage transparency and full disclosure.
  • For practical reasons, I would limit such disclosure to those items and/or services that exceed a set monetary value. Even a $20 book is not going to affect someone's vote or decision.
  • But they would find a way to circumvent this requirement, I am sure.
  • If not sooner... are there so many it cannot happen within days?
  • Better that they don't accept any gifts at all!
  • Why not. They are being payed by our taxpayer's money. What they do is everyone's business. There should be nothing to hide from the public.
  • They should be prohibited from accepting gifts and subject to the same restrictions as elected officials.
  • And that posting should have a history and storage area. That way we are able to review historical data as well.
  • Yes most definitely. It's a factor when researching candidates.
  • No Gifts
  • But within some period of time...60 days?
  • yes, but they should not be receiving ANY gratuities. But if they do they should definitely be on record.
  • And also, in another EASILY accesible place/s like City Hall and all of the library branches for those who do not have computers/are not computer literate.
  • They should not be receiving gifts..Gifts equals favoritism which in turn can breed corruption.
  • if you accept gifts, then yes. I don't think gifts (bribes) are appropriate!
  • Again for transparency purposes.
  • Yes.
  • preferably sooner
  • If #5 applies and no gifts are received, this is moot. If gifts ARE received, 30 days may be too long, especially since such gifts may be given just before an election.
  • However, per #5, they shouldn't receive gifts. But if allowed to receive gifts, then yes, make gifts public knowledge.
  • An audit to see how honest the officials' posts are is also needed.
  • See question 5, no gifts.
  • If allowed to accept gifts then yes
  • This sounds reasonable.
  • Just disallow gifts and this paperwork nightmare (which can lead to honest mistakes) becomes unnecessary
  • Yes, it is important that Long Beach deal with this festering issue.
  • Seems to me that any law that affects the income of the Council members, staff, etc. including gifts, should be made by the people and not the Council members anyway. This will make sure that all expenses are held within our budget.
  • How much would that cost?????
  • Yes. I think that this kind of law not only keeps lobbyists accountable but also elected officials accountable. So for the elected officials to vote against their own accountability seems wrong to me. It seems the issue is about transparency and accountability to and for the people, so we should decide.
  • I favor laws that regulate in the form of full disclosure, rather than laws that regulate by restricting activities; I would not want to see a law that does the latter passed in the heat of the moment by either the council, or the voters, so I'd rather see the right proposal put up for a vote, rather than just see one passed.
  • The seven council members who defeated the previous motion are part of a system that seems incapable of reforming itself. Go directly to the people and see what happens.
  • It depends on the text of the proposed law.
  • Any member not willing to vote for thios, should be voted out of office
  • yes because if the council votes no again, I think they are hiding something and I think the voters would like to know what it is.
  • Absolutely, but there should not be a special election for this one item only.
  • I think most of the council are there more for their own interests than those of the citizens city-wide.
  • We the People.
  • There is a constant call from the community for city officials to regualte lobbying. I have heard this complain at many city meetings for several years from all political spectrums, this is what the people want!
  • Can't you make any decisions without the voters? Just regulate yourself.
  • Referendums usually result in "bad" laws and legal expenses. I would rather the council, with the help of the city attorney draw it up.
  • Yes, absolutely - let the people speak - I think the people are so weary of all the nonsense going on with their representatives, that they will speak out loudly and clearly.
  • Yes yes yes!
  • Lobbyist regulation law should become a campaign issue in all districts up for election/re-election. Transparency should be more than a word.
  • How can voters vote on something like this when this questionairre is a good example of how something on a ballot would be written. What you would get is garbage out from the garbage in question.
  • Too expensive for all involved. The lobbyists will throw money in as well as the unions and non-profits. This will amount to nothing more than a polarizing money pit and the good intentioned council may end up paying the price. The Council should have the backbone to do it on their own.
  • The measure must have teeth in it and no wiggle room so the city attorney can't excuse someone that accepted gifts.
  • to avoid more "queen mary " or lb museum disasters..
  • Definitely!
  • This is something the voters may wish to address and it is a valid subject for legisilation. It makes more sense than many of the items we sometimes see on the statewide ballot!
  • I know how I would vote...
  • Waste of money and won't solve the problem. The problem is with government, not the lobbyists.
  • Absolutely
  • As stated by President Lincoln in the Gettysburg Address - "Government of the people, by the people, for the people ...
  • I would hope that this is something the council could accept and avoid expensive ballot measures that would surely include other regulations.
  • OK as long as it's placed on a ballot with other items, so it won't cost any additional money to include it on an existing ballot.
  • Absolutely. That would make it an election issue possibly worthy of having detractors of the lobbyist regulations voted out of office when the regulation is voted in.
  • Allowing the council to make this decision is akin to the inmates running the asylum. What do they have to hide?
  • But, the city needs to co-ordinate the elections to coincide with state/fed elections so as to save money.
  • City officals these days tend to vote their personal opinions and not of those they represent. I say listen to the people and lets vote.
  • November 2010 would be better
  • City councilmembers who oppose transparancy should also find stiff competition in the next election based on this issue.
  • Absolutely! Isn't them voting on this issue a bit like the fox watching the hen house! I bet a prop would pass overwhelmingly if worded and communicated properly with the public.
  • Only if there are other issues to be voted on - not any sort of special election. The City can't afford any additional expenses!
  • This election item could be influenced too much by those on both sides of issue
  • If the elected officials refuse to regulate their behavior, then the voters must exercise their oversight.
  • The resistance alone becomes suspect.
  • It shouldn't have to come to that, but if it does, please be sure that ordinary citizens are allowed to participate in the wording/preparation of the ballot measure. I will volunteer my time in that endeavor.
  • If the regulation is not passed byu the City council then it should be placed on the april 10 ballot. We need regulation of some kind.
  • If there really is not a problem, why try to fix something that isn't broken, unless the real reason is to collect new fees and expand a city staff to administer the new program. It should be upon the elected officials and staff to disclose who they meet with and for them to be prohibited from receiving gifts.
  • It will be necessary and preferable. Any restrictions passed by this council will be water down and riddled with lopholes and ambiguous language.
  • This would be a good use of public funds, to protect our future from corporate owned cities.
  • Yes, most definitely.
  • WITH OUT A DOUBT. I am realy tired of elected officials feeling that once in office they can do what ever they want and not be accountable. I think people are tired of being kicked around and are going to pay more attention at election time instead of just voting the same people into office.
  • We need to have a say in making sure that our local government officials are not tempted. Our vote can do that.
  • It sounds like the City Council needs to be regulated
  • only if this does not cost $$$ for a special elelction. if it can be placed on a regular ballot, then o.k.
  • Humph. If the majority are so shamefully full of self interest only, let us hope the public will have the sense to remind them why they were elected in the first place! Shame on the majority!
  • By all means, absolutely yes.....just no more special elections please.
  • Most definitely. Many decissions are made before council meetings or public imput. Lets get back to truthful, honest decission making with public involvement.
  • Why is there no comment section for item #7? While I do believe elected officials should be required to post their schedules so the public knows who is meeting with them, I do not believe they must do so ahead of time, as that may raise legitimate security concerns. However, the schedules should be posted within 1-2 business days.
  • Given the history of the issue, it seems advisable.
  • If the public is upset they can then vote accordingly in the districts where the measure was defeated
  • Given the percent of non-voters in this city, I would question the cost. The City Council should decide this issue.
  • As long as it's not a "Special Election". I will not support any issue that wastes tax dollars on an election outside the regular election cycle.
  • If they vote no, vote 'em out of office!
  • Yes, let the voters who elected the officials into office in the first place, set the regulations that they must adhere to.
  • Otherwise it's like allowing children to decide what they want for christmas, where they want to go on vacation, what they'll eat at dinner and we pay the bill.
  • I'm in favor of holding our elected officials accountable by disclosing their activities. Lets call for an Accountability Ordinance.
  • As I said, get the lobbyists out of the picture, or charge them an exorbitant fee make so lucrative to the city that the budget deficit is greatly reduced.
  • This has gone too far for too long. Mr. Beck's reputation may have been affected in an inadvertent and innocent way but it's a lesson that could prevent future sorts of smears and/or fodder for investigative media. Remember Dan Baker?!
  • I'm sure that most, if not all of our City Council members are honest about what our city needs and doesn't need, and voting accordingly. But you never know when you are going to get someone who makes a bad decision. Sometimes a person doesn't even realize the whole consequence of what that decision will do.
  • how has the city's perception changed with the business community recently? it is much more positive.
  • how is the city to get monies without business growth?
  • with your current philosophy you are going to drive more businesses out of LB
  • there has to be something behind you spending so much time and effort on this
  • again, have you never gotten a discount from anyone or any store in your district or any other district in long beach
  • We can best regain the trust and confidence of the people in their elected officials when they voluntarily opt for transparency and accountability. Increased trust will lead to increased participation of citizens on civic matters - perhaps it will contribute to increasing voter turn out.
  • Disclosure is the most important factor, rather than regulating that restricts lobbying activities.
  • What do they have to fear? Why hide?
  • We need to get back to basics on how the political system operates in making decisions effecting the public interest. The city is in desperate need of progressive to break the stranglehold of a tiny elite who have set up their local little plutocracy.
  • Too often government at all levels votes in favor of legislation proposed or supported by lobbyists. Especially when the outcome provides particular benefit to those who have lobbied city officials, the public needs to know that has taken place.
  • Funny thing, I never thought about this issue because I thought all lobbyists were required to register and that elected city officals were not allowed to receive gifts from them. Wrong on both counts.
  • More important would be restructuring city pensions so we don't end up like the state government, playing Nero (fiddling away...).
  • We see the results throughout the state on this subject and others. This nation is not informed as to what the politicians are doing, they see themselves as better than We the People. It is time to remember who you represent. It is not this or that party. While in office.
  • sure it's important, not sure it's the most important thing on their plates, seems like economic development, cutting waste, keeping the city running efficiently, promoting the positive aspects of our great city are more important at the moment
  • read above comment
  • I naively thought that City employees, staff, council and lobbyists were already regulated in the City. Silly me.
  • FYI. I would like the option of forwarding this to my rep (Rae Gabelich). Please consider adding this option on future surveys. a resident from 90807.
  • Not regulating lobbyists and not disclosing activities certainly looks like there is something to hide - if it's all above board, what is the problem with regulation and disclosure? It may cause some of those nice perks to be lost but, hey, we lowly taxpayers don't get those, so why should the politicians???
  • Thank you for your efforts in this matter. Good luck.
  • Nobody wants to see "Chicago-style" politics in this city. If a politician isnt doing anything wrong, then this information will not harm them.
  • It appears that it is not important to the individuals involved with this questionairre because if it was these questions would have been written in a comprehensive manner so that the quality of response would provide meaningful information not with answers that could be construed in the direction desired by the authors.
  • It's only impotant to me as a tax payer that tax money is being spent wisely. I know first hand how much time and related manhours are spent digging out of circumstances created that could have been avoided. This current flare up involving Mr Beck is a perfect example.
  • I firmly believe there is much misbehavior among city staff both elected and non-elected in Long Beach city government.
  • for instance if a council member has pro trucking affiliations .. the rerouting of truck routes through neighborhoods could be delayed something badly needed for the health and safety of our residents living close to misused streets .
  • Work on your deficit budget instead and knock this sh*t off. Damn Liberals.
  • Their support - or resistance - would be indicative to me of their integrity and credibility, or the lack thereof.
  • This has been a very important issue nationally; we can only speculate if we have been effected locally. We ought to take a premptive step to avoid future harm.
  • Thanks for not being silent on this issue. I will help you in anyway I can.
  • Officials should be free to determine the frequency of such listing, and whether the meeting is with lobbyists or people who are not engaged in lobbying.
  • For a large community, this City is very insular. With high poverty and a large immigrant population focused on the daily struggle to live, those in power seem to have little motivation to share. Let's at least know who is making the deals so the people know what they are up against.
  • thanks for the convenient oppurtunity to have a voice on this issue.Taking care of the little guy is the officials job.
  • As a matter of public interest over private, this matter goes to the very heart of the condition of public service.
  • Full transparency is only one means of promoting (although not guaranteeing) honest government. But, to be effective, it must document every contact of city officials (whether elected or appointed) by any person or organization asking for a specific decision or a vote favorable to their interests, financial or otherwise. Such documentation must be open to public inspection, with timely regular audits conducted to assure compliance. Heavy penalties must apply to both parties for noncompliance.
  • If they do not want to enact this change in the law and disclosure rules, it tells me they have something to hide.
  • I would even love to get my hands on the "Easy to Read" version of the City Budget, and where our taxpayer dollars are going, for each government division within the city (and outside the city)
  • No public official should accept gifts!!
  • Allowing lobbyists is one of the major problems in this country!!!
  • The problem isn't with the lobbyists -- it's the staff and the electeds who need regulating. It's the government, stupid. Not the lobbyists.
  • No more frills for city servants. No more scratch your friends back in return for gifts or favors (valued at more than $3)
  • Lobbyists are a way to buy votes. Just do what is right by the people, your constituants.
  • Hi, Although this is a concern I am more concerned about the excessive pensions awarded to city employees in the city of Long Beach. It is a bigger issue. We can't afford them. It is a difficult political issue, but it needs to be taken care of, now before lobbyist issuses.
  • eliminate waste, bribery, and the temptation to do the wrong thing for financial gain.
  • As an example, I visited Sacramento this last year as a March of Dimes "lobbyist" to see if we could influence several of the legislators to support bills under consideration. I was surprised at the number of paid lobbyists who were courting our elected officials. I came away with a new understanding about how government is run and I certainly agree that it should be run by the "people" not lobbyists.
  • And please do something about pensions awards which are obscene when compared to general industry workers and have driven the city into near bankruptcy.
  • Many of the recent and questionable Council decisions have been subject to significant scrutiny by the media and public. Regulating lobbyist contacts would go a long way to restoring the public's confidence in their elected officials.
  • We need to know if the constituents are being taken care of, or if special interests are being taken care of and if so at what price.
  • Thank you for taking the lead on this matter. I have spent my life in this city and have been well aware of unethical practices. There have been more under the table deals made than a frat house poker game.
  • We as a City need to be aware of what is going on and who is doing what, it may save some problems down the road and the need for feeble excuses for one's actions.
  • There are too many other issues to be addressed, and common sense should override this lobbing issue
  • What is government behind closed doors!
  • Lobbying undermines the concept of democracy and gives us the best politicians money can buy. That's not funny.
  • Regarding #7, we need to be careful about security issues with posting schedules. Maybe post the who and what but no details of times and locations for security reasons, but I think there is room for some discussion on this point.
  • With that said, the overall issue of regulating lobbyists is crucial and transparency is badly needed and long overdue, especially in these rough economic time! Thank you.
  • I feel that there is too much going on behind the scenes in our government, including local, state and federal that we do not know about. The more transparency, the better.
  • The difference between lobbying and outright sales can be difficult to separate. Stay on the safe side and disclose all contacts.
  • I would question the honesty or integrity of an official who opposes such regulation.
  • Why should elected officials and public servants be allowed to accept gifts when most businesses employees cannot. Most companies have gotten down to $25.
  • There is NO LEGITIMATE reason for the Mayor or any councilperson to oppose this unless they have something (corrupt?) to hide!
  • If one does not have anything to hide, Regulation is the way to go.
  • The regulation should not be of the lobbyists, but should be of the Officials. Make them responsible to disclose their actions and meetings, and make them responsible to not accept gifts. Hold the Officials accountable to show that they are "clean".
  • The lack of "sunshine" regarding lobbyists and gifts goes a long way towards explaining all the sweetheart deals this city has engaged in for decades. If you have any doubts if this is true look into the "land swap" for polluted land currently before the council.
  • If the Mayor and City Council were able to remove themselves from their current position and think like an everyday citizen of LB, they would find their alegiance change.
  • Thanks for the opportunity to respond to this important topic.
  • Shows me their level of honor and integrity.
  • I am tired of electing officials and then the highest bidder gets the say in what happens instead of the people who put them in office.
  • If they are not involved then others can find a way to ignore the rules. If they believe in the importance, then things work much smoother. I mean real commitment, not just lip service when it is needed.
  • Transparency helps keep honest people honest. Even the most contentious, law abiding person can fall to temptation at a weak moment, especially to presistent stimuli. If a person believes that they are under scrutiny, they will usually follow the correct path.
  • This is a no brainer. It will help eliminate conflicts of interest.
  • The integrity of the deliberative process is at issue here.
  • My statements above support this most important process.
  • Those who do not take this issue seriously demonstrate that they either are clueless about perceptions of unfair influence, or they simply don't care. My observation is that most don't care - which is why a law becomes necessary.
  • If it were NOT important, lobbyists wouldn't exist, let alone thrive as they seem to do.
  • Open government would seem to be the democratic thing to do and noone who's above board in their dealings with the city should object.
  • There are obvious biases and behind the scenes politics going on by these people who only represent what they want and not me. This must end now.
  • If the city council and mayor again refuses to support regulating lobbyists and disclosing their activities, it gives a connotation of having something to hide. I would hope there will be a moderatae compromise so something is in place that makes everyone think twice.
  • Government needs to avoid even the appearance of impropriety to reassure our citizens that the laws they pass which affect us all aren't influenced by the interests of a few.
  • put the responsibility on the lobbyists and staff, not the elected officials
  • Example: How would the people in the city of Long Beach know whether the Mexican government run PEMEX oil company is entertaining a purchase of land within the city limits of Long Beach?
  • Everything is being done secretly and there's no accountability by city officials.
  • I'm in favor of holding our elected officials accountable by disclosing their activities. Lets call for an Accountability Ordinance.
  • This is one of those issues: if you have nothing to hide, it shouldn't matter to you anyway.

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