Notice: This is not a City of Long Beach site.

Dear Readers: Please note that this is not a City of Long Beach website and is not paid for nor maintained by taxpayer funds.

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.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Lobbyist Ordinance Needed in Long Beach

We're the 6th largest city and the only one of those 6 without a lobbyist ordinance which regulates and discloses contacts between our elected officials and key city staff.

This isn't for lack of trying. Former Councilwoman Bonnie Lowenthal and I were the only two members of the City Council to vote for a lobbyist ordinance a year ago. So much for transparency.

So now we have another front page story regarding key city staff having personal conversations with developers -- facts only disclosed because someone snitched to the press.

How about listening to the advice of our City Attorney Robert Shannon who was quoted today in the press as saying:
Shannon said he feels that this another example for the City Council to again consider adopting a strong policy regulating city employees' relationships with lobbyists - an issue that has died on the vine in the past.
I support a lobbyist ordinance, disclosure of elected officials' calendars, and disclosure of ex-parte conversations with anyone related to a council agenda item.

It would be great to get a lobbyist law on the ballot for 2010 -- short of that the Council needs to step up and get with the other big cities in California.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Christmas Tree Lighting and Music

You all are invited to two Christmas tree lighting ceremonies and the festivities that surround them:

December 6th at 4:15 pm at Heartwell Park (around the duck pond). Santa will arrive with the LB Firefighters (so bring an unwrapped toy for Spark of Love campaign). We'll listen to Golden Sands singers, light the trees (ok so they are wooden triangles that float in the pond) and watch "Polar Express." There will be popcorn and cookies too.

December 13th at 4:30 pm at Good Neighbor Park (in front of the El Dorado Community Center) we'll do the same except this time we'll light a real Christmas tree and listen to singers from Whaley Park. Don't forget your unwrapped toy.

Monday, November 23, 2009

LB residents need "Autopsy" About Why TESLA Deal Died and Went to Downey

November 23, 2009-- Gerrie Schipske, councilwoman for Long Beach’s fifth district, has been outspoken in her desire to keep alive the possibility of Tesla Motors locating its plant in Long Beach.

She personally contacted Elon Musk, President of Tesla to ask him what the City of Long Beach was doing to encourage his company to locate there. She also mounted a letter writing campaign called "Long Beach -- We Can Do Better Than Downey."

She used her blog to prod Long Beach officials to actively market the City to get Tesla here. So today upon learning that Tesla has signed a letter of intent with Downey to locate a plant which will manufacture 20,000 electric vehicles and produce 1,000 jobs she issued the following statement:

"The taxpayers of Long Beach deserve a full explanation about who or what killed the deal to bring Tesla to Long Beach. How did we lose this revenue producing opportunity to Downey? Long Beach has so much more to offer to a business than most southern California locations -- we have manufacturing space at the Boeing site, nearness to freeways, an airport, a port, railroad, convention center, training programs at our local community college and most importantly a workforce ready and willing to work. We also have an enterprise zone that provides tax credits for employers. And just recently the City announced it won the 'Most Business Friendly City Award' in Los Angeles County.

So what went wrong?

Anyone who has worked in corporate America knows how important it is to develop positive relationships in order to do business, which is exactly what the City of Downey did and the City of Long Beach did not do.

Unlike the City of Downey, which marshaled its Mayor and Council to actively court Tesla through calls, letters, ads and personal outreach, Long Beach apparently treated Tesla as a 'second-class citizen' according to comments made to me and to the press by Tesla President, Elon Musk. (It would be interesting to examine how much time and effort was really expended by Long Beach officials and staff in recruiting Tesla.)

I would like to congratulate the City of Downey for getting Tesla, and thank them for helping to keep these important types of jobs in the region."

Save Station 18

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