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.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Take a Look at Proposed Long Beach Airport Terminal Modernization Plan

If you click on this link you will be able to see the animated plan for modernizing the Long Beach Airport Terminal. It really is cool.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

City Council Gets Briefing on Pension Systems and Financial Obligations

The City Council had a study session yesterday to discuss the status of the employee pension systems and the financial obligations of maintaining these systems. I have posted a copy of the presentation on the blog which readers can download for their own review.

There are some basic facts that everyone needs to keep in mind:
  • Pensions are legally binding contracts between the employee associations and the city and cannot be changed without agreements from both sides. Kinda like a contract to buy a car. The dealer cannot suddenly change the terms and conditions of the contract or the dealer can be sued for breach of contract.
  • Pension obligations are outgrowing the city's revenues. Unless the city figures out a way to reduce these obligations or to increase revenue to pay for them we will continue to cut services in order to balance the budget. (A balanced budget is required by law.)
  • Increased pensions were given several years ago instead of salary increases.
  • The average pension given to a public safety employee is $48,000 a year.
  • The average pension given to a non-public safety employee is $21,000 a year.
  • Both pensions are given after 25-30 years of service.
The City Council gave direction to city management to begin talking with all the employee associations about how we can reduce our current deficit -- including discussing options to reform pensions.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Wetlands Swap Back on Council Agenda -- In Closed Session

Sadly, just a week after the election, the City Council is considering going forth on closing escrow of the land swap -- misleadingly titled: Wetlands Swap -- now that EPA has verified that the PCB contamination has been remediated.

But here's the facts:
  • The owner of the land will not reveal how much of the 33 acres are wetlands nor will let the City do a survey of the land to determine what it is taking.
  • The owner gets to keep the real value of the property -- the oil rights.
  • The owner also gets the City's public service yard --valuable industrial property which he intends on converting into a truck depot which will add to pollution in that neighborhood.
  • The city will have to pay to relocate from the the public service yard @ $500,000 or so.
  • The city has no business swapping this land for city land that could be sold.
  • The city has received not one assurance from the state or any environmental group that they will purchase the 33 acres from the city -- so why is the city acting as a straw man in this real estate transaction?
Remember folks, the city council was told over a year ago this was a now or never deal. Really? Who else in their right mind in this type of economy is going to take property it may not be able to sell in the future? Who else in their right mind is going to give away prime industrial property? Who in their right mind is going to close a deal without being able to determine before the deal is closed how much real wetlands they are acquiring?

Watch out -- Coyotes Are Back -- It is Pupping Season does a great job reporting today about the latest warning concerning coyotes in east Long Beach:

Coyotes have their pups around March and then start bringing them out for food and water. Pet food and unfortunately small pets are a magnet. The State Fish and Game does not allow the killing of coyotes. Because of the nature center and the river beds, east Long Beach will continue having coyotes.

The City of Long Beach Animal Services is tracking sightings of coyotes and is working closely with Fish and Game to determine if anything else can be done.

Save Station 18

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