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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, May 19, 2010

City Council Gets Copy of Wetlands Agreement After Journalist Does Public Records Request

How very shameful for local government that the City Council was asked to approve a multi million dollar real estate transaction last night without being given a copy of the Real Estate Transaction.

Sitting at Council last night, I went on line and found that a local journalist -- Bill Pearl -- who publishes made a public records request of the City and received the full real estate transaction between the City and LCW a limited liability corporation for millions and millions of dollars in City land and property owned by LCW south of Second Street.

No one had any explanation as to why the document was not included in the council agenda or made public to anyone else.

I read a portion out loud during "debate" which indicated that the City had agreed it could not go on the property it was receiving to determine how much of it really, really is "wetlands" -- that "priceless" land for which the owner is receiving valuable industrial property owned by the City in exchange.

Some councilmembers cheerleading for this land swap for the past 18 plus months declared that "if you love the wetlands then you'll vote for this deal." 

Well, I would say what was more appropriate on the same night we discussed a growing multi million dollar deficit: "If you really love the taxpayers of this city, then you won't vote to give away city land and you would have demanded that the city found out what it was taking before it agreed to the deal."

Talk certainly is cheap around here. Wait, I smell a development coming at 2nd and PCH.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Local Employer Announces Mass Layoff

The federal government requires an employer who is planning a mass layoff that the local government needs to be informed under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification ("WARN") Act.

Del Monte Foods, located at Terminal Island, a portion of which is owned by the City of Long Beach, has announced that it is laying off over 221 people between July 30 and September 26. This is a considerable amount of jobs and they reflect all levels of salary.

Long Beach is facing serious unemployment and these layoffs is one more sign that tough times are ahead for many people.

Long Beach Supports The Restitution for Local Government Act

The City of Long Beach has expressed its strong support of HR 5125, a proposed federal law -- the Restitution for Local Government Act of 2010. This piece of legislation will amend the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 to establish a fund to be used to make local governments whole for losses incurred from the Lehman Brothers Holding, Inc., bankruptcy on September 15, 2008.

Over 40 municipalities across the country had invested $1.3 billion of operating funds in highly rated Lehman commercial paper. The City of Long Beach had invested nearly $20 million of investment pool funds in Lehman. Long Beach had no way to recoup what was presented as secure commercial paper investments.

This legislalation proposes to redirect profits made by the US Treasury from repaid TARP funds to Long Beach and other local governments suffering from Lehman's collapse.

Alan Patalano Named Fired Chief

Deputy Chief Alan Patalano has been selected as the new Fire Chief for the City of Long Beach. He has served over 25 years in fire service and over 26 years as a licensed paramedic. He specifically has worked for the City of Long Beach for over 20 years and during his tenure he has served as a Firefighter and Deputy Fire Chief. He also served as a firefighter with the City of Escondido.

He has served as a Deputy Chief of the City of Long Beach for the past eight years and was most recently assigned as the Coordinator of the Department's Training Division, EMS Education and Quality Improvement Division and Fire Communications.

City Manager's Weekly Newsletter

See posting to right for the latest City Manager newsletter. Letting you know what I know.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Only Civic Leader to Attend Ordination of Two Women Bishops at LB Convention Center

Diane Bruce and Mary Glasspool before being ordained as bishops in Episcopal Church yesterday.
I had the pleasure of being the only civic leader to attend the ordination yesterday of two women bishops at the Long Beach Convention Center.

I received the invitation last month and decided that it would be a historical event, especially considering that Mary Glasspool is the first openly lesbian priest to be made bishop in the Episcopal Church in the US.

When I arrived with my partner, Flo, who was raised Episcopalian (as were our three kids), we were greeted with vile protesters who verbally attempted to assault everyone in line and then later tried to disrupt the ceremonies inside.

Other Bishops lay hands on Mary Glasspool as she is ordained as Bishop for LA Diocese.
Because I am a civic leader I was invited to walk in the processional that preceded the entry of the bishops and bishops to be.

My how the church has changed. The ceremony was multi cultural and the 7000 plus people in attendance were of every color and sexual orientation.

I am glad that I attended this event. It was positive and uplifting.
PS The church leaders had nothing but praise for the LB Convention Center and its staff. Many commented how great the downtown looked and how ironic it was that at the same time as the new bishops were being ordained, the Gay Pride Festival could be heard outside.

Save Station 18

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