Schipske Puts Petitions in Bach and El Dorado Branch Libraries –
Asks Residents to Sign and Join Push to Save Library, Police, Fire and Recreation Service Cuts
Proposed by Mayor Foster and City Manager West That Hit 5th Council District Hardest
Long Beach, CA – August 24, 2011 – Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske today urged residents to visit either Bach or El Dorado branch libraries and sign a petition she has started which calls upon the Mayor and City Council to restore the proposed cuts to vital police, fire, parks and recreation and library services in the FY 2012 budget.
“Residents of the 5th Council District need to know that the Mayor and City Manager have placed the following important public safety and quality of life services on the cutting board. Not coincidentally, these cuts disproportionately reduce city services in the 5th Council district,” says Schipske. “While we hear the sloganeering that Long Beach is ‘one city,’ the 5th Council District is once again being singled out to lose more services.”
Schipske lists the following services being cut in the 5th District:
· Fire stations 18 & 19 – which together have more than 2,500 calls for service a year, will be reduced
· Plus removal of 3 firefighters per shift at Stations 18, 19 & 5 with downgrading staffing to 3 firefighters per truck (leaving the city seriously understaffed in case of an emergency)
· Reduction of library services at Bach library by downgrading branch to a “reading room”
· Increase demand for library services at El Dorado branch without additional staff or resources
· Elimination of 14 weeks of recreational programming at Heartwell Park
· Reduction of gym operations at Pan Am Park
· Elimination of Teen Center at El Dorado Park
· Reduction of materials for senior program at El Dorado Park
· Elimination of 14 police patrol officers
· Elimination of police J-Car (juvenile car)
Schipske also points out that the proposed elimination of 14 police patrol officers will disproportionally hurt the eastside of Long Beach – especially the 5th Council district which is the largest council district geographically because it contains 11.5 square miles and takes more to patrol.
“Residential burglaries, commercial burglaries and auto thefts are soaring in the eastside so cutting patrol officers who provide a visible deterrent to these types of crimes is senseless and irresponsible. Also as bad is the elimination of the police J-car. I have 22 schools in the 5th Council District – including one of the largest high schools and a new high school on the way. This is not the time to cut this police service.” Schipske notes that J-Cars are a pro-active unit of investigators which is designed to apprehend juvenile offenders in or around our schools. Officers work closely with school administrators in identifying and apprehending juvenile offenders involved in criminal activities such as narcotics, assaults and graffiti.
“I am asking residents to help send a message to the Mayor and the other members of the City Council, who do not live in the 5th District, that these cuts are at a minimum unfair and at a maximum irresponsible.”
Residents can go the Bach Branch Library at 4055 Bellflower Blvd. 90808 or El Dorado Branch Library at 2900 Studebaker and sign the petitions in person. They can also go on line to www.gerrieschipske.com and click the online petitions. #30