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.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tele Town Hall Planned on Budget Cuts

with permission of

(August 30, 2011) -- Councilmembers Steve Neal, Rae Gabelich and Gerrie Schipske will use digitally enabled technology to communicate directy with taxpaying residents citywide and discuss their proposal -- reported in detail (with video) by last week -- to use already-budgeted money they identified in City Hall's proposed FY12 budget to provide an alternative to budget cuts to police, fire, parks and libraries proposed by Mayor Bob Foster and City Manager Pat West. 

On Thursday Sept. 1 from 7 - 8 p.m., the three Councilmembers will hold what they describe as a "citywide interactive discussion" of the FY12 budget which residents can access from the convenience of their home. 

A release via Councilman Neal joined by Councilmembers Schipske and Gabelich says residents will be able to hear -- and take part in -- a citywide telephonic Town Hall, including questions and answers and a live survey and direct feedback. 

To join in, the release invites residents citywide -- in all Council districts -- to RSVP by either emailing or or calling (562) 70-6932 (the 5th Council office) or 570-6137 (the 9th district Council office). 

"All who RSVP will receive a call at 7PM on Thursday evening, and will be automatically connected to the Town Hall. Participants will engage in question and answer, as well as live surveys and direct feedback," the release says. 

"Participants will discuss proposed cuts in the fiscal year 2012 budget, and possible alternatives, such as the "Public Safety and Quality of Life Protection Plan" as proposed by Neal, Gabelich and Schipske. The teleforum will provide an opportunity to join thousands of residents from all parts of town in a discussion on the proposed cuts to police, fire, and quality of life services, and how it will impact Long Beach families."
Councilmembers Neal, Schipske and Gabelich presented their alternative (a "Public Safety & Quality of Life Protection Plan") at an Aug. 23 midday news conference. It proposes using $18 million in current fund balance in the Uplands Oil Fund to maintain a $2 million fund balance and restore $12 million in Mayor/City Management proposed FY12 cuts in General Fund in Police, Fire, Libraries and Parks & Rec and use about $4 million for one-time expenditures:
  • Police: $6.2 million (14 patrol officers + gang enforcement, violent crimes and homeland security details + Chief's priorities)

  • Fire: $4.3 million, (maintaiun four person engine staffing, restore Stn 18 engine, restore Rescue 12)

  • Library Services: $750,000

  • Parks & Rec: $750,000 The three Councilmembers were joined by LB Fire Fighters Ass'n Pres. Rich Brandt, IAM Union rep & Sarah Pillet of LB Public Library Foundation.

    To view VIDEO on-demand of speakers' presentations, click here.
    UPDATE: To view VIDEO of reporters' Q & A, click here.
    Within hours -- and before the public had an opportunity to hear details of their alternative to the Mayor/Manager budget -- it was met with criticism by Mayor Foster (who called it irresponsible but has no vote) and by Councilman Gary DeLong (who does have a vote). Apart from DeLong, no Councilmembers (besides proponents Gabelich, Schipske and Neal) spoke on the issue and there was no voted action. Councilman Neal (who made a motion to adopt the proposal) withdrew it...but indicated the next day (as reported by that he intends to advance it on September 6.

    Meanwhile, at last night's (Aug. 29) 5th district community meeting on the budget [separate coverage coming on], Councilwoman Schipske told attendees that she believes the use of already budgeted uplands oil money to avert the Mayor/Manager proposed budget cuts is reasonable and responsible...and has publicly requested that city management explain how those uplands oil funds have been spent in previous years.
    In an exchange prompted by a question from the floor, Councilwoman Schipske indicated she would support a variation on the Gabelich-Schipske-Neal proposal (editorially proposed by, click here.

    She criticized Councilman Gary DeLong (at one point referring to him as the "Long Ranger") for leaking information -- that she called only partial information -- on revisions to City Hall's contract with the LB Police Officers Association negotiated by Mayor Bob Foster. Further on this to follow separately on will continue to provide details on these continuing fast breaking developments

    Save Station 18

    Popular Posts