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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.

Friday, January 28, 2011

California Medical Board Grapples with Budget Problems

Readers -- as you may recall, I was appointed by the Senate Rules Committee to the California Medical Board which licenses and disciplines physicians in the state. We also oversee Physician Assistants, Licensed Midwives, and Optical Dispensers.

We meet quarterly and for the past two days we have been in Burlingame near San Francisco. We work two full days because we are a regulatory board so I never get to see much of the city in which we meet.

The board is grappling with a state budget that continues to freeze hiring and fail to fund needed programs. The problem is that we derive our budget from the license fees paid by physicians -- not tax revenue. So for the life of me I cannot understand why our employees who are charged with keeping the public safe from bad doctors are put on furloughs or not given the funds needed to continue necessary safety programs such as Operation Safe Medicine. We have vacancies that need to be filled so the department can do its job. Life doesn't stop just because of a hiring freeze. Consumers expect when they file a complaint against a physician that the California Medical Board has the staff and resources to handle the complaint in a timely manner.

This does not make sense. Hopefully the new governor (who was the Attorney General and the prosecutor for the cases the Medical Board took to him) understands that regulatory agencies need access to the funds that have been paid by licensees so we can do our job.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Latest Crime Stats in Long Beach

Crime 001                                                            

Monday, January 24, 2011

Residents Don't Favor Ban on Plastic Bags

I wasn't polling when I sent out emails to residents inviting them to attend a Town Hall I am hosting on Sat Jan 29th at 10 am at the LB Water Treatment Plant (Spring and Redondo), but lordy, lordy have I received a full email inbox from residents (with a few exceptions) who are very angry that the City would be proposing a ban on plastic bags at grocery stores and that the City would allow the stores to charge 10 cents for a paper bag.

In essence, most are saying promote a recycling plan and don't force something on people unless the entire state is doing it. Otherwise they will go elsewhere to shop.

For my district -- the 5th -- this is a significant response. We are fortunate to have the most grocery stores in a council district than in other districts so this will really impact this area more than other parts of the city. We are about to lose Boeing. We don't need to lose a grocery store or two because people shop in Lakewood or Cerritos or they go to a Target or Walmart that sells groceries but aren't grocery stores.

The Town Hall will be very interesting this Saturday. I ask that everyone who attends be civil and courteous to both sides of the issue. We can disagree civily.


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