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.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Long Beach Assets and Services Are Not for Sale

Ah, can you smell the 2012 campaign season in the air?

I can. Straight out the playbook from the "bootcamps" and "workshops" and other rhetoric camps is coming the pushing to totally privatize city services. Step right up folks and you too can bid on providing services for the City of Long Beach such as towing, trash collection and street sweeping.

Now you won't finder bidders for the more mundane less lucrative services such as libraries and parks. Nah. There isn't a lot of money connected with them.

But as we near campaign season for the free for all that is going to happen with re-districting, watch the bouncing ball as it goes crazy following the numerous suggestions to contract out Long Beach city services to the lowest bidder.

Towing, street sweeping and trash collection bring the City of Long Beach the highest sources of revenue outside our oil production. So it is only logical that the city would want to keep these services in-house, right? No, now we are starting to hear that certain council persons wishing to posture for their political followers want to sell these city services to the lowest bidder.

Oh, great. Our city employees who perform great service and who bring a tremendous source of revenue to the city now are to be replaced by private contractors that undoubtedly will: a) contribute to political campaigns and b) take from the city the very profit we realize in these services.

Luckily the voters of Long Beach were wise enough to vote for a proposition L which requires that the City Manager make a finding that the services  being selected for outsourcing cannot be done cheaper by city employees. And every Prop L study has shown that they are.

So what is behind the move to privatize city towing services and street sweeping? It makes great campaign brochures but lousy public policy. If a certain councilperson keeps this up, some of us will ask the City Manager to do a Prop L finding as to whether or not his job could be contracted out to the private sector.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Schipske Proposes Cameras on Street Sweepers

Ever get a ticket on sweeping day when your car wasn't in the way of the street sweeper? Well, Fifth District Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske may have a solution thanks to new state legislation.

"The State legislature recently passed a bill (AB 2567) to allow the placement of cameras on the street sweepers so that cities can verify that a vehicle was actually parked on the street at the time the street sweeper was there -- not before and not after. This provides a date and time stamp which may result in less street sweeping tickets being issued," notes Schipske who says that she receives complaints from constituents claiming they were ticketed before the street sweeper arrived.

The cameras include a license plate reader and the operator clicks a picture the ticket is automatically mailed to the vehicle owners. Because the street sweeper is already equipped with GPS locators, the time and location are included with the picture.

Schipske also points out that currently the tickets are issued by city staff which follow the street sweepers in a car.

"The use of cameras would eliminate using staff to follow the street sweeper, freeing parking enforcement to concentrate on other parking problems in the city. "

Schipske has been in discussions with the Public Works Department about using this technology. Her proposal will be on the Council agenda.

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