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.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

City Needs to Support Transparency in New Reporting Standards for Pensions

The Government Accounting Standard Board (GASB) sets standards of accounting and financial reporting for state and local governments. The Board is in the process of revising its standards and proposing significant improvements to standards for accounting and reporting of pensions that governments provide employees.

Click on the link to read the proposed standards. GASB is asking for public in put and response. I am going to ask our City Manager to make certain Long Beach weighs in about these standards -- supporting the transparency these standards provide.

Budget Cuts Hit 5th District Hardest

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 and click the online petitions.   #30

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Council decides to cut fire, police, library and recreation services -- City needs one time cut in management

Although a reasonable sensible motion was made last night to utilize a portion of the increased revenue the city realized from the increased price of oil to restore serious, critical cuts to fire, police, library and recreation services, the majority of the council opposed it and the motion was withdrawn.

Oh, but moments later, the majority passed a motion to explore spending $500,000 - $600,000 for a new website and $80,000 for a study that will lead to spending $5 - $10 million on an underground tunnel between the police department the soon to be constructed state courthouse.

Here's the game. Several council members have a list of projects they want funded. Others of us believe that you don't fund projects when you are cutting public safety and quality of life services.

For 9 out of the last 10 years -- the City has under estimated the revenue from oil. Some are calling the  increased oil revenue -- "one time monies" -- and should not be spent on on going expenses.

Really? Yet when sales tax revenues have increased 12% (as they were reported to have done so last night) that isn't "one time money" -- that money is used to offset any reductions in the budget. So the oil revenue which is in the same column as sales tax revenue is "one time" but the sales tax isn't?

So where is their plan to come up with revenue to restore the cuts proposed by Mayor Foster in police, fire, library and recreation? Haven't seen it. Haven't heard it.

Here's an idea. City Manager -- go back and make the $20 million dollars in cuts in all departments except fire, police, recreation and library. Start at the top and cut management positions. Stop cutting at the level where services are delivered and start cutting at the management level.

If it helps. Think of it as a one time cut.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Three on Council want to spend $500,000 on a website

I cannot believe that as we look at severe cuts to police, fire, libraries and recreation services that anyone on the City Council would propose spending $500,000 to $600,000 for a website that would provide a 24/7 online contact with the City.

First of all, I have provided such a contact on my website for 5 years for free -- check it out:

Secondly, the City can use SeeClickFix which I have been beta testing for several months. It costs $100 a month.

Or use Better Place from the Florida League of Cities -- again for a minimal fee.

Actually, the old fashion way works just fine -- email. I get hundreds of them each month with requests for service -- sometimes with photos attached. It's free and it works. Then my staff forwards the requests to the appropriate department and we map (and put it online) where the requests have been made so we can use that data to plan how we can group requests together for repair so that more can be made at one time.

How can we ask city employees to pay more for their pensions and to give up raises while we spend one half million for a new toy? How can be cut police, fire, library and recreation services? How can we cancel police and fire academies? Again.

How can we cut back on maintenance of our parks?

$500,000 fixes a lot of sidewalks and potholes and a couple of residential streets.

 Based upon the 5 years I have been using my on line, 24/7 service form, we know where the problems are -- we just need the funds to fix them.

Save Station 18

Popular Posts