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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.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

City Council Cuts Fire, Police, Libraries After Public Leaves

For Immediate Release
Contact: Tiffany Andrews, Office of Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske
562 570-6932
City Council Passes Budget in the Late Night Hours
– Cuts Fire and Police Staffing

Moments after six members of the Long Beach City Council voted in the middle of the night to make Long Beach the only major metropolitan city to staff its fire engines with 3-man crews, Council members Rae Gabelich, Steven Neal and Gerrie Schipske issued the following joint statement:

“In a shameless display of disrespect to the residents of the city, 6 members of the council orchestrated a vote on the budget in the late hours of the night after the public had left the council chambers. By waiting until the public left, they violated every principle of transparency and openness and proceeded to seriously cut essential public safety and quality of life services with few public in attendance.

“As a result of that vote, one-half of the City’s fire engines will only have 3 fire fighters, instead of the standard 4 that every other major metropolitan city provides. Other reductions in fire services will also take place at Stations 14, 18 and 19. This means that the City of Long Beach will have the lowest number of on duty firefighters in the last 40 years.

 “At least twenty one police officers were also eliminated with this late night action – including patrol officers, gang enforcement, Homeland Security detail, and violent crime detectives. All at a time when the state is getting ready to release prisoners back into the community.

“Six on the council ignored the concerns of both the Police and Fire Chiefs who expressed reservations about the cuts proposed by Mayor Bob Foster and City Manager Pat West.

“Despite more than 28 residents giving testimony earlier in the evening against making cuts to public safety and quality of life services, the majority on the council waited for the public to leave before they jammed through a budget that seriously cuts these critical services.

“What we saw tonight was a blatant disregard for the will of the people and a lack of  transparency in the budget process, This is a sad night for the City of Long Beach.”


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Long Beach to Join Special Needs Awareness Program -- First Responders Will Get Important Information to Aid Residents with Disabilities

Thanks to my colleagues for supporting an item I sponsored with Councilwoman Rae Gabelich that approves Long Beach Fire and Police departments participating in the Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management Special Needs Disaster Registry.

The SNAP program is voluntary and allows persons with special needs and/or disabilities who may need  specific  disability related  assistance and/or accommodations in the event of a major disaster. Special accommodations and assistance needs may include communicating through alternative means, requring specialized paratransit services, life sustaining medications or equipment, etc.

Enrollment in the Special Needs Registry is completely voluntary. The information provided could help to save lives. Information submitted to this registry is confidential and will only be used by first responders.

Long Beach residents wishing to sign up for the program should click here or to to the Los Angeles County --

Imitation is certainly the sincerest form of flattery...especially by council colleagues

I am so flattered to see on today's city council agenda an item (added last minute) by three of my council colleagues proposing (as I did in April of this year) that the city pursue asking the Feds for a waiver in the ceiling of local hires on transportation projects.

See folks, the council already approved directing the City Manager to find out what the city could do to get a waiver on the cap of local hires allowed -- it was a 9-0 vote on April 8, 2011...just a mere 5 months ago.
But nothing happened.

Then last week the LA Times broke the story that the LA Mayor was taking this concept directly to Washington, DC so that LA could get a waiver of the ceiling of local hires on transporation projects -- using perhaps the only allowable way to get a waiver -- by utilizing an innovative contracting procedure.

So thanks, colleagues for agreeing with me, my blog and the Mayor of Los Angeles -- that there is a way to ask the feds for a waiver on the amount of local hires for a transportation project.

Let's hope on the vote today that everyone agrees -- this time we really mean it! (And thanks for the compliment.)

Save Station 18

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