See Press Telegram story. Click here.
As I stated last night --there are a number of ways to balance the city's budget that do not include raising taxes. I read off a list of suggestions from the Government Finance Officers Association -- which was prepared to help all cities across the US who are facing financial uncertainty.
See Fiscal First Aid list from Government Finance Officers.
I also read off a list of items I had found doing research on other cities:
- Offer city facilities to rent out for cellphone towers -- Chula Vista is getting $500,000
- Reduce recycling to 2 x a month -- Sacramento is saving $1 million a month
- Offer a paramedic subscription program that will save residents the cost of their insurance or Medicare copay when billed for these services -- Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Orange, Fullerton, etc. all offer this program which brings in @ $250,000 annually
- Do an audit of our health care insurance program to eliminate people who are not eligible for coverage but remain on the health care plan and eliminate dual coverage -- if employees have coverage under another health care plan then they should not receive coverage from the City of Long Beach
- Audit workers compensation injuries and determine how they can be prevented
- Implement an automated time and attendance system so the city knows who is at work every day, how long they work, and when they take sick and vacation leave -- right now all 4000 plus city employees are tracked manually using 12 full time clerks
- Charge the 41,465 non residents who use our libraries $24 for a library card. $24 is the per capita expenditure residents pay in taxes for library services.
- Consolidate the Fire and Police Administrative Headquarters. The City currently spends $104,000 a MONTH ($1.2 million a year) to house a couple of helicopters and 54 Fire Department management. Bring them downtown and rent hangar space for the helicopters. Use that $1.2 million a year (or $38 million for the current 32 year lease) to staff fire stations properly.