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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Good and Bad Night for Taxpayers

Several Schipske Proposals Approved.

Dear Resident,
Tonight was a big win for taxpayers. Several of my proposals were approved by the Council and one proposal lost by just one vote.

Here's a recap:

1. Council approves funding for modern Human Resource Management system that includes for the first time an automated time keeping system.
I have advocated for this since joining City Council in 2006. I teach Human Resources Management and it is beyond belief that a City our size or a business with as many employees -- 4,300 -- would operate with a manual time keeping system. This system allows employees to fill out their own time cards every two weeks. The time sheets are then manually input. On any given day, the City does not know how many employees have reported to work except by going department to department. This needed system will help the city track employees and use of sick and vacation leave.

2. Council approves re-instating the Mills Act which provides tax relief to homeowners who rehab historical properties. Started in 1972 by state law, the City of Long Beach has only contracted with 30 homeowners to allow them to take up to a 60% reduction in property taxes if they rehab and maintain properties given a historic designation. The City stopped this program in 2006. Council approved my motion to reinstate the program and directed the City Manager to come back in 30 days with plans on how to do just that. This program will give the needed incentives to fix up and restore our historic properties which will bring added property taxes because of the increased values.
Council Doesn't Approve Opening the Collective Bargaining Process to Make It Transparent
Unfortunately, the Council by a 5-3 vote killed my proposal to have the City Attorney determine how the City could make the collective bargaining process more open and transparent to the public. The City of Costa Mesa has enacted such an ordinance and school districts are required to do it. Apparently there are council members who don't even want to discuss  current system and ways to make it more transparent. That's sad for taxpayers.
What do you think? Let me know by emailing: As always, I will answer.

Save Station 18

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