City Manager Pat West Proposes to Reform City Government to Improve Efficiencies

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City Manager Pat West

As part of his five-pronged budget strategy, City Manager Pat West presented recommendations to the City Council on how to reform City government and change the way the City of Long Beach is structured.

Since Fiscal Year 2004, the City of Long Beach has enacted $162.8 million in General Fund structural deficit solutions (both cost reductions and revenue enhancements) and has eliminated over 650 positions in that same time period.   During this time the City has asked all its employees to do more with less and they have all done outstanding work on behalf of the Long Beach community.  While these solutions were necessary to ensure the City’s fiscal solvency, these reductions have taken a toll on Long Beach’s internal operations and, in some cases, resulted in a less than efficient service delivery structure.

“In order to continue to provide efficient and effective services to our community, Long Beach City government must adapt its structure,” Mr. West said.  “These changes are paramount to our ability to provide the best services possible with the resources available.”

In the past, the City Council has asked the City Manager to review how departments are structured and make necessary changes to ensure Long Beach government is a 21st-Century organization.

Here are the three sets of ideas Mr. West presented to the City Council:

  1. FY 11 Proposed Budget Ideas:  These are ideas that would begin implementation in Fiscal Year 2011, including several department reorganizations.  These changes will not go into effect until an implementation plan is created, working closely with each department.
  2. Ideas for future development and implementation:  These ideas will take slightly longer to research the necessary steps and put an implementation plan together, but will be implemented likely in Fiscal Year 2012.
  3. Ideas for City Council consideration:  Some of these ideas are bold; however, it is important to bring these to the City Council and the community for further discussion and potential implementation.

While not all of these ideas will save money immediately, they are a part of a greater strategy to reduce future costs, improve customer service and improve efficiency.  The City of Long Beach has successfully executed multiple reorganizations and instituted reform proposals over the years.  Some of the services that the City is most proud of now have resulted from past reorganizations.

The presentation presented to the City Council yesterday, which provides additional information on the specific ideas, is on the City of Long Beach website. The video of presentation to the City Council will be available online through the City Clerk’s website.

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