Councilmember Suja Lowenthal to Host Second District Budget Forums

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Councilmember Suja Lowenthal

With the recent release of budget proposals from the Mayor and City Manager, the City Council will be considering significant changes to the structure of your local government leading up to adoption in mid-September.

Proposed changes include consolidation of the LBPD South & West Divisions, reductions of Police staffing for special units such as gang enforcement, youth and senior programs, sidewalk repair and tree trimming, programming and hours at the Main Library and conversion of six branch libraries (including Alamitos Branch) to “self-service” facilities with full access to the library but less professional librarian assistance at branch libraries.

For a complete list of budget proposals from the Mayor and City Manager as well as a schedule of upcoming City Council budget meetings, please click here.

“As a member of the Budget Oversight Committee since my first term on the Council, I have been and will continue to be committed to preserving core services that contribute to our quality of life. However, with such important decisions being made to the manner in which government operates and public services are delivered, I want to hear from more Second District residents and businesses,” said Lowenthal. “Therefore, I am hosting two Budget Forums in the Second District and asking the City Manager, Chief of Police, financial management and other city staff to present their proposal and discuss the impacts to the community.”

Second District Budget Forums will take place on the following dates:

  • Thursday, August 16, 2012 from 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm at The Renaissance Hotel, Naples Ballroom, 111 E. Ocean Blvd.
  • Thursday, August 30, 2012 from 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm at the Bixby Park Community Center, 130 Cherry Ave.

Resident and business associations in the Second District have signed on to help host the budget forums and spread the word including the Downtown Long Beach Associates, Bluff Heights Neighborhood Association, Promenade Area Residents Association, Ocean Residents Community Association, North Alamitos Beach Association, On Broadway, 4th Street Business Association, Rose Park Neighborhood Association, Craftsman Village Historic District, East Village Association, AOC7 and Alamitos Beach Neighborhood Association.

“The Mayor and City Council have done a great deal already over the last nine years to make government more efficient and keep Long Beach financially sound during this historic downturn in the economy,” Lowenthal said. She sited a number of actions such as:

  • $209 million in deficit solutions adopted
  • 857 positions eliminated
  • Reducing 25% of the workforce and 28% of management
  • Consolidation of departments, bureaus, and divisions
  • Increased cost recovery through fees and charges
  • More efficient service delivery
  • Employees contributing more to their health/retirement costs

The City of Long Beach has also launched the Long Beach Budget Challenge, an interactive online simulation for residents to better understand the complexities and trade-offs involved in the budget process.

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