Ongoing Government Reforms Saves City $1 Million in Salary Costs
2011-02-21 · By Editor
The elimination of five management positions and three other administrative positions as part of a government reform initiative will save the City of Long Beach more than $1 million a year in salary and related costs.
The City Council began the government reforms at the start of the fiscal year, Oct. 1, 2010, to ensure that the City of Long Beach continues to meet the needs of the community while maintaining financial stability after years of multi-million-dollar budget cuts. This ongoing effort is expected to lead to additional efficiencies and savings.
“The City of Long Beach is committed to providing the most efficient and effective services to the community, and we periodically realign resources around core services and look to new service delivery models” said City Manager Patrick H. West. “These reforms are paramount to the City’s ability to provide the best services possible with the resources available.”
In addition to the efficiency savings to be realized in future years, the City of Long Beach is saving $1.04 million by eliminating five management positions and three other administrative positions. These savings are in addition to savings from positions eliminated due to budget reductions.
The government reforms:
- Consolidate and improve neighborhood code enforcement efforts
- Strengthen efforts to improve corridors and neighborhoods
- Strengthen and support public safety
- Eliminate redundancies, aligns services with common goals, and reduce administrative overhead
Since 2004, the city has cut approximately $136.6 million from its General Fund, and eliminated more than 800 positions. While this was necessary to ensure the City’s fiscal solvency, these reductions have, in some cases, resulted in a less than efficient service delivery structure.
The current reforms include moving the Neighborhood Services Bureau and the Housing Services Bureau (formerly in the Department of Community Development) into an expanded Development Services Department. This reform:
- Aligned the production of affordable housing more closely with its core funding source: set-aside funds from the seven redevelopment project areas.
- Combined the administrative functions of both the Housing Services Bureau and the Redevelopment Bureau, both of which utilize tax increment financing as their chief revenue source and share similar state-mandated reporting functions.
- Increased coordination among staff to more effectively eliminate neighborhood nuisance and code violations.
- Enhanced neighborhood-based planning through closer coordination between Neighborhood Services staff and Planning Bureau and Redevelopment Bureau staff.
- Merging two divisions within the Planning Bureau to enhance cross-coordination between current and advance planning functions while increasing utilization of available staff.
Other reforms include:
- Moving the Housing Development Bureau from Community Development to Development Services, which provides greater alignment with planners, inspectors, Planning Commission, and Redevelopment Agency and improves synergy among staff supporting development projects.
- Merging Property Services and Parking Management functions from different departments into the new Asset Management Bureau within the Public Works Department. Pubic Works maintains many public buildings, and infrastructure projects often include property acquisition, so Asset Management helps to create resource synergies and improve budget management. Additionally, linking Parking Management with the City Traffic Engineer and Parking Meter Division creates collaborative opportunities to optimize efficiency citywide.
- Transferring the Commercial Services call center from Financial Management to the Gas and Oil Department, better aligning the customer service requests with the department providing the service.
- Transferring the Housing Authority to the Health Department, to provide synergy for residents who need both health and housing assistance.
- Transferring the Workforce Investment Bureau to the Department of Human Resources, which provides synergy in recruitment, training, and career development, and reduces costs associated with recruitment and administration.
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:
- Consolidated Gas and Oil Properties Departments.
- Moved the Redevelopment Agency to Development Services.
- Created an Airport Department.
- Expanded Workforce Investment Bureau to contract-in with other cities.
- Redesigned Animal Control into Animal Care Services.
- Improved graffiti abatement to get a 24-hour response.