Fiscal Red Tide: Major Elements Of LB's Downtown Beach/Waterfront Area Are Losing Millions And Have For Years, City Mgt. Memo Tells Mayor & Council
Return To Front Page
(April 7, 2005) -- LBReport.com has learned that city management has advised the Mayor and City Council that major elements of LB's downtown beach/waterfront -- publicly touted as successes -- are losing millions of dollars and have done so for some time.
"[T]he city's beach/waterfront area requires significant operating resources, but generates minimal revenue" says a March 26 memo from Marine Bureau Manager Mark Sandoval to City Manager Jerry Miller for Mayor O'Neill and members of the City Council.
Among multiple items, the memo says both the Pike and the Aquarium parking structures -- which were supposed to pay for themselves in parking revenue -- are costing roughly $1.2 million and $500,000 annually.
The memo also indicates:
The memo says the Tidelands Funds "have had a structural imbalance for many years, where ongoing revenues have not matched ongoing operating expenses." It notes that in recent years, high oil revenue helped balance the Tidelands Funds, but "it is apparent that steps must be taken to address this structural deficit."
LBReport.com was provided with a copy of the memo by city management...in response to an inquiry we made following a newstip from a reader. The reader indicated (and we confirmed) that a Downtown Tidelands Development Study, which had been funded by the Tidelands, was ordered discontinued by city management due to the Tidelands financial condition.
The management memo concludes:
To begin the process of addressing the Tidelands Funds structural deficit, operating departments have been directed to develop reduction lists which total approximately 19 percent of their respective operating budgets. The three largest departments operating in the Tidelands Funds are Parks, Recreation and Marine, the Fire Department and the Police Department. The reduction targets for these departments are $2.7 million, $950,000 and $605,000, respectively, for a total of $4.3 million...These departments all provide direct services in the Tidelands, and the reduction necessary to obtain these targets will undoubtedly include significant service cuts, including reduced security and reduced maintenance.
The memo was cc'd to City Attorney Bob Shannon, City Auditor Gary Burroughs, Asst. City Manager Christine Shippey, Deputy City Managers Suzanne Mason and Reginald Harrison, Dir. of Financial Mgt. Mike Killebrew and City Council Liaison Jyl Marden.
Contact us: mail@LBReport.com