|(Jan. 16, 2018, 5:03 p.m.) -- On the first business day after the deadline for candidates to file papers to challenge incumbents in the April 2018 races for Mayor and five City Council seats, Mayor Robert Garcia has announced that he and four Council incumbents [Lena Gonzalez (re-elected without a challenger), Jeannine Pearce (facing possible recall but not imminent re-election), Suzie Price (with two challengers) and Stacy Mungo (with three challengers)] have submitted a
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Mayor Garcia described the proposal as "8 by 28," referring to 8 infrastructure projects he described as related to the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics and Paralympics (which include some events either downtown or along the shoreline including Water Polo, Open Water Swimming, the Triathlon, Handball, Sailing and BMX Racing.) The "8 by 28" projects as described by Mayor Garcia are [emailing text]:
Mayor Garcia's email doesn't indicate whether neighborhood infrastructure projects elsewhere in the City might receive lower priority if the Council agrees to give high priority to the projects Garcia labels Olympics-related projects. Some of the projects have been pending for some time, including the controversial $100+ million Belmont Beach "Aquatics Center" (permanent Belmont Pool replacement) that currently lacks sufficient Tidelands funding to complete, faces a CEQA EIR lawsuit and appeals to the Coastal Commission brought by a number of LB residents.
As previously reported by LBREPORT.com, the L.A. Olympics organizing committee gave Long Beach events all located downtown or along the shoreline. "The events in Long Beach are expected to draw hundreds of thousands of visitors to the city and millions of viewers from around the world," said Mayor Garcia in his email. "As we look ahead to these games, we must immediately begin planning and preparing for infrastructure needs and investments."
The proposal comes as LB taxpayers face city management-projected deficits (spending exceeding revenue) currently estimated at roughly $30+ million spanning FY19 + FY20 + FY21 in addition to taxpayer litigation related deficits/exposures of $18 million that city management proposes to cover (and gain an $8 million recoupment of rebates) through a June 2018 Charter Amendment ballot measure, seeking voter approval to authorize re-imposing water/sewer fees and gas utility fees halted or threatened by taxpayer litigation.
The 8 prioritized Olympics-related projects "will better prepare Long Beach for Olympic events, but will also continue to build on Long Beach’s role as a destination to live, work and visit," Mayor Garcia said in his email.
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