Councilman Webb Reveals City Hall Considering Proposed LB Property Tax Increase Measure (Prop 13 override) For Nov. Ballot, Promising New Fire Stations
We post his letter to some 8th dist. constituents verbatim
(July 7, 2002) -- In a form letter directed to some of his 8th district constituents, Councilman Rob Webb has revealed City Hall is considering putting a proposed LB property tax increase (a Prop. 13 override requiring a 2/3 vote) on the November ballot, promising new fire stations.
Webb's letter (addressed "Dear Constituent") says it seeks his constituent's input "on an item coming to the City Council in late July."
The letter indicates that if the ballot measure is approved, it would raise property taxes roughly $16 per $100,000 of assessed value. "So, for example, a property with an assessed value of $300,000 would see an increase in property taxes of $48 per year (92 cents per week)," Webb's letter states.
It tells constituents that "In the event of an earthquake, we need to make sure that the [fire station] buildings will still be standing in order to serve us."
It concludes by stating, "I am asking for your input as I prepare to make a decision about putting a bond issue before you."
We post the full text of Councilman Webb's letter verbatim below:
July 3, 2002
I am asking for your input on an item coming to the City Council in late July. The City of Long Beach is considering a bond issue for the upcoming November ballot. The bond issue, if passed by the required two-thirds majority, would fund needed improvements to our City's Fire Department facilities.
For many years now, Fire Department buildings have been suffering from deterioration due to:
- Age (13 structures were built prior to 1960)
- Lack of accommodations for female firefighters
- Lack of seismic upgrading for "essential facilities"
(If a major earthquake were to hit Long Beach, it is likely much of the needed Fire Department equipment would be trapped in collapsed stations.)
- Inadequate Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance
- Inability to house modern fire fighting equipment
"The facilities are in very poor condition," a recently commissioned private study concluded. "The most feasible way to correct the deficiencies," it recommended, "is to replace 15 of the 30 fire stations or support buildings and remodel 10 others."
In the Eighth Council district, we would see a new Fire Station 9 (currently located at 3917 Long Beach Boulevard) rebuilt nearby, and a $475,000 remodel at Station 11 (located at 160 E. Market Street) if the bond issue passed. In addition, all new Fire Stations would include a community meeting room, to be available for local groups.
It would have been my hope that during the last 50 years, the City would have budgeted for these capital improvements. However, the reality is that while our City has done a good job in retaining the proper equipment to ensure that we have a top notch Fire Department, we have not invested in our Fire Station buildings. In the event of an earthquake, we need to make sure that the buildings will still be standing in order to serve us.
I am asking for your input as I prepare to make a decision about putting a bond issue before you. Please forward your comments to my office by mid-July.
Robert M. Webb,