Blank Check? Long Beach Councilmembers Voted Twice (2016 and 2017) To Cover Publicly Unspecified "Non-Reimbursable"LB-Related Costs Of Providing Some Venues For 2028 L.A. Olympics
News / Amnesia File
Long Beach Councilmembers Voted Twice (2016 and 2017) To Cover Publicly Unspecified "Non-Reimbursable"LB-Related Costs Of Providing Some Venues For 2028 L.A. Olympics
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(Sept. 13, 2017, 5:10 p.m., updated Sept. 14, 10:55 a.m.) -- LB's City Council twice voted publicly (tallies below) -- on Sept. 20, 2016 and Feb. 21, 2017 -- to agree to pay what city management vaguely described as "non-reimbursable" costs related to Long Beach agreeing to provide venues for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics. The issue was reported on both occasions by LBREPORT.com.
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Sept. 20, 2016: In an item agendized with shorter than conventional eight day public notice by Councilmembers Gonzalez, Price and Pearce, City Manager Pat West asked the Council to authorize city management to enter into an agreement with the 2024 [now 2028] Exploratory Committee to host a portion of the 2024 [now 2028] Olympic Games in downtown, shoreline and other possible areas of Long Beach. Mr. West explicitly informed the Council in his memo's Fiscal Impact section:
If Los Angeles is award the Olympic Games bid for 2024, the City of Long Beach may incur unknown staffing and venue costs associated with its participation. City staff will work with LA 2024 to pursue full cost recovery. If the City is expected to incur non-reimbursable costs, staff will return to the City Council at a later date for direction.. It is envisioned that the City would establish a reserve fund, to which funds would be added over the next eight years to cover any costs not covered by LA 2024...
At the Sept. 20 Council meeting, Assistant City Manager Tom Modica stated
We expect, as noted in your staff report, that the cost of the venues would be offset by the Olympic committee; they would essentially pay for the cost associated with those and then if there was any cost that aren't going to be recovered, we would come back to the City Council at a later date...[I]f we are selected next September 2017, we would essentially be talking more in specificity and costs and what that would look like in our city...
The Council approved the item 8-0 (Yes: Gonzalez, Pearce, Price, Supernaw, Andrews, Uranga, Austin, Richardson; Absent: Mungo)
Feb. 21, 2017: The Olympics issue returned to the City Council as part of its "consent calendar" -- items on which no discussion takes place unless sought by a Councilmember. The item authorized city management to execute documents (which weren't visible for public review) with the privately-run "L.A. 2024 Olympics Exploratory Committee" (LA 2024) pertaining to LB's role in L.A.'s 2024 Olympics bid. City management's memo described the documents as "certain application documents" that LA 2024 requires the City to execute "including, without imitation, documents relating to venue availability, advertising, and security" for events in the City of Long Beach. The memo's Fiscal Impact section was similar to management's initial memo...except it didn't mention a "reserve fund." It stated:
If the City of Los Angeles is awarded the 2024 Olympic Bid, the City of Long Beach may incur staffing and venue expenses associated with participation in the Olympic Games. Should the City be expected to incur any costs, the City will work with LA 2024 in pursuing full-cost-recovery. Any contracts related to the 2024 Olympic Bid exceeding $100,000 will be brought forward for City Council approval and will include an identified funding source, if needed. If the Olympic Games come to this region, there will be new jobs created, which are directly related to the venues chosen within the city of Long Beach.
The Council vote was 7-0 (Yes: Gonzalez, Pearce, Price, Mungo, Uranga, Austin and Richardson; Absent: Supernaw and Andrews)
LBREPORT.com found no searchable indication of a "reserve fund" or other "identified funding source" for future Olympics costs listed in the Council's recently adopted FY18 budget. [Sept. 14 UPDATE] The City's Assistant Finance Director, Lea Eriksen, tells LBREPORT.com that there is no reserve fund in the FY18 adopted city budget; decisions on the amounts and funding sources are still to be determined, to be planned over the next 11 years. [end update]
As previously reported by LBREPORT.com, Mayor Garcia is currently in Lima, Peru, where earlier today (Sept. 13), he watched as the Int'l Olympic Committee voted -- entirely as expected -- to give the 2028 games to Los Angeles. [LBREPORT.com editorially described Mayor Garcia's trip as junket; to view our editorial, click here.]
On Sept. 22, 2016, two days after receiving the LB Council's initial voted approval, LA2024 issued a release (including the image below) indicating that if it gets the Games, shoreline Long Beach will be the site of six Olympics events: five in downtown LB, one in Belmont Shore.
Image accompanied LA2024 Sept. 22 release
The LB Olympic venues would be:
Handball at downtown LB Arena for competition, Convention Ctr. for warm-up/production space
BMX and Water Polo in temporary facility along the downtown LB waterfront
Marathon Swimming and Triathlon along downtown LB waterfront (using existing IndyCar Series Grand Prix race course [LA2024 release text] "to minimize disruption to the community"
Sailing along the LB Belmont Pier.
Long Beach was a venue for some Olympic events in 1932 and 1984. LB's 1984 Olympic events were Archery @ El Dorado Park; Volleyball @ the LB Arena; Fencing @ LB Convention Center and Sailing @ the Shoreline Marina (built downtown to host the competition.) In 1932, LB hosted rowing at Marine Stadium (created/dredged in 1925 with further dredging for the 1932 games; the only facility built specifically for L.A.'s 1932 Olympics was the Swimming Stadium.)
TV ratings for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics were down from the 2012 London Olympic Games. Some critics contend that the Olympics has become too heavily focused on corporate sponsorships and advertising contracts instead of amateur athletics.