Councilwoman Schipske Proposes Budget Alternative To Fund LBPD Specialized Units (Full Staff Gang Detail), PD Support Staff, Youth Sports/Afterschool Programs, Swimming Pool, Nature Center, Adaptive Rec.
|(Aug. 21, 2012, revised text 6:00 p.m. and 9:15 p.m.) -- As seen LIVE on LBReport.com during last night's (Aug. 20) Council district public budget meeting, 5th dist. Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske proposed -- and said she intends to bring to the City Council -- what amounts to alternative plan to use the city's FY13 one-time revenue to fund LBPD's specialized police units (including full staffing for gang detail), police support staff, youth sports, after school programs and swimming pools, Nature Center programs, adaptive recreation and Senior Center funding, and transfer $2 million to City Hall's reserve.
Councilwoman Schipske unveiled her de facto budget alternative during a power-point presentation at her Council district's public budget meeting. Her presentation itemized various uses for projected one-time revenue that the Mayor/City Mgr propose to spend on what they classify as one-time spending items.
City management's FY13 Community Budget Book (p. 12) identifies $16.9 million in one time revenue and identifies their funding sources as follows: "$10.9M one-time oil over $55/bbl; $3.6M ambulance billing back payment available due to AB 678; $1.8M remaining Refuse Fund setreet-sweeping bexus back-payment; $585k one-time SERRF tip-fee differential."
To a capacity crowd at LB's Water Treatment Plant auditorium, Councilwoman Schipske first listed the Mayor/Management's proposed spending items...and then listed her proposed uses.
Councilwoman Schipske acknowledged to the audience that she and the Mayor are having an "ongoing dialogue and disagreement with the Mayor over this, but so what..." Councilwoman Schipske's listed her proposed uses for the revenue as follows [the term "restore" means avert cuts proposed in Mayor/City Mgr. proposed budget]:
On a power point slide, Councilwoman Schipske displayed the words: "Impact: Priceless" and told the audience: "I think the impact is keeping the core of the services in the city that make Long Beach a good place to live, a good place to work and an important place that we want our children to grow up in."
And displaying a slide with the phrase "We can do it," Councilwoman Schipske said "I do think that we can do this. I don't think it's hard..."
LBReport.com believes Councilwoman Schipske is the first Councilmember in this budget cycle to propose what amounts to a comprehensive alternative to FY13 cuts proposed to police, fire, parks/rec and libraries by the Mayor/City Manager three weeks ago (Aug. 1).
Councilwoman Schipske's proposal includes $2 million for reserves but didn't mention police overtime, an issue raised by other Councilmembers as arguably underbudgeted by the Mayor/Mgr. proposed budget.
At the Aug. 14 Council budget session, Vice Mayor Robert Garcia stated that he doesn't support proposed cuts to parks and after school programs, asked the Council's Budget Oversight Committee to examine ways to restore these items as well as examine police overtime.
Mayor Foster (who has no vote but has a veto that can be overridden by six Councilmembers), opened Council budget discussions earlier this month by presenting a video that argues against using the city's projected FY13 oil revenue for items other than "one time" expenses. Last year, Councilwoman Schipske was one of three Councilmembers (Schipske, Neal and Gabelich) who proposed a budget alternative that would have averted some of the Mayor/Mgr's then-proposed budget reductions. Their alternative failed on a 3-6 vote (Yes; Schipske, Neal, Gabelich; No: Garcia, Lowenthal, DeLong, O'Donnell, Andrews, Johnson).
The items proposed for funding by Councilwoman Schipske this year aren't a single package; a Council majority could pick and choose some of her proposed items, or modify them, as it chooses.
A Council majority (five votes) will ultimately decide how the money is spent by a September 15 deadline. The Mayor can veto Council spending items which six Council votes can override.
The initial version of this article visible for several hours on Aug. 21 described the one-time revenue as entirely oil revenue; this was incorrect (and LBReport.com's error) and is corrected in our revised text above; the FY13 one-time revenue is actually comprised of several funding sources [which we quote above from city management's Community Budget book]. The total sum announced at the meeting was also arithmetically incorrect (not our error) and is roughly $18 million...which is roughly one million more than $16.9 that City Hall calls available one-time revenue. Councilwoman Schipske tells LBReport.com that her proposal hasn't substantively changed but she has adjusted her numbers and these will be released shortly.
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