|(Feb. 16, 2019, 1:05 p.m.) -- Long Beach doesn't have surf but some apparently believe it has serfs. Some inside City Hall seem to regard LB taxpayers as modern-day serfs whose role it is to compliantly serve City Hall instead of vice versa.
For over a year, to our knowledge no member of the Long Beach City Council has bothered to ask taxpayers in a serious manner at a public meeting or online how much, if anything, the public should pay to enable a private entity to profit if allowed to run a smaller version of Community Hospital on City-owned seismically-challenged land.
We believe an example of this City-master/taxpayer-servant attitude is visible in 4th dist. Councilman Daryl Supernaw's Feb. 15 weekly e-newsletter which tells (not asks) his constituents what their masters will decide for them:
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"We're finally here! After fifteen and a half months, City Council will make a decision on the future of Community Hospital next Tuesday night. That is when MWN's [Molina, Wu, Network LLC's] final proposal will be submitted to council at a closed session. City staff and MWN are using every last minute to craft an agreement that will work for all parties... and that especially includes the residents of Long Beach. There will likely be a City press release on Wednesday or Thursday, and we will have that in next week's newsletter. Thanks to everyone who has supported our efforts throughout the process. Go Fourth!
In matters like this, we hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Sadly, LB's taxpayers have reason to distrust whether this latest deal will "work for all parties" after just witnessing the same Council agree to buy NLB property for a future year-round homeless shelter at four times its most recent selling price five years earlier AND fail to discuss ongoing taxpayer costs each year to operate the future facility. A few weeks earlier, the Council voted cut the price that a developer had already agreed to pay for commercial property at Atlantic/Artesia by $1 million (nearly 50%.) And a week before Christmas, LB Councilmembers voted to spend $1 million for a "media wall" to display content pleasing to them on their costly new castle (new City Hall.)
All this, while failing to provide taxpayers with nearly 200 police officers that LB previously had but no longer has while LB's serfs give their masters millions annually in higher taxes and fees.
To our knowledge, there's nothing in CA's Brown Act that requires the LB City Council to treat the open meetings act like an official secrets act. The Brown Act may allow, but to our knowledge doesn't require in this case, Long Beach Councilmembers to hide details of this deal until after Councilmembers have already directed it without public/press oversight to near-conclusion and then pretend to ask the public what it thinks before a near-ceremonial public vote. Again: that backasswards non-transparent process isn't required; LB's elected Mayor and Councilmembers are allowing it.
LBREPORT.com doesn't support crony capitalism. We dislike corporate welfare. If the LLC sees a good opportunity to operate a hospital for its profit on City owned land, that's fine with us...but they're not entitled to some expectation that LB taxpayers will pay for it. At this point, the public doesn't know specifics of what's proposed on public land with speculated "public participation" (public money.) That's not fine with us. In our opinion, it's not fine when Councilmembers treat those who elect them as serfs instead of the masters that taxpayers should be..
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