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Following LBReport.com Article On $100,000/Yr. LB City Mgt. Staffer Working At "Gateway Cities Council of Gov'ts," City Mgt. Asks Council To Renew The Deal...At Half The City Cost
(April 19, 2003) -- Following a story first published by LBReport.com -- reporting that LB taxpayers are paying roughly $100,000 a year for a LB city management employee to work at the "Gateway Cities Council of Governments" (the lead agency now under fire for failing to make details of 710 freeway expansion options more accessible and failing to post neighborhood impact maps on the internet) -- Acting City Manager Gerald Miller is asking the City Council to renew the arrangement (which coincidentally expired April 18) for a year...but with the Gateway Council of Governments agreeing to pay half of her salary.
In a memo accompanying the consent calendar item (matters considered routine, not meriting discussion unless requested by a member of the public or a Councilmember) agendized for the April 22 Council meeting, Acting City Manager Gerald Miller strongly defends the arrangement.
Under the direction of the Executive Director of the Gateway Cities COG, the loaned employee will work on a number of initiatives directly involving the City of Long Beach. These projects include the I-710 Major Corridor Study, which is evaluating alternatives for improvement of the Long Beach Freeway; the COG's Clean Air Program, which provides financial incentives to diesel truck owners to acquire newer, cleaner running trucks and destroy the older diesel engine so that it cannot be returned into service; the establishment of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (MTA) Gateway Service Sector, which will govern the MTA's bus service within the Gateway Cities area and facilitate efficient coordination with other service providers such as Long Beach Transit;
and, the COG's Conservancy Working Committee, which coordinates activities with the
Lower Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers and Mountains Conservancy.
Each of these assignments will provide direct service to the City of Long Beach, training
for the management employee in regional policies and processes that impact the City of
Long Beach, and a voice for City of Long Beach perspectives in the formulation of COG
programs and policies.
We post City Manager Miller's memorandum verbatim at: April, 2003 City Mgr. Memo to Council.
The LB taxpayer-paid arrangement was first proposed by now-former City Manager Henry Taboada in October, 2001...and approved without dissent by the City Council (9-0) at its October 16, 2001 meeting.
On October 22, 2002, at new city management's request, the Council voted to extend the arrangement for six months (9-0, this time on the consent calendar).
We post LB city management's previous background memoranda to Councilmembers for both votes on links below.
The current President of the Board of Directors of the Gateway Cities Council of Governments is LB Vice Mayor Frank Colonna. The Gateway Council of Governments' web site prominently features a Message from Board President Colonna at the top of its home page. To view it, click Frank Colonna "Message from the President," Gateway Cities Council of Governments.
LB Mayor Beverly O'Neill is also a member of the group's 29 member Board of Directors (one Councilmember from each member city [Artesia, Avalon, Bell, Bellflower, Bell Gardens, Cerritos, Commerce, Compton, Cudahy, Downey, Hawaiian Gardens, Huntington Park, La Habra Heights, Lakewood, La Mirada, Long Beach, Lynwood, Maywood, Montebello, Norwalk, Paramount, Pico Rivera, Santa Fe Springs, Signal Hill, South Gate, Vernon, Whittier], plus the Mayor of LB [the Port of LB is a Gateway member], and one member of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors). Mayor O'Neill has delegated her duties to 1st district LB Councilmember Bonnie Lowenthal.
In addition to the cost of the city employee, LB taxpayers also pay a $12,000 fee for their City Hall to be member of the Gateway Cities Council of Governments.
The Gateway group's Executive Committee includes LB Vice Mayor Colonna...who also serves on the Gateway Council's I-710 Oversight Committee.
To view LB City Management's previous background memoranda to Councilmembers, click:
Oct. 2002 City Mgt memo to Council
Oct. 2001 City Mgt memo to Council