|(April 14, 2019, 6:55 p.m.) -- On December 4, 2018, the City Council asked city management for data on the number of shelter beds in Long Beach plus rehab, medical detox, sobriety, and other addiction-related beds. Roughly four months later on April 5, 2019, LB's Dept. of Health & Human Services produced a memo -- not agendized for public discussion but linked here -- telling the Mayor/City Council that Long Beach has roughly 275 shelter beds (180 for individuals + 69 for families + 26 for domestic violence victims) plus 174 beds for transitional housing for veterans, plus 196 residential treatment beds from non-profits for substance abuse services plus 124 residential treatment beds from the Salvation Army (requiring participation in their work program.)
But alongside those facts, the April 5, 2019 memo by Kelly Colopy, Director of Health and Human Services, includes an unsubstantiated figure: "During the Everyone Home Long Beach analysis, it was determined the City would need 500 additional shelter beds to meet the need."
No. The document generated by Mayor Garcia's chosen "Task Force" (whose agendas indicate it received most of its information from city staff) included a number of unsubstantiated assertions: "It is estimated that to meet the needs of those falling into homelessness each year, the City would need an additional "500 emergency shelter beds (including capacity for families, transition-aged youth, and other specific populations."
And its "estimates" went further
These are spectacularly large numbers. Estimated by whom? Based on what data? Applying what methodology? The document cited no sources or methodology to support its "estimate" (which is merely that) of 500 "needed" beds or the other mind-boggling figures.
This isn't to say the estimates are wrong. One simply can't know if they're right or wrong based on what's been released thus far. Omitting data sources and failing to describe applied methodology don't meet the standards for a high school term paper.
[Scroll down for further.]
But that hasn't stopped some LB electeds from citing the numerically unsubstantiated figure on needed beds as if it were an established fact, which at this point it isn't.
At a January 28, 2019 press event announcing a planned North Long Beach homeless facility, Councilman Rex Richardson cited the unsubstantiated 500-needed-bed-figure as if it were fact, and city management's April 5, 2019 memo amplifies that narrative, stating that the North Long Beach shelter site is proposed to provide 125 additional beds, "leaving a need for 375 shelter beds in the City."
This has real-world implications for LB taxpayers, since the Garcia-chosen "Task Force" also handed Garcia and Council incumbents political cover to advance a future City Hall-written tax-raising ballot measure. Its recommendations included: "Identify and implement one or more dedicated, sustainable revenue sources," early cheerleaders for a future City Hall-written ballot measure debt-bond or parcel tax or combination or something else.
City Hall's tax-raising and spending trajectory was evident months earlier at the July 24, 2018 Council meeting, when Councilman Richardson (joined by Councilmembers Gonzalez, Austin and Vice Mayor Andrews) agendized an item to seek management options for consideration at the next available Council meeting -- just in time for placement on the November 2018 ballot -- for an unspecified "dedicated local revenue source." Councilman Richardson indicated he was prepared to discuss it, but his co-agendizers and others got cold feet lacking audible support from Mayor Garcia (then-focused on November passage of four Charter Amendments.)
But no Councilmember(s) voiced opposition to such a "dedicated local revenue" measure at a later time (LBREPORT.com coverage here.
Mayor Garcia signaled at the July 24 Council meeting (reported in detail by LBREPORT.com at the time) exactly where he intends to go:
"As a reminder, the City doesn't, we don't tax anybody. The taxes that pass the City are voted on by the voters, and so this Council doesn't go and increase someone's tax or do a parcel tax. That is only decided by voters in the city," Mayor Garcia explained [not mentioning the $600,000+ campaign run by a political committee he ran funded in large part by LB's police and firefighter unions and various corporate and development interests.] "Should this City look and work with the community a local source of to fund more affordable housing? The answer in my opinion is absolutely "yes."...
On December 11, 2018, Mayor Garcia's hand-picked "Task Force" released its recommendations that -- not surprisingly -- included identifying and implementing "one of more dedicated, sustainable revenue sources" for homeless services and affordable (low income/subsidized) housing spending. These are now cited by electeds and non-elected city management as the basis for addressing "needed" spending based on "estimated" figures not numerically substantiated at this point.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Recommend LBREPORT.com to your Facebook friends:
Follow LBReport.com with:
Contact us: mail@LBReport.com
Hardwood Floor Specialists
Call (562) 422-2800 or (714) 836-7050