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City Manager Proposed Budget Enhancements Mayor and City Council Continuing Programs



August 10, 2001                                                           



Honorable Members of the City Council

City of Long Beach, California





Dear Colleagues


I am pleased to submit a budget for 2001-2002 that reflects the continued growth of the Long Beach economy--including its job expansion.  For the fourth consecutive year, our city’s employment growth has outpaced that of Los Angeles County, and that trend is predicted to continue over the next two years.  It is also important to note that Southern California’s economy will continue to grow at a faster rate than the national economy—even though some economists are predicting a recession in the coming year. 


We have seen a decade of incredible change within our community—a decade where we faced the challenges of the 20th century, and have moved fearlessly into the 21st century with new forces driving our economy.  The achievement of the past decade also shows what can be accomplished when the public sector works in concert with all sectors of our community, including business, education and non-profit agencies.


The emphasis placed on economic development activities in the past few years has continued to pay dividends as the City’s sales and transit occupancy tax continue to expand. Our sales tax revenue has increased by over 71% since 1995, and our transient occupancy tax has increased a dramatic 92.5% in the same time period.  


With the demolition of the old Plaza now complete, we will begin to see the construction of CityPlace which brings not only a new shopping experience to our residents, but also additional residential living opportunities. The combination of new apartments and a hotel as part of  CityPlace will add to the city’s urban experience.  Living opportunities for young professionals is also going to be improved with the construction of the Park at Harbour View, which will include 538 apartments, 246 condos and a 500-room luxury hotel. In addition, lofts are being constructed at the old Walker building and are being planned for the Masonic Temple and the Insurance Exchange building.  All of these developments will add to the critical mass of our downtown.  Retail developments throughout the city including Wrigley Marketplace, Los Altos Gateway, Los Altos Market Center, Long Beach Towne Center, Long Beach Town Square, Marina Pacifica and Marina Shores have added to the dramatic change in our sales tax revenue.  


Orange Coast Magazine, serving the greater Orange County area, recently ran a feature story on Long Beach describing it as more than just a charming seaside city, but one of Southern California’s most popular vacation hot spots. As more of our planned downtown developments come to fruition, the city’s appeal as a waterfront destination will continue to grow. 


Our position in international trade has also been strengthened as the Port moves forward with plans to build five 300-acre mega-terminals over the next decade.  These developments, combined with the scheduled completion of the Alameda Corridor next April, will ensure that the Port maintains its stature, as one of the world’s busiest.


The City’s technology sector has gained more international exposure with the multi-national Sea Launch program which has now had six successful launches in response to a high market demand for a more dependable and cost-efficient commercial satellite launching service. 


Our technology efforts, led by the Sea Launch program, will soon receive an additional boost as the Boeing Realty Company moves forward with the development of 230-acres into, not only a technology campus, but also a center for economic growth, technical innovation and civic pride.


The assets and attributes that we can offer technology companies were widely publicized in the premier issue of Tech Coast Magazine launched in Long Beach in June, and mailed to over 24,000 company executives throughout the region.  This marketing effort will help spread the word to firms seeking a new location with a quality of life and amenities that are unmatched within Southern California. 


One of our community’s greatest strengths is our central location, easily accessible to all areas of Southern California. With the addition of JetBlue serving the Long Beach airport, we will also become more accessible to eastern business centers.


Now that we have charted our course with our economic development efforts, we have the resources to focus greater attention on our neighborhoods.  We will do more to enhance neighborhood infrastructure and beauty and will work together to empower residents to improve and build a stronger sense of community.  As one of Long Beach’s greatest strengths, we celebrate the unique characteristics each neighborhood represents, creating the rich tapestry that makes our city great.


For the third year, we have a balanced budget without reverting to reserves or one-time payments. By continuing to maintain an adequate reserve, the City was the first in the nation to achieve a AAA Investment Portfolio credit rating as determined by Standard & Poor’s, supporting our continuing sound financial policies and investment strategies. The City Manager’s budget includes  $8.4 million in budget enhancements that in many cases continue to meet the goals and objectives of our Strategic Plan. These enhancements are committed to helping to make Long Beach one of the premier communities in the nation.




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I support the enhancements proposed, which are mostly self-funded by ongoing or one-time cost savings and/or new revenue sources, and reflect the goals of the Long Beach Strategic Plan 2010.  We are pleased that many of the enhancements initiated by the City Council in prior years have been incorporated into the City Manager’s budget.  Service enhancements focus on the key areas of neighborhoods, business-friendly services, public safety, youth and seniors programming, capital improvement, and library programs. 


Ø      The following are highlighted as priority enhancements:

¨    Neighborhood Infrastructure

We commend the City Manager for continuing for the 4th year the improvement of our neighborhood infrastructure, including curbs, gutters and sidewalks, totaling over $12 million invested in this critical need.


¨       Enhanced Business-Friendly Services

We strongly support the enhancement of services provided to our business community, including:

§         Creation of a new Technology Business Division that will work to enhance efforts initiated last year by the Mayor’s Technology Advisory Group to attract and retain new and emerging technology businesses to the City. 

§         A Business Help Desk will establish an Ombudsman to streamline services to the business community. 

§         Building Inspectors and Fire Prevention Plan Checker added, accelerating the processing of permits.


¨      Youth & Seniors Programming

§         We commend the City Manager for the $439,000 of continuing recreational programs that were started in FY 01.

§         We are pleased to support the dynamic programming provided at the Long Beach Senior Center as well as the services provided for seniors at El Dorado West, Houghton, Silverado, and California Recreation Centers.


¨      Continuing Capital Improvements

§         Major & Secondary Road Improvements

In order for our City to continue its economic growth, our transportation corridors must be continually maintained.  We commend the City Manager for the significant infrastructure work in progress and proposed for next fiscal year, investing over $14 million in this critical work.

§         Alley Study

We are pleased to note that the Alley Study will be completed in FY 02 for consideration by the City Council.

¨      Public Safety Enhancements

We strongly support maintaining the outstanding service levels provided by our Police and Fire Departments, and support the purchase of safety equipment as part of a comprehensive equipment maintenance plan, while enhancing safety, efficiency and service.


¨      Library Book & Materials Budget

We commend our Library Services for the outstanding partnerships created with the private sector to support and enhance services provided, all while enduring the significant budget cuts of the last decade.  We are pleased that the Library book and material budget, and library hours will increase, as called for in the Library Multi-Year Plan. 




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Ø      We commend the City Manager for continuing programs identified as priorities by the community, including over $439,000 of ongoing recreational programs initiated as enhancements by the Mayor and City Council (see Attachment A).  We are pleased that the following enhancements requested by the Mayor in last year’s budget are continuing:


¨      Pocket Parks -- The proposed increased funding will enhance start-up funds initiated last fiscal year.  This increased funding provides for the development of three to four mini-parks throughout the city, replacing blighted, vacant lots with safe, green environments for children and families. 


¨      Teen Volunteer/Youth Mentor Program. -- The Teen Volunteer/Youth Mentor Program places youth in volunteer positions throughout the City.


¨      After-School Youth Programming -- Continues resources for additional programming during the critical after-school hours of 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.


¨      OlympiKids for Fitness – Youth fitness is a critical concern in our country.  OlympiKids for Fitness brings a wonderful fitness program to 4th graders in five Long Beach schools (Bret Harte, Burnett, Lincoln, Kettering & Naples).


¨      Youth & Child Resource Information – Continued funding will enhance availability of information on youth programs, including a youth-oriented website, after-school directory and other youth programs.



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Ø      We support the 22 proposed fee increases.  They are either as a result of State mandates, or are consistent with industry standards, or allow for expanded services to meet the needs of the community, or help to make the programs they support self-sufficient.



Any discussion of the coming year from a budget perspective must be couched by the realities of the energy crisis affecting all of California.  2001 was a difficult year with horrific price spikes in natural gas rates and power shortages. The City Council and City staff has worked together to address these problems and create equitable solutions for our residents and businesses. 

¨      The utility users tax on gas, electricity, water and telephones was cut from 9% to 8% effective April 1, 2001 instead of October 1, 2001.

¨      A rebate equal to 4.5% of the cost of each customer’s gas usage for the period

December 1, 2000 through March 31, 2001 was approved.

¨      We increased the gas discount for low-income seniors and disabled persons and extended the discount to September 30, 2001.

¨      In February we implemented the Level Pay Plan.

¨      The income threshold for disabled and senior citizens seeking a discounted gas, sewer, water and refuse bill, along with an exemption from payment of the utility users tax, was increased in February and again in June. It is now $21,250 for one and two-person households and $25,000 for three or more person households.

¨      We approved an increase to the refund in lieu of the utility users tax exemption for eligible, low-income seniors and/or low-income disabled renters.


Conservation must be a key element, of course, in any plan to lower energy costs, but there is more that we can do to ease the burden for all our rate-payers - especially the most vulnerable.

We are pleased to support the City Manager’s proposed additional reduction of the UUT on natural gas to 7% effective July 1, 2001, 6% effective October 1, 2001 and 5% effective

April 1, 2002. 




Ø      $1,000,000 of unallocated General Fund resources is available.   These funds can be apportioned considering these options:


¨      Recommended budget enhancements by Council or City Departments;

¨      The CIP be augmented for infrastructure repair;

¨      The additional funds placed in reserves for future needs;

¨      Maintain the General Fund unallocated resource of $1,000,000 as a reserve to implement recommendations from the Strategic Plan.



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As a result of the comprehensive budget process undertaken for the last two years, many of the budget enhancements recommended in the past have been included in the City Manager’s budget.  The following budget enhancements are recommended in addition to the City Manager’s Proposed Budget and could be funded from unallocated resources.  The continuing and additional enhancements focus on the implementation of the Strategic Plan, the arts and technology.


Ø      Strategic Plan Implementation                                                                                                

Long Beach Strategic Plan 2010 provides a “living roadmap” defining our vision for the future of Long Beach and how to get there.  Two organizational elements are critical in order for this plan to move forward – an Implementation Organization and a Sustainable Development Board.  The concept for both organizations was approved by the Council when the Strategic Plan was adopted June 2000.  The following identifies our recommendations to move forward with the next step in implementing these goals.


¨       Implementation Organization                                                        no fiscal impact at this time

The Strategic Plan recommends that a Collaborative Implementation Organization is critical to implement this visionary plan.   We have taken the first step in creating this Implementation Organization through the over 50-member Stakeholder Group established by National Civic League (NCL) project.  We look forward to supporting the Implementation Organization as it evolves from the NCL project.


¨      Sustainable Development Board, Planning & Building                                            $87,000

Creating a “Sustainable City” is the overarching objective of the Strategic Plan.   As a first step in achieving this long-term objective, we recommend that the Planning and Building budget be augmented to increase staff to evaluate sustainability policy, to provide technical assistance relating to environmental policy, and to further evaluate the creation of a Sustainable Development Board.  (See attachment B)


Ø      Public Corporation for the Arts, City Manager                                                              $60,000

Through the leadership of The Public Corporation for the Arts, we are the only city in America with a stand-alone Smithsonian Program Affiliation.   For the second year, last spring’s outstanding “Smithsonian Week” activities brought Smithsonian experts to our schools and communities in a variety of educational and cultural programs.  The recommended augmentation will help maintain this unique 10-year commitment with the Smithsonian for annual arts programming.  (See attachment C)


Ø      Technology Initiative, City Manager                                                                               $30,000  

Recommend maintaining a budget established last year that will be leveraged with private investment to help fund activities that relate to attracting new businesses to Long Beach.  (See attachment D)


TOTAL MAYOR’S RECOMMENDED ENHANCEMENTS                                     $177,000

The above proposed enhancements are subject to discussion by the City Council, and could be funded by the General Fund unallocated resources.




We are pleased that the City Manager has directed over $14 million to the Capital Improvement Budget for infrastructure repair and major street and road improvements.  However, there continues to be close to $1 billion in infrastructure needs.  We continue to support the development of a comprehensive infrastructure strategic plan by the City Manager, including prioritization of projects and funding sources based on council policy direction.



The Public Corporation for the Arts’ commitment to making Long Beach the “best place in the world for connecting families and kids to the arts” exemplifies their leadership in enhancing an environment where arts and culture flourish.   There should be continued efforts to  find additional, dedicated sources of funding for the arts, independent of the City’s General Fund.



Recommend support for our continued commitment to the disabled community to make accessibility corrections to facilities, curb ramps and bus stops.



We heartily support increases to the Library Services budget, particularly any increase in library hours and augmentations to the book and material budget, in accordance with the Library Multi-Year Plan.  Computer literacy programs have been established for all ages at 7 library locations and a Technology Learning Center, funded by the Gates Foundation, opened at the Main Library.  In 2001 the Library Foundation completed the funding through private donations for the Family Learning Centers at all 12 locations, providing special services to youth and their families.  


We recognize that our Library Services budget has been cut for many years, and we commend the City Manager, the Library Foundation, and the private sector for their commitment to support funding for this critical resource for our community.



We commend the City Manager for continuing the Human Dignity Program, which is working collaboratively with the community to promote cultural awareness and administer a hate response team to aid victims and their communities. 



We are highly supportive of the City’s application to gain designation as an Empowerment Zone Community in the Round III competition.  While not affording direct financial resources to communities, this designation will offer a broad array of tax incentives that will enable the city to leverage resources in our central city area.





As the busiest container port in North America and one of the key drivers of our local and regional economy, the Port of Long Beach must continue to invest in capital improvements to stay ahead of competition.   Understanding the need for this continuing infrastructure development, we thank the Board of Harbor Commissioners for their continuing support of the agreement that transfers 10% of their net operating profit to help fund the Tidelands CIP.



The immediate and long term needs of our beaches and waterways continue, including the capital projects that have been deferred for many years.  The Harbor Department provides  continued assistance in funding this important community asset through the 10% transfer.  In addition, we thank the Board of Water Commissioners for their offer of water service at no charge to City Tidelands accounts, as well as offering to study the feasibility of administering the Clean Water Act.



The Gas Fund (Long Beach Energy) has supported the General fund with an annual transfer of funds.  This transfer is in lieu of the amounts the City would receive in property taxes, franchise fees and other fees and taxes if the utility were privately owned.  We commend the Gas & Electric Department for their support of the General Fund with a transfer of $12 million for FY 2001-2002.



We look forward to the groundbreaking of the Emergency Operations Center in October 2001.



We recommend that the City and LBUSD continue ongoing dialogue and develop opportunities for City – School District collaborations that leverage existing resources.



We are proud to have our interests so ably represented in Sacramento by Long Beach’s delegation of legislators:  Senator Betty Karnette and Assemblymembers Havice, Lowenthal and Oropeza.  Their effective leadership has garnered Long Beach funding for many critical programs for this next fiscal year, including funding for parks and park acquisition, the LA River Project and the multi-cultural health center.  We look forward to continuing to work with Governor Davis and our legislators to represent the best interests of our community.


The Governor has signed into law AB 27XX (Lowenthal), which allows the State Lands Commission to negotiate with the City of Long Beach on natural gas produced from the tidelands. This bill will not only help Long Beach, but also the entire state, and allow us to be a part of the solution in addressing the energy crisis.



As we continue our partnership as the only city in America with a stand-alone Smithsonian Program Affiliation, we look forward to enhancing our relationship with this outstanding institution through further use of collection-based programs and special exhibits.



The condition and congestion of the Long Beach 710 freeway continues to be a major concern, with the absence of solutions in the near future resulting in far-reaching negative consequences for our local and regional economies.  We support all efforts to review these critical issues and urge an expedited implementation of solutions. 




Economically our city has made remarkable gains since the 1990s. Businesses are discovering the benefits of our strategic location and affordable office rents. The dearth of retail opportunities that existed in our city for parts of the last two decades has been replaced by more than two million square feet of new footage since 1995. Retail sales are expected to exceed $2.4 billion for the first time in the city’s history. This represents a 65% increase since 1995. As more of the downtown developments become reality over the next few years, this revenue stream will continue to grow. 


The recently completed census 2000 established our population at 461,522, maintaining our position as California’s fifth largest community and the 33rd largest in the nation. Long Beach was recently ranked the second safest city in the country of like-sized cities.  We also learned that among the nation’s 65 largest communities, we are the most diverse.  This diversity focuses attention on the need to revitalize our neighborhoods and makes even more important our impetus to gain designation as an Empowerment Zone Community.  The Round III competition, currently under way, offers a broad array of tax incentives that will enable the city to leverage resources in the central city.  We must doggedly pursue all available resources if we are to properly address neighborhood issues.


We must continue all of our efforts, started in the 1990s, to make our city everything our citizens expect.  We must continue to show boundless energy and enthusiasm to pursue our shared vision for the future. Only then will Long Beach attain its destiny as a great community.




It is respectfully requested the City Council:

Approve the 2001-2002 Resource Allocation Plan, with proposed amendments.










Attachment A


Fiscal Year 2002

Mayor and City Council Enhancements and Continuing Discretionary Programs




After-School Recreation

Funding for after-school programs at four City parks.


Art Lessons at Miracle on 4th Street Park

Art classes for youth at Miracle on 4th Street Park.


Arts Enrichment at California Recreation Center

Art, music and dance instruction at California Recreation Center for youth.


Arts Enrichment at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park

Art, music and dance instruction at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park for youth


College Estates Park Youth Sports

Support increased staffing for free youth sports programs at College Estates Park.


Coolidge Park Youth Sports

Increased staffing for free youth sports programs at Coolidge Park.


DeForest Park Youth Sports

Increased staffing for free youth sports programs at DeForest Park.


DeForest Park, Snow Hill Day

Snow Hill Day at DeForest Park.


Drake Park Youth Sports

Coaching and equipment for increased demand for youth sports programs at Drake Park.


Folklorico Instruction

Folklorico dance instruction for area residents.


Houghton Park Senior Tours

Transportation for 24 Houghton Park Senior field trips.


Houghton Park Youth Sports

Increased staffing for free youth sports programs at Houghton Park.


Jefferson Middle School Program

Staff, supplies and technologies for an after-school program at Jefferson Middle School.


Lawn Bowling Facility at Recreation Park

Ongoing maintenance of facility.


Lawn Bowling Recreation Program

Senior lawn bowling program at Recreation Park.


Midnight Basketball

Midnight Basketball for youth and young adults at California Recreation Center.



OlympiKids for Fitness programming at five elementary schools.


Public Use Computers

Public use computers for youth and teen programs.


Ramona Park Youth Sports

Increased staffing for free youth sports programs at Ramona Park.


Senior Transportation

Shuttle bus program for seniors from park-based senior centers to various locations.


Teen Volunteer/Youth Mentor Program

Staff and supplies for Teen Volunteer/Youth Mentor Program.


Veterans Park Middle School Teen Program

Supervised recreation, sports and homework assistance at Veterans Park for teens.


Whaley Park Youth Sports

Increased staffing for free youth sports programs at Whaley Park.


Youth Services Coordination

Maintain a youth-oriented Website, after-school directory, and other youth programs.





Attachment B


Sustainable Development Board

Creating a “Sustainable City” is the overarching objective of the Strategic Plan.   As a first step in achieving this long-term objective, we recommend that the Planning and Building budget be augmented to retain staff to evaluate sustainability policy, to provide technical assistance relating to environmental policy, and to further evaluate the creation of a Sustainable Development Board.


Total Budget Enhancement: $87,000                            Planning & Building

Strategic Plan Goal(s):

Environment, Goal 1.1 Coordinate all City departments with relevant activities under the umbrella of a Sustainable City Program.

Environment, Goal 1.2 Create a Sustainable Development Board with adequate funding to help develop and evaluate the Sustainable City Program and a management position to serve as staff to the Board.

Environment, Goal 1.3 Establish baseline data and sustainability benchmarks to measure future progress using a multi-disciplinary team comprised of City departments, the City Manager, Sustainable Development Board and its staff, community members, and other interested groups.

Environment, Goal 1.4 Utilize full-cost accounting (life cycle analysis) to inform all policy considerations and decision-making.

Environment, Goal 1.5 Evaluate City purchasing policies to ensure environmental responsibility and help support markets for renewable materials.

Environment, Goal 1.6  Utilize financial incentives to motivate participation in sustainability initiatives.

Environment, Goal 1.7  Encourage public environmental education, awareness and involvement in areas such as air and water quality, the deleterious impacts of automobile reliance, and the unintended consequences of unchecked population growth.

Environment, Goal 1.8  Develop Green Building Development Guidelines to optimize the aesthetic and environmental compatibility of new projects.




Attachment C




Public Corporation for the Arts – Smithsonian Week


The Public Corporation for the Arts is the non-profit Art Council for the City of Long Beach region committed to making Long Beach the “best place in the world for connecting families and kids to the arts.”


In 1997, the PCA entered into a 10-year agreement with the Smithsonian on behalf of the City of Long Beach, making it the only city in America with a stand-alone Smithsonian Program Affiliation.


“Smithsonian In-School Museums” were created by nine Long Beach elementary schools: Buffum, Burnett, Henry, Kettering, Longfellow, Powell, Prisk, Roosevelt and St Lucy and “Smithsonian Scholars in the Schools” visited and will continue to visit hundreds of students in 27 middle and high schools; and


Smithsonian Week in Long Beach will continue to provide citizens the opportunity to meet Smithsonian experts and all of these activities only further serve to demonstrate the arrival of Long Beach as a 21st Century City of arts and culture;

Total Budget Enhancement: $60,000                            City Manager



Strategic Plan Goal(s):

Neighborhoods, Goal 3: Create neighborhoods where arts and cultural programs flourish, services are accessible and all people, including seniors and people with disabilities have tools to improve the quality of their lives.

Business Growth and Workforce Development, Goal 1: Retain, expand and attract business by encouraging development centered on the City’s strengths.



Attachment D


Technology Initiative


The growth of the Long Beach technology business sector in the near future continues to burn as brightly as any business sector within the city and brighter than most. The recently published leaders edition of Tech Coast Magazine positioned Long Beach at the epic center of what the magazine characterizes as the most dynamic, powerful and forward-looking high-technology region on earth.  If Long Beach is to take advantage of that description and enjoy the fruits of technology efforts that are occurring throughout the city, we must continue funding the Technology Initiative that began last year. Both the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and Strategic Marketing, Inc. have initiated technology efforts during 2001 that will contribute to the Technology Symposium scheduled for this October.



·        Update of the Technology Directory, listing those technology firms located in Long Beach.

·         Staff time

·        Research to identify those companies that are seeking additional space or a new location.

·        Assist in the creation of a Technology Symposium to be held in October 2001 that would bring together the City’s technology community and help establish a roadmap for future business sector growth.


Total Budget Enhancement: $30,000                            City Manager

Strategic Plan Goal(s):

Business Growth and Workforce Development, Goal 1: Retain, expand and attract business by encouraging development centered on the City’s strengths.

Network Technology and Neighborhood Development, Goal 1.1: Create a network of neighborhood communication facilities to provide communication between the City and its citizens, between service providers and service recipients, among neighborhood and business associations, between associations and their members, and between all participants and larger networks (e.g., Internet).