Councilmembers Austin & Uranga To Hold VIDEO: See/Hear what Fire Chief Espino said at 8th dist. budget meeting (Aug. 8) re closure of Stn. 9
VIDEO: See/Hear what Fire Chief Espino said at 8th dist. budget meeting (Aug. 8) re closure of Stn. 9
|(August 23, 2019) -- Councilmembers Al Austin and Roberto Uranga have scheduled what they've announced as a "Public Safety Community Town Hall" -- with Police Chief Robert Luna, Fire Chief Xavier Espino, Assistant City Manager Tom Modica and Councilman Rex Richardson also scheduled to attend -- on August 27, 6-8 p.m. at the EXPO Arts Center, 4321 Atlantic Ave.
The scheduled event follows recent revelation that mold has prompted closure of Fire Station 9. Some parts LB (including areas in the 8th district in or near the Bixby Knolls Shopping Center) have experienced a number of shootings and robberies.
In a weekly mass emailing and social network communique, Councilman Austin wrote:
After I provided information last week about the closure of Fire Station 9 on Long Beach Blvd. due to mold contamination and employee safety concerns, there have been a number of questions, and some misinformation shared on social media. There have also been some recent public safety incidents in the community that have received a lot of social media buzz, as well, not always based on the facts.
[Scroll down for further.]
Regarding the upcoming Aug. 27 Public Safety Community Town Hall," Councilman Austin's newsletter stated:
Closure of Fire Station 9 was disclosed (reported first on VIDEO coverage by LBREPORT.com, pertinent portion embedded below) at an August 8 community budget meeting for 8th district residents. Councilman Austin stated in opening the meeting that he'd asked Fire Chief Espino.to discuss matters regarding Station 9. After Chief Espino did so (VIDEO below), no audience members reacted to the news (and none asked about restoring police officers) during Q & A.
A few days later on August 13 during LBFD's City Council budget presentation, Councilman Austin asked Chief Espino to reiterate what he'd said at the 8th district budget meeting as well as the department's long term plans and related FY20 budget actions to deal with the issue. Chief Espino said Engine 9 is now deployed at Station 16 (at LB Airport); Rescue 9 is now in WLB at Station 13 (Adriatic Ave. (south of Willow, east of Santa Fe Ave.) Councilman Austin asked to what extent this impacts response times; Chief Espino acknowledged it has increased response times, but said Station 9's Engine and paramedia units are now patroling the area (not staying in temporary locations) to minimize the impact. Councilman Austin asked the City Manager and staff to rectify the situation quickly, noting that although something can't be done instantaneously he'd like to see a plan in place and noted that response times are important.
Assistant City Manager (now interim City Manager) Tom Modica said Station 9 has had major infratsurcture and safety issues for years, said the City couldn't previously invest in infrastructure issues and said city staff is now investigating alternatives, recognizes Station 9 was a critical facility and is working to devise a plan the staff can bring back to the Council.
On August 20, city management issued a memo containing a timeline and management's current stance on the issue. To view management's August 20 memo, click here.
Revelation that Station 9 is closed, plus a number of recent 8th district shootings and robberies (some in or near the Bixby Knolls Shopping Center) have triggered social network push back. Councilman Austin is seeking a third term in a March 2020 election against two major challengers: Juan Ovalle and Tunua Thrash-Ntuk (the latter raising over $200,000 as of June 30.) Mayor Garcia has endorsed Austin for re-election and recently held a breakfast fundraiser for him. Mr. Ovalle and Ms. Thrash-Ntuk both attended the August 8 budget meeting but didn't comment during the meeting on either Station 9 or police levels although Mr. Ovalle has since done so on social networks.
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