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    Park Supporter Cites NLB Support For Scherer Police Facility To Urge Building It With NLB Redevelopment Money

    (January 22, 2003) -- Veteran civic activist and frequent Council communicator Colette Marie McLaughlin has told the LB City Council that she favors using NLB Redevelopment money -- not citywide general fund or bond revenues -- to pay for construction of the North division police facility in Scherer Park.

    (For related background and our perspective, see W.C. Fields Financing ("Never Give A Sucker an Even Break"): City Hall Asks NLB To OK Diverting Blight-Reducing Redevelopment Money To Build North Div. Police Stn..)

    Speaking during a public comment period for non-agendized items at the Council's January 21 meeting, Ms. McLaughlin -- who favored alternative sites for a new police facility in order to preserve roughly two acres of Scherer Park that will now be consumed -- delivered remarks combining ridicule and sarcasm. We provide the salient portions of her extemporaneous comments below:

    Regarding the Scherer Park police fortress that we're paying for with our public dollars, I was quite devastated...when I saw what the city has done [cutting down the Scherer Park trees]...

    I would like very much as a resident of Long Beach who's going to be paying [for] this probably, I would like it if that very expensive police station that has a lot of [amenities] that I think the good police would be offended to have, such as gyms when we're not serving our community, I would like the P.O.A., the Police Officers Ass'n, to pay for [the amenities]...They should also pay for all the trees that were destroyed because they've supported that...

    The second part of it is you're going to be paying for replacement park [land on 55th Way]...I would like very much the North Long Beach PAC [Redevelopment Project Area Committee] to pay for all of these expenses out of their funds because I was attending meetings where they were supportive of this project.

    I'm in another part of the city. I do not want my kids' money used for recreation or [funds for] kids in West Long Beach used for recreation to be [paying] for foolishness from the North Long Beach PAC, in my opinion a waste of resources...

    I would like very much that you have the North Long Beach PAC divert their money, because they wanted it and not the rest of the city, that they pay for this out of their money...

    The Council did not react publicly to Ms. McLaughlin's statement.

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