|(Jan. 8, 2020, 2:15 p.m.) -- The City Clerk's office tells LBREPORT.com that Vice Mayor Andrews notified their office at roughly 11 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 6 to remove his name as co-agendizer of the Richardson debt-bond/property tax increase measure on the Jan. 7 City Council agenda. The revised agenda item appeared online at 4:59 p.m. on Monday May 6.
Andrews had been a co-agendizer of the Richardson agenda item, and by removing his name the day before the vote, he effectively assured its failure at the Council meeting the next night.
At the May 7 Council meeting, Andrews said nothing despite passionate and polarized Council consideration of the measure. >And Mayor Robert Garcia didn't voice his view on the agenda item, pro or con at any point during the more than four hour agenda item.
Andrews is currently seeking re-election with the endorsement of Mayor Garcia. His challengers include Suely Saro, who informed lBREPORT.com prior to the Council meeting that she supported putting the measure on the ballot.
A Council majority, with Andres, voted
Price's substitute motion left open the possibility of a future revised bond or tax ballot measure that doesn't place entire burden on property owners for affordable housing or homeless issues, possibly with a different tax mechanism or seeking a lesser amount. Richardson's proposed measure would have meant a $100 property tax increase per $400,000 of assessor-assessed valuation.
[Scroll down for further.]
Although Mayor Garcia was publicly silent on Jan. 7, 2020, on July 24, 2018 he was quite vocal and candid. Richardson (along with Gonzalez, Austin and Andrews) agendized an item seeking management options for an unspecified "dedicated local revenue source" to enable more "affordable" (subsidized) housing and provide homeless-related services. At that time, Richardson publicly signaled that he would support putting such a measure on the November 2018 ballot if other Councilmembers agreed. They didn't at that time (with four Mayor-sought Charter Amendments already scheduled for a special November 2018 citywide ballot.)
At that time, Mayor Garcia voiced support for more "affordable" (subsidized) housing and offered what amounted to a political playbook he said Richardson should follow, advising him to get broad based support before advancing such a measure.
He defensively said that he and the Council aren't responsible for increasing LB taxes. "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..." and stated:
"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."...[W]hen you put measures like this in front of a community, you have to bring everybody to the table. You don't pass things without some kind of community conversation that involves all the affected people that are going to be part of this type of campaign that would need to take place."
Garcia said some type of "dedicated local revenue source" is needed for affordable housing after Sacramento dissolved local Redevelopment Agencies statewide [that had allowed LB City Hall to divert property tax revenue to float debt that enabled City Hall-favored developers to buy "blighted" properties for projects in locations and types approved by City Hall.]
Richardson basically followed Garcia's advice, creating his "Lift Up Long Beach" ballot measure committee in earl 2019, which collected over $200,000 in the first half of 2019. In late 2019, Richardson first described its general form (a debt-bond) and in his Jan. 7, 2020 agenda item provided financial details ($100 per year per $400,000 of assssor-assesed valuation.)
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