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Mgm't/Mayor Proposed FY17 Budget Adds 8 Police Officers (Out of 200 Gone), Restores 1 Belmont Shore Fire Engine (Leaves Los Altos Station 17 Without Engine), Would Fund Mgm't-Map-Specified Infrastructure Projects is reader and advertiser supported. Support independent news in LB similar to the way people support NPR and PBS stations. We're not non-profit so it's not tax deductible but $49.95 (less than an annual dollar a week) helps keep us online.
(August 1, 2016) -- In his first recommended City Hall budget since LB voters approved a sales tax increase whose ballot title/text highlighted police, fire and infrastructure but lets City Hall spend the revenue on any general fund items a Council majority chooses, Mayor Robert Garcia today (Aug. 1) released city management's proposed FY17 budget with his recommendations. provided real-time coverage on our front page ( and via our pages on Facebook and Twitter, with details below.

[Scroll down for further.]

Mayor Garcia at FY17 budget release event held at Fire Station 8 in Belmont Shore, where the Mgm't/Mayor proposed budget would restore Engine 8. will be reviewing the Management/Mayor proposed budget in detail in subsequent reports but notes these salient items:

  • Of roughly 200 police officers (including the 22-member LBPD field anti-gang unit) that City Councils erased since Sept. 2009, the management-Mayor proposed budget would restore 8 officers. These, plus some administrative staff, will restore LBPD's South Division that had been folded into West Division as a cost saving measure.

  • Of 80 firefighters and some LB fire stations no longer housing fire engines since budget votes starting in Sept. 2009, the mgm't/Mayor proposed budget would restore one Engine at Belmont Shore Station 8 with 12 firefighters...but would leave Fire Station 17 in Los Altos without a fire engine capable of putting out fires.

  • Mayor Garcia said all projects indicated on a previously released map shown to the Council and the public are in his recommended budget using Measure A sales tax increase funds. The Mayor emphasized that these projects are in addition to infrastructure spending that was funded prior to Measure A.

  • New city employee contracts being negotiated [includes police officers and firefighters whose PACs were the largest contributors to the Measure A campaign] are NOT INCLUDED in the management/Mayor proposed budget [a common City of LB practice] but will be funded from available funds after negotiations [with Council approval.]

To view the FY17 Management/Mayor proposed budget materials on City Hall's website, click here.

Five Councilmembers can vote to change parts of the budget that management and the Mayor proposed, subject to a Mayoral veto that six Councilmembers can override.



At several points in his remarks, Mayor Garcia referred to the public's voted approval for Measure A, a sales tax increase to 10% (currently 9% in Lakewood/Signal Hill, 8% in most OC cities.) Measure A's ballot title and text shown to voters (by voted Council approval Feb. 23, 2016, 8-0, Austin absent) was [capitals as in original]:

"CITY OF LONG BEACH PUBLIC SAFETY, INFRASTRUCTURE REPAIR AND NEIGHBORHOOD SERVICES MEASURE. To maintain 911 emergency response services; increase police, firefighter/paramedic staffing; repair potholes/streets; improve water supplies; and maintain general services; shall the City of Long Beach establish a one cent (1%) transactions and use (sales) tax for six years, generating approximately $48 million annually, declining to one half cent for four years and then ending, requiring a citizens' advisory committee and independent audits, with all funds remaining in Long Beach?"

A $600,000+ campaign followed by a political committee whose official FPPC filings identify it as an "Officeholder [or Candidate] Controlled Committee" in which the officeholder is Mayor Robert Garcia. The Committee's main contributors were LB's police and firefighter unions; other sizable contributors included corporate and business interests. lists the Committee's contributors at this link.

Among the mail pieces sent by the pro-Measure A Committee was the one below: sought quick reactions from four Councilmembers who attended the budget release event:

  • Councilman Daryl Supernaw [member of Council's Public Safety Committee]: "No comment." Supernaw was among a unanimous Council that didn't invoke the Prop 13/Prop 218 procedure to guarantee specific results for taxpayers and instead put the "blank check" sales tax hike (Measure A) on the ballot favored by Garcia. On July 29, Supernaw wrote in his weekly newsletter that he "will be fighting" to restore Engine 17 in his district. In January 2014, a multi-unit residence burned across the street from Station 17 because Engine 17 had been erased by Council budget votes under Mayor Foster [ coverage here. Our coverage credited material provided by Mr. Supernaw, a 2012 Council candidate elected to the Council in June 2015.]

  • Councilman Austin [member of Council's Public Safety Committee]: "I have a copy of it and I'm look at it and study it accordingly."

  • Councilwoman Price: [we sought her comments as a member (chair) of Council's Public Safety Committee] "I'm very excited that we're hiring more officers, that we're restoring South Division. I think that will relieve pressure on all the other divisions in the City. I'm excited that Engine 8 is coming back. Some of the communities in my district have an over 10 minute response time like Island Village, so hopefully this will release some pressure for them as well."

  • Councilman Uranga: "I think it's a great budget. One of the things that we're looking at in terms of restoring some of the services that we lost. The only detail that I would look at in terms of the "devil's in the details" is that there are still a lot of community programs that were cut over those years: extended hours for libraries, diversion programs and parks and recreation, those types of programs we also have to look at but overall the big picture budget is great, going to take care of a lot of our infrastructure needs, restore this [fire station 8's] fire engine, restore the south [LBPD] division which is great, but again we have to look at community services as well and those we have to look at carefully and how we can restore some of those.



The Council's Public Safety Committee (chair Price, vice chair Supernaw, member Austin) is scheduled to meet on Tuesday Aug. 2 at 2:30 p.m...but not to discuss the public safety aspects of the Management/Mayor proposed budget. The Public Safety Committee's Aug. 2 agendized items include "a report on Citywide efforts to conduct youth outreach and education regarding gang violence" and "an overview of 4th of July (i.e. public intoxication and violence incidents.)"

An hour later at 3:30 p.m. on Tues. Aug. 2, city management will conduct a "Study Session" for the City Council on the Management/Mayor proposed FY 17 budget. plans to provide LIVE VIDEO coverage of both meetings on our front page:



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