Mayor/Mgm't Recommend FY20 Budget That (Unless Council Majority Modifies It) Won't Restore Any Portion Of 186 Police Officers That LB Taxpayers Had Before Measure A Sales Tax Increase (That Mayor/Council Want Voters To Make Permanent); See Add'l Details
|(July 31, 2019) -- Mayor Robert Garcia has recommended a City Manager proposed FY20 budget that -- if approved without modification by a City Council majority -- won't restore any portion of 186 police officers that the Mayor/Council haven't been restored to date despite LB voter passage (June 2016) of the Measure A sales tax increase.
A City press release states that the FY20 budget "maintains previously funded public safety services" and preserves "121 public safety positions, funded by Measure A, that would have otherwise been reduced." Since FY17, the Council has restored 22 sworn officers deployable citywide out of 208 erased. (208 - 22 = 186. LB taxpayers have 186 fewer citywide deployable officers after Measure A than LB had before Measure A.)
In June 2016, LB voters approved the Measure A sales tax increase that now brings City Hall between $50-$60 million in additional General Fund ("blank check") revenue each year.
The Mayor/Manager proposed FY20 budget would add nine non-sworn positions "for the full implementation of the Body Worn Camera program and to provide the support needed to meet State mandates (SB 1421)." It would also upgrade two positions to fund the "Justice Lab" which "deploys a multidisciplinary approach to respond to individuals with high-frequency contact with the justice system"; proposes to add one-time [non-recurring] Measure A funds for a "jail mental health clinician to minimize recidivism and re-arrest rates" and LBPD's "Neighborhood Safe Streets Initiative" (which uses "community policing strategies to reduce violent crime and property crimes"." And it would use $800,000 in one-time [non-recurring] General Fund sums plus $1.4 million in Measure A one-time [non-recurring] funds to fund Police Academies [to replenish, not restore additional officers.]
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On homelessness and housing, the Mayor/Manager propose to spend $225,000 more to [press release text] "support activities such as rapid response, cleanup and outreach efforts" and $25,000 for a WLB Navigation Center [detailed weeks ago by LBREPORT.com in a report here] The proposed budget would continue already Council-approved policies on inclusionary housing, a SAFE parking program, jobs program, building a 125 bed permanent homeless shelter in NLB and preserving/construction additional affordable/subsidized/low income and homeless housing units. The Mayor/Manager proposed FY20 budget doesn't propose additional police or fire resources to address neighborhood-impacting "quality of life" crimes and freeway/park adjacent fires that LB residents have attributed to parts of LB's homeless population.
The Mayor/Manager press release doesn't explicitly mention "road diets" (that narrow vehicle lane to slow traffic and add bike lanes.) It cites proposed spending of roughly $54.6 million for "mobility improvements" including "street repair and widening, traffic signal system expansion and upgrades, transit improvements, replacement parking and striping, neighborhood traffic management and bike lane improvements."
In addition to these proposals, Mayor Garcia recommends that the Council fund these additional items:
The City Council will now vote in the first half of September to modify or enact as proposed the Mayor/Manager proposed FY20 budget with or without the Mayor's recommendations. The Council action comes as the Mayor/Management/Council seek LB voter approval for a March 2020 ballot measure that would make the 2016 Measure A sales tax permanent. In the same March 2020 election, 4 Council incumbents [Districts 2, 4, 6 and 8] are seeking re-election.
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