Biden Admin Cuts Nearly $18 Mil From LB's Expected Fed'l Recovery Act Sums; City Mgr Told Mayor In Early July But Mayor Remained Mum On It In Releasing Proposed FY 22 Budget; Due To Biden Cut, City Mgm't Proposes Cutting Roughly $4.5 Mil Previously Allocated For Various Types Of LB Small Businesses; Council Will Have Last Word
|(July 22, 2021, 8:05 p.m.) -- When City Manager Tom Modica and Mayor Robert Garcia unveiled their proposed FY 22 budget on July 16 on a live city webcast echoed on City social network pages, they knew but downplayed or verbally fogged that the Biden administration had cut nearly $18 million from $153 million that the City of Long Beach had expected to receive in federal recovery act funds.
They also knew that city management was proposing to reduce by roughly $4.5 million recovery act sums previously indicated by City Hall to aid a number of categories of LB small businesses..
The Biden administration's $18 million cut was included among City Hall proposed FY 22 budget figures -- which weren't provided to reporters for review and potential questions prior to the Mayor/Mgm't news conference.
At the July 16 press event, Mayor Garcia lauded the Biden administration for its revovery act funding without mentioning the nearly $18 million reduction, leaving that to City Mgr. Modica.
City Mgr. Modica presented Power Point slides, one of which (p. 16) said "some reductions in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) have occurred" and said "the reductions of $17.9 million in ARPA funding have been allocated to protect small programs and preserve all programs." To hear how City Mgr. Modica described the reduction at the July 16 press event, click here.
Nearly two weeks earlier on July 3, City Manager Modica had informed Mayor Garcia of the reduction. It's included in the City Manager's budget transmittal letter to the Mayor as Attachment A. It includes this text:
"After the City Council approval of the Long Beach Recovery Act, it was announced that the actual allocated to Long Beach from ARPA was $135.8 million, a reduction of $17.9 million from the earlier estimate. Due to the reduced funding, funding reductions have been applied on a graduated proportionate basis to the various Long Beach Recovery Act categories" but it didn't name specific LB areas that management proposed to reduce in response. Those are visible but not highlighted in a separate budget document (Attachment B).
These documents were made public on July 16.
On July 22, a story bylined to Jason Ruiz at LBPost.com reported the reduction but didn't use the terms Biden administration, City Manager Tom Modica and Mayor Robert Garcia. Instead, it included quotes from Assistant City Manager Linda Tatum.
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As a result of the Biden administration cut, city management proposes to cut roughly $4.5 million from previously allocated recovery aid for LB restaurants, bars and breweries, gyms and the like.
City management could allocate the reductions elsewhere among other proposed City Hall FY 22 spending. A City Council majority will have the last word when it deals with City Hall's proposed FY 22 budget in late August and early Sept. 2021 voted actions.
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