Mgmt/Mayor's Proposed FY22 City Hall Budget:
|(July 16, 2021, 9:50 p.m.) -- On July 16, City Manager Tom Modica and Mayor Robert Garcia unveiled their proposed FY22 City Hall spending budget.
If a City Council majority votes in late August or early September to approve it without changes, Long Beach taxpayers will receive no restored police officers (48 defunded by the Council in FY 21), no restored field anti-gang unit, no restoration of roughly 230 officers, most of whom a prior Council (which included Councilman Garcia) erased in FY 09-14 budgets and LB's current Council hasn't restored despite LB voter approval of the Measure A ("blank check") sales tax increase.
The Management/Mayor proposed budget proposes to spend (not conserve) federal and state funds to continue (not reduce) current spending (including new management and city staff positions added in FY21 and letting Mayor Garcia maintain a (current) nine member staff (answerable to him.) City management acknowledges the result of its spending plan would leave LB taxpayers with a $36 million "shortfall" (spending exceeding revenue) next year at this time.
If LB taxpayers Lejins and Kimball previal overturning in the Measure M utility revenue diversion (which a trial court has declared unconstitutional and the City is currently appealing), management says the "shortall" will be $9 million more,
"In the future, the City will seek a variety of budget balancing options to resolve shortfall, but it is likely that significant service reductions will be needed," a city management PPT slide states. City management states [PPT text] it will "develop a strategy and permanent solution for the projected budget shortfall that will need to be solved for the FY 23 budget."
City management says its proposed FY 22 budget includes 801 sworn officers positions, of which 90.2 positions are "conracted officers" (paid for by the Port, Airport, LB Transit, LA Metro, et al.) The result leaves LB taxpayers with a citywide deployable budgeted level of roughly 711 officers, amounting to roughly 1.5 officers per thousand residents. This is significantly thinner per capita than City Councils in Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Signal Hill provide for their taxpayers. The City Councils in those cities also didn't erase roughly 20% of their police strength (as LB's Council did) to weather the "great recession."
The chart below shows LB's budgeted police level prior to the Council'a FY 21 (Sept. 2020) defunding of 48 officers. The FY 22 proposed budget, like the FY 21 adopted budget, would leave LB with roughly 1.5 officers per thousand residents.
The final decision on police levels for taxpayers isn't made by the Mayor or City Manager. It's decided by a Council majority. If a Council majority doesn't change the Mayor/Manager proposed FY 22 budget, LB's citywide deployable police level will remain roughly what it has been with the FY 21 48 officer defunding, roughly 1.5 officers per thousand residents.
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[City management PPT text] The proposed FY 22 budget is balanced, but with one-time funding; it is not a structural (permanent) balancing and will need to be addressed in FY 23. The ongoing structural shortfall in FY 22 is $27 million with $3 million in additional one-time costs. The shortfall is all being funded by one-time Long Beach Recovery Act funding. This unusual balancing approach, while not in conformance with normal City Council policy, is recommended to be able to maintain services and better allow our residents and businesses to recover from the pandemic...
[City release text]
...Early in 2021, the City developed the Long Beach Recovery Act, funding $249.3 million in major economic, public health and fiscal initiatives for Long Beach residents, business owners and workers critically impacted by the pandemic. The funds provide for programs for local businesses and residents, while also helping maintain City services in FY 21 and FY 22 that otherwise would have been in jeopardy due to budget shortfalls in the pandemic-impacted economy. The Long Beach Recovery Act also provides time during this coming year to develop a strategy and permanent solution for the projected budget shortfall that will need to be solved for the FY 23 budget.
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