Support the LB businesses you see here:

Carter Wood Floor pic
Carter Wood Floors, a LB company, will restore your wood floor or install a new one. Special offer for readers, click photo.

Lovelace pic
Who is this guy, Bill Lovelace? Click on picture to find out.

NetKontent Digital Video Cutting Edge Services For The Internet, Broadcast and Multimedia. Click For Info

White House pic
This house is well insured. Are you? Want presidential treatment on auto, home, business, health, boat, motorcycle insurance? Call Pollman's Insurance: 23 yrs. in business, 4th generation LB family. Info, click photo

Nino's Ristorante: A delicious treasure in Bixby Knolls. Click here if you're hungry or for catering!
3853 Atlantic Ave.

The Enterlines
Bill & Karen Enterline are ELB realty experts. Click here for info on area property values.

Your E-Mail
Click here

  • Neighborhood Groups/Meetings
  • How To Recall a LB Elected Official
  • Crime Data
  • City Council Agendas
  • Port of LB Agendas
  • E-Mail Your Councilmember
  • Council District Map
  • LB Parks, Rec & Marine
  • LB Schools
  • Sacramento
  • Washington
  • References & Archives
  • Lost, Found & Adoptable Pets


    Follow-Up To Jan '03 Report On Council Office Spending:

  • Councilwoman Richardson Says Her Office's #2 Expense Rank FY 01-02 (Colonna Is Costliest) Results From Communicating To Nation's Most Diverse District In Most Diverse City, Plus Preparing District Strategic Plan

  • Notes She Cut Her FY 02-03 Office Expenses Per Mayor's Request To All Councilmembers

  • Says She Asked For Vehicle Within Range Of Other Council Offices

  • Says She Receives Form From City & Keeps Track Of Mileage When Vehicle Not Used On City Business And Believes Same Form Is Also Used By Other Councilmembers When Applicable

    (March 30, 2003) -- is pleased to follow-up on an article we first posted on January 12, 2003.

    Our news in depth piece listed comparative spending for LB City Council offices (and the Mayor) for FY 01-02 (Oct. 1/01-Sept. 30/02). We included both overall Council office spending and vehicle expenses.

    Our report used documents obtained by local activist Traci Wilson-Kleekamp under the CA Public Records Act. It noted that 6th district Councilwoman Laura Richardson's vehicle expenses for the period ($15,790 in FY 01-02) were the highest among her Council colleagues.

    We wondered what type of city fleet vehicle she was on February 25 we dropped by the off-site NLB Council meeting (Jordan High has an open parking lot) to get some pictures of the car.

    Richardson vehicle 1It's a Ford Expedition SUV, apparently purchased used.

    Richardson vehicle 1We've added this information to our chart of comparative Council office expenses (initially posted Jan. 12)...and we repost the chart for quick reference below.

    And we also post below comments by Councilwoman Richardson who returned our call and spoke with us by phone last month.

    As previously reported, Councilmembers take either a flat auto allowance ($450 per month, amounts to $5,400 per year) for costs of driving on city business (or can seek reimbursement at .31/mile)...or drive a city-owned car from the city's taxpayer purchased and maintained fleet.

    Four Councilmembers and the Mayor take the car:

  • 1st district Councilwoman Bonnie Lowenthal: 2000 Chrysler 300 M (purchased used her office reminds us)
  • 2d district Councilman Dan Baker: Saturn L 300 (staff estimates year as 01 or 02)
  • 6th district Councilwoman Laura Richardson: Ford Expedition SUV (used)
  • 8th district Councilman Rob Webb: 2001 Chrysler Sebring.
  • Mayor O'Neill: Toyota Avalon (staff estimates 1997-98)

    4th district Councilman Dennis Carroll didn't take a car or an auto allowance. (An office staffer receives a mileage reimbursement.)

    Stories claiming the Mayor and/or Councilmembers drive city provided Lincoln Town Cars are urban mythology.

    Mayoral and Council office staff don't get cars but may be reimbursed via a monthly auto allowance or mileage reimbursement...although Council staffers in the 5th and 9th district offices don't take an auto allowance or a mileage reimbursement.

  • Council & Mayor Office Spending, Oct 1, 2001-Sept. 30, 2002

    Prior yr. bracketed;
    Percentage change indicated
    Prior yr. bracketed;
    Percentage change indicated




    Auto allowance: budgeted $8,400, expended $8,400




    Consulting services: budgeted $56,351, expended 0
    Car: Ford Expedition SUV (purchased used) budgeted, $5,992, expended $15,790




    Car: Saturn L 300 (01 or 02, staff uncertain)
    Fleet services: budgeted, $8,468, expended $9,348




    Auto allowance: budgeted $5,400, expended $5,280




    Consulting services: budgeted $10,000, expended 0
    Special status consulting: budgeted $6,000, expended 0
    Councilman does not take car or auto allowance; staffer receives mileage reimbursement, budgeted $500, expended $1,190




    Auto allowance: budgeted $5,400, expended $5,175




    Car: 2001 Chrysler Sebring
    Fleet services: budgeted 0, expended $7,932




    Car: 2000 Chrysler 300M, purchased used
    Fleet services: budgeted $8,000, expended: $7,780




    Auto allowance: budgeted $5,400, expended $6,385 [caveat: data span current and former incumbent]




    Car: Toyota Avalon (1997-98, staff estimate)
    Fleet services: budgeted $8,415, expended $8,468
    Total Legislative Dept.
    (Council + Mayor)





    Additional Information From Councilwoman Richardson

    On February 28, Councilwoman Richardson indicated to us that she requested a city vehicle within the range of what she was told other Councilmembers' vehicle expenses were. The city fleet Ford Expedition she drives wasn't a new car but an older vehicle with roughly 30,000-40,000 miles on it.

    The Councilwoman indicated at that time that she hadn't reviewed documents showing the detailed line item or comparative expenses for other Council offices, but believes the difference in her vehicle expenses might stem in part from a fender bender in which she was involved (hit a parked car while backing up).

    Councilwoman Richardson indicated she receives a form from City Hall on which she keeps track of mileage when the vehicle is not used on city business and submits this form periodically. She indicated she believes other Councilmembers use the same form and submit it when applicable.

    Councilwoman Richardson indicated she's had to shuttle between separate events ranging from early morning breakfasts to evening awards dinners and other events throughout LB and other neighboring cities.

    Concerning her other Council office expenses (second only to Vice Mayor Frank Colonna in just concluded FY 01-02), Councilwoman Richardson said office expenses result from several factors:

    She noted the 6th district is the most diverse district in the most diverse city in America. She indicated her district is roughly 45% Latino, 28% African American, 26% Cambodian.

    "I believe it's our responsibility, if we are to represent this diverse district properly, to have a Council office staff representative of the community so we can communicate effectively with the community," Councilwoman Richard said, adding "We have an office staff reflective of the community we serve. If someone calls speaking Spanish or Khmai, it's essential that we communicate effectively, respond properly and provide service for their needs."

    She noted that this also includes printing expenses for producing materials in Spanish, Khmai and English.

    Councilwoman Richardson also indicated that her district is preparing a Master Plan, something never before done in her part of the city. She noted the work is done with the assistance of Community Development, including outreach at community meetings and at over a dozen neighborhood celebrations at which city information was disseminated. She indicated that toward the end of the budget year, her office received a budget allocation from Community Development reflecting part of this work.

    The Councilwoman also noted that preparation of a Central Strategic Guide (concerning events in the Central Redevelopment Project Area) is also in progress.

    And Councilwoman Richardson noted that for FY 02-03 (the current budget adopted by the Council in Sept. 02), she reduced her 6th district office budget per the Mayor's request (made to all Council offices).

    Councilwoman Richardon added, "It's important to be prudent and work to trim expenses where we can."

    Return To Front Page

    Copyright © 2003, LLC. All rights reserved.
    Third parties may cite portions as fair use if attributed to "" (print media) or "Long Beach Report dot com" (electronic media).