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Public Safety Committee Members Price-Supernaw-Austin Agendize Mar 5 Mgt Report On Status Of Restoring Fire Engine 17, Which Still Isn't Restored Despite Sept. 2018 Council Vote Directing Mgm't "To Identify New Revenue" To Do So

Their agendizing memo flinches at a few facts 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.
(March 3, 2019, 10:55 a.m.) -- An item has been agendized -- added to the March 5 City Council agenda following a unanimous vote by the Council's Public Safety Committee (Price, Supernaw, Austin) -- to seek a City anagement report to the full Council after LBFD revealed at the Committee's Feb. 26 meeting that Fire Engine 17 still isn't restored for taxpayers at Station 17 (Argonne Ave. NE of the Traffic Circle, with a wide service area stretching from Central LB to ELB.)

The Price-Supernaw-Austin agendizing memo recites that their Council Committee received a Feb. 26 report on the "status" of restoring Engine 17, notes its restoration "remains the Fire Department's number one priority." Their memo diplomatically avoids (some would say flinches) mentioning that a September 2018 City Council FY19 budget vote directed city management "to identify new revenue" to restore Engine 17.

As previously reported by, at the Feb. 26 Public Safety Committee meeting, an LBFD rep told the Committee that it's prepared to restore Engine 17 "as soon as it's structurally funded." ("Structural funding" means a revenue source for ongoing funding year after year.)

Councilman Supernaw, who took office in May 2015 (and faces re-election in 2020 if he chooses to seek it) has prioritized restoring Engine 17, mindful that in January 2014, a multi-unit residence burned across the street from Station 17 ( coverage here) while Station 17 lacked Engine 17 to spray water to douse the flames. (An engine came from further away with the fire roughly doubling in size every minute.) That happened because a previous Council (that included then-Councilman/Vice Mayor Robert Garcia) had "balanced" City Hall's spending budgets by erasing Engine 17 under what then-Mayor Bob Foster labeled "proportional budget reductions."

The March 5 Council agenda item is to "receive and file" an update from the City Manager on the status of the restoration of Fire Engine 17 including funding, staffing, and equipment. [Whether the Council could respond to management's report with some type of voted action(s) (or under the Brown Act might have to separately agendize a future voted action) would likely depend on what action(s) a Councilmember seeks to take and the advice of the City Attorney on the matter.]

[Scroll down for further.]

Despite June 2016 LB voter approval of the Measure A ("blank check") sales tax increase (that Councilman Supernaw joined in putting on the ballot), restoring Engine 17 wasn't included in City Management's proposed FY17 or FY18 budgets or in Mayor Garcia's budget recommendations for either of those years. Instead, applying LBFD's indicated priority for restorations, the Council first restored Engine 8 (Belmont Shore) and Rescue 12 (NLB).



The City Manager's proposed FY19 budget also didn't include restoring Engine 17, but Mayor Garcia's budget recommendations (approved by the Council) asked city management "to identify new revenue" to restore Engine 17. At a July 31, 2018 press event, Mayor Garcia said he was "confident we can make these restorations in 2019" and likened the situation to FY17 [when the Council pressed management to identify funds at mid-budget-year that restored NLB Rescue 12 and added nine police officers beyond eight initially budgeted.] To hear Mayor Garcia's statement last year, see VIDEO clip from coverage below:

Councilman Supernaw was present at the July 31, 2018 FY19 budget press event and at that time told he was pleased by the Mayor's statement. Roughly seven months later with Engine 17 still not restored, Councilman Supernaw was audibly displeased at the Public Safety Committee's Feb. 26 meeting. To hear his comments, click here.




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