|Publisher's note: If the Long Beach Police Officers Association (collective bargaining unit representing LB's police officers) were only involved in wage and benefit issues for its members, LBREPORT.com wouldn't be reporting this story. But that's not the case. The LBPOA has a first amendment right to participate in City of LB elections and it does so. And LBREPORT.com has a first amendment right to report its contributions to those it seeks to install and maintain in City Hall offices where they cast votes on matters impacting LB taxpayers and neighborhoods and we do so below.
(Sept. 12, 2019, 4:40 p.m.) -- LBREPORT.com lists contributions to the re-election campaign accounts and to the "officeholder accounts" of LB's Mayor and Council incumbents by the Long Beach Police Officers Association Political Action Committee (PAC) Those decisions are ultimately made by LBPOA PAC's leadership (not necessarily a voted action of LBPOA's rank and file members.)
The public record data show that Mayor Garcia and eight of nine Council incumbents (all except Pearce) received such sums. Two incumbents (Mungo and Uranga) also benefited from sums independently spent to support their 2018 re-election by LBPOA's independent expenditure committee.
LBPOA's PAC contributed the following sums related to LB city offices:
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Records also show:
The Council incumbents who received LBPOA's contributions will publicly vote on Sept. 17, 2019 on a new three year contract for LBPOA's members. We presume they already authorized management to offer the main contractual terms to LBPOA in sessions closed to the public and the press. These terms (now revealed because the matter is agendized for a public vote) include $17.8 million in wage increases/benefits over three years that will come from LB's General Fund that receives roughly $60 million more each year under the Measure A sales tax for which LBPOA was a major campaign contributor.
In December 2016 (roughly six months after LB voters approved the initial "temporary" Measure A), City Hall negotiators announced tentative agreement with LBPOA, and in Jan. 2017 the Council voted to approve, a new (now expiring) LBPOA contract with a then-estimated three year General Fund cost of $14.3 million.
The LB Police Officers Association was the largest single contributor ($225,000 as of June 30, 2016) to the campaign (run by Mayor Garcia) advocating the Measure A sales tax increase. LB voters approved the measure roughly 60% to 40% after the Council voted to display on voters' ballots the following text, drafted by the City Attorney's office: "[all caps in original] "CITY OF LONG BEACH PUBLIC SAFETY, INFRASTRUCTURE REPAIR AND NEIGHBORHOOD SERVICES MEASURE. To maintain 911 emergency response services; increase police, firefighter/paramedic staffing; repair potholes/streets; improve water supplies; and maintain general services..."
Section IX - Public Records Requests
If approved by the Council, those terms would be interpreted and applied in consultation with the City Attorney's office.
An incident involving the discharge of a firearm at a person by a peace officer or custodial officer.
SB 1421 allows the City to withhold records indicating...
...personal data and information to preserve the anonymity of complainants and witnesses, or to protect confidential medical, financial, or other information in which disclosure would cause an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy that clearly outweighs the strong public interest in records about misconduct by peace officers or where there is a specific, particularized reason to believe that disclosure would pose a significant danger to the physical safety of the peace officer, and also authorizes redaction (deletion) where, on the facts of the particular case, the public interest served by nondisclosure clearly outweighs the public interest served by disclosure, and allows delay in disclosure for records relating to an open investigation or court proceeding, subject to certain limitations.
The Council incumbents who received contributions from LBPOA will ultimately decide whether to release the requested records as Public Records or instruct the City Attorney to resist disclosing the requested records.
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