Bits 'N' Pieces

City Auditor Releases Report

Long Beach City Auditor Laura Doud released the Auditor’s Office 2017 Annual Work Plan and Accomplishments Report. This document highlights the audit work produced in 2016 resulting in positive change for the city, the ways in which the office is informing and communicating with the public, and the planned audits focusing on the community.

In 2016, the office produced reports that reviewed $45 million in city assets in 12 different departments that included 170 recommendations. City departments have taken action as a result of these audits resulting in significant and positive change. This included additional money allocated for parks that previously lacked maintenance funding.

Audits also resulted in council enacting important legislation initiated by the office surrounding a critical construction infrastructure program to ensure the city receives quality service at a fair price. As well, city management agreed assistance was needed for additional training and guidance to help city employees better manage hundreds of millions of dollars in contracted goods and services.

In addition to the audits, the office released its first report on results which highlights the implementation of 71 percent of the office’s recommendations from audit reports produced from 2010 through 2014, resulting in $80 million of annual city revenue being more secure. The office also was awarded its fourth Distinguished Knighton Award for Excellence in Auditing for the Public Safety Dispatch Audit Report.

A top priority last year was to continue communication with the public. Through the office’s website, CityAuditorLauraDoud.com, MyAuditor App, social media channels including Twitter at @LBCityAuditor and Facebook at facebook.com/LongBeachCityAuditor and community events such as Beach Streets, the office shared information about work with hundreds of stakeholders. These digital channels and events allow the public to report fraud tips, provide direct feedback to the office, and stay informed on how the office is working for them.

Heading into 2017, the office will focus on audits that directly affect the activities of everyday life in the community. Upcoming work will include assessing the city’s animal care program and follow-up reports that have a direct impact on the community.

Additionally, the office will implement new technology to effectively identify emerging problems and risk areas. Recognizing the importance of fraud tips, the office will continue to promote the City Auditor’s Fraud Hotline as an accessible avenue to anonymously report suspected fraud, waste or abuse against the city.

The complete Long Beach City Auditor’s Office 2017 Annual Work Plan & Accomplishments Report can be viewed at the City Auditor’s website: CityAuditorLauraDoud.com. Printed copies can be requested by e-mail at auditor@longbeach.gov or by phone (562) 570-6751.

City, Firefighters in Tentative Labor Agreement

The City of Long Beach has reached a tentative agreement with the Long Beach Firefighters Association (FFA) over a successor labor agreement. The FFA represents approximately 380 Firefighters.

The FFA membership is set to vote on the tentative agreement in March. If approved, the agreement would go before the city council for final approval in April.

“We would like to thank the mayor, city council, and city manager for their support,” said Rex Pritchard, FFA president. “The FFA bargaining team worked diligently with City representatives on reaching a mutually beneficial agreement.  We believe this agreement represents fair wage increases for our hard working members.”

Measure A Infrastructure Improvements Underway

The City of Long Beach today celebrated the kick off for Measure A citywide infrastructure improvements. The improvements at the intersection of East Jackson Street and Walnut Avenue includes asphalt, sidewalk, curb and gutter repairs; slurry sealing; and ADA accessibility improvements, which are illustrative of the citywide street improvements funded by Measure A over the next several years.

On June 7, 2016, Long Beach voters approved Measure A, a temporary sales tax increase to fix Long Beach streets, roads and alleys; repair the city’s infrastructure; maintain and add more police officers on our streets; maintain and improve 911 paramedic response times; and maintain and restore firefighters at critical locations. Measure A also created a special Citizens’ Advisory Committee to ensure the funding is allocated toward infrastructure and public safety.

Measure A, approved by nearly 60 percent of Long Beach voters, adds 1 percent to the sales tax for the first six years, and then declines to a half-percent for four years, before ending. Measure A funds will also be used to enhance Public Safety Infrastructure and Community Facilities, such as libraries, parks, and related projects.

In addition, Measure A established a five-member Citizen’s Advisory Committee to review the City’s use of the revenues generated by the tax and to ensure the funds are spent in accordance with the ballot language and the Council’s intent to use the funds for public safety and infrastructure.

The first phase of the Citywide Measure A street improvements will slurry seal 39 street centerline miles across Long Beach, and is expected to be complete during summer 2017. In the coming years, crews will also work on arterial street reconstruction in various locations, sidewalk repair, replacement of select street signage, and the creation of an alley management plan.

“Public Works staff is looking forward to a busy and productive next few years,” said Craig Beck, Director of Public Works. “Thanks to the additional Measure A funding, Public Works will be able to reconstruct and repair many of the streets and sidewalks that need it the most.”

The temporary sales tax is expected to generate approximately $48 million annually for the first six years, and then approximately $24 million annually for the final four years. The first year of Measure A Plan includes an estimated $25.7 million for capital improvement projects.

Public safety restorations funded by Measure A include Fire Engine 8, Paramedic Rescue 12, the Police South Division and the Police Academy.

MemorialCare Health System a Top Place to Work

MemorialCare Health System was named by Becker’s Hospital Review “150 Top Places to Work in Healthcare” for the third consecutive year. The list – based on nominations and editorial review – recognizes organizations committed to fulfilling missions, creating outstanding cultures, promoting tomorrow’s leaders, encouraging professional development, offering competitive benefits and going above and beyond to become top places to work.

In Long Beach and Los Angeles counties, MemorialCare includes Long Beach Memorial, Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach, Community Hospital Long Beach, MemorialCare Medical Group, Seaside Health Plan and several ambulatory surgery, imaging, urgent care and kidney dialysis facilities.

Becker’s Hospital Review noted that “MemorialCare also fosters a supportive work environment, where employees are empowered to eat well, exercise more and quit smoking through a robust wellness program.” Another outstanding program connects employees with chronic conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension or high cholesterol, with a wellness coach and clinical team to help make long-lasting lifestyle choices that will benefit them for years.

With more than 200 care locations throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties, MemorialCare Health System is a nonprofit, integrated delivery system that includes five top hospitals – Long Beach Memorial, Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach, Community Hospital Long Beach, Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley and Saddleback Memorial Medical Center in Laguna Hills; MemorialCare Medical Group; Greater Newport Physicians’ Seaside Health Plan; and numerous ambulatory surgery, imaging, urgent care and kidney dialysis centers. To learn more, visit memorialcare.org. 

LBPD, LBFD Honored

Over 100 guests and community leaders attended Las Damas de La Plaza’s Premios De Servicio Comunidad breakfast on Thursday March 9 at Old Ranch Country Club in Seal Beach to pay tribute to the Long Beach Police Department and Long Beach Fire Department.

Recognition included framed lithographs of the Community Hospital Long Beach Courtyard and $1,000 donations to each department’s charity of choice.

In accepting the recognition LBPD Chief Robert Luna called attention to the nobility of the profession and how the rank and file of his department are the real honorees. Bruce MacRae, president of the Long Beach Police Foundation accepted the donation designated by Chief Luna.

Fire Chief Michael DuRee said that he was humbled to accept the honor on behalf of the great men and women of his department. Tonya Burns, executive director of Children Today accepted the donation designated by Chief DuRee.

The event was co-chaired by Las Damas’ Bev Cook and Jan Young. Special guests included Long Beach CVB President and CEO Steve Goodling, Alan Anderson, chairman of the Community Hospital Long Beach Foundation and longtime police department volunteer Laura Matthews.

Las Damas de La Plaza “The Ladies of the Plaza” –– began their “friend raising” and “fun raising” with 35 members in May 1984. Their name reflects the historic Community Hospital Long Beach (CHLB) courtyard and fountain. Since then, Las Damas de la Plaza have raised over $1 million for CHLB funding facilities, equipment, scholarships, programs, continuing education and more. For more information visit www.CHLBFoundation.org/lasdamas

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