Long Beach City Spending Problem

By: 
Diana Lejins

The Long Beach city government does not have a revenue problem; it has a spending problem!

City officials claim we're broke, but their corrupt spending habits are just as irresponsible as ever.

Our "Chicago by the Sea" mayor and City Council are continuously asking for more money and playing the police, fire, parks, libraries, schools, seniors, homeless, etcetera card. "If you don't give us what we want, then you'll lose all your core services." It's tantamount to extortion.

There's little discussion about reducing spending and waste, layoffs, etc. The following are just a few examples of their egregious spending/mismanagement.

  • $9million+ useless homeless center boondoggle, necessitating mobile homes in parking lot
  • $9million+ beach snack shack
  • $7million+ LB Transit remodel of new administration building
  • $Unnecessary City Hall rebuild and land giveaway. Forever lease back $$
  • $1million+ media wall (giant TV) at City Hall with $250K+ per year maintenance
  • $750,000+ new furniture
  • $Mayor 14 staff members
  • $175K public info/relations position
  • $100,000, 200,000 300,000+ salaries, perks far and above private sector employees.
  • $Inflated POA (police) contracts
  • $Police/fire overtime and disability scams
  • $31million+ police misconduct lawsuit payouts – not including staff time, expenses, medical bills, attorney fees, etc.
  • $millions in pending lawsuits
  • $1billion+ unfunded pensions not addressed
  • $85million+ Belmont Shore pool
  • $1.5million+ artificial turf + $3 million maintenance w/no financial benefits analysis
  • $Dangerous traffic-impeding road diets, bollards, bike lanes, roundabouts, plus maintenance causing multiple small businesses failures
  • $Rainbow crosswalks + maintenance
  • $Killing nesting birds/illegal tree trimming
  • $Costly junkets to other states and countries
  • $Increasing the number of public employees (currently over 6,000), pensions, benefits and prerequisites despite a reduced population since 2002 and a diminished quality of services.
  • $Funding a Cinco de Mayo party with Measure A $ (money that was targeted for infrastructure)
  • $Hiring outside attorneys and consultants who donate to their political campaigns and office-holder accounts.
  • $Creating new and expanding rubber-stamping committees and commissions designed to buffer the mayor and council from responsibility for their self-serving, irresponsible decisions.
  • $Paying historically volunteer commission positions.
  • $Tripling office-holder accounts that are funded by developers and others who benefit from their decisions and can be used to "buy" other candidates thus creating a corrupt monopoly.
  • $Using taxpayer money for illegal immigrant’s defense legal fund even for crimes like murder while we would have to pay for our own attorney.
  • $Illegally using taxpayer dollars to campaign for self-serving ballot proposals like the alphabet measures AAA, BBB, CCC and DDD that hamstring the auditor's office, grow their number of terms, and create a faux ethics commission and a "stacked" redistricting commission.
  • $Using City resources to send inflammatory and misleading "information" to voters during election cycles to induce their votes for ever-increasing tax measures.
  • $20 Million of $40 million CARES act funding went to city staff for their outrageous salaries instead of to the people.
  • $And, as if that weren't enough, they are now contemplating a universal basic income (UBI) measure giving away millions of dollars with no return.

Additional irresponsible actions/inaction by officials:

  • Queen Mary – No policy is in place to check financial standing or experience of a contractor prior to contract placement. Urban Commons now owes the city hundreds of thousands with a bankruptcy pending.
  • Contracting the building of the Desmond Bridge for $800 million and is now estimated at $1.5 billion.
  • Forcing business owners to subsidize and give away free services and interfering with private contractual obligations. (Unconstitutional confiscation of private property for public use without just compensation.)
  • Shutting down and allowing ill-equipped fire stations
  • Shutting down police stations for public use
  • Reducing our police K-9 corps
  • Standing by and watching rioters, looters, arsonists destroy businesses and city property, costing taxpayers $1 million in overtime pay.
  • Proposing to reduce library hours
  • Creating 30%+ unemployment in LB
  • Failing to create contingency reserves for emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Stonewalling legitimate press representatives, inviting additional lawsuits.

*Long Beach enjoys the luxury of numerous sources of revenue that other cities do not have: Airport $, Harbor $, Tideland funds, Uplands Oil, parking fees and fines, gas, water, and much more. Ever-increasing property taxes add hugely to the mix. The total projected revenue for 2021 is $2,467,657,364. Yet, it's never "enough."

According to the city's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), revenues have risen by 55% since 2012. Yet, the city consistently claims it doesn't have enough money. There will never be enough for these greedy politicians. So, quit voting for them and their favored "endorsed" candidates or just keep paying and paying and paying!

Diana Lejins is a citizen activist for taxpayer rights.

 

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Comments

Bravo, Diane!

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