HIGHER OIL PRICE, $1M FROM SIDEWALK FUNDS PROPOSED TO STAVE OFF CUTS TO PARKS, NATURE CENTERBy LBReport.com
LONG BEACH — City management responded on Tuesday to public resistance to the city’s proposed budget cuts by offering councilmembers a list of programs that could be restored, averting cuts to Nature Center program, after-school parks/recreation programs, adaptative recreation, senior center and some library services.
However, the offered budget restorations, described at special Council budget session, didn’t offer propose measures to avert proposed cuts in sworn police and fire department budgets, or to bolster LBPD overtime or avert proposed gang unit cuts.
Proposals to fund the budget restorations included assuming a higher budgeted price of oil — raising its projected price from $65 to $70/barrel — and transferring $1 million that had been allocated to sidewalks to programming.
Management also indicated that it had a 5% reduction in the cost of City Hall’s contract with City Light and Power, a proposal Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske advanced a week earlier as part of her proposed budget alternatives. Last week, Schipske advanced an alternative budget package that would avert some cuts to police and fire budgets by using what the Manager/Mayor call one-time revenue. (The FY13 sum is comprised of $10.9 million in oil revenue received above $55/barrel plus assorted ambulance, street sweeping and a SERFF plant sum).
City Management and Mayor Bob Foster have repeatedly opposed using one-time revenue for ongoing expenses. City management’s proposal to address the effects of cuts to Park Rangers (who are sworn and carry weapons) is to hire non-sworn individuals who wouldn’t carry weapons but would patrol parks and wear some type of uniforms. Management also proposed five “Neighborhood Liaisons” to substitute for plans to cut civilian Police Services Specialists.