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Beachcomber
5199 E. Pacific Coast Hwy. #608
Post Office Box 15679
Long Beach California, 90815-0679
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Arts & Entertainment

May 21 Council Snippets

From Issue: Volume XXI - Number 12
6/14/2013


By Steve Propes

A proposal to amending the master fee and charges schedule.
Second District Councilwoman Suja Lowenthal stated, “Fees are voluminous, pages-wise anyway, not the fees. I’d like to discuss the animal care. It’s a much friendlier image we have for residents. License fees are very reasonable. If you’re late in renewing your animal license, it’s at 150 percent. We can’t really imagine physical labor other than shuffling papers, how is that 150 percent of the actual fee for the product?”

Director of Parks, Recreation and Marine George Chapjian answered, “We do spend $127,000 following up on the late fees and bring in $101,000 on that. We spend more than we bring in, in terms of the actual cost of following up on those cases. We have about 42,000 licenses. Eight percent who don’t pay on time, that’s about 3,500 cases we have to follow up on.”

The measure carried 8-0, DeLong absent.

In public comment, Melinda Cotton stated, “We should not be paving over 186,000 square feet of natural sandy beach on the ocean side of the existing path. Many of us ask why the new 24-foot path couldn’t be placed on the inland side of the existing path.

Staff’s response was that it was too expensive. The presentation included the photo of the current path totally crammed with runners and labeled existing conditions. We know now these were Long Beach Marathon photos. These same three photos labeled as existing conditions are in the coastal commission file folder I looked at yesterday in the commission office in Long Beach.

“In an outstanding lack of outreach appears to be the restaurant and business owners near Belmont Pier. The city plans to eliminate 32 valuable parking spaces right next to the pier in order to put in a new bike and pedestrian ramp. I spoke to the longtime manger of the Belmont Brewing Company yesterday and he knew nothing of losing 32 parking spaces or the construction planned.”

Fourth District Councilman Patrick O’Donnell asked, “You have pictures submitted by the city to the Coastal Commission? I was told they were not.”

Assistant City Manager Suzanne Frick stated, “It is not part of the city’s presentation, it was submitted by Ms. Cotton.”

City financial policies as part of the fiscal year 2014 budget process were discussed.

Fifth District Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske stated, “Two years ago I had like a $13,000 savings that was not rolled over into the next budget and then I was the focus of attention of the fact that I had a shortfall in last year’s budget, and then I understand that some council members were allowed to roll over any savings they had in the budget to this year, so, I would hope we would get some consistency on that. Had I been able to roll the money over two years ago, I would not have had a shortfall.”

City Manager Pat West responded, “In no terms were we ever inconsistent in how we treated all nine council offices. When we weren‘t carrying money over, no council office was allowed to carry money over; when we decided to carry it over, all nine council offices…”

Schipske responded, “I understand. I don’t think you want to go there, because, in fact I was not given that opportunity, so let’s not. The year we had money to be able to go over, three years ago, I had money; it was never an option. The year I was a shortfall, it became an option. So I would prefer you not bring that up.”

The measure carried 8-0, DeLong absent.

steve@longbeachcomber.com