.

Because You Have the Right To Know: Newest Blogger

Would you rather the City spend $500,000 for consultants from Ohio or would you rather the money spent to keep a Fire Engine at Station 8?

Editor's Note: Today 5th District Council Member Gerrie Schipske, an avid blogger on Long Beach issues who frequently raises questions in the public forum, joins our Patch blogging voices.

One of the hottest discussions I've received in my email was related to the City Council's recent vote (5-4) to give the City Manager authority up to $500,000 to retain a consulting group called Management Partners.

Residents are more than quite concerned that the City Council did not receive a breakdown of exactly what 1/2 million dollars is buying or when we can expect to get the "deliverable" as they call it -- the report. I have looked at the proposals sent by this Ohio based consulting firm to other California cities -- and low and behold -- they provided a breakdown of what work they intended to perform -- how many hours it would take.

The other point residents raise is why if the City employs so many, that it cannot find among the 4300 or more staff, employees with enough sense and information to make the recommendations of how to make City Hall more efficient.

I certainly agree with the residents. I would also add that in a city of close to 500,000 are you telling me we couldn't put together a "blue ribbon taskforce" of residents with expertise in all walks of life to do the same for free that is costing us one half a million?

Think of the things we could use that money for instead? Like putting back the Fire Engine that was just removed from Fire Station 8 -- on Second Street.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Panglonymous December 23, 2012 at 02:26 PM
Hi Gerrie How go discussions with city government colleagues when you present to them ideas like those suggested in paragraphs three and four?
John B. Greet December 23, 2012 at 04:12 PM
Congratulations on the new column and meaningful community outreach, Gerrie. At least we can be assured that your columns are not just blatant attempts to get campaign messages out during an election cycle. As for imprudent expenditures of public funds in Long Beach, this is nothing new and I think that particular "buck" really stops with the majority of voters in Long Beach, who just do not seem willing or able to hold their elected officials accountable on such matters once those voters have elected them. May that change one day because unless/until it does, I believe Long Beach's chronic budget deficits are going to not only persist but worsen.
Panglonymous December 24, 2012 at 01:00 AM
Speaking of John Greet, anybody seen Mike Ruehle? Wish him a Merry Christmas, if you do. :-) (That goes for the rest of you Shore Dawgs, too!)
Panglonymous December 24, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Merry Christmas, Nancy, Gerrie, John! (I miss the shoutbox.)
Dave Newell December 25, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Oh please may I have some more? I would say that if you want to make improvements, the best ideas will come from those doing the work. Mandate each department of each agency be accountable for not making its own improvements. But also reward those which make improvements.
Gerrie Schipske December 27, 2012 at 11:58 PM
That was actually suggested to which the City Manager replied: it would be a conflict of interest to have departments review themselves. Geez. That's not what I teach in Public Administration Organization Management and Behavior...
John B. Greet January 01, 2013 at 05:50 PM
Only a conflict of interest if there were no independent oversight which, if I am not mistaken, we supposedly elect a City Auditor to provide. Perhaps someone should ask the CM just whose "interest" he is more concerned with conflicts of...the Peoples' or that of the Electeds and Appointeds currently in office?

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something