Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Council Guts Fire Services in the Middle of the Night

For Immediate Release
Contact: Tiffany Andrews, Office of Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske
562 570-6932
City Council Passes Budget in the Late Night Hours
– Cuts Fire and Police Staffing

Moments after six members of the Long Beach City Council voted in the middle of the night to make Long Beach the only major metropolitan city to staff its fire engines with 3-man crews, Council members Rae Gabelich, Steven Neal and Gerrie Schipske issued the following joint statement:

“In a shameless display of disrespect to the residents of the city, 6 members of the council orchestrated a vote on the budget in the late hours of the night after the public had left the council chambers. By waiting until the public left, they violated every principle of transparency and openness and proceeded to seriously cut essential public safety and quality of life services with few public in attendance.

“As a result of that vote, one-half of the City’s fire engines will only have 3 fire fighters, instead of the standard 4 that every other major metropolitan city provides. Other reductions in fire services will also take place at Stations 14, 18 and 19. This means that the City of Long Beach will have the lowest number of on duty firefighters in the last 40 years.

 “At least twenty one police officers were also eliminated with this late night action – including patrol officers, gang enforcement, Homeland Security detail, and violent crime detectives. All at a time when the state is getting ready to release prisoners back into the community.

“Six on the council ignored the concerns of both the Police and Fire Chiefs who expressed reservations about the cuts proposed by Mayor Bob Foster and City Manager Pat West.

“Despite more than 28 residents giving testimony earlier in the evening against making cuts to public safety and quality of life services, the majority on the council waited for the public to leave before they jammed through a budget that seriously cuts these critical services.

“What we saw tonight was a blatant disregard for the will of the people and a lack of  transparency in the budget process, This is a sad night for the City of Long Beach.”


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Come to Community Budget Meeting to Discuss Cuts to Fire, Police, Library and Recreation

Please attend my Community Budget meeting on Monday, August 29 at 6:30 pm at the El Dorado Community Center, 2900 Studebaker Road.

Hear the details about cuts to 5th District services -- Fire Stations 18, 19 and 5; Patrol officers and Juvenile Cars; Downgrading Bach Library to a reading room; Eliminating recreational services at Heartwell, Pan Am and El Dorado South.

The public is invited -- even if you do not reside in the 5th District.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

How Facts Get in the Way of Political Agendas

Click on the this link to read a national study done last year about how reducing first responders (firefighters and paramedics) is not a good thing in terms of outcomes for rescues and trauma.

Facts, facts, facts. Don't you just hate how they get in the way of political agendas?

Monday, August 8, 2011

They are at it again -- 27 firefigthers to be cut -- Station 18 to be downgraded

Please get involved to stop the horrendous cuts being proposed to public safety by the Mayor and City Manager.

The 2012 Budget has been given to the City Council by the Mayor and it contains 27 firefighters being eliminated, 13 police patrol officers and 3 branch libraries beings reduced to "reading rooms."

I am hosting a Community Conversation on the budget, on August 29th at 6:30 pm at the El Dorado Community Room at 2800 Studebaker.

Click here to read the budget documents so you can be prepared for discussions.

Friday, September 18, 2009

You Did It -- Fire Station 18 Will Remain Open

Thanks for the wonderful participation of residents in the 5th Council District who called, sent emails, signed petitions and turned out for the open house last Sunday at Station 18 -- the Council on a 9-0 vote approved restoring Firestation 18 and several other cuts to fire, police, library and recreation services!

Your efforts are most appreciated.

The work on the city's financial situation is far from over. We still need to look to remove inefficiencies, redundancies, and out dated services, programs and personnel in all city departments.

I am hopeful Mayor Bob Foster will not veto the restored cuts.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Thank You for Turning Out Today -- the Irony of 9-11 Weekend

Thanks to the many who packed Station 18 to meet firefighters and to sign a petition opposing cuts to services.

It was great to see so many people turn out today. The message was clear from everyone who came -- no cuts in services for fire and police and especially on the eastside.

Residents also got to see firsthand the living quarters and operations of the fire station - something many had not seen before.

Many people remarked that Station 18 had saved their life or the life of a spouse or neighbor.
Others remarked that they were angry the mayor and city manager would propose cutting fire services on the eastside and they were tired of the eastside paying property taxes and then being offered up for cuts. Several people said they thought it ironic that elected officials would attend 9-11 ceremonies and talk about the bravery and importance of fire fighters and then propose cutting these services in Long Beach.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What is Light Force?

I have scoured the internet looking for information on what is a light force configuration in a fire department.

What I found is a very interesting news article which I am linking to that pretty much explains it as sending everything you've got to a call for service.

Click here to read the article about a city that uses it.

Station 18

Station 18