I am somewhat perplexed by the conversation that is going on in this post about the supposed Long Beach fiscal crisis (read comments in: Fiscal Crisis News Roundup). There seems to be a lot of The last administration did nothing wrong and there is no fiscal crisis, but the new guys are hiring XY&Z so let’s talk about that. Blah blah blah it all seems like a lot of deflecting to me. I am still trying to figure out why some think our current fiscal state is no big deal.
Now, I have to admit: This topic bores the heck out of me. I just want our city to run smoothly and not really think about it beyond that. But the numbers in the recent audit do raise my eyebrows… and makes me question why some of you think there is no fiscal crisis. So here are my two questions:
- Can I please have a simple explanation on why there is no fiscal crisis? and please don’t talk about what our current administration is doing now. It’s irrelevant when it comes to talking about the past.
- Can you please explain why the available cash dropped $7,345,584 from 2008 to 2011? (See chart below / source – Audit_Summary.pdf) I guess it’s better to talk about why General Fund drop from $8,045,311 to $2,280,377 in that same time period, but there is no chart for that.
Are these numbers lying? Afterall, not that long ago we were told the opposite:
“Even in this era of economic uncertainty, while the Federal Government’s bond rating has been downgraded, we are proud to say that our City’s finances are in order,” states City Council President Thomas R. Sofield, Jr. “This favorable rating given to us by Moody’s demonstrates their recognition of our sound financial structure both now and going forward.” (source – October CITYBEAT 2011)
Like I said, this topic bores the heck out of me, but I am just trying to figure out the truth (not the spin) on why some think we aren’t in a fiscal crisis. The numbers tell me we are, but convince me otherwise.