No Fiscal Crisis? What the hell are you smoking??????

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.


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16 thoughts on “No Fiscal Crisis? What the hell are you smoking??????”

  1. Not a Defender just an observer. The surplus was used to avoid raising taxes.MY mortgage payments did not go up as high as they would have. I just havd to deal with the constant school district levy increases.Sure this city was mismanaged and they deserved to lose. As I have previously stated the hype that “Super” men and women were here to save the day and all posturing is just sickening. On top of that to hire people who I really don’t see as qualified to positions and others who you know will not work more that an hour a day if at that,just adds the the BALONEY that is City of Long Beach Politics.

  2. right! Hennessy is carpet bombing the blogs. People talking about how great the coalition was that they didn’t raise taxes, how the dems are going to raise taxes, etc. All kinds of rumors – not sure who is right, or if any are right.

    But should the previous council and its supporters be patting themselves on the back about not having raised taxes when it was really due to offsetting with the surplus? Don’t think so (if that is in fact the case).

  3. Instead of using the surplus or raising taxes here is a idea.. REDUCE SPENDING. Both parties don’t like to hear those words.
    This hiring nonsense really needs be addressed too. I agree people need to be replaced but they are not replacing them with qualified people. Here is another idea… post job openings and accept resumes!!

  4. NYC Comptroller proposed posting on their website every penny spent.
    Transparency in LB would dictate the same!!!!I would just love to see the monthly payroll statistics.

  5. I think an interesting question (and I don’t know the answer and I have no side in this fight) is what was the excess balance when the coalition took office, and what is a “normalized” balance. 2008 was the beginning of the recession so it might make sense we were flush with cash and today we appear (I take sides on this issue i am a big fan of our current president) to be coming out of a recession so again it may make sense our cash balances are low. In theory they should be some time when cash is low or close to zero as they represent the excess amount we have been taxed. Based on the above we used 1.3 million in cash last year,. Thus to maintain the same level of spending we need to raise revenues 1.3 million or cut spending at that level – which is a small % of the city’s budget. Just an observation.

  6. ANY TRUTH TO THIS?”the new cIty manager now has a personal driver/body guard to drive him around 24/7 PAID FOR BY THE TAX PAYERS!!.. HOW on earth is that necessary and fiscally responsible??????”

  7. Rich D, the city manager does now have a driver/guard (same person). I don’t know why he needs either or why the council thinks we should have to pay for this– this is unbelievable to me.. His driver/guard was put into effect about 2, maybe 3, weeks ago. Some financial crisis…

  8. Jimmy = Margaret = Bobby = Chrsitine = Amy

    Also Mr. Dimiti what is the name of this driver/guard??? Where did you hear about this hire??? Was it from Jimmy = Margaret = Bobby = Chrsitine = Amy on the Patch??? It must be true right?

    If you need to get confirmation just email jimmy hennessy at

  9. I believe someone posted the Driver Rumor on the official COLB website. Do you think there is any chance the City will post the Total Weekly Payroll outlay (or Bi-Weekly) since January 1 or is that just to transparent. And if you insist on using my last name proper spelling is DiMitri…Kind regards, Rich D

  10. I saw the city manager driving a non-city car this weekend.. Thought to myself he must have moved here and second where is his driver?

  11. you see, that was his body double. The real city manager is shuttled around in a Limo with a police escort. He has numerous body guards who run beside the car as well

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