A MESSAGE FROM COUNCILWOMAN SUZIE PRICE

A MESSAGE FROM COUNCILWOMAN SUZIE PRICE

Hello Neighbors,
I hope that the Spring season is off to a beautiful start for you and that the celebrations of Easter and Passover fill your homes with lots of love and laughter. On Sunday, April 24th I will again host the annual Spring into Summer Concert at 4:30 PM at Marina Vista Park featuring the band Dustbowl Revival. The band is an American roots orchestra with eight members that play it all, mashing the sounds of traditional American music into a genre-hopping, time-bending dance party. Last year’s concert drew over a thousand community members who enjoyed good food, drinks, and the company of their neighbors in our beautiful park situated along our coastline. This annual concert is a great way to celebrate the season, which signals that longer, warmer days are on the horizon. So pack your picnic baskets and join us for an evening of neighborly spirit and fun!

The Long Beach City Council has been grappling with how to address an estimated $2.8 billion in infrastructure needs. We have a total of 786 miles of major and local roadways in the City of Long Beach and our current budget for street rehabilitation is insufficient to address our aging infrastructure. Many of our streets, sidewalks, and alleys are in desperate need of repair and attention. Additionally, and most concerning to me, is our public safety budget. Fire Station 8 in Belmont Shore has been without a fire engine for two years causing response times in outlying communities such as Island Village, to balloon to over ten minutes. This is the slowest response time in the entire City of Long Beach! Since 2008, the Police Department has lost 200 police officers, decimating our motor patrol division, which enforces our traffic laws. In addition to the significant reductions in public safety, the City of Long Beach has taken the necessary steps to reform employee pensions saving more than $250 million over 10 years as well as eliminating over 700 City positions. We are a lean and efficient organization. There are still areas where efficiencies can be achieved and me and my colleagues on the Budget Oversight Committee and City Council continue to explore those further. In order to address our estimated $2.8 billion in infrastructure needs, Mayor Garcia, along with former Mayors O’Neil and Foster, have released a letter asking voters to decide if they would like to see a temporary sales tax increase to help pay for critical services such as infrastructure and public safety. I am keeping an open mind about the tax increase proposal but have some concerns about our future plan to sustain the additional public safety positions after the increase sunsets and making sure that we don’t use the money for programs and projects that do not fall within the stated intent of the measure.

I look forward to hearing more about this proposal at upcoming City Council meetings and of course, to hearing the community dialogue on this important subject. Please make sure to sign up for our newsletter by emailing the council office at district3@longbeach.gov or visit our website at www.suzieAprice.com for more information on upcoming District and Citywide events. We want to make sure you are informed on all that our 3rd District Team is doing to serve our residents!

Sincerely, Suzie Price – 3rd District Councilwoman

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