A bird’s eye view on community news and events.
The Long Beach City Council recently voted unanimously to uphold the Downtown Long Beach Associates (DLBA) Board of Directors’ recommendation to freeze all assessments voluntarily placed on downtown commercial property and business owners for the 2008-2009 fiscal year. Recognizing the financial difficulties many are facing as a result of a nationwide downturn in the economy, DLBA’s governing body previously voted not to apply the annual Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase, which was 3.7 percent this past year (February 2006- February 2007), to its stakeholders. At a meeting on Tuesday, June 17, the Long Beach City Council considered this request from the DLBA as a formal action for downtown business owners beginning July 1. Further action will be requested of the city council on behalf of downtown commercial property owners in September, which would appear on their 2009 Los Angeles County property tax bills.
The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners on Monday, June 16 selected Commissioner James C. Hankla as the next board president, effective July 1. Hankla previously served a one-year term as president in 2006-2007. The Commission also selected Nick Sramek, who was appointed to the five-member Port-governing board one year ago, as its incoming vice president. Dr. Mike Walter, who is currently vice president, was selected as secretary for the coming term. Hankla, a former Long Beach city manager, has served on the Harbor Commission since 2003. Before joining the Commission, Hankla was CEO of the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority for five years, overseeing construction of the $2.4-billion Alameda Corridor. Prior to that, he was the city manager of Long Beach for 11 years. Overall, he has served as a top-level local public official for the last three decades.