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Letters to the Editor

July 31st, 2009 · No Comments · Letters to the Editor

Hit the Road, Jackhammer

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Now that the repaving of Atlantic Avenue is complete, Bixby Knolls is trying to get back to normal. The Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association (BKBIA) has recently displayed new banners along Atlantic Avenue stating that BK is “open for business.” A formal reopening celebration will be planned when the contractors have finally packed up all their gear and moved on.

Blair Cohn
Executive Director
BKBIA

We Need to Look at Redevelopment

The state is about to take more redevelopment money from Long Beach to make up a shortfall.
Okay. Most people don’t know what redevelopment money is– it is a portion of your property taxes that instead of going to the city or the school district is siphoned off into a redevelopment agency that is not elected and can run up a great deal of debt which in turn means that portion of your property taxes will continue to go to the redevelopment agency as long as it has debt.
In some instances, redevelopment has done good things. But essentially it has been a piggy bank for developers and in areas where no redevelopment area exists — such as the 5th Council District– well, no redevelopment money goes there at all. So we must rely upon general fund money to pay for our streets, sidewalks and improvements, while other areas get redevelopment money plus general fund money.
It is past time to look at the impact of Long Beach having 18,000 acres in redevelopment– around 40 percent of the city. That tax increment– that portion that is siphoned off– needs to get back into the general fund– if we don’t do that the state will continue to use it as their slush fund account.

Gerrie Schipske
Long Beach City Councilwoman
District 5


Wimpy Governance

The Legislature recently passed a budget that failed to address our state’s recurring budget crises. Using smoke and mirrors, our elected leaders simply kicked the can down the road for another day.
Our recent budget, which steals funds from local governments, continues the practice of accounting gimmicks and does nothing for our state’s long-term financial health, is symptomatic of a broken system; a system of a government that has lost its way. Our government now serves as a professional political class pandering to the needs of special interests. The practice of following the unwritten rule of Sacramento, representing the interests of cash constituents over voter constituents, must stop.
We, the citizens of California, expect our government to serve our needs and be representative of us.Citizens for Reform California is proposing to return the California Legislature to part-time status as they were prior to 1966. This proposition will return the power to the people by eliminating professional politicians, whose primary interest for their next political position override doing what is in the best interest of the public, and their political machinery.
The Citizen Legislature Act mandates that the California Legislature can meet no more than 95 days a year. This will limit wasteful debating on the merits of Feng Shui for state buildings, spending over a million dollars on a blueberry commission and regulating horsetails.
We must end this “Wimpy” style of professional political governance, and budgeting, where the “I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today” philosophy will be abolished for good.

Gabriella Holt
President
CEO Citizens for California Reform

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