LB saves $1 million by eliminating management positions as government reforms continue

The elimination of five management positions and three other administrative positions as part of a government reform initiative is expected to save the City of Long Beach more than $1 million a year in salary and related costs, according to a press release distributed by the City.
The City Council began the government reforms at the start of the fiscal year, Oct. 1, 2010, to ensure that the City continues to meet the needs of the community while maintaining financial stability after years of multi-million-dollar budget cuts. This ongoing effort is expected to lead to additional efficiencies and savings.
“The City of Long Beach is committed to providing the most efficient and effective services to the community, and we periodically realign resources around core services and look to new service delivery models” said City Manager Patrick H. West.  “These reforms are paramount to the City’s ability to provide the best services possible with the resources available.”
In addition to the efficiency savings to be realized in future years, the City of Long Beach is saving $1.04 million by eliminating five management positions and three other administrative positions. These savings are in addition to savings from positions eliminated due to budget reductions.
Assistant City Manager Suzanne Frick gave a presentation to the City Council Tuesday that suggested one way to cut back on spending would be the elimination of more than 500 public employee jobs.
“There is no doubt that we will need to make our government leaner and more effective,” said First District Councilmember Robert Garcia. “I am hopeful that we can work with our employee groups to find solutions to our budget challenges.”
Since 2004, the City has cut approximately $136.6 million from its General Fund and eliminated more than 800 positions. While this was necessary to ensure the City’s fiscal solvency, these reductions have, in some cases, resulted in a less than efficient service delivery structure.
The current reforms include moving the Neighborhood Services Bureau and the Housing Services Bureau (formerly in the Department of Community Development) into an expanded Development Services Department. This reform: aligned the production of affordable housing more closely with its core funding source and set-aside funds from the seven redevelopment project areas; combined the administrative functions of both the Housing Services Bureau and the Redevelopment Bureau, both of which utilize tax increment financing as their chief revenue source and share similar state-mandated reporting functions; increased coordination among staff to more effectively eliminate neighborhood nuisance and code violations; enhanced neighborhood-based planning through closer coordination between Neighborhood Services staff and Planning Bureau and Redevelopment Bureau staff; and merging two divisions within the Planning Bureau to enhance cross-coordination between current and advance planning functions while increasing utilization of available staff.

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