In this City, the generally held view is that City government (those running it), whether in the hands of democrats or republicans, is out for itself, first and foremost. Contracts awarded, variances or permits given or denied, hires and fires, raises and promotions — determined by your relationships with those in power. But what about the masses, who just want to live in a seaside town, watch our kids play ball and swim, jog the boardwalk, with pride in our town and homes, with clean, unbroken streets and well-kempt and patrolled public spaces? Does the power simply say to itself that so long as the public has that Long Beach sand between its toes, we don’t have to do what’s best for them? Will City services and infrastructure and upkeep and escalating taxes and debt levels always play second fiddle to decisions tainted by crony capitalism?
To be fair, our City government, its members and employees do good things for the City every day. Yes, that’s their job. The City government is not the Evil Empire, but it is infected and does make small and large decisions that are puzzling at best, awfully wrong at worst, and that will affect this City in many ways and for many years. Today’s decision on a large or long term services or goods contract, a new union contract or changes in retirement or health benefits or workplace rules, or a large real estate development, will be with us long after the members of the current administration are fertilizer.
Our City leaders do care about organized criticism. This blog is intended to focus that criticism, to become a rallying point for residents to become involved, demand change and require accountability more than once every few years. And just maybe those in power — or those directing them behind the scenes — will pay attention to our views and demands. Residents hold all the power. They just don’t exercise it. A small minority will continue to call the shots if we don’t get involved.
We invite comments that bring to light issues — resolutions proposed or taken, new hires, contracts entered, the who, what, when, where and why. While proof won’t be required, and this blog will necessarily involve conjecture and opinion, we do want comments and posts that are reasonably based in fact. General howling, racist, bigoted, and other discriminatory attacks and comments are not invited and will be deleted. We work full time jobs, so deletions may not happen immediately.
We are not working with or for and are not for or against democrats or republicans. We are for Long Beach.
The blog will remain as long as we feel it needs to or we have the time to keep it going. That may be a day.
We want the best for Long Beach.