this week wrote to city officials and unions leaders to cease overtime spending after he announced that eight departments have already exceeded budgeted overtime by 40 percent, approximately $544,000 collectively, just six months into the 2011-12 budget.
Schnirman issued a memo on Monday that stated overtime costs in 2011 were $2.3 million, and given the city’s economic woes these costs are “simply unaffordable,” according to the Long Beach Herald. Schnirman’s memo reads:
“The City of Long Beach must discourage the use of overtime except when extra hours are required by emergency situations or are unavoidable. It is the responsibility of both the City Manager’s office and our department heads to manage overtime in a way that will ensure overtime use is kept to a minimum and that costs are justified. This policy applies to all city departments and agencies.”
When in early January, just weeks after Schnirman laid down his immediate agenda, stating that the new administration would take “immediate actions to address the fiscal crisis, declaring a fiscal emergency and implementing new aggressive spending and overtime controls.”
Days later, Schnirman appointed Lt. Michael Tangney the acting commissioner of the , and Tangney was immediately tasked to take control of the department's overtime budget. He added seven officers and two sergeants to the patrol force, and restructure the from a police officer detail to a detective function, with two detectives assigned to run the unit, all in an effort to curtail overtime costs.
At their first meeting Jan. 17, the new Democrat-majority administration , which in part would address spending controls and overtime policy, as well as give the city manager greater authority to control and veto spending.
The city manager and council members said they will reevaluate the language in the resolution and present it to the public again at their next meeting Feb. 7.
* This story was corrected on 2.2.12.