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Long Beach: From Quiksilver to $87.9M Budget

Long Island-wide publication overviews city's governance since last summer.


Now everyone from Elmont to Montauk can know what's been going on in Long Beach for the past half year.

The Long Island Press on Thursday published a 3,600-word story on the South Shore beach town, an overview of the city’s political and governmental highlights from former City Manager Charles Theofan’s decision to cancel a portion of the Quiksilver Pro New York surf competition in the wake of Hurricane Irene last August, to Moody’s Investors Service downgrading the city’s credit rating to near junk bond status in December, to new City Manager Jack Schnirman unveiling the city’s proposed $87.9 million budget for 2012-13.

With a focus on the city's troubled finances, the in-depth article touches on various issues, including the dispute between Republicans and Democrats over use of the city’s “rainy day” fund, city council members facing legal and ethics charges, an independent auditor’s report on the night the council declared a fiscal emergency, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office conducing an audit of Long Beach’s summer programs, as well as the prospect for Quiksilver’s return to Long Beach in 2013.

In the article, Theofan, who now works as Nassau Couty deputy executive, responded to Schnirman’s charges that he and the prior Republican administration tried not to raise taxes while they collected fewer revenues but continued to spend. Theofan said:

“Let’s be honest. The current city council is inflating deficit numbers and playing political games in an effort to scare taxpayers and benefit politically.”

The article also includes a section on last year’s Quiksilver competition, with Theofan citing concerns for citizens' safety and welfare as the reason he canceled the concert and skateboarding events; Mark Tannenbaum, executive vice president of the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce, calling Theofan’s decision “terrible”; and Dave Juan, owner Unsound Surf shop, calling on fellow Long Beachers to look forward, not back.

Eddie April 12, 2012 at 11:20 PM
For those who don't frequent the massage parlors or hookah bars where the L.I. Press freely distributes its printed rag, here's a link to the article on their Website: http://www.longislandpress.com/2012/04/12/long-beach-financial-troubles/
Matthew Hogan April 13, 2012 at 01:15 AM
@Eddie: We linked to Long Island Press' story in ours. "The Long Island Press on Thursday 'published a 3,600-word story' on the South Shore beach town ..." Thanks! -- Matthew Hogan Associate Regional Editor
Eddie April 13, 2012 at 01:20 AM
Not surprised the story portrayed the socialist Democrats as the saviors. Not a mention of the Democrat's voter fraud, past tax-and-spend orgies or criminal convictions. But I guess I wouldn't expect that from the L.I. Press who last year called for the "termination" of "free enterprise" and the redistribution of wealth from those who work to those who don't want to work.
Rob S April 13, 2012 at 06:58 AM
I read that article in the Press, and they didn't portray the Dems as "saviors" at all, but that's insignificant. They just point out the damage was done before they got in, probably why they got elected. Read the facts in that article. Millions of dollars just disappeared during the last administration, and it had nothing to do with what party they were in. Years ago, a lot was made about how Theofan wasn't from LB and couldn't really understand what this town is like. It sounds petty, but it may be true. I'd make the same criticism of the new guy in there. I think Long Beach should have an elected Mayor, rather than a Manager appointed by the local powers-that-be. Now, there's nobody to say, "the buck stops here." I think the past administration should be ashamed of how they left us, not rewarded with cushy jobs by other Republicans running the broke County- in a hiring freeze! I heard these auditors are looking at LB's "summer programs." I always wondered how our city couldn't prosper with all they charge for beach admissions alone. That's a source of income like few places have. The article also pointed out how the outgoing government helped drag down some local businesses. While money was trickling away, they were concerned with planting flowers in the malls and giving a concession for bike rentals. The school Student Council deals with more significant issues. Hope we can skip the political bickering and work together on the real problems to fix this great place.
Longbeacher April 13, 2012 at 11:41 AM
Funny thing si i didn't think the Press was still in business
Eddie April 13, 2012 at 12:19 PM
LongBeacher, the Press you know is indeed out of business. The one quoted here is published by a group that took the name of the defunct Long Island Farmer descendent and gave it to their free-distribution pennysaver. The new Long Island Press stirs the pot at times, but generally ignores fact in favor of its continual campaign for the Democratic Party and socialist and communist social causes.
Candygram for Mongo April 13, 2012 at 01:26 PM
wow! you really do have an amazing ability to pack an enormous amount of idiocy into small spaces!
Ken Novak April 13, 2012 at 01:43 PM
The idea of a Long Beach mayor has been suggested (and voted upon) before and it might be an improvement but wouldn't the Mayor just be a 6th councilman. In all proposals that I have seen the elected Mayor would not replace the city council, he/she would replace the city manager as in Glen Cove.
Jim April 13, 2012 at 02:14 PM
The LI Press is the same type of rag in the venue of the Village Voice- a quasi communist/ socialist paper that keeps re-treading the same theme of why young people have to work so much and pay so much for housing. Its now focusing on "hipster" types who believe they should not have to sacrifice now and enjoy life while they are young. "work" and "saving" are for the "other" types of people who don't understand the "artistic" value of being young and "hip". This is the same attitude that was promulgated by the "hippies" movement in the 1960's. It is now apparent that the 1960's hippie movement was responsible for the cultural downfall of the US and led to the drug epidemic and subsequent "crack and heroin" wars.
Mary Ellen Pollina April 13, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Rob, perhaps your reference to planting flowers in the malls was used to make a point, but I feel compelled to respond because other commenters have referred to “$400,000 being spent on cabbage plants”. Those plants cost about $4 each and I find it difficult to believe that 100,000 were used. The number is probably closer to 1,000 if that. So for $4,000 the primary transportation hub and commercial district will look somewhat “well-tended” (see my Patch blog post, “A Broken Window of Opportunity”) To me, this is money well spent. If I come off the train and see nothing but weeds and litter, I’m not thinking, ‘glad my elected officials are not wasting my money on flowers.’ As for Deco-bike, I attended the City Council meeting where this idea was floated. When some residents and bike shop owners objected, one of the council members said,” Part of our job is to find revenue streams”. Well, one of the city’s best revenue streams is right under their nose, literally. Enforce the sanitation codes!
delete me April 13, 2012 at 02:52 PM
When is Mike Fagens court date for logging into the unemployment website 39 times, claiming he was unemployed and collected 14grand while he was getting paid as a city councilman? Is he going to pay us back before he goes to prison?
Eddie April 13, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Mary Ellen, I like the flowers too. I mentioned the $400,000 spent on flowering cabbage as just one example of the City's waste and contempt for the people who pay taxes. Some would agree with me, that $400,000 is a LOT of taxes we have to pay for plantings around the City. Maybe even you will agree that gardening can cost less? I have many properties and while each is nicely landscaped and maintained by American union workers, the cost is nothing like the City's roughly $65 per cabbage. How about reeling in the spending, just a little bit before agreeing to a 15% tax and rent increase that these same thieves are pushing on us?
paul.d.spellman April 13, 2012 at 03:20 PM
MEP, How much money do you envision would be generated by the city enforcing the sanitation codes?
JP Ashcroft April 13, 2012 at 03:50 PM
“Let’s be honest. The current city council is inflating deficit numbers and playing political games in an effort to scare taxpayers and benefit politically.”. According to Theofan. Let's pick apart this one...Charles.....Shall we. "Honest".......according to Webster's Dictionary: free from deception, truthful, genuine, real, reputable, creditable. Now Charles, were you really all that of were you just void of any managerial qualities? Did you not feel secure in your forecasting skills or are you not good with numbers? I don't know what your plan was other than to leave the city dry and blame it on the new kids, but we see right through it, unfortunately too late. We now have a gargantuan feat of trying to pay for the mess you left us. Nice going Slim!!!
Pam Pruyn April 13, 2012 at 04:12 PM
@ Rob........."I think Long Beach should have an elected Mayor, rather than a Manager appointed by the local powers-that-be". Here, here! I have been harping on this for years. Totally agree with you. This town has such a horrible reputation for its politics, it would be totally refreshing. Love to give that a chance. The councils simply do not work. The partisan politics do not work. I wish they would consider something different. I am an independent and can't fathom either party ever working with each other . It becomes a huge power grab. And the incredible bitterness exhibited by every outgoing group is a shame. They fight even when they are not in office!
LB Swimmer April 13, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Biased are we?
Eddie April 13, 2012 at 07:27 PM
You're doubting the bias of the LI Press? The Chamber of Commerce, an arm of the Long Beach Democrats said "...The last three months we've worked with the City better than the last six years..." The LI Press said, "Long Beach locals agree." That's unbiased reporting? Remember, this is a rag that regularly states "capitalism has failed" and touts the dream of redistribution of wealth to the underachievers.
CP April 14, 2012 at 12:07 AM
Maybe the should keep these flowers in the ground till they die, instead of planting flowers and the ripping them out of the ground still alive to plant new flowers. what a waste.

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