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2012 City Council Report Card: Mandel, Torres, Adelson Administration Fail!

Mandel Administration failed their first year report card based on the promises and pledges they made in 2011.
Mandel Administration failed their first year report card based on the promises and pledges they made in 2011.
It’s been just over one year since Scott Mandel, Len Torres, and Fran Adelson took control of City Hall.  As candidates for city council they made many promises. In fact, they posted their promises on their website at www.lbdems.com/platform.  
Now that 2012 is behind us, lets take a look back at what the Mandel Administration promised as candidates and what they actually delivered for the taxpayers of the City of Long Beach in their first year in office.   

The following promises and pledges were taken directly from Mandel, Torres, and Adelson’s Campaign Promise Web page and all links will take you to either that site or to documents that substantiate the claims made below.

During the 2011 campaign and/or on the candidate’s website, the Scott Mandel Administration promised they would:  

LOWER THE COST OF GOVERNMENT  


WHAT THE MANDEL ADMINISTRATION SAID:

A Democratic administration would restore fiscal integrity to the City of Long Beach and lower the cost of government …”  

FACTS:
  • The cost of government under the Scott Mandel Administration has INCREASED $4.3 MILLION or nearly 6% in one year!! 
  • Before the Mandel Administration controlled City Hall the City Budget was $83,686,143 (see 2011-12 budget page “i”). 
  • After the Mandel Administration took office they increased the city’s budget to $87,962,428 (see 2012-13 budget page “iii”).
  • That is an increase in total spending of  $4.3 million in one year! That is nearly a 6% increase in spending!
  • The Mandel Administration raised resident's property taxes nearly 15% in one year with more tax increases to come!    
GRADE:  FAILURE- The Scott Mandel administration did not keep their promise!  
 

END THE POLICY OF GIVING JOBS TO FAMILY AND FRIENDS

 The Mandel Administration publicly criticized prior administrations’ for hiring “family and friends” to city hall jobs and as a result they promised they would “end the policy of giving jobs to family and friends”.  

FACTS: 
Despite a "fiscal crisis" and a "self imposed hiring freeze", the Scott Mandel Administration hired, promoted, and gave taxpayer funded raises and/or settlements to over 22 family and friends at a total cost to taxpayers of over $1.3 million!    Keep in mind this was done while over 20 CSEA employees were laid off and other employees were demoted or took salary cuts!

GRADE
FAILURE- The Scott Mandel administration did not keep their promise    


PROVIDE OPEN GOVERNMENT

WHAT THE MANDEL ADMINISTRATION SAID: “An open government is a more representative and efficient government.” The Mandel Administration promised to bring openness and transparency to city hall.  

FACTS: At Scott Mandel’s very first meeting as City Council President he announced that city residents would not longer be able to ask questions of their elected leaders during “Good & Welfare” portions of the city council meetings. As a result, residents are no longer permitted to ask public, on the record questions that help to hold their elected officials accountable for the things they say!  

GRADE: 
FAILURE- The Scott Mandel administration did not keep their promise.      

CUT WASTEFUL SPENDING

WHAT THE MANDEL ADMINISTRATION SAID: “Democrats will review the spending of every department in the City.” The Mandel Administration promised to cut wasteful spending form the city budget.

FACTS:
The Mandel Administration has hired over 22 family and friends to city hall jobs, backed a secret deal that gave city council member Fran Adelson a $20,000 taxpayer funded settlement, handed out promotions and other taxpayer awarded settlements to their supporters, and increased city spending by $4.3 million! In addition they have nearly doubled the size of the city’s debt by continuing to borrow money while increasing spending!  

GRADE: 
FAILURE- The Scott Mandel administration did not keep their promise    


PROVIDE A BALANCED BUDGET

WHAT THE MANDEL ADMINISTRATION SAID: “Democrats will invest in our City to reduce costs. “  

FACTS:
Under the Mandel Administration the city has increased spending $4.3 million, nearly doubled the city’s debt, and they failed to adopt a balance budget in their very first year in office. In fact, because the 2012-2013 budget that was adopted in May 2012 was not balanced the Mandel Administration was forced to adopt a mid year tax increase which raised property taxes on residents an additional 11% on top of the tax increase of 8% passed in may 2012!  

GRADE: 
FAILURE- The Scott Mandel administration did not keep their promise!

All anyone can do when evaluating their government is to look back at the promises and pledges that were made before those individuals took office and compare them to the actions they took since taking office. The truth and the facts speak for themselves. In this case, the facts are clear.

The Mandel Administration has failed to keep the promises and pledges they made to people of our city.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Wanttoknow January 29, 2013 at 09:02 AM
Glad to read your fine and hope that you and yours are rebuilding if needed. Can we see your report card?
SeanyA January 29, 2013 at 09:29 AM
That is alarming to say the least. Would love to hear what the council has to say about that. Ive asked this question before and have never received an answer. What does LB need to do to right the ship? It's not enough to tear down what people are doing. How about some answers?
John January 29, 2013 at 10:01 AM
It was good to see you at Sunday Supper the first weekend after the storm. Then again at Thanksgiving, working side by side with my neighbors gutting each others homes, crying along with everyone at the boardwalk ceremony, out planting bulbs to brighten our spring and arranging christmas trees to help protect the city. all that and i won't even mention the constructive role you've been playing with all your thoughtful comments at community meeting and gracing us with your presence at the myriad fundraisers. it brightens my heart knowing that you're not just about being hyper-partisan and furthering your political career, but that you're truly a man of the people and ingrained in the community, especially in its time of greatest need. i do have the right guy, don't i?
delete me January 29, 2013 at 12:47 PM
^ 100 pts
Nancy Mc. January 29, 2013 at 01:56 PM
John, Last I checked we still do live in America where peopel can voice their opinion. If these are the promises taht were made, then this group has failed and Henessey is right. You don't have to like it, but he does back up what he says with facts.
John January 29, 2013 at 02:08 PM
Bobby, last I checked character matters too. especially for those who aspire to lead. if you don't think what Jimmy is doing here isn't geared toward that end, you're fooling yourself. as for 'facts', there's a difference between facts and cherry picking numbers or using them in isolation of a larger context. by and large, I would argue jimmy is doing the latter.
Nancy Mc. January 29, 2013 at 08:50 PM
John, your point is well taken. But, Hennessey has a link directly to the democratic party's (mandel, tores and adelsons) websites with their promises and everything he says checks out. There fore its true. Her's my question: 1) Did the cut spending year to year? 2) Did they provide open government?, 3) did they not hire any family or friends to city jobs? 4) did they cut wasteful, spending?, 5) Did tehy balance the budget? If you say Henessey is giving "cherry picked" numbers, tell us differently. I deal in facts, not speculation. tell me what you know. Tell me what henessey says is not true and I'll listen. Otherwise, he backs EVERYTHING he says up with direct facts and links to the facts. Please, tell me he is wrong and provide the proof like he does.
Dougie Goodguy January 29, 2013 at 08:58 PM
Hey John. What does Henessy's charcher have to do with anything in the info above? Hennesy didn't force Mandel and company to make the promises they made, did he? What does henessey's character have to do with anything as long as he backs up what he says with proof? its pretty clear. These are the promises, period. The link is directly to their website (until they shut it down which I heard they did this evening to stop the talk about this). Each and every accusation is linked to a fact or at least a document that backs up what Henessy says. You may not like the guy but it seems he is telling the truth here. I have heard only good things about him. If he's lying, share what you know about the above withus. Like "bobby" says. I'm curious.
Dougie Goodguy January 29, 2013 at 09:09 PM
Hennessy is slacking. His facts aren't up to date. The city recently hired LB Democratic Chairmen Mike Zapson's good friend Zeb Jones to a $40,000/year job in sanitation with benefits. This hiring is only a few months after Mandel and his pals just laid off 20 workers cause of the budget crisis, but they hire Zapson's guy? Also they promoted two new police lieutenant's last week. Dan Larson ( who was in te herald for an alleged DWI and some other guy, named Eric Cregeen. Both were big time contributors to the Zapson's lb democrats. Last summer they demoted a number of Lt.s, detectives and cops but now they promote these guys? C'mon! Look and see how much each of these tools gave to the LB Democrats and Zapson's party recently. Its over $2000!. This is scary stuff. Danny Larson ( Look for his name on this list. He gave over $1100): http://www.elections.ny.gov:8080/plsql_browser/CONTRIBUTORB_NAME?LAST_NAME_IN=larson&NAME_IN=&position_IN=START&date_from=01%2F01%2F2008&date_to=01%2F01%2F2013&AMOUNT_from=0&AMOUNT_to=20000&ORDERBY_IN=N Eric Greceen gave over $1200! http://www.elections.ny.gov:8080/plsql_browser/CONTRIBUTORB_NAME?LAST_NAME_IN=cregeen&NAME_IN=&position_IN=START&date_from=01%2F01%2F2008&date_to=01%2F01%2F2013&AMOUNT_from=0&AMOUNT_to=20000&ORDERBY_IN=N If there was budget crisis, why promote anybody, especially after demoting others. Something stinks in city hall!
Dougie Goodguy January 29, 2013 at 09:10 PM
http://www.elections.ny.gov:8080/plsql_browser/CONTRIBUTORB_NAME?LAST_NAME_IN=cregeen&NAME_IN=&position_IN=START&date_from=01%2F01%2F2008&date_to=01%2F01%2F2013&AMOUNT_from=0&AMOUNT_to=20000&ORDERBY_IN=N
Dougie Goodguy January 29, 2013 at 09:11 PM
The links didnt work
Dougie Goodguy January 29, 2013 at 09:11 PM
http://www.elections.ny.gov:8080/plsql_browser/CONTRIBUTORB_NAME?LAST_NAME_IN=cregeen&NAME_IN=&position_IN=START&date_from=01%2F01%2F2008&date_to=01%2F01%2F2013&AMOUNT_from=0&AMOUNT_to=20000&ORDERBY_IN=N
Dougie Goodguy January 29, 2013 at 09:15 PM
Go to the NY State Board of Elections website, click, "campaign finance" on the left, then click "View Disclosure Reports:, then click "View Contributions and Expenditures:, then click "Specific Contributors and who they gave money to", then enter "larson" and " Gregeen" in the name fields and search back to 2008. The results speak volumes. Each gave a lot of money to Zapson's party
John January 30, 2013 at 09:22 AM
Bobby - Believe me, I'm not here to defend the current administration...I've got my beefs with them. I do, however, clear take exception to how mr. hennessy goes about his business, as I think his posts are singularly focused on advancing his own political ambitions and almost always result in dividing our community. that he's not changed his tune or tone in the time since the storm, a period of time when our community has actually come together in rather remarkable ways, only serves to cement my opinion of him. That said, here's a little bit extra context through which we might go about viewing his 'facts'. 1) When those promises were made, no one (except maybe hennessy's friends in the 'coalition) knew the city was in for a $10 million deficit starting in 21012. In fact, that beacon of open and transparent government kept insisting our fiscal house was in order right up until the day moody's came a knocking. PS....$4 million of that increased 'spending' that mr. hennessy uses as his 'facts' as to why the council has failed on nearly all the fronts he lays out above is only there, in fact, to pay down the date the coalition left us with. 2) extremely bad form for madel to close off public questions. extremely bad. i'm guessing it's because the city doesn't want to be seen as not having all the answers to the myriad difficult questions we all have right now, but that's no excuse. poor showing. but why doesn't mr. hennessy also tell us about the 'Long Beach Speaks' events the city council implemented when they took office? Council members and those within the administration set up dates at locations throughout the city to patiently answer residents questions on a number of occasions. why wasn't that factored into hennessy's grading assessment? because it doesn't fit his agenda. 3) Spending increased? Well, if you factor in paying down the debt, EXPENSES increased, but that's technically quite different from SPENDING. I suspect mr. hennessy knows this. Plus, I also assume that mr. hennessy knows the difference between discretionary and fixed spending. the former is about the only thing the city has control over until union contracts are re-opened and, miracles of miracles, that went down. much of the 'fixed' spending is due to contracts signed off on by the coalition and other previous administrations...including mr. hennessy's. 4) Friends and Family - yes, it's a sexy topic to raise. yes, they promised and end to it and have likely broken it. being realistic though, do you think it possible to be on the city council and not know people that are qualified to hold positions in your administration...that you trust? and think are competent? knowing people are how most people get ahead in life. nonetheless, they broke this promise. what i take exception to though, is mr. hennessy's breakdown of it. Is that, "22 family and friends at a total cost to taxpayers of over $1.3 million" all new spending? of course it's not. I would venture to say that most of it was filling positions that already existed. I don't have the time to dig through it all, but hey, maybe it's even a savings over what those existing jobs costs us taxpayers before. So there's a bit of your context and some additional 'facts' to round out the full story that mr. hennessy is loathe to tell....and precisely why i think he, in his effort to make personal political gains, is doing our city a great disservice with blog posts like the one above...and just about every other one he's ever penned.
John January 30, 2013 at 09:24 AM
ps....ultimate friends and family hire? Fred Theofan. You know, Hennessy's personal lawyer and the very same city manager who took our city from a surplus to a $10 million dollar deficit. So yeah, there's that too.
Fred Barnes January 31, 2013 at 01:39 PM
Former Administration: Does not acknowledge and hides bad fiscal condition. Present Administration: Identifies and acknowledges bad fiscal condition, take it head on, but then backs off, ignoring impending disaster, and adding to problem in the meantime.
Just a Resident February 01, 2013 at 10:10 AM
You are correct. They all deserve an F. But you deserve the biggest F of all for caving into the surfers and people who wanted white sand and wanted their ocean views preserved. Your administration turned down the Army Corps of Engineers project and your administration is responsible for the magnitude of the destruction in Long Beach. Congratulations, Mr. Hennessy on ruining so many lives.
Elizabeth Treston February 06, 2013 at 11:17 AM
I read your blog, Mr. Hennessey, but it appears you do not follow-up with some valid questions? It's like lighting a cherry bomb and running away.
delete me February 06, 2013 at 02:23 PM
Jimmy would you look into the missing $2+ MILLION that we were awarded in 2011 for public transportation. We were told in social media plus in the glossy city newsletters that Long Beach was receiving a TEA-21 Restoration Act grant that would cover purchasing 2 busses and some technology for real time arrivals. Where is that grant money? Why don't you look into that Hennessey.
delete me February 06, 2013 at 02:24 PM
Start by asking the previous administrators who were incharge of the paperwork.
delete me February 06, 2013 at 02:24 PM
Again, $2+ million American dollars.
Annette M La Salle February 09, 2013 at 06:33 PM
mr baumann you wish you were half the man james hodge is!111as for our city counsel they had to clean up the mess from the former administration instead of criticizing lets work together
Jessica February 17, 2013 at 06:42 PM
Where are the financial statements to really prove the deficit? I don't believe there is one which is why it hasn't been produce yet. Smoke and mirrors....
Jimmy Hennessy February 24, 2013 at 10:41 AM
I have asked for the independent audit through a Freedom of Information Request and they have refused to provide it to me. Ironic for two reasons: 1) During the campaign of 2011 Mandel and company criticized the city for not having the report done by October, after the city's books closed on June 30, 2011. The report was released in November and showed a $100,000 surplus after they said it would show a huge deficit! 2) It was mandel and company who criticized the prior administration for its lack of transparency and here we are 9 months since the end of the fiscal year and they refuse to answer FOIL requests. THis administration is seriously one of the most corrupt, two-faced, incompetent administrations I can ever recall, and there have been some pretty bad ones in the past.
Wanttoknow February 25, 2013 at 02:55 PM
Asked for an Independent audit from whom? Not every piece of paper in City Hall is available when you FOIL i.e. your report card
Jessica March 01, 2013 at 10:21 PM
Independent audit from a CPA firm. U have a 34 year old child at the helm, a non accountant in charge of finances and a dpw commissioner with a high school diploma this is who you have running the city... Need I saw more about the current administration. They are just hiding behind the hurricane as an excuse for all delays. Pathetic!
Leonard Bauman March 13, 2013 at 10:33 PM
Would the real person in charge in City Hall, please stand up! No one stood up. The City is burning tax money like a tax guzzler and all patrons in City Hall are getting fat at the taxpayer trough.
Jimmy Hennessy April 03, 2013 at 05:26 PM
John, to your points one by one: 1) you show me the independent audit that shows there was a $10-15 million deficit at the end of fiscal year 2012 and ill retract my statement. The audit was due in October but has not been released yet despite FOIL requests. What are they hiding? 2) holding LB Speaks session around town is nothing new to our city government. In fact it was my administration that began them in 2004 and they continued through the years including the charettes that were conducted around town when we wrote the city's master plan. Mandel is simply following a precedent we set. 3) paying down the debt? This administration came in and there was a total city debt of around $40 million, one of the lowest of any similar municipality in New York State. In short short 15 months this administration borrowed an additional $35 million!! That is outrageous and the interest on that alone erases any savings they claim to have made. 4) the Mandel administrations hiring of the, now, 25 family and friends will cost year to year over $1.4 million each year, that's a fact and you can wiggle your way around that. Bottom line, they made a promise, and they broke it. You are entitled to your opinion but not your facts.
Jimmy Hennessy April 03, 2013 at 05:28 PM
Elizabeth, what questions would you like me to answer? I'm still waiting?
mindy April 08, 2013 at 02:01 AM
I WOULD LOVE TO SEE THE INDEPENDENT AUDIT REPORT FOR FISCAL YEAR ENDING 2012. HOW MANY NEW HIRES HAS THIS ADMINISTRATION HIRED ESPECIALLY IN THE PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT. LACARRUBBA IS NOT EVEN AN ENGINEER WHY THIS DEPARTMENT NEEDED EMPLOYEES TO RUN IT SHOWS HOW INCOMPETENT LACARRUBBA IS. ALSO IN THE COMPTROLLERS OFFICE WHY NEED A DEPUTY TO THE COMPTROLLER ONE COMPETENT PEROSN CAN DO THE JOB. SANDRA CLARSON WASNT A CPA EITHE AND SHE COULDNT EVEN PASS THE ACCOUNTANT EXAM FOR CIVIL SERVICE. THIS IS THE WORST ADMINSTRATION I HAVE SEEN. THERE NEEDS TO BE MASSIVE CUTS TO THIS POORLY RUN ADMINSTRATION. NEED BUSINESS PEOPLE TO RUN THIS CITY NOT POLITICAL PAWNS OUT TO ROB US. SCHNIRMAN NEEDS TO GO!!!!! ENOUGH WITH YOUR ARROGANT CHILDISH BEHAVIOR! IF YOUR DADDY WASNT SUCH A BIG POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR YOU WOULD BE NOTHING! LACARRUBBA NEEDS TO GO. NOBID NEEDS TO GO. ROBINSON NEEDS TO GO. THE WHOLE COUNCIL NEEDS TO BE VOTED OUT!!!! THEY DONT HAVE THE COMMUNITY'S BEST INTEREST AT HEART!!!!! AND FOR THE FORMER ADMINISTRATION THEY WERE NO DIFFERENT THE BLAME GAMES HAVE GOT TO STOP START REALIZING WHAT THE PROBLEMS ARE AND WORK TO CORRECT THEM NOT CREATE MORE. IF IT MEANS CUTS THEN MAKE THE CUTS. IF IT MEANS FREEZING SPENDING THEN DO IT. IT DOESNT MEAN BORROW BORROW BORROW..... IT MEANS SPEND WITHIN YOUR MEANS. LOOK OUTSIDE OF THE BOX TO MAKING THINGS BETTER!!! HAVENT WE SUFFERED ENOUGH WITH HURRICANE SANDY HELP THE PEOPLE OF THIS COMMUNITY WITH THEIR INSURANCE ISSUES AND REBUILDING THEIR HOMES SO THEY CAN GET THEIR LIVES BACK AGAIN! MORE AND MORE HOMES ARE UP FOR SALE EVERY DAY!!!!! THIS ISNT WHAT THE PEOPLE OF LONG BEACH WANT TO SEE BUT WITH OUT OF CONTROL GOVERNMENT SPENDING YOU MIGHT JUST TAX THEM OUT OF THE CITY!!!!

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