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City Manager Highlights Staffing Spike in 2011

Comptroller's analysis shows surge to Long Beach work force over past eight years.


The City of Long Beach comptroller conducted an analysis that shows staffing levels in the city have spiraled “out of control” over the last eight years — particularly in 2011 — according to City Manager Jack Schnirman, who has called for a staff reduction of 67 employees. 

Schnirman said at Tuesday’s City Council budget hearing that personnel costs presently account for 78 percent of the entire budget, or 81 percent of the general fund budget, when costs traditionally should be in the 65 to 75 percent range, according to the Long Beach Herald. Schnirman said:

“A lot of people were hired in 2011 — it’s unsustainable, unaffordable and a major reason why the city is having such severe financial difficulties.”

Schnirman displayed a chart that showed the total number of city employees increased from 1,282 in 2004 to 1,624 last year, while the city’s population has declined 6.2 percent since 2000. As examples, he highlighted the additional 27 full-time and part-time employees who were hired at the Department of Public Works in 2001, CSEA staffing levels increasing from 205 in 2005 to 241 last year, and the 207 lifeguards that were hired last year compared to 158 who were hired in 2004.

“Last year alone we saw a tremendous hiring of lifeguards,” Schnirman said. “That’s unsustainable.”

But others, including Councilman John McLaughlin, contest some of the city manager’s numbers. McLaughlin noted that the increase in lifeguards is due to Nassau County requiring more lifeguards to man each station throughout the beach season.

“It’s not an inflated number, they’re not falling over each another,” McLaughlin said. “… So that number is not right.”

LBLover May 19, 2012 at 10:52 AM
1. Across the board pay cut for everyone including police, fire, etc 2. Everyone pays for benefits and pays into retirement Problem solved
Just a Resident May 19, 2012 at 11:49 AM
Hiring a lot of lifeguards wouldn't be a problem if they were all underwritten by a sponsor like Rayban or a sunscreen. The real problem is those who get hired as political payback as each new administration comes in -- and the pay grade bumps given without merit. Even judges seem to have the ability to hire campaign helpers.
DR. Jay May 19, 2012 at 01:10 PM
Thanks Noah I guess at $ 202,000.00 making deals with an incoming Det Lt , when we are supposedly broke makes sense they can pay for some of the residents schooling. Council members get full benefits plus pension credits aak Fagan he knows...
joe May 19, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Tagney gets a $ 40,000 raise in Schnirman's proposed budget. Let's do the audit now for his upcoming terminal payout (18 months from now). Why audit the 2 cops leaving now JAck, lets get it done now for Tagney. I figure $650,000 t0 $ 700,000. Cmon Jack let's be transparent now. I guess you will ignore this suggestion as you will not be here when he leaves but fran will.
LB TAXPAYA May 19, 2012 at 08:20 PM
From the corrupt school board, to the corrupt city council, to the over-paid PD, to the over paid FD, Here is 90% of the problem "GOVERNMENT WASTE" !!!!!!!!!!!
LB TAXPAYA May 19, 2012 at 08:21 PM
The CSEA at least works for an affortable wage!
DR. Jay May 19, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Well said LB TAXPAYA is am imposter using Mr James just with out a period. People don't want.to hear that what you just said, why they are all for the Elite PD with the over paid OT.
LB TAXPAYA May 19, 2012 at 08:26 PM
Oh, I forgot about the Lifeguards (Riding around in the 3 wheelers all day & tanning on National), they are pretty much useless too! (Not the young guys who actually go out & save people, but the old LB cronies who are milking the cow dry! We all know who they are!)
DR. Jay May 19, 2012 at 08:30 PM
LB TAXPAYA people will get mad at your comments because it's the truth..
Joel May 19, 2012 at 09:37 PM
We don't know who they all are-- who?
Candygram for Mongo May 20, 2012 at 11:41 AM
I heard they get the best buds
Patrick Smith May 20, 2012 at 05:37 PM
we pay these cops super star saleries ,to spy on the residents of l.b. , 4 th amendment gone,the cars with scanners are all federal funded , the cops took a oath to protect the constitution ,thats why they get these salarys .150,000.00 to sell out ,no more local duristriction, fedarel govt police dept
my beach May 21, 2012 at 09:59 AM
how about putting the 7 day/week surf school on national right near the lifeguards where they belong. then they don't have to ride around anywhere they would be right there to make a rescue. no! favor some semi transient condo dwellers over me who has been a resident since before that bldg was renovated and put skudin's in MY spot on MY beach and of course raise my beach pass but take away my pleasure.
lifeguard May 21, 2012 at 04:28 PM
You should know that the EMT"S and central communication is located at National. The equipment needed for rescues and backup for the guards on the chairs comes from National. Who do you think keeps the beach working efficiently so the guards on the chairs can do their primary jobs(watching the water)? Did you know that there are over 125,000 preventative actions per year and over 400 first aid cases. In addition, on an average year 800 -1100 rescues are performed all of which those old men at National respond to. Who do you think keeps all the equipment in working order? YOu're correct again, the old men at National. Who do you think recertifies the lifeguards on the beach yearly? Oh, the old men at National again.I guess they do nothing but the beach couldn't operate efficiently and as professionally without them.
paul.d.spellman May 21, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Did he just say they blow their whistles 125,000 times a year?
paul.d.spellman May 21, 2012 at 04:56 PM
My Beach, Do you have any idea how much the surf schools pay for the right to operate on those beaches, not to mention the monies the students and employees spend in town?
joe May 21, 2012 at 10:16 PM
First round of PINK SLIPS went out to City workers today. Twenty CSEA members were given their walking papers. Should be a heck of a meeting tomorrow night.
holdenon May 21, 2012 at 10:40 PM
you mean the city manager actually did his job? we can't pay for them or fire or police or all the exempts. they all must be trimmed. some have to go, sorry.
jach l May 21, 2012 at 10:47 PM
I was there at the mlk center when the dems said they didnt believe in opening up contracts before the time was up for them.Now adays its just say what ever you want to get elected.its a shame alot of long beach people getting layed off but hire out of towners connected to the dem party.its really disgusting to me.
Publius May 21, 2012 at 10:58 PM
jach I - they didn't know we were $10 million in the hole then. where i this money supposed to come from? the money tree in my backyard? yours?
bob slob May 22, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Fire all the politicians who don't know how to do anything except line their own pockets. Fire all the useless, arogant cops who are a plague on our town. Appoint a mayor. Use Nassua cty police; LB police can't handle anything. Leave city workers who are doing their jobs alone. Problem solved.
Karen McInnis May 22, 2012 at 08:38 PM
From New York State Retirement System website... Our Funded Ratio A funded ratio is a measure of assets to liabilities. A ratio of 100 percent indicates employer contributions will approximate the expected long-term rates. If a funded ratio is above 100 percent, employer contributions will generally be less than the expected long-term rates while employer contributions will generally be more that the expected long-term rates if a funded ratio is below 100 percent. According to the Public Fund Survey of the National Association of State Retirement Administrators, most public plans are funded at 87 percent. As of April 1, 2010, the funded ratio of the Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) was 93.9 percent, while the funded ratio of the Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS) was 96.7 percent. As a result, the average employer contribution rates for 2013 will be 18.9 percent in ERS, and 25.8 percent in PFRS.
Karen McInnis May 22, 2012 at 08:41 PM
"For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2010, the City's annual other post-employment benefits cost (expenses) was $6,617,000. Considering the annual expense, as well as the payment of current health insurance premiums, which totaled $2,011,768 for retirees and their beneficiaries, the result was an increase in the other post-employment benefits liability of $4,605,232 for the year ended June 30, 2010"
Karen McInnis May 22, 2012 at 08:45 PM
The net other-post employment benefits (OPEB) cost on July 1, 2009 was $3,958,783. At the end of the fiscal year, June 30, 2010, the net OPEB was $8,564,015. I believe the difference was funded from the balance sheet. This one-time hit was the result of poor performance of the state fund for fiscal year ending 3/31/09. That's a lot of dough.
Karen McInnis May 22, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Source: City of Long Beach Comprehensive Annual Financial Report year ended June 30, 2010. Audited by Israeloff, Trattner & Co, P.C. 2/28/11.
CP May 22, 2012 at 09:17 PM
How are the local businesses doing since they said they were raising taxes? I know the places I support said they have slowed down. I guess the overpaid management and cops count, but the people that work for our local businesses don't, along with civil service workers. Its amazing to me how little politicians know about economics.
Patrick Smith May 22, 2012 at 09:18 PM
we dont need ,retired ppl running our city and double dipping on pensions ,if you love long beach ,drain the swamp of these corupt, selfish, do nothing premadonnas
Patrick Smith May 22, 2012 at 09:37 PM
yesterdays rain storm brought long beach to a halt,all cops ran for hills ,i did not see any cops while traffic was stalled by flooding, god forbid we had a evacuation ,we would never get out. the ppl need to run the city not these pension scavengers.
Fred Barnes May 22, 2012 at 10:09 PM
increased taxes will be passed on to businesses by landlords, stores will go vacant, property values will decline, taxes will be raised more, etc, etc. i'm convinging myslef that if the city council does not take a hard line with all employee groups, the immediate solution is state control board, with bankruptcy as the nuclear option. we need to clean house and get this straight now!
Candygram for Mongo May 22, 2012 at 10:46 PM
All of the above - we need a populous uprising

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