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.”

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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