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Investing in Technology

Over the next few weeks the City Council will be making some tough choices in the City's 2012 budget. The result of this process will result in a leaner government, but also a government with additional reforms. If we continue on a fiscally prudent path and achieve pension reform, we could begin seeing a budget surplus in 2014.

As you may have heard, the City will also be making some capital improvements due to some additional oil revenue the City is experiencing. There will be numerous ideas and proposals for these funds, which could be more than $10 million. Some of the ideas we will be discussing include infrastructure repairs, moving some of the funds into a reserve account, park improvements, and public safety support.

Here are two investments that I am supporting and moving forward:

Creating A 24 Hour Online City Hall

Thanks to the support of City Council last night, and my co-sponsors Councilmembers Gary DeLong and Patrick O'Donnell, the Council will consider the costs and feasibility of creating a 24 Hour Online City Hall. The new Long Beach City Hall Online could include numerous new features including Neighborhood Mapping, Social Media Integration, and expansion of on-line services.

Most importantly it will make government more efficient, innovative and accessible to our residents. Our current website is antiquated, and we need to provide more services online for residents and businesses.

You can read more about the 24 Hour Online City Hall in the Press-Telegram

New Police Technology

Additionally, at last week's budget hearing I asked the Chief of Police to return to the Council with some ideas and a wish list of Police Technology improvements, including the cost of security cameras for our City's top crime locations. By installing cameras in our top 25 crime hot spots, we will be supporting our men and women of the department with additional eyes on the street and increased public safety resources. These cameras also serve as important crime deterrents.

If we are going to become a city of the future, we must make investments in technology. I am hopeful that we consider these two proposals and others to improve Long Beach as we debate the new oil revenues and capital expenditures.