A weekly newsletter on the latest local government news from the lens of the Long Beach Post's City Hall reporter, who sits through so many city meetings for us.
Where do Measure A funds go?

I’ve been up to my ears in budget documents since Monday. And if you’ve ever met me in person, you know that I have fairly large ears.

It’s officially budget season and the city gave us a preview of the proposed budget that would be revealed to the public during a Tuesday morning press conference and again during the City Council meeting that night.

Yes, I’ve seen the same presentation three times now and lived to tell about it.

But the truth is you’d need a solid month just to read the 450-page document, and I’m not holding out hope that there’s an audiobook version I can listen to while walking my dog.

Long Beach is proposing a lot in this year’s budget, and I’m here to help you because I was reminded this week that the budget is both a moral document and an exercise in public relations.

For instance, the mayor’s budget recommendations include a page detailing over $82 million in homelessness funding. That’s great, and I think people will agree that homeless services need funding.

What it didn’t say is that $77 million of that is existing funding that the Health Department primarily gets from grants and other sources outside of the city.

But let’s focus on Measure A, the star of the city’s proposed budget that is linked to a new five-year investment plan that could pour hundreds of millions into city streets, which have seen their Pavement Condition Index (PCI) score dip because the city has not kept pace with necessary repairs.

If you’d like to go back on a trip down memory lane—which, if it really existed, probably has a PCI score of 41/100 (the score of my street)—the Measure A sales tax increase was sold to voters as a way to prop up public safety and infrastructure repairs.

It’s done that, but maybe not in the proportions that people may have expected.

Over its first six years, Measure A has generated about $360 million. Of that, $210 million was devoted to police, fire and fixes to those department’s facilities. Repairs to city streets and alleys allocated about $51 million—a drop in the bucket of the $1.77 billion the city estimates it would cost to fix every street.

In fact, city data shows the overall PCI in Long Beach has actually worsened since Measure A was approved.

This year the city is proposing issuing $150 million in bonds to speed up street repairs and other public facilities like park recreation centers and playgrounds because the more broken these things get the more expensive they will be to fix.

In total the city outlined a $521 million plan to address public infrastructure over the next five years. But that total is primarily funded with money not generated by Measure A, with $283 million coming from tax revenue outside the city and potentially the $150 million from the bonds.

Without the bonds, Measure A alone would contribute just $88 million over the next five years to the city’s infrastructure plans, or just a little more than half of what the city pledged in its original three-year plan for Measure A in 2016.

There are a lot of good things in the city’s infrastructure plan and streets are something that all of us use on a daily basis. The City Council is expected to vote on the bonds in the coming weeks, and those funds will be desperately needed.

The plan for how the city intends to spend that money has yet to be released.


One of the more vexing issues facing the city’s team that tries to connect homeless residents with housing solutions is reluctance among property owners to accept housing vouchers, something that city officials say could immediately reduce the unhoused population by about 20%. Next Friday, Councilmember Suzie Price is hosting a workshop for property owners to understand how housing vouchers work and the kind of services that are provided to support formerly homeless residents who might occupy those units. The city’s homeless count this year found over 3,000 people experiencing homelessness, a 62% increase from 2020. The workshop is being held Aug. 12 at Price’s field office located at 340 Nieto Ave. from noon to 2 p.m.


The City Council will finally be voting on the Climate Action Adaptation plan that will lay the foundation for the city to meet greenhouse gas reduction targets by 2030. Long Beach, like other cities, will have a diversified approach that will include more of its trash being recycled through a state-mandated program, which is why city trash rates are increasing. But it will also include industry getting involved. The city has previously expressed hope that Southern California Edison’s switch to a cleaner source of energy and the city’s ending of oil production will also play a part. This week the city announced it was creating a new city office dedicated to integrating the CAAP into the city’s operations going forward. The hearing on the CAAP is scheduled for the Aug. 9 City Council meeting.

Please feel free to contact me at with questions, suggestions, or story tips.
Long Beach Post, 211 E. Ocean Blvd, Suite 400, Long Beach, CA 90802, United States

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