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Los Angeles County, CA April 9, 2002 Election
Smart Voter

Maintaining Long Beach's Infrastructure

By Ray Grabinski

Candidate for Mayor; City of Long Beach

This information is provided by the candidate
Our city has money to fix streets, curbs and sidewalks, but is not addressing our needs on a timely basis.
The issue of Long Beach infrastructure -- a favorite bureaucratic word for streets, curbs, gutters and sidewalks -- has been debated often at the Long Beach City Council over the past year.
Long Beach City Auditor Gary Burroughs discovered that a great deal of money allocated for infrastructure repair was not spent. "We're short-staffed" said city management. Meanwhile, residents can point out many instances where neglect, and not repair, has been the norm. "We talk about how much it costs," said 7th District Councilman Ray Grabinski, "But according to our city auditor, we don't spend the money we already have in the budget to fix our streets."
Over a year ago, the city spent money for a consultant's analysis of every street in Long Beach -- what existed on the street at the time and what was needed for repair. The price tag for such citywide repairs is exorbitant but there is adequate money (approximately $70 million) to at least get the work started. Long Beach has finally begun a system of making repairs a priority, based on residential and commercial complaints and calls for service.
A more effective method of approaching infrastructure repair would be to simply make the necessary repairs on an on-going basis rather than as part of a complaint-driven system.
As Mayor, Grabinski has said he would use the existing studies (rather than commission another study) and allocate the funds available and the staff necessary to keep the roadways and pedestrian areas in good shape. Maintenance is key, he said, regardless of staff levels or contractor availability. "Good management demands constant upkeep in any sector," Grabinski said, "and streets, roads, gutters and sidewalks -- the infrastructure of Long Beach -- are no exception."

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