City Council Passes Panic Button Ordinance
Last night, five members of the Long Beach City Council passed an ordinance requiring hotels and motels to provide their workers with panic buttons. Third District Councilmember Suzie Price added language to the item to allow small motels six months to comply with the new ordinance. Four councilmembers – Lena Gonzalez, Jeannine Pearce, Roberto Uranga and Rex Richardson – left chambers during the vote in protest over the vote, which they felt was meant to interfere with a November 6 ballot initiative, Measure WW.
Council Meetings Could Be Shorter In The Future
The city council has requested city staff to review best practices for streamlining council meetings, and report back within 90 days. The item was introduced by 4th District Councilmember Daryl Supernaw, who noted that city council meetings have run four hours and 20 minutes long, on average, so far this year. One-third of meetings have lasted six-and-a-half hours or longer, ending past 11:30 p.m. Staff are to examine what other municipalities and government entities have implemented to prevent lengthy meetings. Supernaw noted that “discussion of important public business in the late hours of long meetings diminishes public participation.”
Port Of Long Beach Sponsors Nearly $500,000 In Programs & Events
The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners awarded $463,750 in sponsorships to 130 organizations that support the arts, environment, social justice and historic preservation on Monday. “Supporting organizations that make our diverse city a great place to live and work is just one of the ways the harbor commission seeks to contribute to our community,” Harbor Commission President Tracy Egoscue stated. “We’re proud that we have the opportunity to interact with the public, and bring awareness of the important role the port plays in this region.” The Port of Long Beach accepts requests for community program funding twice a year, in September and March. Its sponsorship budget for Fiscal Year 2019 (beginning October 1) is $1 million. A full list of the funded sponsorships is available here.
Port Of Los Angeles’s $34 Million Rail Project Moves Ahead
The Port of Los Angeles is moving forward with a $34 million plan to expand the existing intermodal rail storage yard on Terminal Island. The Terminal Island Railyard Enhancement Project will add over 31,000 linear feet of track, increasing the number of storage tracks from six to 11. The project will increase capacity and use of the Pier 400 on-dock railyard, optimize on-dock rail operations and improve cargo flow, according to a port statement. The increased use of rail should also reduce truck trips, tailpipe emissions and congestion on local streets and freeways. The port received a $21.6 million grant from the state’s Trade Corridor Enhancement Program for the project, and is funding the remaining $12.4 million. The construction contract is expected to be awarded by June 2020. Project completion is expected in 2022.