A community group called the People of Long Beach has taken an active role in opposing recent Meaure A funds that were approved by City Council to fund an artificial turf soccer field in El Dorado Park.
A letter written by its founder Carlos Ovalle firmly states:
“I urge you to put an immediate stop to unnecessary projects like the [$1.5 million] El Dorado Park artificial turf. I urge you to freeze all salary increases, particularly at the upper end of the pay scale. I urge you to freeze all overtime pay for non-essential medical services. I urge you to recognize the fact that this pandemic will have long-lasting repercussions for the city and as stewards of our tax dollars it is up to you to tighten our belt. Use all available city funds to assist parents in need. This is imperative.”
The City of Long Beach for its part has been helping out residents recently by:
- Implementing a Safer at Home order prohibiting gatherings of 10 people or more.
- Cancelling or postponing large events such as the Grand Prix and Long Beach Pride
- Enforcing social distancing
- Putting a Moratorium on street sweeping tickets until March 30th
- Creating a Long Beach Coronavirus Relief Fund that can be accessed here
- Exploring a Coronavirus Relief Package
The 1.5 million dollar funding for artificial turf at El Dorado strikes many right now as wasteful spending by City Hall in this time of crisis. The opposition argues that funds can be used more efficiently. At the March 17th City Council Meeting, acting City Manager Tom Modica did express that in light of Covid-19, some of the budget items approved that night, including the artificial turf, might not get funded and would have to come back to City Council again.
More to come.