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Thursday, October 23, 2014
Long Beach city manager to declare ‘fiscal crisis’
New comptroller hired to help turn city’s finances around
Anthony Rifilato
City of Long Beach
City Manager Jack Schnirman, third from left, met with department heads last week to implement a more efficient snow removal plan.

The Long Beach City Council will be asked to declare a fiscal crisis during its meeting on Tuesday, as the city contends with a looming budget deficit, a structural imbalance, a credit-rating downgrade by Moody’s and a recent cash-flow shortfall that forced the previous administration to borrow upward of $4.5 million to pay its workers and retirees.

City Manager Jack Schnirman said that if approved, the resolution to declare such a crisis will be the first step toward a “corrective action plan” that will allow him to immediately “implement enhanced budget discipline and budgetary relief to assist to return the city to fiscal stability, while ensuring the continuation of essential services.”

“We’re going to have the City Council affirm that there is a fiscal crisis, and state what it is that we know up until now,” Schnirman said on Friday. “To date, we found a culture where there’s insufficient accountability when it comes to spending, processes that need reform. The charge of the new City Council that I was given was to bring change, and obviously in a time of financial crisis, you’re going to bring change to the financial management of the city.”

The proposed resolution comes on the heels of the recent announcement on Thursday of a new city comptroller, former Nassau County Budget Director Jeffrey Nogid.

Nogid, 47, developed and managed a $3 billion operating budget for the county and was responsible for overseeing a staff of 20, managing the office of management and budget’s day-to-day operations, according to his bio released by the city. He was also an original member of the county’s “CountyStat” performance measurement effort, and has won four consecutive Budget Presentation Awards from the Government Finance Officers Association.

Additionally, he previously served as the county’s debt manager, developing a financial strategy that delivered 13 bond-rating increases, saving more than $38 million.

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