Gerrie's Priorities

 Gerrie Schipske’s priorities include:

 

Anti-Corruption.

When Gerrie Schipske was sworn into the United States Supreme Court Bar by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, she took an oath that as “an attorney and as a counselor of this Court, I will conduct myself uprightly and according to law, and that I will support the Constitution of the United States.”

 Gerrie Schipske believes every elected official and public employee should also conduct themselves “uprightly and according to law,” Corruption erodes the public’s trust.

Gerrie believes that conflict of interest laws creates a baseline for ethical conduct and protect both actual impropriety and the appearance of impropriety.

Gerrie will use the full force of the Office of City Attorney to establish the strongest “Anti-Corruption” effort to root out unethical or illegal conduct by City elected officials, employees, and those who contract with the City.

Gerrie will make sure there is rigorous training for all city employees and elected officials on the following principles:

·         Avoiding personal financial gain or other perks as a result of public service (e.g. Political Reform Act and Government Code section 1090);

·         Governmental transparency (e.g. Brown Act and Public Records Act); and

·         Fair processes (e.g. public contracting laws, incompatible offices doctrine, campaign contribution regulations).

Gerrie will provide the Ethics Commission with informational support and encourage them to provide community training on how to ensure city government is open, transparent, and accountable.

Gerrie will encourage the City Council to adopt an ordinance that prohibits Council members from participating in decisions on contracts if they have received campaign contributions of more than $100 from the companies and employee unions seeking or having contracts and to post such conflicts on agendized matters.

She will also provide a legal opinion that allowing the use of officeholder accounts for political campaigns over a four-year term of office, violates the City Charter “Long Beach Campaign Finance Reform Act” which limits political fundraising to one year before an election.

 

Neighborhood Protection and Preservation. 

The City Attorney must aggressively develop and enforce long-term solutions to the problems which disrupt the quality of life in our neighborhoods.

As City Attorney, Gerrie Schipske will establish:

·           Neighborhood Law Corps that utilizes an attorney in each Council District to improve neighborhoods block by block by tackling serious problems affecting the quality of life in Long Beach. NLC will focus on code enforcement, substandard housing, public nuisance and blight, vacant buildings, illegal dumping, tire dumping, conditional use permit and zoning violations, dangerous buildings, and weed abatement.

 

·          Community Assistance, Recovery and Empowerment (CARE) Court Task Force to train and implement Governor Newsom’s new plan to get people in crisis off the streets and into housing, treatment, and care. The Community Assistance, Recovery, and Empowerment (CARE) Court will provide Long Beach an effective tool to deal with homelessness in a compassionate but firm manner.


 Fiscal Responsibility and Accountability. 

One of the highlights of Gerrie Schipske’s public service career was being honored at the White House by President Barack Obama as one of only seven “Champions of Change for Open Government.”

As City Attorney, Gerrie Schipske will continue her efforts to ensure that Long Beach City government is open, transparent, and accountable, which is critical to fiscal responsibility.

Gerrie Schipske will establish an “Annual Accountability Report” to provide an overview of how the Office of City Attorney performs each fiscal year and include:

·         A detailed explanation of legal services performed.

·         Payments for judgments and settlements of claims and lawsuits by category with details.

·         Office and budget expenses, including use of outside legal counsel.

·         Dollars recovered by the City Attorney.

Gerrie Schipske will also expand the Office of City Attorney’s website so that the public can access real-time information on how the City Attorney is striving to safeguard taxpayer dollars by providing the highest quality legal services to the City and its residents in the most efficient and just manner. The following postings will be added: Legal Opinions, Memorandum of Law, and Reports to City Council.

Gerrie Schipske will roll back the massive increase in the City Attorney’s salary to make it more in line with other elected officials and to lead in fiscal responsibility. The City Attorney is now the highest-paid elected official in Long Beach. Since 2017, the City Attorney has raised his salary from $279,000 to $319,525, which substantially increases the calculation for his pension. By comparison, the Mayor earns $166,000. City Prosecutor $249,930 and City Auditor $237,739.

The salaries of the hard-working men and women in the Office of the City Attorney will remain at their current levels.


 

Aggressive, Proactive Risk Management. 

The Office of City Attorney must proactively assess and advise the City on potential risks and to provide training on how to avoid such risks. The City currently utilizes what is termed: “Traditional Risk Management” that typically only occurs after an incident has already happened and is done to prevent that situation from happening again. This is a very limited and costly approach.

As City Attorney, Gerrie Schipske will establish a Task Force on Potential Risk Events and Situations utilizing Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) which looks to the future and attempts to determine potential events and situations that could or are likely to occur. Every effort needs to be made to prevent claims against the City, not just pay them. 

 

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