LWV League of Women Voters of California
Smart Voter
Los Angeles County, CA November 5, 2002 Election
Measure T
Recreation Commission changes
City of Long Beach

Charter Amendment - Majority Approval Required

39,705 / 59.01% Yes votes ...... 27,583 / 40.99% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Information shown below: Official Information | Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

Shall Measure T, which amends the Long Beach City Charter by changing the name of the Recreation Commission to the Parks and Recreation Commission, and modifying the Commission's jurisdiction to include all activities on and use of park lands in the City, be ratified?

Official Sources of Information
Impartial Analysis from Robert E. Shannon, City Attorney
Voter approval of Measure T would amend Article IX of the Long Beach City Charter, relating to the powers and duties of the Recreation Commission.

Presently, the Recreation Commission has the authority to make recommendations to the City Manager and the City Council regarding public leisure activities upon City-owned property, plans for the improvement of lands and the construction or improvement of buildings to be used for public recreation. The Commission further authorizes the issuance of permits and execution of contracts in connection with such activities and establishes fees for such activities.

The proposed amendment would grant to the Commission the further authority to make recommendations to the City Manager and the City Council regarding the acquisition of land for public parks and recreation and the removal of public land from dedication as parkland recreation. Further, the Commission would have the authority to recommend to the City Manager, City Council and Planning Commission the approval or rejection of plans for the improvement of parkland for public recreation and for other purposes, including, but not limited to, buildings and other facilities. The proposed amendment would further change the title of the Commission from the "Recreation Commission" to the "Parks and Recreation Commission," and would delete superseded provisions regarding the requirements for membership on the Commission.

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Arguments For Measure T Arguments Against Measure T
Parks and open space are vital parts of Long Beach's quality of life, particularly in our increasingly urban environment.

It is important to protect and enhance our park assets. Measure T does that by giving the Parks and Recreation Commission the duty to conduct studies and public hearings any time a change of parkland use is considered. The Commission must then make a recommendation to the City Council FROM THE PARK USERS' PERSPECTIVE.

Measure T also clarifies the Commission's duties regarding recreation and leisure activities in the city's parks. This duty is designed to ensure that all segments of the recreation population have fair and equal access to the city's parks and recreation facilities.

Finally, Measure T changes the name of the current Recreation Commission to the PARKS AND Recreation Commission. The name change reflects the importance our city attaches to its parks.

Both the City Planning Commission and the City Council have endorsed this amendment.

Our parks provide pleasure, relaxation and recreation. Such an asset deserves to have a Commission devoted to its preservation and improvement. Measure T enhances the Commission designed to do just that.

We urge that you vote "Yes" on Measure T.

Bea Antenore
Chair, Recreation Commission

William Marmion
Past Chair, Recreation Commission

Rebuttal to Arguments For
You bet it's important to protect and enhance our park assets! Measure T doesn't do that-instead, it empowers a Commission to consider CHANGING parkland use.

Commissioners say they will relay park users' perspective to the City Council. Park users have already expressed our perspective to the Commission and the Council, repeatedly. But we keep on losing parkland, and if Measure T passes, we'll keep right on losing. Why? Because park users don't appoint Commissioners, City Council members do.

The solution is to give US a vote before we lose any more parkland.

Measure T does NOT clarify the Commission's duties to ensure fair park access. The way to do that is to give the Commission a more aggressive role in ACQUIRING parkland, not to let them hold hearings on GIVING IT AWAY!

Finally, changing the Commission's name DOESN'T reflect the importance of parks. Recreation is one very important park use-but parks also serve public safety, resource production (water, fish, oil and gas) and preservation needs. Anyone who thinks changing the Commission's name without broadening its duties to address these needs DOESN'T attach much importance to parks.

Our parks DO deserve a Commission devoted to their preservation and improvement. That's why we need a better measure than this to define the Commission's job. More importantly, we need a separate amendment to let US do the job of voting to protect parks.

We expect better from the Commission and from City Hall. Vote NO on their measure.

Traci Wilson-Kleekamp

Bry Laurie Myown


Long Beach residents want more parks, and we want them to STAY parks!

The City's draft Open Space and Recreation Element has just been updated for the first time in 30 years. It reflects our need for more parks and our desire to protect parkland from being gobbled up for non-park uses. The public and the Planning Commission have said we want a Charter amendment to make future loss of parkland subject to a public vote.

The Council and the Recreation Commission disagree. They think THEY should decide whether we get to keep existing parks or whether they get to build non-park uses on them. This is nothing but a power grab by the Council and its political appointees.

Among other things, the City Attorney says Measure T formalizes some changes the Council made 17 years ago. If we fall for this, we'll probably wait 17 more years for the amendment we want.

Measure T also changes the Recreation Commission's name-but it's a change in name only. Changing what the Council calls its appointees will not change Commissioners' ability or willingness to protect our full range of park uses.

The Recreation Commission didn't protect us against these park "giveaways" and attempted "giveaways":

  • pay-to-play adult sports complex at EI Dorado
  • private developer's parking garage at Victory
  • institutional communications center at Stearns
  • big box retail/movie theater at Shoreline

Measure T will not change their record. If the Council or the Recreation Commission cared about protecting parks, they would have given us the amendment the public asked for, and they would have signed the ballot argument supporting it.

Their measure will NOT protect our parks-only WE can.

Demand a Say! Vote NO on Measure T.

Traci Wilson-Kleekamp

Bry Laurie Myown

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
(No Rebuttal Argument was submitted.)

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Created: December 6, 2002 03:14 PST
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