Updated: Apr 22
Why are you interested in this position?
I love serving the City I was born in and where I have lived my entire life. Long Beach is where I met my husband Jim and where we have enjoyed 32 years of marriage together. We are also raising our daughter Kelly here. The education and experience I have enjoyed fit perfectly with the duties of this office. Long Beach is where I received ALL of my education from kindergarten to law school. In addition to my Juris Doctor degree, I am also a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Fraud Examiner.
I have 28 years of experience in auditing and accounting. As City Auditor, I have a track record of performing many great audits with great results for the benefit of Long Beach residents.
What relative experience do you have in this career field?
I have 28 years of experience in auditing and accounting. A few highlights of the work that I have accomplished as Long Beach City Auditor have brought in significant additional revenues, cost savings, and many benefits to the public - they include:
More money for parks, public pools, and recreation classes ( Parks, Recreation, and Marine Revenue Collection Audit)
Additional funding for City beaches, environmental and infrastructure coastal projects, and improved water quality (Harbor Initiative Audit)
Enhanced security over the City's Towing cash (Towing Cash Handling Audit)
Oil revenue spent on public safety (Oil Production Tax Audit)
Library materials and programs now in languages other than english (Library Services Audit)
What are 3 changes you would like to make while in office?
Continued oversight of City dollars spent on Queen Mary
Review the City's Homelessness Grants to ensure funds are given to service providers meeting regulatory compliance and that there is proper support showing the expenditures were spent as intended
More civilians filling administrative positions in the Police Department to free up more police officers for patrol
What are your top priorities for small businesses ?
To follow up on my office's audit of the City's BID Program which found that the City needs to improve its oversight to ensure that BIDs receive the resources they need. BIDs are an important component of the City’s economic development and with better oversight the City can help BIDs maximize the impact on business.
To identify taxes and fees small businesses pay just to do business in Long Beach, assess the impact these taxes and fees may have on small businesses, and if needed, make recommendations to adjust taxes and fees to make Long Beach more business-friendly. Regarding the funding the City receives/d to assist small businesses, I would recommend the City communicate this information to the public by creating dashboards. These dashboards would be able to break down and show how the money is being distributed. For example:
How many applications there were and where they are located
How much money was received by the City
How much money was disbursed by the City
How many applicants there were
What type of businesses applied
How money was distributed throughout the City to ensure goals of the program are/were being met
If elected, what steps you would take to put Long Beach on a firmer financial footing?
I would perform more revenue collection audits to ensure Long Beach is maximizing all revenue due to the City. A few of my previous revenue collection audits that have brought in significant additional revenue and have put Long Beach on a firmer financial footing include:
Oil Production Tax - our audit found that Long Beach's oil production tax was too low compared to other surrounding cities. We therefore recommended a ballot initiative to increase the tax to be more in line with what other cities charge. As a result of its successful passage, Long Beach now receives approximately $3.2 million annually of additional funding for public safety.
Parking Citations Audit - this audit identified $18 million of outstanding parking citations that were under three years old. The audit recommended updating the old system to properly track and collect citation revenue due.
Parks, Recreation, and Marine Audit - this audit recommended centralizing the revenue collection process, increasing the use of technology, and developing cash handling training to ensure all revenue is collected and collected in a timely manner.
What sectors in Long Beach do you feel can significantly improve to reduce financial waste?
I would review the City's Capital Improvement Projects, specifically project management oversight, to ensure the proper oversight of change orders and to ensure the City is effectively and efficiently executing at each phase of its Capital Improvement Projects.