Opinion : If Mom Were Mayor: Essay Winners Give Her Guidance

Long Beach youngsters were invited to write essays describing what their mothers or fathers should do if one of them were elected mayor. Steven Wasick, a freshman at Polytechnic High School, won first place in the high school category. Rome Sotelo, who is in the eighth grade at Hughes Middle School, topped the middle-school division. Nearly 100 students entered the contest, sponsored by "Straight Talk" Cable Television show, ACT Electronics and Kinko's Copy Center. The winning essays:

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Long Beach is seriously sick. I would want my "doctor" mom to cure it. She remembers when Long Beach was well. It was clean, safe and a wonderful place to grow up.

Long Beach needs strong medicine, an inventive, perhaps bitter pill to stimulate its own recovery. She would like Long Beach to stand for Let Our New Government Bring Encouragement and Continuing Hope.

The first attack would be to get rid of the germs that are eating away our city's resources and strengths, namely anyone or thing that cannot justify, with concrete results, its time and expense.

Next, put to use our greatest resource: our people. Have a youth staff on the City Council with full authority. Have elderly and welfare mothers of small children baby-sit at senior and community centers, enabling able-bodied parents to work without endangering their children or their pocketbooks. Have citizens participate in community projects, paid by city vouchers, redeemable for food, clothing and shelter. These projects can include graffiti removal, renovating houses and businesses, service to youth, and clerical duties.

The next course of treatment is safety. Along with sobriety checkpoints, establish random safety checkpoints at any or all of our schools to search motorists and pedestrians for weapons. Create a program paying cash or tickets for tips or weapons. Give incentives for neighborhood patrols and watches. Make it clear that Long Beach will not tolerate crime. Support law enforcement by clearing court dockets with mandatory sentencing coupled with mandatory restitution.

To keep the patient, Long Beach, healthy, you must keep its system running smoothly. First, balance the budget by allowing the city to borrow from other departments, its people and money. That would mean restructuring city government and bringing it into the 21st Century. No more career civil servants who take more than they give. No more contracts to underqualified and overpriced firms. We need to refinance existing debts, create penalties for unused properties, create a complaint department for its citizenry, extend hours for city services to evening and weekends, create liaisons for business to city, city to city, residents to city, residents to business, residents to residents; establish new sources of revenue.

Mayor Mom's pet projects include gambling on the Queen Mary, water treatment, storage and selling of the Los Angeles River and the Pacific Ocean, establishing Long Beach as an entertainment mecca, an offshore airport, no smoking anywhere children are present, and space-age technology for all forms of transportation.

Lastly you must advertise, advertise, advertise! Sell Long Beach as the place to live, work and play, and then, keep your word!

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