|(May 4, 2017) -- A celebration of the life of former Mayor Kell is scheduled for Friday May 12 at the LB Yacht Club, 6201 Appian Way, at 11:00 a.m.
(April 30, 2017, 3:10 p.m.) -- LBREPORT.com has learned that retired Long Beach Mayor Ernie Kell has passed away (we believe on April 29.) According to an online (third party) biographical sketch, he was 88 (and would have turned 89 in July.)
(Photo: retired Mayor Kell in Feb. 2004, celebrating the 80th birthday of Ninos Italian restaurant owner Vincenzo Cristiano. The iconic Bixby Knolls restaurant, a favorite of the Kells, had a pasta dish on its menu dubbed Spaghetti alla Ernie Kell (with olive oil, garlic and special herbs, mushrooms if desired.) LBREPORT.com photo
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Mayor Kell, a successful businessman/developer, was elected to the City Council in ELB's 5th district in 1975, named LB's Council-chosen (rotated position) Mayor in 1984, became LB's first citywide elected Mayor in 1988 and narrowly outpolled former Mayor/then-Councilman Dr. Tom Clark for that position in 1990. Kell remained Mayor until 1994 when he was outpolled by newcomer Beverly O'Neill. At the time, he said philosophically, "one door closes, another one opens."
One of retired Mayor Kell's last major public appearances was at a February 6, 2016 ceremony honoring Dr. Clark (photo of Mayor Kell below) with placement of a plaque at the Los Altos shopping center. In a strong and clear voice, retired Mayor Kell (who enjoyed a good laugh from a political wisecrack) delivered a good natured, warm and humorous tribute to his former City Hall colleague.
Near the end of 2016, we spotted retired Mayor Kell while both of us waited in line at an ELB bank. We said hello and mentioned, "After all the talk about adding police, did you know the City now provides about the same number of cops it did when you left?" He seemed momentarily displeased, then shrugged his shoulders, laughed and said, "Well, how about that!"
His wife, Jackie, was elected to the Council and represented ELB's 5th Council district from 1998-2006.
Further to follow.
LBREPORT.com extends our condolences to Mayor Kell's wife Jackie and the entire Kell family.
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