|(Aug. 22, 2017, 5:05 a.m.) -- Mayor Robert Garcia has told a public meeting that crime in Long Beach is decreasing in almost every major category, is lower than it was ten, twenty or thirty years ago, and said some residents don't believe this because residents now use social media to share information about crimes in their neighborhoods more frequently than in the past.
Allowed to present roughly fifteen minutes of non-agendized remarks to LB's Parks & Recreation Commission, Mayor Garcia -- currently seeking re-election -- boasted that as of that day Long Beach had only 13 homicides. A few hours later, a man was shot to death in the 1900 block of Myrtle Ave., roughly two blocks from Martin Luther King, Jr. Park in the 1900 block of Lemon Ave. [LBREPORT.com coverage here.]
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Mayor Garcia entered the Parks & Recreation Commission's midmorning Aug. 17 meeting accompanied by a number of his City Hall office staffers. The majority of his remarks, delivered without notes, didn't deal with parks or recreation matters. They recited reasons why, in his view, the city is [in his words] "doing great." Among them, Mayor Garcia cited increased port cargo, downtown economic development, jobs...and crime.
LBREPORT.com provides the portion of the Mayor's remarks regarding crime in Long Beach below .
Mayor Garcia: ...[After discussing the local economy and jobs] ...So data on the economy [is] very strong. Let me also just share some data around public safety..
Mayor Garcia made other newsworthy statements during this Aug. 16 Parks and Recreation Commission remarks. As previously reported by LBREPORT.com, he signaled that in his view, the city needs to "densify" [his word] downtown, along the Midtown Specific Plan area, parts of Central LB and NLB (where he said it would be appropriate). [LBREPORT.com coverage here.]
The next day, multiple neighborhood groups testified at LB's Planning Commission in opposition to an advancing city staff proposal to change LB land uses in ways that would invite increased density and building heights in parts of Long Beach that Mayor Garcia had recommended. The Commission voted (4-1) to recommend additional public input before bringing the issue to the City Council.
A day later, Mayor Garcia asked staff to seek additional public input before bringing the matter to the Council. The net effect created a new timeline that could delay the issue coming to the Council (five of whose members are seeking re-election along with Garcia) until after the close of the candidate filing period in early January and perhaps until after April 2018 elections.
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