UPDATE: Wait, Wait: Councilwoman Mungo Will KEEP Item On May 23 Council Agenda To Begin Process Of Renaming El Dorado Neighborhood Library The "Ernie and Jackie Kell Neighborhood Library" AND Emphasizes Process Will Include Community Outreach For Public Input

Release stresses residents will have opportunity "to weigh in on the Kells' legacy and the community they helped build..." is reader and advertiser supported. Support independent news in LB similar to the way people support NPR and PBS stations. We're not non-profit so it's not tax deductible but $49.95 (less than an annual dollar a week) helps keep us online.
(UPDATED May 18, 2017 from May 17 and May 16) -- Fifth district Councilwoman Stacy Mungo has indicated she will maintain a May 23 City Council agenda item that proposes to begin the process of renaming the El Dorado Neighborhood Library the "Ernie and Jackie Kell Neighborhood Library," and emphasizes that the process will include community outreach and opportunities for public feedback on the proposal.

In a release today (May 18), Councilwoman Mungo's office says "Long Beach residents will have the opportunity to weigh in on the Kells' legacy and the community they helped to build over the course of their service to the city of Long Beach." The release also notes that the City has taken up similar measures in the past, including renaming its Terrace Theater after former Mayor Beverly O’Neill.

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In the release, Councilwoman Mungo states: "The Kells' love for Long Beach was inspiring and their passion for helping others is an example for anyone involved in public service...Together, Mayor Kell and Councilwoman Kell leave a great legacy of leadership that has paved the way for our city to grow and develop into what it is today."

Councilwoman Mungo's release includes a supportive quote from Mayor Robert Garcia: "During his tenure as mayor, Ernie was regarded as a consensus builder that put others first...Naming a library that serves so many of our residents is fitting for this couple that has done so much for the city."

The item originally appeared on May 15 for the May 23 Council agenda (full eight days notice in advance of Council item.) reported it on May 16; Councilwoman Mungo's office advised us later that day, and we reported on May 17, that the item would be rescheduled to a future date to collect community input. This afternoon (May 18), the office indicated the item will remain on the May 23 Council agenda but coupled with a Council office release underscoring that the process will include opportunities for public input and outreach [which had also been included in the original agendizing memo.]



The memo accompanying the May 23 agenda item states:


Recommendation to request the City Council to consider renaming the El Dorado Neighborhood Library the "Ernie and Jackie Kell Neighborhood Library" in honor ofthe late Ernest Eugene Kell, Jr., City of Long Beach's first elected mayor; approve a deviation from existing policy and procedures for naming of City-owned land, buildings and facilities; refer this item to the Housing and Neighborhoods Committee for consideration; request the Library Services Department and the Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine to conduct further outreach around the renaming of the library; and authorize the City Manager, or designee, to execute any necessary agreements and dedication ceremony if approved.


Long Beach's first citywide elected mayor, Ernie Kell, recently passed away at the age of 88 after a lifetime of distinguished public service and lasting community contributions. Kell served as the City's mayor from 1984 to 1994, and ran for the Long Beach City Council for the first time in 1975 when he was elected to represent the Fifth District from 1975 to 1988. During his tenure in office, he earned a reputation as a consensus builder with a personal touch and an eye toward bettering the lives of all neighbors.

Kell's leadership put into motion many efforts that have shaped today's Long Beach, including his work with convening the City's first Homeless Task Force in 1987, the creation of the Mayor's Homeless Fund, the expansion of the Long Beach Convention Center, and the start of the Long Beach Education Partnership, which grew into the Long Beach College Promise.

Kell was born on a farm in Washburn, North Dakota on July 5, 1928. During the Great Depression, Kell's family moved to Wilmington, he graduated from Banning High School, enlisted in the Merchant Marines "to see the world," and was drafted into the United States Army, serving nine months in Korea during the Korean War in 1951. Kell earned his Associate of Arts degree from Long Beach City College and attended California State University, Long Beach for four years, majoring in architecture.


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Administrative Regulations Number ARS-7, Issue 1, "Policy and Procedures for Naming of City-owned Land, Buildings, Facilities" establishes formal policies as a guide to the City Council in considering (1) appropriate names for City-owned land, buildings and facilities; and (2) whether, and under what circumstances, such land, buildings, and facilities should be named or renamed in honor of individuals. A deviation from the policy guidelines is requested consistent with the particular consideration that "The naming of City-owned land, buildings and facilities in honor of deceased persons shall generally not take place until one year after their deaths, unless the City Council determines that there are overriding cohsiderations for deviating from this policy guideline."


There is no significant fiscal impact.



The agenda item follows Councilwoman Mungo's statement at last week's (May 12) Celebration of Life for Ernie Kell that she would propose naming a significant 5th district location in his honor ( VIDEO coverage of the event here.)


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