(Nov. 8, 2006, updated text) -- LBReport.com is saddened to report the passing of former 8th district LB Councilman Edd Tuttle.
Councilman Tuttle was elected to the City Council in March 1978 and served through summer 1988. He retired to Arkansas roughly seven years ago...but travelled back to LB from time to time (in photo attending March 2004 8th district Council candidates forum).
Reactions are coming in as we post and will be added here in the coming hours.
8th district Councilwoman Rae Gabelich said she is very saddened to learn the news. "He was bigger than life. He loved the excitement, the rush of a challenge, and he loved his family above and beyond anything," she said...and composed the following emailed statement:
My friend, Edd, he was bigger than life! And yet he was also the giant teddy bear.
He loved life and all of the challenges that come with it! He never feared or stepped back from a challenge. And followed through always with a smile on his face. He enjoyed the fight!
His family, especially his mother and father were so important to him. His friends, and he had so many from all walks of life - he managed to stay in touch with each one of us.
He always thought we should all know each other, like one big happy family that he had connected together.
He loved his politics, he loved the fight for justice at all levels. He knew the darker side of many political characters and spoke often about the need for change. He considered several runs for office after leaving Long Beach, but also found his love for life and a quieter adventure outside of the spotlight was very rewarding.
He was a deal maker. He always seemed to have a new interest, a new mission, a new life changing idea that he was ready to commit to.
Edd was my friend, my confidant, a part of my extended family. I will miss his laugh, his wit, his support, his charm and his contagious love of life!
Former 8th district Councilman and LB Vice Mayor Jeff Kellogg, now an elected member of the LB Community College Board of Trustees, credited Tuttle with first identifying quality of life and political issues involving commercial carrier use of LB Airport, giving a voice to homeowners and neighborhoods.
When an airport proponent suggested the answer was soundproofing nearby homes, Councilman Tuttle shot back, "How do you soundproof a backyard or a playground?"
Kellogg said he was given little chance of prevailing over Tuttle in the 1988 election cycle...but won after Tuttle withdrew during the filing period following some unflattering news revelations.
"In looking back, Edd's real mark was in giving neighborhoods a voice on the Airport," said Kellogg. "He identified quality of life and political issues. He said that quality of life matters."
In Sept. 2004, after retiring to Harrison, Arkansas, Mr. Tuttle told LBReport.com (and we reported) that he would be running for the U.S. Senate...from Arkansas. seeking the Senate seat lost in 2002 by Republican Sen. Tim Hutchison in 2002 (which will be contested in 2008).
"I am getting in real early...got lots of walking to do!" said Mr. Tuttle, a Republican, in a written release at the time. He said in his candidacy announcement that the federal government is doing "an embarrassing job" with the war on drugs ("way too many of the wrong folks going to jail...Let's get the real crooks and quit putting our kids away for non victim crimes") and criticized the Bureau of Land Management's recent efforts to limit public access to national parks and lands ("a planned and capricious land grab").
Rarely without an opinion on LB matters, Mr. Tuttle spotted an August 2006 LBReport.com opinion piece by downtown LB businessman John Morris which advocated allowing gaming at the site adjacent to the Queen Mary...and Tuttle sounded off: "Gambling on and around the QM is a real bad idea," he opined. "Any revenues raised for the city would quickly be wiped out cleaning up the graft created by it. A REAL BAD IDEA!"
Retired Councilman Tuttle was visiting LB at the time and told us that he planned to return in October 2006 to establish joint residency here and in Arkansas.
During his ten years on the LB City Council, Councilman Tuttlel was an outspoken supporter of homeowners resisting increased flights at LB Airport. Named Vice-Mayor by his Council colleagues, Mr. Tuttle was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to serve on a White House Families Conference. He was also a member of the Los Angeles Transportation Commission (before it "ran into financial disaster" he told us in 2004) and chaired the L.A. County Sanitation District, which built one of the first waste to energy plants on the west coast.
He attended Pepperdine, LBCC, UCLA, CSU Chico and Cal Berkeley, earning his teaching credential from Cal he told us at the time.
Mr. Tuttle said his campaign "is going to be in the grand tradition of former Senator Wilber Mills," adding "We both know how to skin a mule perfectly."
Mr. Tuttle is believed to have been roughly 59 years old at his passing.
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