|(Aug. 22, 2020, 10:00 a.m.) -- Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia left his City Charter elected duty to preside at City Council meetings to appear in an MSNBC political interview segment.
The action occurred under peculiar circumstances.
Garcia, among 17 Democrat politicians collectively described in a Dem Convention release as "rising stars":(amplified as to Garcia by his Chief of Staff via her personal email domain coverage here), opened the Aug. 18 City Council meeting which began a bit later than its scheduled 5 p.m. time. Long Beach City Council meetings typically last until well past 6 p.m.
Mayor Garcia was mindful of his scheduled interview on MSNBC after 6 p.m. Pacific time. He'd boasted about it on his Twitter feed.
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The Long Beach City Charter specifies that the Mayor's duties "shall be considered as the full-time employment of the person occupying that office. The Mayor shall preside at meetings of the City Council."
In an action unprecedented in our more than 25 years of observing LB City Council meetings, Mayor Garcia said "someone" -- he didn't say who -- had asked if multiple agenda items could be combined and approved in a single vote (presumably to hasten the proceedings.) The City Attorney said "yes" if the clerk announced each item individually and allowed the public to comment on each item individually.
The clerk read the items as titled and the collective items proceeded, but Garcia (invisible via teleconference) vanished and Vice Mayor Dee Andrews quietly took over.
Garcia subsequently surfaced on MSNBC.
Developing. Further to follow.
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