+ Politics for Grown Ups/Elections Matter: In ELB's Fifth District, Former Councilwoman Schipske And Businessman John Osborn Signal They May Run; Mungo Mum
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Politics for Grown Ups/Elections Matter: In ELB's Fifth District, Former Councilwoman Schipske And Businessman John Osborn Signal They May Run; Mungo Mum



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(December 29, 2020, 3:40 a.m.) -- LBREPORT.com has learned that former 5th district Councilwoman (2006-2014) Gerrie Schipske and local businessman John Osborn are both seriously considering running for the 5th district seat currently occupied by Stacy Mungo.

Ms. Schipske told LBREPORT.com she's "seriously considering running for re-election in order to give the 5th district a voice in the city."

During her two Council terms, Councilwoman Schipske exercised a check and balance, unafraid to challenge then-Mayor Bob Foster and his Council allies (including then-Councilman/Vice Mayor Robert Garcia) on several items. In 2008, she refused to grant unanimous Council consent to a Foster-sought property parcel tax ballot measure. Her stance legally required the measure to receive taxpayer-protective 2/3 voter approval instead of the Foster-sought 50%+1 and the tax measure failed passage. An advocate of open government and author of several books on LB history, Schipske mounted an unsuccessful 2014 Mayoral run against Foster-backed Garcia and Dem-party-establishment backed Bonnie Lowenthal. Following her Council tenure, Ms. Schipske (a lawyer) served as co-counsel for two ELB taxpayers in successfully challenging City Hall's imposition/collection of fees collected from LB Water Dept customers for City Hall spending. She followed-up as co-counsel successfully challenging City Hall's Measure M (utility revenue transfer) declared unconstitutional in early 2020 by a Superior Court (case now appealed by City Hall.)

Mr. Osborn, a successful businessman (with his wife Avani Patel (O.D., F A.A.O) operating Alamitos Eye Care (disclosure: an LBREPORT.com advertiser) tells LBREPORT.com he's seriously considering seeking the 5th district Council seat. Mr. Osborn says his campaign aims for broad based non-partisan support "that will ensure Council incumbent Stacy Mungo doesn't serve a third term on the City Council."

Mr. Osborn, retired from military service, has voiced displeasure on social networks with a number of Council spending and policy votes and with actions by incumbents he views as driven more by self-serving political advancement than by taxpayer-serving actions.

Mr. Osborn made a somewhat late entry into the 2018 5th district Council race but is visibly focused earlier this time. In a December 26, 2020 Facebook thread (commenting on LBREPORT.com's choice of Cindy Allen's contributors/endorsers as "Outrage of the Year") Mr. Osborn commented that Council incumbent Mungo has provided "ample material for a challenge" with (among other things) "a 3 million dollar [El Dorado Park artificial turf] soccer field" [further on this item below.] "Who will seed a challenge with enough resources to launch a successful overthrow independent of the union money?' Mr. Osborn asked rhetorically. To this, Ms. Schipske countered "That would be me." And the race is on.

[Scroll down for further.]







Other possible 2022 candidates include 2018 candidates Corliss Lee (who finished third in April 2018 against retired Harbor Commissioner Rich Dines who finished second in June 2018 to Mungo.) Ms, Lee went on to form the Eastside Voice, a grassroots group focused on neighborhood protective land use issues. Mr. Dines has previously indicated he's seriously considering a second run for the 5th district seat in 2022.

And no it's not "too early" to be discussing the 2022 election. Fundraising can begin in 2021.
Sponsor

Sponsor

Councilwoman Mungo hasn't publicly indicated whether she'll seek a third term. In early 2020, she quietly sought a position on a new statewide Redistricting Commission but dropped this after the Commission's lawyer informed her publicly that it would mean giving up her Council seat.

On or about October 9, 2020 Mungo posed alongside Ryan Choura (CEO of Choura Events) who put a statement on his Facebook page stating:

[Choura statement] Last night we put our money where our mouth is and launched a political accountability pac... finally in Long Beach we are going to give a voice to the many great people that have felt sidelined in our city ... in the next 14 days many of you will get personal calls from us outlining our plan ... we are getting wagged on so many levels and itís time to bring fairness to the table.

Sponsor

Sponsor

It's not immediately clear who else is involved in the PAC, who made its initial contributions and in what amounts. Likewise speculative for now is whether the PAC would run an "independent expenditure committee" supporting Mungo if she seeks a third term.

(Schipske took a sarcastic Facebook swipe at the PAC-supportive photo: "No masks. No social distancing. Great leadership.")

Sponsor


During her first and second terms, Mungo has repeatedly criticized her predecessor, contending Schipske's confrontational stances disserved the 5th district while Mungo's more cooperative/collegial approach better serves constituents.

Councilwoman Mungo voted to put all three Garcia-sought/city management tax/fee increases on the ballot: the June 2016 "blank check" Measure A sales tax increase (carried citywide but failed passage in nearly all 5th district precincts) and its March 2020 permanent extension (County Registrar says measure passed by 16 votes citywide; LB's Reform Coalition is funding a recount) as well as the March 2018 Measure M utility revenue transfer (declared unconstitutional by a Superior Court in a legal challenge represented by co-counsel Schipske.).

Councilwoman Mungo also voted to spend $1,000,000 (from the City's Special Advertising/Promotions Fund) to install a "media wall" [programmable video screen] inside LB's new City Hall. (Her publicly stated rationale: Special Advertising fund sums can't be used for streets, sidewalks and other General Fund items (avoiding the point that the seven figure sum could be conserved or used for other items.) LBREPORT.com detailed coverage here.)

Mungo voted to put Charter Amendment BBB on the ballot, strongly opposed by LB's Reform Coalition, that now enables Mungo (and other two term incumbents ironically including Schipske) to seek third terms without the hurdle of an initial write-in election.

In December 2020, Councilwoman Mungo voted to approve installing an artificial turf soccer field in El Dorado Park with a city staff acknowledged total cost of $3.1 million. (Councilwoman Mungo has told constituents the cost was $1.85 million by omitting certain managemnent acknowledged project costs. LBREPORT.com detailed coverage here.) She has also sought to describe the controversial project as originating under Councilwoman Schipske (as it was included in City Hall's FY14 budsget (Schipske's last voted budget.) But the project continued to advance and doubled in cost in subsequent budget actions approved by or advanced without publicly voiced dissent by Councilwoman Mungo.

In her first term, Mungo did a last minute pivot and voted against allowing a customs facility at LB Airport (which city management acknowledged couldn't be limited to JetBlue.) Residents voiced concern that it would invite an entirely new class of international cargo and/or passenger operators to LGB who could challenge and potentially invalidate LB's Airport ordinance. (LB officials have said LB's Airport ordinance is a highly valued City asset as it protects the City from unlimited flights at all hours at all noise levels on all runways.)

A few months later, faced with a citywide revolt intensely felt in CD 5 against a density-inviting revised Land Use Element (LUE), Mungo pivoted again over time, going from initial denial to tacit acceptance before ultimately siding with residents and voting to put low-density/low rise elements in the 5th district portion of the LUE.


Support really independent news in Long Beach. No one in LBREPORT.com's ownership, reporting or editorial decision-making has ties to development interests, advocacy groups or other special interests; or is seeking or receiving benefits of City development-related decisions; or holds a City Hall appointive position; or has contributed sums to political campaigns for Long Beach incumbents or challengers. LBREPORT.com isn't part of an out of town corporate cluster and no one its ownership, editorial or publishing decisionmaking has been part of the governing board of any City government body or other entity on whose policies we report. LBREPORT.com is reader and advertiser supported. You can help keep really 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.


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