(February 25, 2003) -- Without dissent, and without mention of Port security issues, the LB City Council voted unanimously to approve Mayor Beverly O'Neill's appointment of former Councilmember (1992-2000) and Vice Mayor Doris Topsy-Elvord to the Harbor Commission.
Mayor O'Neill: "...She had the background that was necessary at this time. She has common sense and she has integrity and I was very honored to place her name in nomination..."
In brief remarks at the podium, Ms. Topsy-Elvord thanked Councilwoman Tonia Reyes-Uranga for encouraging her to apply for the position.
"I do have common sense, I will do a good job, and I will dig in and do whatever is needed. I will never forget that I represent the entire city of Long Beach, but I will be very cognizant of the problems with the environment and the pollution on the west side as well..."
Councilwoman Laura Richardson made the motion to accept, receive "and applaud" the Mayor's appointment. Vice Mayor Colonna seconded.
Vice Mayor Colonna: "...I don't think you'll find anyone who has more respect for the needs of our neighborhoods and the people who live there, one who would understand the economic impact and the importance of the Port, and how it operates for us in the city, and what a driving force it has been over the years in doing a lot of heavy lifting and bringing us short of avoiding a major recession in the 80s and 90s because of the Port and what's done for many, many people. But at the same time also understanding the impact of what the Port has in terms of what its challenges are for the environment, and how we need to work hard in the kinds of pollution issues and the types of traffic management that we're going to be totally immersed in. But at the end of the day, I don't think really you'll find anyone that's more persistent or doggedly determined than Doris to make sure that the right thing gets done..."
Councilmember Bonnie Lowenthal: "...I am really eager to work with you, Doris...because I know you really appreciate the needs of the folks who live in Long Beach, the folks who live in the 1st district, in the 6th district, on the west side...And I'm also aware that your communication skills are immediate and we will have the kind of communication that I think that we need as a Harbor Commissioner..."
Councilmember Kell: "...Ernie and I are both very pleased that you are going to be on the Harbor [Commission]...Doris can once again use her intelligence and her savvy and her moxie and make good use of these traits that everyone likes in Doris..."
Councilman Dennis Carroll: "...There is a disease called a sort of "Harboritis" by the Council, which I'm sure Doris appreciated when she was on the Council, something happens to the psyche of individuals when they go across the river there, and they become I think just so immersed in the responsibilities over there, the larger concerns of the city become secondary...We who sit on the Council also recognize they are a part of and an adjunct to the city of Long Beach, and that's why I am so pleased to have someone like Doris Topsy-Elvord representing the citizens, the City Council, and the Harbor itself. Her tradition of public service goes way back...I couldn't be happier to have someone of her caliber of integrity..."
Councilwoman Reyes-Uranga: "...[T]he only way that the Port is going to start addressing the needs of the community is by having someone from the community on the Port Commission, so I think is what's happening today, and I look forward to having a very responsive Port Commissioner..."
Councilman Val Lerch: "...I know you're going to have the Council and the city's [interests] at heart at all times..."
No member of the public spoke in opposition to the nomination.
Following the 9-0 vote, Mayor O'Neill indicated she had today received a letter from the LB Area Chamber of Commerce supporting the nomination.
Under the City Charter, the Mayor's appointment was subject to an affirmative vote of a majority of the City Council.
For previous LBReport.com coverage of the nomination, click here.