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    In Depth

    City Hall-Selected "Economic Development Comm'n" Wants Airport's "Economic Benefits" Included In Guiding Principles

    (January 26, 2005) -- A City Hall chosen Economic Development Commission -- a number of whose non-elected members are categorically exempt from the requirement that they reside in LB -- has voiced concern that LB Airport's "financial and economic benefits...have not been adequately recognized or considered" in Guiding Principles for Airport Marketing and User Responsibilities now being prepared...and the group has voted to press the issue as the matter progresses to the City Council.

    In a January 13 letter to the City Council's Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (chair, Reyes Uranga, members Kell & Gabelich), the Economic Development Commission (EDC) urged expanding proposed Airport Guiding Principles to include the following:

    "Economic Impact: Establish airport terminal improvements and modernization plans to sustain and foster the fiscal and economic benefit of the Long Beach Airport and related business opportunities to the City of Long Beach, its residents and businesses. The terminal improvements and modernization and future airport usage should be consistent with the City's 2010 Strategic Plan objectives to expand Long Beach Airport business opportunities within existing noise ordinances."

    "Land Use: As set forth in the City's 2010 Strategic Plan, develop a strategy for land use at the airport that maximizes the economic return to the community."

    The Commission's letter said, "It is our understanding that an Airport Economic impact study is expected to be released in February, 2005, which will provide detail and updated facts and information regarding the economic benefits of the Long Beach Airport. It is our belief that the results of this study should be considered by the City Council when making its ultimate decision regarding the modernization of the Long Beach Airport terminal."

    It concluded, "We understand that there are environmental, health, safety, and other issues which the Transportation subcommittee and the City Council may want to incorporate in its "Guiding Principles" but urged that whatever is ultimately adopted "remain consistent with the City's 2010 Strategic Plan, and consider the economic benefit and impact of the Long Beach Airport."

    EDC chair Newell presented the letter at a January 13 field hearing of the Council's Transportation & Infrastructure Committee...and on January 19, Mr. Newell reported on the proceedings at a regularly scheduled meeting of the EDC. The Commission then voted -- with one dissent by Commissioner Gary DeLong -- to continue to advocate the Commission's position as the Guiding Principles progress to the full City Council.

    Mr. DeLong favored restraint, noting it wasn't then-known what positions Councilmembers have on the matter.

    As separately reported by, EDC chair Newell testified at the January 25 Council Committee meeting which slightly amended a set of Airport Guiding Principles before advancing them to the full City Council...which may take up the subject on February 1.


    What is LB's "Economic Development Commission"? The City Council created it in 1976. It consists of 17 members, at least of a majority of whom must be LB residents at the day of appointment...while the rest "may be...[LB residents] or individuals having a business interest in the City at the date of his/her appointment."

    Commission members are chosen as follows:

    A recommendation committee made up of the Commission chair, Commission vice chair and a Commission member chosen by the Commission chair, will forward to the Mayor a list of names and/or desired backgrounds of potential commissioners for the Mayor's consideration. The members of the Commission shall be appointed by the Mayor, subject to the confirmation of the City Council. The Mayor shall make nine of said appointments from a list of persons nominated by the governing bodies or Chief Executive Officer of the following organizations or representing the following public-private segments:

    A. Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce (Business);

    B. International Business Association or World Trade Center Association (International Business/Trade);

    C. Long Beach Unified School District or Long Beach City College or California State University, Long Beach (Education);

    D. A representative from real estate or financial services industries in Long Beach (Real Estate/Financial Services);

    E. A representative from a Long Beach area workforce organization (Workforce);

    F. A representative from the insurance, legal, accounting or architecture professions in Long Beach (Professional Services);

    G. Long Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau (Tourism);

    H. City of Long Beach recognized business association representative (Business Associations);

    I. A representative from an airport-related business (Airport Business).

    The remaining eight commissioners shall be appointed by the Mayor of the City subject to City Council confirmation, representing business or a business-related civic interest in Long Beach. All seventeen members of the Commission shall have full and equal powers and responsibilities.

    The Council specified the following duties for the Commission:

    [T]o advise and recommend to the City Council and the City Manager on matters pertaining to activities affecting economic development within the City, in the creation of private-sector employment opportunities and business ventures, on methods of coordinating economic efforts, and more specifically to advise and recommend to the City Council concerning the following:

    A. The evaluation of research concerning economic growth patterns of the community;

    B. The identification of economic development needs and opportunities in the community and the recommendation of program strategies for implementation by City staff;

    C. The evaluation and recommendation of marketing plans for economic development programs;

    D. The review and reporting to City Council regarding availability of surplus City-owned property and recommendation of interim and long term uses consistent with the community's economic development needs;

    E. The recommendation to City Council of the appointment of citizen business task forces to review and study specific development problems and opportunities;

    F. The formulation and recommendation of policies for loan programs administered by the Economic Development Division;

    G. The cooperation with the Redevelopment Agency and Housing Authority regarding those development programs which are of common concern to the respective agencies;

    H. The evaluation of the availability of Federal and State grant programs and recommendation of application for those grants deemed appropriate for the economic development needs of the community;

    I. The establishment and management of a land program to stimulate industrial and commercial development within the City;

    J. Evaluation and recommendations related to the City's international trade promotion efforts including coordination with the Long Beach International Trade Office.

    Economic Development Commission staff provided on request with the a list of the body's current membership. (Categories indicated below are as designated on the Commission-provided roster):

    Creasie AdamsAt-Large
    Daniel AlfProfessional
    Alex CherinInternational
    Alan DavidsonBanker
    Gary DeLongTourism
    Diane DeWalscheHealthcare
    Joel FierbergWorkforce
    A. Mark GrayBusiness - Chamber of Commerce
    Julie HeggenessAt-Large
    Jack E. HinscheAt-Large
    Evelyn KnightAt-Large
    Charles L. MasonAt-Large - Community Rep.
    Frank R. NewellAt-Large - L.B. Bar Association
    Naomi RaineyEducation
    Glenn W. RayAirport Business
    Susan RusnakBusiness Association
    Debra WinterReal Estate/Financial

    [Not all Commission members were present at the Jan. 19, 2005 EDC meeting reported in this acticle.]

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