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Where Was Mayor Garcia During Oct. 23 Council Meeting?


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(October 25, 2018, 5:03 p.m.) -- Mayor Robert Garcia was absent for the entire Oct. 23, 2018 City Council meeting. Vice Mayor Andrews opened the meeting and offered no explanation. No Councilmember asked publicly about Mayor Garcia's whereabouts.

Vice Mayor Andrews' Chief of Staff tells LBREPORT.com that two weeks earlier, a staffer in the Mayor's office, Justin Ramirez, told her that Mayor Garcia would be absent on Oct. 23 but he didn't say why and she didn't inquire further.

In the noon-hour today (Oct. 25), LBREPORT.com emailed the Mayor's Chief of Staff, Mark Taylor, and inquired about the Mayor's whereabouts during the Oct. 23 Council meeting, and specifically where he was and what was he doing between 5:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on Oct. 23.

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LBREPORT.com is interested in reporting if Mayor Garcia was attending to some City of Long Beach business (and if so what it was) or doing something else. Under LB's City Charter, LB taxpayers pay the Mayor $148,439 (FY19, Charter includes annual raises) for mainly ceremonial matters (and no policy setting authority or City-binding executive authority without Council voted approval) that include presiding at Council meetings.

The Oct. 23 Council meeting is two weeks before a costly, specially called citywide election that Mayor Garcia sought for four Charter Amendments he wants, one of which, Measure BBB, would allow him and Council incumbents to avoid a write-in if they seek third terms.

Garcia's City Hall staffers Taylor and Ramirez are among individuals listed as either receiving sums from, or owed sums by, the "Mayor Robert Garcia Committee & City Auditor Laura Doud Committee to Support Good Government Measures AAA, BBB, CCC, DDD." It's lawful for city employees to participate in outside political activity if those actions aren't during their taxpayer-paid time and don't use taxpayer-paid resources.

In 2014, when then Vice Mayor/Councilman Garcia was Mayoral-candidate Garcia, he told voters he supported transparency by putting his City Hall office calendar online. It vanished after he became Mayor and hasn't returned since.

So...where was Mayor Garcia and what was he doing between 5:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. during the October 23, 2018 City Council meeting?

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