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Mandel Voted Council President on Rotation Basis

Councilman Len Torres reasserts belief in policy enacted last July.

Scott Mandel in the new president of the Long Beach City Council. (Credit: Joseph Kellard)
Scott Mandel in the new president of the Long Beach City Council. (Credit: Joseph Kellard)

Scott Mandel was voted president of the Long Beach City Council by his fellow council members Tuesday, as part of the Democrat administration’s unprecedented policy of rotating presidents every six months. Fran Adelson, who served as president from January to July 2012, was voted vice president, the position held previously by Mandel.  

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“I appreciate the council’s confidence in me,” Mandel said after he took his seat in the president’s chair at the center of the five-member council.

Mandel, who was first elected to the council in 2011, succeeds Len Torres, who was the sitting president since July, when Adelson stepped aside as the new policy was announced. Mandel thanked Torres for serving as president during and after Hurricane Sandy, which he called “one of the most trying times in Long Beach’s history.”

Prior to Tuesday’s votes on both resolutions, Torres spoke about the rotation of presidents, reasserting his belief in both the policy and his fellow council members.  

“One of the things we’ve done as a city council is to really examine the concept of the rotation of the presidency,” said Torres, a former educator who was first elected to the council in 2009. “One of the things that I want to assure everyone is that it’s a healthy thing. I have to say that in the 36 years I’ve spent in education, when we rotated teachers it was a healthy thing, that we showed that teachers can handle multiple grades. And after awhile we had better schools as a result of that. I feel the same way about the presidency.” 

On Tuesday, the council voted 3-1 for the changing chairs, with Councilman John McLaughlin absent and Councilman Mike Fagen casting the only 'no' vote, as he did in July, when he said that the new policy was made “behind the scenes.” Adelson said she disagreed with Fagen’s statement.

At that time, Fagen and McLaughlin both challenged the lack of a nomination process for a new president, as was required for prior incoming presidents. But Corporation Counsel Corey Klein essentially said that because the names of the new officials appeared in the resolution, a nomination process was unnecessary.

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Tonto Hertzberg January 09, 2013 at 09:02 AM
Thats a great choice. He has a fine show on TV and I like the way he looks now that he grew his hair back
Trying to Make Sense January 09, 2013 at 09:06 AM
What rotating teachers has to do with rotating council presidents is beyond me. "What we showed is that teachers could handle multiple grades"? Huh? Relevance here? Huh?
John January 09, 2013 at 09:51 AM
was this Fagen's first public appearance since Sandy struck?
delete me January 09, 2013 at 09:56 AM
^ Fagen moved out of Long Beach permanently despite the house he was "renting" being in more livable condition than the rest of the council. Court date next week.
Eddie January 09, 2013 at 10:08 AM
Rotating jobs is an age-tested ploy in government circles to eliminate all accountability. The people who elected these clowns should never stand for this nonsense. Good luck, Scott. You have a tough job. You're a nice guy but in way, way over your head.
Nancy Mc. January 09, 2013 at 01:47 PM
and the first think mandell does is say that residents can no longer ask questions of the city council at good and welfare, they can only make statements/commentary. unreal
Sandbar January 10, 2013 at 01:11 PM
Couldn't have picked a nicer guy!
kim k January 10, 2013 at 07:14 PM
Never it the history of Long Beach has the council presidency been passed around among the majority party. The obvious inability of this administration to grasp the concept of 'city government' is abhorrent. The duty to serve the public is foreign to these people - as shown by Mrs. Adelson when she had the opportunity to show Sen. Schumer the state of our community and she took him to her own house. The fairy tale belief that FEMA is going to pay for 100% of the damage in LB as well as provide the city with a new boardwalk - further exemplifies their ignorance. As the taxpayers have come to learn the hard way, FEMA is no ones piggy bank. The council has been quietly spending the $24 million advace by promoting 2 democratic lackeys from sergeant to lieutenant ( 10,000/yr/man), paying off police officers who retired last year, and OT costs of body guards for Tangney and Schnirman post Sandy. There has been no accountability for this money and no plan for the loss to the tax base- businesses that will not return, damaged homes, and revenue from tourists. LB is in serious trouble.
Mike L. Fakin January 10, 2013 at 07:47 PM
This is the dumbest thing I ever heard of. We need a leader for our city. Someone we can count on and someone who is committed and experienced. How did these people get elected? Oh yeah, I voted for them! I can honestly say I was no fan of the guys before them, but they didn't raise my taxes and things seemed pretty good. This town has become a laughing stock under these people.
Disgusted Homeowner January 10, 2013 at 10:25 PM
He is so nice and he is a lawyer so he can't be all that bad. I had better things to do than attend the boardwalk (inanimate object) funeral but I heard he said such nice things. Truly he is a mensch. I can not wait for the great things that are going to happen now that he is city council president. G-D speed Mr Mandell

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