Gas Gate? [Allegedly] Updates

Update X3: (because I am done with this topic):

Before you all get your panties in a twist, I was told by a city worker that the sensors were still broken, yet some are saying they have been fixed.  That is why I question. The article is marked under RUMORs & OPINIONS. Not news. It’s alleged that this is happening.

Besides, you should be happy that there is somebody in this town with enough balls to actually question certain happenings around here.

Blog = web log. Diary. Personal feelings. Enough said.

Update x2: Much like trucks on the boardwalk from a few years ago, I like to question things. This blog is not a news source or a news paper. It’s where I post personal feelings about Long Beach. I am not accusing a particular person of robbing us tax payers of gas, I am questioning what the deal is with the pump at the Bus Station. So far I am hearing so many conflicting reports on what is going on in the photo. That’s pretty much where I’m at right now.

Update: Some folks are claiming it’s a city owned car, yet some are claiming that it’s not. Yes, various reports from different city employees. Either way, I heard the gas sensors have been destroyed by Sandy. Is this still the case?


The photographer of the image below claims that it depicts a possible city worker allegedly filling their non-city car up with city gas. allegedly.

“I’m telling you the guy was pumping gas!! Not a city car, dressed in jeans/sweatshirt.”

Upon further investigation, I am told how there use to be a system where you had to type in your department code to get gas, but that got destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Before that the city vehicles used to have electronic collars around their gas tanks that would trigger the pump. Am I assuming this is no longer the case?


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48 thoughts on “Gas Gate? [Allegedly] Updates”

  1. Can anybody make out the license plate? Or at least the make/model? Then we can cross-reference against all cars driven by city workers

  2. That looks like an access a ride bus to me. I’m going to hazard a guess that there may be authorization for something like that based on doing work contracted by the city?

    I pass by this station twice a day (to and from work). I’ve never seen anyone unauthorized looking using it. It often appears that no one is around so it certainly seems susceptible to something like that happening.

  3. The City has given lots of unmarked city vehicles to their, we insure them ,we maintain them and we gas them up. Used privately on off time you bet. That’s just one of the perks for the inside guys. One has been provided housing at the MLK center since Sandy. Free heat, free lights,free phones and cable. Jack is a real generous guy with our money.

  4. Well it’s a little shocking that there are no concrete answers to this question. If the city workers are using tax payer gas to fuel City cars for personal use that’s still a problem in my mind. Especially with money so tight right now we need to look closer at how this administration is spending our tax dollars.

  5. Before you all get your panties in a twist, I was told by a city worker that the sensors were still broken, yet some are saying they have been fixed. This whole article is allegedly. That is why I question. The article is marked under RUMORs & OPINIONS. Not news.

    Besides, you should be happy that there is somebody in this town with enough balls to actually question certain happenings around here. Many that I know personally claim that the gas is being misused.

    Blog = web log. Diary. Personal feelings. Enough said.

  6. how do these sensors work? If, say, you pulled up a bus that had the sensor near the pump, would you be able to use the pump on a different car while the pump thinks it is filling the bus? Are there records kept on gallons used by vehicle that would show spikes in usage? Who reviews the records and how often?

  7. Keep it going Anthony. We need to question these types of things. Even if the sensors have been fixed how can we be sure that bus isn’t close enough to activate the sensor allowing the pump to fill the car in this photo.

  8. Just in the last couple of months i have noticed Scott Kemins of the LB building department driving around in a LBFD marked SUV. I believe that Mr. Kemins used to work w/ the LBFD but that he is now the head of the LB building department. On more that one occasion i have seen Mr. Kemins filling up this LBFD SUV on the weekends at this gas pump in question. To me, having the head of the building department driving around in a LBFD marked car speaks to sloppyness and is unprofessional. I know in other towns on LI and in NYC that the building department/code enforcement divisions have their employees use cars labeled as such. In the big picture, this is a very simple and inexpensive measure to take in order to project professionalism and not give citizens reason to wonder why a member of the building department is driving around in a vehicle with fire department markings, on the weekend no less. Perhaps there is something i am unaware of within the bylaws of LB government that would suggest that a former employee of the LBFD is entitled to continued use of a vehicle labeled such, on the weekend, when they no longer work for this division of the city of LB.

  9. So the real question becomes, how many city cars are there, who gets them, who takes them home for “personal” use off hours (evenings/weekends), who pays the insurance and gas, who monitors this, and how much does all of the above cost the taxpayers on an annual basis?

  10. This info should be public knowledge. maybe in a expense report. I wonder where we can access this information. I will check out the LB website.

  11. Wow. The level of speculation, half-truths and outright falsehoods herein is remarkable. Here are the facts:

    1. After Sandy the pumps were inoperable resulting from power failure and damage to pump mechanical components.

    2. When repaired, the pumps operated as prior to Sandy, with a system that allows only city-owned vehicles fitted with an electro-mechanical device to pump fuel. This system is hard-wired into the vehicle and tracks usage which is downloaded monthly into a central repository for accounting purposes.

    3. Any vehicle not equipped with that device cannot pump fuel from the City Garage Station. None. When personal vehicles are used for City business, an expense report must be submitted for reimbursement after the user has purchased commercial gas.

    There are several cars which have been loaned to the City as our carpool undergoes repairs. The LBPD, for example, is down 4 vehicles at present. Depending on the fuel system management solution in place within these borrowed vehicles, it is possible that they can utilize our City Gas Station, but only after formatting those vehicles by a technician.

    I hope this helps shed light on the situation. I know many folks are concerned with “fleecing” our City, while other are looking for a problem where none exists. In either case, I assure you, the City keeps a tight control over the use of the City Garage and no abuse is taking place.


  12. Chuck, If that is true, that is an atrocious abuse of city resources. The LBFD SUVs should be only used for the Fire Chiefs and the Fire Commissioner in order for them to respond to emergencies 24/7. Do you know who the fire commissioner is?

  13. Captain Obvious,
    I do not know who the fire commissioner is.
    But I do know that it is not Kemins.
    No more excuses related to Sandy damage.
    We are two years plus later now.

  14. It is probably on the city’s website, I wonder what kind of response we would get from an email to the commissioner regarding this

  15. Chuck – Kemins is also the head LBFD fire commissioner. That is why you have seen him driving around in an LBFD marked vehicle with “commissioner” license plates.

    As for the sensors, those were installed months ago on most if not all city vehicles. If the system is down now, who knows?

    The vehicle in the picture might be operated by the LBPD. They have various unmarked vehicles. Some you probably have never noticed before. But not knowing the make/ model…who knows?

    I assure you it is most likely a city operated vehicle. If not that person has one set of balls on them.

  16. Joe,
    Please clarify – If i understand you correctly, you are saying that one is able to simultaneously hold the positions of both the head of the LB building department as well as being the head LBFD commissioner? if being the head of the building department is a full time job then it sounds to like to me that the fire commissioner position is more like a figurehead position that i am betting allows Mr. Kemins to collect two salaries. Can you inform us of what the responsibilities of the head LBFD fire commissioner are so that we can better understand if these two jobs can in fact be done simultaneously?

  17. I am certainly no fan of the present administration for sure, but let me state a few facts here:

    Lewis is correct. The city cars are equipped with a sensor required to pump gas into them. The car in the photo is owned by the City. Ain’t much gas stealing, short of perhaps for a lawnmower here and there.

    Kemins is assigned a car. He is the Building Commissioner. His Fire Department position is unpaid. The guy works day and night and earns every penny we pay him.

    Now while you quibble about $1.75 gas, the City just got served a $10 million judgement. They put us into $160 million +/- of new debt and are out of control with new spending. We need another tax increase. Thirty percent of our business has shut down in the past three years and over 10% of homes are for sale. Anyone care about that?

  18. While the Patch keeps giving us weather updates, this blog constantly gives us stuff to think about.

    Anthony, ignore the city workers squabbling around trying to justify that theres no wrong doing. The truth is this: The damaged sensors in question are back, but some employees have perks. some of that gas is being used for private use. They don’t want you to know about this, so many are going to post here denying it.

    You keep questioning every action this city makes. you are doing an amazing & thankless service for the citizens of Long Beach.

  19. as Eddie state, the Commissioner position is a volunteer one for which Mr. Kemins receives no salary. not a knock on the job mr. kemins is doing, but if you were to read the icma report, you would know they find the structure of the department somewhat dysfunctional and recommend replacing the p/t volunteer position with a f/t paid commissioner that would be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the department (paid and volunteer).

  20. Two points;

    First I will second or triple that Kemins is one of the few bright spots in our cities government.

    Second and more germane to this post did anybody look closely at that picture. Looks two me like the hoses of both pumps are not being used.

  21. Lack of transparency is what folks are concerned about in our City Lewis. I think that is all most of us would like from the administration in general. Post is for Information. Not you to defend yourselves nor is it though for you to just be dismissive and tell us to look elsewhere.”downloaded monthly into a central repository for accounting purposes”. Anywhere we can view this? Transparency.

  22. Good job Anthony. You just exposed a car for an undercover cop and fabricated a dumb ass conspiracy only the likes of project 11561 and long beach matters to you (aka the long beach Republican Party) would be proud.

    Take this stupid post down as you’re hurting the police department and making long beach less safe by keeping it up

  23. Lol. OK babes. Love you.

    Oh you are also over 12 hours late with your comment.

    If you read the updates you’ll see that I never implied that the car in the photo was breaking the law. Just questioning the sensors, if they still worked and questioned whether or not the gas was being misused in general, at all.

    I won’t blog about the countless anonymous folks who emailed me about the alleged free gas perks some apparently have. Nope. I won’t do that. Nothing illegal happens in our city, right? Everything is awesome? Thanks for visiting my diary.

    Bye, honey.

  24. It’s so sad that people on the “inside” will never admit flaws within their ranks. They will blindly defend until the end. If there’s nothing going on a simple statement of facts is ok…a little evidence or research to back your point is sufficient but insults are never warranted. Especially when viewing a blog which is not mandtory. If you don’t like what your reading stop and never read it again. Kudos Anthony keep up the good work!!

  25. Safer, Give us a break next you will be telling us the guy Schnirman has living in the MLK Center on oue dime is an undercover cop. If the police are that concerned about being anonymous they can gas up inside the garage and if that car is assigned to a commanding officer it is not used for stealth patrol. It is a perk for some Lt to drive to and from work to his office job.

  26. The Long Beach police are not infallible and as citizens, taxpayers and human beings we reserve the right to question what we see. How could this possibly be making us less safe? Why do you care more about not blemishing the image of the LBPD (which you somehow equate with safety) than you do our rights?

    Getting your panties in a bunch over people questioning government is not making anyone in this country unsafe.

  27. Where would one find the icma report? Let’s not overlook the fact that if Kemins receives the perk of using an SUV with unlimited access to LB city gas, and I would imagine LB city paid car insurance, that this equates to a salarytonight. wondeing if there is also a pension associated with taking on this ‘volunteer’ LBFD commissioner work for a period of time? If someone is a nice guy that is all great and fine – I am more concerned with whether someone is doing a good job at what they are supposed to oversee. Based on the rebuilding that I see going on in the West End I do question whether Kemins is up to this task.

  28. Let me get this straight.

    The LBPD were using a Private Government Gas Pump, to fill-up “Under-Cover” Police Cars – in full view of the public?

    Are you sh*tting me?

    Could the LBPD actually be this STUPID?

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