Tag Archives: resident gripes

LB’s Ax Men Chopping Dead Trees on Park (Resident Gripes)

Calling it, “such a shame,” a pair of residents over the last few days have emailed and posted on the Seabythecity Facebook page wondering why trees were cut down in the parking median between Edwards and Riverside Blvds.  The City is already rehabbing the parking medians east of Long Beach Road so I thought it may have to do with that.

To get to the bottom of it, I talked with the Commissioner of Public Works, Kevin Mulligan.

Mr. Mulligan said that, “most of the trees had little to no leaves this summer,” and  “City personnel had evaluated them as well as a local landscape/arborist.”  They confirmed those trees “were dead or dying.”

He said that the issue was those dead trees coming down during winter storms across one of the City’s “busiest thoroughfare.”  Put simply, “We could not risk public safety going into the winter.”

He made very clear, “The City never likes removing any tree, especially mature trees,” but went on to say, “these had become a hazard to public safety.”

Long story short, dead trees get blown down by storms, and with snow and ice coming, these dead trees could collapse.

Mr. Mulligan went on to say, “the removal of the trees/stumps will be completed shortly” and said the City is committed to replanting in the Spring (instead of rushing to plant new trees now that would certainly be killed off by the coming winter).

So you ask the questions, we try and find the answers.

LB Resident Calls for City Manager’s Removal

Drama came during this Tuesday evening’s Election 2011 debate, not from the candidates’ responses, but when Long Beach resident Jay Gusler hand-delivered this letter to City Council President Thomas Sofield Junior, and Council Members Goodman and Torres.

In his letter (given to this blog, Newsday, the Long Beach Herald, and Long Beach Patch), Mr. Gusler makes a demand of the City Council for the suspension and subsequent removal of City Manger Charles Theofan, by arguing Mr. Theofan has violated his oath of office.

What’s at issue here is something SBC began discussing on Monday; Mr. Theofan’s violation of a provision of the Taylor Law.  Mr. Gusler explains that violation in his letter, and also documents that Mr. Theofan has been found guilty of violating a provision of the  NYS Civil Service Law in addition.  That decision was posted here.

Mr. Gusler goes on to say that,“Mr. Theofan’s guilt in connection with these violations is not in dispute. Though it was their right to do so, the City has not appealed either ruling, thus conferring upon these decisions “final” status.”

Then, Mr. Gusler reminds the City Council of the oath of office and quotes a specific section related to general powers and duties of city officers. (Note: The City Code is available here)

It shall be his duty to see that the laws of his state and the local laws, ordinances and by-laws passed by the council are faithfully executed within the city. 

Throughout this letter, Mr. Gusler makes the comparison between Mr. Theofan’s situation and that of former Civil Service Commissioner Leary Wade.  Wade’s case is a complicated one, and I’ll leave it to the Long Beach Herald to get you up to speed here and here.  From my reading of Mr. Wade’s situation, he was removed from office because of an oath of office violation related to pleading guilty to illegally renting two basement apartments.  The amended allegations are available here.

Mr. Gusler’s argues, “the violations that Mr. Theofan has been found guilty of are of a far more substantial character than those relied upon to justify the Civil Service Commissioner’s removal.”

His argument continues that because of Mr. Theofan’s “guilt,” the City Council is “compelled to agree that these violations of the law require Mr. Theofan’s removal from office.”

Finally, he concludes by again quoting the City Code, and asking “that the Council place on the agenda for the November 1, 2011, City Council meeting a resolution immediately suspending Mr. Theofan from the performance of the duties of the position of City Manager pending the required steps to effectuate his permanent removal from office.”

The City Manager is an appointed position that serves at the pleasure of the City Council, with a majority vote being required (3 out 5) for his appointment or removal.  It will be interesting to see what steps the City Council’s members take – if any –  on this matter.  Residents are of course free to make any sort of demand they want as is was well documented during the last City Council Meeting’s Good and Welfare Session.  The question is really what the members of the City Council make of Mr. Gusler’s telling of the tale.  If there are any developments related to this in the coming days we will be sure to update.

Mr. Gusler’s full 3-page letter is available here.

Jay Gusler is a Lieutenant in Long Beach’s Professional Fire Department and a member of the Long Beach Professional Fire Fighters Local 287.  He is writing in his capacity as a private citizen and is in no way speaking for the Long Beach Fire Department or the union of which he is a part of.

A Royal Pain for one Reader (Resident Gripes)

A just received a text from friend of the blog, Adam.

He’s got a bone to pick with Royal Pains.  His message?  Stop screwing up my runs!

What the hell is he talking about?  Well basically, Royal Pains has been filming all over town.  Today, they were spotted filming at both the West End of the boardwalk (around New York Ave) and at the new modern-looking house, ocean front on Indiana Ave (the one with all the glass and the slopped roof).  In the process of filming, they seem to have no interest in the ambient life of Long Beach and instead want to have a closed set.  That’s hard when your set is Long Beach’s “jewel.”

So, long story short, while out on a run today, he was forced to detour off the boardwalk, a tragedy… I know…

Full disclosure, I’ve never heard of the show and know nothing at all about it.  A quick search said its on USA – I actually didn’t know that channel still existed, I thought it transitioned over to a fully Law & Order based network.

The bigger story here is the continued interest that filmmakers have in filming in Long Beach.  Especially after the success of the Quiksiver Pro, it will be interesting to see if there are even more filmers coming down to shoot TV and movie spots.  Again, this is balancing act.  The pros: positive exposure for Long Beach, money for the City (through permits), getting to see a bit of Hollywood come to our City.  Cons: exposure for Long Beach (some don’t want the secret to get out, though I think that ship has sailed), some inconveniences.  My take?  As long as they portray Long Beach honestly – as opposed to this farce of a film, I’m all for it.

Note: Do you have a resident gripe?  If I think its quirky enough and not just “get off my lawn,” maybe I’ll post it, so feel free to email