Your story about phone use by Long Beach city officials seriously missed the mark (Times, Nov. 10). Why compare my office (with the lowest budget for the past fiscal year) on a single expense item when you fail to mention that I spent $20,000 less than some other council offices for office staff? Since when is spending tax money on constituents less efficient than a lot more money spent in other ways?
As for the challenge to my use of time off earned as a Los Angeles County employee of 16 years, what is wrong with using the time to return phone calls from a pay phone? I've often heard public officials criticized for not returning calls. Your story implies criticism because I do return calls in a timely manner. Which way do you want it?
When you want to contact me, you can pick up the phone book and call right to my North Long Beach home, 24 hours a day. Sure, I use the phone. That's the difference between being accessible and "can't be reached for comment."
Check with my constituents, check with the city staff or check with your own reporters and you will confirm that I am the first to respond when you, or anyone, wants information or action.