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Long Beach : Council Looks at Big Picture After Call for Committee

August 05, 1993

It began as a simple request from Councilman Alan S. Lowenthal: Create a citizens committee to advise city officials on the proposed Queensway Bay development project.

But the request got some council members thinking. What do these committees do, anyway?

By the end of the discussion Tuesday, Mayor Ernie Kell pledged to review all of the city's nearly 60 commissions, committees and boards. And Vice Mayor Jeffrey A. Kellogg said he is already looking at them, with an eye toward which ones should be abolished or consolidated.

Take the city's Human Relations Commission, Kellogg said.

Recently, the commission gave the council a report on strengthening family relationships. In that report, the commission recommended that the city extend family health benefits to employees' domestic partners, including those of gays and lesbians. Kellogg and a majority of the council rejected the idea.

That commission was created in the wake of allegations of police brutality and was intended to deal with race relations, Kellogg said. Such panels should stick to the issues the council gives them, he said.

But Lowenthal cautioned against muffling such committees.

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