Bits 'n' Pieces

Virtual Council Meetings

Beginning Jan. 18, Long Beach City Council meetings will be held virtually via Zoom. A Zoom link will be provided on the posted agenda. Members of the public will be able to join virtually from a smartphone/tablet app, computer or phone.

Members of the public will be asked to use the “raise hand” feature before the council item is read by the city clerk and the speakers list will close by the time the city clerk finishes reading the item. If there are under 10 speakers, they can each speak up to three minutes. After 10 speakers, the time will automatically set at 90 seconds to align with pre-existing council rules. For people who join the webinar by phone, dial *9 to raise your hand.

Members of the public will continue to have the option to use eComment to provide comments on agenda items. Written comments may also be submitted by email to

Grand Prix Approved Through 2028

The Long Beach City Council unanimously approved a new agreement with the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach that will allow the company to continue running the annual Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach through 2028, Grand Prix Association of Long Beach officials announced.

The new agreement, which will start with the 2022 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, sustains a relationship between the city and the Grand Prix Association which has spanned the last 46 years.

“The Grand Prix extension that has been approved by the City Council is the result of extensive discussions with city leadership that we believe has resulted in benefits to all parties concerned,” said Jim Michaelian, Grand Prix Association of Long Beach President and CEO. “The Grand Prix has always been a very strong community event and this agreement just amplifies the unique relationship with the City of Long Beach going forward. Our thanks to all those who assisted in getting this done.”

The 2022 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, scheduled for April 8-10, will be headlined by the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, as well as the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. In addition, the weekend will include the Super Drift Challenge under the lights on Friday and Saturday nights plus doubleheader action from Robby Gordon’s SPEED Energy Stadium Super Trucks and the new-for-2022 Porsche Carrera Cup North America.

Fans can select and pay for their Grand Prix seats, parking and paddock passes online at or by calling the toll-free ticket hotline, (888) 827-7333.

Mayoral Race

Former city councilmember, water utility ratepayer consumer advocate and nurse practitioner Gerrie Schipske announced that she will run for Long Beach mayor. The primary election is June 7, 2022.

“It is not fair to our residents that their taxes, utilities and debt are increasing to help pay for an extravagant new city hall while their neighborhood roads and sidewalks crumble. It is not fair that Long Beach has our nation’s highest unemployment rate, but our city does very little as the Queen Mary, an important economic engine, sits closed and unrepaired,” said Schipske.

“When I am mayor there will be more transparency and accountability. Despite raising taxes, we are not seeing the results our neighborhoods and residents deserve. We still have understaffed police and fire departments, rising crime and homeless populations, crumbling roads and sidewalks, and pollution still threatening some neighborhoods. I will introduce performance management goals for city departments and staff to achieve, or to trigger audits and changes when coming up short,” she said.

Vice Mayor a Candidate

Vice Mayor Rex Richardson declared his candidacy to be Long Beach’s next mayor. In an announcement video called “Thrive Together,” released to his supporters, Richardson states he will bring the same spirit of unity and collaborative leadership to help Long Beach rise above the challenges the city faces today.

Richardson shared his vision for creating a city where every person and every neighborhood is provided the resources they need to thrive. He said that he will focus on addressing homelessness, protecting neighborhood health and public safety, investing in opportunities for youth, and confronting the effects of climate change.

Richardson was first elected to the City Council in 2014.

City Auditor Race

Democrat Ginny Gonzales, C.P.A., announced that she is running for Long Beach City Auditor in the June Primary. She is a retired former IRS agent and pledges to end municipal government corruption.

For more, visit: She will be challenging current auditor Laura Doud.

Public Invited to Share Their City Budget Priorities

The City of Long Beach is inviting members of the public to participate in the city’s fiscal year 2023 budget development process by sharing their service priorities at one of two upcoming virtual community budget meetings.

The meetings were originally scheduled to be held in person at multiple locations throughout the city; however, due to the increased transmission of COVID-19, the city recently transitioned all scheduled in-person community outreach meetings to a virtual format as part of various city service modifications that were announced earlier this month.

The virtual community budget meetings will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 25, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and Thursday, Jan. 27, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

For more information and to register, people may visit Advanced registration is required in order to receive the link to the Zoom meeting. Interpretation services will be available. Those who require interpretation services may call (562) 570-6465 at least 72 hours in advance of each meeting.

In addition to the meetings, community members may also submit their budget service priorities by completing the Long Beach Budget Priority Survey, available online now through Jan. 28. Surveys are available in English, Spanish, Khmer and Tagalog.

Public input is an important and valued part of the city’s budget preparation process. The community budget meetings and online survey play an integral part in helping the city understand what community members believe the city’s budget priorities should be.

Feedback provided at the community meetings and survey will be reported to the Long Beach City Council in early spring prior to the development of the Proposed FY 23 Budget.

ICT Recognized

International City Theatre has been honored with three wins and 20 additional nominations for four different productions by longtime theater reviewer Rob Stevens, who has announced his 35th annual “Robby Awards for Excellence in Southern California Theatre.”

According to Stevens’ Dec. 31 post, 25 productions throughout the Southland garnered a total of 131 nominations, with International City Theatre’s recent production of the Sheldon Epps-conceived musical Blues in the Night leading all productions with 10 nominations. The musical won three awards, including for Best Musical (caryn desai, producer), Best Actress in a Musical (Vivian Reed) and Best Musical Direction (William Foster McDaniel).

Other nominated ICT productions include Closely Related Keys, a hard-hitting family drama by Wendy Graf, which marked the company’s first return to in-person performance since the start of the pandemic; The Andrews Brothers, a musical salute to the swinging ’40s written and created by Roger Bean, which was produced in February 2020 prior to the shutdown; and Daisy by Sean Devine, a fascinating look at the creation of and psychology behind TV’s first political attack ad that ICT produced virtually ahead of the 2020 election.

For more information, go to

Acting Library Svs. Director

City Manager Tom Modica announced the appointment of Christine Hertzel as the acting director of library services for the Long Beach Public Library (LBPL), effective Jan. 1. Hertzel brings to the position extensive library experience and currently serves as the library’s automated services bureau manager. The city will conduct a national recruitment for the next director of Library Services.

In her current role as manager for automated services, she directs critical bureau activities including acquisitions, technology, budget and staffing. Over the last year, Hertzel played an integral role in launching several innovative digital services, including: Tech To Go, the library’s Chromebook and internet hotspot lending service; Khmer indexing, allowing patrons to search for Khmer language materials using the Khmer script; updates to the Library’s mobile app to include added user features to improve patron experience; migration of various e-book collections and magazines to new technological platforms, among many other internal and public-facing initiatives.

Hertzel has also previously served as senior librarian, automated services bureau, where she oversaw the personnel and technical operations of the Library’s acquisitions, cataloging, digital services and integrated library systems.

More information about the Long Beach Public Library is available at


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