New Ninth District Councilman Readies For Work

Steve Neal in 2010 as he prepared to take office as the Ninth District City Councilman.

Mayor Robert Garcia wasted no time in filling the seat on the Harbor Commission vacated Tuesday by Lori Ann Guzmán, announcing Friday he is nominating Steven Neal for the post.

Neal served as the Ninth District City Councilman from 2010 to 2014. Instead of running for a second term, he unsuccessfully ran for a state assembly seat.

He also has served on the Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network board, as chair of the Measure A Citizens’ Oversight Committee and on the Long Beach Transit board. Most recently, he has help found Economic and Policy Impact Center (EPIC), a nonprofit to help advance economic opportunity for working families. He also is the senior pastor at LIFE Gospel Ministries.

Garcia also announced three other Charter Commission (those commissions required by the city's Charter) appointments Friday. They are James Ahumada, Citizens Police Complaint Commission; Bandon Downling, Civil Service Commission; and Robert Shannon, Water Commission.

Ahumada is the senior communications manager for the CSULB Associated Students and a former aide for Congressman Henry Waxman. Downling is communications director for Pacific6 Enterprises, where he oversees communications, community engagement, and employee/leadership messaging, and has served as the internal communications director for Molina Health Care.

Shannon is being reappointed to the Water Commission for a second five-year term. Shannon was the Long Beach City Attorney for 15 years and had spent another 15 years in the city attorney's office before being elected.

All of the appointments will be reviewed Tuesday by the City Council's Personnel and Civil Service Committee, then must be approved by the full City Council. That approval likely will take place at the Aug. 6 council meeting — the first in the Bob Foster Civic Chambers.

—Harry Saltzgaver  

Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

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