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An emergency city ordinance banning evictions for not paying rent because of coronavirus-related issues will be heard Tuesday, March 24, by the Long Beach City Council.

The teleconference meeting starts at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday as a joint meeting with the Housing Authority. The eviction item would approve an ordinance banning evictions with notice. It also makes the law retroactive to March 4 — the day Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency.

The joint meeting also will suspend termination of housing assistance payments from the city for any reason between March 4 and May 31.

Both items were initially approved by the council at its March 17 meeting. At the March 10 meeting, the Long Beach City Council announced it would cancel meetings on Tuesday, March 24, and April 7. The March 31 meeting is automatically canceled as the last Tuesday of the month.

But on Monday, the special council meeting was called, complete with a closed session at the end of the session to consider appointment of a permanent city manager. The meeting will be conducted via teleconference and the Civic Chambers will be closed due to coronavirus orders banning meetings.

On March 17, the council voted unanimously to move ahead with a slate of regulations to help residents weather the storm unfolding as nightclubs, bars, theaters, bowling alleys, arcades and gyms have been ordered to close in accordance with state and county guidance to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Bars and restaurants already reported laying off workers last week; and earlier March 17, Hyatt announced it would shut down its two Long Beach hotels until at least May 11.

The City Council was united last week in sending a message that its members wanted to help those impacted workers as much as possible.

Regarding the moratorium on evictions, Ninth District Councilman Rex Richardson said the policy would fall in line with other moves the city government has made to ensure people are able to stay isolated at home.

“The idea is to limit movement,” he said last week. “You can’t shelter in place if you don’t have shelter.”

In the closed session, which will take place after the regular meeting instead of before as is usually the case, the council will consider appointment of a permanent city manager. Tom Modica has been acting city manager since Pat West retired last September, and is one of the applicants for the permanent position.

The only way the public can comment on regular agenda items is to use ecomment on the city's legistar website, longbeach.legistar.com, or email to cityclerk@longbeach.gov.

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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