Published on November 18th, 2013 | by Reporters Desk0
Foster Wants to Give Fields The Boot
On Nov. 19, the Long Beach City Council will consider a request by Mayor Bob Foster seeking support for removing Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners President Thomas Fields from his position.
The agenda item would require at least 6 to 9 vote.
On Nov. 11, the Long Beach City Clerk’s office published Mayor Bob Foster’s recommendation for the removal of Thomas Fields as president of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners, while Fields was out of the country, on a two-week trip around Asia with port executive staff.
Fields, advertising entrepreneur, served on several city commissions before Foster appointed him to the 6-year term in the Harbor Commissioner.
While he did not state a reason for his recommendation, Foster, who appointed Fields in 2009, indicated that Field’s travel was among many reasons why he is asking for his removal. Budget Oversight Committee Chairman, Councilman Gary DeLong, questioned Fields’ travel spending, including two trips taken without port staff.
In September, the city council limited harbor commissioners to $40,000 in travel spending, as a result. City Auditor Laura Doud is reviewing the 12 trips that the Budget Oversight Committee scrutinized.
Fields spent $77,196.37 on eight overseas trips from Oct. 29, 2011, to June 1 this year, while prior presidents spent considerably less, — at least half on travel, public records show.
Fields reportedly claims that his removal attempts have more to do with his support of the relocation of the port’s headquarters, which was deemed unsafe in the event of an earthquake, to the WorldTradeCenter.
Another point of contention with the mayor is the selection process of a new executive director. The Port of Long Beach hasn’t had a permanent executive director since June, when Chris Lytle resigned after 18 months on the job.
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Venue: City Hall
Location: 333 W. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach