Civically Speaking is a weekly newsletter on the latest local government news from the lens of the Long Beach Post’s City Hall reporter, who sits through so many city meetings for us. Subscribe here.

Everyone’s invited!

OK—not everyone ….

It wasn’t until recently that I found out that Long Beach City College has a Hall of Fame. One could argue I should have known about it considering that my colleague and dear friend, Tim Grobaty, is one of its dignitaries. 

Shout out to the class of 2010! 

But sometime in August, I was approached about a situation brewing over this year’s class. By the time you read this, the 2023 inductees will have been enshrined, but one person is missing from the original slate of honorees. 

Councilmember Daryl Supernaw was set to be inducted along with Councilmember Cindy Allen Thursday night, a nod to their service to the community and ties to the college (both attended). But only Allen ended up on the bill. 

Supernaw told me that he was informed by LBCC Foundation Executive Director Paul Kaminski that he is ineligible because he is running for office in an election year. 

That decision “was all Mike,” Supernaw recalled being told by Kaminksi, referring to Superintendent-President Mike Munoz.

Munoz’ boss is Herlinda Chico, an LBCC trustee who is challenging Supernaw for his East Long Beach council seat. Munoz even helped host a campaign fundraiser for Chico in late June. 

You might be wondering at this point why Allen was allowed to accept the honor in an election year, yet questions were raised about Supernaw. 

I wish I could tell you. 

I first called the foundation, which helps select the honorees. Strangely, I got a response from the LBCC communications team, who told me to contact the foundation. OK … 

After that call, Kaminski at the foundation called me back and, in a 26-minute interview, all I can really tell you is that he is very sorry. 

Does the Hall of Fame have a policy regarding people running for office? 

“I don’t know if that’s a rule-rule, but there were protocols that we did not follow,” Kaminski told me.

If it wasn’t a “rule-rule” why was it communicated that it was a “rule-rule”? 

Kaminski wavered on this repeatedly, ranging from it being a misinterpretation—and that it may or may not have come from Munoz—to say that the committee that selects candidates and their rules have “morphed” and they are being “revisited.” 

He did not give a clear answer as to why Allen was still allowed in. 

Is it a rule this year? Will it be a rule going forward? I didn’t leave that conversation with an understanding of how it will be applied now, or in the future.

Kaminski apologized again. He apologized several times. 

“I apologize, they’re great people and I didn’t intend for this thing to become what it became,” he said. 

The college, meanwhile, in a statement denied that Munoz told Kaminski there was a rule, and that Munoz was “disappointed” to hear Supernaw opted out. 

Supernaw did indeed opt to not participate, he told me. 

“I was put in a can’t-win situation,” Supernaw said. 

It is true that incumbent city elected leaders are barred from using city resources during an election year. That means Supernaw, Allen and Councilmember Suely Saro (if she runs for reelection) will be barred from appearing on the city’s broadcast channels and from using any other city assets to benefit their campaigns. 

But does that prohibition extend to the LBCC Hall of Fame? 

I looked through the list of past inductees to figure out if there was any precedent for this. 

The list of 188 past inductees includes some names that jump off the sheet like Tommy “Tiny” Lister of WWF fame, who you might know from the movie “Friday.”

The list also includes at least two incumbent City Council members who were inducted during an election year. Councilmember Al Austin was inducted in 2016, the year he won his second term on the council, and Clarence Smith, who like Austin, was inducted into the hall of fame as he sought a second term on the council

So will Supernaw eventually get inducted? I don’t know, but his family’s ties to the college—his great-grandfather was the first facility manager who helped build it—seem like a big qualifier. 

And if capacity is an issue, I’ve been advised that there could be some real estate in the hall opening up. Tim says he wants out. 

Where does he send his resignation letter?


You may have noticed our website looked a bit different this week. We launched a new membership program that we hope will help us to continue to provide the content you need to be in the know about what’s happening in Long Beach. I even recorded a video for the launch that you can check out here. Yes, the Long Beach Post has always been free, and it will continue to be free for those who are unable to pay. But doing this work isn’t cheap—I’ve literally sat in a meeting for nine and a half hours for one story—and we need your help to continue to do this work as independently as possible. Memberships start at as little as $8 a month, which is half a Netflix subscription. But because I’ve been deemed a “premium product” like soon-to-be ex-LBCC Hall of Fame member, Tim Grobaty, it will cost $3 a month to continue to receive this. Someone just shouted across the newsroom that I’m worth $3 a month. I hope you all agree. 


A resident group is tired of all the noise. Small-engine airplane noise to be exact. The leaders of the SANER (Small Aircraft NoisE Reduction) group reached out to me last week to talk about what they feel has been a substantial increase in small planes circling over their homes and waking up babies. They compare the noise to a “little lawnmower” going over their homes every few minutes, but what the city can do to resolve it is unclear. The issue has been added to the City Council’s agenda for Tuesday, with a slew of questions that city staff is being asked to look into. What the SANER group wants might be legally difficult for the city to pull off. They want new regulations put in place to help control the noise emanating from the small planes, but opening up the city’s noise ordinance, something that just a few cities in the country have local control of, has always been something Long Beach has been reluctant to do. 

Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @JasonRuiz_LB on Twitter.