Several people in the community have sent me another funny email authored by Gary DeLong, titled “What was Gerrie Schipske Thinking?”
You ask, who is Gary DeLong and just what is his fixation with me?
Well, Gary is that tall, dapper councilmember you see walking out of the council meeting many Tuesdays cause he just can’t bear to sit and listen to the people who come to talk to council. Sometimes he just leaves council meetings all together. Take the night we were deadlocked on the vote to ban plastic bags and to assess a fee on shoppers who want to use paper bags. Gary left thinking it was in the bag but was summoned back because the vote was about to go the “wrong way” for its supporters. Whew. It was nip and tuck there for a minute. Suddenly, Gary came back in time to be a deciding vote to pass the ban on plastic bags and assess a fee. What a sense of humor that Gary has. Long Beach is experiencing the worse economic downturn in years and there he was laughing about how he made it back in time from wherever he had been to vote for one of the most anti-business measures Long Beach has enacted.
Yes, Gary did send out an email with me as the focus because I called him out for one of his ego tantrums during City Council while I was trying to introduce guess speakers. How thoughtless of me to again point out Gary’s arrogance and rudeness, especially since it is so obvious how hard he has worked these past five years to perfect his “I’m the man” routine.
I have to admit that Gary isn’t just fixated on me. I often have to share his attention with Councilwoman Rae Gabelich. Some of our council meetings are a riot with Gary practicing his latest insult or jab at Rae or me. He does it so cooly. Acting like he’s not listening at council while he is busy on his IPAD. Then wack! Rae or I will be asking questions about an agenda item and Gary presses the button on his microphone and delivers his personal attacks and then goes back to his IPAD or frantically tries to “call for the question” so he doesn’t have to hear us talk. Luck for Gary he doesn’t leave his microphone on because otherwise the public would hear the nasty side of Gary that I am sure he battles daily to hide.
It’s not that Rae and I haven’t tried to be friendly with Gary. Why just the other day we were having dinner in the Council lounge together and Rae asked him why in the world would he want to leave his council duties before he finishes his term, to run for the US Congress. Why would someone who disdains government so much risk his reputation and run for the most disdained level of government – Congress?
Gary, in his usual matter of fact style responded “because of economics. I have daughters that need to get through college and I need to make more money.” It was one of those rare moments when you want to reach out and give a hug and say “that’s okay big guy. It’s not your fault and you’re not alone. If your ‘successful’ small business isn’t making as much as a Congressman’s salary of $174,000, then go for it!”
So if you get a copy of Gary’s latest email, be kind and be gentle on how you respond to him. Forget that Gary uses the email to attack me again. The most important message in that email is his cry for attention and approval about his announcement that he is going to visit ‘100 businesses in 100 days.’ Give the big guy kudos. It only took him five years on the City Council to get the nerve to go out there and show some concern for local business. Besides it’s a wonderful campaign gimmick he can use to hit up business for campaign contributions -- just as he just did with the medical marijuana collections. He cleaned up with $6100 for that 'visit'. Got to admit he is a clever little devil.