Long Beach : 55-Member Committee Will Advise City on Disney Plans
The City Council has approved formation of an unusually large citizens advisory committee to review Disney Development Co.'s proposal to build a huge theme park on the Long Beach waterfront.
Although the council has frequently created citizen committees to advise them on controversial issues, the 55-member Disney committee is so big that some council members have questioned whether it can be effective.
“I wanted the largest number possible for representation. But others had legitimate concerns,” said Councilman Wallace Edgerton. Because of qualms about the committee’s size, the council agreed to divide the panel into five subcommittees and to form an executive committee, consisting of the leaders of each subcommittee and of the panel as a whole.
Members of the committee will be appointed by the City Council and the mayor. While they will be able to comment on the theme park plans, they will not be allowed to sit in on direct negotiations between the city and Disney.
The entertainment company last year announced that it wanted to build a new $1-billion theme park in either Long Beach or Anaheim, pushing the two cities into rivalry for what would be one of the region’s biggest tourist attractions. Disney has indicated that it will not make a decision for quite a while, but in the meantime, is pursuing negotiations with both cities.