Brad Long, a longtime Costa Mesa city employee who helped frame the city’s video efforts over a career spanning more than two decades, died Saturday from complications related to a blood disorder he had battled in recent months.
The news was met with shock and grief, both at City Hall and from residents on social media.
“It didn’t matter what side of a political debate you were on or what school your kids went to or what organizations you were a part of — everyone considered Brad a friend,” said city Public Affairs Manager Dane Bora, Long’s supervisor.
Bora called Long “the kindest, most selfless human being I’ve ever met” and “the ultimate ambassador for Costa Mesa.”
Memorial services have not been scheduled.
Long — who lived in Huntington Beach, according to Bora — joined the city as a part-time videographer in May 1994 and was hired full time as a video production specialist in December 2005.
In that role, he provided coverage of community events and public meetings, interviewed people and put together videos for Costa Mesa TV, the city’s municipal access channel. He also helped produce “Costa Mesa Minute,” a daily video rundown of happenings in the city.
Though Long was ill for months, he continued to work regularly until the week before Thanksgiving, Bora said.
He was hospitalized after doctors discovered he had an “alarmingly low” blood platelet count, according to a city statement. He died from related complications Saturday.
Planning Commission Vice Chairman Byron de Arakal knew Long for 17 years.
“He was a saint,” de Arakal said during Monday’s commission meeting. “I mean, if you were going to teach a kid about integrity, professionalism, humility, honesty, decency, you’d point to Brad Long and say, ‘Watch that guy. Watch that guy.’ He was that good. I’m just heartbroken.”