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L.B. council abruptly cancels Tuesday night meeting

Long-time city hall watchers call the move virtually unprecedented

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The Long Beach City Council abruptly canceled its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday night, saying the move was "due to unforeseen circumstances."

Long-time City Hall watchers said they could not remember a time when a meeting was so abruptly canceled, except perhaps for developing inclement weather conditions.

The City posted, in red, two sentences on its website: "Due to unforeseen circumstances, tonight's City Council meeting has been canceled. It will be rescheduled for a later date."

John McNally, executive assistant to the Long Beach City manager, said only the cancellation was due to "unforeseen circumstances." He declined to elaborate.

Earlier Tuesday, McNally had said the city would be issuing a decision on who will be its permanent police commissioner, before the council meeting. But McNally said that no decision will be immediately announced.

He did not say when one might be. The city was to announce one of two candidates for the job- the current commissioner Phil Ragona, and Ron Walsh, a high-ranking Nassau County police official,

The city council's agenda for Tuesday night contained two items that called for Long Beach to settle lawsuits. One involved a construction company and the other a private citizen injured in a fall. The settlements call on the city to pay out nearly $1 million, including $750,000 to the construction company.

Speculation from city hall watchers ranged from the possibility that the council was not able to have a quorum to unresolved disputes over who would be the police commissioner. None could be confirmed.