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Long IslandPolitics

Long Beach City Council appoints new member over protests

Chumi Diamond was voted by the Long Beach

Chumi Diamond was voted by the Long Beach City Council the new City Councilwoman on Friday, Feb. 3, 2017 in Long Beach. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

Long Beach City Council members Friday appointed Chumi Diamond to the council during a divisive meeting where residents raised questions about outside political influence.

Council members Anthony Eramo, Scott Mandel and Anissa Moore unanimously appointed Diamond to the council through the end of the year, with Council President Len Torres absent.

The vote was held as some residents shouted over the vote in protest.

Diamond, 37, was selected by the council after a monthlong review of candidates who submitted their applications to fill the seat vacated by newly elected Nassau County District Judge Eileen Goggin.

Diamond has lived in Long Beach since 2009 and works as a clerk to Nassau Supreme Court Justice Leonard Steinman. She previously worked in private practice and as clerk to the Nassau County Legislature.

She said she wants to focus on smart development in the city, managing resources and parking for residents.

“I’m looking forward to address any issues related to rifts and divides in the community,” Diamond said after she was sworn in. “I lived through [superstorm] Sandy. I want to continue the recovery work the council has done.”

Some residents, led by Martin Luther King Jr. Center chairman James Hodge, accused the council of being influenced by party politics and the Nassau County Democratic Party. He alleged that some council members were promised deals for their votes.

“No deals were made,” Eramo said. “The council was elected to make tough decisions, and this is one of them.”

Moore said she was voting for Diamond to move the city forward.

“The process has revealed we have a lot of work to do,” Moore said.

Nassau County Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs said no promises were made to council members and the decision was left to city leadership.

Residents protested that the meeting was not open for public comment, Eramo said. At one point Hodge commandeered the microphone and shouted over the council that he was ready to go to jail unless everyone was allowed to speak.

Some residents objected that the council chose Diamond over another candidate, Marvin McMoore, 23, who works as an aide to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Hodge and others also questioned Diamond’s residency, citing campaign disclosure forms that showed she made donations from her family’s address in Woodmere.

Diamond said she wrote a check from an old bank account and has updated her records. She said she has lived at the same Long Beach apartment since 2009.

City attorneys vetted her residency requirements that she lived in the city for at least two years.

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