Letters to the Editor 2-9-2017
The Hermosa Beach Planning Commission will hold its final meeting on the General Plan on February 22. Buried within this plan is a controversial goal: “Community Wide Carbon Neutrality by 2040.” Carbon Neutrality (rather than Carbon Reduction) might be a lofty goal, but it comes at a lofty price. This policy will weave itself into every aspect of our lives, from building codes to local business development, to daily activities. Pulling a permit to remodel a bathroom could come with the additional requirement to add solar panels to your roof or a charging station in your garage. Selling a home could include costly retrofitting. Building a new home could include a prohibition against using natural gas. (The all-electric home was one of the worst ideas of the 20 Century.) This policy will also shift scarce city funds and resources away from needed infrastructure (can you say fire station? sewer system?) and into the formation and management of a Hermosa Beach owned and operated power utility. As things presently stand, the Council will soon vote on the General Plan containing the Carbon Neutral goal, and by a simple Council majority, will saddle the citizens of Hermosa Beach with an onerous, intrusive and expensive obligation. I urge the citizens of Hermosa Beach to insist the City Council break out the Carbon Neutrality provision from the General Plan, and offer it up as a separate ballot measure to be voted on by the citizens.
Vote for experienced
It’s vitally important that Manhattan Beach residents elect Mark Burton, Tony D’Errico and Steve Napolitano to the Council on March 7. Burton has demonstrated leadership, efficiency, independence, concern for the city, a knack for achieving consensus and a vast store of city governance experience over the last four years. D’Errico, our current Mayor, has similar traits and brings a business background to the city with its attendant concerns over fiscal prudence. Steve Napolitano, a native son and three time Mayor, has a broad background in municipal management and a deep knowledge of the County operations. All three have the knowledge and will to keep our city financially sound over the long term. We have a small town with large special interests. We don’t need more development influence, though real estate will always be important. Burton, D’Errico and Napolitano are independent and open
minded. They are much more than qualified politicians, they are true leaders.
Former Mayor, Manhattan Beach
Vote on record
On March 7 Manhattan Beach voters will choose from eight candidates to fill three City Council seats. The candidates include two incumbents, two past council members, two planning commissioners, and two highly engaged residents. Incumbents should only be rewarded with re-election if they’ve successfully worked with their fellow councilmembers to accomplish what they promised when first elected. No matter how appealing their intent, if they can’t achieve their goals in the four years they asked for, why grant them eight years? They chose the new city manager. Is he a good hire? Is their enthusiastic support of his $1M+ addition of four new senior staff positions consistent with the “fiscal responsibility” the incumbents claim? Please think hard before just voting in these incumbents, and at least challenge them on why they so often wind up on the minority end of 3-2 votes. The two past Council members couldn’t be more different in both their approach to governance and their performances, both in and out of office. We must not miss this fortuitous opportunity to bring back the Councilmember many long term residents agree to be the very best we’ve ever had, Steve Napolitano. If you’re a recent resident, just ask around. Napolitano is one of very few to ever be elected (and handily) three times to our Council, and for very good reason. Everyone’s first vote should go to Steve Napolitano.
Rodriguez on 2nd
On March 7, voters in Redondo Beach’s District 2 will elect a city councilman for the next four years; I urge them to vote for Doug Rodriguez. I had the pleasure of serving with Doug on the Redondo Beach Planning Commission for five years. I found he was always prepared and ready to honestly deliberate the issues before us. His insightfulness and commitment to all of the citizens of Redondo Beach helped guide many of our discussions and render policy decisions that balanced the needs of the city, citizens and the numerous applicants who appeared before us.
Unlike other politicians who are quick to make accusations and condemn simply because of differing viewpoints, the fair and open-minded approach that Doug has demonstrated repeatedly as a Planning Commissioner will undoubtedly serve the residents of District Two and ultimately all the citizens of Redondo Beach well. Don’t be fooled by talking points, the residents of District Two need a representative who has their interests at heart and also sees the “bigger picture.” On March 7, I urge residents of District Two to vote Doug Rodriguez for city council.
Re Brand Redondo
Redondo Beach Councilman and mayoral candidate Bill Brand stands for Redondo’s real needs and interests. His years of diligent research include discussions and meetings with state and county agencies and leaders of cities who build for the benefit of the citizens in ways that don’t increase traffic and don’t block views. As a councilman, he has served us well, leading us to the awareness that a power plant is no longer necessary on our waterfront. He is a faithful advocate for open space and keeping the harbor a harbor. I’m ready for his optimistic and hopeful approach rather than the current claim, “It’s so bad down there, we need a developer to come in and save us.” This misguided notion has led to a plan that leases mostly public land for 99 years at $250,000 a year. We would lose our harbor to an oversized parking garage and a so-called “Lifestyle Center.” This plan shrinks the lagoon, adds a roadway, shops and a 700-seat movie theatre on Harbor Drive. People don’t even go to the movies much anymore. I’m tired of “business as usual,” with its rampant cronyism and overdevelopment. It’s time for a breath of fresh air in Redondo. Bill Brand is just that.
Linda R. Neal
The current debate about the future of the Redondo Beach harbor isn’t new. It started in the 1950s, consumed the 1960s and simmered until 1975. The original pro-growth advocates, Mayor Bill Czuleger (1961-1972) and City Manager Francis Hopkins (1954-1972) were instrumental in creating the mess we have today. In 1962 the Redevelopment Agency was formed. Under the guise of “urban renewal,” property was bought or in some cases acquired through eminent domain. The Breakwater was rebuilt, the harbor created, the old Downtown razed and hauled to the dump in Palos Verdes Then these properties were leased to developers. Along with that, rows of high-rise residential complexes were built along Catalina and the Esplanade. Slow-growth groups fought all of the above and lost. It’s a shame because the slow-growth groups didn’t ask for a dime; they did it for the residents of Redondo. You can’t say that for the pro-growth, bigger-is-better group. CenterCal is a business. They want to maximize return on their investment. It’s a fantasy to believe this project will solve more problems than it creates. CenterCal, Redondo Beach Mayor Steve Aspel and the Chamber of Commerce have spent plenty to make this over-development a reality. Follow the money: Councilman and mayoral candidate Bill Brand isn’t fighting this to line his pockets. “Yes on C” is for us, to save us from the Greedy.
Rick K. Eriksen
Follow the money
CenterCal CEO Fred Bruning donated $30,000 to the Redondo Beach Firefighters PAC. Immediately afterwards the PAC sent out a $17,000 campaign mailings supporting Mayor Steve Aspel’s re-election. I’m sure the $30,000 donation was purely coincidental and not directed or coordinated by anyone running for office. Bruning clearly stated he was “told” to donate the $30,000 and must have just been following command instructions from his lower level secretarial staff. Good to know they run the show there at CenterCal and control distribution of such piddly sums of cash. After all at any other job in America, deliberately funneling tens of thousands of dollars dollars through a third party to conceal its origin would be money laundering. That couldn’t be happening in this case. Nothing to see here so move along and welcome to Redondo Beach politics. I can see why the Mayor and city council wouldn’t adopt real campaign reform when they had the chance last year.
Before Measure C is voted on by Redondo Beach residents, every voter should be aware of the negative repercussions should it pass. Several years ago our community voted to approve a Waterfront revitalization project that residents had been working on for years. Measure C will not only derail that approval but also would end a number of other important projects in the area that would benefit our community. For example, Measure C would halt approved plans to improve traffic flow in the Redondo Beach waterfront area.The Waterfront will do that by building a modern parking structure, wider lane roads and redesigned traffic patterns. With Measure C, we’d be stuck with the same waterfront and a cost to taxpayers of $200 million just to make basic improvements, while leaving the same traffic problems for years to come. Change is never an easy thing to facilitate but is necessary in order to grow and improve. Measure C would slow or stop desperately needed change that has been under discussion for decades. Please join me in voting NO on Measure C.”
by Judy Rae