Letters to the Editor 3-30-17
Thank you for this enlightening article, which raised concern surrounding the March 9 Manhattan Beach city council election (“Anatomy of an election: palace intrigue in Manhattan Beach,” ER March 23, 2017). I am most uncomfortable with the prospect of election fraud and voter suppression relating to the sudden decision by schools within our district pulling out as polling places. Nothing from either the Superintendent or the Manhattan Beach Middle School principal begins to adequately address this matter. I would appreciate an investigation including: 1. why was this decision made, 2. when was the decision made, 3. who was involved in it, and 4. what were the “safety reasons” — what “adequate security” is required that was unavailable? There is a long history of using local schools as polling places as there should be, as our local government and our schools are funded by taxpayers and as a demonstration to our young people of the importance of our democratic process. It is very suspect that shortly before a very contentious local election such a dramatic and unprecedented decision was made after election materials had already been mailed. We need to know more.
Alice P. Neuhauser
Thanks for reporting on the despicable backdoor dealings during the recent Manhattan Beach city council election. Having followed this matter closely, I would like to add a couple of further observations: Mayor Pro Tem Amy Howorth is a former school board member who served alongside incoming councilmember Nancy Hersman. This is worth noting when considering Howorth’s affirmation of school board member Ellen Rosenberg’s characterization of the unanimous vote against the bike path in Polliwog Park as “appeasement.” Moreover, while compromise may be necessary at times, I believe most residents would prefer councilmembers not shortchange conviction for expediency. If Howorth and Councilman David Lesser truly wanted a bike path, they should have voted their conscience. Additionally, the area around Manhattan Beach Middle School, particularly along Redondo Avenue, was heavily populated by lawfully-placed yard signs promoting the incumbent candidates. When the polling place was moved at the last minute, numerous yard signs sprang up on the day of the election for the candidates promoted by Rosenberg (Richard Montgomery and Nancy Hersman) that were illegally placed along the major traffic thoroughfares of Manhattan Beach Boulevard and Redondo Avenue, inside the city limits of Redondo Beach. Coincidence? I think not.
Community Choice Aggregation should be Dead on Arrival (“Renewable energy study passes despite split vote,” ER March 23, 2017). There is no reason for any city, even in the South Bay, to take on more costs, diverting staff resources to investigate a complicated proposal. Redondo Beach should reject CCA. It will not promote choice in different types of energy sources. The program does not reduce costs. It will take power away from the city council and give it to an unaccountable Joint Powers Association. If you want to see what the real face of this communistic proposal, look no further than South Bay Clean Power leader Joe Galliani, who shames and demeans opponents of “climate alarmism.”
Arthur Christopher Schaper
You have to hand to a guy who is published weekly for his advice on local government, yet his takeaway from the March 9 Redondo election could not be more wrong (On Local Government,” ER March 23, 2017). Bob Pinzler’s premise that the Waterfront proposal was for outsiders completely misses what motivated those who voted against Redondo Beach Measure C. Only a handful of Redondo residents, myself included, frequent the Redondo pier. The vast majority of pier patrons are from outside our community and enjoy the pier for what it offers. What the pier and harbor currently offer does not attract residents who demand a more sophisticated and better quality experience. Those residents cast their vote against Measure C. The author obviously pushes the propaganda of the NIMBY group he has allied himself with by parroting that the proposal was not for residents. 43 percent of Redondo voters strongly disagree.
Powell to the people
As I approach the end of my term, due to term limits, I want to express my heartfelt thanks to all Manhattan Beach residents for the honor and privilege of serving our wonderful community as a City Councilmember and two-term Mayor for the past 8 years, and as a City Commissioner for the previous 9 years. I love Manhattan Beach and I’ve persistently worked to improve its quality of life and public safety, passionately practiced open and transparent government, and provided financial oversight and accountability. I will always fondly remember my time serving you. The public is invited to attend the Tuesday, April 4 City Council meeting, at 6 p.m. for my farewell speech. As always, I will continue to be very involved in our community as a volunteer and serving on several nonprofit boards and committees. Please listen to my weekly radio show “Powell to the People” (WaynePowell.net), Monday’s 1-2 p.m.
Thank you so very much from the bottom of my heart (I heart MB)!
Measure C puzzle
Thank you for this telling piece on the measure and how the voice of reason won a major victory in our community (“Anatomy of an election: How Measure C won Redondo”). I continue to be puzzled by opponents of Yes on C, including the ousted mayor, and soon to be ousted city council (ok that’s my own wishful thinking) who are oblivious to the notion that a majority of our residents just don’t want this kind of overdevelopment in our community. The plan proposed by CenterCal and supported by former Mayor Aspel and certain city council members was a “lose-lose proposition” for those of us who live in and love our Redondo Beach lifestyle. I offer this view because, to be successful, this colossus required a huge influx of non-residents to be viable. If it was successful, we would have been invaded by “non-neighbors” and our town would have been lost to “us.” If the project was unable to become the draw the developers hoped, they’d write off their loss and depart, leaving the residents with an underperforming, behemoth, ghost town, on our precious waterfront, with a choking maintenance obligation. The residents of Redondo could not win with the plan as proposed. We who supported C are not bullies. We are concerned citizens who have watched in horror as two successive financial juggernauts have descended upon our idyllic community with unmitigated greed in their veins. This isn’t about a commercial/financial home run for the likes of an AES or CenterCal. It’s about defending our homes and a casual lifestyle that is cherished by a clear majority of informed and, thankfully, voting residents. Let’s figure out how to revitalize, not supersize our harbor folks.
So far, Redondo Beach has paid $38 million to buy out harbor/pier leases. Why it is we had money to do that, but not the revitalize the harbor/pier? At the last council meeting, city staff revealed there is $14 million in Harbor Enterprise reserves. We have a $3 million in cash flow from the harbor that a city consultant showed could finance $54 million for infrastructure revitalization. We can add in the new tax revenues from Shade, which staff projected to be an additional $600,000 per year. And we can get an additional $800,000 per year by keeping the money we now funnel to the Chamber of Commerce. That would finance another $22 million. We can establish a private/public partnership with a developer for a development in the harbor that complies with Measure C. We can turn Seaside Lagoon over to an operator in a concession agreement just like we did Aviation Field. We can get state funding for the new boat ramp and some of the Basin 3 bulkhead sustainment. And as part of extended leases, the City can require businesses to reinvest in their properties – like the Portofino and Redondo Landing did. There are many ways to fund revitalization without over development.
by Judy Rae