Letters to the Editor 4-20-17
Death stalks the Strand
A new lethal threat has arrived: The motorized bicycle. The popularity of this form of bicycling is exploding (both in numbers and in speeds achieved). I have lived on the Strand for 70 years and this is a scary threat to life. I witness it daily. With Hermosa being the only city that mixes throngs of walking adults and children with these motorized vehicles, the threat is amplified manyfold. A strong biker can easily peddle 15 mph, add the 20 mph motor assist, and you have a lethal weapon. So, what to do? Setting speed limits (it is 8 mph on the Hermosa Strand now and not followed) is a joke. I see hot bikers easily going 25 mph now under their own power. Only one way will life be spared: No motorized vehicles on the Strand. The woman killed by a pedal biker going 19 mph in Manhattan is a loud warning that the State’s law for maximum speed set at 20 to 28 for electric bicycles says that they must not be allowed on the Strand. I encourage our city council to take this as a serious threat to to life.
Vote Nils Nehrenheim
As the ballots begin arriving in mailboxes this week, the Redondo Beach residents of District 1 have a great opportunity to send the consistent message to “Revitalize Not Supersize” our town by electing Nils Nehrenheim for City Council.
Nils not only worked to stop the CenterCal mall in King Harbor, he has worked for years to scale back the Legado project at PCH and PV Blvd. to livable and legal standards.
Conversely, in just six months as an appointed Council Member, Martha Barbee has voted for the CenterCal mall, voted to spend $9 million of taxpayer monies to buy-out the Fun Factory lease seven years early, and voted on January 31 — 35 days before the public vote — to enter into a 99-year lease with CenterCal so they can build their mall on public land. Barbee was part of the team at City Hall that rushed all these approvals through right before the project was soundly defeated at the polls.
Nils understands and respects the will of the community. That’s why he has earned the political and financial support of many residents, elected officials and groups like the Sierra Club and Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters.
Redondo is lucky indeed, to have this long-time, passionate resident working so hard to revitalize our community without super-sizing it. I strongly endorse Nils Nehrenheim for District 1 Council Member – a proven, effective community leader.
Mayor Bill Brand
Vote Martha Barbee
I am writing on behalf of Martha Barbee, our District 1 Councilwoman. I am a neighbor of Martha Barbee and her family. They own their home across the street from me and she is the President of their HOA. She was unanimously appointed by the City Council last July. I was impressed as to how this woman beat out 16 other people to garner the support of all of our council members who appointed her. Since then, I have carefully watched Martha Barbee in her new role. I watch City Council meetings and observe her votes. She is, after all, representing me. I have witnessed a leader who builds up a community. Martha is polite yet firm. She observes and she listens. She analyzes, she decides and then she acts independently and individually based on community input. I took great notice of her vote (the deciding vote) to reject the Legado project settlement agreement. Without her vote, that building project would be moving forward today. For many of us that have called her with individual problems on our street or in the community she responds quickly and gets action from city staff on our behalf. Her roots run deep in this community and I am always amazed at finding yet another person that has over the years brushed by Martha’s life and walked away very, very impressed. I am voting for Martha and certainly hope that you will too.
A case for County Fire
For many years , there have been attempts to provide more cost saving, efficient ways to provide fire and emergency medical service in the Beach Cities. Many ideas and plans were put forth, many studies conducted, all with same result, no action! Hermosa Beach looked to its neighbors, Redondo and Manhattan Beach for some kind of combining. Both cities declined. Last year, after a staffing crisis, the department was unable to staff both ambulance and fire engine at the same time, and the interim fire fhief also found, due to automatic mutual aid agreements, the Hermosa engine and paramedic ambulance were being used for emergency responses and training coverages in other cities much more than the other cities were assisting Hermosa, sometimes leaving Hermosa uncovered for hours. Chief Bonano, seeing the situation unsustainable, went to city council with four options, one of which was a County Fire study for providing fire & EMS, in addition to beach life guard service already provided. The study is in ; it would be a great deal for Hermosa and includes rebuilding the fire station, which doesn’t meet “essential building” seismic standards, a no interest loan, huge backup and support services to solve Hermosa’s fire service issues.
The H.B Firefighters Association, Citizens Advisory Committee on fire service , Emergency Preparedness Commission, Citygate Associates, support the above.
Member of the Citizens Advisory Committee
on Fire Service and retired fire captain paramedic
Brand v. business
An elected official in Redondo Beach has three constituencies.
First, there is the public; those who got you elected and, ultimately, those that you serve.
Second is the business community. They are very important since they are the source of most city revenues. They generate sales tax and transient occupancy tax (TOT). They pay business license fees, fees for other city services, tax on income and more. In aggregate, businesses account for more than 50 percent of all general fund revenues.
Finally, there is the city staff; almost 600 individuals who supply the services that make the city function — police, fire, public works, library, community services, maintenance and more.
There are two things for certain, every year costs will go up and employees will want raises. That requires ever increasing revenues. Since the City cannot raise taxes on its residents, we must rely on growth in the business community to keep us solvent.
Our new Mayor, Mr. Brand, has spent the last eight years vilifying the business community and obstructing construction and growth at every turn. If he continues, the funds needed to provide city services will dwindle, staffing will be reduced and his #1 constituency, the residents, will not have the quality of life they relish here in Redondo Beach.
Let us hope, for the sake of us all, that Mr. Brand will see the error of his ways and correct course. He must reach out to, and support, the businesses in town before we all feel the negative repercussions.
Incentives, not mandates
I am grateful to see that the General Plan that took years’ worth of input from Hermosa citizens and hard work from staff is nearing approval. It’s also heartening to learn the councilmembers had nothing to do with drafting any mandates. Mandates were merely proposed in a misguided consultant’s report, therefore the accusations against the councilmembers were baseless. In actuality, until the report was presented to the public, the council had no more idea what was in it than citizens led to believe the false charges. The planning commission wisely declined to adopt the mandates, saving the council from having to do so.
For those who missed this brief but emotional episode, some of us were stunned to hear councilmembers were conspiring to “sneak” through tyrannical carbon reduction mandates like banning gas grills and imposing punitive measures on gasoline vehicles. Citizens flooded the council chamber to vent misplaced outrage. Legally barred from replying during public comments, councilmembers were powerless to explain until much later.
Hopefully, lingering misconceptions don’t affect community harmony and sensible legislation henceforth. I think most of us, including councilmembers, agree carbon mandates are a bad idea. Incentives, by contrast — like the one that landed our school reconstruction project $500,000 for selecting architects and project managers committed to zero-energy buildings at no expense — are a good idea. They benefit us as much financially as they do environmentally, and many are ripe to be harvested. A council that investigates such opportunities is the kind we deserve and want to have.
by Judy Rae