Letters to the Editor 11-16-23
The Citizens of Redondo Beach deserve the right to elect their City Attorney, who is independent of the City Council (“City attorney ballot decision moves ahead,” ER November 9, 2023). A City Attorney appointed by the City Council would be in the Council’s hip pocket. If he/she disagreed with the City Council on legal matters, the Council could simply fire him/her and appoint a new City Attorney to their likings.
Hand in hand
I support Redondo Beach city employees in their continued labor negotiations, and ask the city to compensate them fairly, on par with other, local cities, so that we can attract and retain talented professionals (“City workers to picket at next council meeting,” ER November 9, 2023). I’ve interacted with the city’s public works employees, and can attest to their professionalism, courtesy, workmanship, and initiative, going above and beyond over the past year as we worked with volunteers and public works staff to build the community garden. I suggest the city spend less staff time and funds on costly lawsuits with the state (see lawsuits against SB 9 and Attorney General Rob Bonta) and make a more concentrated effort to increase pay and improve the quality of life for city employees. Fair compensation for employees, fiscal prudence, and quality of life improvements go hand-in-hand. This includes championing affordable and workforce housing when opportunities present themselves so that we can foster a modern and affordable Redondo Beach that works for everyone, especially our city essential workers.
Holiday tax present
There is just something wrong, terribly wrong, with Manhattan Beach holding what seems like a sham election during the holiday season, especially when they are asking residents to approve a second stormwater tax of over 500 percent with annual CPI increases and no sunset clause (“Proposed stormwater fee hikes move ahead,” ER September 6, 2023). The City rejected having this election on the ballot during a general election. I strongly supported and voted for LA County’s Safe and Clean Water Act, Measure W, which imposed a parcel tax on Manhattan Beach property owners back in 2019. Since that time, the total amount Measure W taxes collect amounts to almost $300 million per year. Last year alone, Manhattan property owners paid $1 million in Measure W parcel taxes. Manhattan Beach has received tens of millions of Measure W funds for stormwater projects, with tens of millions more to come. Measure W funds the Manhattan Beach’s Stormwater Infiltration Project, which covers 60 percent of the stormwater runoff in our City. Measure W also provides the City with $400,000 per year for stormwater projects. Finally, all of the City’s applications for Measure W funds for stormwater projects have been approved. What is truly disturbing is the City, in its campaign to have residents approve such an exorbitant increase, failed to mention anywhere the amounts they are receiving from Measure W for stormwater projects. That’s dishonest by omission, and misleading. Vote NO on the City’s second stormwater tax.
You don’t say
There’s certain madness coming to Hermosa Beach on Wednesday, November 29 — a City Council Facilities Study Session about a $250 million City Hall. This appears to be a grand Taj Mahal. A new City Hall has nothing to do with paving streets, or fixing basic stuff for the men, women, and children of the city. Can you say, “Grandiose, net-zero-energy City Hall?” Can you say, “Parks bathrooms massive snafu?” Can you say, “Long-delayed Prospect Avenue paving award-of-contract.” Can you say, “What better way to waste one quarter billion dollars than to build a new net zero Taj Mahal City Hall for ceremonial Mayor Justin Massey’s and City Manager Suja Lowenthal’s resumes?” Can you say, “With more taxes coming to the residents and businesses, — another one percent sales tax on everything they purchase in city or out of city (in the case of vehicles), including everything they purchase online, given this Council’s plan to put that on the ballot again in November 2024?” Can you say, “Where is the money all going?” The City doesn’t pave streets anymore. It’s just endless, glacially-slowly, forever hiring costly consultants and planning. Meanwhile the Prospect Avenue paving continues in limbo, while the City can’t even complete the little parking lot at 14th Street and Manhattan Avenue, nor the Greenbelt’s granite paving farce, nor the dangerously high curb on The Strand that people continue to trip over. Nothing gets done of substance in Hermosa Beach anymore. Can you say, “City Manager Suja Lowenthal.” Can you say, “Mayor Justin Massey”?
Webb of why’s
One thing Redondo Beach Mayor Bill Brand’s sycophants on the City Council won’t tell you is why we should hand over the power to appoint the city attorney to the Mayor and Council (“City attorney ballot decision moves ahead, ER November 9, 2023). There have been no public complaints about our elected City Attorney. In fact, City Attorney Mike Webb enjoys the support of Redondo voters and was re-elected by a super majority. So why does the Council want to change the city charter? Why are they trying to fool voters? The City Council must stop wasting staff time and Redondo taxpayer money.
Thanks to the Redondo Beach City Council, City Manager, and Staff, for hearing the public’s wishes for this treasured landmark (“Two candidates vie for next phase of old library,” ER November 9, 2023). The key is continuing to keep the library open to public events and uses, like the recent art event. I envision our Redondo High Music and Arts Departments bringing their students there for special performances and showcasing student talent in all genres of music and arts. Our caterers might like to provide refreshments for these events.
On behalf of our Prioleau Family I want to express our appreciation for the news coverage of our recent Historical Tour (“Bruce’s Beach: A hundred years later, the Prioleau family returns to Manhattan Beach,” ER October 26, 2023). Reporter Mark McDermott again displayed his journalistic expertise with compassion and thoroughness. We have appreciated his news coverage and support of our “Cause for Justice” these past three years. We were also pleased that reporter Elka Worner took the time to meet and interview our family members during our tour stop at Bruce’s Beach Park. Lastly, and as importantly, I thank the Easy Reader office manager for her assistance in downloading the article so that it can be shared with our family and friends.
It is interesting to note that the San Marino education parcel taxes total approximately $1,334 annually (“MUBUD test scores in upper echelon,” ER November 9, 2023). A portion of those taxes have been in place since 2009.