Letters to the Editor 11-8-18
I find it unsettling that your publication decided to devote the front page of your paper to trying to disgrace a former employee [“Team Danaj,” ER Nov. 1, 2018]. Your piece on Mark Danaj borders on defamation of character. Serving in public office is hard enough without trying to malign someone who is trying to work. Maybe he didn’t work out for Manhattan Beach or maybe he found a way to “work” the system but it seems like he is operating within the law. There are so many other issues in the city that should be addressed. Dig around for the light in this world.
This is disgusting [“Team Danaj,” ER Nov. 1, 2018]. I don’t care if the actions described here are “technically legal.” To see this person jump from one cushy high-paying job to another, again and again, helped by his insider friends, then seeing him help them do the same — it’s just vile. This man and his kind are a cancer on government. Shame on him.
Going to trial
Frivolous lawsuits are beyond personal. They are meant to destroy people’s financial security, rob them of time, and attack them professionally. Redondo Beach Mayor Bill Brand, his campaign treasurer Linda Moffat, Redondo resident Wayne Craig and I are going to trial next week [“Brand, Nehrenheim campaign lawsuit set for trial,” ER Aug. 2, 2018]. After a year and a half of 11 depositions, motions, settlement conferences, and subpoenas, we have to spend days in court explaining to a judge how a few residents who just simply cared about their community ended up with mountains of legal debt because Redondo Beach residents Arnette Travis and Chris Voisey are frivolously suing us.
During this last election, massive outcry resulted due to an endorsement that Assemblymember Al Murasutchi’s campaign made. Some called it “bullying.” It’s common knowledge that Councilmembers Laura Emdee and Christian Horvath are great friends of Travis and Voisey. Travis now sits on the North Redondo Beach Business Association board, where Councilmember John Gran was formerly president and treasurer. No need to wonder any further why this community was in a complete uproar over an endorsement. For the record, freedom of speech is voicing an opinion, it’s not bullying. Filing frivolous lawsuits is bullying.
And for me, this is just the first, of two personal lawsuits since being elected that I have had to defend myself against because someone didn’t get their way. I can’t thank this community enough for the continued support. Donations are always welcome, it’s what keeps us going. There are lights at the end of the tunnel, one this month, the other in March. Support online at votefornils.org, thank you!
Nils Nehrenheim, Councilmember
Watching the power plant
I’m glad the AES site has a buyer. My main concern now is that we learn the track record of the company and its principals [“Los Angeles developer names as AES Redondo power plant buyer,” ER Oct. 25, 2018]. Let us learn from the mistakes of the CenterCal cheerleaders, which all of us, and especially Mayor Bill Brand, Councilmember Nils Nehrenheim and several other residents are literally paying for in the form of CenterCal-related lawsuits, and bills CenterCal agreed to pay but did not. Although Next Century Power, Leo Pustilnikov and his partner Izek own the land, they need the cooperation and support of Redondo Beach resident voters to do anything with it. Once I’m satisfied that this developer, and whoever they bring in to finance the project, are honest, law-abiding, financially-sound, and have a positive track record in public-private partnerships, I can and will be more excited. Until then, my enthusiasm will be held in check. But my gratitude and respect for Mayor Brand and all of the elected and unelected community leaders who worked so hard for so many years to make this opportunity possible, remains boundless.
I have been in executive roles for major medical imaging corporations most of my career. To solve a problem, or explore an opportunity, it is important to create segmentation models. We need to correctly address each segment differently, based on the situation; one product-solution for all does not work [“Holmes on Homeless,” Letters, ER Nov. 1, 2018].
The same has to be applied to address the homeless issue versus the same old answer, which is to raise taxes and spend more money because we are compassionate people.
Segmentation models can include:
- Those who are destitute and are forced from housing due to financial problems.
- The mentally challenged who lack the skill sets to fully support themselves.
- Those with true drug and alcohol dependency and cannot function in society.
- People with no intention to conform, who have an entitlement attitude, do not respect property, are not willing to accept responsibility to improve, many with multiple levels of drug/alcohol addiction or substance abuse.
We should focus on the first segment who by uncontrolled events in their lives, wind up in their cars and/or on the streets. These are the people who I feel have the highest incentive and the best chance to accept and appreciate help, and return into society.
Now Redondo Beach City Council Member Laura Emdee blames the voters for CenterCal’s $15 million lawsuit against the City of Redondo Beach. Even though she signed the 99-year lease with CenterCal just 35 days before her own constituents had the chance to vote to reject it, she blames the voters instead of herself [Letters, ER Nov. 1, 2018]. She not only knew the vote was coming; she actively campaigned against it, even in a public school. So, the millions of Redondo Beach taxpayer dollars wasted for legal expenses on this is also the voters’ fault, not hers? Is the $9 million of Redondo Beach taxpayer dollars she and Christian Horvath arrogantly wasted on the buyout of the Fun Factory lease also the voters’ fault? How about the $6 million in interest expense wasted by borrowing money to fund the buyout – also the voters’ fault, not Laura Emdee’s?
All she had to do is wait 35 days before deciding whether to sign the 99-year lease, and wait for the residents’ vote before wasting the $9 million, but she chose not to. She is supposed to represent the residents, but she is undercutting them, selling them out, and blaming them at every opportunity.
Keep it positive
This is such a sad time for our nation and our community when people continue to use their right to vote to support agendas based on negativity being spewed by opposing candidates. What happened to looking at the merits of candidates and the content of their character? Unfortunately, I fear we will continue to see this negativity and hatred spiral out of control until our Millennials start using their powerful voices and voting rights. Readers, please prove me wrong!
Los Angeles County Fire Department overtime costs have surged 36 percent in the last five years. Six-hundred and 40 employees received at least $100,000 in overtime and 24 received $200,000. Overtime accounted for about a third of the average Fire Department employee’s annual pay and overtime is paid at one and-a-half times the normal rate.
Fire Department employees make more than the following elected persons:
President $400,000, Vice President $230,700, Cabinet $210,700, Senate/Representatives $174,000, Supreme Court Justice $267,000. U.S. Army General $189,600.
California: Governor $201,800, Attorney General $175,182.
In 2017, an LA County Fire Department battalion chief was paid $283,887 overtime as part of his $479,919 total salary. A captain was paid $322,677 overtime as part of his $457,164 total, and another captain was paid $263,501 overtime as part of his $404,311 total, according to transparentsalaries.com.
Somebody is not doing scheduling in the right way. The explanation that they give you that they have all these vacancies. My guess is they are keeping these vacancies so people can get the overtime.The public accepts these extremely high salaries, because they are our “first responders” and keep our community safe. But this is an insult to our military who keep our country safe and work in hostile environments 24/7 at lower wages.
by Judy Rae