Letters to the Editor 5-19-22
Trouble in our city
Everyone who lives in Manhattan Beach was at one time attracted to this lovely, sleepy beach town, where schools are great, neighbors live harmoniously, discourse is civil, and people can still function alongside one another, even when we don’t agree on everything. When two people accept the same facts but come to a different conclusion, it’s so much easier to see reason in what they say and do. But when people decide to invent their own facts then, Manhattan Beach, we have a problem. In the present election cycle, disinformation has intruded upon our local ballot decisions. Tactics I’ve witnessed range from possible campaign finance violations, to abuses of power by elected officials, to biased social media moderation, to false anonymized communications, to spam, to outright lies, all the way down to the petty theft of campaign signs from private property. For the good of our community, these dishonest, underhanded tactics have got to stop. People are entitled to their own opinion and their own conclusions. They are not entitled to their own false identities, anonymous campaign spending, cherry-picked narratives, or alternative “facts.” Many, and at the very least quite obviously some, should know better. Please go to original sources for your information. Don’t trust sources that refuse to tell you who they are, or where their money comes from. Reject these underhanded tactics and show the perpetrators that they are not a winning strategy.
Jen Jenkins Dohner
Where’d they go?
It is extremely concerning to me that a small group of residents have put this much effort into destroying the reputation of our schools and our community. Let’s face the facts: despite being one of the lowest funded school districts, we have some of the best public schools in the state. This absolutely would not be the case without community support. It has taken years of dedicated hard work and generous giving by the entire community. 40 years ago individuals in this community recognized the problem of relying on the state for school funding. We owe the founders of the Manhattan Beach Education Foundation a debt of gratitude for looking after the future of our schools and our community. Pink slips will continue without further community action. Layoffs are painful and public with staff, parents and students in the room advocating not to cut librarians, science specialists, reading specialists, music and art teachers, and favorite teachers. The Measure A citizens’ campaign should be applauded for continuing the legacy of those who have created solutions for our community. We can come together to protect what we have built. Measure A is a sustainable model for the next generation. The Manhattan Beach that I know comes together to be part of the answer. Please don’t allow a small faction to destroy what we all have worked so hard to build over the last 40 years. Because if it comes to cuts, they won’t be in the room.
A full measure Measure A
To remain the great community we are, Manhattan Beach residents should always fund their Police, Fire and Schools to be great. Not good, great. I am willing to pay for it, and I believe most Manhattan residents are, as well. That’s why I am supporting Measure A 100 percent.
After fully reviewing the facts and data, I’ve found Measure A is the right amount of parcel tax over the right amount of time to keep our schools great for our next generation of children, their families, and our community. Our City and MBUSD will often encounter funding challenges that can only be solved with additional revenue. That’s just a fact of fiscal life. In many instances, those funding challenges may result from mandates outside the control of our City or MBUSD. I am not a big fan of “half measures” to solve funding problems, especially when we know the full measure that would permanently solve a funding problem. Measure A is the full measure that solves, once and for all, the historical school funding shortfall caused by the State. In my career in local government, I often see a city or school district undertake “half measures.” That’s because they are “elected” officials. That’s why it is so refreshing to see an independent group of Manhattan residents pursue a full measure solution with Measure A.
Council members Laura Emdee and Christian Horvath’s “beliefs” are not worth writing about as they are based on cooked-up numbers from incomplete data (Redondo Beach City Council votes to resume county fire study,” ER May 12, 2022). That’s what the Budget and Finance commission was finding out as their questions were rebuffed by city staff. The obfuscation got so bad former City Manager Joe Hoefgen at one point refused to even allow staff to appear at their meetings and answer questions. Sadly the fix was in by the former city manager and now disgraced former Fire Chief, as seen in the Kauffman-Castro report. Combined with the then city council majority (Emdee, Horvath and John Gran) they were more interested in playing politics and keeping such information from the public. We are lucky in the years that followed that none of our first responders or the general public were hurt or injured by this reckless endangerment of our safety by the former council majority, just to cover up for their friend — the former fire chief.