Letters to the Editor 8-31-23

Don’t do it

Dear ER:

This is an open letter to the Hermosa Beach City Council. It concerns Hermosa Beach’s practice of rotating Mayor, and Mayor Pro Tem positions, a tradition dating back to the city’s founding in 1907. Every elected council member is voted by the council to serve as Mayor Pro Tem,  and then at the next rotation, to become mayor for the following 10 to 11 months, before stepping down to be a council person again. Every elected council person goes through this same rotation four times during their four year term. Now there is concern that this council is not going to respect precedent when the rotation vote comes before the council at its September 12 meeting. Under the usual rotation, Council Member Justin Massey would be voted Mayor, replacing current mayor Raymond Jackson; and Dean Francois would be voted Mayor Pro Tem.

This tradition has been respected, dating back to 1907, even when the five council members have been divided. The only exception was in 2019 when the council did not allow Councilman Hany Fangary to become Mayor Pro tem.  He resigned shortly thereafter and moved out of the City. It was an ugly moment in Hermosa’s history. The people who elect their candidates expect them to become Mayor.  Everyone of the elected has their fans and detractors, for sure. But to play games with the rotation is bad for the City and bad for the Council. It suggests a clique on the council, which is bad for decision making. Every council member brings something unique to the table. In our days on the City Council we made massive renovations to a diamond in the rough beach town that needed it, including a new downtown Pier Plaza. If we had been denied our rotation, we too might have quit. Indeed, the City would have been different and voters would have been denied who and what they voted for. There might never have been a downtown Pier Plaza, which  was approved on a 3-2 vote. And, most assuredly, there would be no present day Hermosa Ironman. We urge the council not to get petty with the rotation. The City Council will only make itself look bad by doing so. This is why not much good is ever said about the forgotten Council of 2019. They were truly worth forgetting.   

Sam Edgerton
Robert “Burgie” Benz
Former Mayors,
Hermosa Beach                 


Be sensible

Dear ER:

Once again, the Redondo Beach City Council continues to support the mansionization of Redondo Beach (“Close vote on Redondo home designs rules,” ER August 24, 2023). The Planning Commission handed the City Council a sensible zoning plan and apparently the newly elected council members have only listened to one side of the story — The developers’. I urge the council and Mayor Bill Brand to support the homeowners and opt for sensible zoning — -not three story, rooftop balconies and ridiculous mezzanines. We have one City Attorney. We do not also need Council Member Zein Obagi to be another. With the density we already live with, let’s opt for sensible zoning 

Melanie L. Cohen

Redondo Beach


Missing the music

Dear ER:

I knew Pat Dietz for 40 years. As a contemporary in age, demeanor, and position status (grandfather, father and husband), I understand every word, his daughter Kelly wrote (“Community gathers to celebrate the life of Pat Dietz,” ER August 24, 2023). I cried reading this. I will miss Pat forever.

Brian O’Donnell

ER Comment


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