Editor’s note: The Beach Reporter welcomes letters regarding candidates and issues for the upcoming March 2019 election. Letters will be printed on a space available basis. We will not print personal character attacks or comments that may be libelous and we limit letters from organized letter writing campaigns. Announcements of candidacy from candidates themselves will not be run. Please refer to our standard guidelines published below. Our Feb. 21 issue is the last opportunity for letters supporting candidates (Feb. 18 deadline). Our Feb. 28 issue reserved for 250-word statements from the candidates themselves.
An extra special thank you to Hotel Hermosa for opening their lobby to several non-guests. After being evacuated from our homes at 1 a.m. on Jan. 27 due to police activity, we were escorted to the corner of 30th and Ardmore.
Around 2 a.m. Hermosa Beach Police received permission for us to make use of Hotel Hermosa’s lobby. We were without cars so HB police shuttled us to the hotel. We were welcomed by the hotel manager and he turned on the lobby lights and even had the fireplace ready for us....we were cold!
Come morning, the fine hotel manager even offered us coffee. Thank You Hotel Hermosa!
—Ann Proctor, Hermosa Beach
Problems with Aviation
Last year the Beach Cities Health District led a conversation among the beach cities about reconfiguring Aviation Boulevard. The worry over commute congestion caused this work to be shelved. But just this year, there have already been two deaths on a short stretch of that street. In light of these tragedies, it’s important we re-open the discussion. I urge the cities to look at all the options available to improve safety on this important street. Reducing lanes, narrowing lanes, re-timing signals, speed bumps, speed cameras and increased police presence are things that could really help. Let’s continue with a proper, professional look at our options and the side-effects. I’m confident there are solutions to greatly improve the safety with minimal impact to rush-hour throughput. Doing nothing under the current dangerous conditions is not an option.
—Vincent Busam, Hermosa Beach
Keeping STR ban
Residential neighborhoods require stability to preserve their safety and character. Manhattan Beach’s enduring reputation as a “bedroom community” has long been a part of what draws families seeking a quiet and neighborly lifestyle to this town.
Short-term rentals create a turnstile of occupants with little or no connection to residents who have an enduring and very personal investment in our community. We need look no further than the dystopia afflicting cities like Venice and Santa Monica to see how STR’s undermine the sense of security that comes from knowing your neighbors and play Russian roulette with the welfare and well-being of families. Additionally, as Manhattan Beach falls within the purview of the Coastal Commission, codifying any form of STR’s will hand over jurisdiction of this matter to the Coastal Commission, which favors the proliferation of STR’s.
To accurately reflect the values and desires of our community, the issue of STR’s must be framed within the context of our General Plan, a defining document which at present categorically prohibits the commercial use of property within residential zones. The only appropriate methodology for allowing STR’s would necessarily involve creating a new General Plan, a rightfully an exhaustive undertaking subject to extensive community input and discussion. The existing ban should remain in place and be vigorously enforced until then.
—Marilisa Gerny, Manhattan Beach
Campaign signs litter
Manhattan Beach City Council candidates should have more respect for the city they wish to represent than to plaster campaign signs all around town. Signs are posted on vacant fences and businesses, strip malls, gas stations and parkways.
Does winning mean more than self-esteem? Please have more respect for Manhattan Beach.
—Ed Skebe, Manhattan Beach
Candidates in Redondo
Confused or deluged by the issues in Redondo Beach and which candidates are qualified for your vote? We are excited about the qualifications of three candidates for City Council and City Treasurer.
District 3. Candace Nafissi is a familiar face in the City Council chambers and also one who joined hundreds of Redondo Beach residents voicing their concerns at the recent Coastal Commission hearings on compliance issues relating to the proposed waterfront development. As co-founder of Rescue Our Waterfront, she favors a balanced approach to development focused on addressing residents’ concerns about increased traffic and its impact on our safety and quality of life.
In District 5, Mel Samples, a 28 year resident of his district and Chairman of the Redondo Beach Budget and Finance Commission, is looking forward to the opportunity to apply his professional expertise with public safety systems for the Port of Long Beach and the City of Los Angeles.
Treasurer. While our current City Treasurer, Steve Diels, campaigned on a platform by reform by making the position part time and reducing his annual salary to $25,000, in 2017 he hired Chief Deputy City Treasurer Nilesh Mehta at a full time salary of $103,607.98 according to Transparent California.
His challenger, Eugene Solomon, currently serving on the Budget and Finance Commission and a member of the General Plan Advisory Committee, proposes implementing 3-5 year budget projections, overhauling city investments to maximize returns, and reducing single source/non-competitive bid contracts.
—Shannon Sherbin, Redondo Beach
Manhattan Beach has problems. The last three city managers have been fired without cause, the fire chief was forced to retire early, there are unfunded pension funds affected by unnecessary hiring of expensive staff and consultants and the Downtown Specific Plan ($1.4 million) killed by the California Coastal Commission.
When you buy a tire for your car, you buy a new tire not a retread. When you vote for a councilmember, you vote for one who will be part of the solution and not part of the problem.
Let me be frank: vote for Joe Franklin for Manhattan Beach City Council on March 5. Joe is endorsed by current and former mayors and community leaders.
Joe’s professional career included work at AT&T, NEC, McGraw Hill and KW Commercial RE. Joe is 34-year resident and active in city activities – Parking and Public Improvement Commission, Co-creator of “Do Stop-Don’t Speed” and “Stranger Danger,” worked on all MBUSD School Board measures, appointed by City Council to several city-wide committees and Pacific School PTA/School Site Council.
Joe doesn’t have a personal agenda, trustworthy, transparent, fiscally responsible and loves everything he does and does it well. All of these personal attributes will benefit our city and its residents.
Vote on March 5. JF for MB, Vote for Joe Franklin.
—Robert Bush, Manhattan Beach
I am a retired MBUSD teacher and former MBUSD School Board President. I have known Wayne since he was a Cultural Arts Commissioner (2000).
There are many reasons Wayne should be elected to MB City Council on March 5, 2019. Several of Wayne’s accomplishments include: The Campaign Finance Transparency Ordinance, The Manhattan Beach Smoking Prohibition, the License Plate Readers at the City of Manhattan Beach exit and entry points, voting against closing City Hall on alternating Fridays, voting to restrict Manhattan Beach short-term rentals, voting against costly consultant contracts and preventing the removal of our offshore sand.
Wayne has worked around-the-clock supporting the community of Manhattan Beach for more than 20 years. Please join me in electing Wayne Powell for City Council!
—Tracey Windes, Manhattan Beach
Hit mailers in MB
Most residents of Manhattan Beach are busy hard working folks. There’s not a lot of time to pay attention to local politics and the City Council. As a result sometimes the business, real estate or other interests have more influence than usual. I’m asking that for the City Council election coming on March 5th you pay attention and vote to bring back Mark Burton. It’s important that we have Burton back on Council to listen to and represent the residents. His vast experience in city government (City of L.A. for more than 3 decades) and knowledge of Manhattan Beach (a longtime resident) combine with his legal background to make him the right choice. Behind the scenes power brokers have made their choice and it’s not Mark because he insists on discussing issues in public at open Council meetings and that doesn’t fit their goals. Burton listens to residents and airs different views instead of sweeping “stuff” under the rug. Like most residents he’s opposed to short-term vacation rentals. The residential areas are not the place for visiting weekend parties.
At the last election someone wanted to get elected so badly they spent more than $25,000 on anonymous, misleading, hit pieces mailed at the last minute. Please don’t let that kind of thing change the course of this great city. I’ve had the privilege of living here for five decades and serving as Mayor. Mark Burton believes in an open, transparent, inclusive government. It’s time to Bring Back Burton.
—Dan Stern, Manhattan Beach
There are two positions open for Manhattan Beach City Council. The election is March 5.
I am supporting Joe Franklin for City Council. I have known Joe personally and professionally for many years. Joe is perfect for this position and has been a resident more than 30 years.
Joe is pro-small business and conservative and wants common sense government. He wants to protect our quality of life, in this city. Wayne and Mark, two of the other candidates, who were previously on the council, spent city funds on unnecessary things and delayed the city on modernizing the Manhattan Village Mall.
Please join me and support Joe Franklin for City Council. Check out his website at www.VoteJoeFranklin.com and try to meet Joe at one of his Meet & Greet events.
Manhattan Beach is the best city around and we want to keep it that way. Vote Joe Franklin!
—Stuart Sackley, Manhattan Beach
I am delighted as a resident of North Redondo to support Christian Horvath for Redondo Beach City Council. He goes out of his way to improve outcomes on minutiae throughout our City from helping to establish an Open Space Acquisition Fund for future parkettes, to budgeting recreational improvements in both Veterans and Andersen Park, to building up support for local events, including National Night Out. A true team player, Mr. Horvath along with Mayor Brand, and our two preceding Mayors together helped grow the event from a neighborhood celebration to a Citywide jubilee with over 500 attendees. Horvath was also part of the vote to establish the Secure Your Castle fund to help deter crime with more affordable home security. Sure the Waterfront is an important discussion for our entire City to engage in, but a safe place for our families and residents to enjoy is also important to me, which is why I’m pleased to support Councilmember Horvath to look out for our broad range of interests in Redondo Beach.
—Jeff Gaul, Redondo Beach
One of the most difficult issues I see us facing as a community, is the issue of homelessness. It is a complicated, layered issue that requires a multifaceted approach and caring, compassionate and deliberate action. It will require the input of problem-solvers who have experience in working through difficult issues. We need leaders on our City Council who have the dedication and perseverance to push forward and work through the varying hurdles that homelessness presents: from focusing on community safety, to recognizing the roles mental health and substance addiction play in this problem, to being open to listening to all sides of this issue—we need a leader who can do it all. We need a leader like Hildy Stern.
I’ve had the privilege of working side by side with Hildy Stern on a number of issues as volunteers. She has a strong work ethics, is a patient and intelligent problem solver and a great listener. Hildy is soft spoken, but strong and deliberative. She is collaborative in her approach to problem solving but isn’t afraid to stand by her reasoned decision. Hildy is exactly the kind of person we need on City Council to help us navigate through the complicated issue of homelessness. In getting to know her I’ve been particularly impressed by her strength of character and adherence to her values. She is dedicated to doing what’s right. For these reasons, I am 100% behind Hildy. Hildy will make an excellent City Council member!
—Nina Tarnay, Manhattan Beach
Supporting new leadership
Redondo residents who care enough to vote face an important decision. The waterfront is not the only issue in town, but millions of general fund planning dollars have been misspent on one failed land plan after another. The common thread here is repeated attempts at unsustainable development that is just not supported by limited infrastructure. We are not located at the end of a freeway. As someone with 35+ years of commercial real estate experience it is sad to watch greed getting in the way of progress. The Port of LA does a proper waterfront wide masterplan and they are now under construction, but Redondo does failed piece-meal planning and has gone nowhere. We need to elect people that pay attention to public finance. The process of depleting the Harbor Tidelands and Uplands funds through an Internal Service Fund double taxation scheme must stop. The harbor generates millions in tax revenue, but then the city bills it again for civic overhead these taxes already funded. The State Board of Equalization has been dropping the power plant tax assessment each year. This would have put tax increment in the planned Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District underwater on day one. These are million dollar issues that all three incumbents in the upcoming election are either not paying attention to, or are willfully opposing corrective actions. Special interest catering incumbents guided us into this mess and are unlikely to lead us out. Please consider electing new leadership that is open to doing it right.
—Gary Ohst, Redondo Beach
I’m voting for Mark Burton for Manhattan Beach City Council on March 5th and I’m asking you to vote for Mark also.
As residents of Manhattan Beach we all know how special our city is. The terms Small Town Charm and Mayberry by the Sea have been used to describe the unique qualities of Manhattan Beach.
Mark understands how special our city is and has a well thought out plan to keep it that way.
Mark’s plan includes additional police to protect our community and schools, banning short term rentals, protecting our neighborhood and property values and bringing our transit occupancy tax (TOT) inline with other beach cities, and mandating that the tax can only be used to fund programs that benefit the residents, like the Senior & Scout Community Center.
When Mark is re-elected to City Council he will continue to work tirelessly to keep Manhattan Beach special for all residents.
Please visit www.BurtonforCouncil.org to see all the reasons we should re-elect Mark Burton to Manhattan Beach City Council.
—Steve De Baets, Manhattan Beach
January 2015, Redondo Beach District 5 candidate forum was held by the NRBBA for the five candidates. I didn’t know any of the candidates until this forum. Candace Nafissi, throughout the questioning became very unprofessional. She started slumping, huffing, her nostrils flared and she rolled her eyes. I emailed Ms. Nafissi asking why she behaved that way. She hadn’t wanted to be at the Forum, and the questions were biased, (even though each candidate was asked the same question). I wouldn’t vote for her. That was 4 years ago.
Ms. Nafissi has refused to do a forum for this election. On her Facebook page rant, she feels the NRBBA would be unfair. The League of Women Voters was conducting the forum, with questions from the audience. This woman cannot get along with the community if she is constantly thinking they are out to get her. It looks like she doesn’t think she can stand up to the incumbent. I feel strongly that I do not want a person sitting on our city council that cannot get along. Please do not vote for Candace Nafissi.
The candidates running who were still interested in the forum were incumbents. Would they like a chance to answer questions from the audience without the bullying tactics of the mayor? I applaud those that are bullied at every council meeting, and still want to be part of the city officials. They must really love our city and want what’s best for the people of this city.
—Vicky Oetzell, Redondo Beach
I have lived in the community for 35 years and I’m a retired MBUSD teacher. I have worked with Wayne for many years, as a long-time community volunteer.
Wayne is authentic, honest, knowledgeable, sincere and inclusive. He is a good listener and always seeks consensus.
All the above-mentioned qualities are evident in his achievements in Manhattan Beach.
Wayne co-founded the CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) Program, is a board member of the MB Senior Citizens Advisory Committee, is on the Beach Cities Health District Finance Committee and Vice President of the Manhattan Beach Historical Society.
Wayne has worked diligently day-and-night for over 20 years supporting the quality of life in Manhattan Beach. Please vote for Wayne Powell on March 5, 2019.
—Ro Schreiner, Manhattan Beach
District 3 in RB
I’d like to say something nice about Redondo’s District 3 Councilmember, Chris Horvath. But I will let his record speak.
Redondo voters soundly rejected CenterCal’s massive Harbor offering by way of Measure C. Opponents easily recognized that CenterCal’s proposal was way too overblown for Redondo’s little gem of a harbor. But Chris and two others rushed votes benefiting CenterCal’s plan which today burden the City with unnecessary debt and a lawsuit. The developer wants his speculation money back. And now Chris wants to be reelected.
For nearly three years, I repeatedly wrote to Chris Horvath soliciting leadership to get a timely and effective solution to our District 3 neighborhood’s over-curb street flooding which seasonally threatens homes. But Chris gave us little attention and accomplished nothing. In an Easy Reader article yesterday (1-31-19), Chris was quoted: “Compromise is not a dirty word – let’s find a way to make things happen.” But where was the happening for District 3’s residents?
Please consider these harbingers before you mark your mail-in ballot.
—Ron Russik, Redondo Beach
Supporting Samples, Nafissi
We the people of Redondo need to remember the track record of incumbent Laura Emdee in District 5. In a snub to District 4 Councilmember Steve Sammarco, she went over his head to grandstand with the former mayor a contract with a cut-rate outlet store, to replace the former grocery store on Artesia in District 4. Councilmember Sammarco read the announcement in the newspaper when we all did. Emdee hadn’t consulted with the residents or their councilman on their preferences. District 4 homeowners were up in arms and I participated in their resolve to not settle for a store that would further demoralize their neighborhood.
At the same time, Emdee voted with Christian Horvath, District 3 Councilmember, to better position Center Cal by voting to buy out the Fun Factory lease for $9 million dollars, again, with no citizen input. Horvath and Emdee voted as a block, siding with developer CenterCal (who has since moved his dog and pony show down to Ports of Call). Each of them also voted against strong voices of prudence, Treasurer candidate Eugene Solomon among them, to enter into a business contract with Center Cal for a 99-year lease on the Waterfront three weeks before the Measure C vote. They say that they “respect the will of the people,” but they are politically motivated. I see Mel Samples and Candace Allen Nafissi with a far different track record of service to the residents they represent. Take heed!
—Mary Ewell, Redondo Beach
I am amused to read supporters of Laura Emdee’s re-election to Redondo Beach City Council who focus on one or two minor accomplishments that pleased a few city residents. They’re discounting her disastrous vote to grant CenterCal an exclusive 99-year lease 35 days before Measure C was passed by Redondo Beach residents overwhelmingly rejecting such a debacle.
This wasn’t a minor mistake and there are no do-overs. Martha Barbee lost her seat because of her mistake. Now it is Laura Emdee and Christian Horvath’s turn. The city of Redondo is now out $9 million to buy out the Fun Factory lease early to please the developer. And now we may be out another $15 million (plus legal fees) due to the lawsuit filed against our city by that same developer. This is money that our city does not have which now must come from higher taxes and/or reduced services. Another example of poor judgement occurred last year when Ms. Emdee and Mr. Horvath voted for another supersized project, this time including 600 residential units and additional projects that worsened city traffic at the Galleria before cooler heads prevailed resulting in renegotiations with the developer. These negotiations resulted in a more reasonable project.
It is time for a change to a council that will listen to the community and protect us from other such disasters in the future. Please vote for Candace Nafissi for District 3 and Mel Samples for District 5 Redondo Beach City Council.
—Roger Light, Redondo Beach
I am voting for Joe Franklin for City Council, and encourage my fellow Manhattan Beach residents to do the same.
I have known Joe Franklin since our children were pre-school age, 20+ years; as one parent to another, we bonded. Of course, most who know Joe feel that bond, because he’s so genuine. Nowadays, we see each other walking the neighborhood routinely. One thing I have always admired about him is his ability to listen, really listen, and ask informed follow up questions. This has been even more apparent in the year or so while he considered whether or not to run for Council.
More than anyone else I know, Joe has Manhattan Beach’s residents’ interests at heart. In these distressed political times, our local politics are more important than ever in providing a sense of decorum, fair play, collaboration, and representation based on the facts. Joe is precisely what Manhattan Beach needs. Go to www.votejoefranklin.com to review his reasonable approach to governing.
—Sally Doyle, Manhattan Beach
I have been a 61 year resident of Redondo Beach District 3. I am also a former two term City Councilmember for the District. I am deeply disappointed in the performance of Councilmember Horvath and I strongly urge people in District 3 to vote for Candace Nafissi. Candace is endorsed by Mayor Bill Brand, City Councilmembers Nehrenheim and Loewenstein, myself, and former Councilmembers Steve Sammarco and Bob Pinzler. Horvath fought residents on Measure C in 2017 and cozied up to CenterCal. Residents rejected that oversized project, and the Coastal Commission found that Measure C was legal. Horvath’s vote for a 99-year lease to CenterCal just weeks before the March 2017 citywide election resulted in CenterCal suing the City for $15 million dollars. Horvath also voted to unnecessarily buy out another harbor lease for $9 million and agreed to pay a convicted child pornographer and registered sex offender our City money that could be used for District 3 infrastructure needs. Horvath also voted to give the Chamber $850,000 a year as a political slush fund until the new Mayor and Councilmembers stopped it. It is time for a change. We need a new councilmember like Candace Nafissi who will work with our new Mayor, and the Councilmembers from Districts 1 and 2 to form a majority that will address district 3 needs. Horvath and Laura Emdee have been the front men for CenterCal and we have seen how voters rejected that project and can make a new change.
—Stevan Colin, Redondo Beach