Editor’s note: This was the last week for letters supporting candidates Our Feb. 28 issue is reserved for 250-word statements from the candidates themselves.
To those who publish The Beach Reporter: Every time it has rained this year, your paper has been so wet I almost can wring water from it. I’m sure the time and money you spent getting your paper ready is worth a lot. But when I receive The Beach Reporter paper and it is so wet I generally throw it in the trash. this morning’s paper was no different. It was very disgusting. So why can’t you buy a plastic bag that is worth more, so your paper does not leak and be so wet it’s worthless? So from now on, if it is raining on Thursday, do not spend the time putting your paper at our address. A very disgusted reader.
—Billy Eden, Manhattan Beach
Editor’s note: We deeply apologize for newspapers that got soaked during the unusual weather the last two weeks. You can always swing by our office to pick up back issues and you can still find all of our news at TBRnews.com. But we do love our readers who appreciate print and, you’re right, you deserve a dry paper.
Follow the money in MB
It has been said, “Coincidence is the word used when we can’t see the levers and pulleys.” Likewise, a ubiquitous display of six dozen campaign signs lining Sepulveda for the same two candidates, Joe Franklin and Suzanne Hadley, seemed an unlikely coincidence to me. A bit of research revealed one local resident, Stuart Sackley, owns 200,000 square feet of commercial property along Sepulveda. His property cache includes the long vacant eye sore near Sepulveda and MB Blvd., property that was the subject of pressure in 2015 by two former councilmen who wanted it cleaned up and used for local businesses serving the community. Now running for Council again, both former councilmen appear to be the target of a coordinated attack campaign. Today, the blighted structure still sits untouched except for seven ‘Franklin’ campaign signs. Further Googling revealed Sackley also owns Goat Hill Plaza (Two Guns Coffee, Rinaldis Subs, Big Wok, etc.,) with proposed plans to bulldoze the property for a multistory housing development—goodbye to more small local businesses. Goat Hill proudly displays fourteen Hadley and Franklin campaign signs. In a February 8th Beach Reporter article covering City Council’s interest in raising height limits along Sepulveda to attract larger hotels, the now shuttered El Torito property is mentioned as a possible prime location (http://tbrnews.com/news/manhattan-beach-to-consider-raising-height-limits-for-future-hotels/article_3072af88-2b32-11e9-8b1b-77d08c088d59.html). Yes, Sackley owns this property displaying a combined ten Hadley, Franklin signs. Which candidates will represent residents and small business over deep pocket developers and commercial real estate tycoons? Follow the money and Vote March 5th.
—Kim Leserman, Manhattan Beach
Standing up for Jan
Bob Holmes recent letters to the BR and ER are demonstrably false and misleading (“Response to Dennis Letter:, BR Feb.14, 2019; “Revisionist History,” ER Jan. 30, 2019). Jan Dennis is a woman of great integrity, as honest as the day is long. With forty years of community service, including serving as the Historian for Manhattan Beach, she has earned our community’s respect. According to people familiar with the council Jan served on, the behavior of a few “good old boys” was shameful.
In truth, the Specific Plan adopted by City Council was designed to protect and preserve the small town village atmosphere of our Downtown. It was adopted at the urging many of our downtown merchants and businesses and our Downtown Residents Group. This is fact, not a misinformed opinion or deliberate attempt to distort the truth. Also, I consistently voted against “as needed” consultant contracts. Your entitled to you own opinion Mr. Holmes, but not your own facts.
Although I was the fiscally prudent Councilmember in my first term, I was a target of a smear campaign funded by special interests that didn’t like that I listened to our residents and fought for their needs. For example, I sponsored a ban on short-term vacation rentals that preserved and protected the residential character of our special community. To say that such a smear campaign did not interfere with our election is nonsense, at best, or disingenuous, at worst. (“Anatomy of an election,” ER March 27, 2017)
—Mark Burton, Manhattan Beach
I am writing this letter to support Joe Franklin in his bid for a seat on the Manhattan Beach City Council. I believe he is a great choice for a City Council seat. I have known him as a friend and colleague for five years. He is an experienced real estate agent and businessman and an all around great person. I think his skills will be a great asset to the City of Manhattan Beach.
—Teresa C. Henderson, El Segundo
Forty nine days before the 2017 March Election, Mayor Steve Aspel approved the strategic plan to acquire waterfront leaseholds. City Council unanimously favored the $9 million dollar buyout of the Fun Factory lease because the acquisition of waterfront leaseholds was the favored plan to comply with Measure G. With the buyout, the co-applicants, the City and the developer, settled outstanding lawsuits between the leaseholder and the City. The measure passed 3-2.
Recently, a court ruled that Measure C was not retroactive and could not be applied to The Waterfront Project. Measure G is still The Law of the Land and The Will of the People; Coastal Commission certification of Measure C did not change that.
Candidates Mel Samples and Candace Nafissi don’t seem to grasp the whole concept behind representational government or how it works. Redondo Beach is not ruled by the mob. They have repeatedly indicated if they were sitting on City Council, 49 days before the Measure C Election, they would not have acted without the approval of Rescue Our Waterfront, Building a Better Redondo, and/or the South Bay Parkland Conservancy, not their constituents, and they would not have upheld the Will of the People and the Law of the Land as reflected in Measure G.
—Pat Healy, Redondo Beach
I support Hildy Stern in the upcoming MB City Council election. I share her values, respect her experience and know she would serve all the people of our city very well!
Many residents of our town know Hildy from her impressive work in our schools, extensive community service and solid financial experience, and we want to spread the word about this election and Hildy’s strong candidacy.
In my enthusiasm for Hildy, I have handwritten postcards to neighbors inviting them to join me on Election Day in voting for Hildy. I was upset to hear there was an accusation that there was something misleading about my signing my postcards with my own name. My last name is Hadley. My family and I have lived here in Manhattan Beach for 30 years.
I am proud to support Hildy Stern for MB City Council!
—Joanne Hadley, Manhattan Beach
I attended the Feb 14 MB Candidates’ Forum and learned a lot. I learned this election is even nastier than the last one and that one was marked by false, fraudulent and anonymous mailers attacking candidates Burton and Powell. I have not received those updated mailers yet this election, but I can tell they are coming soon. The Forum was marked by nastiness and snarkiness and false claims about both Burton and Powell and their prior service on City Council, a set of low tactics that they did not themselves return. I will never vote for a candidate whom I associate with such tactics.
I voted for Burton and Powell last time because they were clearly the most qualified and I shall do so again. I shall remember in future elections, those candidates, Commissioners or School Board members or other persons who participate in low campaign tactics.
This election should not be about mean girls/boys vying for a place on Student Government with the cool kids. I was in Student Government and I assure you there are no cool kids there! This election is important; the City is important. Let’s look for candidates who treat it like it is important.
—Judi Bloom, Manhattan Beach
We are very happy to support Wayne Powell as a candidate for Manhattan Beach City Council. Wayne has an established exemplary record of serving the community at large. He possesses excellent leadership traits demonstrated during his previous mayor and councilman’s terms. Two things among many of his accomplishments that impressed me the most were assisting in preventing the theft of our beach sand and co-funding the CERT program. They illustrated Wayne’s dedication and integrity in bettering our community. Under Wayne’s leadership, his other accomplishments were Manhattan Beach smoking prohibition, the campaign finance transparency ordnance, and opposing the closing of city hall on alternating Fridays.
As a senior citizen, I appreciate Wayne being a board member of the Manhattan Beach Senior Citizens Advisory Committee. My husband and I regularly utilize some of the programs offered by the city for senior citizens. It is always pleasant to deal with Wayne because he listens to and understands our concerns. In addition, his sincerity, passion and devotion to the city makes him an outstanding political figure. Wayne’s door to door visiting the residents demonstrate his commitment to the entire community. Wayne is not only an expert for our city, but also to the surrounding communities in the South Bay.
We strongly encourage you to vote for Wayne Powell, a friendly down-to-earth neighbor, as a councilmember.
—Susan Roth, Manhattan Beach
Tuesday, March 5th, is election day for Manhattan Beach. 7 candidates are running to fill two spots occupied currently by David Lesser and me. It’s great that so many qualified people have been brave and stepped up, as running for office is extremely difficult. All of the candidates have many strengths to offer, but they aren’t all the same. Let me tell why I am strongly supporting Hildy Stern.
Hildy is thoughtful and analytical. She does research, seeks a lot of input, and then makes up her mind. And while candidates spend a lot of time talking about their positions, pay attention to their styles. Diversity of leadership styles is important for the makeup of Council. And I believe Hildy will be a terrific collaborator and balance to the 3 remaining Councilmembers.
More importantly, I share Hildy’s values. Among those values, is her dedication to protecting the environment. That is critically important as there is more we can do as a City and will need to do as our climate continues to change. I’ve heard other folks say that we have done all we need to do. It’s not true.
Hildy will be a positive leader that will listen to residents and do what it takes to serve us all. I’m proud to have served for the past 8 years and proud to endorse Hildy Stern.
—Amy Howorth, Manhattan Beachcity councilmember
Supporting Emdee, Horvath, Diels
This letter is for the group of undecided voters in District 3 as you are the ones who will likely decide the election.
My question to these voters are who do you want in office? Do you want candidates who are political disrupters (Nafissi, Solomon) who rely on attacking their opponent as their platform as oppose to what they would do and their solutions for effective change? One of the candidates big issue is “traffic”. I haven’t heard how this candidate will make traffic go away on PCH and Aviation, but I am all for it. These candidates were also heavily involved in citizen led initiatives that have usurped effective and approved Measures voted on by the citizens of Redondo Beach (i.e. Measure G). We wont see development at the waterfront for another 10-15 years at least. If the above appeals to you for the type of government you want, Nafissi and Solomon will be a great fit.
If you believe that our council needs more compromise, civility, balance for all issues that challenge our city, continue to develop business relationships that will help attract investment into our waterfront and throughout Redondo, then vote for incumbents Emdee, Horvath, and Diels.
The direction of Redondo Beach is in your hands
—Doug Christensen, Redondo Beach
We have all heard the arguments why Redondo needs its separate elections - the November ballots are so long, the turnout for local elections is far higher, our independence as a charter city is at stake, and so forth. Certainly there is no issue on any ballot more serious than the financial issue facing our city. Saving a six-figure number every so often would allow us to hire more responders or city services personnel, help with the pension obligations perhaps, add a little more balance to our budget, or handle some other concern that makes more sense than generating more environmentally unfriendly paper for little, no, or even negative value. There is credible reasoning that separate local elections allow an active minority to hold sway over a relatively apathetic majority. Whatever. Here I am holding pieces of paper expensively prepared, printed, and mailed to me, that as a good citizen I will mail back, that will be processed, to indicate nothing more than I am voting for the least controversial and best qualified individual for her job at City Hall, Eleanor Manzano. What a waste.
—Charlie Szymanski, Redondo Beach
MB councilmember weighs in
Enough with the letters from council candidates Mark Burton and Wayne Powell. Clearly, they have only a fleeting acquaintance with the truth; obfuscating their records, claiming Hermosa Beach Fire (now L.A. County) response times “skyrocketed up” while the truth is the exact opposite and protesting what they think is a smear campaign.
Unlike the Jan Dennis/Gil Archuletta “smear campaigns of the past” Burton has only himself to blame for being voted out of office. And Powell cannot hide from his terrible voting record either! He placed “retired councilmember” as his campaign title! Wayne, you do not retire from council (nice try) you were “termed out” remember? Another way to try and mislead MB voters. Voters are not impressed anymore with “letter head collectors!”
For anyone who truly wants to examine the facts, as well as how both Burton and Powell and actually voted while on council (Hiring unnecessary staff at $500,000 per year; and giving a city funded home loan of $2.3 million to an assistant at less than one percent interest rate; spending $1 million of your money on a consultant study from Chicago on our downtown—that the California Coastal Commission trashed.)
I encourage you to reread the Nov. 1, 2018 issue of the Easy Reader and then go and examine the voting record of Burton and Powell at www.citymb.infogovernment/city-council/city-council-meetings-agendas-and-minutes.
With another recession looming, Manhattan Beach cannot afford the same inexcusable “multimillion-dollar financial mistakes” again that Burton and Powell caused!
—Richard Montgomery, Manhattan Beach city councilmember
Supporting Nafissi, Samples and Solomon
I wasn’t surprised to see that ex-Redondo Beach Mayor Steve Aspel is supporting Councilmembers Horvath and Emdee along with Treasurer Steve Diels for re-election (BR 2/14/19).
Two years ago Aspel became the first Redondo Beach Mayor to be denied a second term in decades. That was due to his support of the 99-year King Harbor giveaway to CenterCal and the $9 million Fun Factory debacle, which Horvath, Emdee and Diels all supported.
It’s time for new leadership and sensible growth. It’s time for Candace Nafissi (Dist 3), Mel Samples (Dist 5) and Eugene Solomon for Treasurer.
—Ross Yosnow, Redondo Beach
Supporting RB incumbents
Please vote this election. It is a mail-in ballot only, so take a minute to open the envelope, mark the 4 to 5 bubbles, sign the mailing envelope and put it in the mail. DO NOT give your ballot to anyone coming to your door on behalf of any candidate.
In District 3 in RB, I support Christian Horvath for city council. He has proven to be positive, fair, concerned, knowledgeable, and kind. Christian has been bashed and lied about by his opponent, who says she is educated, but her grammar is poor, and her ideas are negative, and created around personal power.
In District 5, please vote for Laura Emdee. She has worked hard in the past few years to upgrade the district so that it will attract business and shoppers. She wants what’s best for her community and listens to the people who contact her. Her opponent does nothing but bash the city council.
For Treasurer, please vote for Steve Diels who is excellent at his job. He has a clear understanding of the city, its needs and financial burdens. His opponent has very little experience and education compared to Mr. Diels, whose website lists all of his education and accomplishments, including having served for 8 years as a council person in RB. I have no idea what his opponent has done, except live in RB since 1985, owns an insurance business, and on some committees.
Please VOTE and vote for Horvath, Emdee and Diels.
—Victoria Oetzell, Redondo Beach
My 12 years on the Manhattan Beach Education Foundation Board of Directors have given me a front row seat, and even put me on the stage a few times, witnessing how leaders effect progress for our schools and our community. I am proud to support a genuine leader, Suzanne Hadley. Not surprisingly, every current Manhattan Beach Unified School District Trustee, as well as my colleague Hilary Mahan, MBEF Executive Director, and her predecessor Farnaz Flechner, have also endorsed Suzanne. This unanimous support is unique among all of the candidates.
I’ve known Suzanne and the Hadley family for more than 20 years. Suzanne has been, and with your support as well, will continue to be a Manhattan Beach Leader.
—Adam Goldston, Manhattan Beach
Against STRs in MB
I feel that short-term rentals (STRs) in general, and Airbnb in particular, are inconsistent with the family-oriented culture of Manhattan Beach and should be banned, without exception. In addition to the attack on our community values, a recent study reveals that economics support such an STR prohibition.
Despite Airbnb’s public assertions to the contrary, a January 30th report about Airbnb’s local impact by Josh Bivens of the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) reveals “the costs to renters and local jurisdictions likely exceed the benefits to travelers and property owners” – see www.epi.org/publications/.
EPI found: 1) Local economic costs Airbnb imposes likely outweigh benefits; 2) Airbnb might, as claimed, suppress growth of travel accommodation costs, but these costs are not a priority problem for American families; 3) Rising housing costs are a key problem for American families, and evidence suggests that the presence of Airbnb raises local housing costs; 4) The potential benefit of increased tourism supporting city economies is much smaller than commonly advertised; 5) Certain property owners do benefit from Airbnb’s lower transaction costs of operating short-term rentals, but the beneficiaries are disproportionately absentee landlords and/or high-wealth households; 6) The shift from traditional hotels to Airbnb lodging leads to less-reliable tax payments to cities; 7) City residents likely suffer when Airbnb circumvents zoning laws that ban lodging businesses from residential neighborhoods.
One final thought on this matter, Measure A would certainly be far more palatable to hotel owners if it were coupled with an STR ban.
—Paul G. Beswick, Manhattan Beach
Mark Burton has decided to run for City Council of Manhattan Beach. I, along with previous mayors and respected community members am asking for your support /vote for Mark.
Mark served for one term on City Council, with a positive attitude and strengths of openness and a sincere responsiveness to the RESIDENTS!!! During the last election, Mark was the subject of negative comments days before the election. Mark took the high road by not responding negatively to the comments ( a characteristic not found in some of the current candidates).
Mark has the experience/ background that this City needs. His positions on Public Safety include increasing police officer presence at schools as well as implementing foot patrols. He supports the ban on short-term rentals in residential areas, creating a culture of saving vs spending and is opposed to the desalination plan, the expansion of the Cal Trans Sepulveda bridge project which eliminates the deceleration lane for the Mall and High Density Development. For more information on Mark and his goals, please go to www.BurtonforCouncil.org
Finally, as I continue to read the editorials and attend the candidate’s debates, I am convinced that Mark is one of the only candidates that can do the job for the Residents.
Some people are saying that it is time for a “fresh face”, but where were they just a short time ago when they elected two previously termed out Candidates?
Please ‘Bring Back Burton’ on March 5.
—Steve Packwood, Manhattan Beach, California
It is really pretty easy to decide who to vote for in our March 5th election. After you get rid of the emotion, it all boils down to fiscal responsibility and fiduciary duty.
Former councilmembers Powell and Burton voted to add a new hire position of Assistant City Manager at compensation of approx. $250K per year.
Former councilmembers Burton and Powell voted to give this Asst.City Manager a home loan of approx. $2 million at a below market interest rate of less than 1%.
Former councilmembers Powell and Burton voted to hire a newly created position of Manager of Economic Vitality at a compensation package of approx. $150K per year.
The current city council promptly eliminated both positions as unneeded and unnecessary saving taxpayers a significant sum of money.
If you think Burton and Powell’s decisions were correct, you should return them to council. If not, you have five other candidates with fresh ideas and fresh approaches to choose from.
Former councilmembers Burton and Powell voted to award an approx. $1 million contract to outside consultants to study the downtown. This proved to be a wasted useless expensive project.
If you think this study was a good idea, you should return the former councilmembers to council. If not, you have five other candidates to choose from, none of whom have expressed approval of this use of your taxpayer dollars.
Whatever you decide, please exercise your precious right to vote on March 5th
—Bob Holmes, Manhattan Beach
Think about your vote
Before casting your vote for either Laura Emdee or Christian Horvath one should think about the votes they cast to approve the terms of the CenterCal lease just prior to the Measure C vote. Both of these council people voted as if they were employees of CenterCal, not employee’s of the citizens of Redondo Beach. How would it make sense to approve a lease just prior to the public voting on the project?
Both Emdee and Horvath knew that if Measure C passed, it would invalidate CenterCal’s redevelopment plans. Yet just 35 days before the vote on Measure C was to take place, Horvath and Emdee voted to approve the terms of the CenterCal lease. The fact the council approved the lease has now given reason for CenterCal to sue Redondo Beach for 15 million dollars. Had both council people just tabled the vote until after the election, CenterCal would have no legal grounds for a law suit.
Voting to approve a lease with CenterCal prior to the public voting on the project was unconscionable and no one should vote for either of these people.
—Tim Bauer, Redondo Beach
I am endorsing and voting for Suzanne Hadley for Manhattan Beach City council for the following simple reasons. She is an entrepreneur with an MBA who understands our small business challenges. She is money conscious of her own, I can only imaging how she will protect yours and mine. She is worked for my firm as a bookkeeper last tax season 2018 and I can attest for her integrity, authenticity, and hard work among many many more qualities that make her a perfect candidate for this job. She will strive to do what is best for Manhattan Beach residents and business owners. She listens, and is very approachable. I HIGHLY recommend you voting for her. She won’t regret!
—Sylvia Gayed, Founder/CEO, Manhattan Tax & Accounting
Supporting Nafissi, Samples, Solomon
I know many civic minded residents of Redondo Beach voted to support the CenterCal Waterfront project because they wanted something done about Redondo’s deteriorating Harbor. I hope this desire won’t lead anyone to vote for city councilmember Laura Emdee (District 5) or Christian Horvath (District 3). These two councilmembers made a colossal mistake by granting CenterCal an exclusive 99-year lease of our harbor 35 days before Redondo Beach residents overwhelming rejecting this “Mall by the Sea.” There was no need to rush that vote. This irreversible, poor decision may now cost the city over $32 million, which must be paid by increased taxes and/or reduced services. That includes $9 million to buyout the Fun Factory lease early to please the developer, on top of $7.5 million finance charges. Add $15 million (plus legal fees) for the lawsuit by CenterCal against Redondo for contract cancellation and the loss of $150,000 Fun Factory revenue per year, and you can see that we are now in a pickle due to this ill-timed and disastrous vote. Adding insult to injury, due to this lawsuit, nothing can be done with the Waterfront until case resolution, likely requiring 4+ years. Emdee’s and Horvath’s exceedingly poor judgement will ensure that King’s Harbor continues to deteriorate for some time to come. Please vote Candace Nafissi (District 3) and Mel Samples (District 5) onto Redondo’s city council. Neither receive contributions from developers, and both have records of fighting for planned, reasonable development and wise use of taxpayer money.
—Roger Light, Redondo Beach
Supporting Samples and Nafissi
Nearly 100 people attended the Redondo candidate forum last week. It is great to see democracy in action. Clearly Redondo needs to continue to make changes to the city council. Mayor Brand and representatives Nehrenheim and Loewenstein are working hard to implement prudent decision making and fiscal responsibility, but the current district 3 and district 5 council members MUST GO! They have made horrible decisions resulting in millions wasted and a lawsuit against the city. It is obvious that both of the current members are running away from their record, rather than running on it. Elected officials must be held accountable for their decisions. They exercised poor judgment, rushing to sign a 99 year lease with a developer for a “mall by the sea” just 35 days before the voters rejected the idea. Had they exercised deliberate and informed decision making, Redondo would not have over 28 million dollars of debt. Their legacy will be wasted money with the waterfront tied up in litigation for years. Do not be fooled by their words about what they plan to do next. Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. Please vote for Mel Samples and Candace Nafissi for Redondo city council. They will bring common sense, vision and respect for taxpayer dollars. We need to elect new representatives to move forward to create a better Redondo.
—Lori Zaremski, Redondo Beach
Supporting Horvath, Emdee, Diels
As a former school board member, I know a thing or two about being an elected official. It’s impossible to make policy decisions or come up with solutions without working together. The role is complex and requires listening to many voices before making any long lasting decisions. It requires compromise and the ability to set aside your own biases for what it right for the whole. I didn’t get the impression that the ones running for office would do as good as those already in it.
As a supporter of waterfront public private partnership, I was disappointed in the deception of Measure C, and how killing the project is something the Mayor was proud about. I am not happy to learn of the $28 million debt that we are incurring when we were told that it wouldn’t cost residents a dime. This is very concerning to me as a resident on fixed income, and how much it will cost us in lost services.
As a senior citizen, I was frightened by the outburst of a resident at the Candidate Forum. I just want to warn folks NOT to give your ballot out to anyone, no matter how demanding or aggressive they become. Please call a trusted friend or family to take you to the mailbox to drop it in yourself. Safeguard your vote and please support the re-election of City Treasurer Diels, Councilman Horvath, and Councilwoman Emdee.
—Arlene Staich, Redondo Beach
As principal of Pacific School for 21 years, I saw many parent volunteers come and go.
One I could always count on was Joe Franklin. For 8 years, from PEP to Grade 5 while his children, Jimmy and Taylor Franklin, were at Pacific, Joe walked the talk! On the PTA committees, the School Site Council, to painting, planting flowers, fundraising and Meeting and Greeting the sometimes frenetic families in the “Zone” drop off, Joe was ALWAYS there with a smile. He will carry that positive attitude of fiscal conservatism and save our City money as a member of the MB City Council. You can trust this man. He is there for you! Vote Joe Franklin.
—Christine A. Norvell, Manhattan Beach
In the two decades I have known Wayne Powell I have been impressed by his ceaseless zeal for improving Manhattan Beach in a myriad of ways. He became my benchmark for effective and tireless dedication to the civic, social, and financial welfare of the citizens of our town. He goes out of his way to engage groups and individuals in discussion of difficult and contentious issues in an honest and positive way. His attitude is to keep us moving forward. And, after all, it is these kinds of issues, not the easy ones, that will affect us the most in these dynamic times. I will feel much better about the direction of the city with Wayne on the council. Please join me in voting for him.
—Steve Whitsitt, Manhattan Beach
I’m supporting Hildy Stern for Manhattan Beach City Council not just because she is a friend and 25 year neighbor, but because of her professional expertise and talent in using it to bring people together and reach agreement among different parties. With two law degrees and experience as a trial attorney for the Department of Justice, Hildy knows how to analyze complicated situations and negotiate in a fair and reasonable manner for a good solution. Her experience at Arthur Andersen gives her the skill set for reviewing financial statements and budget projections. In her most recent work with “Creating Conversations,” she organizes discussions about books with authors to help companies and institutions increase their internal “common ground”. Issues facing our City Council can be fractious, and we need Hildy to lead our City Council and city staff to provide long term solutions for our Community’s well being.
—Allen Kirschenbaum, Manhattan Beach
Coach supports Burton
I support Mark Burton for City Council. Full disclosure, Mark is my brother-in-law and that has provided me with the opportunity to really get to know our former Mayor. Mark is of the highest integrity and character. He is well versed in city government. He has tremendous experience in dealing with local issues and public safety. Mark is fiscally responsible and despite some of the lies and distortions about Mark in this campaign his voting record shows his fiscal responsibility. Burton was not afraid to take on the difficult issues that this city needs to address such as public safety, the de-sal plant, short term rentals and our biggest financial threat, the unfunded public pensions. He was not beholden to outside groups or businesses. Mark fought hard to protect our family oriented community. He is constantly looking to meet with and hear from his fellow citizens because it is the citizens of MB that he puts first.
During Mark’s previous stint on City Council I witnessed firsthand the massive amount of time he put in studying the issues, meeting with fellow citizens and local businesses and taking great care for each vote that he cast. As Mayor he fought hard to maintain our family oriented city. However, it seems that our present Council is moving in a different direction. It is for that reason why we need to “Bring Burton Back!”
If you share my concerns about the future direction of our city then please vote for Mark Burton!
—Duke Dulgarian, Manhattan Beach
Mail your ballot and stay positive
I’ve received numerous complaints about the negative campaigning and spin attacks during this campaign season. My response: Generic Promises, Fake News and “Going Negative” demonstrates the weakness of the candidate and their message. Just observe our federal politics. Christian Horvath, Laura Emdee and Steve Diels are running on their verifiable records of positive actions, clear vision and excellent results. Which path to do you wish for Redondo? Please choose wisely – and mail your ballots before March 5th!
—John Gran, Redondo Beach City Councilmember
The local elections are approaching in March. It is great to see some first time candidates, like Joe Franklin, running for City Council in Manhattan Beach. Joe has served as a community volunteer, coach, and given tirelessly of himself to help make Manhattan Beach safe over the years. He has also worked in the private sector and has a keen understanding of fiscal responsibility. Joe will not waste valuable taxpayer funds on outside consultants or seek to add needless administrative positions at City Hall, like several of the present candidates have done in the recent past. It is time we elect qualified candidates who can inject fresh ideas and are forward thinking in their approach to governing. We cannot accept the same business as usual politics by reelecting members to our council that have made poor decisions in the past and will continue to negatively impact the City of Manhattan Beach moving forward.
—Lou Dumont, Manhattan Beach
Manhattan Beach residents will have the opportunity to vote for two open City council seats on March 5th. I know for certain that one of my votes will be for Mark Burton (no relation) because of his proven history of actually doing what he says and his fiscal responsibility for our City. I am not sure where the negative campaign ads came from last time but I attend our City Council meetings and know he has been fiscally responsible. He also supports a small character downtown Manhattan Beach that is not overdeveloped, has a realistic community first position for all City residents and has consistency supported our schools. I have reached out to Mark on a few issues through the years and although we have not always agreed, I found him to be very approachable and always had a fair argument on the other side.
I believe that Mark has the experience and leadership to negotiate through the new challenges facing Manhattan Beach. We don’t just need new faces on Council – we need leaders with new solutions to develop and implement strong policy and direct staff to protect the interests of the community. I respect him tremendously and believe him to be the best candidate for council.
—Jim Burton, Manhattan Beach
Facts or attacks?
Two weeks ago Bob Holmes and I placed an ad in the paper explaining why we believed Suzanne Hadley and Joe Franklin were the best candidates in the upcoming election. We are not alone, as a substantial number of other former mayors endorse them.
It must have been effective because other candidates and their supporters are trying to discredit us by resorting to hateful personal attacks accusing us of sexual harassment, incompetence, etc., and implying we were responsible for the hit pieces sent out against Mark Burton in the last election. (For the record, I have no idea who did that, and am opposed to anonymous hit pieces and partisan politics in our city election.)
Former councilmember Dan Stern claimed that the agreement with Santa Fe Railroad we are proud of almost bankrupted the city. That is false! To verify this, anyone can contact city treasurer Tim Lilligren. The right-of-way was originally zoned for residential usage. We wanted to acquire it and guarantee it would remain open space. We made Santa Fe indemnify the city up to the purchase price. Some people claiming to be heirs sued the city but the city prevailed and the “heirs” got nothing. However because of a settlement agreement, even if the city had lost it would have still been a great deal. We paid less for 20+ acres than one beach walk street residential lot costs today.
The old political saying is if you can’t win an argument with facts, revert to personal attacks.
—Russ Lesser, Manhattan Beach
It is absolutely critical that Redondo Beach citizens fill out their mail-in ballots and vote in the upcoming election and that the citizens in District 3 vote for Christian Horvath. The last thing Redondo Beach needs is a City Council filled completely with Bill Brand sycophants, ready to rubber stamp his single-issue agenda. If the single-party rule of the previous two years in our federal government isn’t proof enough, you simply haven’t been paying attention. Horvath responsibly represents the opinions of a good portion of Redondo citizens and thoughtfully works towards compromises that best serve all of Redondo Beach.
Furthermore, if you still have any doubts about whom to vote for, pay attention to the yards which have his opponent’s signs in them—they are the same yards which had the Scotto yard signs in them, and Scotto was a proud supporter of Trump. I don’t consider it a personal attack to point out that one can judge a person’s character by the people he or she associates with. Nafissi is supported by the same people who support the misogynistic, racist and anti-Semitic Trump—and her personal attacks in this campaign make it clear that she’s not that far removed from that guy.
—Matthew Yagle, Redondo Beach
I support Joe Franklin for the Manhattan Beach City Council.
We have known Joe for almost 20 years. He has been a tireless supporter of our community, volunteering in countless ways to make Manhattan Beach a better place to live. He has been active in organizing and coaching youth sports, helping in the schools, and organizing and participating in numerous neighborhood events and causes. His enthusiasm and work ethic have been instrumental in getting things done to help keep our city a great place to live.
I also believe that Joe would be very helpful in working with City officials to keep a strong sense of fiscal discipline as our City budget grows.
Please join me in supporting Joe Franklin on March 5.
—John Lapham, Manhattan Beach
I believe that Mark Burton is uniquely qualified for the MB city council. My reasons are Mark’s knowledge and competence, his core values and his priorities. In my opinion, he is superior to all other candidates.
Before explaining this, my civic involvement (several decades ago) was as a member of SBUHS school board, MB Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Adjustment, and Public Works Commission.
Here are my reasons for supporting Mark:
Mark’s Knowledge, Competence, & Demonstrated Skills: Public service in city government has been the focus of Mark’s entire professional life (city attorney for 32 years). In my 47 years in MB, we have rarely had council members with this depth of civic experience.
Mark’s Core Values are:
*Working collaboratively with colleagues having differing opinions; finding common ground and avoiding divisiveness
*Acting with integrity, dignity, and professionalism
*Maintaining open and transparent government
*Responsiveness to residents, community groups, and local small businesses; but not to special interests
*Preserving MB as primarily a residential community
Mark’s core values are essential for good governance.
Mark’s Priorities for the Upcoming Council are:
*Increasing public safety
*Maintaining our residential character
I share and support Mark’s priorities.
—Jim Duffy, Manhattan Beach
As an 18-year old new Redondo voter, I have watched my city and my mom and others fight for what is right in Redondo and try and get a new waterfront, try to make our city cool for those my age with things to do. It’s kinda whack we have to wait years and years for anything to be done now all because some people in our city are against the proposed stoke levels. Even the Galleria won’t be done for a couple years now. I know what’s going on and I hear what’s up. I’ve been watching my mom help our city and try and make changes since she wheeled me around in a wagon. I also went out to hold signs to help get Chris Cagle elected when I was little. It seems to me there are two sides in our town - those who try to make things better in Redondo and those who try to stop everything in Redondo. I live in District 2 but I wish I could’ve voted for Ms. Emdee (who’s known me since I was born) or Mr. Horvath because I know where he stands. But I was stoked to at least get to vote for Steve Diels as our treasurer, and I can only hope the rest of Redondo Beach knows what I know and votes the same - for all three of these candidates. Especially all younger peeps who will actually get to enjoy the changes (if they ever happen!)
—Quinn Robinson, Redondo Beach
Saving lives in MB
I am appalled by Mark Burton continuously comparing himself, in forums and in print, to Captain Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger. Sullenberger held the lives of 155 people in his hands for almost twenty minutes, saving them all, and the $100 million jetliner, with split second decisions honed by years of experience and training specific to his craft. Let’s not be so self-aggrandizing as to compare one’s questionable City Council performance with that of a national hero’s.
After all, Captain Sullenberger was asked to fly again. Mark was not re-elected for a second term.
—Nancy Franklin, Manhattan Beach
Brand, PACs and Nafissi
I am fortunate enough to live in Redondo Beach and fortunate enough to not live in the district where Candace Nafissi is running for City Council because I would not want someone like her representing me. Let me explain. When Bill Brand ran for Mayor I asked Bill directly online about a point of city policy. I received no response. I responded, “It is very disappointing that a candidate for office cannot address a legitimate constituent’s concern.” Suddenly I get an onslaught of personal attacks from Candace Nafissi, someone I did not know, insulting my age and livelihood. She even noted how fun it was to personally attack someone with the hashtag, #thisistoofun. This is not a quality of character that I want to see in anyone running for office.
Another reason I cannot support Candace Nafissi is, she has run for Council before and lost. After losing that election she disputed the results. She threatened legal action and questioned the integrity of Redondo City Clerk Elanor Manzano. Ms. Manzano has been recognized by the State for her excellence and is currently running unopposed for re-election.
Another reason I cannot support Candace Nafissi is she is a leader of an extreme Political Action Committee who rely on personal attacks to discredit anyone who does not agree with them. This PAC is about winning and not service, where politics supersede solutions.
I cannot support someone like that.
—Paul Moses, Redondo Beach