Editor's note: This week, we asked the three candidates running for two seats on Hermosa Beach City Council to each submit a 500-word statement. Their letters appear here first.
Mike Detoy candidate statement
I am committed to public service. That’s why I became a firefighter, why I served on the Hermosa Beach Emergency Preparedness Commission and why I’m running for Hermosa Beach City Council. I want to make sure our city has the highest level of public safety and that our parks, library and city infrastructure improve the lives of all Hermosa Beach residents.
With a bachelor’s degree in finance and master’s degree in public administration, I will come to the city council prepared to balance our budget and find ways to meet the needs of our residents without raising our taxes. As a fiduciary trustee of the Southern California Firefighter’s Benefit Trust, I have experience managing more than 45 million dollars in assets, which is about the same size as the budget of Hermosa Beach.
The current city council has worked well together and have achieved significant results. Although I will bring my own ideas to the council, I know I can work with them to reach our common goals. That’s why the whole city council has endorsed my candidacy.
I moved to Hermosa Beach more than nine years ago. I fell in love with the beach environment, and when I got married three years ago, my wife and I knew this was the place where we wanted to start our family. We now have a 19-month-old daughter, so I am totally invested in Hermosa Beach. I want to make this an even better place to live, work, raise a family and retire.
When I’m working as a firefighter in the City of Riverside, I need to know my wife and daughter are safe in Hermosa. I will make sure public safety is factored into every capital investment in our city. I know the first responsibility of city government is to protect the lives of residents. That’s why I’m endorsed by Los Angeles County Firefighters.
We need to build a modern library, one that enriches the lives of all our residents now and for years to come. We need to continue improving our parks and greenbelt, making sure all members of our community have equal access.
I will promote a supportive relationship with our local schools to make sure we are doing everything we can to help lift each student and improve our schools.
I appreciate our city’s unique small business community and will make sure Hermosa Beach is a great place both to work and play. We must maintain a family friendly atmosphere while balancing the interests of our local businesses.
I am proud to have the support of so many people who helped defeat oil drilling here in Hermosa. Protecting our coastal environment is important to me and I will be a strong supporter of our city’s environmental efforts. That is why I’m endorsed by the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters.
I would be honored to have your vote.
For more information, visit MichaelDetoy.com.
—Mike Detoy, Hermosa Beach
Trent Larson candidate statement
Hermosa Beach city council requires a genuine taxpayer advocate who will focus his efforts on visible, usable, improvements that produce betterment for the residents and guests of Hermosa Beach. Primary goals include street & sewer repair, public park restoration, improved public safety and being business friendly. Tax dollars working to upgrade city cleanliness, enhance the green belt, open north school, revitalize Clark field, refurbish the Clark building, resurface damaged streets, and relieving homelessness in Hermosa Beach. Protecting our small-town charm with enhanced public space beautification, vigorous defense of local zoning control, and supporting local business.
Police Officers patrolling Hermosa Beach is mission critical to public safety. Protecting and defending our hometown includes securing police officer’s employment. Our newly hired officers are being recruited and courted away by surrounding cities. Putting the brakes on excessive staffing will allow city hall to be more flexible in retaining quality police officers in Hermosa Beach.
Homelessness is growing in Hermosa Beach. Additional funding for the people assisting the homeless (PATH) and vigorous enforcement of our city codes will help minimize the impacts of homelessness. Preventing homeless encampments in our public spaces such as the greenbelt and the beach is critically important to maintaining our small-town charm.
Enhanced beautification and increased city cleanliness make Hermosa Beach better. Optimized landscaping activity, frequent strand & plaza power washing and stepped up trash removal will go a long way to freshening up our public spaces.
Park restoration, including new fencing, landscaping, playground equipment, sod replacement, restroom refreshment, and retrofitting the schoolhouse at Fort Lots of Fun lead the list of priorities. Greenbelt maintenance include large tree trimming, landscaping shrubbery, wildflower gardens, and urban habitat restoration.
Empower Hermosa Beach nonprofits by allowing for fee waivers at events held in Hermosa Beach. Charging Hermosa Beach nonprofits for hosting charitable events does not serve the residents, charity volunteers, or city hall. Support local business by limiting the size and scope of summer events such as The Teen Choice Awards. Continuation and promotion of the Fiesta Hermosa, resurfacing and painting the downtown parking lots, and limiting the costs of special permitting fees. Equally important is keeping Hermosa Avenue to a double lane street each direction, preventing short term rentals from proliferating city wide and holding annual parking permit & parking meter prices in check.
Earmark Measure H funds for specific City improvements related to policing, public park improvements, and relieving homelessness. Say No to City managed electricity via community choice aggregation, the loss of Beach Drive & 13th Court on the Pier Plaza, and the permitting of shared mobility devices such and Bird or Lime scooters stationed in Hermosa.
Key accomplishments for consideration include tenure within Los Angeles successfully conducting business services enterprise sales 1986-2019. Five years of continuous active involvement with the Hermosa Beach city council. Offering opinions, advice, praise, and objections. AYSO soccer head coach 2014-2017, Hermosa youth basketball head coach 2010 -2013. This November 5th Elect Trent Larson Hermosa Beach City Council.
—Trent Larson, Hermosa Beach
Justin Massey candidate statement
My wife Jenn and I grew up in Southern California and chose to raise our family in Hermosa. We care about the future of Hermosa for our family and yours.
Working with you the past 4 years, we protected you and your family, protected your tax dollars, improved your quality of life, and improved our business climate.
We protected you and your family. We permanently eliminated oil drilling rights E&B retained after the defeat of Measure O. We hired LA County Fire to shorten response times, close coverage gaps, and improve disaster preparedness. We added HbPD staff to keep patrol officers on the street, create a downtown unit, and reopen the downtown substation. As a result, Hermosa Pier is “a completely different atmosphere . . . than it was five to 10 years ago,” according to Acting Police Chief Milt McKinnon.
We protected your tax dollars. We balanced the budget and filled the rainy day fund. We reduced pension costs by putting money into an interest-bearing fund. We capped the City’s contribution to employee health care.
We improved your quality of life. We finished South Park. We put a new roof, exterior, and solar power on the Community Center. We built the 8th Street Safe Route to School. We supported Measure S and North School, which is under construction. We fixed sewers and medians and repaved Hermosa Avenue. We are rebuilding your Pier Avenue Fire Station.
We improved our business climate. We added Trader Joe’s, Lazy Acres, and Skechers. We brought back the AVP Hermosa Beach Open and popular events. We relaxed permit and parking requirements. We added A-frame signs. These efforts helped generate the highest business revenue in City history.
Let’s keep moving Hermosa forward. I respectfully ask for your vote.
Please visit JustinForCouncil.com to learn more. Thank you.
—Justin Massey, Hermosa Beach city councilmember
Hermosa Beach teacher assignments
A year ago, Debi Aggers, Stacy Fraenkel and I asked the HB district to review the school's policies and procedures when a teacher takes a long-term leave of absence regarding the (2017-18) 8th grade science class.
We filed a Uniform Complaint with the district and received an investigation from the HBCSD in May. We appealed that decision to the LA County Superintendent of Schools.
Our appeal stated:"We believe this was a misassignment and the accommodations given to the teacher during her leave of absence left our students in an idle classroom.The students had different substitutes for a total of 71 days from Feb. to June (52 of those days with a substitute that held a 30-day substitute permit)."
"The LA County Office of Education Certification Unit has completed its investigation of the alleged 2017-18 misassignment that occurred at Hermosa Beach City School District. Our investigation found that X was misassigned in a long-term 8th grade science assignment."
Commission on Teacher Credentialing stated:"The Commission was notified of the misassignment on June 11th.We were also informed that the misassignment was not corrected within a 30-day time frame, pursuant to Education Code 44258.9.It is now included in our records, and will be made available for any members of the public, educational advocates, and members of the press. It will also be included in our biennial report to the state Legislature and the Commission along with all other misassignments."
We hope the district can make changes, so this never happens again.
—Regina Hoffman, Hermosa Beach
Redondo Beach sales tax
"Give a Rat a Cookie." No matter how much our taxes are raised, the local governments are never satisfied. I know there is a federal statute that states that 10.25% is the maximum a state can set the sales tax rate to. I hear there are ramblings in city hall to put a ballot measure in the next election to "temporarily" add a 1/2 cent hike to our already ridiculously outrageous sales tax. When will it stop? There is a a lot of truth to the saying, Give a mouse a cookie, and he will want a glass of milk. Come on!!! 10% sales tax!!! District #1 will not get my vote if they support this increase. Find the $ somewhere else!!
—Rick Martin, Redondo Beach
Manhattan Beach desalination
I was very distressed to see that the Manhattan Beach City Council (Council) had West Basin Municipal Water District (West Basin) make a formal presentation on their proposed desalination project at last week’s Council Meeting without any plans for a similar presentation on opposing views. Furthermore, as reported in The Beach Reporter (October 17, 2019), one of the current Councilmembers criticized members of the prior Council for their opposition to this desalination project without providing any opportunity for the prior Councilmembers to rebut this criticism. I feel that this whole situation was a disservice to the residents of Manhattan Beach on such an important issue, with significant economic and environmental ramifications for our community. I attended a very informative Town Hall Meeting in Manhattan Beach last month, coordinated by the Los Angeles Waterkeeper and the Surfrider Foundation, where they presented their position in opposition to the West Basin desalination project. I was disturbed to see that no current Council members were in attendance. I urge our Council to arrange for the Los Angeles Waterkeeper and the Surfrider Foundation to make a presentation on their views in opposition to the desalination project at the earliest possible Council Meeting, so that Council are fully informed on this important issue.
—Paul Beswick, Manhattan Beach
Beach Cities Healthy Living Campus
The Beach Cities Health District is planning to build a $500 million dollar Healthy Living Campus on public property in Redondo Beach. According to the BCHD website, the purpose of the HLC is to meet the current “health needs” of the Beach Cities residents. Unfortunately, BCHD provides no evidence that the Healthy Living Campus will make us any healthier than we are today.
First, we are already a very healthy community. According to the 2019 BCHD Community Health Report, the Beach Cities Well-Being Index Composite Score “exceeds both national and state levels” showing that Beach Cities residents have the “third highest (health) score nationally.” Second, the two health needs identified by the BCHD Community Health Report do not require a Healthy Living Campus to improve outcomes. The two health needs identified are substance use for both adults and youth plus stress and worry in adults. The solutions suggested by BCHD require professional intervention, retail outlet restrictions, and school based interventions, not a Healthy Living Campus.
If we are already healthier than most US citizens and the health needs we do have don’t require a $500 million dollar Healthy Living Campus to improve outcomes, why should we endure the negative health impacts of 15 years of construction, thousands of truck trips clogging our streets and polluting our air? With no significant evidence of a community benefit and substantial evidence of negative community impacts over the 15 year building period, this project should be vigorously opposed by Beach Cities residents.
—Sheila Lamb, Redondo Beach
Support for Massey
I can think of no City Councilmember more committed to serving the residents and businesses of Hermosa Beach than Justin Massey. Working beside him for the past four years, I have come to have a deepened appreciation for his intelligence and the thought and work he puts into problem solving, from further supporting local businesses by relaxing permit processes and parking requirements—to establishing low-cost short term entertainment permits, to enhancing downtown cleanliness, improved lighting and saftey. These are but a few examples of why it is in the city’s long term interest that we keep him in place. I hope you will join me in re-electing Justin Massey for Hermosa Beach City Council on November 4.
—Jeff Duclos, Hermosa Beach
Support for Massey and Detoy
I am voting for Councilmember Justin Massey and Michael Detoy because they are both committed to serving our Hermosa Beach community.
Councilmember Massey does his homework as he evaluates issues pending before the City Council, listens to input from all stakeholders, and makes the decisions that serve our community long term, and protect our environment. Over the past four years, Justin worked collaboratively with his colleagues on the Council and city staff to successfully eliminate E&B’s oil drilling rights, made Hermosa safer by hiring LA County Fire and improving HBPD’s capabilities. Justin, working with the City Council, also balanced the city’s budget and reduced pension and health care costs, helped fund the completion of South Park, helped build the 8th Street Safe Route to School, and approved funding for needed upgrades to the Community Center.
Michael Detoy will work to preserve our small town character and will help our local businesses flourish by cutting unnecessary regulations and championing supportive city policies. Michael will use his public safety experience to ensure adequate staffing of our police and firefighters and will work with our neighboring cities to help get homeless individuals and families into permanent housing. With a degree in finance, along with a Master of Public Administration, Michael has the knowledge and experience to effectively balance our city budget. Michael will advocate to efficiently manage capital improvement projects, and will ensure that we are doing our part in protecting the planet through effective city policies.
Please vote on November 5th.
—Hany Fangary, Hermosa Beach