Rejoinder about Great Dane

In response to Mitch Ward’s letter (The Beach Reporter, June 6, 2019) regarding the owner of the Great Dane, I have walked my dogs on the greenbelt for the last 10+ years. I have met and chatted with the owner of the Great Dane many times and have never witnessed any type of abuse.

The dog is healthy, friendly and well behaved. I know several neighbors who were equally upset and shocked by Mr. Ward’s comments. I thought it was important to provide another opinion. With regard to the dog carrying his own towel, it is akin to a dog carrying around his favorite toy.

—Victoria Grasman, Manhattan Beach

Assistant not needed

Kudos to the Manhattan Beach City Council for taking a deep dive into the city budget and making appropriate adjustments to save the tax payer money.

Unfortunately some members of the Hermosa Beach City Council are not as prudent with our money. Instead of cutting costs at the city executive level they have agreed with our new freshman city manager (on the job for less than a year) on the need for an assistant city manager with a salary of more than $200,000 per year which this city has never had before or even considered. If our city manager cannot handle the day-to-day operations of a city that’s only a mile square, maybe we have the wrong person on the job.

—John Shustak, Hermosa Beach

Stormwater funding

It is unfortunate that Nancy Hersman begins her term as mayor of Manhattan Beach insufficiently representing the storm water fund. The storm water fund is underwater or imperiled only if you accept that it’s only funding source should be storm drain fees. This is merely a construct of City Hall, which many times has noted that the benefit of increasing the storm drain fees is the alternative use of freed-up general funds currently being used for stormwater projects. And we all know what these released monies will end up funding.

Given that Manhattan Beach residents consistently poll water quality as the highest of priorities, any City Council that would not fund a viable water quality project regardless of funding source would have a limited career. Such projects would be the last City project not to be funded, right before police/fire services and the Council’s cell phone subsidy.

So, if storm water spending is not limited by available funds, the real issue is whether residents want to increase available general fund non-storm water spending by increasing storm drain fees. In that sense we might as well impose a utility-users tax, which at least is based on usage, in addition to what we will be paying under the recent L.A. County Measure W storm water tax.

If another storm water tax increase is what voters want, then so be it. But let us be honest about what we are doing and why we are doing it.

—Gary Osterhout, Manhattan Beach

SeaLab and AES

You can draw a straight line between the closing of the SeaLab and the choices made by Redondo Beach Mayor Bill Brand. Brand was a huge influence on AES’ settling on Pustilnikov as developer. Pustilnikov has no record of new development and has made only very vague statements about his plans for the AES site. We have no idea what his complete plans are for the AES site.

There is a prevailing thought among Redondo city staff and those close to the harbor that Pustilnikov does not have the financial resources to pull off what he is attempting. Of course SeaLab is a casualty. Putilnikov has no intention of developing anything in the harbor. He is buying up any leases he can get to resell to someone else. This is as far from a comprehensive development plan as you can get.

It is unfortunate for Redondo we are now stuck with this developer. Brand resisted all other suitors for the AES property because he said he would not approve of any proposal that included residential. I was in the room with Bill Brand for a presentation of a very nice proposal from a well-financed Hermosa based equity firm. This proposal was low impact development. It was one third open space, one third residential and one third commercial. None of it was over four stories. Brand shot it down because of the residential.

By the way, Pustilnikov has made statements that his proposal may now include one hundred units of residential.

—Paul Moses, Redondo Beach

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