Editor’s note: The Beach Reporter welcomes letters regarding candidates and issues for the upcoming November 2020 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. We had previously offered candidates the opportunity to introduce themselves and some are still taking advantage of that. Our Oct. 22 issue is the last opportunity for letters supporting candidates (Oct. 19 deadline). Our Oct. 29 issue is reserved for 250-word statements from the candidates themselves.

Kudos to police

My kudos to Manhattan Beach police as three of them helped a big beach crowd on Tuesday, Oct 6. As I was walking across El Porto’s narrow beach parking lot, two apparently inebriated men used the parking lot as a drag strip, racing their car at breakneck speeds. Since I was almost hit, I was scarred for my safety and my three kids with me. Several of us went on foot to follow the car. A police officer was in the other end of the parking lot giving parking tickets, and did an excellent job of containing the two guys while radioing for help and keeping us all safely spaced from them.

When one of the men tried to escape in his car, he drove the reverse way trying to go back up the parking lot, startling all of us and scratching a car or two in the process. We were all apprehensive of what these men might do since they were clearly irrational. We were so grateful when the two of Manhattan Beach’s police officers arrived. They handled these two inebriated men with professionalism, efficency and calmness, while keeping the beach crowd safe. These three Manhattan Beach police officers are true credit to the community and make me feel a lot safer to enjoy the Manhattan Beach community.

—Heather Putman, Manhattan Beach

Supporting Lyons for council

Manhattan Beach voters have an extremely rare opportunity this election day. In Phoebe Lyons we have a uniquely brilliant and focused young candidate who is a truly independent, forward thinker. Phoebe’s campaign, with its deeply rooted focus on inclusiveness, unity, and transparency, indeed presents ‘A Fresh Voice For MB’ like no other.

Every candidate promises to improve public engagement, yet most promptly drop that ball once elected. Phoebe, on the other hand, is already busy developing a friendly new welcome mat for City Hall - and she’s just getting started.

Deciding at the onset to eschew the convention of gathering endorsements from the overly familiar list of local power brokers, Phoebe instead has reached out to, energized and engaged many of our community’s previously unheard voices – both young and old. Unbeholden to anyone or any special interest, Phoebe not only listens, but hears. She thoughtfully considers all input, and respectfully engages with all – especially those with new or alternative thought.

As a highly intelligent deep researcher, Phoebe is a fearless questioner who will insist on thorough and well-reasoned responses, transparently presented. Issues of the day are important, of course – but inevitably change with time. We must therefore elect good decision makers who communicate clearly, not just those who happen to agree with us on one or two of today’s hot issues.

Phoebe has earned this 40-year resident’s enthusiastic first vote, and I sincerely hope Manhattan Beach voters recognize the unique and exciting opportunity she brings us.

—Gerry O'Connor, Manhattan Beach

In favor of Komatinsky 

Karen Komatinsky will be a welcome change and an asset for our communities on the Beach Cities Health District board. Karen has relevant professional expertise as a health care consultant for 25 years. Karen has applicable public board governance experience as a school board trustee for 10 years. BCHD is struggling with controversy over the future of the Redondo campus. While serving on the MBUSD board Karen was instrumental in the management and oversight of two facilities bonds including the public outreach communications and design collaboration with the community. Once underway she ensured that these projects fulfilled the public goals on time and within budget. She will listen and execute on behalf of constituents even if that means questioning a path that some believe is already decided. It’s difficult to run against three incumbents for an office that may not be the top priority for many. I encourage you to consider and vote for Karen Komatinsky, the candidate with a fresh perspective and the skills necessary to be a knowledgeable and effective representative on Day One. Visit https://komatinskyforbchd.com/ and think outside the incumbent box. Choose a BCHD board member who will represent your views, support healthy communities, and seriously consider the facts and constituent priorities in long-term facilities decisions.

—Ellen Rosenberg, Manhattan Beach

Armato's impossible position

After reading the ruling against Stacey Armato in the Crossfit Gym nuisance abatement hearings, reading the slander on various Facebook pages, and reading the Hany Fangary letter to various publications, it seems that Stacey is in an impossible position.

The judge ruled, “Armato’s communications with complaining residents show that she became an active participant in building a nuisance case against the Gym.”

By definition, her role as a councilmember requires her to communicate with Hermosa Beach residents. One of Stacey’s best character traits is her incredible empathy. Empathy by definition is the ability to understand and share the feelings and emotions of others. Stacey works hard to understand the needs of people around her, and to fully educate herself in whatever topic she is tackling.

Having known Stacey and her family for more than 7 years, I have come to know and appreciate Stacey’s empathy and commitment to Hermosa. Whatever the problem a member of the community may have, Stacey and her family are there, serving as examples of involved, empathetic residents. Stacey’s experience is broad and serves as a great complement to that of the entire Hermosa Beach City Council. She is someone who loves Hermosa Beach, and it shows.

It also could be a case of ‘the pot calling the kettle black’ when Hany refers to Stacey costing the City thousands of dollars in litigation, as it’s my understand that Hany is also in litigation with the City of Hermosa Beach.

Empathetic leaders are able to build and develop relationships with those they lead and I personally wish that more of our current leaders had empathy. I commend Stacey for her empathy and support to the residents of Hermosa Beach.

—Samantha Kuhr, Hermosa Beach
Supporting board candidate Graves
I am writing to endorse Cathey Graves for the MBUSD School Board. Cathey has been such an inspiration to me over the years, as she has dedicated her time and efforts to both the MB schools and the community. I have watched her raise four active and engaged children who, with her guidance, have been involved in so many MB activities ranging from AYSO to Boy and Girl Scouts, to Broadcast Journalism, Drama, Cross Country and the Biotech program at Costa.
Over the years I have seen Cathey step up and not hesitate to take on a leadership role. She is amazing on committees, always considerate and open to new ideas, and willing to spend the time and research to identify problems and implement solutions. We are facing unprecedented times for educating our children both academically and socially, and I am confident that Cathey, with all of her experience, is the perfect choice to lead the way. I encourage you to vote for Cathey Graves.
—Leslie Whittet, Manhattan Beach

Support for Burton for council

My family has lived in Manhattan Beach for more than 20 years, and we have known Mark Burton for 15 years. Like many residents, we had a parking issue on our street. At the time, we were unfamiliar with the council so we contacted our friend Les Silverman for advice. Les owned LOOK Optometry and was much beloved by many in Manhattan Beach for his public service and philanthropy. Les told us, "Call Mark Burton, Mark really cares." So we did. Amazingly, Mark resolved our issue quickly. This interaction actually changed my opinion of local government.

Mark soon became my go-to guy for help with other issues. Five years ago, the City of El Segundo was attempting to lease its public golf course to a private Texas based business. Mark met with myself and other distressed moms whose kids depended on that public golf course for practice and coaching. He understood the implications for our teenagers, including the kids on the Mira Costa Golf Team, and also for our senior golf enthusiasts. Mark listened to our concerns, suggested options, and advised us.

Mark has always demonstrated a love for our city. He strongly believes in transparent government, something we need more than ever in these challenging times. His record of accomplishments for Manhattan Beach and the City of Los Angeles are legion. He brings a wealth of experience to us. Manhattan Beach needs Mark Burton, and it is my pleasure to endorse him.

—April Marano-Ford, Manhattan Beach

Candidates in Manhattan Beach

There are a number of well qualified candidates for Manhattan Beach City Council. You should vote for candidates who have the utmost integrity and character, a proven record of community volunteer service, and diverse life experience with fresh ideas to improve our community.

I don’t endorse or vote for candidates simply because they are an incumbent, or those who have numerous campaign signs illegally on city property and vacant lots, or candidates beholden to big-money special interests or endorsed by old school power brokers, or who run numerous slick ads with the usual rhetoric and empty promises.

As a former two-term Manhattan Beach mayor, I urge everyone to do their due diligence and research the candidates and ballot propositions.

After careful consideration, I’ve endorsed Mark Burton, Grettel Fournell and Steve Napolitano (alphabetical order). Also, lifelong resident and political newcomer Phoebe Lyons merits your consideration.

Most importantly, you vote in elections periodically, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.

—Wayne Powell, Manhattan Beach

Making an impact

Many beach city residents support the Black Lives Matter movement with signs and participate in demonstrations. I wonder how many of these individuals have actually been engaged with the black community. Compton and South Central are not that far away. Become truly involved and make the drive to walk, jog, and bike ride around inner city streets. Eat at local restaurants, and shop at their businesses and markets. This may be a more productive way to genuinely make an impact instead of displaying a sign, donating, and purporting that [you] care.

—Ed Skebe, Manhattan Beach

Supporting candidate Napolitano

Residents of 25 years in Manhattan Beach are already aware of Steve Napolitano's love, care and service to our city. He listens to the citizens and does his research before taking action. He is approachable and deeply involved in the city with his family and business. He supports our Police Department and Fire Department.

Enough of the political side. Do you know his lighter side? Steve has been the Santa on the float that goes down the streets of the city many times over the years. But, my favorite story of Steve is when Beach Cities Health District allowed me to help deliver their bags to our seniors at Christmas. I wanted to make it extra special. I wanted a Santa. I phoned Steve, told him my idea and he answered "When, where and what time? I'm ready." Steve helped start a 13-year tradition and still helps. We need Steve Napolitano. He has my vote.

—Karen Hill, Manhattan Beach

Bruce's Beach and Proposition 15

Two of the items being discussed in Manhattan Beach right now that candidates have taken positions on are the Bruce’s Beach situation and Proposition 15. 

Richard Montgomery, Steve Napolitano and Joe Franklin have made it clear that they are against having current Manhattan Beach residents pay restitution for what happened one hundred years ago. Proposition 15 is an initiative that changes property taxes to a “split roll” where business property such as malls, certain stores, hospitals, etc. are taxed differently than residential property for the first time in California history. 

This will result in increases in rent to many small businesses in addition to large ones. We already have the highest state income tax, sales tax and gas tax in the country, but the politician always seem to want more. Richard Montgomery, Steve Napolitano and Joe Franklin have come out strongly against Proposition 15.  Before you cast your vote for three city council candidates, you should check out the positions of the other four on these two important issues.

—Russ Lesser, Manhattan Beach 

Preference for Burton

I am supporting Mark Burton for election to the Manhattan Beach City Council. Mark’s strong support and record for public safety, fiscal responsibility, and resident advocacy are key to MB future well-being. He supports hiring more patrol officers, expanding MBPD’s ALPR Security Camera Program, and increasing MBFD’s Emergency Medical Services budget, while reducing full-time employee positions to less than 300. He supports the city’s ban on short term rentals, and opposes the intrusion of Sacramento and Coastal Commission into MB policy decisions. His former positions as LA city attorney, MB council member, and MB Rotary Club president uniquely qualified him to help to guide the city’s challenging future. Former council member Tony D’Errico says no one was more prepared than Mark at the dais or in closed session. Former mayor Dan Stern says he is voting for Mark. Please join us in supporting Mark Burton for MB City Council.

—Chuck Kaminski, Manhattan Beach

Supporting Kwan for water board

I write in support of Carol Kwan for the Board of Directors of West Basin Municipal Water District. My colleague on the board, Director Kwan is committed to the residents of Division 3, and to ensuring we have safe and sustainable water supplies for generations to come.

Carol Kwan and I voted against raising your water rates during this historic pandemic. She understands the difficulties facing our families and businesses during this time of uncertainty, and she has well represented you with her voice and her votes on the water board.

Carol Kwan supported the establishment and growth of West Basin’s recycled water program that reduces wastewater discharge to our ocean. She has provided free rain barrels; established drought tolerant public gardens in Hermosa and Manhattan Beach; and championed the installation of reusable water bottle filling stations in the cities she represents.

Kwan also started West Basin’s annual Water Harvest Festival that educates the public about the district’s world renowned water recycling program located right here in the South Bay.

There are many offices and propositions on this year’s ballot, but local elected officials have the most direct impact on our daily lives. So please do not skip voting in these important races. If you live in Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach or Lomita, I ask that you cast your vote for Carol Kwan for West Basin water board Division 3.

Scott Houston, El Segundo, director, of West Basin Municipal Water District Div. 4

In favor of Napolitano

Local city history has suddenly become a hot topic in Manhattan Beach. Neglected for years by most everyone but the MB Historical Society, Steve Napolitano was the council member that at last recognized the need to preserve and protect the city’s historic collections. He initiated council support for inventory of the archives, for an evaluation of the historic 1905 red cottage housing the museum, and for improved facilities to house the collections.

Steve, a life-long MB resident, knows that history is the root of several issues facing our town. With more local government experience than any other candidate, both on council and at the county level, his depth of knowledge and his consensus-building skills are what our town must have to address the complex issues ahead. Manhattan Beach needs Steve to continue the support for local history. Please, vote Napolitano for MB City Council.

—Gary D. McAulay, Manhattan Beach

Support for health district board members

As a years’ long volunteer with BCHD and participant in and recipient of many programs and services, I bear witness to events and people who are generous enough to give their time and talents to the betterment of our community. These people include the incumbent board members: Vanessa Poster, Jane Diehl and Vish Chatterji.

While each of these is possessed of different and valuable skill sets, there is a shared commonality in purpose and advantage. Poster, Diehl and Chatterji are active participants in many of the programs sponsored by BCHD; not as board members, but as community members interacting with other community members. This has provided them a birds’ eye view of the needs and wants of our community. The same cannot be said of others who seek to replace them.

For the simple reason of people not wanting to experience construction activity in their neighborhood, BCHD and incumbent board members have been depicted as being irresponsible or unresponsive to public demand. Irresponsible would be Poster, Diehl and Chatterji turning a blind eye to the present state of disrepair of existing BCHD structures, and ignoring data that signals the future needs of this community. Unresponsive would be not listening to community concerns and making no concessions. What objectors to the Healthy Living Campus want is total capitulation to their demands - nothing.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

—Arnette Travis, Redondo Beach

Support for Franklin 

It's a rare moment that I write to the BR. But we need Joe Franklin on the Manhattan Beach City Council. I have known Joe for over twenty years. When I was principal of Pacific School (1986-2007), he was the one dad I could count on anytime for any job, large or small, to help run our expanding school. From president of the School Site Council to Chief Morning Greeter in the drop-off zone, he was there, with a smile on his face, keeping children safe, handling any situation from the stressed parent to crying child. And he never lost his cool.

Joe is honest, smart, hard-working, a logical thinker. He will work tirelessly to make MB the kind of town you will continue to be proud of: With a strong, fully funded police department, local control of our fire department, strong schools with a firm partnership with the city, and great support for COVID recovery of residents and small businesses.

Please, you have trusted me with educating your children. Trust me now and "vote Joe" for MB City Council. I promise you will be very thankful that you did. Vote Joe Franklin.

—Christine Norvell, Manhattan Beach

Supporting candidate Burton 

Mark Burton has consistently, and without hesitation or wavering, advocated for the residents of Manhattan Beach — which is why I'm supporting him for City Council. We can never know the specific issues that may come up going forward, so we need to judge candidates based on who they are, how they have previously behaved, what they believe in and what their platform provides. 

Years ago, Mark was on the council when the Downtown Specific Plan was being drafted. As the representative of the Downtown Residents Group formed pursuant to that plan,  I had multiple opportunities to speak with Mark and understand his thought process. And what I learned about Mark is that he listens — really listens — and if what is being proposed makes sense — he will be fair and help to craft a workable solution benefitting the entire community.

Mark worked to help retain the small town character that makes Manhattan Beach so special, while still being on the cutting edge of advancements that enhance life in our community.

Mark is for expanded police patrols and security; enhancing our fire dept. and emergency response; is strong on protecting our environment; believes we must exercise and enforce our rights of local control (including against short term rentals); has very strong economic proposals which would save Manhattan Beach lots of money: and is for transparency and open government.

His career as a government lawyer gives us all his expertise without the cost — and he really, really cares! 

—Carol Perrin, Manhattan Beach

Contact Lisa Jacobs lisa.jacobs@TBRnews.com or follow her on Twitter @lisaannjacobs.

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