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Letters

Boot the UUT

Dear ER:
It's interesting that nearly all of those who favor the continuation of Hermosa's six percent Utility User Tax also advocate the conversion of commercial zones to high density condominiums. Given the fact that the City of Hermosa receives more than 75 percent of its present revenue from the commerce, its no wonder that the real estate interest is now advocating the UUT as a supplemental source of revenue. Contrary to the distortions in recent editorials, the UUT was never intended to fund fire, paramedics or police. In 1986, the City of Hermosa promised that the two-year tax was to be used for funding sewer replacement, a downtown foot patrol during the summer, and bootleg apartment enforcement. In 1988, the city surreptitiously made the tax permanent. Currently, the sewer replacement account is over-funded. The downtown foot patrol was funded through overtime, and bootleg apartments are becoming less of a problem. Barring more broken promises or retaliation by the city council, there isn't a need for this tax. Since 1993, the city has been receiving an additional $1.6 million annually, largely from new businesses. A vote for Measure D will force fiscal responsibility upon the city and perhaps stem the coerced shortsighted sell-out of Hermosa Beach commercial property to the condominium developers.

Robert Benz
Hermosa Beach
Editor's note: Benz is a Hermosa City Councilman and candidate for City Treasurer

Foot soldiers

Dear ER:
We're the Invisible People, yet we're always there fixing your roads, working in your streets. We dodge your cars that speed by us only a foot away. In the rain and storms some of you watch us work from behind your windows, safe and warm. When you are in trouble you call us so we bring the sandbags. We man the pumps, and run the dozer out on the sand's edge to the waves to keep storm drains open, to keep flooding from your home. In the midnight hour when most are in their slumbers, we come to handle whatever emergency needs to be handled.. Perhaps a sewer running over the streets, or into someone's house. We're the Invisible People, and we work for you. We each do our job the best we can do. We are proud of that. When we're all cleaned up at the end of our day, and put on regular clothes I bet we look like most of you. A city runs on revenue. But what makes thing works and move are invisible people like us. Unless the good people of Hermosa Beach vote no on Measure D, the Utility User Tax, in the up-coming election then a lot of us and the services that we provide may become real invisible, so much so you may not see many of us again. John Paul Triggs Hermosa Beach Public Works

Woman of her word

Dear ER:

It takes me a long time to get to this point but I have finally had enough. Some coward has been sending anonymous "hit" mailers to unsuspecting residents. These hit mailers attack Sam Edgerton and attempt to spread nothing but a pack of lies.

The latest mailer says that Sam voted to discontinue City funding of school crossing guards. This could not be further from the truth. When Prop. 218 invalidated the Crossing Guard Tax, Sam authored the 1995 Hermosa Beach ballot argument in favor of reinstating the City parcel tax to pay for crossing guards. Although the majority of Hermosa residents voted for the tax, the measure failed because it did not receive the required 66 percent of the vote. Sam then voted to pay for the crossing guards out of the City budget, which is done to this day. The truth is Sam has never voted against crossing guards. He voted to maintain them after the school district said it could not afford to pay for them out of its own budget.

The letter also accuses Sam of wanting to limit the size a home you may build on your property to 1,500 square feet. As Sam stated at council meetings and during the recent debates, he wants to make sure that parking requirements for condominiums are the same as for single family homes. Right now condominiums don't require the same number of parking spaces. The reference to 1,500 square feet has never been mentioned by Sam. This was something completely fabricated by the anonymous author of the mailer, along with virtually everything else that was said.

All I have to say is if you have something to say then sign your name. But then of course when all you have to say is lies then you are afraid you will get sued for libel.

Since I know I speak the truth I am not afraid to sign my name to this letter.

Joanne Edgerton
Hermosa Beach
Editor's note: The writer is the wife of incumbent Hermosa Beach council candidate Sam Edgerton

Council Lifesaver

Dear ER:

The Los Angeles County Lifeguard Association is pleased to endorse Councilman Sam Edgerton for re-election to the Hermosa City Council. Councilman Edgerton is a strong supporter of public safety, including the Los Angeles County Lifeguards in Hermosa Beach. He has also been an integral part of a City Council that has worked towards improving the quality of life for those of us that work and live within the city of Hermosa Beach.

Steve Moseley
LAC Lifeguard Assoc. Hermosa Beach

Political ammo

Dear ER:
At the Redondo Council meeting Oct. 5 the leftist political agenda was at work. With crime down over fifty percent in Redondo I guess police management has nothing better to do then write bad laws, which will not impact the bad guys and for which there are no stats to prove otherwise. The proposed city ordinance would prohibit the sale of ammunition seven days prior to New Years and the Fourth of July. The police, in their report to council, state that these are party dates and that high alcohol consumption will cause us to act irresponsible and that this would deter outsiders from buying ammo. This a ghetto law. If this trash is passed our elected officials are telling the world their constituents are untrustworthy and irresponsible. I would be remiss not to laud council members John Parsons and Mike Gin for seeing through the smoke screen.

Robe Richester
Redondo Beach

Street smarts

Dear ER:

John Tawa's excellent "Rosecrammed" article regarding Rosecrans Blvd. (ER cover story Oct. 14, 1999) operating at over capacity, with gridlock is very informative. The city of Manhattan Beach's determination that the mega development next to the Office Depot will have no impact on Rosecrans' traffic that couldn't be mitigated is at the very root of the gridlock problem. Now we learn via the EIR for the Hawthorne Gateway Center that the intersections of Rosecrans and Sepulveda and Rosecrans and Aviation will be negatively impacted, and no mitigation measures are feasible. Obviously Manhattan's city councilmembers were wrong in their assessment and were derelict in their duties for not insisting that an Environmental Impact Report being done on the Office Depot development. Comments like "[the traffic] is a product of a robust economy. It's a good problem," are as ludicrous as it gets. To suggest that a new monster - the several hundred thousand square foot development on the Hawthorne, Manhattan Beach boundary line -- might even relieve Rosecrans traffic somewhat because of perceptions, is the logic of lunacy, as in stark raving mad. Giving away entitlements to developers and specifically exempting massive projects from environmental impact studies are deals made by flaming incompetents pretending to be councilmembers and city staff. I don't think anything has changed over the years as evidenced by current city representatives, Hawthorne included. Rampant over-development, with no consideration of the accompanying negative impacts on our quality of life, is going to be the ruination of the beach cities and our neighbors.

Dawn Clifton
Manhattan Beach

Financial logic

Dear ER Editor:

The Hermosa Beach Chamber of Commerce opposes Measure D, which would revoke Hermosa's Utility Users Tax. Measure D would unequivocally lower the level and quality of emergency and protective services in our community. A proposal that would lower residential and commercial property values along with our quality of life is neither pro-resident nor a pro-business. While a resident pays approximately $10 per month in utility taxes, businesses pay about $150 to $1,500 per month. If business owners are willing to continue their financial support to pay for the first-rate police and fire services we enjoy, then perhaps it will help our residents understand the importance of voting no on Measure D. We hope they see that the return they get from their comparatively small investment is worth far more than their $10 per month. A recent statement by the author of Measure D that people who purchase goods or services from local merchants are "double-taxed" reflects ignorance of basic business principles. The cost of doing business includes far more exorbitant fees and taxes than the UUT. Few of the myriad of additional fees and taxes that businesses pay will provide the immediate and tangible rewards of public safety and peace of mind. Experienced and informed civic leaders and the chamber's Board of Directors agree that residents should vote no on Measure D. Their agreement is a clear indication that business leaders and community leaders are united in their efforts to keep our city safe and secure. We hope the voters will understand that voting no on Measure D is the best way to keep Hermosa Beach safe and sound.

Carol K. Duff
President & CEO Hermosa Beach Chamber of Commerce

Workmanship

Dear ER:

I find it interesting that Robert Benz, the council clown of Hermosa Beach, has decided to run for the position of City Treasurer. The only things controlling this 40-(going on 15) year-old are the other four council members. With his behavior and agenda, I'm very concerned about the financial destruction he can do as Treasurer. This is not the place for on-the-job training. I can only hope the voters will continue to expect and vote for integrity and experience.

Ken Craig
Hermosa Beach


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