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Measure A and District 1

It would be inaccurate to say people who voted for or against Measure A in the March, Redondo Beach election, were voting for or against the AES power plant. A majority of the votes cast were against Measure A but I really don’t believe those voters were saying they want a power plant. More likely, the No voters recognized it was a poorly written law that was destined to cause the city more harm than any good it might do.

The Yes voters were a different story. I think most of them believed they were voting against the power plant.

61% of the voters in District 2 voted for Measure A. These are the people who live closest to the plant, people who have to look at it. The other 4 districts in the city voted against Measure A. In fact, there wasn’t another district with as much as 50% support for Measure A.

At 47% each, Districts 1 and 3, the next closest to the plant, were the highest ratio of votes cast for Measure A. Districts 4 and 5, representing the furthest parts of the city from the plant, both came in at just above 40% for Measure A.

Understandably, the people in District 2 were voting their self-interest. It’s safe to say a majority of the District 2 residents who voted for Measure A were property owners. If the power plant goes away, their property becomes more valuable.

It’s ironic that proponents of Measure A whined after the election about the results being determined by money. AES spent considerably more money on advertising. They complained that money was the only reason Measure A lost.

From where I stand, money is the only reason Measure A got 61% of the vote in District 2. No matter what anyone tells you about the rest of the city, the AES plant doesn’t influence property values anywhere except the parts of the city where you can see the plant, District 2 and small portions of Districts 1 and 3. Voters in Districts 1, 3, 4 and 5 were unwilling to vote for a bad law to increase property values in District 2.

District 2 city councilman Bill Brand was re-elected with about the same percentage of votes as Measure A got in his district. He got 56% of the votes cast. Councilman Brand convinced voters in District 2 his crusade against the AES plant would help them. He may have been right.

District 1 voters are being asked to vote for a Bill Brand clone next month, his sidekick Jim Light. Brand and Light have spent countless hours and invested tremendous energy over the last ten years fighting to get rid of AES, fighting to increase property values in District 2.

That raises an interesting question. Will voters in District 1 elect a councilman who, by his own admission, will continue devoting time and energy to increasing property values in District 2? They rejected the idea of voting for a law that was intended to have the same effect. Will they elect a city council candidate who will invest his time and energy working for a cause whose greatest benefit will be enjoyed outside District 1? We’ll know soon enough.

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