Tag Archives: Redondo Election

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The last election?

Three elections in five months should be enough to sort out the business of a city of 65,000 people. That should give us about two years of election-free recovery time, that is unless some group of citizens decides our elected officials aren’t paying enough attention to their interests and they write another ballot initiative.

The one remaining election will consist of a mail-in choice between two candidates for city treasurer. How many people know what the treasurer does to earn a tidy sum, well over $100,000 of our hard earned tax money every year? It’s probably worth taking a few minutes to search the city’s municipal code for section 11.1 to find out.

What you’ll discover is that the city treasurer doesn’t really do much. He or she oversees money coming in and money going out. It seems we have a treasurer so we have someone to blame if our money is mismanaged by other city employees. Nevertheless, we need a city treasurer and we will all get to mail in our votes for one of two candidates in July.

You don’t hear that much about Measure A now that Redondo Beach voters have exercised their power of self-governance by rejecting that ridiculous piece of legislation. We need to remember there was an organization called No Power Plant. No Power Plant was Measure A and Measure A was No Power Plant.

A number of candidates attempted to leverage their association with or sympathy for No Power Plant/Measure A to get elected. The citizens of Redondo Beach rejected all but one of them the same way they rejected Measure A.

City treasurer candidate Dawn Esser is the last remaining person seeking elected office in the city who has attempted to use her association with No Power Plant/Measure A for political advantage. I join many of my fellow citizens in hoping she will experience the same fate other aspiring politicians who attached themselves to the divisive, misguided ideas that brought us No Power Plant/Measure A have had to suffer, defeat.

My real interest in this election isn’t to see one candidate lose but to see a more qualified, extremely bright candidate get elected. Steve Diels won’t need to study the city budget to figure out how to perform the duties of treasurer. For the past eight years he has had direct personal, responsibility for that budget as a member of our city council.

Everyone who serves on the council brings his or her own talents and abilities to that work. In eight years of working with the council as a commissioner, I often found myself considering what the council was doing on some issue or item on its agenda. Before I jumped to any conclusions about the wisdom or absence of wisdom of any council action, I always found myself asking one question. What did Steve Diels have to say about the matter?

That doesn’t mean I agreed with him. I probably disagreed more often than not but I knew his opinions would always be thoughtful and represent his genuine interest in doing what’s best for the city. I believe the city is better for having had Steve as a council member. The city has an opportunity to continue benefitting from Steve’s knowledge and experience by electing him our next city treasurer. Check out his qualifications at stevediels.com .

Strange Bedfellows

I’m wondering if anyone else noticed strange and confusing political winds blowing since the March election in Redondo Beach. I’m guessing most of it has something to do with the timing of the next election May 14th. Items on that ballot will include a runoff for council seats in districts 1 and 4, and the mayoral race. Voters will also decide who will become the city treasurer.

The first thing that confused me was an editorial by former District 1 council candidate Diane Prado who claims to be a lawyer. I can’t figure out how an attorney could make public accusations against a mayoral candidate based on her interpretation of a single conversation. They call it hearsay on cop shows.

It appears Ms. Prado made no attempt to discover whether there was another side to the story before publicly declaring the information she wrote was fact. I always thought the concept that there are 2 sides (at least) to every argument was something law students learned right after the pronunciation of habeas corpus. It’s confusing.

The next thing that confused me is why a candidate for city treasurer would place her position on a highly charged, local political issue front and center on the material she uses to try to get Redondo voters to elect her. Supporting NoPowerPlant was definitely Ms. Esser’s right as a Redondo Beach resident. But what does it have to do with her qualifications to execute the duties she would assume as city treasurer? Why not enumerate her views on global warming or who she supported in the last presidential election? Her support for NoPowerPlant should be no more relevant to the treasurer’s job than those things.

I’m assuming Ms. Esser knows the city treasurer’s office doesn’t take positions on local political issues. Maybe she plans on changing that.

Until now you might say that other than being an elected position, the city treasurer is apolitical. I assume Ms. Esser has many political positions and opinions. Why emphasize this one, a position upon which the city treasurer cannot and should not exert any influence? See why I’m confused?

That leads me to one other confusing occurrence after the March election. Why did city councilman and mayoral candidate Matt Kilroy champion a re-vote on a council resolution opposing the power plant after the same issue was summarily defeated by the council in July 2012? The council made a statement at that time. It refused to bend to pressure from a special interest group.

Voters made a similar statement when they rejected Measure A. From where I stand, that issue was dead, twice. Yet right after the March election put Matt Kilroy into a runoff with an opponent who beat him head-to-head in the March election, he began pushing the rest of the council to revive the twice dead issue of an official statement saying Redondo Beach opposed a new power plant. For the life of me, I couldn’t understand why he’d do such a thing.

I’m lying. I saw the reasons for all these peculiar occurrences as clearly as the view of the power plant from King Harbor. So did everyone else I’ve spoken with about any of it.

Even though Measure A failed, you couldn’t help but notice there were a lot of people who took up the No Power Plant cause. They are motivated and active. When you consider they’re being told by councilman Bill Brand to vote for Jim Light, Dawn Esser and Matt Kilroy it’s easy to understand why Ms. Esser advertises her devotion to the no power plant cause and why Mr. Kilroy pushed to revive the resolution the council had voted against just a few months earlier. If you’ve seen the CBS show Survivor, you’ll understand. Contestants make alliances they think will keep them in the game longer.

Voters in Redondo need to realize the importance of the May 14th election. It could result in a relatively small group of people taking control of some large chunks of our city government, the mayor’s office, city treasurer, two seats on the city council and a fighting chance of gaining control of a third. I’m not exaggerating.

It’s fair to say most Americans find the political climate in Washington toxic. Two opposing groups of stubborn Ideologues pledge their allegiance to their set of beliefs and the relatively small group of people who share their extreme views. They refuse to give an inch on any idea the other group supports.

Voters in Redondo Beach better take notice of what could happen on May 14th. A small group of ideologues stand a very good chance of taking over our city’s government. If you think the power plant is the only thing they want to control, think again. If you thought Measure A was about a power plant, you were half right. It was about power. The power a small group of people would like you to give them so they can gain control of this community.

I believe Matt Kilroy is a good man and I don’t think his play for the No Power Plant vote will change that. I also believe that in politics, if you get favors eventually you will have to repay those favors. Repayment may not be overt or unethical but the debt will be recorded and repayment will be expected.

l had a discussion with a political operative from San Diego about some changes I’d like to see to the Redondo charter. At the end of our conversation he said, “The people of Redondo Beach will get the government they deserve.”

I believe electing a group of people who have professed their inflexibility and predisposition to support one another would damage our community. If you agree, then you need to go to the polls on May 14th and vote against them. If the independent citizens of Redondo Beach lose control of their city because they didn’t take this threat seriously, then the political operative was right. We deserve the government we get.