I think it's great to hear from Signal Hill Mayor Louis Dare regarding his views of the Price Club deal. Louie and I share at least two common interests: We both like motorcycles and we both like the city in which we live. Furthermore, I fully believe that Dare is doing everything he can to better the conditions in our city. We differ, however, when it comes to believing that good intentions will lead a person to the right answers.
I refuse to believe that this city has to select second best as the best that can be achieved. I bought a home on this hill because I believe that this city can, and furthermore with the help of concerned citizens and interested businesses within this city, this city will set standards for development that will be the envy of all the cities around us.
The Price Club is the first step in making Signal Hill a "discount city." A full-service retail operation will never seek to be near a warehouse price-cutting outlet. If you sell a full line of tires, appliances, frozen foods, hardware, stationery, drug items or anything else, would you choose to locate in an area where the largest store did high volumes of business by selling only the highest volume items from your entire line at 30% to 40% discounts from your selling prices? You would have to be crazy (or maybe just working for the exercise).
In 1982, candidate Dare said, "Residential development is using up our commercial zones, depriving us of sales tax revenues." He seemed to feel that we were losing our balance, with too much residential and too little commercial income-producing area in 1982. But in 1985, we have less than 50% of the city zoned residential, a far lower proportion than in most other cities throughout California.
When I listen to the council, I believe they want us to believe we are in dire need of income and we must grasp at anything that looks like a deal. They say we will have to cut services. Is that a threat to assure our permission?
Just about everybody seems to talk about our oil income ending soon. The fact is, experts believe that less than 40% of the oil in the known reserve under this city has been removed since 1923. And experienced oil people have told me that oil can be extracted from our hill for the next 50 years or more.
Signal Hill needs income, it's true. But we need some style too. And most of all we need to feel proud of our town.