Mailbag: Readers react to prior council members’ counsel on Huntington Beach recall effort

Council members listen to speakers at a Huntington Beach City Council meeting.
(Spencer Grant)

The wisdom of these erstwhile Huntington Beach City Council members (Commentary: Save Surf City from disinformation, Daily Pilot, Aug. 27) — which represent a spectrum of ideologies from conservative, liberal and middle-of-the-roaders — must be acknowledged and adhered to in order to avoid further disfunction and disarray in the governance of our municipality.

Surf City is a beautiful seaside community that deserves dedicated and competent public servants, as represented by the likes of Ralph Bauer, Debbie Cook, Shirley Dettloff, Peter Green and Jill Hardy. Let us move beyond this reactionary moment in city politics and support our current City Council in taking actions that maintain and improve the quality of life in Huntington Beach. Let us take the counsel these 13 former council members and not be distracted by renegade residents supporting this dubious recall effort.

Ben Miles
Huntington Beach

The commentary on the potential recall of the Huntington Beach City Council, signed by numerous ex-council members and mayors of Huntington Beach, was a disappointment to say the least. Not only did they not present any specific rebuttal to the recall arguments, but they resorted to calling the recall proponents “political opportunists,” “agitators” and “bullies.”

How is this “discussing and deliberating the issues to come to some respected outcome”?

The proponents of the City Council recall are many and diverse. We are business owners, students, retirees, veterans and homeowners concerned about the direction of our city.

I would ask any or all of these ex-council members the following:

Do you want high-density housing in Huntington Beach that increases our population by 20,000 to 30,000 or more, packed into multistory apartment buildings with inadequate parking?

Are you in favor of the burden this extra population puts on our police, fire, hospitals, schools, traffic and parking?

Are you happy with the city government owning and operating large apartment buildings with subsidized renters under the guise of “work force housing,” picking winners and losers in the housing game?

Are you in agreement with the language changes to our City Charter that give more control over our housing issues to Sacramento?

Do you support our duly elected city attorney in efforts to maintain the character of our city and keep control of our local issues?

Does it bother you that the “no camping” and open drug use laws are not being enforced and that drug dealing, crime and harassment of our citizens and tourists are increasing?

I challenge any or all of the signers of the commentary to ponder and truthfully answer these questions. My guess is that not one of you will respond.

Martha Morrow
Huntington Beach

With slight majorities in the state Assembly, anti-single-family-homes bills SB9 and SB 10 passed and returned to the state Senate for a final vote before going to the governor.

Advocates claim bulldozing single-family homes and “infilling” multifamily homes is necessary to meet the “housing crisis, a crisis they first caused with “anti-sprawl” bills SB 375 and SB 743.

This destruction of suburban single-family neighborhoods, forcing us all into crowded elevator buildings as permanent renters paying rent to big corporations, is a long-standing goal of power-hungry leftists, and as this vote shows, they are relentless.

Their scheme requires the cooperation of local city councils and county supervisors, which in large measure they have. But people are waking up, and that is what is behind the recall movement in Huntington Beach. It won’t be the last. Go to for more information.

Russ Neal
Huntington Beach

O.C. should get behind combatting climate change

For those of us fortunate enough to live, work and play in a coastal community, climate change cannot be ignored, and solutions must be implemented. Our elected officials must ensure a financially viable transition to clean energy.

I count on our congresswoman, Rep. Michelle Steel, to represent her constituents by supporting federal initiatives such as the Clean Energy Payment Program which would incentivize utilities to utilize clean and renewable energy while penalizing those that continue to emit carbon and other dangerous pollutants. This policy would put us on the path to a 100% clean grid by 2035. Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris is working hard on these issues on behalf of our district by prioritizing green infrastructure and climate change preparedness through bills like AB 63, AB 65 and AB 67. Congress needs to follow our lead in Sacramento!

Nationwide, more than 180 cities have committed to power their communities with 100% clean, renewable energy. A prosperous city and region such as ours should surely be leading the way. We cannot close our eyes to the rising sea level and the destruction being done by wildfires in Northern California and just hope it doesn’t affect us individually.

Call or write your representative to urge immediate federal action on climate change by supporting proposed policies that aim to address the climate crisis, aid America’s economic recovery and alleviate the impacts of fire and water destruction that have already been borne by communities.

Susan Seely
Newport Beach

N.B. council has no say on school masking

While many of us are trying to hold onto our sanity and health while battling the coronavirus, a reactionary conservative movement that many hoped was fading found a source of oxygen to reignite its flame by turning the survival tactics of vaccinations and mask mandates into affronts against personal liberty. While it may seem an illogical idea to many of us, several of its leaders had no qualms about using schools, churches and small businesses as battlegrounds over which to fight their antiscience, antigovernment battles.

Such was the case Aug. 24 when the Newport Beach City Council by a 6-1 vote went against the decisions of the Newport-Mesa Unified, over which they have no authority, and the California Department of Public Health’s mandate for all students to wear masks inside classrooms. The council was eager to push its opposition to following general practices and guidelines, using the voices of vociferous parents as proof of the validity of their political decision. Even though a considerably sized group sent in letters and emails in support of the same guidelines as the other compliant school districts in California, the council used the clamor and emotion of the parents who spoke as proof of their position.

In adopting their resolution brought forth by Councilman Blom: “Supporting local schools as they return to normal and parental choice in deciding whether children should be masked or vaccinated at school,” it should be pointed out that the city has no jurisdiction over NMUSD, which had already made a decision regarding this issue, the school year opened successfully on Aug. 23 with no mask incidents, the current surge is predominantly among younger people, there is no vaccination for children under 12, and hospitalizations for young people are at an all-time high.

Several of these council members intend to run for higher office. I just hope that in the privacy of the voting booth or in their homes, the silent majority remembers the selfishly unwise and politically fueled decisions that have put lives at risk and that they vote accordingly.

Lynn Lorenz
Newport Beach

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