Mailbag: Mayor’s claims about housing in H.B. ignore the high cost

The Huntington Gardens apartment complex on Florida Street.
A Daily Pilot reader writes that housing in Huntington Beach is too expensive for residents’ children and grandchildren. Pictured, the Huntington Gardens apartment complex on Florida Street.
(Raul Roa)

In recent Daily Pilot reporting (Warning delivered to Huntington Beach City Council as it again considers suing state over housing mandates, Daily Pilot, Jan. 12), Mayor Tony Strickland notes that California has lost nearly 120,000 people in the last census and has lost a seat in the House of Representatives. The implication is that increasing housing cannot possibly be an emergency. I can certainly forgive Mayor Strickland for misunderstanding the local conditions here in Huntington Beach so badly, as he has only been a resident a handful of years. In fact, the main threat to our city’s identity as a comfortable suburban beach community is the fact that our children and grandchildren cannot afford to live in their hometown. Early-career professionals setting up a household in our city can look forward to rent-burdens of around 60% of a (good) starting salary, leaving little to begin a college-savings plan or pay childcare. When our children start their careers in Ohio or Idaho or Massachusetts, we will have the short-sighted arguments of Mayor Strickland to thank. Who among us would rather face a 10-hour battle with John Wayne or LAX instead of an extra 15 minutes in crosstown traffic to visit with our grandchildren? Who among us would prefer that our children be a part of the California Exodus, when simply building housing for them will keep them close by? Indeed, without dramatically increasing housing opportunities in the city, instead of a sleepy beach town, the mayor will have transformed the city into a playground for those with generational wealth — not exactly what he campaigned upon, and not exactly what anyone voted for.

Galen Pickett
Huntington Beach

Rouda a good choice for Congress

I heartily concur with the observations of letter writer Lynn Lorenz (“Porter’s announcement is not unexpected”, Mailbag, Jan. 13). Beyond Porter‘s obvious qualifications to serve in the U.S. Senate, she would bring a needed balance to our state representation. It is an odds on bet that a female candidate would be a better fit to replace the presumptively retiring Dianne Feinstein. While there are many talented and qualified Democrat male officials such as Adam Schiff and Ro Khanna who are electable, we should desire a balance in gender representation alongside Sen. Alex Padilla. Also, for the first time in decades, we would have two U.S. Senators under 50. Besides, we need Rep. Schiff and Rep. Barbara Lee in the House to stabilize our state representation in that body. Porter has an excellent back-up waiting in the wings in former Rep. Harley Rouda, who has already demonstrated his ability to take on Republican males like Dana Rohrabacher and Scott Baugh and, with former Republican opponent Michelle Steel in a different district now, he is the most familiar and formidable candidate going forward. Our 47th District would be in good hands. Rouda would be able to hit the ground running if elected in 2024. He would be able to appeal to moderates and crossover Republicans as well in something of a toss-up district. We need other potential interested officials like O.C. Supervisor Katrina Foley and state Sen. Dave Min to keep representing Orange County effectively.

I also agree with letter writer Ben Miles that a party unified early around a well-qualified and well-respected candidate like Rouda could effect a smooth transition in representation if Porter receives the Senate nomination.

Tim Geddes
Huntington Beach

Support our coverage by becoming a digital subscriber.