Does it bother you when political candidates state one position to one group in order to get their vote and then turn around and say just the opposite to another group to get their vote? This is happening now in the Huntington Beach City Council election. Team Huntington Beach (Connie Boardman, Joe Shaw and Blair Farley) each told an audience of senior citizens at the Michael E. Rodgers Seniors' Center on Sept. 22 that, if the city wins its appeal, as a council person:
1.I will vote to place the new senior center in the Huntington Central Park location approved by voters (Measure T, November 2006 election).
2.I will vote to use developer fees (Quimby Act money) from the Pacific City project up to a maximum of $20 million to pay for building of the voter-approved new senior center.
Contrast these comments with Team Huntington Beach's responses to another group, the Huntington Beach Downtown Residents Assn. Check the candidates' responses on that website (http://www.hbdra.com).
Boardman: "The Quimby Act money should be used on-site [Pacific City project]...not for a senior center miles away...Rather than constructing a huge new senior center, the city must focus on providing services such as meals on wheels and the noon lunch program."
Fact check: The proposed center is the minimum size to provide for the senior population of Huntington Beach. The size is equivalent to the senior population ratio used in other Orange County cities. The Huntington Beach senior center is providing the services mentioned by Boardman and is considered one of the best in the county in providing these services, in spite of struggling in the most inadequate facility in Orange County.
Shaw: "We cannot seriously consider spending one dollar on a new senior center until we know that programs for seniors will not be eliminated."
Fact check: No senior programs are in danger of being cut. The 2011 city budget was approved Sept. 20…no cuts in senior services.
In my opinion, this tactic by Mr. Shaw is a trick designed to fool the voters and disguise his record of consistent and vocal opposition to a new senior center.
Farley: "I am opposed to using park land at Central Park to construct this Senior Center"
Fact check: The city cannot afford to buy land for a senior center. If the city does not use a mere five voter-approved acres (a barren excavation site) out of the 356-acre Central Park, there will be no new senior center. The city does not have money to buy new land for the project. Our senior citizens will remain in an undersized, inadequate, 65-year-old building without air conditioning…the worst in Orange County.
The brave and unselfish people who saved this nation and the world by their heroic efforts in World War II are now in their eighties, vulnerable and need an adequate senior center to assist them in what years remain to them. Is denying them a senior center how Boardman, Shaw and Farley say thank you?
Editor's note: Sullivan is a former mayor of Huntington Beach.
Councilman needs bar of soap
It appears that in the last few weeks, readers have voiced concern as to the lack of decorum and hostile attitudes during council meetings. The Oct. 4 meeting put all that as G-rated based on one council member's comments. During an exchange on Measure O impacts, Councilman Devin Dwyer to me crossed the line on the dais with his ill-worded statements about a mailer that went out. It is documented on the city website video that at 24:43 minutes, he called it "crap," and at 25:12 minutes, he called it "horse [expletive]."
Is this the language you want our council to use in a public forum? What if kids were watching or attending this meeting with an interest in public service? Does this set a good example? I doubt it.
It is not whether you agree or disagree with him; it is his lack of command of the English language on the dais, and I feel he owes an apology for this. This seems to be a trend with him, and I do hope that he is reprimanded by his fellow council members and thinks before using offensive language or going into long diatribes. My real hope is that the next wave of council members restores some civility to the dais.