Perhaps, with $600,000 spent cumulatively on recent Huntington Beach elections, resulting in some 2 million pieces of campaign mail distributed in favor of or opposition to candidates or issues, the messages, rather than the messengers, might have prevailed ("Council picks likely cemented," Nov. 4). They all appeared to be business people promising something. With all the data and technology at everyone's disposal, the election results are perhaps less a phenomena of the People Have Spoken and more the result of using fear with our residents of what could happen if certain people were elected or if certain initiatives passed or failed.
I like a diverse council; it encourages healthy debate and usually good compromise. We will definitely have one this time. Hopefully, they can learn to legislate together rather than the usual jockeying around for the win at any cost.
In my opinion, the community missed a huge opportunity. Fred Speaker has a heart of gold, passion to make sure Huntington Beach stayed the course financially and the experience to help find solutions to pension reform, budget restraints and managed growth without scaring the heebee jeebies out of the rest of us. Speaker would have been the council leader we needed to move from a few past years of individual agenda politics to a focus on community-wide issues.
I am looking forward to Connie Boardman's experience, Matthew Harper's conservative fiscal base, Joe Carchio's maturing as a political leader after his initial four years on the job training and, whether it remains Joe Shaw or the emerging challenger Barbara Delgleize as the fourth council person, their honest and earnest desire to help lead.
Can't we all just get along ... who said that? Perhaps it has become generational!
Editor's note: Garofalo is the former mayor of Huntington Beach and the publisher of the Local News.
Best wishes for new leaders
Congratulations to the winners in 2010, and to all the new candidates who took the time and effort to run for City Council ("Council picks likely cemented," Nov. 4). We won't see that many hopefuls for at least two election cycles (2012 and 2014) because of newly minted incumbents running for reelection. Same as 2006 and 2008. I am especially gratified that two community-oriented candidates (Team Huntington Beach members Connie Boardman and Joe Shaw) have seemingly won, and will wear the mantle that Jill Hardy had assumed in recent years. I would certainly like to see Jill back on the council in 2012. To all of the winners, especially newcomer Matthew Harper, remember that, despite your allegiances to your constituencies and backers, you will now be representing all of the residents of Huntington Beach. I hope the new council will make our citizens proud.
Honoring veterans in the classroom
Every year around Veterans Day, the American Legion Huntington Beach Post 133 sends its members into the classrooms of Huntington Beach.
These veterans present to the children what Veterans Day is and what it stands for. They demonstrate the proper way to display the U.S. flag. They also talk about their personal experiences during their war era. After the presentation, the children are given an opportunity to ask these veterans questions.
Many of these veterans bring along pictures and memorabilia from their service and war era. These legionnaires also give each boy and girl a patriotic folder. These folders present a little bit about Veterans Day, the United States Constitution, flag etiquette, some important dates in American history, the Pledge of Allegiance and a brief description of the American Legion.
Most of these children have no understanding or concept of war, except what they see on television or in video games. The veterans attempt to educate them about military service, especially that most servicemen and women are not involved in direct combat.
The teachers express thanks for these visits, and hopefully the children leave with a better understanding of Veterans Day, the military and veterans. After all, Veterans Day is to celebrate and honor those who gave of their time to serve their country.
Editor's note: Bauer is an adjutant for Post 133.