Some members of the current City Council want to eliminate some minuscule tax that partially funds the police ("Tax for pensions on ballot," July 5). Well, guess what! The Police Department is not owned by the HB City Council; it owned by me and the other HB homeowners. My property tax dollars are being put to good use, and I don't like it when someone starts to tinker with my police or fire department. I know that based on the cost versus effective value, we residents are getting a good deal on law enforcement. Just look around. HB has the finest beach in the U.S. and is a nice place to live. It's why we enjoy such great property values. And anyone with a basic understanding of law enforcement knows that the HBPD is viewed as the finest police department in Orange County.
That's why other police departments contract for the use of our helicopter; which is good deal for the HB residents. Those fees help to pay for Surf City's anti-crime helicopter capability. Reducing my property tax by a few grandstanding nickels is a joke. If a couple of folks on the City Council feel the need to mess with our police officers, then increase my property tax by a few nickels and buy another helicopter. I like HB, and I want a police department that has the tools to keep it that way.
John F. Hill
Important to have varied council
I do not believe that benefits should be taken away from Huntington Beach City Council members ("Council talks of cutting benefits," July 5). It is true that only those of completely independent means would be most likely to run.
However, $30,000 per member per year for health insurance is way out of line. What kind of health insurance costs that much per year per person?
I believe that health benefit cost should be renegotiated and reduced considerably. There can be a co-insurance amount from each council member if they choose to be on the plan. That should save the city quite a bit of money.
One day of the Fourth is enough
We don't need a Fourth of July Festival. It takes up the only public parking lot north of the pier for five-plus days during one of the busiest times of the year. We are already overly impacted with people for the parade, fireworks and beach. We shouldn't be adding a carnival to pull business from the downtown merchants who are in for the long haul. I can't believe that this is generating more money for the city than parking would. We also don't need a private valet company taking up five limited on-street parking spaces at Olive Avenue and Main Street as a staging area to park cars in the parking structure that would fill up anyway.
Touched by columnist's story
Regarding "A play on perceptions," Unveiled: A Muslim Girl in OC, June 21:
This was one of most outstanding columns that I have had the pleasure to read. Her treatment of Muslim/Jewish relations was inspirational. The story of taking her Jewish friend to a mosque could serve as a primer on race relations. The sprinkling of humor made it a great read. How often do we see a Muslim/Jew story that is positive and gives us hope? I'm no Pollyanna. I'm a crusty, cynical old guy, but it even gave me hope.
During my 12 years on the HB City Council, I interacted with many reporters and read all the articles. In my view, this one is Pulitzer material.
Since I'm writing, I want to congratulate everyone associated with the Independent. You certainly easily win the battle of the HB weeklies. People frequently ask me, "What's the best way to keep informed on city issues?" I always say, "Get an Independent every Thursday."