Mailbag: No A grade for Measure Z

I am a resident who has lived in Huntington Beach for 45 years, and I will be voting no on Measure Z ("Pro tax group gets signs up," Sept. 20).

I live here because this is one of the best cities in California. Why? We have the best parks, cleanest beaches, excellent police and fire protection, senior citizen services, great libraries and the list goes on. If we vote for Measure Z, we know that there will have to be another reduction in services. I pay a very small amount to make sure that I receive these services — services that make this community the best place to live and raise families.

If you vote yes on Measure Z, it will not do what the proponents intend. They want our employees to address the issue of pensions, but this is not the way to do it. We will still have an obligation to pay these pension costs, so we will lose $4.2 million each and every year far into the future, which automatically means some services will have to be cut. Do the math, over a period of 25 years this adds up to greater than $100 million.

The proponents want to put pressure on the employees, but this is not the way to do it. It is the responsibility of the City Council to sit down with employee groups and negotiate any changes they feel appropriate, including the implementation of pension reforms (i.e. maximizing employee contributions and a two-tier plan for new hires).

In fact, this council and the labor groups have already made great progress on both of these reform measures and expect full implementation in 2013 with the negotiation of new contracts. It is not the responsibility for me, as a homeowner, to do their work.

I, as a voter and new Huntington Beach resident, decided that this obligation could be paid for with a very small contribution (currently $6.25 a month) from me as a homeowner. It was worth it, for I was getting some of the best services a citizen could wish for, and now I don't want to see cuts in our fire and police department, libraries, senior services and all of the others that are being considered, if we lose $4.2 million.

Let's keep Huntington Beach the best place to live in California. Reject Measure Z and ensure that we can still keep Huntington Beach beautiful and receive important services.

Shirley Dettloff

Huntington Beach


Council has spoken on Pierside

It is appalling and maddening to me that a new developer can encroach with massive buildings onto the 60-foot 3rd Street right-of-way between Pacific Coast Highway and Walnut Avenue ("Pierside Pavilion plans Okd," Sept. 20).

The city vacated this street right-of-way 25 years ago to provide a view corridor, pedestrian walkway and public amenities instead of a street.

It was not to be "buildable" area.

When the City Council voted to vacate the street, no staff member or staff report indicated that the corridor would be temporary.

I, for one, would never have voted to vacate the street if staff had indicated that the 60-foot corridor would remain only until a new owner wanted to redevelop.

And I bet if they had known, Pier Colony homeowners would never have bought "view" units either.

Can we never assure our residents of anything?

Grace Winchell

Huntington Beach

The writer served on the Huntington Beach City Council from 1986 to 1994.

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