Letters to the Editor

Do the Math on Q

Is anybody else questioning why we have heard so little from anyone about LBUSD’s ballot measure Q? Is it because they are afraid that, if this measure is brought out into the light, the taxpayers of Long Beach will realize that this “bond measure” is nothing more than another tax levied only on property owners within this city?

I have found barely any mention about this measure in any of our local media sources. Nothing was printed about this measure in the beautiful four-page flyer I just received in the mail from the City of Long Beach, claiming to be a “voter information guide” on all of the local measures being contested in the upcoming election.

Do your own math. If you’re a property owner in Long Beach, this new measure will increase your property taxes an additional $60 per $100,000 of assessed valuation. Reportedly, a median assessed valuation of a home in this city is $519,300. That would mean a tax increase of $311.58 per year.

The final fiscal year in which the tax to be levied to fund this bond is estimated to be FY 2061-2062. If you or a family member were to own your property for that period of time, that would mean an additional $12,152 in property tax.

Now, add that amount to the four school bonds that have been passed in the last 14 years (Measure E-2008, Measure K-2008, Measure LB-2016, Measure E-2016) and you will find that you are paying an additional $1,012.65 per year in taxes to fund these bonds. Extrapolate that out over the period of time you expect to own your property and you will see just how expensive these bond issues have become.

Remember, if your property’s assessed valuation is higher than the “median,” you will pay more. Just look at your latest tax bill and do the math.

If you are a property owner (any kind of property) in the City of Long Beach, please do the math. It’s no wonder they don’t want to talk about this issue in public.

Bill Stroud

This letter addresses Measure Q on the November ballet. In 2016 Measure E was passed for $20B and was to be paid by a bond that would be paid in full in 2036. Measure Q is asking for another $1.7B that is for basically the same things that were to be paid for by measure E. What happened to all the bond money we have paid in the last six years and still have 16 more years to pay?

In my opinion this appears to be greed and a double taxation. The LBUSD should be investigated to find out why they require so much money and where it is going. Vote no on Measure Q.

M.L. Roberts

 

No New Taxes

As the winning plaintiff in the illegal water-taxation lawsuit in the city of Long Beach, I am very familiar with the constant money grabbing at City Hall. When you see that rebate on your water bill, you can thank me and Suzie Price who supported refunding those monies. All her opposition did was to fret about how he was going to replace that money.

Make no mistake. The political machine at City Hall is all about wringing as much money as they can from cash-strapped taxpayers for their frivolous pet projects. They will use every excuse in the book to con voters into voting for bonds or other various taxes.

The only way you can prevent this unbridled taxation and frivolous spending of your hard-earned dollars is to move to another state, hide all your assets in an overseas trust account or vote.! If you don’t vote, then don’t complain.

Diana Lejins
Long Beach Taxpayers Union

 

$99,917 Brochure

It’s not the first nor will it be the last time this happens, so long as the status quo remains. [City Squanders $99,917, Page 1]

Instead of booklets maybe put some port-a-potties on corners that need it.

Christine Dosland

Unbelievable what the city attorney says they can get away with it!

Laura Baker Brewer

This needs to be compulsory reading by every citizen. I’m gonna post a link to Nextdoor and see if it helps. Thanks, Ian for venting [Veiled Advocacy Communications, Page 1] in such a masterful manner.

Anne Profitt

Abe Lincoln supposedly said “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” But you can’t fool Ian Patton at any time.

Thanks for laying that out Ian,  but we are at a disadvantage here. We don’t have $99K to mail your explanation to all the high propensity voters. We just have to hope that the voters read the ballot arguments, smell a rat and vote no on all the charter amendments.

Corliss Lee

Thank you and the Beachcomber for filling in the blanks on these propositions.

Does the LB Reform Coalition have a YouTube or other social media outlet that will help get the word out on such issues?

Thomas Poehler

 

Pushy Cindy

Another great piece [Page 5]. thank you Steve and Beachcomber.

I hope Rodolfo sues the City of Long Beach and Cindy Allen. I also hope he gets to share his story on a more personal level soon.

There is something really disturbing happening here, a bigger picture, the suppression of the public’s right to engage public officials, to ask questions and to critique them. These public officials swore to uphold the constitution.

Perhaps they missed the part about the First Amendment. Or perhaps they missed the part about public officials in California and the Brown Act.

Carlos Ovalle

 

Mayor Race

Unfortunately, The Who had it right: “meet the new boss, same as the old boss.” Both Long Beach mayoral candidates are shaping up to be just as good at evading communication from citizens as Robert Garcia has been.

I had seen on the local TV news that California Senate Bill 1100, rules for expelling dissenting citizens from public meetings, was about to be added to by Mayor Garcia and the City Council. Wanting more information, I called the office of my district’s city councilor, Suzie Price, who is running for mayor. I was told she was “unavailable” but that I would get a call back.

Moments later, I received a call from the mayor’s office – apparently, I had been shuffled off – and spoke with someone who was incredibly rude and angry. I guess I can’t really blame him: I would be rude and angry too if I had to work for a smirking career politician who is busily stepping on the backs of us citizens in order to get ahead.

I then tried to reach the mayor’s chief of staff and was told he was “unavailable” but would call back. He didn’t. I decided to call the city attorney and was told he was “unavailable” and would remain so. Meanwhile, waiting for these various “unavailable” persons to return my calls, I called Rex Richardson, our vice mayor, who is also running for mayor. I called him five times, leaving messages each time; evidently, no one was available on the phone to announce Mr. Richardson’s unavailability. Still no return call from him or his office, either.

All of these insults are piled on top of the injury of two years ago, during the construction of the disastrous Broadway bike lane which ultimately resulted in the closure of my business on Broadway. All during the extremely disruptive constructive (in a business corridor, during the critical holiday season), I called Mayor Garcia for information on the project many times over the months-long process as I watched my business steadily decline. Again, I was told over and over that he was “unavailable” and would call back. He never did, underlining the “free beer tomorrow” approach to governance to which our city adheres.

It seems that the Robert Garcia modus operandi of making it as intimidating and stifling as possible to contact City Hall carries on, an enduring and painfully obvious attempt to subdue any scrutiny. Already the ability of citizens to address the council at meetings has been severely depressed – dwindling time limits, limits on how many citizens are allowed to speak and so on – making Long Beach’s sudden hurry to be the first to add to the restrictions of Senate Bill 1100 even more frightening. Adding to this is the inexcusably indefinite “unavailability” of city officials, which only stokes my fear that the loss of democracy begins right here in our own city.

These same officials are our employees – we pay their overly-inflated salaries. They work for us, not the other way around and they would not have their coveted positions without being voted in by the very people they choose to ignore.

As these “unavailable” politicians turn their backs on us citizens in their attempted climbs to the top, I am aware that we don’t have much real choice in this election – but what power we have is in our ballots. If you haven’t already, vote! If you don’t like the candidates, write in your own choice and cross your fingers that we won’t get fooled again.

Merry Colvin

 

Water Catchment

WRD is the largest groundwater agency in California. The agency is supposed to be helping create groundwater catchment areas so that our city has a reliable source of drinking water as we face serious drought and water shortages.

Last year, I contacted Mr. Allen about the duck pond near Willow which is badly in need of repair. The duck pond is actually a storm water catchment and turned into a duck pond because people left ducks there and many wild ones flew in. The sidewalk surrounding it is badly broken. The pond gets filled with algae because it is not properly aerated and people throw bread into the water, creating bacteria. Also, the parking lot (when it rains) has oil run off, which pollutes and the golf course sprays pesticide on the course which runs off into the pond.

When there has been raining, the pond and surrounding park area flood and run off on to Willow Street. In the dry season, the city has to use water to water the surrounding park.

Structuring drainage combined with modified recharge wells can be used to catch water runoff. This modification of water catchment areas could make the duck pond area dry quickly after a rain, so the activities of people are not bothered when utilizing the open space provided. Surface runoff water could be absorbed in an open aquifer so that the hydrological balance always be maintained. Adequacy groundwater in the area could be used to water the park and back up for clean water by creating wells and reservoir stocks.

I so informed Mr. Allen and asked if WRD could turn this pond into a groundwater catchment and reconfigure the surrounding area. The land on which El Dorado Park sits has a low water table and possibly could be dug down to let the natural water rise into a new pond. It floods when we have heavy rains. Just north of the duck pond is Willow Street which severely floods when it rains; somehow that water could be directed to the pond.

This could be a win-win for WRD and those of us who want that pond fixed with a sustainable solution. Mr. Allen responded that the duck pond is “LB’s problem.”

The last time I checked, the water ratepayers of Long Beach have been continually assessed to pay WRD for its ‘pumping charges.’ This assessment has increased the monthly water bills Long Beach ratepayers are charged. Developing a sustainable groundwater system in Long Beach is WRD’s problem and should have been funded.”

Gerrie Schipske

Gerrie Schipske is an attorney and water ratepayer advocate who is seeking election to District #3 of the Water Replenishment District.

 

High Gas Prices

How did the cheapest fuel in the USA become the most expensive? What is driving this massive price increase? Some pseudo explanations blame increased demand in China and India Hogwash! I say.

For that matter the United States has left Afghanistan. Just think of the thousands of trucks, armored vehicles, generators, etc. that no longer need to be filled up daily.

Biden has released fuel from the Strategic Reserves This is only a temporary “fix.” The country also went from energy independence to the pathetic position of begging our sometimes friends the Saudi’s to produce more oil.

As far as I know California does not have a special blend for diesel fuel “summer” – “winter.” It’s the same everywhere, unlike gasoline that is special and only refined here in California. No wonder prices are skyrocketing when you consider big rigs, locomotives, farm tractors, pumps, generators, construction equipment and yes, even some cars and pickup trucks, all run on diesel fuel.

What the heck is going on?

Mike Folks

Yup, Leo Mitchell [Letters 10/21/22] is right about California highest gas prices. If he’d seen and breathed the air in the 1960s like I did and understood the term, “capital market failure,“ maybe he’d have an inkling as to why that’s the case.

And California does have the most (fill in the blank) . But it also the most populous state so it’s a no brainer that some “most” categories will be first in California. More people. More of just about everything. It is the largest manufacturing state in the U.S., has the most economically productive agriculture sector, has the largest Gross Domestic Product in the country and (still) the best higher education system in the U.S. Plenty of problems, I agree, the total tax burden is high but not much worse than Texas.

The EDD situation is indeed a fiasco but the DMV, from my experience as a driver for 50 years is not bad at all. But I actually think the U.S. Post Office is good so there must be something wrong with me.

I’m not a registered Democrat but the California Republican Party is a more fitting poster child of insanity. It keeps running candidates that offer mostly criticisms but few if any believable solutions. Simply put, they don’t have anything to sell that the public wants to buy. Instead of coddling the ultra-wealthy and embracing the polluters and destroyers, maybe your candidates will find something they can actually sell and win an election.

Ringo Gato

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