If you want me to vote for a person or an idea, you better tell me the truth. Because as soon as I find out you aren’t telling me the truth, not only do you lose any chance of my support, you guarantee my opposition.
I’ve expressed my opposition to Measure A in the past for a number of reasons: it’s a stupid idea; it’s unprecedented; it isn’t supported by any public officials other than a few locals who may well see their property values increase substantially by removing the power plant.
So for me, misrepresenting facts is just one more reason to oppose Measure A, but it’s also an important reason. Taking liberties with the truth says a lot about the nature of the argument and the integrity of the people making the argument.
Here’s an example. I got an email plea to support Measure A that included this statement:
"Around 2000, AES worked with the City to squeeze zoning for 1,500 condos on their property. The City released this as the Heart of the City plan in 2002. Shockingly, our Planning Commission and City Council approved this plan unanimously despite strong resident opposition."
The truth is that Heart of the City was never approved by the city council. In fact, it was never voted on by the city council. The truth matters.
Here’s another example. City council re-election candidate Bill Brand sent a message to potential voters that included this statement to support his claim that Measure A will produce $8.4 million in revenue for the city: "Do the math, it’s easy! 800 hotel rooms x $300/room x 365 days x .8 (80% occupancy) x 0.12 = $8,409,600/year just from bed tax on the hotel rooms…"
Well, here’s the real math. Redondo Beach currently has about 1000 hotel rooms. They get about 75 percent occupancy. That means on an average night 750 hotel rooms are paid for and occupied.
Most informed observers agree Redondo Beach doesn’t need 800 new hotel rooms. Do you know why? We can only rent 750 of the 1000 we have now. Do the math, it’s easy!
If we were renting somewhere near the 1,000-room capacity on a consistent basis, an argument could be made to add some more but probably not 80 percent more. Unless something changes like they move the airport or Disneyland closer to Redondo Beach, we will host approximately 750 hotel room renters per night for the foreseeable future.
Bill Brand and Jim Light don’t understand these basic facts yet they want you to allow them to guide our city’s policies for the next 4 years as council members and for much more than 4 years by passing Measure A. Suggesting Redondo Beach needs 800 new hotel rooms can only be one of two things—ignorance or an attempt to mislead.
A small army of volunteers got some smart and responsible people to sign the petition to place Measure A on the ballot by asking them if they wanted to sign a petition that would get rid of the power plant.
The truth is, Measure A will change the zoning of the AES land. It has absolutely no power to shut down the power plant nor does it have any effect on the process AES has embarked on to get a new permit from the California Energy Commission. The truth matters.
In other words, Measure A does not get rid of the power plant. After 7,000 Redondo residents were tricked into signing the petition, Bill Brand stated these facts in public testimony in front of the Redondo Beach School Board.
If you were one of the citizens who was duped into signing the petition or if you’ve been following the war of words over Measure A, that has to be extremely confusing. Did you believe Measure A would shut down the power plant? If so, why was Councilman Brand telling the school board Measure A will not shut down the power plant?
Here’s a question for my fellow Redondo Beach voters. If the truth matters to you as much as it does to me, don’t you have to wonder why it doesn’t matter as much to Bill Brand and Jim Light?
Read more about Measure A at Building The Best Redondo.