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Blog: Does the Truth Matter?

One more reason not to vote for Measure A.

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.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Grant Patterson February 28, 2013 at 11:19 PM
Mary, paid signature gathers doesn't mean paying people to sign. It simply means paying someone to sit at a store with a signature ballet measure that has the same information on it that the one that i had as a volunteer. Therefore "mudslinger" does it really matter if it was a volunteer or paid signature gatherer. Again you are simply diverting the conversation away from the reason for the Measure which is all the blight, pollution and unneeded power that a new plant would give Redondo. Luckily in 4 more days we will never have to communicate again.
Kelly Sarkisian March 01, 2013 at 01:39 AM
I assumed that you would understand, I'll try to explain further. Omission of important facts (1/3 of signatures were collected through paid consultants), that ultimately dilutes the intent of your message in less than truthful. By misrepresenting those facts, the strength of your citizen based initiave is weakened. You have claimed no knowledge of any of the signature gatherers that misrepresented the facts. When you pay a firm to gather signatures, they fervently gather them in an attempt to earn more cash. Cash based initiaves will garner signatures, by people who will misrepresent the facts to get a signature (and their payment) at all costs. This is where measure a had signature gatherers stating, "Get rid of the power plant, sign here!" which misrepresents the strength of measure a. At every turn, measure a folks (and their paid agents) misrepresent the facts to the public and state agencies to further their cause. You say AES does the same thing yet your side of the street is just as dirty. Jim answer these quick questions: What was the contract price per signature? What was the maximum number of signatures npp was willing to pay for/dollar amount or blank check? What kind of documented training was provided to the paid signature gatherers?
Kelly Sarkisian March 01, 2013 at 01:41 AM
Me too Grant!
Grant Patterson March 01, 2013 at 09:18 PM
Mary and Kelly, the problem is i keep getting email notifications that you are both still posting. you stop and i stop?
Kelly Sarkisian March 02, 2013 at 12:18 AM
No reply from Jim or his underlings, I guess my questions were too tough!


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