Is there a conflict of interest on the Redondo Beach City Council regarding the AES repowering debate? A debate whose outcome—denial of a future operating license—seems so obvious to even the most casual observer.
Councilman Steven Diels was the only councilman to oppose directing staff to draft a resolution opposing AES repowering. He says the resolution will “complicate” things—huh? He also parrots the words of AES in saying it is too soon for the city to oppose AES repowering even though AES has filed plans with the state, has presented plans to the City Council and publicly stated their intent to apply for a new license in June. Could Councilman Diels' objectivity and impartiality, in a historically important decision for Redondo Beach, be clouded by the fact that he has received campaign contributions from AES, who also contributed $15,000 toward improving a park in his district?
We expect our elected representatives to act impartially and with integrity in public debates. His past and present actions cast doubt on his interest in achieving this. He should look in his mirror and decide whether now is the appropriate time to recuse himself from participation in future AES repowering debates, whose outcome is so critical to Redondo Beach’s future quality of life.
Why was Steve Diels the only Redondo Beach Councilman to vote against the motion for the council to (consider) a resolution opposing a new power plant at the AES site? Does the public realize that Diels received $3,000 from AES for his councilman campaign? Does the public know that AES also contributed $15,000 to a park in Diels' district?
So, when Diels laments that a resolution to oppose a new power plant will "complicate things," just what is he referring to as being "complicated?" Almost in the same breath, Diels mimicked the words of AES Southland President Eric Pendergraft, stating that it's too soon for the city to oppose AES rebuilding. Too soon? Knowing that AES intends to formally file with the CEC this quarter and that time is of the essence? Too soon for what and who? Too soon for AES to get their ducks in a row and ensure that we, the citizens of Redondo have no voice?
Redondo residents are smarter than that. Smart enough to step higher over what Diels is apparently shoveling—shoveling he labels as "complexity" and "non-collaborative." Thanks, Councilman Diels, for having such an unbiased and non-personal agenda about the most significant issue affecting our city for future generations!
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