Editor's note: This editorial was submitted as a response to the letter, "Michael Jackson Offers Broader Perspective," published Friday morning.
I’m running for re-election to the Redondo Beach City Council District 2 to continue the resident-focused vision and policy I’ve championed for the last 11 years, both as an activist and your councilman.
I have four years of experience managing our city during the worst economic times since the Great Depression. I’m a proven leader who partnered with Council colleagues and City employees to reform employee pensions and maintain excellent emergency services while balancing our budget every year without raising taxes or dipping into our reserves.
Employee pensions were crippling Redondo Beach; our recently retired fire chief is making almost $240,000 per year in retirement. It took over three years, but the pension reform I pushed, along with others, will save Redondo millions in the future.
City employee unions like the police and fire unions are not endorsing any incumbents. I think the reason is obvious. I think it’s a conflict of interest, as your representative to accept the endorsement of employee unions as one of my opponents, Michael Jackson, has done.
Early in my term, as your council member, I worked collaboratively over an 18-month period with neighboring cities, State Sen. Ted Lieu, the Blue Ribbon Commission of the State Department of Fish and Wildlife, the boating community and businesses of King Harbor to implement a Marine Life Protection Area off Point Vicente in Palos Verdes, instead of Rocky Point. This saved over $17 million in economic activity in our Harbor. That’s why the Chief Operating Officer of Port Royal Marina, Kevin Ketchum said:
“Councilman Brand led a compromise with officials and agencies at all levels of government to establish a Marine Life Protection Area off Point Vicente, which saved King Harbor millions in economic activity. He proved himself a champion for local businesses, boaters and the fishing community, while maintaining his strong environmental stewardship.”
One of my campaign promises in 2009 was to rid Torrance Boulevard of the Redondo Car Wash eyesore that was blighting our community. I worked very hard for three years to see that it was finally demolished.
Like the power plant site, current zoning allows this to happen again, so we need to remove automotive uses as even a conditional use in this gateway to our harbor.
Mayor Mike Gin and I testified before the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board in 2010 to prevent the closure of the Seaside Lagoon, and to reduce our exposure to fines that could reach in the millions.
Also in 2010, I initiated the Moonstone Park master plan that eventually raised $2.4 million from Chevron USA for a new park. Successfully pushing for a master plan—even though there was no funding—is why we had a plan that Chevron could fund when the opportunity came along.
All throughout my term I have been fostering better relations with the Redondo Beach School Board. We recently completed a land swap that will provide them flexibility at the Franklin School site on Inglewood Avenue, and the city a site for a new police station at 200 N. Pacific Coast Highway.
Now, I’m endorsed for re-election by two School Board Members, Todd Loewenstien and Drew Gamet. I am also endorsed by; the Sierra Club, the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters, our State Senator, Ted Lieu, and our new State Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi.
I also fought successfully to get Measure G Harbor zoning before the voters. It took a lawsuit, but four judges agreed with my interpretation of our City Charter and lone voice on the Council by ordering Measure G on the ballot. While I opposed the zoning, and District 2 residents voted against it, the building height increases in our Harbor, and the additional 400,000 square feet of development it allows on top of the 940,000 square feet already there passed city-wide.
Now that it has passed, I’ve been working closely with Mayor Gin and my colleagues on the Council to lead the waterfront revitalization while protecting resident quality of life, especially those of the Village and Seascape residents.
As important as all of the above, I have spent the last four years responding to individual resident concerns that affect our daily lives. Whether it was tree trimming, view protection, speed cushions, parking enforcement or conflict resolution, individual resident concerns will always be a top priority for me as your councilman.
Ignore the last minute smear campaign being waged by Michael Jackson and his supporters. To gain your support they craft negative mailers, hurl insults and mislead voters by attempting to paint me as a one-issue candidate. Hopefully the above incomplete synopsis of my work over the last four years dispels that myth for you.
Notice I didn’t even mention that I also co-authored Measure A to phase-out the power plant on our coast. Mr. Jackson opposes Measure A, but has not presented any strategy whatsoever to prevent another 50 years of a power plant here in Redondo. In fact, his do-nothing attitude will result in a new power plant. Yes on Measure A!
Mr. Jackson is a conflicted candidate as the incoming Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce. They’ve donated $1,500 to his campaign. The Chamber and Mr. Jackson describe the 3-story building heights and almost 50 percent increase in Harbor development as "modest." Will his allegiance be with businesses, or residents?
To unseat your representative, Mr. Jackson has raised over $25,000 in campaign contributions for the District 2 Council seat, with 90 percent of it coming from outside of Redondo Beach. Only six residents from District 2 have donated to his campaign, with the rest coming from businesses and residents from 25 different cities. Again, where will his allegiances lie as your representative? Go to this link billbrand.org to see the campaign filings of the District 2 candidates.
More residents from Sacramento have donated to Mr. Jackson’s campaign than residents from District 2. He was a registered lobbyist for years, which is explains these lop-sided, out of town donations. Here’s a link to his registration.
I’m a long-term Redondo resident—I first swam in the Seaside Lagoon when I was 8 years old. I went on to earn a degree in chemical engineering at Long Beach State, an MBA from USC with a concentration in finance, and have worked for American Airlines at LAX for 34 years.
Experience, work ethic and genuine concern for resident quality or life are what drive me.
While I can’t promise agreement on every issue, I can promise my full attention to your needs and ideas.
“Bill Brand is the model leader! In times where trustworthy politicians are a rare breed, it is nice to know that Bill Brand is here serving my local community providing the insight, drive and leadership we need.”
—Scott Kaplan, District 2 resident/Business Executive/PTA Member
I respectfully ask for your vote to represent District 2 of Redondo Beach for another four years.
Visit my website at billbrand.org or call anytime, 310-809-4405.
Don’t forget to vote, Tuesday, March 5.
Councilman, District 2