Letters to the Editor: April 21, 2011

Towing drags down event

On Saturday, April 2, my friend and I, along with over 5,000 others, participated in the Seal Beach 5K/10K Walk/Run to benefit local charities in town.

As a resident and business owner in Seal Beach I am proud to participate in such community events.  Along with many other event participants, we parked in the McDonald’s lot, where we planned to have a snack after the race. The posted sign read that parking was for customers and there was a 2-hour time limit.

To me, this sign represented an implied contract with which I would gladly abide.   We parked at approximately 7:40 a.m.  Finishing the 5K shortly after 9 a.m., we walked back to the car and arrived at the lot by 9:20 a.m. only to find the car had been towed.

I know of at least seven people who suffered a similar fate during what was otherwise a lovely community event.  I contend that the removal of vehicles was wrongful, arbitrary, and resulted in a huge waste of money, time, and public resources and was in violation of CVC 22953.

Numerous phone calls were made to the Seal Beach Police Department, a squad car and a motorcycle officer were called to the scene because of one shopkeeper’s overzealous conduct. One couple reported being told by a Seal Beach motorcycle officer in front of a barricade that parking in the Bay City Center lot was permissible and there would be no towing.  Families with small children were left stranded without transportation thereby impacting other school and community events in which they were obligated to participate.  Another business in the center was forced to print and distribute “Do Not Tow” signs to their customers for fear of wrongful towing, clearly indicating the random nature of the towings.   CVC 22953 addresses unnecessary towing and the stranding of motorists.  It is clear that motorists were stranded unnecessarily and could have been put at risk as their cell phones, wallets and ID were gone along with their cars.

I hope that the city, event organizers and businesses will enact thoughtful and proactive policies, procedures and practices to ensure that this situation does not occur in the future. We must preserve our city’s reputation for hospitality and, more importantly, prevent putting stranded motorists at unnecessary risk.

Also, I hope the 5K/10K approaches Mr. C’s Towing and asks them to sponsor the event, since they clearly enjoyed great financial gain that day.

Mary McCarthy


Seal Beach


In relation to Bell

The many criticisms of the auditors who did not smoke out the scandals in the city of Bell are partly on target and partly off target. The off target part is that the ones I know about do not put the blame where it belongs—on the electorate of the city of Bell.

It is obvious that when those voters elected their City Council, they did not choose members who would insist that the function of hiring and firing of outside accountants shall be isolated 100 percent from any influence or even appearance of influence by the executives.

The mayor and the other city executives are the persons whose activities and the activities of whose subordinates are subject matter that the auditors were hired to audit.

It is unreasonable to expect accountants to embarrass the persons who hired them and who can fire them. Stupid people do not survive the rigors of becoming Certified Public Accountants.

Mahatma Gandhi put it this way, “Blaming the wolf will not help the sheep much. The sheep must learn not to fall into the clutches of the wolf.”

Willis A. (Bill) Frambach


Seal Beach