Letters to the Editor: Aug. 26, 2010

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Smear campaign

At the last Los Alamitos City Council meeting, Dave Emerson stood before the council during its oral communication portion of the meeting and said that he hoped this year’s election would be carried out in a civil manner.

Then two days later he posted a Letter to the Editor in a local newspaper that initiated a smear campaign against Troy Edgar and Dean Zarkos.

He castigated them for removing Brad Sheridan from the Traffic Commission and Art DeBolt from the Planning Commission.

Brad Sheridan is a lawyer with no training in traffic engineering.

Art De Bolt is a real estate broker with no training in civic planning. Contrast that with the people that are Dave Emerson’s preferred candidates, Parker and Driscoll, kicked off of commissions just because they were appointed by a council of which I was a member, not because they talked out and denigrated the council majority.

They removed from the Fine Arts Commission a professional artist, a Broadway producer and director and a Shakespearean acting.

Now, if these people were not qualified to serve on a Fine Arts Commission, I don’t know who is. Certainly they were more “qualified” to serve on their commission than Sheridan and DeBolt were to serve on theirs.

And guess what? Not a peep was heard from Dave Emerson when these highly “qualified” people were removed from the Fine Arts Commission by the Parker/Driscoll council majority.

Besides, Sheridan and DeBolt were not removed because they objected to the trash contract. They were removed because they continue, along with Dave Emerson, to denigrate the Council majority.

Emerson keeps touting his 22-year residence in the city of Los Alamitos, like it makes him an authority on City Council actions and procedures of the past.

I’ll match my 47 years of residence in the city to his 22 years any time when it comes to recalling the history of City Council actions and procedures.

In fact, I spent 26 years on the City Council compared to Emerson’s 22 years living in the city. The City Council operates the same today as it has in the past.

Chuck Sylvia

Los Alamitos

Citizens’ responsibility

Much ado about something. Salaries and perks of small city officials are increasingly coming under scrutiny by citizens.

For example, the total compensation of the city manager of Seal Beach, population roughly 26,000, is $274,390, while the total compensation of the city manager of Mission Viejo, population 100,242 (almost four times that of Seal Beach) is $260,122, some $14,000 less than the city manager of Seal Beach.

There may be extenuating circumstances that might explain such widely varying costs per citizen for a city manager but I’m not aware of them.

I am aware, however, that it is the citizens’ responsibility to understand the costs of running their cities. This I’m trying to do: by asking questions or, in this case, asking the local newspaper to ask the questions.

I’m also asking for an explanation of the article “Seal Beach is in the Black” in the August 19, 2010 Sun that states on the first page that the city’s revenues are expected to exceed expenses by $503,700 which contrasts with the statement on page 8 that expenses are projected to be $33.7 million while revenue is projected to be $26.6 million.

These statements do not equate.

Jane Howland

College Park East

Seal Beach

Letters to the Editor: Aug. 26, 2010