For 2022 The city council of Huntington Beach has asked for the L, M and N Ballot Measures , but why?
In the state of California there are over 480 different cities. Only 120 of them are “Charter Cities”. Essentially this means that the city doesn’t want to be controlled by Sacramento, at least not completely. Huntington Beach is one of the minority charter cities, and Huntington Beach Ballot Measures L, M and N want to change the charter.
The big question for us here at Beach Street News is this, Will these changes make life here better or worse? The fight for city council in Huntington Beach has been big lately. With Tito Ortiz stepping into the ring and getting elected to council, you know there is a lot on the line. The Pandemic highlighted why Huntington Beach is a charter city.
Alphabet Soup Changes
The three ballot measures seek to change how the city council is represented legally. The current city council isn’t happy with the current attorney. Instead of working with him, they want to hire an outside attorney without any cost restrictions at the tax payers expense. Why would they want to do that?
This is the city council that told the city attorney to not fight two state bills. These are the bills that may force another 35,000 or more apartment units in Huntington Beach. Where will those cars park? Where will the people work? If you take out the industrial warehouses along Edinger and build apartments, you lose jobs, increase traffic and crime. “I had a clear path to fight this, and the city council said not too. They said the same thing about working on the homeless problem.” said city attorney Micheal E. Gates.
Hiring a private law firm costs the city a lot of money. City Attorney’s don’t have unlimited budgets, and that is sometimes good for taxpayers like when the city council tried to circumvent Prop 13 and illegally raise property taxes. This hasn’t happened just once. It has happened several times since we started publishing.
Who Does L, M and N benefit?
The L M N Ballot measures all deserve a closer look. Measure C should be a no brainer. Do you want open space or more apartments? Do I need to ask that again?
L M and N all deserve a closer look because they change the cities charter and take voting authority away from the people that live there. When you look at other cities that have cone to private legal council you see that the major benefactor is the lawyers and the city council, not the people that live in the city. Just look inland a couple of miles and look at the headaches in Anaheim.
A private attorney has no accountability to the people of the city. They are incentivized to find ways to increase their billing, even if it is fighting an illegal tax hike. When you look at the cities with major corruption issues like Bell, there was a private attorney guiding the city council.
At the end of the day, the elected city attorney appears to bring some balance to the city council if nothing else. Why would you want to change that? Isn’t the city council supposed to do what is best for the citizens? The way these ballot measures look, the Huntington Beach City Council may be trying to do what is best for their political careers, not the residents and businesses that live there.