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Posts Tagged ‘City Council’

By John Earl
OC Voice Editor

Based on information taken from a variety of sources, including the H.B. City Council Candidates Forum held on Sept. 18, as well as from Voice news stories, interviews and from campaign literature provided by the candidates.

Desalination plant

Desalination plant

Q. How would you solve the potential water shortage crisis in Huntington Beach and should ocean water be privatized for corporate profit? Is the Poseidon desalination plant (planned for southeast Huntington Beach) a good idea?

Kalmick: Conservation. Encourage but not mandate people to get rid of their lawns. Desalination for Huntington Beach is the wrong solution. The location is wrong and no one has offered to buy the water yet. Poseidon Inc. hasn’t successfully built a plant yet. Its Tampa Bay desalination plant went through two bankruptcies before the municipal water district had to take it over. And the H.B. plant would be twice the size. We don’t need it. Privatized water sets a bad precedent for water wars that are allegedly coming in the next 20 years. A 2007 Coastal Commission report raises questions about the project that Poseidon hasn’t answered. Electricity costs for running the plant are double what Poseidon said. Doesn’t make sense financially to build it.

Fact check: The Poseidon plant will be built with private funds, although the company seeks government subsidies in order to keep a lower price for the water it will sell. (more…)

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Based on information taken from a variety of sources, including the H.B. City Council Candidates Forum held on Sept. 18, as well as from Voice news stories, interviews and from campaign literature provided by the candidates.

Q. How would you speed up construction of the new senior center on 5-acres of land in Central Park?

Pacific City present time. Photo by John Earl

Pacific City present time. Photo by John Earl

Issue background: Makar, the developer that agreed to build the senior center in Central Park in lieu of providing park space in its downtown mixed-use development, Pacific City, is behind schedule in construction of the $22 million structure, according to the city’s interpretation (opa-correspondence1)of the Owner Participation Agreement (OPA). The $22 million construction amount (or fee if the developer backs out) is based on an appraisal of the Fair Market Value the Pacific City site, located downtown at PCH and 1st. The city appraised the land for about twice that amount, but a court ruled that its appraiser was under qualified and Makar’s appraisal technique was more accurate (makar-park-fee-arbitration-award2). (more…)

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Isn’t $250,000 Enough?

By John Earl
OC Voice Editor

Hansen

As a candidate for governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger proclaimed “I don’t need to take any [campaign contribution] money from anybody else; I have plenty of money myself.”

And he warned that, “Any of those kinds of real, big, powerful special interests, if you take money from them, you owe them something.”

Five years later, Governor Schwarzenegger has collected over $124 million in campaign contributions from special interest groups, the largest chunk, over $20 million, coming from real estate, development and construction concerns, according to ArnoldWatch.org. And critics say he has served the needs of corporations over the needs of the people.

While cynics, who lament the loss of “one person one vote” to “one dollar one vote,” created by corporate donors and PACS, and call for public financing of campaigns as a solution, Huntington Beach Councilmember Don Hansen and some of his colleague’s think they have a better idea: allow unlimited individual campaign contributions to city council candidates.

Last August, Hansen proposed increasing the current $300 limit to $500 retroactively, but removed the latter when skeptics objected that past limit violations could be covered up. A subcommittee was then formed to study the overall issue of campaign regulation reform and to make recommendations to the city council at a later date, which it did at a March 17 study session.

Hansen chaired the committee and councilmembers Cathy Green and Jill Hardy joined him along with several H.B. residents. The committee met 5 times and reviewed campaign regulations for 7 other Orange County cities and the State.

Two main issues remain unsettled: spending limits and whether to redact personal address information from electronic (Internet) filings of candidates’ financial contribution updates. (more…)

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