The following guest post is of the opinion of Roy J. Lester and not of Anthony & Seabythecity.com.
By Roy J. Lester
A lot of people have asked me how I am voting this year and when I tell them I am splitting my vote between Democrats and Republicans they always ask why. The truth is that there are three seats available on the Long Beach City Council this year and it is one of our most important elections this City has ever seen! The direction of this City for the next few decades will be decide tomorrow at the polls.
We are at the crucial crossroads of deciding between preserving our quality of life or selling out to the big developers who stand to make hundreds of millions of dollars jamming up every square foot of waterfront with high rise buildings. There is no question that there are residents of this town that will benefit greatly from this type of development. Anyone in the building trades, if they are lucky enough to get a contract, will do very well. Deli’s and luncheonettes will do well while the workers are here. Real Estate brokers will make fortunes brokering the thousands of apartments that will be on the market. It is only the average citizen who will be screwed! The poor guy looking for a parking place after a long day at work. Developers and brokers don’t care if he has to park 5 blocks away. Developers and brokers won’t care when it turns out the water and sewer system can’t support all the additional density. They will have already made their money and will be long gone by the time we see all the problems these additional apartments cause.
Anyone who is not living in a cave has seen the direction the City has been going in under under the current administration. The 17 story building that they tried to jam down our throats (on top of an insulting hundreds of millions of dollars tax break) was just the start. Does anybody think that once a 17 story building is built that the other buildings won’t see the advantage of reaching for the sky and change all of their two-story buildings into 17 or 19 stories. (Everyone knows that the Haberman building was originally supposed to be 19 1/2 stories.)
To picture this, I ask anybody who lives anywhere near the water just to look down the block, see the tallest building they can find and then imagine that building at 3 times that height! Or look on the City’s website for the “comprehensive plan”. The pictures alone show you the 12 eight story buildings that they are envisioning along the bay front. And how does the average citizen benefit from that massive density increase? The truth is they don’t. But the political contributions to the current administration from those developers sure helps someone. No wonder the party is so willing to sell out the people.
It is clear where continuing with the current administration will lead us. Both Chris Jones and William Haas have spoken out against this type of development. Unfortunately their running mate Leah Tozer has published articles advocating the comprehensive plan and stands to benefit greatly from overdevelopment of the City regardless of how her current “politically opportunistic” stance. John Bendo has been steadfast against this over development even before he ever thought of running for City Council. Consistency in positions is something that I greatly admire. Contrast that with Tozer’s “politically beneficial for the moment” position. Chumi and Scott’s positions are well known. It is not about the Town, it is about the tribute. But that is probably why the County Democratic leadership forced them on the City. Just look at the massive contributions they get from the unions and developers that will benefit from these projects.
Tomorrow is a big day. Tomorrow we have the opportunity to decide our future! Tomorrow we have the opportunity to decide the direction of this City! Either you decide it or others without your interest at heart will do that for you. Get out and VOTE.
-Roy J Lester