Be careful what you vote for

On March 3, Los Angeles voters will have the opportunity to reject a misguided charter initiative that will undermine term limits and extend the tenure of embedded elected officials an additional
18 months.

L.A. Charter initiatives No. 1 and No. 2 are politics at its worst.

Under the guise of increasing voter turnout in a city that doesn’t seemingly vote, why does this initiative call for the extension of city council terms for an additional 18 months?

This detail has been quietly kept from public discussion by these self-serving bureaucrats.

For the record, Los Angeles City Council Members currently earn $184,000 annually, excluding valuable pension credits and free health benefits courtesy of taxpayers.

Los Angeles City Council members are the highest paid elected legislators in the country and earn twice that of their elected peers of New York City. Why is that?

Does anyone believe these political hacks — only concerned about more tenure, no term limits and more power — care about who votes who doesn’t?

A yes vote will extend the term of any council member reelected in 2017 to a term of five and a half years. What this means is that these council incumbents who never lose will earn $1,012,000 over the life of this extended term, plus pension credits and free health benefits valued at nearly $150,000!

Ask yourself, do you have an iron-clad million-dollar contract with your employer?

Do you have a six-figure pension in waiting?

Do you have free health benefits for life?

In the name of increased voter turnout, Los Angeles city council members have devised a scheme to rip off the public. What do election dates have to do with increasing a term of office? Where is the reliable data or evidence to suggest changing the date of an election will change anything?

If one really wants to increase voter turnout, why not expand the size of the council or impose strict campaign finance reform that puts challengers on the same financial playing field of these embedded incumbents?

These initiatives have nothing to do with increased turnout, but are another cynical and Machiavellian attempt to undermine a fragile and broken government far removed and unconcerned about the lives of average Venetians!

The March 3 election is an opportunity for reasonable taxpayers to lash out at this arrogant power grab that further increases the wealth of elected officials who are more interested in pay hikes, pension credits and free health benefits than doing their job: developing serious public policy solutions to the dysfunctional power structure downtown that actually despises average individuals and working families.

I urge all voters to cast a resounding no vote on charter questions 1 and 2.

Nick Antonicello

Spelling matters

I caught the measels on the front page of The Argonaut (Feb. 12) and hope that no one else on the staff was contaminated by the measles.

Bettina Gantsweg
Marina del Rey

Local Dems back Allen’s measles bill

Re: “Outbreak: Low measles vaccination rates at many Westside schools put students at risk,” cover story, Feb. 12

The Santa Monica Democratic Club Executive Board commends our new state senator, Santa Monica’s favorite son Ben Allen, for co-authoring legislation with state Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), who is a pediatrician, to repeal the personal-belief exemption that currently allows parents to decline on behalf of their children the immunizations schools require as a condition of attendance.

Santa Monica has the unfortunate distinction of having one of the highest rates of vaccination opt-out and is now facing the consequences in the form of an outbreak of measles, which so far has affected a walk-on baseball coach at Santa Monica High School and an infant at the infant/toddler child care center located on the high school’s campus.

“The high number of unvaccinated students is jeopardizing public health not only in schools but in the broader community. We need to take steps to keep our schools safe and our students healthy,” Allen said in a statement quoted by The Argonaut.

This legislation, if passed, will place California with 32 other states that don’t allow parents to opt out of vaccination requirements using a personal-belief exemption. We salute Senator Allen for addressing this urgent matter of public health and urge those in our community who are able to be vaccinated to do so if they are not already.

Santa Monica Democratic Club Executive Committee

Santa Monica


Re: “Saving the Western Snowy Plover,” cover story, Feb. 19

Often wondered what these little guys were called. They crack me up when they run in from the waves in a big pack. Thanks for the article!


Re: “Transient-related crime is no exaggeration,” power to speak, Feb. 19

This so sad. Venice is such a unique place. Never thought I’d say it, but we need more police and faster response and officers to deal with children after such a traumatic experience.

Richard Balsamo