Readers’ Comments: October 21, 2022
Deeper implications of city’s renter protection discussion
The implications of the Oct. 14 COURIER renter protection ordinance article are troubling. Using the figures in the article, if a landlord improves a property by investing money equal to or exceeding eight months of current rent, then raises the rent, an eviction would be legal if the current renters don’t want to pay the new rental rate.
Tenants of Monarch Terrace are paying up to $2,000 per month and the new rental rates are as high as $3,500 per month. Eight months of rent is approximately $16,000 of remodeling cost. With permit required remodeling there could be many additional expenses for the landlord.
Hypothetically, landlord Smith invested $16,000 to make a rental unit better. Now Smith wants tenant Jones to pay more rent per month. If Jones says, “No, can’t do that,” then Smith may evict Jones, and possibly be obligated to pay up to $6,000 for relocation assistance.
“What’s a reasonable level of profit?” Gas companies might say, “Whatever the market will bear,” as evidenced by recent gas prices. Revere Investments seems to be saying, “Profit in line with the existing market.”
“What’s a reasonable level of expense?” The gas consumer might say, “I have to drive to live. Unless some reasonable alternative arises, I’ll pay what I have to pay.” Current Monarch Terrace tenants might say, “Yes, I have a safer or more modern apartment, but I don’t think I should have to pay so much for the improvements. I’ll have to move.”
Will the city council support landlords by leaving the state regulatory law in place, or support consumers through increased restrictions? Does the city want probable increased tax revenue or possible decreased capital investment? Does the city want to actively raise wages of people, e.g., teachers, or have more residents with a higher level of spendable income? What will emerge from this complex issue, and what values will be reflected?
Watch Fox News for balanced coverage
There are letters written to the editor of the COURIER regarding the so-called untruths of Fox News. May I remind readers that Fox is the number one cable news network, and CNN and MSNBC are tanking in the ratings. Fox has an alternative liberal supporter, viewer, or guest on almost all their panel shows who gets beaten up by the more somewhat conservative guests. Watch “The Five” on Fox. It is the number one cable show on television. It is fun to watch and informative. I like to hear both sides of an issue, unlike the other news networks which only present one view of the world situation.
Former mayor taken to task
Former Claremont mayor Karen Rosenthal’s letter in the October 14 COURIER attempted to respond to a letter from Kris Meyer in an earlier edition. Unfortunately, some of Ms. Rosenthal’s statements fundamentally misstate the views of non-Democrats. This is not surprising, as Democrats make no effort to truly understand the positions of their political opponents, so convinced are they that their own positions are correct, as reinforced by the bubbles in which they live.
In her letter, Ms. Rosenthal offered up a list of four questions, worded in such a way as to massively obfuscate the topics to which she intended to refer. Her questions referred to, respectively: (1) abortion, the desire of some women and their doctors to murder an innocent third person, an unborn child; (2) the removal from schools of books with highly age level inappropriate sexual content; (3) necessary and legitimate efforts to eliminate fraud and the potential for fraud from our electoral processes; and (4), the desire of Democrats to be able to indoctrinate children with highly inappropriate sexualizing words and concepts against which sane adults have a moral obligation to protect them.
It is a shame Ms. Rosenthal chose to obfuscate, rather than address her topics head-on and honestly. It’s almost as though she is ashamed of them.
MAGA Republican pushes back against critics
In the COURIER’s October 14 Readers’ Comments section, Karen Rosenthal stated that Trumpism, MAGA, and certain factors in the Republican Party were doing the opposite of protecting our individual freedoms and are overwhelmingly expanding government control over individuals.
My response regarding the abortion issue is that I agree in a woman’s right to choose. It is the timing of that choice where we disagree. I believe life begins at conception and no one has the right to take away an innocent life after conception occurs, except in the case of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother.
Regarding public education, I believe sex and sexuality is a topic best discussed between parents and their children and should not be taught without parental consent in our schools. If parents want their children exposed to transgenderism and other radical progressive ideologies, let them teach these subjects at home. But, like religion, they should not be taught in our public schools with tax dollars from people that disagree.
I believe teachers that are leaving their jobs are doing so because liberal progressive board members or administrators are forcing them to teach topics that they don’t agree with. When a public schoolteacher must have parental permission to give a child an aspirin at school but can secretly arrange an abortion without advising the parents, our government has gone too far.
Replace the current city council
My expectations for members of the city council are modest. I believe they should exercise common sense, avoid wasteful spending, and deal with the public openly and honestly. Regrettably, the current members of the council have repeatedly failed to meet these expectations.
Three years ago the council decided to implement “district voting,” — and took away our right to hold them accountable at the ballot box — even though Claremont is not now and has never been required to adopt district voting.
Two years ago, just weeks before the 2020 council election, City Manager Tara Schultz suddenly resigned without any explanation. Remarkably, the city council voted to give her more than $100,000 of severance pay, even though her contract specifically stated that she was not entitled to any severance pay at all if she resigned.
As her resignation came at a time when the council could not legally fire her, the most logical explanation appears to be that the council bribed her to resign. It’s anyone’s guess why they were so desperate to get her out of the way.
And most recently, the council has spent more than $100,000 on a ballot measure to tax cannabis deliveries to Claremont residents, even though the city’s own consultants have been unable to identify a single city in California which has ever collected a dime by taxing cannabis deliveries.
I don’t know if the current members of the council are incompetent, corrupt, or merely clueless, but in any case they have demonstrated that they can no longer be trusted to make important decisions on our behalf. The only solution is to replace them with more responsible citizens who will put the city’s interests ahead of their own.
Vote Johnson for city council
I would like to encourage my fellow neighbors to support Aundré Johnson this November 8th as he runs for Claremont City Council in District 4. I believe Aundré has the best interest of the city and our neighborhoods at heart. He is seeking this opportunity to help shape the direction we move while focusing on the preservation of what many of us value about our city.
If you get the chance, find Aundré at one of the many candidate gatherings being hosted by neighbors in the area and you will realize that he has an air of authenticity that’s often lacking with the politico types. There’s a reason for that; he’s not a politician! I’d also like to encourage neighbors that haven’t yet met Mr. Johnson to watch the recent candidate forum hosted by Active Claremont on YouTube to hear his position on the Larkin Place development, one of the more consequential items for Claremont in recent memory.
If you value the quality of life we’ve enjoyed here in Claremont and believe it’s worth safeguarding from short-sighted agendas or other unvetted doctrines, I believe Aundré Johnson is the candidate for you. He will bring a much-needed voice of reason to the table while aiming to keep Claremont the safe, unique, and special place that we all have chosen to call home.
Vote Leano for city council
Several years ago, Jed Leano and I were serving together on the Claremont Community and Human Services Commission. I was so impressed by his character, his values, and his leadership skills that I suggested he run for city council. I was not alone in making that suggestion. Since then I have been proud of his performance as a councilmember and mayor.
Recently, Jed and I had a conversation about the upcoming election and the state of Claremont politics. I asked his permission to share with you what he had shared with me.
This election is not about any one particular issue, budget item, or law. The most important issue in the 2022 election is whether the people we elect to represent us have the wisdom to seek evidence and facts, and have the courage to reject fear and prejudice, when its acceptance is the easy path of least resistance. Jed wants to continue serving Claremont because he sees the deterioration of public discourse in which thoughtful people step away from public discourse because it has become reduced to the most offensive and sensational arguments. Jed believes that good people can still work hard and find solutions to difficult problems.
That’s why I’m so pleased with Jed’s first term in office and his present campaign. He’s running on facts, not fear mongering. He’s running on his record of accomplishments: like investments in housing affordability, sustainability, mental health, and public safety. He’s highlighting alliances with diverse supporters and endorsements from all levels of government who want to continue collaborating with him for the benefit of Claremont.
Preserving the “service” in “public service” is a tall order, but Jed is up to the task.
Please join me in re-electing Jed Leano to our city council.
Vote Leano for city council
I am a mom of four and have called Claremont home for nearly a decade. We are proud residents of this wonderful city and have benefited greatly from the stewardship of mayor Jed Leano. Jed stood as a capable and thoughtful leader for our city during the COVID-19 pandemic and the once in a lifetime windstorm. His vision for a more welcoming Claremont is one that aligns with our family values. Jed has proven himself to be an advocate and an ally for all those he serves, including the most vulnerable populations that can often remain voiceless.
Jed’s dedication to keeping our community safe and thriving has been shown in his track record of supporting the police, keeping our streets safe for pedestrians, and finding solutions for affordable housing. As a District 4 voter, I proudly support the re-election of Mayor Jed Leano.
Reader supports Hanlon for TVMWD Board
The divisiveness and mischaracterization/omission of facts in some of our local political races has been concerning. Three Valleys Water District in particular has been particularly upsetting. As a “newer” six-year Claremont resident, I’m extremely offended by Mr. Bowcock’s assertions that Mr. Hanlon living here just a few years equates to lack of qualifications and investment in the community.
In my experience, Claremont is welcoming and provides many opportunities for newcomers to integrate and feel a sense of connection and responsibility to this community, even if their families haven’t lived here for decades. Lack of generational history is no reason to exclude someone from serving the community, and to assert so is elitist, cliquish, and closed-minded.
I have no concerns about Jeff Hanlon’s relative newness to Claremont because long before this race started, he had established residency and built community relationships. I also feel that because he isn’t tied to “the way it’s always been done,” it allows him to bring fresh, contemporary, and relevant ideas to the table.
For every rule, however, there is an exception.
I have serious concerns about the third candidate, Mr. Aguilar. It’s not that he’s “new” to the community but that the nature of his newness is questionable. According to The COURIER’s profile, Mr. Aguilar first moved here from Azusa and established residency only a few weeks prior to the campaign filing deadline. It has since come to light that he lives in student housing at Claremont Graduate University, and it’s unclear if his family lives with him there or reside elsewhere. Since his profile focused on him professionally and lacked personal details (including why he feels like he should be representing a community in which he has no real ties), and his website discloses even less, I am left wondering … what are his intentions in running and what would keep him accountable to our community?
Local voters will determine TVMWD direction
Hope seems dim for Cadiz water study opponents and Bonanza Springs, who were outnumbered 20 to two at this week’s Three Valley’s Municipal Water District meeting.
One Cadiz opponent blamed Cadiz public relations, but the support Cadiz received may have come from a board member they helped elect in 2020.
From today until Election Day environmental groups such as the Sierra Club need to knock on doors, as they did in 2020. This election is in the hands of south Pomona, Claremont and La Verne voters, not outside actors who can twist an issue upside down, as in 2020.
Three Valleys can’t control Claremont water rates
It hurts all of us when the cost-of-living increases faster than our wages, especially those living on fixed incomes, and I wholeheartedly support efforts by elected officials to address issues of social inequity whenever possible.
However, to suggest, as Javier Aguilar, a candidate for Three Valleys Municipal Water District does, that he could lower water rates if elected is just not true or possible.
As a water wholesaler known for some of the cheapest wholesale rates in Southern California, Three Valleys has no power to affect retail water rates for residents. This point was made by all three water board candidates — Bowcock, Hanlon, and even Aguilar himself — during the recent Three Valleys candidate forum hosted by our local League of Women Voters.
Three Valleys wholesales water to both La Verne and Golden State Water at the same rate. But those who have been in Claremont more than a few years know Claremont residents pay much more for water than La Verne residents. Why? Golden State Water’s parent company is a for-profit entity that pays guaranteed dividends to shareholders, whereas the City of La Verne Water Department is run by its own department of public works.
All three candidates, including Aguilar, said in the LWV forum that the most they could do is “encourage” GSW and La Verne to lower their retail rates.
I wonder then how Three Valleys candidate Aguilar can continue in good faith to make promises to lower water rates for residents, when it is a promise he cannot keep?
To see all three candidates address this issue, watch the League of Women Voters’ recording of its candidate forum here, starting at 44:20: https://bit.ly/3D222JD.