An Open Call to Seaside Ranchos and Hollywood Riviera Residents Concerning the Blight of Signs Coming to Your Neighborhoods – Guest Commentary
Let’s start with a simple fact – the City of Torrance constructed an elaborate and well-coordinated plan to implement street sweeping ticketing as a revenue scheme. A small group of us have proven that through city emails and other documents. There is no more debate on that subject and we encourage everyone to read the overwhelming evidence proving our case.
We have two very strong reasons to continue to make a call to action by our fellow citizens. First, it should be deeply troubling to everyone that city officials not only lied to us, but did so repeatedly in a coordinated effort. There is a complicity of action by multiple members of our city government that creates an overwhelming sense of “us against them” in the way they aggressively subjugated honest and sincere citizen complaints. There is no room for that sort of thing in a democracy. For those of us who are not political, and that includes virtually all of the citizens involved in exposing this lie, it is very hard to believe that local officials would mislead us so openly.
The second theme involves our two respective neighborhoods. Early in this debate, Councilman Griffiths expressed his concern that city-wide ticketing would take something away from Torrance that we shared with only a few of the South Bay’s most attractive cities, the sense of uninterrupted calm where we live without the unnecessary stress imposed on residents by a ticketing program. To put some numbers on that, we will have more than 20,000 new signs (a blight of sign pollution) and nearly 100 times a year to get a ticket on either side of our street. Those numbers might look like dollar signs to our city officials, but to us they are a crass violation of sacred ground, our homes and neighborhoods.
Seaside Ranchos and Hollywood Riviera are considered two of the most beautiful and desirable parts of Torrance and there is a reason city officials left us last for their implementation. They are taking something very special away from our areas that does not exist in other parts of the city. In fact, many people consider our neighborhoods to be a kind of alluvial extension of the lifestyle and architectural beauty of neighborhoods found and admired in the peninsula cities. So, why are Seaside Ranchos and Hollywood Riviera residents not fighting harder to expose this false program and take back our right to self-determination in the places we live? These are our neighborhoods and we should have a right to govern them.
Go examine the gutters and surface between the connector streets where Torrance has implemented ticketing and those streets where they have yet to do so. See any difference? That’s right, there isn’t any, because the current program is very effective and far exceeds minimum standards without a single ticket or sign. For those of you on the edges of Torrance nearest the Peninsula cities, you are going to see the same thing. When you look up and down your defaced street full of signs and watch that officer writing a citation, consider that residents just a few houses away in the next city or perhaps on the other side of a horse trail will never experience that undesirable scene or the anxiety of realizing they forgot to move their car.
But wait a minute — many of the storm drains in the Peninsula cities empty into the same drains as Torrance, why aren’t they required to post signs and ticket their residents? After all, our city officials told us that “we have no choice in this matter, we don’t like this any better than you do.”
The answer is because there are no requirements in any state, federal, or county mandate that force the city to implement this ticketing program. It was designed by the City of Torrance to produce revenue and they have gone to extraordinary lengths to hide that fact. Our neighboring Peninsula cities value the beauty of their neighborhoods too much to plant thousands of ugly signs in the front yards of their citizen’s properties. And they stated that they have no plans for ticketing, even though they are subject to the exact same regulations as the City of Torrance.
The citizens of Seaside Ranchos and the Riviera are about to be blindsided by city officials who will extend this false program into your daily life. They have already arrogantly allocated $1 million of your money to guarantee that process. Some of us have fought this program for two years with little help – and this has been a battle that reinforced the saying “You can’t fight city hall” in ways that would disgust the average citizen. If you do not like being lied to and want to preserve the beauty and stress-free heritage of our great neighborhoods, we urge you to join this fight immediately. Read the facts, voice your opposition as loudly and often as possible, and call for a full investigation of Torrance’s efforts to mislead us.
Citizens Against Government Waste