|Measure "B" in the
Hermosa Beach Municipal Election November 5, 2013
MEASURE "B" FAQ
FAQ # 1: What?
A: Reduce the late night operating hours of businesses in downtown Hermosa (between 8th and 16th Streets and between The Strand and Manhattan Avenue), gradually, over a five year period.
FAQ # 2: Why?
This chart is from the monthly crime report available on the HBPD website.
The boundary of the DT South reporting district runs up Pier Avenue to Palm Drive, then south to 10th Street, and then west to The Strand.
The boundary of the DT North reporting district runs up Pier Avenue to Manhattan Avenue, then north to 14th Street, then west to Hermosa Avenue, then north to 15th Street, and then west to The Strand.
Together, the two reporting districts comprise about 2% of the City's land area.
For more information about reporting district boundaries, see the official Reporting District Map.
A: In answer to Question 5 of the October 5, 2011 debate sponsored by HBNeighborhood.org, Councilmember Michael DiVirgilio (who in 2013 would write the council's formal opposition argument against Measure "B") said:
"The real issue is late-night density, the fact that we have so many hours of open operation after 11 or 12 at night. That's the fundamental issue that causes us problems at night. It's the volume of open operations.” At 0:04:40 in the YouTube Video
During a hearing on December 13, 2011, Councilmember Peter Tucker stated:
"I think we're going to see this again, morph back into, creep back into what it was before." "The residents want it slowed down, and we keep adding more people downtown." "We keep saying we're going to stop, and we keep allowing it, and allowing it." YouTube Clip
During the hearing about Cafe Boogaloo at the City Council meeting of March 12, 2013, Councilmember Michael DiVirgilio said (at 2:21:30 in the Granicus video):
"Taking away hours from one establishment at a time doesn't address the problem." "We need something that is more mature, that's more strategic, that's more elaborate than than just showing up on the last day..." YouTube Clip
More Quotes from Our Councilmembers, with Videos
In 2012 the Hermosa Beach City Council made a formal finding that the nightlife in Hermosa's downtown "has brought with it significant negative impacts." In response they enacted a "No Intensification" law offering incentives such as an upgrade to full liquor to businesses willing to give up late night hours, but otherwise left the status quo, with the potential for the cap on the number of outlets to "be amended by the City Council from time to time." (Municipal Code 17.040.080(B)(2)(a).)
FAQ # 3: Is Crime Up or Down?
A: An incumbent councilmember's recent mailer...
...suggests that crime is down, while a comparison of full-year data shows that in calendar year 2012 crime was up in all the categories he cited. Here are the results for the last 13 years, compiled from official HBPD reports.
Crime Detail Page - Rape Reports - Crime Reports - Some Very Recent
FAQ # 4: Some councilmembers, and many of the current candidates running for city council, have said that more enforcement will take care of the problems downtown, so we don't need Measure "B." Is more enforcement the answer?
A: No, for the following reasons:
a. We can't afford more enforcement - we are doing as much as we can.
During the council meeting of February 28, 2012, Councilmember Howard Fishman said (at 1:50:42 in the Granicus video):
"If maybe the city did a better job with enforcing the CUPs and if we had more staff, we could go out there and check the restaurants and investigate the kinds of violations. And if there's no violations, beautiful - it's a winner for everybody." YouTube Clip
Also, consider this photo, taken at 11:30 p.m. on Friday August. 23, 2013.
The police log shows there was nothing unusual going on, just security checks. (What kind of impression does this give to our visitors?)
b. It hasn't worked in the past, even with the "surge" in 2008.
c. Some enforcement happens months or years late.
During the Cafe Boogaloo hearing on March 12, 2013, Councilmember Michael DiVirgilio read aloud from the police reports on two fights which happened there in 2011 and said (at 1:24:20 in the Granicus video):
"This was 15 months ago nobody said anything about it." "Yet, 15 months later, now that everybody's paying attention, we're going to do something about it." YouTube Clip
d. Some enforcement doesn't happen at all.
In answer to a question from the audience during the October 5, 2011 debate sponsored by HBNeighborhood.org, Councilmember Peter Tucker said:
"Staff has told us we don't enforce it. We've got a book this thick of ordinances. You might as well throw the whole thing away." At 0:11:15 in the YouTube Video
During the Planning Commission meeting of October 15, 2013, Commission Chair Peter Hoffman stated (at 1:37:30 in the Granicus video):
"It almost doesn't matter what we put in CUPs. I hate to say this so brutally and honestly. Given the staffing that we have in the city at the present time for code enforcement. I'm not making that up. That's not Bob's fault. That's a policy, a personnel issue with the city. Has to recognize - - we can say the things we want about keeping - as Ms. Sullivan brought up - keeping the doors and windows closed downtown. There's nobody in town that doesn't know there's no one here on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to enforce that.
I realize the police department does, but I know I'd much rather have them do other things than that." YouTube Clip
e. In his Oct. 17 letter in The Beach Reporter, former Councilmember Gary Brutsch suggested:
"If the intent is to control the Pier Avenue pedestrian traffic, perhaps you generate an initiative petition asking the city manager to require the Hermosa Beach police department to act proactively to engage unlawful behavior instead of the present hands-off policy."
There's several problems with what Brutsch suggests.
1. If we do as he suggests, and as the councilmembers and candidates have put it, "arrest all the drunks," the downtown will look even more like a police state, driving away even the well-behaved nighttime customers we want.
2. Arresting drunks is dangerous for our police officers, and expensive - some of those arrested retaliate by suing the city.
3. An Initiative petition cannot tell the city manager what to do. Only the city council can do that.
f. The fake ID industry always seems to be one step ahead of the doormen downtown, so we cannot hold them responsible when they serve minors.
FAQ # 5: Will Occupancy/Hours Continue to Expand?
A: Yes. Read the Oct. 14 blog entry, and watch these videos (from the February 28, 2012 meeting about the No Intensification policy).
Councilmember Peter Tucker (begins at 1:05:00 in the Granicus video): YouTube Clip
Sharkeez Owner Ron Newman (begins at 1:20:19 in the Granicus video): YouTube Clip
Councilmember Peter Tucker (begins at 1:39:14 in the Granicus video): YouTube Clip
FAQ # 6: The Money
Q: Some people claim that the bar Industry brings a substantial net income to City government coffers, and that without it, the city could not balance its budget. Is that correct?
A: No. The Industry operates with a big subsidy from the rest of town, necessary due to the Industry's heavy demand for police and other City services.
In answer to Question 5 of the October 2, 2013 debate sponsored by HBNeighborhood.org, Candidate (and former Hermosa Beach police chief) Greg Savelli said:
"At peak time, after midnight, no, it's not cost effective." YouTube Clip
For much more detail about this question, click here.
FAQ # 7: When?
A: Signature gathering began on Mar. 14, 2013 and ended on May 6. On June 18 the Hermosa Beach city clerk reported that there were enough signatures to qualify the petition for the ballot. The clerk made formal reports at the June 25 and July 23 council meetings, and the Quiet Nights initiative was approved to go on the Nov. 5, 2013 municipal election as Measure "B." At that same election we will be voting for three councilmembers, a city treasurer, and three school board members.
FAQ # 8: Who?
A: Measure "B" was written by Jim Lissner, 38 year resident of Hermosa Beach.
The initiative is registered with the State of California as Residents for Quiet Nights - Yes on Measure "B."
FAQ # 9: Donations?
A: Donations are needed, and can be mailed to Residents for Quiet Nights, c/o Lissner, 2715 El Oeste, Hermosa Beach.
For donations of $100 or more, the campaign must list, on its campaign disclosure reports, the occupation and employer of the donor.
The names, etc., of donors of less than $100 will not be reported.
Please do not mail cash!
FAQ # 10: Signs?
A: They are small, 12" x 18", and look like this:
FAQ # 11: Is Measure "B" legal/constitutional?
A: Yes. From page 9 of the staff report presented to the city council on Sept. 10, 2013:
"A limitation on business operating hours is a legitimate exercise of the City's police powers to regulate businesses and avoid nuisance conditions specifically associated with late night food and alcohol-serving establishments and their patrons."
FAQ # 12: In an ad in the Oct. 24 Easy Reader, the Comedy & Magic Club said that Measure "B" will stop the Club from booking major acts for two shows a night. Will it?
A: No. Here, from the Club's current calendar, are the ads for the upcoming major acts.
Ad for Sat. Nov. 9 shows
There's 2:45 between the first and second Pinette shows, and 3:30 between his second show and 1 a.m., the Measure "B" closing time for a Thursday, Friday or Saturday (effective Oct. 1, 2014).
Ad for Sat. Nov. 30 shows
There's 2:00 between the first and second Shoemaker shows, and 4:00 between his second show and 1 a.m.
We also looked at older calendars (via archive.org) and saw that even in July 2013 when there were 20 Comics a Night on all four Saturdays, the show times were 6:45 and 9:30.
FAQ # 13: Where can I view a video of the Measure "B" debate?
A: It is on YouTube, here.
FAQ # 14: Whose pants are on fire?
A: Read the Oct. 17 entry in the Measure "B" blog, and for the the truth about the "impartial study" cited in the recent "Pants on Fire" ads by Hermosa's bar Industry, read this special page.
We do not know how the bars calculated the claimed $1 million loss to the City's General Fund; the Background page on the No on B website and the footnote in their ad both lead to the "impartial study" noted above, and that study's worst case (30%) estimates show a possible $262,000 loss to the City's budget. ($262,000 is less than 1% of the City's annual budget.)
The study did not include estimates of the cost savings - less wear-and-tear, fewer arrests to prosecute, fewer injured cops, etc. - which would come with the shorter hours. Nor did the study include estimates of the extra residential property tax City Hall would receive from improved home values in Hermosa.
FAQ # 15: Does the City of Hermosa Beach micro-manage businesses?
A: No. Compare Hermosa to the City of Santa Monica, which regulates the wages restaurants pay to their employees and even would like to require employers to give employment preference to people who live in Santa Monica. Column
FAQ # 16: What about the "Kick Bobko and Booze Out" airplane banner?
A: Banner towing airplanes are noisy and use highly leaded aviation gasoline. Residents for Quiet Nights - Yes on Measure "B" has nothing to do with that banner, and we do not know who commissioned it.
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