Meeting Time: October 27, 2020 at 6:00pm PDT
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Agenda Item


  • Default_avatar
    Lucas Commiso almost 3 years ago

    (Note: these comments are solely representative of my views, and my perspective is that of a non-profit volunteer and life-long member of the Hermosa Beach community)

    I am extremely troubled by recent actions of the Hermosa Beach City Council and city leadership.

    The Hermosa Beach Kiwanis Club has held a Christmas Tree Lot fundraiser on the Hermosa Beach Community Center lawn - on the corner of Pier Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway - for over 30 years.

    For the first time in history, the city is proposing charging our non-profit organization - roughly $9,000 - for the use of a storage building and the Community Center lawn. The issue lies not with paying the reseeding for the lawn, but with council attempting to "create" revenue at the expense of a non-profit.

    The same council - which discussed waiving the fees for AVP's commercial volleyball event last year - initially approached Kiwanis with a charge amounting to 5% of the gross sales generated by our fundraiser. Be mindful, non profit organizations across the board are struggling to continue their operations during these difficult times.

    Where are the funds raised by Hermosa Kiwanis donated to? For the past 94 years, we have supported:
    scholarships; youth arts, music, and sports programs; local causes and other non profit orgs; building and maintaining historical landmarks; facilitating student leadership programs and service projects; and much more.

    At the end of 2019, Hermosa Kiwanis donated $15,000 to the Student Wellness Counseling Program at Hermosa Valley, to have counselors available for students to discuss issues like bullying, divorce, stress, and other issues impacting our children. This year, our club also distributed over $25,000 in scholarships to students from Hermosa Valley, Mira Costa and Redondo Union.

    The fees proposed by council would be stripping 20 scholarships from next year's graduates.

    The "tax and spend" strategy - historically employed by council members and politicians everywhere - is not designed to include non-profit organizations. Instead of subsidizing the efforts made by non-profit groups, our cities leaders propose an initiative that will impede our Hermosa Kiwanis club from offering scholarships.

    Council members, this proposal is not representative of the desires of your constituents - it is not in the best interest of our residents. If the city imposes these costs on Kiwanis, then who is next? Women's club, Sister Cities, Rotary, Friends of the Park, Friends of the Library, and all of the other non-profits that raise money and give it back to the community.

    For a city council member to remain silent- this constitutes consent and endorsement of taking 20+ scholarships from our future graduates. The city will always need more money. But non-profit organizations will not be the source of those funds in Hermosa Beach.

  • Default_avatar
    Michae Bell almost 3 years ago

    October 26, 2020

    City of Hermosa Beach
    Attn: City Council
    1315 Valley Drive
    Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

    Dear honorable Mayor and City Council. This is Michael Bell of Bell Event Services. I am managing the Kiwanis tree lot this year and I am also a member of the club.
    The Kiwanis tree lot is over 30 years old. During this time, all proceeds have gone back into the community helping those in need and enriching the culture of Hermosa Beach. With Covid-19, this will be our only fundraiser of the year.

    This year, the city has decided to impose fees on our use of city property. A charge for the storage building and a charge to use the Community Center lawn. The rentals and lawn repair fees total about $9,000.00. We understand we must pay these fees, but this will reduce the amount of money we give back as a charity to the community. It is difficult during these tough times.

    I do have one issue with the arrangement. We are also being required to install water-filled barriers along PCH and a part of Pier Ave. This is to prevent an out of control vehicle from entering the tree lot. I realize it is a safety issue, but it has never been required in the entire history of the tree lot and we just found out about it. This new requirement adds over $2,200.00 to the cost of running the lot, further reducing our ability to give back to the community. I do have an idea I would like to propose that could benefit everyone. Here it is.

    The city and Kiwanis purchase the barricades together (instead of renting). The city stores the barricades in the city yard and is free to use them throughout the year. Kiwanis in turn uses them for the tree lot each year, thus saving over $2,200.00 per year less the purchase amount.
    Future events on the lawn could also use the barricades saving everyone this huge expense. I believe some events would have to cancel if this requirement is mandated as it seems to be the case.
    Please consider this proposal, if this is not an option, then maybe the rental fee could be reduced to offset this additional expense.

    Thank you,

    Michael Bell
    Bell Event Services Inc.