I’m not a big fan of the Surf City Tea Party group as they seem too rigidly organized and demand a fee to attend, but we can respect this email that arrived over the weekend and the ACTION they’re seeking tomorrow to protest the plastic bag ban in Huntington Beach:
The opportunity is now at hand – finally – to allow the public to decide by getting the issue on the ballot for November of this year. This opportunity will likely not come again … ever! We need each of you to come to City Council Chambers Monday at 6pm for a show of support for this effort.
We have lived with this odious and ridiculous ordinance in Huntington Beach since November 1, 2013. Everyone likely knows someone who now prefers to shop anywhere but HB because they resent Government interference in their daily lives. Many have found themselves carrying their purchase individually in their arms to their cars because they refuse to spend a few pennies to buy a bag ,,, its not the cost I assure you. Don’t we already have more than enough of this kind of nonsense from Washington?
My house and car are now filled with cloth bags and we now must buy plastic bags as trash and garbage bag “liners” and I could go on and on.
Isn’t it time to end this ludicrous experiment? One that has never had a public vote but came to be law because of anecdotal evidence brought by people who have ideological underpinnings for their position and don’t appear to have any regard for HB businesses or public inconvenience?
If you ever thought that you wanted to be part of affecting change then … come to City Council Chambers Monday at 6pm for a show of support for this effort. We need a large enough show of public interest to sway the City Council vote in our direction.
Here’s a link to a well done .pdf that details the ban that was passed by “a simple 4-3 vote [which] decided that the residents and visitors of Huntington Beach were not responsible enough to use plastic shopping bags.” The flyer also states “the City Council took an illegal “donation” from a radical environmental group, and bribed the retailers to stay out of the fight by allowing them to charge us .10 for a bag that used to be included with our purchase.”
We’re impressed that a Tea Party group is actually working to deal with a noxious local issue and encouraging public participation in the process. The goal here is to put the ban on the ballot (where it would easily lose since, by now, it’s annoyed so many residents who can easily pay their 8.0% sales tax in HB’s neighboring cities and not have to deal with this nonsense from their own elected environmental wackos. This ban is complete rubbish, and the Tea Party’s right — it should have been voted on instead of DECREED by goofball liberals like Joe Shaw, Jill Hardy, Jim Katapodis and Connie Boardman.
Our past coverage of the ban is here and here. Surf City Tea is also correct to ask (see the .pdf above) what the impact of the ban has had on sales tax collection. The ban’s been in effect for since last year, so a full quarter- to- quarter comparison won’t be possible yet, but the monthly numbers MUST be available and publicized to see if any trend can be determined. The City Council made the decision in a vacuum, with minimal public input and ignored published evidence that the bags weren’t a problem, so it’s more than appropriate that any negative impact from the ban on tax collection be identified. HB Mayor Matt Harper needs to show some leadership on this.