NEW MANHATTAN BEACH MAYOR ENDORSEMENT- PORTIA COHEN!
Easy Reader Article- Feb 28 2019:
This validates what I have been saying all throughout my campaign about the fiscally unsound votes of my opponents who served on the 2013-2017 City Council.
Easy Reader Article- Feb 14 2019:
"Off the Couch" Interview with Brad Jacobson- Feb 18 2019:
This was a lot of fun driving around Manhattan Beach with Brad Jacobson of Civic Couch!
Meet and Greets: I have held more Meet and Greets (21) than all of the other candidates COMBINED!
It's been great meeting you, answering your questions and getting your thoughts and ideas!
I am running for Manhattan Beach City Council (March 5, 2019) and I would be honored to earn your vote:
Endorsed by 10 Mayors:
Steve Napolitano, Current Mayor
Richard Montgomery, Current City Councilmember and Former Mayor
Tim Lilligren, Current City Treasurer and Former Mayor,
Former Manhattan Beach Mayors:
Be sure to compare my Mayor Endorsement list to the other candidates.
These are our fellow residents who stepped forward and served. All these Mayors deserve our gratitude for their hard work and time they have spent serving our City. Much of what you see in our city is a result of their fresh thinking, talent and leadership.
I am truly honored to have their endorsement and trust to continue their good works.
Community Endorsements (Partial List):
Bill Fournell, President MBUSD Board of Trustees
Ellen Rosenberg, President, Emeritus, MBUSD Board of Trustees
Richard Thompson, Planning Commission
Stewart Fournier, Planning Commission
Mark Lipps, Parking and Public Improvements Commission
Kathleen Paralusz, Parking and Public Improvements Commission
Steve Delk, Parking and Public Improvements Commission
Steve Nicholson, Parks and Recreation Commissioner
Steve Schlesinger, CPA, Former Manhattan Beach Treasurer
Jon and Gina Smith, American Movers
Larry, Kim and Lauren Lemoine
LeeAnne and Stuart Richter
Lou and Elizabeth Dumont
Debbie and Les Granow
Dr. Wayne Peate
Kip, Kim, Reilly, Trent and Spencer Hammond
Dennis and Susan Wheeler
Lisa and Rob Chamberlain
Alan Bowles and Natalie Bowles
Gerard and Rhonda Somers
Robin and Colin West
Dr. Steve Guidone
Gregg and Sandra Okada
and many more ... Click here to see!
What will I do as your Councilmember:
- STOP hiring expensive and unnecessary City Hall Executive Staff to Promote fiscal responsibility to secure our City’s financial future- SEE DETAILS BELOW
- STOP the rampant use of expensive consultants- SEE DETAILS BELOW
- Help improve Public Safety with a specific plan- SEE DETAILS BELOW
- Reopen City Hall every Friday **DONE!!**
- Support a Strong Bond with MBUSD- SEE DETAILS BELOW
- NO TO SHORT TERM RENTALS- Preserve our neighborhoods- SEE DETAILS BELOW
- Hire 2 Dedicated Code Enforcement Staff- To improve quality of life- SEE DETAILS BELOW
- NO HOMELESS SHELTER IN MB- Combine resources with LA County, Hermosa and Redondo- SEE DETAILS BELOW
- Bring oversight and fresh ideas to City Council- SEE DETAILS BELOW
- Support the SCOUT AND SENIOR COMMUNITY CENTER- SEE DETAILS BELOW
- Much, much more- SEE DETAILS BELOW
Promote Fiscal Responsibility:
I have over 35 years professional business experience providing me the background to research, analyze issues and seek input and consensus from others to make the tough decisions. I have worked with City Staff in all my Committee assignments and have a thorough understanding of how the City works. The City's money is YOUR money and needs to be carefully and prudently budgeted and spent- just as we all do in our own households.
1. Hiring Freeze-
City Staff now numbers 306. This has grown consistently over the years while our population has remained constant. The City has been purchasing software and systems with the goal to improve efficiency which should help to keep staffing needs to a minimum. This needs to be reviewed consistently. We should institute a hiring freeze on all additions to staff at the level of manager and above so the fiscal mistakes of the 2013-2017 are not repeated.
2. Sole Source contracts-
Vendors will try to introduce requirements in Request For Proposals for features only their products or services can meet. As a result, the City considers issuing a Sole Source (meaning they can only get the product or service from one vendor) which reduces competitive bidding. This practice needs to be monitored and existing Sole Source contracts intensely reviewed. City Council should require all sole source contracts receive extra scrutiny.
3. Moratorium on Outside Consultant Contracts-
The City pays our staff very well and hires only the best. They should be able to perform much of the work which has previously been outsourced to consultants. There are periodically some specialized services or skills we require that we do not have in house expertise to handle which should be scrutinized by Council.
4. New Projects and Studies-Utilize Resident Experience and Talent-
Manhattan Beach boasts a wide range of professionals in all sorts of occupations. If a new project or study is desired, we need to go to our residents first and tap their expertise and desire to help their community. Most people will want to help their city as they are the ultimate stakeholders in a project's success. A consultant's stakeholder is the consultant, not our City.
5. Use our "Marquee" City Status to reduce vendor costs-
Manhattan Beach is a "Marquee" city which is highly desired by vendors to include on their client lists. I encountered this when I sold products and services to Colleges and Universities. When I met with UCLA, USC or Harvard University, they would ask for the "UCLA price" or the "USC price" or the "Harvard price" because they knew the value of having their institution on a client list and leveraged the university's prestige to get a better price. Manhattan Beach leads all the lists- best schools, excellent credit rating, great police and fire departments, terrific beaches. Our reputation and prestige need to be leveraged when dealing with vendors to get preferential pricing. We simply have to ask for the "Manhattan Beach price."
The savings from these ideas and others will go towards additional reserves and for projects that directly impact the lives or our residents. Additional Public Safety Staff and Code Enforcement can be added as well.
The 2013-2017 City Council voted to spend millions of dollars on consultant contracts; voted to approve a never before needed Assistant City Manager position with a $200,000 salary and a $2.3 million dollar home loan at 1% interest rate using reserve funds; and approved four additional management positions adding nearly one million dollars a year to the City budget.
This cannot be allowed to happen again! Read about it, click here.
(Source: “Easy Reader”, November 1, 2018, "Mark Danaj and His Longtime Municipal Colleagues Blaze a Lucrative Trail Together" and Public Records.)
Improve Public Safety:
Thanks to our investment in our Police and Fire Departments and Community Service staff, Manhattan Beach is one of the safest communities in the state. But there are pressures challenging this safety which require constant diligence to help keep us safe. Again, we residents can help. Here are some of my ideas:
- Harden Targets of Opportunity- MBPD Chief Derrick Abell has told me that thieves come to Manhattan Beach because they can find unlocked cars and other opportunities for quick crime. We need to "harden" these targets of opportunity. We can work with our amazing Neighborhood Watch Program to ask our neighbors to walk around the neighborhood in the early evening to find things like open garage doors, old papers in driveways, advertisements hanging on doors and maybe unlocked cars. Alerting fellow neighbors will help reduce targets of opportunities and further frustrate potential crime.
- Designate a Neighborhood Package Delivery Contact- Another target which attracts thieves are packages on doorsteps. Let's ask a neighbor who is home most of the time to accept deliveries of packages for others on the street. Perhaps it is a retired person. This helps build a sense of community, helping each other, and also serves as a kind of continuous "welfare check" of our neighbors.
- Reintroduce the "Do Stop-Don't Speed" Traffic Safety Campaign- We all talk about it all the time. There is too much traffic traveling at unsafe speeds and not stopping at stop signs. As a current member of the Parking and Public Improvements Commission i hear this as a top concern of residents. This campaign was very effective. The City owns all the materials and it will be cost effective to roll it out once again. Perhaps combine it with the Beach Cities Health District "Streets for All" program.
- Promote Knowledge of Basic Self Defense- I have a niece who is a Special Agent in the FBI. She has helped train my daughter and wife in basic self defense moves to immobilize an attacker and escape. My wife furthered her training by earning a brown belt in Karate (this is how she gets me to do the dishes!) This type of training can be offered for residents of all ages with the assistance and organization of our terrific Parks and Recreation Department.
- "See Something - Say Something"- We've all heard this. I suggest we do one more thing. "Do Something" We owe it to ourselves, our families and our neighbors to keep vigilant. If you see something that is out of place, make a note of descriptions and license plates. Take a photo if possible. Then call the non-emergency phone number of MBPD dispatch at 310-545-4566. Many people think this can be intimidating. Don't let it be. Your report can be anonymous. MBPD will dispatch an officer to check it out.
- Registration of Residential Security Cameras- MBPD has a robust program to register homes which have security cameras that can be used if there is a crime committed nearby. Privacy is ensured. We have to raise awareness of this program and keep innovating as technology changes. Click here for more information.
- Register Contractors/Laborers- There is a great deal of construction taking place all over town. I would support a recommendation/ordinance for General Contractors to keep a current list of all their Contractors and Laborers on file with the City. This list will only be used to assist Police if there is an investigation of thefts in the area.
- Help Recruit Quality Officer Candidates- Chief Abell states it's a challenge with a robust economy to recruit and retain new officer candidates. We are a military family. Our son, Jimmy, is a Sergeant in the US Marine Corps. There are many programs which assist Marines (and other military veterans) as they leave the military and seek employment. I can explore ways to work with these groups to help MBPD recruit quality public safety candidates. I can also work with apartment building owners and request subsidized rent for MBPD and MBFD officers and staff. We want our police and fire officers living close by- it benefits everyone!
- Fiscal Responsibility- If Council promotes fiscal responsibility, then there can be adequate funding for these ideas and more public safety services.
Encourage Common Sense Government:
We need to focus on the services that a City needs to provide its residents to ensure a safe quality of life. In addition, we need to foster and keep strong the bonds with the Manhattan Beach Schools as this benefits the entire community. We can't afford to be sidetracked by issues that take away from these goals. Time is too limited and resources are not infinite. This is not to say other issues are not important. We have to make the tough decisions to allocate precious resources for our City's basic mission.
No one, including me, wants to turn Manhattan beach into a community of transient vacationers with noisy parties and all the problems that brings.
Addressing the current situation, we all know the ban is not working. It was passed without specifying and funding adequate enforcement resources. As a result, residents on both sides of the issue are upset and it has led to a tremendous, unacceptable strain on the quality of life for residents.
I support the ban on Short Term Rentals.
I support the hiring of two (2) additional, dedicated Code Enforcement employees to monitor rental activity and other code enforcement violations (construction, residential parking, excessive noise, etc.) which affect our residents’ quality of life.
The burden of proactive Code Enforcement lies with the City- not our residents.
Voting to ban Short Term Rentals and not providing adequate resources to strictly enforce the ban was an egregious and irresponsible mistake by the previous Council which included my opponents Mark Burton and Wayne Powell. Rampant short term rental violations and development ensued changing entire neighborhoods and threatened residents' quiet enjoyment of their homes.
If the current City Council does not vote to ban Short Term Rentals before the election, I will support continuing the ban on Short Term Rentals, with strong provisions for adequate and effective code enforcement to ensure the ban is fully enforced so as not to repeat the mistakes of the 2013-2017 Council which did NOT provide adequate enforcement.
The additional code enforcement staff is a justified and necessary use of City funds protecting the rights of residents to the quiet enjoyment of their homes. It’s not fair for residents to suffer a degradation in their quality of life and, possibly, the value of their home, due to code violations.
Currently, Long Term Rentals, those of 30 days or more, are legal in Manhattan Beach. There appears to be strong demand for visitor rentals of 30 days and more.
To ease the transition to legal, long-term rentals, I recommend the City host workshops led by homeowners who successfully rent their properties for 30 days or more. While it may seem disconcerting for owners previously renting their properties on a short term basis, they could learn how many of our residents have successfully and legally rented long term for years. The stakeholder interests of our residents must be put before the stakeholder interests of short term rental companies.
Again, I AM FOR CONTINUING THE BAN ON SHORT TERM RENTALS.
The Short Term Rental issue has brought into the focus quality of life issues and the lack of proper code enforcement. The previous Council, in particular Wayne and Mark, voted to ban short term rentals. They irresponsibly did not provide for sufficient Code Enforcement resources to monitor and rectify violators. This has led to a tremendous, unacceptable strain on the quality of life for residents and has turned neighbor against neighbor.
The nuisance of code violations, the need for the resident to call in to report and the response time from City departments is one of the top complaints I hear from residents while I serve on the Parking and Public Improvements Commission, among my fellow neighbors and while campaigning.
The burden of proactive Code Enforcement lies with the City- not our residents.
I support the hiring of two (2) additional, dedicated Code Enforcement employees to monitor not only rental activity but other code enforcement violations which affect our residents’ quality of life. These would include:
- Construction Site Violations- starting too early, illegal parking, improper sanitation, messy work site)
- Residential parking issues- vehicles parked over three days, parking across driveways
- Excessive noise, barking dogs, leaf blowers, parties
- Trash cans on the curb past trash collection day
- Heightened monitoring of Commercial zone parking which causes traffic slow downs and dangerous driving and pedestrian situations
The new Code Enforcement Staff would proactively patrol our City ready to cite code violations. They can stagger their shifts to start early on random days to monitor early work starts at all the construction sites. They can follow trash pick up days to ensure trash cans are retrieved in a timely manner from the curbs. Their job will be to spend the majority of their time on patrol. They will, of course, respond to resident requests for assistance.
Per City Manager, Bruce Moe, the fully burdened cost for a Code Enforcement staff member would be approximately $100,000 each per year. A combined $200,000 per year is only .25% (one quarter of one percent) of the annual General Fund Budget.
I can think of no better investment to proactively and effectively protect and ensure the quality of life and safety of our residents. This is what they diligently pay their taxes for.
The new Code Enforcement Staff will report directly to the City Manager so he can effectively monitor situations, direct proper city department resources to remedy problems and ultimately be responsible for the successful resolution of a problem.
Homelessness in Manhattan Beach:
To “do good” for the homeless we have to “do right.” Their recovery from homelessness has to be sustainable. That means getting them the right resources in the right place. If the homeless person’s recovery is to succeed, they need to be near housing which they can eventually afford and to be near jobs for which they can eventually qualify. Realistically and practically, that is not in Manhattan Beach as our housing costs are high and we do not have an abundant source of entry level jobs. If the homeless person is rehabilitated, to be sustainable there has to be the best possible chance for continued success.
In addition, the cost of building a Homeless Shelter in Manhattan Beach does not make sense. It would be too expensive and not provide enough spaces. The money would be much better spent in an area where real estate and building costs are not so expensive, where there are existing homeless services and would serve more of the homeless.
Let’s “do right” and provide a common sense solution utilizing existing county resources we are already paying for via County Funds and the 1/4 per cent sales tax increases mandated by Measure H. We are doing the right thing by teaming with fellow beach cities (Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach) and the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH) to provide a Regional solution with mental evaluation services. This multi-agency works together with Manhattan Beach Police Department to assist with calls regarding mentally ill persons to humanely determine a positive course of action with available facilities and services to best fit their needs. It doesn't make sense to replicate services in Manhattan Beach that are already in place working hard to combat homelessness.
I was a Big Brother in the Big Brothers of Greater Los Angeles and I saw first hand the impact of the difficult life of single mothers with children. Many end up homeless with their children. Homelessness is a systemic problem and we need to start somewhere. I want to direct resources to provide assistance to single mothers through organizations like the Richstone Family Center. https://www.richstonefamily.org/ We can organize drop off points in Manhattan Beach for food, clothing and furniture as single moms work to live independently. We can even ask residents to open their homes and provide spare bedrooms to provide assistance. These and much more are positive steps Manhattan Beach residents can take to have a positive impact on homelessness.
Combined with generous donations in time and money by our residents to proven homeless resource providers and programs, this will give the homeless the best possible chance to help themselves return to productive members of society.
REOPEN CITY HALL EVERY FRIDAY:
Residents pay for and expect access to City services every day of the week. The decision to close City Hall every other Friday was approved by Mark Burton when he was on Council. I cannot imagine what his reasons were but I support returning to a five day a week work week for all City Staff to best serve the needs of Manhattan Beach residents.
SCOUT AND SENIOR COMMUNITY CENTER:
Letter to the Friends of the Senior & Scout Community Center:
Thank you for the opportunity to restate my firm YES in support of the new Community Center and the partnership between the City and Friends of the Senior & Scout Community Center.
Like you, I know the road ahead will be challenging, in part because of the financial commitments on both sides. Which is why I want to urge due diligence on promises made and ensure we have multiple avenues for securing timely funding of this important project.
I have been most concerned about another candidate’s promise to use Measure A funds, the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), to pay for hiring more police officers and for building the Senior & Scout Community Center. Please consider that:
- Measure A has not yet passed
- If passed, TOT funds go to the General Fund, less 15% which, by ordinance, must go into the City’s Capital Improvement Program
- In the current measure, funds from the TOT cannot be directed to a ‘specific use;’ the measure has not been written as such. To do that, the measure would need to be re-written and re-voted upon with a super majority (66.7%) required to pass
- If Measure A passes as currently written, the TOT does not go into effect until May, 2020 and will only increase by 2%. It will take a full year, until May 2021, to realize $1 million in revenue of which 15% still needs to go to the General Fund. If the remaining $850K is split between the Community Center and Police, you will be left well short of your goal
- There is no guarantee that General Funds would still be available at that time as there may be other needs as a result of a natural disaster or emergency
All of this is why I’m encouraging you to consider other forms of financial support like we discussed. I spent most of my professional life providing technology to colleges and universities across the country. Many of their acquisitions were completed using grant funding. I understand the grant process, assisted many schools in seeking and writing grants proposals, and can help you apply for funding from foundations that support inter-generational projects such as yours.
Together, we can pursue a more practical path to make the new Senior & Scout Community Center a reality!
OTHER PLATFORM ISSUES I WANT TO DISCUSS:
Proposed Broadband Services Plan- The City partnered with a consultant to study provision of high-speed data services for residents. The overall plan is estimated to cost $70,000,000! I am the only candidate for City Council with the experience to ask the probing questions for this project. It is fraught with potential financial, operational and design pitfalls if the results of the pilot and the recommendations of the consultants are not closely and expertly scrutinized. We have to carefully consider the consequences of competing with Frontier and Spectrum for internet services.
Sidewalk Repair Assistance for Older Adults on a fixed income- Did you know residents are responsible for the maintenance and repair of the sidewalks along your property? At times the Public Works Department inspects the sidewalks and notes repairs that the department deems is needed. This comes as quite a shock to residents on fixed income. I propose allocating a portion of the fees developer pay to help our Older Adults defray the cost of sidewalk repair.
Assisted Living Facility for Manhattan Beach- I have helped take care of aging parents and loved ones until their passing. It is not easy on families who face the pressure of caring for younger family and older loved ones. Currently there is no assisted living or memory care facility in Manhattan Beach. One is being considered on the Sepulveda Corridor. Having such a facility close by will be a great help and comfort to our residents so they can spend additional time with loved ones. Also, these facilities provide trips to shop and other places in the city that would be familiar and comforting to their residents. Let's study this issue and see how it can enhance of the valued older adults who have lived here for a long time.
Historical Society Temporary/Mobile Display- Let's help bring the special story of Manhattan Beach to different parts of the City so residents can learn more about our history. We did this during the Centennial Celebration with a temporary display at the Pier. It was very popular. The City can pay for this as it's a valuable lesson to know and appreciate our history so we can all work to protect it.
Bicycle Safety Programs- I conducted bicycle safety for our kids' elementary school. We always say bicyclists need to follow the "rules of the road." Yet, obviously, school age children don't drive and need to learn those rules. Classes can be offered through Parks and Recreation and maybe some after school programs. Perhaps the Scouts could get involved with such a program. Or Mira Costa students as part of their Community Service requirements. Knowing how to safely ride a bicycle on the road can save injuries and lives.
City Architecture and Sustainability Awards- Let's discover and highlight home architecture which features sustainability, environmentally soundness and reflects our city's family and beach culture.
Reintroduce the "Do Stop-Don't Speed" Traffic Safety Program- I co-created this program with Joyce Fahey and other engaged city residents a while ago. Let's reintroduce it and bring it up to date with social media and an emphasis on safe driving without the use of cell phones while driving. I spoke with Mike Dodd who was the spokesperson for the original program and he is all for doing it again!
Ocean Express and Downtowner- These were intriguing programs which could relieve a lot of pressure for traffic and parking in impacted areas of the City- both on the westside and eastside. The Ocean Express collected visitors from the hotels near LAX and dropped them off in several locations in downtown to shop, eat and enjoy the ocean. Let's reexamine a way to make these services economically feasible and bring traffic-free visitors to our Downtown.
Holiday Decorating Recognition- This is near and dear to me as the Franklin Family goes all out with holiday decorating! I had the honor of riding on Santa's Sleigh this past December and was thrilled to see how so many families, blocks and neighborhoods decorate for the holidays. Let's encourage more of this for great community spirit!
- No Cost Permits for Neighborhood Block Parties- Block parties are a great way to foster community. On our block on Pine Avenue we just celebrated our 25th Annual Block Party! This is a great way to meet new families, catch up with friends and create great memories for our kids. The City should be encouraging block parties, not charging fees for permits. We can also create a Block Party Guide showing sources for bouncies, blow up water slides and fun things to do. We've even arranged to have our terrific Fire Department drop by.
I strongly encourage you to reach out to me with your ideas on maintaining and improving life in Manhattan Beach.
About Me- From the Official Sample Ballot:
Age: 63 Occupation: Businessman
- 34-year Manhattan Beach resident, Father of two, Grandfather of two
- AT&T, NEC, McGraw-Hill, Keller Williams Commercial work experience
- Provided innovative telecommunication and academic technology solutions to universities with budgets and operations as extensive and complex as our City’s
- Each multi-million-dollar project required detailed analysis of client needs and budget
- I possess and utilize every day the skills necessary to understand and protect City’s revenues and expenditures
- Extensive volunteer work with schools and youth sports
- Helped create innovative City programs to keep our children safe and enhance residents’ lives
- University of Arizona, BSBA
- STOP hiring expensive and unnecessary City Hall Executive Staff to Promote fiscal responsibility to secure our City’s financial future
- STOP the rampant use of expensive consultants
- Help improve Public Safety with a specific plan
- Reopen City Hall every Friday
- Support a Strong Bond with MBUSD
- NO TO SHORT TERM RENTALS- Preserve our neighborhoods
- Hire 2 Dedicated Code Enforcement Staff- To improve quality of life
- NO HOMELESS SHELTER IN MB- Combine resources with LA County, Hermosa and Redondo
- Bring oversight and fresh ideas to City Council
- 9 Current and Former Mayor endorsements
- Current Parking and Public Improvements Commissioner
- Appointed by City Council to several City-wide Committees
- Supported all MBUSD Bond measures and worked on many campaigns, supporting a strong City-MBUSD relationship
- Co-Creator “Do Stop Don’t Speed” Traffic Safety and “Stranger Danger” Programs
- Treasurer- Mira Costa Football Boosters
- AYSO, Little League, MBYB Coach for 10+ years
- Pacific School PTA/School Site Council
- Big Brother- Big Brothers of America
- Daily Breeze My Turn columnist
Please vote Joe Franklin March 5, 2019
How did I start getting involved?
Living near Sepulveda, we saw lots of drivers driving too fast and putting our kids in danger. I went to a city council meeting, pounded the podium and exclaimed “What are you going to do about it?” Mayor Joyce Fahey replied “Mr. Franklin, what are you going to do to help?” It was then I realized that it would take more than the police and city staff to solve the problem. It would need all of us, working together, to come up with solutions and then implement those solutions. Mayor Fahey and I worked together with other, talented residents and City Staff and we implemented the ideas that became the effective “Do Stop-Don’t Speed” campaign.
It’s this sort of community involvement and consensus building that works for all of us and it’s why I’m running for city council.
We didn't need expensive consultants to develop this project or others like "Stranger Danger" we created for our schools and the Centennial Celebration in 2012 (we actually started working on it 18 months before.) It was all involved Manhattan Beach residents who gladly contributed their time and talent.
I will be updating this website with more details about my platform in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, may I please ask for your help to support me with your endorsement and volunteer for my campaign?
I promise to make it a fun and rewarding experience as we all give back to the community we love!
All the best,
Get to know me better
Our two children, Jimmy, age 27 and Taylor, age 26 were born here and attended Pacific, MBMS and Mira Costa. Both were active in youth sports including AYSO, Manhattan Beach Little League and MB Youth Basketball. I was a coach in each sport for over ten years. Both played sports at Mira Costa where Jimmy played on the 2009 CIF Championship Football Team! Taylor played Basketball and four years of Softball. Taylor was chosen as a speaker at her Costa graduation.
Jimmy is a Sergeant in the US Marine Corps, actively serving in Avionic Electronics and earned his wings for Air Crew for the CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopter squadron. Taylor has worked her way through college as a hotel desk clerk (I refer to her work experience as her MBA!) and is currently a Supervisor at the Marriott Westdrift Hotel in Manhattan Beach. My wife, Nancy, and I have been married for 28 years and she has recently retired from her professional career as Chief Marketing and Communications Officer in health care.
My love of travel started when I was ten years old and we lived in Guadalajara, Mexico for a year! Since then I've traveled to over 35 countries and all 50 states and have shared the joy of travel with my family. Nancy and I have traveled with our kids to Italy, Malta, Spain, Costa Rica, China, Thailand, Honduras, Mexico, Canada, Australia, The Netherlands and the Czech Republic. As empty-nesters, Nancy and I have been to Turkey, Germany, Greece, France, Sicily, Singapore, Bali, Japan, Tahiti, Switzerland and Austria.
Active at the Beach- Two time Marathon Finisher (NYC/LA), several Day at the Beach Sprint Triathlons, Pier to Pier Swim Finisher, several Century Rides, Double Century Ride, Bike Ride Across Arizona, active tennis player
For years I have been a guest columnist for the Daily Breeze writing about family, friends and life in the South Bay. Below are many for you to enjoy, perhaps again!
(If a link does not take you to the column, please copy and paste into your browser)
My First Column on Fatherhood:
Taxes for Schools are Good For Everyone:
Reflections on the Women in my Life:
Being a Good Dad:
Our Son Jimmy Joins the US Marine Corps:
Dropping Our Daughter Off at College:
Becoming a Marine Takes Sacrifices on Everyone's Part:
Our Son Returns From Marine Boot Camp:
Military Children Miss Their Dads:
Conserving Precious Water:
Voting- A Community Experience
A New Granddaughter and an Ailing Grandmother:
Remembering a Dear Neighbor:
Grandchildren- Nature's Do Over:
The Family Campout at Manhattan Heights
Picking up Litter Gets You Life Credits:
Eat Less-Move More:
Bella, our Old English Sheepdog:
Remembering our Fallen Heroes on D-Day:
Coaching our Daughters Brings a Lifetime of Friendship:
A Mother's Day Tribute to My Mom- Mother of Ten:
LA Times- Tips for Traveling with Kids, Part 1:
LA Times- Tips for Traveling with Kids, Part 2:
Being a Coach:
Christmas Decorating for the Kids:
My Dad Made Magic:
A Tribute to Mothers:
Bella The Sheepdog Comes to Live with Us:
Take Time with Your Children:
Donate a Ball to a Needy Kid:
Bella On The Front Page:
A Tribute to Mothers on Mother's Day:
Heartbreak, Bella Passes Away:
Saying Goodbye as Rojelio Retires:
Our Visit with Our Son Stationed in Japan:
Generosity and Unselfishness:
Christmas with Ten Kids:
Good Karma Points for a Healthy Life:
A Flight of a Lifetime in a B-29 Super Fortress:
Why Am I the Tech Support in My Home:
Nancy Franklin Creates a Doritos Super Bowl Commercial:
America is Proud of our Children:
Helping Monarch Butterflies:
Playing Santa- It's Serious Business:
Time Alone is Good Sometimes:
John Lapham- Hoop Dreams for Costa:
Donate A Ball For Christmas:
Finding God's Grace at a Waffle House:
How About a Tax Holiday:
Toy Story Redux:
World Travel Bug- with Kids:
Quick Stops Along the Way:
Some New Year's Resolutions:
Grandpa Going Solo:
Mother In Law Passes Along Life Lessons:
My Funny Dad:
Modern Day Grandparent Guide for Baby Boomers:
Lessons from the Sea:
Catrina- a Day of the Dead Story