I put an item on the agenda for the May 5 City Council meeting that would have allowed residents to vote yes or no on the contentious plastic bag ban.

It seemed to me to be fair and logical to let the voters decide the issue. Isn't that what democracy is all about?

I was astonished and saddened when the four council members who voted for the ban in the first place —Connie Boardman, Joe Shaw, Jill Hardy and Jim Katapodis — opted to deny the voters the opportunity to decide the plastic bag ban issue.

How four council members can justify denying the public a vote on this issue escapes me. Have they somehow tapped into papal infallibility? Or is it just the "I know what's best for you" liberal nanny state in full flower here in Huntington Beach?

Dave Sullivan

Councilman,

Huntington Beach

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Council members deserve decent pay

Re: "Funding for center secured" and "Council discusses payment plans," Independent, May 8.

Our new council members have suffered enough slaps in the face — with salaries reduced to a minuscule amount — without Councilman Joe Carchio claiming that new council members should not receive expense allowances.

I believe Carchio and the other council members make around $25,000 a year with their additional meetings and perks, compared with the new council members, who make around $4,000.

This will only further deter people who care about our city from entering the race for this important job. Only those with many friends and supporters or ties to special interest groups brave the grueling and expensive race for City Council.

I find it strange that a city that can't afford to pay its council members — or take care of the trees, weed abatement and road maintenance — is working so hard to go deeper into debt for the senior center.

Has a thorough study been done to see if the aging baby boomers will be flocking to the new senior center? Or shall we become further mired in debt as we move into increasingly troubled times?

Pam Vallot

Huntington Beach

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Money for senior center could also help animals

Is Huntington Beach Central Park really the only place where a senior center could be built?

Was it really out of the question to renovate the current location?

And is a senior facility the only objective of construction at the park site? Is there a 300 seat auditorium in the works or banquet facilities?

Surely these types of facilities aren't just for senior activities.

The city wasted more than $1.5 million in legal fees fighting the people who opposed putting a center in the park. That is money that could have gone toward renovation of the current location.

Does a senior center really cost $21.5 million?

That amount would support a senior center and a no-kill animal shelter.

Huntington is the only coastal Orange County city that contracts with that shelter. Even Westminster and Costa Mesa have their own shelters, and Costa Mesa's is located in Huntington Beach.

Lynn Copeland

Huntington Beach