Sent February 24th, 2014
Dear Mayor Harper,
My name is Mike Hoskinson, I am a lifelong resident of HB reaching out to you for help.
I have been following Kim Kramer’s rise of influence in our city with concern for some time. As a member of HB Talk I have engaged the core membership there on many issues and been concerned about the leftist bent they have taken in the last few years. With the success of the recent bag ban I knew they would become emboldened and continue to enact their overly bureaucratic plans on the citizens.
On February 13th I spoke at the HBDRA about the proposed parking restrictions they feel are “necessary”, I shared that I live in the 11th/Orange neighborhood that, even though I live in one of the areas most severely impacted by traffic, summer parking and tourists, there is no crisis so great as to burden me or other property owners with further needless restrictions to their freedoms and that the proponents of this issue’s fears of “drunks taking all the parking” are overblown to the point of being comical. In that meeting Connie Boardman shared that “she didn’t understand why people were getting upset about the issue as it’s not even on the Council’s radar”; I hope that is the truth from your point of view.
In that meeting it was also stated that:
1) The City would be providing the passes free of charge.
2) Every block would have to vote themselves into the parking pass system.
3) A flyer was handed out that stated 12 “actions” that could be take to ameliorate the downtown parking problem. The #1& 2 actions were Parking Passes, the other 10 were all localized to downtown and would not burden the residents; it tips Kim Kramer’s hand that the #1 thing he wants to do is restrict citizen’s freedoms first before there are many other much less burdensome actions that could be taken first.
On Monday afternoon Kim Kramer and a small group came to my door and passed out a flyer for last night’s meeting at the senior center. It proclaimed a number of assertions:
1) “Permit parking IS coming to your street”. Why is the outcome being predetermined ? Has there been some vote or item placed on the agenda we missed ?
2) “Join us and cast your vote”. What power does the HBDRA have to cast any real vote ? why are they being allowed to pretend to the citizenry that they have any power, as a group, to ‘vote” this issue into existence ?
Also, why is the HBDRA sandbagging the locals, holding an important meeting with just 2 days notice ??
At the meeting we saw a railroading of any voices that did not want the parking passes enacted with Kim Kramer being openly derisive…calling anyone who dissented from his opinion “naysayers” and telling them “conventional wisdom” dictates his plan.
1) In 2 short weeks the price has gone up to $26 for the first permit and $6 for each additional. There is no guarantee of future raises being stopped or capped; vague ideas of being “tied to CPI” as the only unacceptable offering. As the price has risen massively in 2 weeks I worry that if this idea gets forced in front of the Council what amount the permit will take, then or in the future.
2) They spoke of having 2 permits per home, what if you have a family of 6 ?? they said that permits will be available to procure, why should residents be forced to beg their government to park in front of their own homes at any time ?
3) They are misleading the public that if the first few blocks of downtown enact parking passes it will flood their neighborhoods with outsiders parking there. I cannot imagine someone interested in visiting Main St. that would drive further and further out just to look for a free spot.
4) I received an email from Kim Kramer on HB Talk today claiming that “At the end they all voted on the HBDRA Parking Proposal with the following results: 7th-8th-9th Streets, 74.5% YES, All streets, 65.3% YES”, taking the negative tone in the room into account I believe this to be a outright lie. How would we know ? he has control of the physical ballots.
5) Ultimately, once enacted, rules have very little chance of being overturned.
Although they pretend to speak for the majority they are a core group of maybe 20 committed HB Talk regular members that use HB Talk and the HBDRA for their own propagandist purposes to magnify what they pretend “public approval” to be. As a majority of them do not live in the downtown area I believe they are misleading and lying to the public about matters that will not burden their properties or lives.
Clearly, Connie Boardman’s assertion that the issue isn’t on the radar is incorrect or the HBDRA is functioning with no contact or oversight from the City leadership. It is very clear that the HBDRA, under Kim Kramer’s forceful, condescending and coercive leadership, is attempting to force this issue down the public’s throat before any truly meaningful debate has occurred. Regarding Mr. Kramer, a few important points:
1) He bought his house 9 years ago on Pecan St., one block from Downtown. Nearly immediately, he began his war against bar patrons. I have called him out publicly why he feels comfortable moving into the downtown area by choice then attempting to change it to his liking, disregarding his own responsibility by voluntarily moving into an already impacted area.
2) I understand that Kim Kramer complained about Alessa Cucina to the point that they put a restraining order against him.
3) During the meeting last Wednesday we found out that his own street, conveniently for him, cannot have any parking restrictions by Coastal Commission rules.
4) I have heard that, in the last week, both the Triangle library and the Art Center had encounters with him where they denied him having access to space and he aggressively badgered them.
Kim Kramer is a hypocrite and gadfly of titanic proportions. He has shown a propensity to control people’s lives, shut down all dissent and lie about anyone or thing that impedes his “progress”. He is the exact wrong person to spearhead any public initiative and will only cause major dissent between downtown residents going forward.
One of my wider concerns is the nexus between Mark Bixby (who started and ran HB Talk for many years), Kim Kramer (Bixby’s hand-picked replacement), the HBDRA, the Downtown Task Force and certain members of our City Council; I believe these first 4 act as conduit organizations that only work for their own self interests but are sold as groups that strive for “the common good”….nothing could be further from the truth. I cannot and will not stand by while these petty bureaucrats attempt to control our lives for their own benefit.
Mayor Harper, I understand from people I trust that you are a good man and a solid small government Conservative. These people and their ideas are anathema to the residents of the city that wish to live good and free lives in their hometown, we need your help to stop them immediately. Please call me at your earliest convenience before the City Council meeting on Monday.
PS If this were a serious plan with honest intentions it would:
1) Include dissenters in the planning
2) Hold meetings that gave dissenters an equal opportunity to sit at the head table and hold a back and forth debate to bring all sides out
3) Then, and only then, if it moved to a point that the Council felt it appropriate to hold a vote make it so all affected property owners with valid ID had to come and vote in person to get a real head count.
Kim Kramer’s reply to me March 5th, 2015:
Dear Mr. Hoskinson,
I am confident that Mayor Harper and others that you blind copied on this email are smart enough to understand that your facts and many of your statements are grossly misleading and incorrect.
I am also confident that they understand that name calling and bullying (as you do throughout your email attacking me personally) is nothing more than an evil propaganda perpetrated as a poor substitute for fact-based, rational and intelligent argument.
We have never met – you don’t know me – we have never spoken – what can it possibly be that you attack me with such harsh condemnation?
You have never approached me directly, in person or by e-mail to discuss any of this with me, although you have had endless opportunities to do so at many public meetings.
You send these e-mails (this is not the first one) filled with vicious lies and vile accusations against me to a list of people that you blind copy in act of cowardliness.
Here are some facts for you to consider:
1) The Downtown Task Force supports residential permit parking and voted unanimously to recommend the expansion of the City’s Permit Parking Ordinance to include downtown residents not currently eligible.
2) Based on the support of the Task Force, the HBDRA is working on a comprehensive permit parking program for the downtown residents.
3) As part of a democratic process, the residents will vote on permit parking and you will also be voting along with your neighbors.
4) Based on the voting that took place at the HBDRA community meeting (February 26th) that you attended, the majority of attendees support the HBDRA permit parking proposal.
5) The community, not the HBDRA, will determine the future of permit parking in the downtown residential neighborhoods.
P.S. Please have the courage to send my response to your list of blind copied recipients.
My reply to Kim Kramer on March 15th:
Mr. Kramer, pardon the tardiness of my reply.
I would strongly suggest one of two scenarios
1) Give up the parking plan.
2) Have a public debate with the other side (the meeting on the 26th was not a debate nor a legitimate vote), televised locally. Then, have an actual verified vote that only residents and property owners in the affected areas could participate in.
I don’t see your plan moving forward without having the public fully informed and engaged, neither of which has happened to date.
From the HB Talks Google forum https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/hbtalks
HBDRA – Kim Kramer and the truth about both…
In preparation and in the spirit of “sunshineweek” I will continue to shine a little bit of sun on some of the many unethical if not illegal things HBDRA’s Kim Kramer (KK) has done since becoming active with the resurrected HBDRA. My council colleagues were not comfortable with me doing so in the public setting of a televised city council meeting on Monday, fair enough I will take it back to the blogs. KK has booted me off of HBTALK, so I am thankful another HB resident that dared speak his mind and was also booted by KK from HBTALK, created this venue for us that dared cross KK. Thanks Barry!
One of my council colleagues suggested that I should not call Mr. Kramer out on his antics, that as an elected official I should just turn the other cheek so to speak. I usually do turn the other cheek and even did so with KK after he filed his complaints against me with FFPC and OCDA after they subsequently cleared me I chose to let it all be bygones. Until that is KK then started crossing the lines with how he tried to strong arm some downtown business owners and property owners. Further, he brought my family into it again this time with the spreading of malicious gossip! No, I will not be turning the other cheek until I feel KK has been properly exposed for what an awful representative he is of what otherwise could be a constructive voice in our local politics. If he will not admit the errors of his ways, maybe his fellow HBDRA members through peer pressure can convince him that he is out of line. If they don’t the HBDRA has not real credibility.
My contention is that KK lies, exaggerates, bullies and attempts extortion in an effort to be revered as some kind of power broker in local HB politics. The points I was trying to make at Monday’s council meeting before being filibustered by KK and then cut off by my council colleagues were as follows.
When KK states he is the spokesperson of the Huntington Beach Downtown Resident’s Association (HBDRA) and that the organization consists of more than 1,600 members he not being completely truthful. What you really have is KK, an individual HB resident basically speaking on his own behalf. HBDRA does not have dues paying members, an elected board of directors, nor does it even hold an annual meeting of the general membership like most community organizations do (e.g. HB Neighbors and Huntington Beach Tomorrow, HBT).
KK use to state that HBDRA had 6,000 members/supporters,I believe he based that on the signatures that were gathered on petitions that were labeled something to the effect of “save our park and/or library.” The more recent number of 1,600 that KK stated on Monday night consists of a list of email addresses. I do not believe by any stretch of the imagination that 1.600 HB residents have signed up to be “members” of HBDRA on their website. My guess is the emails have been collected over time, for various reasons at various events and and then entered into their database. Since Mark Bixby recently gave/sold his HBTalk Blog database to KK, I would bet all of those email addresses are counted towards the 1,600 number, but as with all of that I opine here tonight on this blog, KK or whomever can correct me via this blog, until then as Mr. Bixby recently challenged “you be the judge.” In any case KK confirmed one does not have to pay any dues to be a member so there is zero financial commitment required to join. HB Neighbors for example charges $25 and HBT has a sliding scale from $15 for an individual all the way up to $250 for a lifetime membership.
General Membership Meetings
Most legitimate community organizations have a least one annual General Membership meeting where they actually elect their board representatives. When I asked KK on Monday when HBDRA last had a General Membership meeting he stated “um about 6 months ago October?, you were there Keith the one at the Shorebreak Hotel”. I responded that I didn’t think that was a HBDRA General Membership meeting as many if not most people there were not likely members, KK disagreed. Well, with members like that who needs enemies?
First off the meeting was not held six months ago, but a little over a year ago on March 4, 2010. The meeting was advertised as follows: “Town Hall Meeting regarding Residential Parking Zones” at that meeting the majority of attendees strongly voiced their opposition to KK’s proposal to implement a residential parking zone program in the numbered streets. So even if that by some stretch was a general membership meeting of the HBDRA, it does not appear to be one that is held even annually and there was no election by the membership of the HBDRA board of directors.
HBDRA Board of Directors
Seeing how the board is not elected by it’s membership, how are they selected? According to Blair Farley a recent board member now listed on the HBDRA website as “Retired Board Member” (along with Mark Bixby and Joe Shaw), Blair says KK informally invites/appoints all of the board members. No elections, no term limits, no minutes taken at meetings, no treasurer’s reports, no accountability, no transparency…
In fact, apparently one does not even have to live anywhere near downtown to be a board member of the HB Downtown Resident’s Association?!? Less than a couple of months back, in late January the following people were listed on the HBDRA website as Board Members. Gloria Alvarez (wife of KK and downtown resident), Kim Kramer (husband of Gloria Alvarez and downtown resident), Blair Farley (a sitting Planning Commissioner and not a downtown resident) Mark Bixby (a sitting Planning Commissioner and not a downtown resident) Jill Hardy (a former recent City Council member and not a downtown resident). So of the total five board members of the Downtown Resident’s Association a grand total of one (1) downtown household is represented!?!
KK has stated that the HBDRA is a more broad based group that is concerned about more issues than just downtown, okay then maybe they should consider changing their name to more accurately reflect their board and membership? If they are not just focused on the downtown I would also be curious what their stance is on broader HB issues such as the Senior Center in Central Park, the Poseidon Desal Plant, Annexation of Sunset Beach, the Beach Edinger Corridor Plan. However, what would that really tell us, KK’s stance or the majority of KK’s self appointed board’s stance? Certainly not that of the general membership!
HBDRA Stances on Issues
When self appointed HBDRA spokesperson KK attends a public hearing of the HB Planning Commission or City Council and states that the HBDRA is “for” or “against” an application agendized for consideration, how was that HBDRA position of advocating decided and who does it represent? For example, KK was the only one to speak at the January 25, 2011 P.C. public hearing for Bomburger’s application requesting to serve beer/wine from 11am – 10pm. KK introduced himself as Kim Kramer, Spokesperson for the HBDRA and stated that the HBDRA was adamantly opposed to Bomburger’s not only getting to sell alcohol in strict accordance to the City Council Resolution 2010-05, but to sell alcohol at all period. I asked KK on Monday night if his board voted on this position of opposition and he stated in the affirmative, I then asked if it was a unanimous vote of the board and he said he thought so they usually were. Please remember that the board at that time consisted of Kramer, Alvarez, Bixby, Farley and Hardy.
In an earlier email (dated Feb. 22, 2011 at 9:51am) some of you may have seen from Mark Bixby addressed to “Keith Bohr and all” (on HBTALKS), Mr Bixby stated “I did not participate in the formulation of the HBDRA position on Bomburger.” I called Blair Farley today to ask him if he participated in the formulation of that HBDRA position, he stated unequivocally “No”, that he was very careful not to participate in discussions that related to anything that would be brought before the Planning Commission for their formal consideration. Earlier today I also called Jill Hardy, who according to her is still on the board, but plans to resign soon, strangely enough the website as I type does not list her as a board member nor does it list her as a “Retired Board member?” I asked Jill if she voted on the issue of opposing the Bomburger application and she said she was present for the discussion, but was not comfortable taking a stance without hearing the other side and therefore abstained from the vote. So let’s do the math here, without calling KK or his wife, I will assume they both voted and voted the same way; to oppose the application for a total board vote of 2 for opposition (Kramer, Alvarez) – 0 for support, 2 that were absent from the discussion (Bixby, Farley) and 1 abstention (Hardy). If that is all accurate then less than a quorum of three decided the HBDRA stance on this issue. So when KK stands up and states he is the spokesperson for the HBDRA consisting of 1,600 or so members and board he appoints, he really seems to be representing his position and maybe that of his wife’s at least in this example anyway.
To further complicate the issue, Jill Hardy stated that Blair Farley and Mark Bixby were at that board meeting and they did participate in the formulation of HBDRA’s opposition to the Bomburger application. Wow! Who is being honest and who is not? Farley and Bixby both disclosed at the P.C. public hearing on Bomburger that they were HBDRA board members, both had spoken to KK about the Bomburger issue (Bixby stated on numerous occasions) KK testifies that HBDRA is opposed to the application and then shortly thereafter Farley made a motion to go against the staff recommendation for approval with conditions on the operating hours, Bixby immediately seconded Farley’s motion to deny the application and it passed on a 4-3 vote. First off, I will point out that disclosing one has a conflict does not mean they are then free to vote, in my opinion they should have both recused themselves from voting due to their stated conflicts.
In closing Kim Kramer’s lack of honesty, his tactics of bullying business and property owners (whether it be entering with clipboard in hand and demanding city documentation, threatening employees with physical harm, marching into Bomburger with a video camera in hand, telling people he “owns” certain members of the P.C. and C.C., or squeezing applicants for a monetary donation to the HBDRA in exchange for HBDRA support of their C.U.P. application) all are completely unacceptable and some in my opinion illegal; for all of those reasons I have no respect for Kim Kramer, HBDRA or anybody that continues to associate with and or apologize for him after becoming aware of his ways.
KK apologists please take me to task on any of the above. Let the shine in!!!
As always any and all reading this are welcome to call me directly to discuss any of the above further and or to reply to my email versus via the blog.
Coming to you soon!
Do Kim Kramer and Gloria Alvarez hate homeless people and those that provide the homeless basic services? If not, why are they working behind the scenes to get the City Council to terminate the month to month lease of Beach Cities Interfaith Services, a non profit that has been serving our homeless brothers and sisters from the Main Street Library for the past 21 years? They provide lunches to the homeless on weekdays, bags of groceries and provide referrals to other service agencies.
I have blind copied a bunch of HB residents that I am guessing are not signed up for HBTALKS, if you are interested in following the retorts et al., please go to this link to sign up to receive them.
In a message dated 7/22/2014 10:34:44 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time, hbt…@googlegroups.com writes:
The fact may very well be that there is no longer a “board” per se, it wouldn’t surprise me if it is just KK and his wife working behind the OZ curtain. Candidate Bixby has chosen to be less than transparent, he drank the KK Koolaide and now has chosen to go mute. The board was never elected by the membership as there was never a formal membership or general membership meetings to do so. So, KK picked the board members and then self appointed himself President and Spokesperson for this phony 4,000 member group…all so KK can falsely boost his sense of being a mover and shaker in downtown. Unfortunately enough of the council fell for it and KK has had some success, like getting the Council to kick out Beach Cities Interfaith Services, (bcis-hb.org) a non profit group that had provided services (food, toiletries and referrals) for more than 20 years to the homeless from a back room located in the Main Street Library. Sound familiar? Yes, KK’s front yard, he apparently didn’t like seeing the homeless folks that came and went Monday-Thursday mornings and talked the Council into booting them, I helped keep him from doing so when I was on council, but he got his way with the newly elected council. They are in the process of creating a new location for BCIS up on Gothard where day worker trailer use to be located. Meanwhile BCIS has not had a home for more than a year, at a minimum I would have hoped the council would have kept BCIS in place until the new facility was ready to go. KK is both the OZ and the Tin Man (no heart)! Nonetheless, as I stated before Kim Kramer has been properly exposed, my only purpose of continuing to beat the drum, is to insure the candidates he supports are not elected so he can not negatively influence them into implementing more bad policy like I described above. Speaking of which, we know from Mark Bixby’s website that he was endorsed by the HBDRA, even before the closing of filing of candidates, I am guessing once again this endorsement did not come via a vote of the HBDRA membership, nor even its mystery board, but solely by KK. I could not find current candidate websites for Connie Boardman or Joe Shaw, so not sure if they have been “endorsed” by HBDRA, their Facebook pages do not list any endorsements. I did however, receive an email stating that Boardman, Shaw and Bixby are running as Team HB as they did in 2010, where Blair Farley was the odd man out, so it would seem likely KK, I mean the HBDRA will endorse the whole trio. Voters beware…