I found the recent commentary from City Council about how it would cost too much money to have a special election confirming Redlands’ height restrictions to be insincere. This is only the latest event in a long pattern of foot-shuffling when the city does not want to do something.

Several councilors are constantly quoted as saying the city is in “an unprecedentedly strong financial position.” This sentiment has been featured in recent articles in this publication.

Just before COVID, the city had achieved a $2M surplus, which the council decided was “best practice” to spend down on random expenses. With this, crying poor-mouth on $650K sounds hollow, especially with the recent large sales tax increase.

Since commenting on the special election, the city has been commissioning consultants left and right, at a cost that must have reached the $650K required to fund the special election in the first place.

If the city had listened to the 2020 Election results where two-thirds of Redlands voters wished to retain the height restrictions (an unheard-of mandate given the unparalleled voter division nationally during 2020), the city might not be in its present predicament.

Either way, the council and City Manager Charles Duggan Jr., shame on you! Stop talking out of both sides of your mouth. Either the city is flush or it is not. We cannot be both, or either when it suits us best.

John Paul Beall, fifth-generation Redlander