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Newsletter No. 43. Jan. 17, 2024

  • Mattucci recall campaign starts.

  • Sling wins reprieve.

  • Where to hear Council candidates.

  • Pride controversy continues.

District 5’s Aurelio Mattucci has officially been notified of the move to recall him, and City Clerk Rebecca Poirier has received the petition signed by more than 60 voters. This starts the clock and every step forward will be dictated by the election code.


Here’s the broad outline of the process: The official petition spells out in 200 words the reason for the recall effort. Mattucci will have an opportunity to reply with his own 200 words. Then a public notice will appear in the Daily Breeze.


Once Poirier has ascertained the signatures’ legitimacy, she will inform the organizers exactly how many signatures are needed to put the recall question on the November ballot. It is 20 percent of the District’s registered voters. Organizers will have 120 days to obtain the signatures. If the recall passes, the City Council will have 30 days to appoint a successor.


As most of you know, I ran against Mattucci in the 2022 election and lost to him by 16 votes. When a recall was first suggested, I declined to support it, but I reconsidered after he began an ongoing attempt to derail the Metro project to bring light rail to Torrance. Then at a City Council meeting, he went on record saying that taxpayers, rather than developers, should pay for the infrastructure costs from the additional housing that the state has mandated for Torrance. Those issues – and the threat of other damage that he can do before July 2026 – caused me to support the recall.


But as I mentioned at the start of this process, I will not seek the appointment. I know of qualified candidates who have expressed interest in representing the district.


Though the petitions are not yet available, the organizers will be reaching out to the people who have already said they want to sign it and/or volunteer to get neighbors and friends’ signatures.


Because of the 200-word limitation on the official petition, the organizers have created a document with specific instances. A copy of it will be posted at


The move to recall District 1’s Jon Kaji got a later start but is close to completion.


If you are interested in either recall, please email, and your information will be forwarded to the organizers.


Sling wins in court:

Sling won a preliminary injunction allowing it to stay in business in Torrance for the rest of the year. On March 26, Sling and the City will meet in a conference to set a trial date.


Sling lost on the substantive issues but won on a key procedural point: The City’s original rule to cap flight schools at six was a resolution in 1977, not an ordinance. Realizing the need to pass an ordinance, City Attorney Patrick Sullivan drafted language that the City passed, but not soon enough for it take effect before Jan. 1, 2024.


Side note: In its arguments, Sling sounded as if it was claiming that being bounced from Torrance would put it out of business. But the school has a campus in San Diego.


Where to hear the candidates:

Mail-in ballots will be arriving in less than a month, and local organizations are stepping up to give voters an opportunity to hear the candidates:


8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 30. All Council candidates.

Sponsored by the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce. At its offices, 3480 Torrance Blvd., Suite 305. Reservations are required. Go to


7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 31. All Council candidates.

Sponsored by the Torrance League of Women Voters. At Toyota Meeting Hall, 3330 Civic Center Dr.


7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7. District 2 Council candidates.

Sponsored by the Southwood HOA and West Torrance HOA. At Bert Lynn Middle School cafeteria, 5038 Halison St.


6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8. District 4 Council candidates.

Sponsored by the OTNA. At Torrance Women’s Club, 1422 Engracia Ave.


Each organization runs its forums according to its own rules, which includes the question process and whether recording is allowed.


Pride controversy continues:

 The battle over Pride Month banners has taken an interesting turn. If you missed this story last summer, go to and click on Newsletters 29, 30, 31 and 32.


The City had told the Downtown Torrance Assn. that Southern California Edison owns the light poles and dictates that only City-sponsored programs could go on the banners.


But is that the case? Rowan FoxWood, a past Civil Service Commission chair, asked the City for the documents stating this. She filed her request last summer. Hearing nothing, she renewed her request in October. The year ended with continued silence. FoxWood let it be known that she was unhappy enough to be considering legal action.


On Jan. 5, City Attorney Patrick Sullivan emailed her:


I apologize that there has been a delay by the City in responding to you. The City of Torrance has conducted a diligent search and cannot find the agreement between the City of Torrance and SCE.  Staff reached out to SCE and SCE informed us that they also cannot find a copy of the agreement between the City of Torrance and SCE after conducting a search of their records.  SCE does have a record that there is a signed agreement with the City of Torrance, but unfortunately cannot find the actual agreement.  SCE informed the City of Torrance that their template agreement contains the restrictions (or banner policy) that were noted in the agenda item in front of the City Council.  The City needs to comply with the restrictions (or banner policy) whether or not the actual agreement can be found since these are poles owned by SCE and not the City of Torrance.”


Here’s the problem, as FoxWood pointed out to Sullivan: The City and SCE have allowed non-City programs to put up banners. FoxWood reminded Sullivan that the Torrance Cultural Arts Foundation, which gets City support but is not a part of the City, has had banners promoting its shows.


This fight is not over.


A clarification and a correction:

In the last newsletter, I referred to a letter that City Clerk Rebecca Poirier had sent to the mayor and city council. It spelled out in detail misdeeds committed by District 6 candidate Tony Yeh. To see the letter, go to, and click on Newsletter No. 42. Since I didn’t know how my source had seen the letter, I thought it might be someone who was blind-copied. Poirier assured me that no one was bcc’d. In all my dealings with our City Clerk, I have always found her to be a straight shooter and totally truthful.  Since my source was not on the Council, I have no idea how they got the letter.


My apologies for misspelling Shamindra Manbahal’s name in the same newsletter.


Before I go:

The City has moved up the deadline for correspondence to be included in the Council’s pre-meeting public supplemental. It is now 5:30 p.m. the Monday before the meeting. The Council will receive anything that comes in after that before the meeting, but it won’t be posted until Wednesday. It will be at the top of the agenda. 


I don’t know if this is new, but you can also leave voice mails to be included as Oral Communications in the supplemental. Call 310-618-2404 to leave up to a two-minute recording that will be transcribed. Voicemails have the same deadlines as the emails.


Want to tell the City Council your opinion on an agenda item or address any concerns? Send it to; in the subject line put the agenda item or the topic. If you also want your comments to appear in an agenda item’s Staff Report, send it as well to Make sure that you have sent it by 5:30 p.m. the day before the meeting – earlier if you want it included in the agenda’s first posting, which can be a week ahead.

Jean Adelsman


Feel free to share this email -- or tell friends about And if you email a response to, please indicate whether you are expressing a thought for my eyes only or whether I may share your comments with the whole audience. 

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The petition is not yet available.


Paula Henges
Paula Henges

My family supports Mr Mattucci and will work to fight this recall!!

Jennifer Dobos-Bubno
Jennifer Dobos-Bubno

I agree!! He is awesome!!

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