Edgar, Hasselbrink first to pull Los Al Candidate Documents, Sondhi, Morales, Smith & 2 more pull for Cypress

(Los Alamitos, 7/17/2014) The thoroughbreds may have moved to Del Mar this week, but activity at Los Alamitos City Hall allows us to still say, in the race that really matters . . .

They’rrre rrruuunning at Los Alamitos!

Both Los Alamitos and Cypress have three City Council seats up for election this November 4, and Monday was the first day candidates could pull their Declaration of Candidacy Documents.  Cypress, where all three incumbents are termed out has already had five potential candidates pull nomination papers:  Stacy Berry, Jay Continue reading

Sex offenders, Police raises, prevailing wages on agendas for Monday Los Al Council Meetings

Registered sex offender Russell Kraus being arrested at a La Habra Skate Park last September for felony child annoyance.

(Los Alamitos, 9/17/2014) This Monday Los Alamitos’ City Council will meet at 4 and again at 6 to:

  • Give Los Alamitos Police Officers raises over the next 4 years of 2.5%, 2.5%, 1.5%, and 0.5% which will largely be eaten up by Officers increased CalPERS payments.  Cost to the City over the next four years are projected at just under $190,000.  Click here for the Agenda Report.
  • Give non-represented City Management staff their first raise in a year and a half, a modest 1% increase, along with a $50 monthly increase in their allowance for insurance benefits.  (Click here for Agenda Report)
  • Confer with Consultant Greg Korduner on contract negotiations with the Los Alamitos City Employees Association (in closed session at end of the 4 pm meeting)
  • Exempt the City of Los Alamitos from Prevailing Wage mandates on locally funded projects (more on this below
  • Interview four Cable TV and Personnel Appeals Commission Applicants, including John Underwood, producer of LosAlTV’s outstanding investigative report on Cypress’ proposed ProLogis logistics facility. (4 pm meeting)
  • Discuss Fund Balance Policies for the General Fund and the Internal Services Fund (click links for Agenda Reports).
  • Review several  Athletic Field Joint Use agreements with the Los Alamitos Unified School District (4 pm meeting)

One theme of the meetings appears to be the current Council’s ongoing focus on fiscal austerity.  This is in marked contrast to actions taken under former City Manager Jeff Stewart like the very generous but backloaded contract given to the Police Officers which has contributed to the current fiscal challenges.

Repeal of law banning Sex Offenders from City Parks: Continue reading

Orange County Grand Jury Critical of Cypress School District

The following “Guest View” by long time Cypress Resident George Pardon appeared in today’s News Enterprise.  Mr. Pardon was writing on behalf of Cypress’ Citizens for Responsible Development.  Their contact information and how to be placed on their e-mail list is given at the end of the article.  This year I have found their e-mails one of my best sources of information on what’s going on in Cypress. (Cypress, CA, 7/16/2014)  by George Pardon:  On June 25, the Orange County Grand Jury issued two reports:

  1.  School Bonds – The Untold Story of Assessed Values and
  2.  Orange County School Districts: Dire Financial Futures.

In the School Bonds report, the Grand Jury is critical of the financing used to renovate Cypress’ elementary  schools. For the $41 million in bonds borrowed to date, the Cypress [Elementary] School District has estimated it will cost taxpayers $201 million over the life of the bonds. This $41 million was used to only renovate Continue reading

All “Consent Calendar” Cypress Council Meeting this Monday, July 14, 2014!

(Cypress, 7/13/2014)  17 numbered agenda items on Monday’s 7 pm Cypress City Council Meeting, and every one of them fast-tracked on the Consent Calendar for no discussion passage all with one vote!

As Monday’s Cypress City Council Agenda puts it:

All matters listed on the Consent Calendar are to be approved with one motion unless a member of the Council requests separate action on a specific item. Ordinances on the Consent Calendar should be read by title only prior to taking any action.

If it weren’t for Oral Communications, the Swearing in of new City Manager Peter Grant, and the closing “Items from City Council Members” and from the new City Manager, the whole meeting could be over in about three minutes!

Among those items that don’t even require discussion is adoption of a resolutions in support of this November’s MacKay and District Office Rezoning Initiative Measures, an initiative that 25 year Cypress resident George Pardon says puts the Cypress School Board into the property management and investment business rather than pay down expensive bonds.  (See “Cypress Council puts school sites on ballot”, by George Pardon).

But wait, there’s more:   Continue reading

HG: Who controls your glass of water?

(Los Alamitos, CA, 7/11/2014)  by Highlands Guy:  California residents have been asked to reduce their water use by 20%. At least that’s what our supplier, Golden State Water Company tells us.

Now, I understand the impact of drought conditions on specific geographic regions. The visual and scientific evidence cannot be denied.

But kind of like the divergent discussions one can get into with other environmental issues, there are areas that need to be examined deeper than the headlines. Please note also that what we have done to cope with a finite amount of water and an ever-burgeoning population have made for interesting bedfellows since Continue reading

Traffic Commission tweaks & approves General Plan Traffic Component

The Commission voted to encourage bike and pedestrian trails on some alleys

(Los Alamitos, 7/10/2014)  by Dave Emerson: (Note:  Emerson, one of the founders of LosAlNews.com, is serving this year as Chairperson of Los Alamitos’ Traffic Commission)  After considerable discussion and some modifications, Los Alamitos’ Traffic Commissioners voted to approve the latest draft of the Mobility and Circulation Element of the revised Los Alamitos General Plan.

With the exception of one Traffic Commissioner who was unable to attend, the vote was, perhaps surprisingly, unanimous.

For the first time in months, we also had a print journalist present taking notes on the meeting.  Kudos go the the Register and Kendra Ablaza, their Los Al/Rossmoor/Seal Beach Reporter!

Prior to voting, however, the Commission made several significant changes to the document: Continue reading