HG: Is this the City Council I know & love?

The future of Los Al TV was among items on the Council’s agenda. HG & Editor Dave see things differently on this one.

(Los Alamitos, 8/28/2014) This week our Thursday columnist treats us to a “twofer:”  A candid evaluation of  concerns from Los Alamitos City Council’s last meeting, as well as a detailed report on what took place, and an introduction to several key issues I’ve been intending to address.

by Highlands Guy:  Got home late from work, and much to wife’s chagrin, as soon as I walked in the house I turned on good ol’ channel 3. Thought I should keep up on what’s going on in our little hamlet.

There were the same faces staring down from the dais that I’ve grown to respect over the last few years. They have been forthright and reflective of community standards and expectations on a number of issues.

But now that we are on the precipice of a change in one of the seats, the wheels are turning slower and the usual full-steam ahead does not seem to be the watchword of the day.

My foci today are all over the board, but have all been on the city hall agenda and cover a variety of subjects. They include recent discussions that have been heard in the council chamber on the Fourth of July fireworks show at the JFTB, the passing of the ordinance allowing bingo, the future of LATV3, and conversations on Continue reading

S & P bumps up Los Al’s Credit Rating

S & P bumped Los Al from AA- to AA+, saving money on future borrowing or refinancing.

(Los Alamitos, 8/27/2014)  Looks like our Council’s focus on covering pension liabilities is paying off!  Kudos to our current Council Members & City Staff!

This just in from City Hall:

The City of Los Alamitos has been notified by Standard and Poor’s Rating Services that they have raised the credit rating on the City’s 2006 Series Certificate of Participation Bonds from A- to AA+. The rating was raised as a result of an analysis of the City’s current financial outlook, and is based in large part on actions taken by City Council to establish reserves for unfunded liabilities, especially the City’s pension obligations to the California Public Employees Retirement System.

The new rating is based upon four major factors: Continue reading

George Briggeman Jr. to head Valley Vista Cypress/OC trash operations

money-from-heaven(Cypress, CA 8/26/2014)  At last night’s regular meeting the Cypress City Council voted 3 – 2 to instruct staff to finalize a ten year Solid Waste Disposal Franchise with Valley Vista Services.

Valley Vista was one of the two firms the City’s consultant, Sloan-Vasquez, considered the best, even though a third firm, WDCO,  offered over seven million dollars in ratepayer savings over the ten years of the contract as well as over a million dollars in discretionary fees paid to the City.

During the discussion last night, the consultant was asked how VVS could be rated first  in experience (125 of 125 possible points) when they had zero experience in Orange County.

The response was that George Briggeman, Jr., with 35 years local experience, was heading up the team that prepared VVS’ proposal and would be the General Manager for VVS’ Cypress and Continue reading

High surf, temps & traffic as kids head back to school

(West Orange County, CA, 8/26/2014)   If you were thinking about taking the kiddies to the beach today before school starts tomorrow, you might want to skip Seal or Huntington and head to Mother’s Beach or Alamitos Bay in Long Beach.

If you don’t have kids but commute to work from Los Alamitos, Rossmoor,  Seal Beach or Cypress, you may want to set your alarm a little earlier before going to bed tonight.

And if you live in Rossmoor, be prepared for new traffic patterns and congestion around Rossmoor Elementary, beginning this afternoon.

Now for the details:

Back to School in West OC: Continue reading

Cypress City Council votes 4-1 to extend thoroughbred season

Think the Council would want residents concerns addressed before adding more daytime thoroughbred racing dates? Think again!

(Cypress, 8/25/2014) At tonight’s Meeting, Cypress’ City Council heard about five residents express concerns about noise and traffic issues resulting from daytime thoroughbred racing at Los Alamitos Race Course. . . then voted 4 – 1 to add more dates to this year’s thoroughbred schedule.

Even more surprising was the response when Council Member Narian made a motion stipulating for city staff to investigate noise concerns related to nearby elementary and preschool children and then revisit the issue in six months.  Surprisingly, not one other Council Member would second that motion, so it died.

As of 8:55 Continue reading

Why Sloan Vasquez recommendations may cost Cypress $7,250,000

Sloan Vazquez is a 2014 sponsor of the Garbageman's Invitational Golf Tournament at Penchaga

Sloan Vazquez is a 2014 sponsor of the Garbageman’s Invitational Golf Tournament at Pechanga

(Cypress, 8/25/2014)  As we explained in our last post, Sloan Vasquez has made a couple improvements from the days when their system cost Los Al residents and businesses ten million bucks in higher fees.

In Cypess case, it only looks like they’ll cost Cypress ratepayers seven and a quarter million dollars, if Cypress  Council Members pick Edco, one of Sloan-Vasquez’s two recommended firms.

If the Council Members go with VVS, S-V’s other favorite, the good news is that will only cost ratepayers a measly one and a half million dollars.

Of course, one and a half million dollars is still a lot of money, so the question I’ve got to ask is…

Why pay more?

Basically, Sloan Vasquez’s evaluation system places minimal emphasis on cost to the ratepayer and major emphasis on highly subjective and possibly Continue reading