Measuring the City Council Candidates:

(Los Alamitos, 7/24/2014) So far Los Alamitos only has two candidates who’ve pulled papers for this November’s election, while Cypress has at least five and Rossmoor’s Community Development District could use a few more.

In any case, our Thursday columnist is already thinking about how to figure out who’s the best person for the job: by Highlands Guy:  

As we near the local election season and folks are pulling their Declaration of Candidacy Documents for their runs for city council, we should take a moment to think about just who it is that we want telling us how to live our lives and making decisions that could affect our cities into the mid-21st century.

Instead of just moaning and groaning about the things that you see around you, I would suggest that now is the time to take some measurements of the outcomes you expect from your city council and the qualities that would most likely produce those results.

Beyond subjectivity:

To hold a subjective opinion about a city council member or candidate is fine. But I would offer that to really make your vote count, one must Continue reading

Los Alamitos City Council inks police contract, repeals “predators in the parks” to avoid litigation

(7/24/2014, Los Alamitos)  On Monday night Los Alamitos City Council worked their 4 pm Special Meeting and 6 pm Regular monthly Meeting, passing all agenda items with near unanimity and wrapping it all up by 9:05.

However, the closed portion of the Council’s 4 pm Special Meeting adjourned again with no reportable action, indicating they still haven’t reached an agreement on a contract with the Los Alamitos City Employee Association.  On the other hand, the Council interviewed and appointed all four Commission Applicants but need at least three more to fill vacancies on Los Alamitos’ Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Affairs Commission, the ” Continue reading

More Rossmoor daylight burglaries of occupied homes.

(Rossmoor, 7/22/2014)  The Orange County Sheriff’s Dept. reports that Rossmoor continues to experience home burglaries, including entry during daylight hours when homes are occupied.  Burglaries of home while occupied can lead to more serious problems.

If it’s happening in Rossmoor, it could be happening across the Boulevard in Los Alamitos, and quite possibly in Seal Beach and Cypress as well.

This could be a case of burglars taking advantage of open windows caused by the heat.  It might also be young people who are out of school with time on their hands.

Things you can do: Continue reading

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