HG: Embrace the future

(Los Alamitos, 4/17/2014)   This is the kind of advice that I have off-handedly given my kids for years, and I’m sure they’re tired of it. I must admit that when, recently, I did a 360° with the focus, I came up a might short.

And instead of taking on a personal inventory and planning process, I figured it would be easier to make some hifalutin statements about my City. I guess I thought too, that this would make it seem like I was actually doing something, although in reality, it’s not like taking real action.

What is our future? Continue reading

Michelle Steel Gives Massive Gift to Consolidated Disposal?

If you were to ensure that the City of Los Alamitos was getting $75,000 in Sales and Use Tax. And the City of Los Alamitos get’s 1% of the 8% Sales and Use Tax Collected. Then the total Sales and Use Tax that must be collected for the City of Los Alamitos to get $75,000 would be $600,000. So the Board of Equalization must collect $600,000 in order to pass the 1% to the City of Los Alamitos and ensure that the City of Los Alamitos got $75,000. Thus a company that paid $600,000 in Sales and Use Tax to the State of California through the only people allowed to collect the Sales and Use tax, the the City of Los Alamitos would get $75,000 for the treasury.

Thus, if a company were to write into a contract a section which guaranteed the City of Los Alamitos a yearly $75,000 in Sales & Use Tax; in order to meet that guarantee the company would have to pay the Board of Equalization $600,000 in Sales and Use Tax so that the $75,000 contractual guarantee was met. If they didn’t, then they would be in breach of contract.

What if they did actually pay the City of Los Alamitos $75,000 though? Well in that case the only people that got hurt was the County of Orange and the State of California, which didn’t get their pound of flesh. But can they actually do that? Can they legally rip off the State of California and the County of Orange for $525,000?

Let’s look at the facts.

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Monday Cypress Council: Trash @ 5, Logistics Facility @ 7

Cypress City Hallupdated 4/12/14 to reflect that the logistics facility is not new construction. Thanks to George Pardon for passing on additional info!(Cypress, 4/10/2013)  Cypress’ City Council’s 4/14/2014 Agenda is now up:

  • The 5 pm Workshop Session on the Trash contract is  in the Executive Boardroom at City Hall.  It will be interesting to see if the Council tries to steer Sloan-Vazques to a straightforward bid process or something more like the convoluted approach they used in Los Alamitos four years ago to justify overpaying a million bucks a year to keep Consolidated Disposal.  A non-televised workshop has been used in the past by the Council to develop things like last year’s failed Measure A, which the voters ultimately rejected by  2 to 1 margin.
  • Then at 7 pm the Council reconvenes in the Council Chamber with a public hearing on a Conditional Use Permit for a 174,000 square foot warehouse, distribution, and office facility just off Katella west of  Valley View on Plaza Drive.   That’s over four acres of Continue reading

Los Al Traffic Commission wants more time to consider 133 unit “Village”

Is 4 stories of modern apartments with about 3% retail in the wrong place or too dense or what we need?

(4/10/2014, Los Alamitos)  After spending almost two hours considering the pros and cons of Highland Pointe’s proposed “Village at Los Alamitos,” your seven volunteer Traffic Commissioners decided they needed more time to think it over, and continued the discussion to their next regular meeting on June 11.

The Commission appeared split. Some liked the modern look and who agreed with the developer’s Traffic Engineer that the impact on traffic would be negligible.  Others felt the traffic 133 new apartments would create was understated and the impact on the immediate neighborhood ignored.

Former Mayor Alice Jempsa felt the project would put too much Continue reading

Closure On Local Landmarks (?)

Because of the complexity of this issue getting closure was a bit more complex than one would have thought. In fact, in order to get closure it was actually required that I go out and do something that I had never done before. I had to go interview someone. Rather than rely on public records and public statements the closure of this saga required knowing what actually started the saga, and that required an in person interview (which, because I am not a journalist I recorded so I could listen to it again as I wrote this, and make sure I got everything right).

This closure is not complete, it breaks down into three sections. The first is what has happened with the local landmark designations (and what should happen going forward through lessons learned). The second is what has happened to the specific property that started all of the controversy. The third and final is where the forgery and fraud issues are within the legal system.

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The problem with Sloan Vasquez’s approach

Don’t let Sloan Vazquez recycle your hard earned dollars!

(Cypress, 4/9/2014)  As we reported elsewhere, Cypress held two meetings to get resident and business input on what’s important  in the new trash franchise.  The last of those meetings was today , from 6:30-7:30 pm at the Cypress Senior Center.

It appears from the worksheet that Sloan Vazquez passed out at the Council’s workshop, they will be using a prioritized evaluation grid similar to what they used in Los Alamitos a few years ago.

This is the exact same approach S-V used in Los Alamitos to rationalize giving the contract to the second highest bidder!

Here’s what I wrote about that process four years ago:

Anyone who’s bid many jobs understands the hazards of going with the lowest bidder, but in the “weighted technical evaluation worksheet”  established by the committee, “lowest bid” wasn’t even a factor!

“Competitiveness of cost proposal” was the Continue reading