Cypress Trash Company requests 10% – 17% rate increase

(Cypress, Ca, March 11, 2017, by Dave Emerson)  Valley Vista Services wants to raise Cypress residents’ trash rates 10% due to “unanticipated costs.”  That’s in addition to any Consumer Price Index related increase.

And that’s actually the “good news.”  Valley View wants to raise their rates for Cypress businesses by 17%!

Here’s a summary from Cypress’ diligent citizen watchdog George Pardon:

 

Monday night’s Cypress City Council Agenda item 13  is both shocking and of great concern. Valley Vista Services (VVS) has requested an extraordinary rate increase of 10 percent for residential rates and 17 percent for commercial rates in addition to any annual CPI adjustment.

The agenda item proposes to establish a City Council Ad-Hoc Committee to study Valley Vista Services’ request for a Solid Waste Franchise Extraordinary Rate Increase.  Valley Vista Services requested the extraordinary rate increase citing unanticipated costs associated with their operation including bulky item collection, special services such as graffiti removal, and the establishment of local solid waste operation facilities.  VVS reports its costs to operate have exceeded their original estimates when they proposed to serve Cypress.

At this point the City Council is only being asked to appoint an ad hoc committee to investigate the request, and to hire a consultant to assist in the investigation.  I’m wondering if that’s really necessary, or if the Council could  just say no to the rate increase, without spending taxpayer dollars on a consultant.

Interestingly enough, California’s Fair Political Practices Commission levied the highest fine allowed for political money laundering against George Briggeman, who runs Valley Vista’s Cypress operations in October of 2015 for dealings with two current Cypress City Council Members, Mariellen Yarc and Rob Johnson.   According to an article in the Orange County Register,

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Cypress Council: $330K for Race Track “Vision?”

(Cypress, CA, 2/25/2017)   [Editor’s Note:  There are at least two causes for concern about Cypress’ City Manager’s proposal:  1) Is it a good use of taxpayer money, which George Pardon addresses first.  2)  Under what conditions might it be a good use of taxpayer money?  & 3) What should be the City’s goals for such a study, both of which I will address at the end of George’s article.]

1.  Is this a good use of taxpayer money?

By George Pardon:  At this Monday’s Cypress City Council Meeting (2/27/2017)  Agenda Item 9 under New Business proposes spending $330,000 of the City’s money to develop a vision for the future development of the race track property.

When the school district sought a zone change to rezone MacKay School and the District Office, the city didn’t pay for it.  Most recently, the city has asked two developers to propose plans for the city’s 13 acre site but the city isn’t paying for it.

While there might be some value in the city taking the lead on how the race track property should be developed in the future, the implication is that the city and the residents didn’t provide any input into the last process.  Just like the city takes the lead on Environmental Impact Reports, the property owner reimburses the city.  After all, who is the primary financial beneficiary of the rezoning of the property if not the property owner?

If the city has an extra $330,000 to spend, maybe they need to hear from the residents as to how they think it should be spent.

One statement in the agenda item may indicate the catalyst behind this push by the city to have this property rezoned: Continue reading

In Memoriam: J. M. Ivler

(Los Alamitos, CA 1/13/2017)  by Dave Emerson.  Once again, a Los Alamitos hero has been suddenly taken from us.

I was shocked and deeply grieved to learn Friday afternoon that J. M. Ivler died of a massive heart attack on Thursday.

J.M. was a courageous, smart, and highly committed advocate for the betterment of our community and our schools.  He  spoke out courageously against corruption and the abuse of power at the local, county, state, and federal levels.

He was a key leader of a small band of local residents who repeatedly thwarted massive overdevelopment and exposed corruption in our corner of West Orange County.  Truly a David who defeated Goliaths that outspent him 100 to 1 with his wisdom, commitment, and the truth.

JM got involved in local politics almost as soon as he moved into Los Alamitos in 1992, joining a fight against Race Track expansion and helping a band of populists wrest control of Los Alamitos’ City Council from a small clique too often put the interests of businesses ahead of residents.  He never quit pushing hard for what he felt was in our community’s best interest.

JM was also co-editor, administrator, webmaster and a regular contributor to LosAlNews.com and it’s predecessor, LetsFixLosAl.com.    He also co-founded and ran Education4Kids (Edu4kids.com), committed to using technology to improve education across the nation.

But J. M’s highest commitment was to his family.   He was the committed and loving husband of his wife, Thuy, since 1991, and proud father of their son, Matt, a Junior at Los Al High & their daughter, Brooke, who graduated from Arizona State University last December. Continue reading

Cypress, Los Alamitos, Rossmoor, Seal Beach Election results

(11/8/2016) by Dave Emerson:  [updated at 12:55 AM by JM Ivler]

NO on GG wins by over 2% [371 votes].

Los Alamitos City Council: Meet our new and old City Council members. Josh Wilson and Richard Murphy.

LAUSD. All incumbents won.

Seal Beach District 2: 1.8% difference. 36 votes. Tell me again how your vote doesn’t count… Moore over Winkler
Seal Beach District 4: Sustarsic over Phillips (not even close) 69.8 to 30.2

City of Cypress City Council: Johnson and Yarc stay (weren’t they “Yes on GG”?)

RCSD: No changes in leadership. Kalish came in close losing by 78 votes and 0.9% for position four out of three. Better luck next time.

 

10 pm:  No new precincts reporting for Cypress or Los Al. . . results coming in more slowly.  As of 9:30 GG had slightly expanded it’s lead after the first of 32 Cypress precincts had reported in.  We are also adding the Los Al and Cypress School Board Races,as well as updating the Council races

This is also a place for local residents to discuss the results of these and other local races, in the comments section below.  Please observe our policy of keeping comments and language relatively civil, dag nab it!

Click here if you want to check on our projections and how to interpret the initial results.

Click here if you want to go directly to the Registrar of Voter’s results pages.

9:30 pm results: GG’s lead growing:

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Tonight’s Orange County Election Results Reporting Schedule

(11/8/2016) by Dave Emerson:  You can get tonight’s election reports first hand straight from the Orange County Registrar’s office with one simple click by clicking here (https://www.ocvote.com/results/current-election-results/), beginning at 8:05 p.m. tonight, when early voting and vote-by-mail ballots counted so far will be released.

We also hope to post those results for GG and for Cypress and Los Alamitos City Council Races here at about that time, on a separate strand set up to encourage CIVIL local discussion of the results and anything else of interest, (like stuffing recipes or whether to move to Canada, Mexico,  South County or Barton Place if it’s ever built).

The next update from the Registrar until 9:30 pm, when the first unofficial results from OC polling places will be added.  After that, updates will be released every half hour until about 1 am Wednesday.

After that updates will continue by 5 pm every weeknight as additional vote-by-mail ballot are counted until the last official results are posted.  We plan to post the 9:30 pm update here this evening and the final update tonight tomorrow morning, all on the same post that we expect to begin around 8 tonight.

What to expect:

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Your last-minute voters’ cheat sheet (for Orange County, CA)

(Tuesday, 11/8/2016)  Want to miss the crowds? Haven’t figured out all 17 propositions yet? Don’t know where your polling place is?  No worries. . . we’ll show you how to do your civic duty with wisdom and ease.  Just scroll through our Election Day FAQs below.  Your answer awaits:

Where’s my polling place?  If you live in the OC, click here, enter your residence address, & hit return.  If you live elsewhere in the U.S., click here, enter your address & hit return.

How late are the polls open?  8 pm.  If you’re in line at 7:59, they’ll stay open until you’ve voted.

I don’t have time to figure out all the propositions!  30 second solution: Vote yes on 54 (Prevents last-minute switcheroos in Sacramento & promotes transparency, the only “yes” JM & I agreed on) & either vote no on everything else (based on the fact that propositions are almost always produced privately by special interest groups) or just leave everything else blank.  3-10 minute solution:  Scan through the ballot titles & descriptions in your sample ballot while you wait in line, if you totally agree with a proposition with no questions whatsoever, vote “yes,” if you have any hesitation, vote “no,” & if you’re not sure leave it blank.  For more on the propositions, click here & scroll down for my progressive colleague JM Ivler’s take.

How do I vote on Cypress Measure GG?  If you own the Racetrack, vote “Yes” and double your property value overnight.  If you don’t own the Racetrack, vote no to 1) preserve your right to vote on futue zone changes on the property, and 2) to  avoid a massive up-zoning of 150 acres in the heart of town with absolutely no traffic mitigation but lots of misleading, expensive flyers & robo calls.  If you attend SeaCoast Grace Church, do what Jesus would do, out of love for your neighbors and yourself & your community vote no despite the land bribe being offered to the church if it passes.  A little “better located” property isn’t worth bulldozing the historic Ranch House & dealing with even more crowded roads and schools for as long as you live in Cypress.

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