July 19, 2012 in Uncategorized By: Dave & Rebecca Lara
(Los Alamitos, 7/19/2012) Well, if you ever thought our Thursday columnist shied away from the tough issues, today’s column should prove he or she is not afraid to tackle anything! This one should trigger some comments!
Once again, HG challenges us to rethink things. I’m more willing to accept the challenge coming from a neighbor than a politician:
by Highlands Guy: OK, it’s time to let go.
It’s time to get your ego out of the way of our future.
When I say our, I’m talking about the civic entities of Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, and Rossmoor. We were fine during the “good ‘ol days”. But with the recession taking hold near the end of the 2000’s and the seemingly unstopable public employee retirement and lifetime health benefits, it’s time to face up to it and make a big change.
Geeze, between the three cities, you have it all. Obviously, we all have a huge stake in the school system putting it right near the top of the list. And the contributions of time, money, expertise and volunteerism from all three populations keeps the schools improving year after year.
This certainly is one example of cooperation of folks from all three communities who care and are willing to put in the sweat to do it right.
It is my contention that there is a lot of waste of time, energy, and money by each entity that have very similar needs, and are facing similar battles. And that we can call on the strength of our combined numbers to address them.
As a for instance, the ongoing intrusion of the freeway system by Caltrans, into local neighborhoods, could probably benefit from a show of force by our combined citizenry. The ability to go up against the next higher level of government requires big numbers.
Adding to this mix, one should understand that each of the three entities do some things very well (Like Seal Beach’s acuity at attracting new business, for instance). And each should acknowledge that they can learn some of these “best practices” from their neighbors. I also think this points to the strength within, and that our three communities are packed with a whole lot of big brain power from which the political leaders can be chosen.
My impression is that each arm of the triumvirate could only benefit from a larger tax base to bolster their largess against an economy that is predicted to only worsen over the next few years.
Additionally, there are a number of areas that certainly could be enhanced or created with the resulting economy of scale and/or just plain more people. Included would be:
- A “real” senior center. A dedicated building that addresses the physical, social, and economic challenges of an aging population.
- A child care center offering safety, security, and proven programs that attend to a variety of needs, including those with fewer resources. The positive results will be felt for years to come.
- A more refined way to address alternative sources of support for our award winning school system.
- One police force. The advantages of a more unified approach to policing activities within a relatively small area would outweigh the ingrained silo thinking in the first responder community.
- A bigger, more cohesive population may command more impact on County and State politics as well as local programs and projects.
-From the Saugatuck + Douglas (Michigan) Consolidated Government Committee:
“…Mineral Hills combined to form one jurisdiction, The City of Iron River. Here’s what Iron River recently had to say: ” The only voluntary municipal-government consolidation ever in Michigan took place when the cities of Iron River and Stambaugh, and the Village of Mineral about their cost-savings: ”
… it is estimated that the ‘new’ City of Iron River is experiencing an average saving of $1,350,000 annually.”
Where’d the savings come from?
Quoting the Iron River website: (Listed first:) “Combined all city offices thereby eliminating duplication including council members, managers, clerks, treasurers, office support staff, assessor, and legal counsel.”
…And that’s just the way I see it.