(Los Alamitos, 1/5/2012, by Dave Emerson) Attention Los Alamitos residents!
Our City Council is going to “give back” $358,000 of our tax money, and we’ve only got until January 15, 2013, to supply our input.
That’s a whole lot of money. In fact, it might actually amount to more than one third of Los Alamitos’ actual cash reserves. . . . if you offset cash on hand with total obligations including unfunded pensions and the loan on Laurel Park!
That makes this kind of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our town!
My guess is that there is still time to significantly influence the results of the “give-back” survey. And that could go a long way towards getting our town moving in the right direction!!
I’m interested in your feedback & thoughts on the survey’s options:
The survey form asks up to “Select 5 of the following [ten] choices and rank in order of 1 (most important) to 5 (least important).
Last year’s City Council is to be commended for a creative approach and for seeking community input. They deserve our thoughtful response.
I’m looking for ways to invest that money to give Los Al a better future. Several things come to mind:
- Develop a clear, broadly accepted long term plan for Los Alamitos’ future : where we want to be in 20, 40, and 60 years! As they say, if you aim at nothing, you’re sure to hit it. Even worse, if everybody’s aiming at different things, we’re apt to hit each other! Which is why the first step to broadly accepted long term plan is to. . .
- Develop a strong and effective independent association of Los Alamitos residents. Everyone agrees our City needs stability as well as broadly owned goals. That’s got to come from us, the people, and what better way to get it started than to “give back ” the “seed money” to get it started.
- This one’s a “two-fer” that costs practically nothing. Build an effective Neighborhood Watch program into that Los Al Resident’s association! Now that I think of it, it’s even better than a “2fer” because of the natural synergy of reducing crime in our neighborhoods and increasing community involvement.
This might just be the perfect time to put such a strategy to work, combining the efforts with the extensive work already done in both our current General Plan Update as well as the Compass Corridors Plan.
I’d suggest allocating an initial $58,000, split evenly, to the two items above, holding back the remaining $300,000 until the long term plan is developed.
On the city’s “Give-Back” Survey, those 2 items both would come under the last item, “Other (give us your ideas)”
Some of the other nine options are great ideas, but it seems to me they all pale in comparison with the two “big picture” ideas I suggested above. Once we know where we’re going & have a strong residents association giving input, it should be much easier to determine the optimal uses of the remaining $300,000.
In other words, let’s make careful use of this $358.000 “give back” resource. Then we can give back a gift that will become a legacy for future generations.
What do you think?