MOORLACH UPDATE — Patch — April 12, 2011

Dealing with some unincorporated areas is like having an adult child in your home.  “Dad, I want the car keys.”  “Son, it’s my car.”  “Dad, I want to be independent.”  “Son, you’re not even paying me the proper amount of rent.  How can you be independent?”  Perhaps if Rossmoor voted to approve a 7 to 11 percent Utility Users Tax, then we can begin negotiating about the car keys.

Today’s Los Alamitos-Seal Beach Patch discusses the Rossmoor Community Services District (RCSD) meeting agenda for this evening.  You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see where this preordained journey is going.  The RCSD Board will ask residents to confirm their support to approve the acquisition of latent powers from the Orange County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO).  If LAFCO does not concur with RCSD’s request, a lot of time, emotion, and funds will have been expended and we’ll have come full circle to be right back to where we are now.

You’ve got to appreciate the famous Winston Churchill quote:  “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.”  Once we have another financial study on the Rossmoor area, then we can jump into a more intelligent debate.  Which brings to mind another quote from Winston Churchill:  “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”

As Rossmoor Plots Its Future, Seal Beach Rejects Talk of a Supercity Merger

Rossmoor residents are asked to speak up today about how to move forward amid pressure to merge with neighbors.

By Paige Austin

Rossmoor community leaders are asking residents to sound off today on their vision for the community’s feature.

Rossmoor is at a political crossroads as pressure from the county to merge with Los Alamitos increasingly threatens the community’s status quo as an unincorporated island.

In an effort to stave off official annexation or de facto annexation by the transfer of police and animal control services to Los Alamitos, the Rossmoor Community Services District Board of Directors might try to take authority over police, animal control and trash services by petitioning the county for latent powers.

Tonight’s board meeting will be the public’s chance to come out and nudge the board towards a specific course of action, said Henry Taboada, the Rossmoor Community Service District’s general manager.

“We want people to come and tell us what they think,” Taboada said. “The board doesn’t want to take on something the community doesn’t support.”

The board built momentum toward acquiring latent powers last month after paying more than $10,000 for a phone survey of registered voters.

The poll of 300 Rossmoor voters found that most residents would prefer to keep the community operating in exactly the same way it has for the last 40 years. However, if the neither status quo nor annexation by Seal Beach is an option, most residents favored the push to take authority over police and animal control from the county and place it in the hands of the Rossmoor Community Services District.

To acquire latent powers from the county, Rossmoor officials need to prove that they have the support of the residents to do so.

So far, public support has been strong, said Taboada.

“We have had some folks call and say they weren’t included in the poll, and they want their opinions included,” he said. “Now is their chance.”

As Rossmoor residents and community leaders determine their next step, Los Alamitos officials have debated whether to support Rossmoor in its drive for latent powers or to align with Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach in his drive to merge the communities. Los Alamitos officials have said they would be willing to offer city services to Rossmoor if the city could annex Rossmoor’s only commercial center at the corner of Katella Avenue and Los Alamitos Boulevard.

Simultaneously, Moorlach has advocated other options for Rossmoor, including merging with Los Alamitos and Seal Beach to form a “supercity.”

While last month’s survey would indicate that the supercity option might be more palatable to the residents of Rossmoor, it holds no appeal to Seal Beach leaders.

At Monday’s City Council meeting, city officials unanimously decided to draft a letter to the county, stating that Seal Beach has no interest in anchoring a supercity.

FIVE-YEAR LOOK BACKS

April 11

2006

Here’s a rarity, a “Corrections” column in the OC Register.   Hoping you paid your property taxes on time.

                Orange County’s Tax Collector’s Office is at 12 Civic Center Plaza in Santa Ana.  Because of a reporting error, the address was wrong in a chart on Page 6 of the Marketplace section in the April 9 edition of the Register.

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