First of Five Part Series: An Inside Look at the La Mirada City Council Candidates-Andrew Sarega E-mail
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Written by Kiwanis Chronicles   

La Mirada~There are five candidates running for La Mirada City Council.  The election is scheduled for March 5th. In the race is Councilwoman Pauline Deal who was appointed to replace Susan Tripp in the summer of 2011; Mayor Gabe Garcia, seeking a second four-year term; Planning Commissioner and businessman Steve Keithly; Paramount Unified Schools Administrator Randy Gray; and Newport Beach Police Officer Andrew Sarega.

The Kiwanis Club of La Mirada has invited all of the candidates to speak at their weekly meeting, separately, and all have accepted. We will provide a brief snippet and some insight to each of the candidate’s speeches excerpted from The Kiwanis Chronicles.

The schedule is as follows: Andrew Sarega-January 23rd; Gabe Garcia-January 30th; Randy Gray-February 6th; Steve Keithly-February 13th; and Pauline Deal-February 20th.

The following is the first of a five-part series in which we hope to provide you a snippet and some insight into each of the candidate’s speeches. As of now, there has been no candidates forum scheduled for the community.

The Kiwanis Club of La Mirada and the La Mirada Blog are not political organizations.  These reports are for informational purposes only and do not reflect the views or opinions of the Kiwanis Club of La Mirada or the La Mirada Blog Network.

At the January 23rd meeting, candidate, Andrew Sarega expressed his pleasure at being allowed to speak to the members concerning his reasons for running for a position on the La Mirada City Council.

He was raised in La Mirada, attended Escalona Elementary School, Benton Jr. High, and La Mirada High School.  He studied for a time at Biola which he interrupted to play professional soccer in Europe.  After a debilitating injury he returned to La Mirada. He then was accepted into the police department in Newport Beach and remains there after five years service.  Due to his honorable record he received a Life Savings Award, is on the Board of the Police Action Committee, and is a Reserve Coordinator. Sarega is a graduate of Cal St. Fullerton with honors in Criminal Justice.  He speaks three languages and is working on a fourth.  He has Real Estate and Appraisers licenses, owns his own appraisal business, is president of a corporation, and is involved in a used car business.

La Mirada City Manager Announces Retirement E-mail
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Written by Tony Aiello   
Friday, 07 December 2012 00:00

La Mirada~Although already expected, La Mirada City Manager Tom Robinson recently announced his plans to retire.

Robinson came to La Mirada in 1985 and worked his way up to Community Services Director.

He became City Manager in 2008 when he replaced Andrea Travis, who resigned, when she clearly wore out her welcome, and was about to be fired.

“When I was selected as City Manager in 2008, the City Council requested that I commit to serving four years in the position,” Robinson said in a prepared statement, “That commitment has been fulfilled.”

Discussions will begin at the December 11th City Council meeting about hiring Robinson, 62, on a part-time basis until a replacement can be found.

“I have enjoyed my years in La Mirada, and appreciate the opportunity to serve as City Manager in such an outstanding community,” wrote Robinson.  “Any achievements I have made would not have been possible without the support of past and present members of the City Council, our dedicated City staff, and the community.”

“After 40 years in local government management, it is time to prepare for life’s next chapter,” he said.  “As I turn the page, however, be assured that I will continue to perform my responsibilities as City Manager with the same commitment as always.”

Sources indicate to us the City will use Robinson in the recruitment process, with pay.

His lifetime annual pension will be $189,227 when he retires.

La Mirada Voters Pass Measure I E-mail
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Written by Tony Aiello   
Wednesday, 07 November 2012 04:39

City's First Ever Local Sales Tax Passed by Almost 2-1 Margin

La Mirada~According to the numbers coming out of the County of Los Angels Registrar-Recorder's office in Norwalk, La Mirada's Measure I has passed.

With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, 67% of the voters in La Mirada have voted yes on the measure.

As of now, the vote count stands at 8,949 voting yes and 4,612 voting no.

Measure I will raise $4-5 million annually by raising La Mirada's sales tax to 9.75 percent, from 8.75 percent for a period of five years.

The city says it needs the funds to maintain infrastructure.

An oversight committee will be formed to monitor the funds.

In other La Mirada related election news:

The Cerritos Community College District's school improvement bond, Measure G has passed by a wide margin receiving just under 70 percent of the vote (63,645 to 27,447). The district claims it needs the funds in order to continue meeting the existing needs and growing demands for expanded educational opportunities in the community. The bond will add $25 for every $100,000 of a home's assessed value and will be added to annual property tax bills for La Miradans. 

La Mirada's Noel Jaimes (R) appears to be going down in defeat in the 57th State Assembly race. Ian Calderon (D) of Hacienda Heights has captured a little over 63 percent of the vote (65,297 to 37,696).

Bidding for her sixth two-year term, Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Lakewood, defeated Benjamin Campos in the race for the new 38th Congressional District.

Sanchez will now serve in the new territory that was created by redistricting, that will include La Mirada, she formerly served in the 39th District that included La Mirada.

Sanchez received just under 68 percent of the vote, doubling up on Campos, 106,844 to 50,889.

In the 29th State Senate District, it appears to be too close to call. With all precincts reporting, Democrat Greg Diamond has 96 votes more than incumbent Senate Republican leader Bob Huff (18,000 to 17,904).

MEASURE I : La Mirada Voters to Decide on Infrastructure Needs E-mail
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Written by Tony Aiello and Brian Hews   

What do you think? Vote in our poll on this page!

La Mirada~For the first time in its 52-year history, and reflecting the current state of the economy, the city will ask residents for financial help to maintain city infrastructure and services by proposing a tax increase.

For as long as anyone can remember, La Mirada City Council incumbents running for re-election have always used the fact that La Mirada has never had a local tax as a major part of their platform. Those days appear to be over.

Measure I will be on the November 6 ballot, and if passed by voters, will raise the sales tax in La Mirada from 8.75 percent to 9.75. The tax would go into effect April 1st of next year, and would last for a period of five years.

The measure has opposition, most notably former councilman Pete Dames who served from 1994-2011.

He said the way the measure has been presented is the classic “bait and switch” in politics and he doesn’t like it, “From the very beginning this was supposed to be all about the infrastructure and nothing else.”

“Once the actual wording (of the measure) came out, it was unbelievable, they added other things. They used all the common buzz words including senior care and police services,” said Dames, who asserted other then infrastructure repair needs, the city is fine.

Councilmember Steve Jones, a supporter of Measure I disagreed, “We’ve consistently said these funds are for infrastructure repairs,” look at our City’s record, La Mirada has always done what it said it would do. Measure I will maintain City services by assuring La Mirada has the money needed for infrastructure repairs without taking funds from other vital services.”

The aging La Mirada infrastructure repairs that are needed-identified as about $67 million worth according to a city study-includes traffic lights, streets and curbs, and the sewer system, among other things.

The measure is worded so the money would be put into the general fund instead of a specific need such as infrastructure-the latter requiring a state mandated two-thirds vote.

By including the other items in the measure, along with the infrastructure repairs, only a majority vote is required (50 percent plus one).

If the measure passes, the future tax revenue would go into the general fund and the city can spend the money on anything it desires.

“Money raised by Measure I will go directly into the ground for repairs throughout La Mirada,” says Mayor Gabe Garcia. “Both a twenty-nine member Citizen Task Force and the entire La Mirada City Council have strongly supported Measure I,” Garcia added. “The City Council is committed to making sure every dollar is spent as intended to repair roads, sewers and other infrastructure in La Mirada.”

City Manager Tom Robinson agreed with Mayor Garcia and Councilmember Jones, “The reality is that La Mirada needs additional funding in the coming years to make necessary infrastructure repairs. If the City doesn’t have funding to make repairs in a planned and orderly manner, we will face more costly, emergency repairs that will take resources from other services.”

The revenue was originally expected to generate $8-10 million annually or around $45-50 million for the five year period. However, a recent study by the city tax consultant revealed the revenue was miscalculated, and the city will only receive $4-5 million annually instead, generating $20-25 million total, and falling short of the $67 million total needed.

Bermudez, Calderon Campaigns Engage in War of Words Over “Porno” Mailers E-mail
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Written by Randy Economy   
Thursday, 24 May 2012 18:03

The campaign battle between local state assembly candidates Ian Calderon and Rudy Bermudez has taken yet another twist with the wife of Bermudez diving into the fray with a week and a half before voters head to the ballot box.

Calderon and Bermudez are engaged in one of California's nastiest primary campaigns in the newly created 57th Assembly District.

Voters on Friday and Saturday will be receiving a giant sized post card from Nancy Bermudez, the longtime wife of the former assemblyman that attacks the first time candidate Calderon for portraying her husband for supporting a bill that "wrongfully" portrayed him as "supporting child pornography."

The Los Cerritos Community Newspaper was emailed an advance copy of the campaign mailer from Bermudez campaign advisor Bruce Young.

In the mailer, Nancy Bermudez states "Ian Calderon sent out a mailer claiming Rudy voted with the porn industry on AB 281, which is an outright lie."

"As you can see, AB 281was a bill sponsored by the District Attorneys to increase the penalties for child porn. Even Ian's uncle, (Senator) Ron (Calderon), voted for the bill. Ian Calderon needs to stop lying. Ian hasn't earned the right to lie about someone who risked his life to keep us safe." The signature of Nancy Bermudez appears at the bottom of the mailer.

The bill, that Bermudez and every other member of the State Assembly voted to support, increases the penalty for possession of child pornography by making the possession of more than 100 prohibited items an alternate felony misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in county jail or by imprisonment in state prison for 16 months, 2 or 3 years.


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