11 April 2011
March Madness took on a new meaning with the election of new councilmembers on March 1 and March 8 throughout our 54 city service area.
Returning to the Signal Hill City Council will be incumbents Larry Forester and Tina Hansen. At the Council’s reorganization meeting, Larry was elected Mayor.
Bellflower election results put a new face on the Council: Sonny Santa Ines will be replacing AACSC member Ray Smith, who has served on the council off and on for nearly 40 years. Thanks for your years of service, Ray! Joining Sonny will be Randy Bomgaars and Ray Dunton.
Lakewood City Council will now include Jeff Wood and returning councilmember Larry Van Nostrom.
In Cerritos, the three elected councilmembers include incumbents Bruce Barrows and Joseph Cho, with new-comer Mark Pulido bringing in the top vote count of 4550.
Norwalk ushered in three new councilmembers in the March 8th election: Marcel Rodarte, Leonardo Shryock and Luigi Vernola. Past Mayor and Councilmember Gordon Stefenhagen retired after more than 15 years of excellent service to the community. Thanks, Gordon. (Gordon is a member of AACSC and former board member.)
Seal Beach completed its November runoff earlier this year by electing Planning Commissioner Ellery Deaton to the Council. A longtime community activist, Ellery has lived in Seal Beach for more than 30 years and actively worked in Fountain Valley’s community for nearly 20 years before that, serving on the Parks and Recreation Commission.
On March 3, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Congressman Dan Lungren’s proposal to strike the new 1099 reporting requirement contained in the health care bill by an overwhelming vote of 314-112.
This proposal is a burdensome tax paperwork requirement that would cost all small businesses thousands of dollars each year.
This vote must now be reconciled with Senate Bill 223 to strike the 1099 reporting rule.
The National Muti Housing Council has published an update to its regular report on the industry’s most pressing regulatory, legislative and judicial issues. The February 18 edition of the Legislative Staff Report covers capital markets, property operations, energy and environment taxes, building codes, and more. It is available at www.nmhc.org/goto/6033.
The Gateway Region (our service area) is one step closer to the integrated, strategic management of its water resources with a $950,000 Planning Grant awarded by the California Department of Water Resources.
Provided through a competitive application process, the grant funds were awarded to the Gateway Authority, a Joint Powers Authority representing all cities in the Gateway Region. The funds, approved by voters through Proposition 84, will be used to create a plan that addresses all aspects of water resources management I the region.
The Gateway Authority’s planning efforts cross jurisdictional, watershed, and political boundaries; involve multiple agencies, stakeholders, individuals, and groups; and will address the issues and perspectives of the region’s diverse communities.
The Gateway Authority (Gateway Regional IRWM Joint Powers Authority) is a growing coalition of cities and government entities responsible for the regional water planning needs of two million people in the Gateway Cities Region.
Distinctive hydrogeological, topographical, demographic and political elements bring the Gateway Authority together as a cohesive, interdependent, self-governing body.
"The planning grant will allow us to advocate and plan for regional solutions to water supply and water quality challenges in the Gateway Region," said Chair Chris Cash of Paramount. "We see this as a great opportunity to continue economical and efficient water management activities across city boundaries," he continued.
On March 8, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Appeals Court upheld a District Court ruling dismissing a lawsuit filed against Post Properties by the Equal Rights Center (ERC), a non-profit civil rights organization that has previously sued several large owners.
The Court of Appeals concurred with the lower court ruling that ERC lacked standing to bring the lawsuit because any injuries the organization suffered were due to its own decision to investigate Post and were thus self-inflicted.
The lawsuit, which was filed in November 2006, alleged that 58 of Post’s properties are not accessible or usable. ERC can appeal the ruling to the entire Court of Appeals or the U.S. Supreme Court.
In separate action, however, on September 24, 2010, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit against Post Properties, Inc., Post Apartment Homes, and Post GP Holdings, Inc. for alleged non-compliance with the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act at properties located in six states. NMHC/NAA will continue to monitor these cases.
On March 9, the Senate Banking Committee held the first of several hearings examining the state of the housing market to "set the stage for a discussion of the future of housing finance," according to the committee’s Ranking Member, Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL). While the hearing focused almost exclusively on the single-family sector, NMHC/NAA submitted a statement to ensure that lawmakers understood the stark differences between single-family and multifamily performance.