30 June 2011
At press time, the most important development for you---our members---is a reminder that carbon monoxide devices are required in all single-family home rentals beginning July 1.
Duplexes and apartments will not be mandated for several more years or upon sale. Remember that the devices are only good for seven years, so check the date of manufacture on the back of the device. Combination smoke detector/CO devices are NOT recommended; smoke detectors should be placed higher on the wall as smoke rises. Carbon monoxide, on the other hand, is heavier than air and is best detected from a lower vantage point.
Pool Drain Cover Recall
Apartment owners and managers should be aware that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in cooperation with several manufacturers, has announced a voluntary recall of certain pool and in-ground spa drain covers produced after December 18, 2008. The CPSC determined that certain drain covers were incorrectly rated for protection against body entrapment, which could pose a possible hazard to swimmers and bathers. For a list of the manufacturers see http://1.usa.gov/jMK4q6.
In a Memorial Day speech, CPSC Commissioner Inez Tenenbaum said, "Operators of kiddie pools, wading pools and in-ground spas should respond immediately to this recall, while pools with multiple main drains or gravity drainage systems do not have to replace their covers. Now for those public pools and spas that need their covers replaced or fixed, I have an obligation to advise that those facilities be closed at this time. They should reopen as soon as the work is completed to address the recall and bring the facility into compliance with the law."
Not all drain covers are impacted. Apartment firms are encouraged to contact the Drain Cover Recall Hotline toll-free at 866- 478-3521 or visit the Drain Cover Recall website at http://www.apsp.org/draincoverrecall for additional information. For more information visit www.nmhc.org/goto/6138.
Further recall information is available at:
CPSC Press Release - http://1.usa.gov/jMK4q6
Pool Drain Cover Web Site - http://bit.ly/lqia5t
Frequently Asked Questions - http://bit.ly/kx3re7
Census Changes Long Beach Council Districts
On June 7th City Council voted to support redistricting Long Beach in a way that complies with legal requirements and unifies communities. Under the City Charter and the U.S. Constitution (specifically, the 14th Amendment), the City Council must change district lines after the Census comes out to comply with the principle of "one person, one vote." In other words, all councilmembers should represent roughly the same number of people. Because of population growth in the 8th and 9th districts, those districts must shrink and the 7th district must grow north.
In March, the Council approved a set of guidelines for the process that included keeping communities together, making districts compact, and avoiding splitting census tracts. The preliminary map adopted by Council complies with these principles, as it unifies a community that is currently split into two districts (the Bixby neighborhoods west and east of Orange Avenue), avoids splitting neighborhoods that are currently unified, avoids splitting census tracts, and makes districts more compact.
The redistricting maps are available online at www.longbeach.gov/redistricting.
Based on a total population of 462,257 in 2010, the ideal population for one of Long Beach's nine council districts is 51,362.
Traditionally, districts that are within five percent of the ideal population aren't given new boundaries, but if a neighboring district is outside of that range, then others may be forced to shift as well.
Here is the population by council district and percentage deviation from the ideal population size:
1st - 48,314; - 5.9 percent
2nd - 52,341; + 1.9 percent
3rd - 52,320; + 1.9 percent
4th - 51,456; + 0.2 percent
5th - 49,852; - 2.9 percent
6th - 48,206; - 6.1 percent
7th - 50,597; - 1.5 percent
8th - 54,075; + 5.3 percent
9th - 55,096; + 7.3 percent
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, city of Long Beach
New Assembly Senate Lines Drawn
Speaking of new boundaries caused by the Census, on June 10th the first glance at California's assembly, senate and congressional districts was unveiled.
These lines were developed by a volunteer, nonpolitical group as per the direction of the voters. The purpose was to create fair, non-gerrymandered districts that would give all political parties an equal chance to win elections.
From my political perspective, the district boundaries have a ways to go before the final decision in August. Check the maps out for yourself www.wedrawthelines.ca.gov
We will keep you updated on our analysis through the summer.
Budget D-Day is Upon Us
When you read this, budget day will have come and gone. Hopefully, 2011 will not be a repeat of the past several years when the budget day was completely missed.
In May, a coalition of 13 major business organizations from across the state, including the L.A. Area Chamber and the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, of which we are a member, formed the Coalition for a California Financial Workout Plan to encourage Gov. Brown and legislative leaders to restart negotiations around a five-point workout plan. The components include:
1. Spending Control and Budget Reform
2. A focus on Job Creation that includes Regulatory Reform
3. Pension Reform
4. Government Closer to the People
5. Extension of Temporary Taxes
"The citizens and businesses of California don't want short-term fixes that pass the problem on to future generations. Neither do they want another set of gimmicks or smoke and mirrors. Californians want real long-term solutions that put our State on a straight path toward financial stability and job growth in the future," the coalition press release indicated.
It can't all be done by June 15, but the framework of a workout plan can be in place by then. A sense of urgency, long-term vision, courage and compromise is what it will take. The benefits will last for generations. Please join us by calling upon Gov. Brown and the Legislature to work night and day to make this happen.
Energy Upgrade California
Multifamily properties will be offered various resources to support energy and green updates, including technical and financial assistance.
There must be at least five units in the building and rebates/incentives will range from $6,500 to $110,000 for qualifying projects. All construction must be completed by April 30, 2013.
Expanding the Taxing Authority
SB653 (Steinberg) has moved from a bill to an item for the budget and, subsequently, the ballot. If approved by the counties and community school districts, the voters will have the opportunity to dramatically alter California's tax structure. It will lift decades-old restrictions that prohibit counties and school districts from proposing local personal income taxes, local transactions (sales and rent) taxes, use taxes above the current limits, excise taxes and new local car taxes.
We are vehemently fighting this outrage with our coalition partners and our California Taxpayers Association.