Join fellow OC Democrats to discuss the results of the June 5th Primary Elections. Learn which candidates will move on to November, hear them speak and how you can get involved in their campaigns. Featured speakers: Josh Lowenthal, Tom Umberg and Olaina Anderson.
BUY RAFFLE TICKETS TO WIN (2) TICKETS TO THE DODGERS GAME JULY 15TH – DONATED BY JOYCE AND DUANE DALMAN
The California State Assembly is the lower house of the California State Legislature. It consists of 80 members, with each member representing at least 465,000 people. Due to the state’s large population and relatively small legislature, the State Assembly has the largest population-per-representative ratio of any state lower house and second largest of any legislative lower house in the United States after the federal House of Representatives. As a result of Proposition 140 in 1990 and Proposition 28 in 2012, members elected to the legislature prior to 2012 are restricted by term limits to three two-year terms (six years), while those elected in or after 2012 are allowed to serve 12 years in the legislature in any combination of four-year state senate or two-year stateassembly terms.
Members of the assembly are generally referred to using the titles assemblyman (for men), assemblywoman (for women), or assemblymember (for all genders).
The California State Senate is the upper house of the California State Legislature. Due to the state’s large population and relatively small legislature, the State Senate has the largest population per representative ratio of any state legislative house. In the United States House of Representatives, California is apportioned 53 representatives, each representing approximately 704,566 people, while in the State Senate, each of the 40 Senators represents approximately 931,349 people, with the result that California state senators each actually represent more voters than California’s representatives to theUnited States Congress do. Each member roughly represents a population equivalent to the state of Delaware. As a result of Proposition 140 in 1990 and Proposition 28 in 2012, members elected to the legislature prior to 2012 are restricted by term limits to two four-year terms (eight years), while those elected in or after 2012 are allowed to serve 12 years in the legislature in any combination of four-year state senate or two-year state assembly terms.
The red tones of the California State Senate Chamber are based on the British House of Lords, which is outfitted in a similar color. The dais rests along a wall shaped like an “E”, with its central projection housing the rostrum. The Lower tier dais runs across the entire chamber, there are several chairs and computers used by the senate officers, the most prominent seat is reserved for the secretary who calls the roll. The higher tier is smaller, with three chairs, the two largest and most ornate chairs are used by the President Pro Tempore (right chair) and the Lieutenant Governor (left chair). The third and smallest chair, placed in the center, is used by the presiding officer (acting in place of the Pro Tem) and is rarely sat in as the president is expected to stand. There are four other chairs flanking the dais used by the highest non-member officials attending the senate, a foreign dignitary or state officer for example. Each of the 40 senators is provided a desk, microphone and two chairs, one for the senator, another for guests or legislative aides. Almost every decorating element is identical to the Assembly Chamber. Along the cornice appears a portrait of George Washington and the Latin quotation: senatoris est civitatis libertatem tueri (“It is a senator’s duty to protect the liberty of the people”).
JULY – OCTOBER
YES WE CAN DEMOCRATIC CLUB AND DCSB
Location: Marina Farmers Market – Long Beach
Time/Dates: TBDVOTER REGISTRATION
JULY – OCTOBER
DEMOCRATIC CLUB OF SEAL BEACH
Location: Pocket Park, Main Street, Seal Beach
Time/Dates: TBDVOTER REGISTRATION – OC Fair
JULY 12 – AUGUST 13
DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF ORANGE COUNTY
Location: OC Fair
*STAY TUNED FOR WAYS TO GET INVOLVED TO GET OUT THE VOTE
LOCAL ELECTIONS ARE AROUND THE CORNER…WE NEED CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES.
DCSB is on the search for people to run for Seal Beach City Council – District 1, 3, and 5 and Los Alamitos City Council Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more. We will help support candidates ( in a non partisan manner), help them to get candidate training and try to get volunteers to set up a team for them.
Fueled by a combination of increasing costs for fire services, ballooning pension payments and flat sales tax revenue, the City of Seal Beach is grappling with how to balance a budget that has more cash going out than coming in.
“There is no easy fix,” District Four Councilwoman Schelly Sustarsic wrote in an email regarding the budget this week.
The challenging financial situation will be front and center at the Seal Beach City Council’s next meeting on June 11, which has what is shaping up to be a jam-packed agenda filled with key items related to the city’s finances.
Next Monday, the council is expected to adopt a budget for fiscal year 2018-2019, which currently has a projected $832,300 deficit. It’s also expected to consider the recommendation from the city’s Fire Services Advisory Ad Hoc Committee to continue a costly contract with the Orange County Fire Authority.
In addition, city staff will present to council new revenue options, including, possibly, a tax-raising ballot measure. Lastly, council could consider approving a contract with an oil consultant to find new oil revenue, according to City of Seal Beach Finance Director Vikki Beatley.
The votes on these items could have a lasting impact on the city’s financial health and capacity to pay for critical services residents have come to expect.
“City staff has been doing the best possible to mitigate the increase in expenses and we are now at the point where these types of possibilities need to be discussed,” Beatley wrote in an email this week. “Everyone needs to be realistic about the cost of providing services to the community.”
Cutbacks have been a top focus for the City of Seal Beach as it crafts a new budget for the next fiscal year that starts July 1. Some of the city’s proposed cuts include reducing staffing levels, cutting the $100,000 worth of discretionary money given to council members and scaling back on the cleaning of public buildings, restrooms and the beach. “Even with these cuts, there will be some tough decisions to be made over the next several months to cut even more and I believe those are necessary for the long-term stability of the City,” District Two Councilman Thomas Moore wrote in an email this week.
While cuts are part of the budget balancing act, increasing revenue is also critical. Property taxes and parking fees are expected to bring in more money in the coming years, but other sources of revenue are projected to be stagnant. So how can the city bring in more money to offset rising expenses? And how much money does the city really need?
These are questions that could be answered at the June 11 meeting.
Searching for new revenue
A Strategic Objective adopted by the city at a Strategic Planning Meeting in March directed the Finance Director to: “Research, evaluate and recommend to the City Council for direction options for new revenue sources, up to and including a new ballot measure.” Beatley said the plan is to present the options at the June 11 meeting but did not offer any more details on the options.
Tax-raising ballot measure
A ballot measure to raise taxes has been floated for months and was discussed at two public budget workshops in May. A sales tax hike appears to have the most support from city leaders, as it would be paid by residents and visitors, but many council members are wary of raising taxes.
“Raising taxes is not a popular idea and no one is anxious to do that,” Councilwoman Sustarsic wrote in an email. She explained she is open to the idea of a sales tax increase on the ballot but wants to see a “long-range projection of our pension, fire and safety costs presented in order for all of us to have good information on which to base this decision.”
District One Councilwoman Ellery Deaton expressed similar concerns and said an increase in property or sales tax should be considered “after all other measures have been exhausted.”
Beatley estimated a half percent sales tax hike would generate between $1.8 and $2 million in new revenue while a $100-per-parcel tax increase could generate $580,000 in new revenue. Also, raising the Transit Occupancy Tax, which is charged to visitors who stay at hotels in the city, from 12 percent to 13 percent could generate about $137,000 in new revenue, according to Beatley. She described these estimates as “back-of-the-envelope calculations.”
The city has an Aug. 10 deadline to get a ballot measure on the November ballot.
“Quite frankly, at this point in the year, a ballot measure is going to be really difficult for us to get on,” City Manager Jill Ingram said at the last budget workshop in May. “We do have time, it’s just going to be a sprint to get there and we’ll make it happen.”
Emphasize shopping local
Another idea for ramping up revenue is to get more residents to shop at local businesses. City leaders have long cited the growing prevalence of online shopping as a threat to the local economy. Online sales are blamed for decreasing sales tax revenue and city staff and elected officials are encouraging residents to shop local. “If we have a store that you like in the City, then go to the store,” Beatley said.
Oil revenue has been hailed as a potentially huge source of new money for the city.
On June 11, city council is due to consider approving a contract with previous city contractor and oil consultant Greg Kirste and Municipal Petroleum Analysts. Originally scheduled for council consideration last December, after months of negotiations, the contract was finally signed in April, but still needs council approval.
Kirste estimates there is between $13 and $20 million in revenue for the city to collect. The revenue sources could be from past or future fees, taxes, judgements and other payments oil companies and businesses may owe the city. Under the proposed contract, Kirste would be paid a 15 percent contingency fee on any money the city collects from his findings.
What the city has not specified is how soon Kirste will deliver any money. In recent interviews, Kirste did not offer a timetable for recovering oil money but said he is confident there is a lot of money out there owed to the residents of Seal Beach.
— Democrats will be reminding voters of Poizner’s past tough statements on immigration when he was a candidate for governor eight years ago. With the Democratic voter registration advantage, strategist Roger Salazar tweeted that Lara will “crush” Poizner come November. But if he succeeds, Poizner’s path could be a template for other Republicans — perhaps San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer — for whom the “R” after their names has been a ticket to nowhere, at least lately. — “Persky recall called victory for ‘girls and women everywhere'” by SFChronicle’s Bob Egelko: “Persky, a judge since 2003 and a former prosecutor, sparked voter anger in 2016 after sentencing Brock Turner to six months in jail after the then-19-year-old Stanford swimmer’s conviction of digitally penetrating and attempting to rape a drunk and unconscious woman on campus. … The victim’s courtroom statement about the devastating impact on her life touched off a nationwide furor and fueled the recall campaign against Persky. He became the first California judge since 1932 to be recalled.” Story. — “What to expect in these crucial California congressional races” by LATimes’ Christine Mai-Duc and Jazmine Ulloa: “With the threat of primary shutouts seemingly behind them, California congressional candidates from both parties must pivot as Democrats seek to unseat established GOP incumbents and capture two open seats in the fall. Many of the matchups look to be quite competitive — a good situation for Democrats who are counting on winning some GOP-held districts in California in order to retake control of the House.” Story.
SEAL BEACH, ROSSMOOR AND LOS ALAMITOS ARE UNIQUE COMMUNITIES. WE HAVE LOCAL PAPERS. LET US USE IT TO EDUCATE PEOPLE. CONTRIBUTE.
CONTACT THEM BELOW. Do you want to know more about what is going on with Seal Beach government? Seal Beach is special in that we have a publication that informs its residents. Let us find a real purpose for it.