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Guest Column: Seal Beach should invite Rossmoor into the city Charles Kelly | Fri, Nov 10 2017 12:05 AM

The chief of police wants to increase the number of officers. The County of Orange wants to reduce services to unincorporated areas.

What these topics have in common is the concept of critical mass, as it relates to Seal Beach and Rossmoor.

Returning the size of the Seal Beach police force back to the historical norms is a goal that makes sense.

However, it would be easier to do that if those costs are spread across a larger population base.

Rossmoor enjoys its independent status, but the county has made it clear that it is uneconomic to continue to provide police and other services to the smaller island unincorporated areas.

At some point, Rossmoor may be faced with the choice of joining a city, with the likely choices being Seal Beach or Los Alamitos.

As a former resident of Rossmoor many years ago, I believe that Seal Beach would be the preferred selection.

Seal Beach should consider formally inviting the unincorporated area of Rossmoor to become part of the city. From our standpoint as Seal Beach citizens, we would be welcoming a demographically attractive community to the city.

Rossmoor has high per capita income, high real estate values and a relatively low average age.

These are factors that are valued by business enterprises that might consider locating in our city.

Rossmoor has a population of over 10,000 people, which would increase the population of Seal Beach to around 35,000 or so.

This is important because it provides economies of scale in purchasing and positive operating leverage relative to the fixed costs of service functions.

In other words, you need a certain size or critical mass to operate efficiently and a somewhat larger city would achieve that.

Further, Rossmoor borders the Rossmoor Center, which is already part of Seal Beach.

The customers of the Rossmoor Center are a natural fit for the city.

As we saw with the decision to reject the proposed fitness facility at the Center, we have interests in common with the residents of Rossmoor.

What this proposal would do is give those residents a say in projects that affect their neighborhood.

In addition, the people of Rossmoor would be getting a full suite of city services that would be tailored to their needs, rather than their current sparse police protection, to name one important consideration. They would also be part of Beach City, which has benefits in many ways, particularly in the valuation of residential real estate. Also, they would finally get rid of that Los Alamitos mailing address and replace it with Seal Beach.

Seal Beach and Rossmoor are natural partners.

We are located next to each other, have similar demographics, share a common school district and are culturally compatible.

In a future where the costs of infrastructure and other aspects of government service are growing more expensive, it makes sense to combine the areas to gain scale economies. Both Seal Beach and Rossmoor have much to gain from the combination.

Paul Wayne is a Seal Beach resident.

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