Opinion: A Super City is Rossmoor’s best choice

Ken Brown

The Sun articles, “Considering a Mega City” in the March 3 issue, and “Rossmoor considers survey of its residents” in the March 17 issue, bring up a range of choices facing Rossmoor residents.
Most residents of Rossmoor seem not in favor of annexation by another city. However, we are inextricably tied to our neighbor cities. We cannot depart from, or return to, our community without passing through Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, or both. Whether we like it or not, we are living with the consequences of actions of the Los Alamitos and Seal Beach city councils.
It is in the Rossmoor residents’ best interest to be in a position to influence those actions. That premise alone makes the Super City approach attractive.
The residents of both cities are also burdened with redundant costs of duplicative municipal hierarchies. All residents would benefit from a streamlining of the local Governments.
The reactionary howls of those with a vested interest in the status quo are predictable, but are not a valid determinant of whether the Super City is a good answer.
Combination of the populations of Los Alamitos, Rossmoor, and Seal Beach would produce a city of about 10 square miles, not counting the mostly self-governing Naval Station, and about 53,000 population.
A major benefit of such a combination would be the return of governmental influence to the residents.
As things stand now, the residents of the three areas frequently find themselves running a distant second or third behind local special interests in their ability to influence their representatives/employees.
Maintenance of neighborhood identities should not be a problem. College Park East and West, in Seal Beach; Belmont Shore and Naples, in Long Beach, and many others have managed to do it, to the satisfaction of their residents.
Next to overcoming the objections of employees waiting for their next job-hopping opportunity, selection of a generally acceptable name is probably the biggest challenge.
Rossmoor residents, if we wish to participate in resolution of this situation, should discontinue the vilification and cheap shots at Supervisor John Moorlach, at Rossmoor Community Services District meetings, with the cheerleading frequently by the RCSD Directors themselves.
Supervisor Moorlach is one of the brightest officials in California, but has been misled by RCSD in the past, relative to Rossmoor incorporation, and is leery of working with Rossmoor as a result. Even with this strained relationship, County services in Rossmoor are excellent, with near universal satisfaction among the residents.
The proper organization to represent Rossmoor is the Rossmoor Homeowners’ Association, with its voluntary membership, and without the close proscription of duties of the RCSD. The RCSD was never intended to represent the residents, but to manage well-defined tasks in the residents’ interest. Current activities of the RCSD, in expending District assets in pursuit of expanded duties, are reminiscent of their expenditure of $140,000 of District funds pursuing incorporation, and fall well outside their legitimate tasks.
Residents of Seal Beach, Rossmoor, and Los Alamitos should not summarily dismiss discussion of the Super City, as many of them do, but should consider it in light of the growing burden of ever expanding municipal governments.
The $10 million Seal Beach borrowed to pay its pension liabilities a couple of years ago will be gone in a flash, and they will need to borrow again. A couple of months back, a resident of Los Alamitos asked in a City Council meeting what the Los Alamitos pension liability is.
The council responded with blank stares, and a promise to find out and respond. Nothing yet. The RCSD Directors have been implementing new employee policies proposed by the general manager. They seem to have little or no interest in what the policies say, and act as rubber stamps for the general manager. Get ready for “special assessments.”

Ken Brown is a longtime resident of Rossmoor.