Rossmoor consultant says district makes money for Orange County

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A consultant hired by the Rossmoor Community Services District said the unincorporated community generates income for Orange County.

County officials have long argued that Rossmoor costs the county money.

The consultant also criticized a recent report that advocated merging Los Alamitos, Rossmoor and Seal Beach into a single city.

The staff of Harvey M. Rose Associates, an accounting firm, concluded that Rossmoor is a “donor island” that contributes $317,440 a year to Orange County during a review of a “case study” of the financial benefits of merging Rossmoor into a “supercity” with Seal Beach and Los Alamitos.

Joyce Crosswaite, executive officer of the Orange County Local Agency Formation, declined to comment. “I have not read the study and it would be inappropriate for me to comment,” she said.

Case study in question

“The Case Study was deemed flawed, misleading, and certainly not on point by RCSD staff,” said an unsigned press release issued by the District on Friday, Dec. 9.

The “Shared Services Case Study” by GST Consulting was commissioned by LAFCO in March and issued on June 18. The Report concluded that merging Rossmoor, Seal Beach and Los Alamitos into a single city would save taxpayers about $2.5 million.

The Rose report was also critical of the assumptions that led GST Consulting to reach that conclusion. The Rossmoor Community Services District board approved a resolution that criticized the GST Consulting case study before hiring Rose Associates to examine the case study.

The Rose report criticized the report for failing to look at new costs for a merged city.

“For example, the City of Seal Beach is the only jurisdiction of the three that operates its own detention facility and water and sewer utilities. Staffing of these functions is now based on a city the size of Seal Beach,” the Rose report said.

“The consolidated General Fund financial position of the three separate jurisdictions is misstated in the Case Study Executive Summary as being a deficit of $85,555. The correct number is a surplus of $85,555,” the Rose report said.

“Costs would be incurred in these and other operations to account for the increased population to be served at the same level as Seal Beach residents are currently served,” the Rose report said.

Rossmoor and Los Alamitos’ sewer system is provided by the Rossmoor/Los Alamitos Area Sewer District, which serves Rossmoor, Los Alamitos, the College Park West area of Seal Beach and parts of Cypress, according to www.rlasd.org.

Resistance to super city proposal

To date, the super city proposal has met with more resistance than support. Seal Beach City Council members have opposed it. Rossmoor board members have opposed it.

Supervisor John Moorlach once said that it would be up to voters to decide if the three communities would merge into one city. Moorlach has said LAFCO cannot force the super city on Sun Region residents. Moorlach chairs OC LAFCO.

Moorlach has advocated the super city merger since 2007.

Rossmoor consultant says district makes money for Orange County