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Signal Hill City Council sets March 5 election date for city councilmembers, clerk and treasurer

Council also approves $1.15 million in new library furnishings

Melissa+Turcotte+%28far+right%2C+at+podium%29%2C+environmental+engineering+specialist+with+the+LA+County+Public+Works+Department%2C+presents+to+the+Signal+Hill+City+Council+on+Oct.+23+information+about+Measure+W%3A+Safe+Clear+Water+Parcel+Tax+on+the+state%E2%80%99s+Nov.+6+election+ballot.%C2%A0%0A
Melissa Turcotte (far right, at podium), environmental engineering specialist with the LA County Public Works Department, presents to the Signal Hill City Council on Oct. 23 information about Measure W: Safe Clear Water Parcel Tax on the state’s Nov. 6 election ballot. 

Melissa Turcotte (far right, at podium), environmental engineering specialist with the LA County Public Works Department, presents to the Signal Hill City Council on Oct. 23 information about Measure W: Safe Clear Water Parcel Tax on the state’s Nov. 6 election ballot. 

Photo by Anita W. Harris | Signal Tribune

Photo by Anita W. Harris | Signal Tribune

Melissa Turcotte (far right, at podium), environmental engineering specialist with the LA County Public Works Department, presents to the Signal Hill City Council on Oct. 23 information about Measure W: Safe Clear Water Parcel Tax on the state’s Nov. 6 election ballot. 

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The Signal Hill City Council approved two sets of resolutions regarding the next general municipal election: setting the voting date of Tuesday, March 5, 2019, to decide city council positions and adding two ballot measures allowing voters to decide on future municipal-election dates (to be detailed in Part 2 of this story next week). 

The council also approved $1.15 million in furnishing purchases for the new public library under construction and heard presentations on Measure W, two local businesses and Signal Hill’s new online water-bill payment system. 

Municipal election
The council approved resolutions required by the California Elections Code to establish the next municipal-election date of March 5, 2019: a resolution giving public notice of the date; another resolution requesting that the LA County Board of Supervisors render election services; and a final resolution regarding candidate statements for the four council-related positions up for vote.

Two current city councilmembers’ four-year terms are expiring in March– Tina Hansen and Larry Forester, who are now serving as mayor and vice mayor, respectively. In addition, voters will choose a city clerk and treasurer, positions now occupied by Keir Jones and Larry Blunden, respectively. 

The estimated cost to the city for LA County to provide election services is $88,000, covered by the city’s budget of $100,000 for this purpose, according to the staff report. 

City Manager Charlie Honeycutt said that candidate nominations will open on Monday, Nov. 12, and close Friday, Dec. 7. If an incumbent does not file by then, the filing period will be extended to the following week.

Honeycutt said each candidate must pay a filing fee of $25 and $850 to print a statement in the sample-ballot booklet, part of which may be refunded if the printing cost is less than that. 

“For this next election, the candidate statements will be printed in three languages– English, Spanish and Khmer,” Honeycutt said. “The candidates may also choose to print in other languages, but that will be at an additional cost.”

Library furnishing
The council authorized the purchase of furniture, fixtures and equipment for the new Signal Hill Public Library under construction and scheduled to be completed in March.

Kelli Tunnicliff, public-works director, said the total cost of about $1.15 million is included in the city’s capital-improvement budget and covers indoor and outdoor furniture, shelving, custom light-fixtures, an electronic book-checkout system, security system, IT and audio-visual items and kitchen appliances.  

Tunnicliff said that, to ensure cost-efficiency, the city will use several existing purchasing contracts within the city and through government price-negotiation programs, such as California Multiple Award Schedules, National Joint Powers Alliance, Califa Group and a County of San Bernardino piggyback contract.

Mayor Tina Hansen said that the amount seems large but includes furniture for staff offices and a previously approved dinosaur design-feature for the children’s area.

Measure W
Melissa Turcotte, an environmental-engineering specialist with the LA County Public Works Department, presented to the council about Measure W, the Safe Clean Water Parcel Tax, which will appear on the Nov. 6 statewide election ballot.

“As you know, our LA region faces many water-resiliency challenges,” she said, citing polluted local waterways and changing weather patterns. “We have a heavy reliance on imported water– we import nearly two-thirds of our water.”

To address those concerns, Turcotte said that the 2.5-cent-per-square-foot parcel tax on impermeable land, which doesn’t allow water to be absorbed, would generate $300 million in revenue annually. The funds would be allocated by region, municipality and district to improve water quality, increase its supply and enhance communities. 

If Measure W passes, taxes would be levied beginning in 2019 through each property’s annual property-tax bill, she said.
Residents and businesses can check to see how much tax would be assessed on their properties at SafecleanwaterLA.org. 

“I love this program,” Vice Mayor Larry Forester said. “[It’s] the only way we’re going to get money to do things that we have to do.”

Water bill
Finance Director Scott Williams presented to the council about the city’s new online water-bill payment system that will be activated the week of Nov. 12. 
Through the new system, residents and businesses can manage their accounts, pay their bills and view consumption history online. 

Williams said the city will mail hard copies of bills to customers during the week of Nov. 12 with instructions on how to access their accounts, after which customers can opt to receive bill reminders by email.

Councilmember Edward Wilson suggested that cellphone notification and account accessibility be added as future options.

Business spotlights
Two local businesses– Asset Media Group and Market Ink XL– gave presentations during the council’s “small-business spotlight.”

Marc and Melissa Guy, Signal Hill residents and owners of Asset Media Group Inc., located at 2225 E. 28th St., #511, shared about their business’s video-production and media-advertising services.

“We do everything in-house,” Marc Guy said about what differentiates their firm from others. Some of their many local and regional clients include Disney and Google.

Mercedes Sepko, owner of Market Ink XL at 1406 E. 33rd St., said that her company produces large-scale banners, posters and window graphics for local cities, schools and businesses.

Photo by Anita W. Harris | Signal Tribune
Mercedes Sepko (far right, at podium) presents details about her business, Market Ink XL, to the Signal Hill City Council during its “small-business spotlight” on Oct. 23.

“We manage our production schedule to meet our clients’ needs and their deadlines,” Sepko said. “We want long-term relationships.”

Part 2 of this story on Signal Hill’s ballot measures allowing voters to decide future municipal election dates will appear in the Nov. 2 issue of the Signal Tribune. The next Signal Hill City Council meeting will take place Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 7pm in the council chamber at 2175 Cherry Ave.

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Signal Hill City Council sets March 5 election date for city councilmembers, clerk and treasurer