Welcome To La Habra Heights . Net
News, Information & Analysis on the City and the Issues
|"The Superior Court said Staff abused discretion. Instead of fixing our review process, which is broken, someone decides it's a good idea to give more discretion to Staff. That's good comedy but bad government. - Resident Bill Phelps at Sept 2013 Council meeting discussing City Council proposed changes to weaken Codes and give Staff more discretion.|
|* Do you want City Staff or Councilmembers looking in your yard?
* If not, ask/demand your councilmembers enact ordinance regulating and prohibiting drone use by the City.
* Council previously considered using helicopters for code enforcement but too costly. Drones are not expensive.
|Defibrillator located in lobby to left of doors into Multi-Purpose room.|
|Mr Higgins sent a one sentence email to the City Manager.
"Please remove Item 21 from the agenda I know(sic) longer want to pursue this item." Read here
No explanation was given.
It is unclear if CM Higgins has the authority to remove the item on his own, as it was originally agendized by two councilmembers and the entire Council voted to continue it to this meeting.
Placed on the Consent Calendar for the August meeting, which means approve without discussion, the Higgins'/Miller's Foundation/Heights Watch takeover bid to become the only Official Watch program in the City faced strong headwinds of community dissent.
Why it is being abandoned now is not known.
It may be prudent for those opposed to the takeover to still be prepared to speak again at the Thursday Council meeting, in case the Council discusses the agendized item anyway.
|When CMs Higgins & Miller first attempted to crown themselves the only "Official" Neighborhood Watch group in the City, putting themselves ahead of long established groups, vocal opposition showed up at the City Council meeting, forcing the Council to postpone the decision citing community discord, now scheduled for 10/12. Meeting Report Here
In the meantime, new details about Higgins/Miller's Foundation and Heights Watch have emerged.
Their 2016 BBQ was substantially paid for with Public Funds. 2017 BBQ funding details are not yet available.
At the October 5th Neighborhood Watch/Sheriff's Presentation, the Sheriff Dept representative questioned Mr Higgins about Heights Watch. Sheriff Representative Layman said the best neighborhood watch groups are small neighborhood groups that meet regularly.
Longtime Neighborhood Watch/Firewatch (a long established different group) member Norm Zezula talked about how their group had radios to communicate with each and tried to meet monthly.
Higgins/Miller's Foundation and Heights Watch are substantially funded with tax dollars.
Claim: Increased City Transparency
Excerpt from Mr Higgins Campaign Website
While each sentence of this campaign statement is truth challenged, we will look at the transparency claim.
Note: Other incumbents also tout transparency. These facts equally apply.
Access to City Records: Residents used to be able to walk up to the counter at City Hall, request a record and, most times, have access immediately.
City Website: Contrary to the claim, many records have been REMOVED from the City website, including the Council's removal of 25 years worth of Council documents in April 2017. They had already been scanned. They had already been put on the website and indexed. Why were they removed?
Election Transparency: During the 2015 Election, the Los Angeles Superior Court found that the City Council had tried to mislead voters on the Healthy Cities ballot measure. Here
Open Meetings: State Law, the Brown Act, requires the City Council to make decisions in public, except for limited exceptions.
Official Determination of Transparency: Both the Los Angeles Superior Court and the District Attorney's Office of Fraud and Corruption determined the City Council not to be transparent in those incidents.
I hate the Brown Act: Mr. Higgins is no stranger to a dislike of the open meeting law.
Not allowing Public to comment: Twice in 2013, the District Attorney's Office sent letters to the City regarding not allowing the public to speak or criticize staff, and not making decisions without notice and opportunity for public comment.
Censorship of Meetings: In September 2014, Councilmembers Higgins and Miller put an item on the agenda to censor out Public Comments from the broadcast of Council meetings.
Self-Serving without disclosure: A number of Agenda items have been to benefit Higgins' and Millers' Foundation, from having the City remove Neighborhood Watch signs so they could put up their own Heights Watch Signs, multiple occassions of seeking waiver of thousands of dollars of City rental fees for Foundation events, receiving $4000 of City funds for their foundation, and City Sponsorship of their events. Most of these items did not state that they were put on the Agenda by Higgins and/or Miller. During discussion they, for the most part, speak about the item in third party terms, not letting on that they are the beneficiaries, and then voting on items that were to their benefit.
50 people attended the Neighborhood Watch/Sheriff Presentation
|At the October 5th Neighborhood Watch Meeting, several residents spoke of calling the Sheriff Dept to report a crime or incident and the person on the phone would not take a report.
Calls regarding mailbox breakins and mail theft were referred to the post office. A resident reporting someone doing donuts on the street night after night was told, "It's just kids"
Residents asked how can crime be accounted or addressed if the Sheriff Dept won't respond or take a report.
If you would like to have your call count, the Sheriff rep said to ask the Desk person to send the LHH Deputy a message regarding the incident.
A Sheriff Lieutenant present said to have them take a Courtesy Report.
|This item was in the October Warrant Report for the City Council meeting.
A replacement Tie-Tak for Councilmember Kyle Miller at $313 from Geiger Jewelers.
Should residents be buying replacement jewelry for Councilmembers?
We hope (expect?) the Councilmember reimbursed the City, but there was no notation of that.
CM Miller also sought reimbursement for a $5 Uber Cancellation cost, in another Warrant item.
Board meeting October 2, 2017
|At the Lowell Joint School District Board of Trustees meeting, Monday October 2nd, the Board voted on criteria for redistricting. Read criteria here
Redistricting was set in motion by threat of lawsuit in a July letter to the Board if the District did not comply with the 2001 California Voting Rights Act.
Criteria included not creating districts that would put current incumbents in head to head contests.
The Board also received reports on Student test scores. Almost in all categories Lowell Joint students performed better than the averages of Los Angeles County, Orange County and the State of California.
Screenshot City Website October 1, 2 & 3
|Higgins'/Miller's Foundation Status 10/1|
|On October 1st, visitors to the City Website found it was suspended, apparently due to administrative issues.
In recent months, the City Council has been dealing with the delinquency of CouncilMembers Higgins' and Miller's Foundation, awarding City Funds to HM Foundation, waiving City fees for HM Foundation, attempt by HM Foundation to jump the line and be Official City Watch group, breaking 30+ year tradition of Thursday night Council meetings, and other self-serving items, and may not have had time to take care of regular business.
Full House at September 26 Planning Commission
Commission Deliberates on 10,000 sf house
|A rare Public Hearing for a proposed new 10,000 +/- square foot home on a Picaacho Dr ridgeline brought mostly comments of concern from neighbors and direction from the Planning Commission to modify plans to comply with Codes and the General Plan.
The Applicant for 849 Picaacho sought Standards Modifications including for setback encroachment, building height, size and reduction of distance between structures.
Neighbors were concerned with the large structure looming nearby, privacy issues, view blockage, drainage, access for fire vehicles on a narrow private road, the structure dominating the ridgeline, and voiced Code and General Plan violations. Several people from out of town and elsewhere in the City felt the Applicant should be able to build his dream home.
Most Commissioners were also concerned with the size and placement of the structure.
Councilmember Kyle Miller's appointee to the Planning Commission, local builder Ray Fernandez, felt the plans were fine and that the Applicant could have proposed more.
The Commission voted 5-0 to continue the item to the October meeting with direction for revising plans.
Almost all new houses and remodels in the City are approved over the counter, with no oversight or review. The City Council has made several rounds of Code changes reducing thresholds for oversight and allowing more building, grading and encroachments.
|From Next Door Blog September 2:
"Roni M, La Habra Heights East
Our mail box on East Road off of Fullerton was broken into Saturday
Original post by Adam M. B. from La Habra Heights(13 replies):
Fortunately I took my mail out yesterday, but not sure if my neighbors were so lucky. Please be safe, and if you see something suspicious, say something. Its unfortunate, but crime is everywhere!"
Earlier this year, this writer saw a group mailbox broken into, called the Sheriff Dept and the Sheriff Dept would not take a report even after asking to be transferred to the Captain.
At the next Council meeting, the Council asked the Sheriff representative about Mail Theft and he responded it is not a priority for them and people should contact the Post Office.
Council members looked at each other and no one asked the Sheriff Dept to make it a priority.
The Sheriff Dept is paid over $60,000 per month.
With 3 seats up for election this November, voters can decide if Council inaction on local crime is acceptable.
|As the September BBQ of Councilmembers Higgins and Miller group approaches, with City Fee Waivers, Los Angeles County just released documents showing $1,000 Taxpayer payment for costs of the 2016 BBQ.
Linked here are the contract signed by Kyle Miller and receipts provided by Michael Higgins.
Should taxpayers be footing the bill for Councilmembers' private group functions?
Should residents expect councilmembers to spend "hundreds of hours" as CM Higgins stated, for their personal foundation events, using tax dollars, or would residents hope councilmembers to spend time to get funds directed to the City for City benefit?
|At the August 14, 2017 Council meeting, an item to waive $1400 in fees and insurance for an event by Councilmembers Higgins and Miller's Foundation was considered.
The Staff Report (read here) says, " the event provides food, which is free to those who join the Heights Watch program."
The Council, in a vote which CMs Higgins and Miller did not recuse themselves from despite the personal benefit or appearance of bias, passed the waiver and agreed for the City to co-sponsor the event.
Although all residents are subsidizing the event by the fee waiver and City co-sponsorship, only Higgins/Miller private club members will partake in the free food, leaving others watching from the side or having to pay, again, for their own food.
|Transparency Note: Despite the controversial nature of the letter, Lowell Joint School District promptly provided us with the letter upon request. Thank you
In contrast, the City of La Habra Heights has denied access to similar letters, or only provided after weeks of delay and multiple trips to City Hall.
The City used to provide prompt access to records, but the City Council instituted policies to delay, discourage, and deny residents access to their own (public) records after earlier records releases showed wrongdoing of Councilmembers or the City, or led to embarassment of Councilmembers or the City.
As the records embargo continues, some residents ask, What are Councilmembers trying to hide?
|After their election, Councilmembers are sworn in and select out of town committees and organizations that they will represent La Habra Heights on.
The outside meetings are chances to respond to threats to and opportunities for La Habra Heights.
Each month, they are required by law to report upon what has transpired the previous months in those groups for which the City pays for them to attend.
At the August 14 Council meeting, Councilmember Higgins reported, "I have not been to any meetings, but I have been working diligently putting the fall festival together. That has taken hundreds of hours to get that going."
The fall festival is an event put on by Councilmember Higgins' and Councilmember Miller's private group.
Mr Higgins is the alternate representative on League of California Cities and Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG). SCAG, among other things, creates quotas of low income housing for each city, and regional transportation and street recommendations. SCAG previously recommended expanding Harbor Blvd to 6 lanes.
|Lowell Joint School District Voted to redraw the District Map after receiving a lawsuit threat from Attorney Kevin Shenkman seeking to boost under-represented minorities according to a Whittier Daily News Article - Here.
Most of La Habra Heights Elementary and Middle School public school students attend Lowell Joint Schools.
Lowell Joint is one of the top rated school districts in the State.
Two of the current School Board members live in La Habra Heights, a third lives north of Whittier Blvd. A change to by-district elections may affect the impact of La Habra Heights on the quality of education.
|During an August 14 Council discussion of whether to waive Park Rental and Insurance fees for an event for Councilmembers Higgins and Miller Foundation, the Delinquent status of the Foundation was raised.
After some back and forth, the Council agreed to waive the fees if the Higgins/Miller Foundation could prove they were no longer Delinquent.
|Speaking at the Council meeting and in phone calls or emails to Councilmembers, residents opposed Councilmembers Michael Higgins and Kyle Miller plan for their "Heights Watch" to become the only official neighborhood watch program in the City at the August 14, 2017 City Council meeting.
Several speakers said they were familiar with "Heights Watch" and that Heights Watch "did nothing".
Others said all community groups should be able to function and it was not necessary for the City to make one "official". The existing Neighborhood Watch program had been around for 30 years and is functioning, and speakers questioned why it was going to be squashed.
Rather than recusing themselves from the discussion of an item they put on the agenda for their own benefit, CMs Higgins and especially Miller vociferously lobbied and tried to convince the others to approve the takeover.
Miller said with being an "official" City group they would be able to get money.
Citing community discord, the Council voted to continue the item for two months.
|Three incumbents; Brian Bergman, Michael Higgins and Kyle Miller and two challengers; Norm Zezula and Carey Klingfus filed papers to run a five year term in the November 7th election.|
|Agenda item 17 of the August 14, 2017 Council meeting approves making the Higgins/Miller Heights Watch the official neighborhood watch in the City.
Agenda item 18 approves waiving Park Rental fees and insurance requirements for the Higgins/Miller Heights Watch fall event and that the City should co-sponsor the event.
In 2013, shortly after their election, Councilmembers Higgins and Miller started a foundation.
At the March 2014 Council meeting, CM Higgins and Miller requested an agenda item to remove the signs of the long established Neighborhood Watch program, run by an established citizen organization, and that signs for their new "Heights Watch" program be installed.
Higgins and Miller properly recused themselves from discussing or voting on the item, and the rest of the Council did not approve it.
That was the first and last time CM Higgins and Miller recused themselves from items benefitting, financially or otherwise, their foundation. Since then, they put items for their foundation on agendas, lobby in favor of them, and then vote for them. Most recently, they voted to give their foundation $4,000 of City funds.
In April 2014, Mr Higgins signed a contract for a $9,000 Grant from Los Angeles County for Heights Watch signs and posts.
In December 2014, after an audit of Expenditures, LA County demanded the Higgins/Miller Foundation return $6,724 of the $9,000 grant because of unaccounted and disallowed spending.
While Mr Higgins was Mayor in 2015, a resident listed illegal, unethical, or unsavory actions by the Council or Foundation.
The Higgins/Miller Foundation received a second County grant of $28,734 for Jaws of Life for the Fire Department.
|Incumbents' Partial Record:
Multiple Los Angeles County Superior Court Rulings of Illegal Actions including:
L.A. County District Attorney, Fraud and Corruption Division Investigations, including:
L.A. County audits of Councilmembers Higgins/Miller foundation grants found:
Over $800,000 in Settlement Costs for Lawsuits against City
Almost 40% of City Did Not Receive Promised and Paid for Road Repairs
$3.5 Million for New City Hall, when City Consultants said only needed $100,000 reroof and $1M spent over 10 years
Council Eliminated and Reduced Opportunity for Residents to Participate in Meetings
Council Weakened Codes to Help Spec Builders & Flippers, Hurting Neighbors
Requests for Public Records Delayed, Denied and Frustrated.
Councilmembers Higgins & Miller voted to give $4,000 of your tax dollars to their own Foundation
Council Approved Solicitation for Commercial Strip Mall at Hacienda Rd and West Rd.
Planning Commission put out to Pasture. Over 90% of Houses approved over the counter with no resident oversight.
Higher Trash Rates, Trash "Tax" imposed. Council Posts Armed Deputies to Keep Residents out of Trash vendor meeting.
Counci Eliminates Airport Shuttle Vouchers for Residents, but Keeps $100,000+ annual Subsidy for Builders.
Whittier Daily News Editorial Opposes Councilmembers Higgins and Miller Censorship Scheme - Here
|Residents, having just seen two Gas Tax increases and a Homeless tax, are now facing Voting for new City Taxes.
On July 13, 2017, the Council voted to put a Roads Tax on a mail-in Ballot. (Story Below)
The Council also discussed Fire Department Funding.
Councilmember Higgins said, "We talked about revisiting and perhaps even putting a new issue on the ballot, maybe not this time, but later for the Fire Department." (Source July 13th Council meeting at 4:44)
The Council passed an increase to the current Fire Tax at the July 13th meeting. The Fire Department has funded a surprising amount of non-firefighting expenses including portions of the City Manager and other staff salaries, and in the past even for landscaping and overhead.
|At their July 10th meeting, the Roads Committee voted unanimously to recommend that the City Council place a General Utility Tax before the voters to fund roads.
On July 13th, the City Council instead voted 3-2 to have a mail-in ballot for a Benefit Assessment District tax.
The residents have twice voted (in 2001 and 2007) to approve a Road Tax of that type, and in 2012 voted over 2-1 to defeat the proposed tax.
The Council discussion turned to whether people trusted the City Council, as had been a topic of discussion several times at Roads Committee meetings.
The Roads Committee Chair, addressing "Do we trust or not trust", said "The person who questions that or questions you or any other Council members in the future, maybe they should look at their own lives and maybe they are just projecting their own lack of trust of themselves and projecting that on you (the Council) because I don't see a problem"
At Roads Committee meetings, residents spoke of the need for safeguards in whatever tax, if needed, is proposed citing past Council actions and Court rulings.
Residents also identified existing funds that could pay for Road Maintenance without any new Taxes.
During the last Road Tax program, the Council diverted funds from maintenance, leaving about 40% of the City without promised and paid for maintenance. The Council also disbanded the Public Works Committee which had been overseeing the project.
In 2013, a Superior Court Judge found the City had failed to follow its own laws.
For a 2015 election Ballot Measure, a Superior Court judge found the City Council had tried to mislead voters.
Read about these and other Council transgressions and investigations here.
|About 250 Community surveys were returned to the City's Survey consultant.
Some survey questions had been called confusing and ambiguous.
45% say the Quality of Life in La Habra Heights is excellent.
The Park, equestrian programs, and senior services received low rankings.
The full results can be found here.
The Council used the Survey results in their Road Tax decision.
Neighbors gather early on a Saturday morning. More arrived after picture taken.
|Early on Saturday morning, July 1st, about 30 neighbors and residents gathered with the builder, architect and the City Planner regarding a 12,000 sq ft proposed house on the Picaacho Dr ridgeline.
Neighbors expressed concerns about house size, placement near to the property line and looming over neighbors, access on a narrow private road, dominating the ridgeline, failure to comply with the City Codes and General Plan, whether the house would be used for a church and events, and more.
Questions were raised regarding whether the City was processing an application from someone who may not even be the property owner or have authorization from the property owner.
The house had been moved about 5 feet from a previous version of the plans, which did not satisfy neighbor concerns, but the architect said he felt it was all they could do.
|Resident and Planning Commissioner Alex Villanueva announced his candidacy for Los Angeles County Sheriff on June 27th. See LA Times Story here
Mr. Villanueva made a first run for City Council in 2015, narrowly losing by 25 votes to an incumbent.
Area within 12" of sprinkler head is green
|Over the past few years, the City Council has voted to expend $170,000 to replace the irrigation system and controller at the Park.
Is this a successful use of taxpayer funds? The Council does qualify that it was done with grant money.
Will the designer or contractor be held to account, or will residents have to pay to restore the grass?
On Saturday morning, June 10, 2017, about 25 concerned neighbors gathered at 9 A.M. at the site of a proposed 12,000 square foot house on Picaacho Dr. Also present were the City principal planner, applicant, architect and landscape architect.
Concerns included the size of the house, proximity to neighbors, access, traffic, and the Applicant's status as a "church".
Possible solutions were discussed and the applicant appeared receptive to making changes to plans.
In a similar situation on Encanada Drive, after meeting with neighbors, the applicant reduced the house size about 1000 square feet, moved the house back about 50 feet, and the City allowed trees to be preserved as screening.
Only 3 new houses have been brought to the Planning Commission in the past 8 years.
Residents around the City are upset with large homes dominating neighborhoods being built seemingly with no oversight and in violation of the City General Plan, and are demanding involvement in the process and protection of their property rights.
|From an Orange County Register Article:
"SCALING FENCES: When searching for food in neighborhoods, coyotes are known to scale perimeter walls and fences. Coyotes can easily leap an 8-foot fence or wall. They have been spotted climbing over a 14-foot cyclone fence."
|In December 2016, former Firefighter Trainee Jared Hartstein filed a harassment lawsuit against the City.
Note: This Lawsuit is different from the Estrada Wrongful Termination/Harassment lawsuit settlement in the next item.
The City's Attorney filed a response to the claim. (Reader Warning: Graphic Language) Read the City Response here
Read the Court ruling on Trial Date and Conferences - Here
Reader Warning - Claim and Lawsuit contain graphic language
|The City's annual liability insurance cost more than doubled for 2017/18 to $439,000.
A representative from the City's insurer explained at the May 18th budget session that one claim, costing $790,000, drove most of the $244,000 increase.
That claim was a 2016 Settlement of the 2013 Estrada Wrongful Termination & Harrassment Lawsuit for $500,000, plus $290,000 in Attorney costs.
The $244,000 insurance premium increase would have paid for nearly all the $250,000 cost of Storm Drainage repairs for this year.
The City Council is preparing a new Utility Tax for voters to consider to pay for Road and Drainage Maintenance.
|From Next Door Blog. JK writes on 5/31:
"Thank you for the acknowledgment of this issue. The crime has recently skyrocketed in La Habra which frightens us LHH residents. We dont sleep well anymore because we are listening and reacting to cars driving down our private road, in fear of a break in of our car or home. We are nervous to go out of of town and leave our home, even though it's alarmed. I know I'm not the only resident feeling this way. We know that the sheriff does not patrol like they do in other cities. We understand that the funds are not there. The problem is that the La Habra Heights paper published the public announcement that there is not enough funding to have night patrols. This information going public puts us residents in a vulnerable position because now the bad guys KNOW our weakness, which is no police patrol at night. We were furious to read that in the paper. Even during the day it could take an hour for the Sheriff to respond to an incident. Is the LHH communicating with the city of La Habra to discuss the recent influx of crime that is occurring?"
Earlier, the City Posted:
"Mgmt Aide Chris Yoo, City of La Habra Heights
|Introduction||Goals & Contributors|
|Environmental Resource Management Plan||Air Quality|
|From the Fire Dept website:
"2017 Wildland Fire Training in La Habra Heights
On May 23rd, 24th, 25th, and 26th of 2017, from approximately 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. the La HabraHeights Fire Department, Los Angeles County Fire Department, and other local Firefighters from Brea, Fullerton, Compton, Vernon, Downey, and Santa Fe Springs will be conducting our annual Wildland Firefighter training on the west side of La Habra Heights. Residents may see a large commitment of fire apparatus, including helicopters operating in the area.
This training improves our preparedness, interoperability and communications that will be used to successfully mitigate emergencies and save lives and property. Coordinating dozens of Fire companies from multiple jurisdictions is complex and challenging. These drills provide not only the ground based Firefighters an opportunity to practice their firefighting operations, it also provides an opportunity Air Operations the Command Staff from different Departments to work together"
|Councilmembers Michael Higgins and Kyle Miller are each co-executive directors and founders of their own private 501c3 foundation, established after their election to the City Council in 2013.
At the May 11, 2017 City Council meeting, an Agenda item considered the future of the Avocado Festival.
Councilmember and Foundation co-executive director Higgins said:
Councilmember and Foundation co-executive director Miller said their foundation is a 501c3 and that 501c3's can get county grants and fee waivers.
Councilmember Bergman said the City previously had budgeted $3,000 for the Avocado Festival and made a motion to increase it to $4,000 for whomever put the festival on.
Prior to a vote, Councilmember Francis inquired of Higgins, "Earlier you said you wouldn't require any funds or are you asking if we are going to give you funds?"
Councilmembers Higgins and Miller did not recuse themselves from voting to give their foundation City funds, and proceeded to vote in favor of the $4,000 expenditure.
The Council did not ask for any post-festival accounting report from the foundation of how City funds were used.
The Higgins/Miller Foundation twice previously received grant funds from Los Angeles County, and both times County Audits found unaccounted, disallowed or disqualified spending.
|September 2015 - Higgins/Miller Foundation 2 for 2 in County Audits of Don Knabe Grant.
County Disallows Spending & Demands Refund.
click to read County Demand letter
| December 2014 - Board of Supervisors Demands Payment of Unaccounted Funds found in Audit of Councilmember Miller/Higgins Foundation Grant. Another Expenditure disqualified.
See Unprecedented Christmas Eve Demand Letter - Here
|Helicopters and the sound of sirens filled the sky on Friday, May 5th about 7 p.m.
What looked like a brush fire on the east Heights ridgeline, near the antenna farm site brought multiple fire engines and L.A. County water dropping helicopters.
The copters completed the water drops about 7:45 p.m.
Several years ago, residents were concerned that the 25 story tall 550kv Edison power lines and towers on the City ridgeline might be an obstacle for fire fighting helicopters.
The helicopters dropping water tonight, did appear careful in their approaches to the fire, staying high above the power lines.
Smoke rises in the dusk sky over LHH
One of several LA County Fire helicopters circling
in for a water drop on the fire.
|On Friday, May 5th, a resident reported to us finding, not just mail, but an entire mailbox with mail in it on the side of West Rd. The mail was marked with a Lupin Hill Rd address. The mailbox had been cut off and taken away.
At the March Council meeting, the Sheriff Dept representative, upon questioning, stated that mail theft is not a priority for them, and to call the Post Office. The Council accepted that position.
The Sheriff Dept is paid $66,000 per month for services in La Habra Heights.
The "Broken Windows" strategy of policing suggests going after small things so crime does not escalate. If criminals are getting away with mail theft, now stealing an entire mail box, they might feel emboldened for more break-ins, burglaries, etc.
As we reported before, the Post Office has a new service where they email you pictures of mail you will be receiving that day. If your mail is stolen, at least you will have an idea of what was there, or if you see an important mail piece coming you can make arrangements to get it soon after delivery.
The address to sign up for the service is informeddelivery.usps.com
|A resident took advantage of a downed tree for creative scultpure and addition of reptiles, an owl, and a hawk.
We withold the location due to City Council animal keeping crackdown and Weed Abatement threat.
|Background and Related:
* Hartstein Claims Anti-Semitism & Harassment. City Denies Charges - WDN Story
|La Habra Heights, as well as cities across the country, has had repeated bouts of mail theft.
After a discussion regarding mail theft at the March Council meeting, listeners took away that the Post Office is stretched too thin to do anything, it is not a priority for the Sheriff Department, and the Council was not interested in directing the Sheriff Department (paid over $60,000 per month) to move it up in priority.
Residents have taken measures themselves including getting their mail earlier, installing cameras, such as wildlife cameras, to have pictures of the perpetrators, and using locking mailboxes.
The Post Office has a new free service that can prove useful.
The address to sign up for the service is informeddelivery.usps.com
|On Sunday morning, March 5, the City Fire Engine 71 didn't quite navigate a curve on East Rd and ended stuck straddling the road edge.
With skilled removal should be minimal to no damage.
Update - Monday March 6 - An inquiry to the Fire Dept regarding the status of 71 was answered that Engine 71 is ok and they are having a mechanic check it out to be sure.
At the March Council meeting, the Fire Chief said the incident occurred because the fire engine swerved to avoid a car coming from the other direction that went over the line.
|The City charges up to $671 for Paramedic response to Seniors, the Injured and the Sick.
Under Proposition 26, the City cannot charge more than a service costs to provide.
Residents pay an annual tax for Fire and Paramedic Service.
If one considers the Fire Tax a "readiness to serve" charge, the only costs for responding to an emergency call are gas, bandaids and dispatch charge; well under $100.
The City is able to continue profitting from the sick and injured because the $671 charge predates Prop 26.
It would be illegal to profit from Paramedic fees under current law.
Paramedic fees go to to the General Fund
The City Council voted to subsidize Builder permits with a 47% contribution from the General Fund.
If you don't think it is right for the Council to balance the budget on the back of Seniors, the Injured and Sick and use the profits to subsidize wealthy Builders, contact your council members.
|Posted January 21, 2017
4 Home Robberies on Kanola Rd in a month
EM from La Habra Heights East еб 6h ago
That's terrible and sorry to hear that. We've lived in the heights for 15 years and never heard as many as we do recently. What street is it on?
CM from La Habra Heights East еб 5h ago
E we're on Kanola between East Rd and Dorothea. Close to Fullerton Rd. My poor neighbor has been here over 30 years and felt really safe until now. Her and the neighbor across the street were robbed on different days. The neighbor directly across from me also got broken into. Such a shame. The police officer told us to keep a look out for black vehicles. They have been reported as suspicious.
NA from La Habra Heights East еб 4h ago
They must have been watching and saw her leave. This makes me so angry and I don't feel as safe as I did. Kanola is the street behind me. I have lived here 34 years and was broken into once in 2004 during the day, was gone about 3 hours. They threw a brick through the sliding glass door. We will be more diligent knowing that this is happening.
|Posted January 13, 2017
Burglars on Subtropic Dr.
Last night (1/13) around 9:40 p.m., our home was nearly broken into. We live on Subtropic Dr. between Encanada and West Rd. The suspects were carrying flashlights as they were trying to break-in into our home. I was putting my 1 year old to sleep when I noticed the disturbance. As soon as I turned on the lights from outside, the intruders ran off and got into a getaway vehicle that was waiting for them on the street. I called the Sheriffs Dept., who sent 2 units to investigate. Due to the rain, I was unable to identify the make/model of the vehicle or the intruders. it seems that they may have used the easement road for access. I know this easement is used by other neighbors. Luckily nothing was taken or no one was hurt. Please be vigilant.
|Stream alongside Hacienda floods road.
Developer relocated stream closer to road several years ago.
|Drainage course next to East Rd floods road and neighbors when meets under driveway pipe either clogged or too small.||East Rd floods where drainage course blocked by driveway.|
|Former Firefighter Trainee Jared Hartstein or his Lawyer first filed his claim against Orange County in June, which they rejected as being not in their Jurisdiction.
Despite Orange County's specific written direction to file the claim with the City of La Habra Heights, also providing the address, the claim was filed in the City of La Habra in July, which they rejected as not being in their jurisdiction.
In August, on the third try, the Claim (Reader warning: Disturbing) was filed in La Habra Heights. It is unclear if the filing was done on time.
The third cause of action in the lawsuit is for trespass and damage. Paragraph 54 of the lawsuit alleges that the water main in the family home burst due to increase in pressure to 110 psi, alluding to named LHH firefighters having knowledge of water hydraulics and water utility systems.
We filed a Public Records Request with the City to see the Jared Hartstein claim, but the request was illegally denied.
Residents continue to try to get the Council to return to the, almost exemplary, prior handling of records requests, where 95% of requests were completed at the counter immediately.
Related City Legal Issues:
|Crew and Equipment on scene New Year's Day||6" Water Main exposed after excavation||Crew thought tree roots broke pipe.|
Case Number: BC643384
|Watch ABC7 December 15, 2016 News Story on the Lawsuit Filing
Click Arrow at left to play
When done watching click the Pause button || or new video will start playing
Note: Commercial not ours
|The Habitat Authority is doing a native revegetation project in Powder Canyon.
Pipes are for irrigation system to water plants until they are established.
|City Council has suppressed monthly Crime Report for last two months.
What are they trying to hide? Uptick in Crime?
|See Preliminary Precinct Results|
|Residents turned to the monthly warrant report to find out what the City was spending taxpayer money on.
No more, as the Council eliminated the report, using the guise of "saving paper" - the 13 or so pages needed to print it.
Speculation is the Council tired of having to explain wasteful spending and with an upcoming Road Tax Election did not want voters distracted by asking why existing city funds couldn't be spent fixing roads instead of a new tax.
|Story in Orange County Register
"La Habra has led Orange County in the number of West Nile virus-infected mosquito samples collected this year, with 62."
One of the collection points is at the LHH City Limit. Mosquitoes do not stop at City borders
Not only has LHH City Council done little to nothing about the threat, but two Council members have been distributing rain barrels, known to be mosquito breeding grounds, as recently as this past weekend (10/16), with the approval of the rest of the Council.
"I haven't found one rain barrel that's completely mosquito proof" SGV Mosquito & Vector Control District spokesman
The Council members took advantage of our tax dollars as an opportunity for self-promotion.
|Villa Park has 5900 residents, slightly more than the 5300 in La Habra Heights, but has 1/2 the number of full time paid City Staff.|
If you want a barrel for rainwater or emergencies you can find them in La Habra for $10 on Craigslist.
No rebate needed. No need to subsidize politicians with your tax dollars.
A nice looking one for less money at Home Depot.
Or a fancy one for couple dollars more at Home Depot.
Tired of Telemarkers and Polling Organizations?
The City announced it will hire a consultant to poll residents after the Nov election to determine how much property owners might be willing to pay for a New Road Tax.
Do they even want to hear from you?
Viewers of City Channel 3 have noticed a change.
|- Politicians with Foundation
- Using Public Position for Personal Benefit
- Influence Peddling
- Misuse of Government Staff for Foundation Activities
- Politicians Giving own Foundation Discounts and Benefits
- Using Public Funds for Personal Foundation, and Claiming Credit
- Appearance of or Actual Conflict of Interest
|"I haven't found one rain barrel that's completely mosquito proof" SGV Mosquito & Vector Control District spokesman
Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District Tips on "Keeping Mosquitoes out of Rain Barrels". Here
On June 10th, 11th, and 12th, from approximately 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., the La Habra Heights, Los Angeles County, and other local fire departments will be conducting wildland firefighter training on the west side of La Habra Heights. Residents may see a large commitment of fire apparatus, including helicopters operating in the area.
Over the past few months, the La Habra Heights Fire Department has been hosting joint Wildland Firefighter training in La Habra Heights with other local fire departments.
|Anti-Corruption Crusader Libi Uremovic had investigated the City of Beaumont over several years reporting on the city stealing millions of mitigation fees (here).
Last year, the FBI, State and County began their own investigation culminating in the arrests and jailings.
One of those involved was former Beaumont City Planner Ernest A Egger. An Ernest A Egger was City Planner for La Habra Heights in the 1980s. It appears this is the same person Info.
LHH Residents Phil and Aida Lough had been doing their own investigation of La Habra Heights finances.
They encountered delay and denial of records requests and City officials denying anything was wrong.
The Loughs found many instances of unaccounted checks or checks shown as VOID that had actually been processed.
Ms. Uremovic audited LHH books for Fiscal Year 2011 and made findings of "Embezzlement and Forged Check Warrants". See her report here.
Ms. Uremovic faced the same extensive delays obtaining records as many residents had.
The City posted a 2013 voice mail message and video recording of Ms. Uremovich's frustration in obtaining records on the City website. Hear Voicemail Watch Video
(This is a WARNING to residents that you are being recorded at City Hall and if they don't like what you say may put it online for the world to see.)
After having denied repeatedly that anything was wrong, the City issued two reports answering Ms. Uremovic's charges admitting "inept practices" in the Finance Department and spending that had not been reported on City Warrants.
Read the City reports:
Response #1 to Charges Against the City by Elizabeth Uremovic - May 9, 2013
Response #2 to Charges Against the City by Elizabeth Uremovic - May 9, 2013
The City has yet to issue corrected Warrants for the Countil to review and approve, nor has a corrected Audit been issued, nor a statement by the City Auditor as to the errant processes and how they were missed in multiple Audits.
The Loughs have reported that not all the missing checks have been accounted for.
Residents have asked or demanded on multiple occassions for the Council to correct the financial reports.
In an LA Times story on the Beaumont Officials' Jailings and Arrests, the Riverside DA said, "Public servants must remember a basic truth - we serve the people. Any money handled by a city or any government is the people's money and should be handled as such. Those who run our governments and make laws are not above the law."
Each month the Improvement Association publication, Heights Life, includes the above disclaimer, sometimes in bold.
Apparently, they would like you to believe the answer is "no".
But, as Bill Clinton said, "It depends what the definition of "is" is."
LHHIA has been receiving $8,000 per year of your tax dollars from LA County.
LHHIA receives free or discounted use of the City Park and facilities for most of their events.(example)
LHHIA receives free use of City facilities to store their paraphernalia and equipment.
LHHIA receives free trash service for most of their events courtesy of the Council writing the perk into the trash contract.
While there is no line item in the City Budget that says "LHHIA", the direct taxpayer funding and in-kind benefits are estimated at around $30,000 per year.
Rather than parsing the language, wouldn't it be nice if they just said "Thank You" to the taxpayers?
|Read Appeal Here
The City had received at least two letters of protest from neighbors against the project. In the past, that would trigger automatic Planning Commission review, but no longer. Council changed policy to protect Builders.
Project was proxy signed by City Planner on his last day. Did he even see it?
Was it rushed? Were details missed? What other projects were hastily approved? What other neighbors will suffer?
In recent years, the City lost a court case for violating its own Codes and settled another case for not following Codes.
The City Council then weakened Codes giving the Planner more discretion and removing requirements.
A resident, who was both a lawyer and law professor said of the Council code changes, "The Superior Court said Staff abused discretion. Instead of fixing our review process, which is broken, someone decides it's a good idea to give more discretion to Staff. That's good comedy but bad government."
The Council raised the appeal fee to $1800+, discouraging residents from challenging inappropriate or illegal development.
Practically all building projects are approved over the counter. Planning Commission now rarely meets.
In the past 8 years, less than a handful of building projects have been brought to Commission for review and approval.
Planners have been granted broad authority by the City Council to follow codes and protect community character, yet most are not here long enough to learn and understand about the City. At least 9 Planners in last 18 years.
Fun Fact: Builders receive a 43% permit subsidy courtesy of LHH taxpayers, but if you want to appeal a building project that affects your property rights, you have to pay the City determined full cost of $1828.
- Dexterity - Ability to Rubber Stamp Developer and Council Friend's Plans with left or right hands,
A recent Court Decision finding City did not follow its own codes, another Court case settled for not following Codes or CEQA, and multiple DA sanction letters for Brown Act violations and not allowing the public to speak at Planning Commission meetings highlight the City's dedication to a non-traditional planning and approval process.
Job includes a salary, benefits and vacation.
City Risks Losing Thousands in Funding Due to Mean-Spirited City Council Ban on Children Riding Bicycles at Park.
Bicycle Riding an Infraction
|Have you noticed huge, unsightly houses sprouting like noxious weeds in recent years and wonder how they got approved?
City Codes require new homes to:
How many new houses do you see that meet these requirements?
The Council also requires YOU to provide builders a 43% subsidy of building permit costs.
The City Council has deliberately weaked City Codes against resident protests that the changes violate the General Plan, and has neglected to, or deliberately failed to, ensure that other City Codes are followed. The Planning Commission is not performing oversight and rarely meets.
Why might the Council fail to enforce codes?
|While Margarita's contributions to the community are amazing on their own, they are more so as she gave her most in her 80s. Margarita was on the General Plan Advisory Committee (GPAC) in 2001, as part the of the Land Use team and general editor.
When GPAC finished with the General Plan, she was a resource and advocate at the Planning Commission and City Council through 2004.
Margarita was on the City Planning Commission until 2012 using her incisive thinking, passion, knowledge of the General Plan, City Codes and State Law to treat applicants fairly, battle with building industry representatives seeking damaging code changes, and preserve our rural environment.
The words she wrote live on in the General Plan to inspire us, remind us of why we live in La Habra Heights, and challenge us to pick up the torch and continue to fight to preserve our unique rural environment and against over-development, excessive grading and concrete:
Hear Margarita speak to the City Council, at age 86, about damaging Code changes that continue to erode our rural environment. "Why the hell are we doing this" Watch and Listen
Listen to Planning Commission Vice-Chair Margarita McCoy describe the legitimacy, strength and purpose of the General Plan - Here
We are fortunate that people like Margarita, and others who have passed on; like Tom Higgs and Gene Beckman, used their "Golden Years" to fight over-development and commercial forces to give those younger the opportunity to know a rural La Habra Heights and decide if they want to fight for it too, or let it dissolve into the concrete and sprawl sameness that surrounds us.
|Responding to our inquiry, The Department of Oil and Gas said that Matrix is doing mandatory idle well pressure testing to ensure that wells that are not currently producing or injecting are in compliance with state regulations.
We made inquiries to Matrix Oil and received the following response:
How did the fluid level test which required a DOGGR field engineer to witness the tests (according to the 2015 DOGGR letter) become now in doubt possibly eliminating the need for more extensive testing?
May it be prudent to do the more extensive testing anyway, especially since all equipment and personnel are present or already lined up?
We may put answers to the questions on www.LaHabraHeights.net if they are of community interest.
Matrix Oil Response:
|* March 25, 2016 - - Case Number BC502851 $500,000 Settlement Wrongful Termination
Read Settlement - Read Lawsuit
|* September 2015 - CM Higgins/Millers' Foundation caught a second time misusing tax dollars.
County demands refund. click to read
|*August 2015 - DA Fraud & Corruption Division Finds Council Wrongdoing and Brown Act Violation
in Back Room change to March 2015 Election Oil Measure Title. Read DA Finding Here
|* April 2015 - Settlement Case Number BC525436 - Lawsuit City Breaking Own Laws & CEQA|
|* December 2014 - CM Higgins/Millers' Foundation caught with "hand in cookie jar".
County demands taxpayer funds be returned. See County Demand Letter
|* December 2014, Los Angeles County Superior Court Ruling Finds La Habra Heights City Council Broke the Law, Writing Misleading Ballot Question for Oil Measure. Here
|* In November 2013, the DA sent a letter to the City Council warning not to make decisions without notice and opportunity for public comment.
|* Also in Nov 2013, the DA sent another warning to the City for not allowing the public to speak and trying to prevent criticism of staff
|* May 2013, Superior Court ruled City violated own Codes. Council failed to perform oversight. Read Judge's ruling|
|* Late 2012, the DA threatened the Council with convening a Grand Jury if another Brown Act violation occurred.|
|# Note: In a 2012 interview to become a Councilmember, Michael Higgins stated,
"I hate the Brown Act!" (Open Meeting Law) Watch
|# Note: In an 18 month period from December 2013 Three City Attorneys and Two Law Firms resigned.
City Attorney Codes requires resignation if client will not follow legal advice or is breaking the law.
|# Note: Above items are those we are aware of. There may be more.|
|* Council claims Permit Discounts help the "Little Guy" build.
* "Little Guy" gets less than $100 to a few hundred dollar discount.
* Spec House Builders see $10,000+ Discounts.
* Hmmm..... Who is really being "helped"?
* Should your Tax Dollars be used to give Builders discounts, or should they pay their own way?
* If you are fixing your roof or adding a room, do you want your neighbors to subsidize you?
|Remember the City Council Spin? A neighborhood restaurant. Community Gathering.
Reality - Concept Plan shows 2 Drive Throughs, Commercial Shops, 81 Parking Spaces
.Would you want to live next to this?
You thought Commercial was a violation of General Plan & City Codes? It is, but .......
Council initiated changing General Plan.
All it takes is 3 Councilmembers voting to ruin city and the community not paying attention.
Note: Councilman Roy Francis was lone NO vote in pursuing Commercial Development
|Here is listing info|
|Here is city council agenda - See Closed Session. Thursday Feb 11, 5 p.m., City Hall|
|Sales Brochure - Includes concept plan above and stated construction of 2nd quarter 2016|
|Related: Read July La Habra Journal article on Council vote to pursue commercial dev - Here|
|Related: Where did City Council get idea for Strip Mall at Hacienda & West?
Planning Commissioner & Developer Ray Fernandez speaks in October 2012 - Listen
Mr Fernandez has also advocated for bringing high density, low income housing.
|"I haven't found one rain barrel that's completely mosquito proof" SGV Mosquito & Vector Control District spokesman|
|Overturned Truck - Las Palomas. January 2016. Neighbors have reported 4 overturned trucks in last month. Pleas to Council for help with oversize trucks to no avail. (Picture courtesy Alex Villanueva)||Seen on Dorothea Rd. A victim of speeding vehicle?|
Roads Meeting Saturday January 9th, 9am - 11am
Council Votes to Initiate new
Cut Pork & Waste
to Fund Roads
|Source - Annual amounts||Amount||
|Gas Tax, Prop C, Measure R||$250,000||
|General Fund Contribution||$250,000||
|End Builder Subsidy. You pay more so builders can pay less.||$100,000||
|Use 1/2 of New Trash Fee (Tax)||$40,000||
|Use 1/2 of New Oil Tax||$80,000||
|Reduce Council travel to 2012 level||$3,000||
|Have Volunteers Assist with Public Records Requests||$60,000||
|Switch 4 day workweek to Tues-Friday eliminate paid Monday holidays||$30,000||
|What is your idea? Send it to us|
|From La Habra Police Website:
"At about 3AM,our officers were assisted by the North County SWAT team, Placentia Police, ATF, HSI, and Orange County Probation and Parole in serving search warrants on the 1400 block of W. Lambert Rd, the 1200 block of N. Cypress, and the 600 block of S. Palm.
Council needs Road Tax to keep the Party going.
From December 2015 City Warrant Report
New Transportation Plan Proposal Shows
click to read
Under City Council Code changes, houses like this can be called "Single Story".
Why does it matter?
Click to Hear Mayor
|Mayor Tells Resident Who Reported on Recent District Attorney Office Corruption Division Investigation of City, City Court Losses, and other issues to Leave Town if he didn't like how City is run.
Resident responded it is duty of Citizens to watch over government and try to improve it, not leave town when there are problems.
Licenses Fully Visible on City Website.
We blurred them to protect individuals.
Number of licenses on city website unknown. These found in about 30 minutes.
See DMV information on Driver's License & Identity Theft - Here
|* December 2014, Los Angeles County Superior Court Ruling Finds La Habra Heights City Council Broke the Law, Writing Misleading Ballot Question for Oil Measure. Here
* In November 2013, the DA sent a letter to the City Council warning not to make decisions without notice and opportunity for public comment.
* Also in Nov 2013, the DA sent another warning to the City for not allowing the public to speak and trying to prevent criticism of staff
* In May 2013, Court ruled City violated own Codes. Council failed to perform oversight. Read Judge's ruling
* In late 2012, the DA threatened the Council with convening a Grand Jury if another Brown Act violation occurred.
* In a 2012 interview to become a Councilmember, current Mayor Michael Higgins stated, "I hate the Brown Act!" Watch
|City records reveal that for 7+/- years the Council has certified documents stating City compliance with a Congestion Management Program (CMP) Code and process required by the State in order to receive certain Gas Tax Funds.
However, there is no record that the Council ever adopted the required Code and process after the one adopted in 1993 was removed in the 2006 Code revision.
The Congestion Management Program documentation indicates failure to follow the self-certification process results in a loss of certain Gas Tax revenue (Category 2105 according to MTA); about $40,000 per year.
Residents have also expressed concerns regarding City failure to follow Storm Water codes, the General Plan, and other requirements. The Council certifying they complied with codes they do not even have lends validity to resident concerns in those other areas.
In recent years, the Council has directed Staff into new pet projects, such as commercial development at Hacienda and West and serial weakening of City development codes to encourage spec building. Council has also engaged in cutting sheriff patrols of the city to beef up presence at City Hall, costly law suits to defend City wrongdoing, a $3 million remodel of City Hall and repeated & ongoing efforts to raise taxes.
City Staff must do as directed by the City Council.
|When the City received Federal Stimulus Funds for drainage improvements, access ramps were included for Golf Carts on East Rd|
|The same Stimulus drainage project on Hacienda Rd did not include access ramps to the crosswalk buttons for pedestrians or disabled at the Park (left) or Skyline Dr (right).
In fact the project created impediments to access.
|The original City Hall (left) had vehicle, pedestrian, and ADA access to secondary parking.
The remodeled City Hall (right) eliminated those, but recently included sidewalk access, if no one is parking in the parking space the sidewalk dead ends into.
Disabled, out of luck.
|A new monument sign was constructed next to Hacienda Rd, which is an impediment to drivers exiting City Hall trying to see oncoming traffic.
A public records request revealed no Sight Line Analysis was done for the sign.
1999 Mayor's Column announcing 2nd Safest City status
|In recent years, Council focus has changed from serving residents to serving City Government.
Sheriff patrols have been cut.
Enforcement against overweight commercial trucks reduced because City says not enough fine revenue.
A city report revealed in 2014 not one dollar was spent on road repairs.
Airport Shuttle Vouchers discontinued because they were an inconvenience for City Staff.
$3 million spent on new City Hall including indoor & outdoor Staff lounges.
|While not a large expense by itself, lights left on 24/7 at City Hall indicate a Culture of Waste or lack of concern or oversight by the City Council.
Residents have been pointing out excessive or wasteful spending, while Council members say taxes need to be raised.
|"The developer and the City shall work cooperatively to prepare and submit a package for the City to commence processing the Entitlements"
"The Developer and the City shall work in good faith and with diligence to negotiate and execute the Development Agreement and for Developer to apply, process and secure final approval to the Project Entitlements."
|Councilmen Higgins/Miller notified of public grant for their private foundation||Purpose of $28, 734 grant of public funds for Jaws of Life||City Staff report accepting "donation" and thanking Higgins/Miller Foundation, without mention funds are our tax dollars via Supervisor Don Knabe|
|Item 17 Fire Tax Increase||Council has diverted funds for non-fire suppression purposes.
Now wants you to pay a higher Fire Tax.
|Item 18 Election Consolidation||Council to extend their terms 9 months WITHOUT vote of the people.
Rationale: It will "save money"
|Item 20 Pavement Management Plan||Council laying groundwork for New Road Tax, after their neglecting to maintain roads.|
|Item 23 Initiate General Plan Update||Council likely to allow high density housing and ease spec building.
Rural environment, privacy, views, agriculture, and animal keeping to suffer.
Water Conservation Ordinance
|Competitive bidding is favored by a strong public policy "to eliminate favoritism, fraud and corruption; avoid misuse of public funds; and stimulate advantageous marketplace competition." [Citation.]??? (Marshall v. Pasadena Unified School Dist. (2004) 119 Cal.App.4th 1241, 1256-1257.)|
* Allow "Gray" Water Use for Irrigation
|VBM West||VBM East||Preceinct 1 West||Precinct 3 East||2nd VBM 1 West||2nd VBM 3 East||3rd VBM Prov 1 West||3rd VBM Prov 3 East||total|
|Measure A Yes||91||132||191||200||47||47||35||59||802|
|Measure A No||104||343||218||257||48||55||18||18||1061|
|Potential Votes||Actual Votes||Analysis|
|City Council||1560 Ballots x 2 possible votes||3120||2404||716 votes not used. Voted for only one candidate or none.|
|Measure A||1 vote per ballot||1560||1536||Almost everyone voted on Measure A|
|City Gets 13% of General Fund Revenue from Oil||Page 8 of a City report says the General Fund could lose 13%, consisting of $62,000 in secured and unsecured property tax, $150- $227,000 in resource extraction taxes and $84,000 in oil well inspection fees.
However, property taxes would need to be paid no matter who owns the property. The city report did not specify the amount of secured and unsecured taxes.
|Oil royalties will stop||Measure A does not affect current operations, or thereby, royalties|
|The City will be sued for takings of oil property rights||Measure A has a mechanism for the oil company to have a hearing before the City Council if they feel they have a legitimate takings claim, without going to court.|
|City will go bankrupt,
City will disincorporate,
City will go bankrupt and disincorporate.
|Municipal bankruptcy reorganize debts, some are discharged, then come out of bankruptcy.
Measure A has nothing to do with bankruptcy.
Disincorporation has to be initiated by the city itself, a county, or by 25% of registered voters. All of contracts and debts of the city would have to be met.
Bankruptcy and disincorporation are not tied.
|Sheriff and Paramedic services will have to be cut if oil revenue lost||See above for explanation of oil revenue and General Fund.
Residents voted for Measure B in 2005 for Paramedic services to be funded by the Fire Tax.
In any spending decision it is up to the City Council to decide what to increase or cut.
|City lost a lawsuit for attempting to mislead voters regarding Measure A.||True|
|Measure A Opponents including oil companies, lobbying firms and special interests have raised over $500,000 to defeat Measure A.||True|
|Measure A opponents have paid phone banks and paid door-to-door campaigners||True|
|On January 8th, the Council passed Code changes giving Staff more discretion, over resident objections.
Councilmember Roy Francis voted against the changes.
The changes were characterized by resident Bill Phelps as "special interest legislation for builders."
The code changes were initiated after the City lost a court case for not following its own codes.
"The Superior Court said Staff abused discretion. Instead of fixing our review process, which is broken, someone decides it's a good idea to give more discretion to Staff. That's good comedy but bad government. - Resident Bill Phelps.
Residents have 30 days to collect about 450 signatures of registered voters.
Thursday Jan 8th Council Agenda
If you were thinking of speaking would an Armed Deputy standing behind you dissuade you from speaking?
Outside Interests Contribute $200,000 to Defeat Measure A -
|Read Google Report on malicious software being downloaded and installed without user consent from La Habra Heights Improvement Association Website|
|The City owned vacant property at Hacienda Rd and West Rd is just under 3 acres. According to City Codes, only 2 house lots could be created.
The November 25 City Council Special Meeting Agenda includes an item on this lot for "Terms and price" with Watt Communities a larger scale developer.
The recently approved Trash Contract requires the hauler to provide service to "apartments, condominiums, and town homes" even though none currently exist in the City.
Planning Commissioner Ray Fernandez, currently appointed by Commercial Real Estate Broker Kyle Miller, said, "We have that land on West Rd. Why can't we rezone that to multi-family, high density."
The President of Watt Residential is also President of the Building Industry Association of Southern California. Councilmember Kyle Miller's Planning Commissioner was also President of the Building Industry Association of Southern California.
Notice of Planning Commission Meeting November 25 - 6 P.M.
North Orange County
|Yes - 465||Yes - 434||Yes - 527|
|No - 497||No - 527||No - 648|
|City Announces Public Meeting on Roads, but doesn't tell what time it is.||If they don't even tell you the time, do they really want to hear from you?
Not shown on City website or Calendar either (as of November 5th).
Do they just want to be able to say they gave an opportunity to participate but no one showed up, and raise your taxes anyway?
By the way, 9 AM - 12 PM, Sat Nov 15
|City Hall Cost. After saying city hall cost $1.6-$2.2M at Sept Council meeting, November Heights Life Mayor's column, city hall cost stated as $2.2 Million. Latest City mailer says $2.45 Million and admits related costs not included in total.||Residents have independently estimated total cost is just over $3 Million.|
|City admonishes that drainages and creeks should not be filled in, nor hazardous materials to be dumped.||City allows developers to fill in drainage courses, creeks and illegally dump runoff on streets and neighbors. City dumped hazardous asphalt grindings adjacent to blue line stream.|
|City charged Matrix Oil $307, 086, and counting, for City consultants and staff time.||Are we supposed to be happy about this?
Is it unreasonable for Matrix Oil to expect a positive outcome after paying expected $500,000+ to City consultants to process their application?
"Free speech is not something that needs to get fixed.
Government censorship is never the way to reply to a disaffected populace."
Is this what PC looks like after 6 months in hiding?
Planning Commission Trick on Residents
|1. Come clean about the checks.
2. Release relevant documents.
3. Issue corrected warrant & other reports.
4. Ensure processes, oversight and procedures are in place to prevent a repeat.
|1. Deny the problem.
2. Withold documents.
3. Call residents who bring up issue "liars" or "troublemakers".
4. Censor Public Comments out of Council meeting broadcasts so community cannot hear about problem.
|$2.24 million||Direct building costs per City report|
|Ewing Architect $195,000 plus MPR estimate per contract|
|Staff time and permits estimate; Public works mgr, City Mgr, engineer, planning, building inspector, imputed permit costs.|
|Moving and storage associated costs estimate. Repairs and improvements to temp city hall and grounds, security, Rent of temp quarters.|
|Council estimated remodel associated legal costs. City Budget page 9**|
|* We hope/expect City Council will provide the community with a complete exact accounting, soup to nuts, of entire remodel and associated costs.
**Lawsuit filed late 2013 citing Remodel failure to follow City & State laws, lack of traffic and safety studies. Months earlier City lost another court case for failing to follow its own codes.
|* Source - City of La Habra Heights
* Benefits add 30- 50% to above costs
* City uses regular raises and title inflation, with higher pay, to reward employees
* City refuses to release information on numerous interns and part-time employees, saying "no such documents exist".For example Fire Chief is part-time at about $100k but not on list.
* List does not include contract employees, such as engineer, building inspector, planner, etc.
* Contract employees in 2012 may have become regular employees with benefits in 2014.
* City used to release, with the budget, complete list of full, part-time, & contract positions with total pay and benfits cost. Residents are no longer able to see that information.
|City Hall is typically the number one response address in the City for the Sheriff Dept.
Residents have unfortunately needed to request Sheriff escort to City Hall to keep the peace, prevent harassment by City Staff, or be witness in case of false accusations.
(Audio/video of a citizen being harassed at the counter is posted on the City website)
In today's (October 1) incident, a resident requested an escort to pick up and request public records. When the resident requested the city turn off audio and video recording of her to protect her privacy, City Staff refused to serve her. The Deputy Sheriff contacted headquarters.
City Elected Officials should consider changing policies and procedures so business at City Hall is conducted in a lawful manner, residents' privacy is protected, and residents do not feel they need a Sheriff escort to prevent harassment or false accusations.
|Kathleen Steele, Mike Hughes & Jesse LoVerme of Heights Oil Watch present Initiative to City Manager/City Clerk Shauna Clark||City Manager Shauna Clark reviews Initiative|
Prior Councils - Resident Committees and Commissions
|* Budget Committee
* Emergency Preparedness Committee
* Historical Committee
* Parks and Recreation Commission
* Plannning Commission
* Public Works Committee
* Volunteers on Patrol
|* Planning Commission
Now meets rarely. Only 3 times this year
|- Historical Committee was disbanded by
Council but meets anyway
|The Habitat Authority, started in 1994, manages 3800 acres, including about 600 acres in La Habra Heights.
Without the foresight and vision of past leaders, our hills would be blighted with tract housing instead of permanent open space.
Thanks to Whittier Councilmember Bob Henderson for his extraordinary and ongoing efforts.
Only Councilman Roy Francis was present to represent our City and show support for open space.
|* Public Comments on non Agenda items at Beginning of Meeting - up to 3 minutes each
* Public Comment as each Agenda item comes up - up to 3 minutes
* Public Could request Consent Calendar items be removed for discussion - up to 3 min each
* Public Comments at End of Meeting - up to 3 minutes
* Residents could speak in teams or yield time to another.
* Residents could make PowerPoint presentations during their comments.
* No limit on cumulative speaking time.
* Residents politely applauded when desired.
|* Public Comments on and off Agenda items at beginning of meeting only. 5 minutes total.
Applause can bring Sheriff intervention.
|- Meeting start time of 7:30 for convenience of residents getting home after work and/or dinner.||- Meeting start time moved up to 6:00 p.m. for convenience of Staff and Council
- Council will consider censoring Public Comments out of meeting broadcasts in January.
- Severe restrictions have not appreciably, or at all, shortened meetings, as no limit on Councilmember speaking time as other cities do.
|1. In an Email dated August 20, City Manager Shauna Clark said Council finally came to a conclusion to sponsor symposium. See Email
2. The Brown Act says Council is not to decide a matter without agendizing an item and providing an opportunity for public comment.
3. Item was not agendized until September 15th for an "after the fact" approval. See Agenda Report
4. The Agenda Report describes that the Council decided serially and during Council Comments at the end of the August Council Meeting
5. Councilman Kyle Miller confirms unagendized decision to sponsor forum in an August 21 Tweet
6. Citizens were denied the opportunity to comment before the decision was made.
7. In November 2013, the DA sent a letter to the City Council warning not to make decisions without notice and opportunity for public comment.
8. Also in Nov 2013, the DA sent another warning to the City for not allowing the public to speak and trying to prevent criticism of staff
9. In late 2012, the DA threatened the Council with convening a Grand Jury if another Brown Act violation occurred.
|Front Counter and Lobby||MultiPurpose Room||Staff Cubicles|
|City Manager Office||City Manager Office 2||Records Room|
|1. Go down to City Hall and Sign in for Service
2. Required to go outside and sit in chair while you wait to be called. Hope it is not hot.
3. Staff member calls your name to be served.
4. Fill out Public Records Request for Meeting DVD. Be careful any mistakes can void request.
5. Leave City Hall.
6. Staff member logs in your request.
7. Your name and request are put on report for public to review.
8. Request sits on a shelf for month or two until your "turn" comes up.
9. City mails you a letter indicating you can make a deposit for DVD.
10. Go down to City Hall and Sign In for Service.
11. Go outside and sit in chair until you are called.
12. Staff member calls you to be served. Be sure you bring letter or know file number. You pay a $10 deposit.
13. Leave City Hall.
14. Some days later, City contacts you that DVD is ready.
15. Go down to City Hall and Sign in for Service.
16. Go outside, wait in chair until you are called.
17. Staff member calls you in. You are presented with DVD.
18. Leave City Hall. Enjoy watching DVD.
19. Go down to City Hall and sign in for Service.
20. Go outside and wait to be called on for service.
21. Return DVD, and request refund of deposit.
22. Staff member logs your return and refund request.
23. Warrant generated in Finance Dept.
24. Time goes by for processing.
25. Report generated for City Council to authorize payment to you. Your name and payment is on public documents.
26. A letter arrives from City. Wonder what this is? Open. Oh, there's my $10 refund.
For comparison's sake, this is how it was handled before Council instituted "efficiency" procedures.
Municipal Code - 2.2.20 Hours of City Business
The City offices shall be open to the public for business as specified by resolution of the City Council of La Habra Heights.
Municipal Code - 2.4.20 Planning Commission
F. Planning Commission Meetings. Regular meetings of the Planning Commission shall
be held on the fourth Tuesday of each calendar month
- Dexterity - Ability to Rubber Stamp Developer and Council Friend's Plans with left or right hands,
A recent Court Decision finding City did not follow its own codes, a pending Court case for not following Codes or CEQA, and multiple DA sanction letters for Brown Act violations and not allowing the public to speak at Planning Commission meetings highlight the City's dedication to a non-traditional planning and approval process.
Job includes a salary, benefits and vacation.
November 12, 2009 Joint CC/PC meeting, on bringing low income housing to LHH:Planning Commissioner Ray Fernandez (appointed by Layne Baroldi) said,
|No Thank You
We'll renew our membership when you:
* Bring back open meetings,
* Admit you receive $10s of thousands of our tax dollars and in kind benefits annually,
instead of parsing words saying, you "receive no City funding". Maybe say "Thank you"
* Let members truly nominate and elect directors
* Put author's names on Heights Life articles and political stories
* Restore members' rights taken away in secret by-law changes
* Release financial statements & open up the books as required by CA Law
* Stop excluding community groups
Tuesday July 8th - Short stack pancakes 56 cents - Yum
|Do you have what it takes to be the 5th City Attorney in just over a year?
Sheriff Investigates at City Hall July 1, 2014
Looking Southbound - East Rd Behind
Advertising info blurred
Is this good leadership or abuse of power?
|City Municipal Code - 7.3.20 R-A Zone (Residential-Agricultural Zone)
This section establishes the land uses that are permitted in the R-A Zone.
2. ....... this does not permit .... advertising signs of any nature.
|Letter from City denying a Claim against City exists||Actual Claim with City Date Stamp|
|Christi Hogin - City Attorney Resigning After 4 months|
|"We had been there a few months but in the ultimate analysis, it didn't turn out to be as good a fit as we had originally thought," Hogin said. "We just thought the city's management might be better served with someone with a different style." See Whittier Daily News Article|
|Previous City Attorney Holly Whatley and Firm resigned after less than a year saying:|
|"It seemed to me that my ability to be effective for the city is not what it once was, and it's in the city's interest to resign my position as city attorney."|
|Public Agency Attorney Ethics Guidelines say:|
|"if indeed it is clear that the agency is taking an unlawful action and
the attorney's efforts to encourage corrective action have failed, the attorney's only recourse is to resign"
Some Residents to Boycott Trash Service & Back-Room Rate Doubling
Help Stop Mail Theft!
Bait & Switch?
Residents Protest November 2013 Back Room Trash Meeting.
Seen leaving meeting resident, Water Board director and Edco Trash Rep Mark Perumean.
Visit Neighborhood Watch Booth at Avocado Festival
Pick up your Free window decal at the booth.
Tax Increase Survey in the Mail today (4/18) from
Pic courtesy Eden the Llama
Water coming out of driveway from City/School water line for weeks.
Breaking! - View Matrix Oil Meeting City Council doesn't want you to see
You don't see this in La Habra Heights.
Crack sealing to prevent water infiltration and deterioration of roads.
|Even without the "Road Tax" the City has monies available to maintain roads; Gas Tax, Prop C, Measure R, General Fund, etc.
At minimum, roads should be crack sealed to prevent water infiltration.
Instead, funds are hoarded or diverted to other uses leaving roads to deteriorate.
Councilmen Higgins & Miller even proposed (unsuccessfully) to use road maintenance funds to repave City Hall parking lot.
Council voted to use Gas Tax money for drainage studies instead of road maintenance.
Is City Council deliberately letting roads deteriorate to gain support for another "pork barrel" Road Tax?
City Council's Spin website "Facts", aka "Fibs", has new tale about how new Trash Hauler chosen.
Residents Protest Back Room Trash Meeting.
Seen leaving meeting resident, Water Board director and Edco Trash Rep Mark Perumean.
Concerned about increase in crime, burglaries and mail theft? Want to make a difference ?
|Council Members Higgins & Miller Vote to Not Fund Jaws of Life for Fire Dept (June 2013)||CM Higgins & Miller Use Need for Jaws of Life to Solicit Funds for Their new Organization; LHH Community Support Foundation|
|CM Higgins & Miller Vote to Maintain Cuts to Sheriff Patrols (June 2013)||CM Higgins & Miller Use "suspicious or Criminal Activity" to Solicit Funds for New Org|
|CM Higgins & Miller Vote to have City Sponsor (waive fees) for Realtor Brett Marie Bruce Movie Nite at Park (February 2014)||Brett Marie Bruce made Director of CM Higgins & Miller new Organization|
|CM Higgins leaves paid position at Improvement Association||Is CM Higgins paid by new Organization? How much?|
|CM Higgins & Miller take no action to reactivate General Plan required Emergency Preparedness Committee and Planning (2013-14)||CM Higgins & Miller use including Disaster Preparedness to solicit funds for their new Organization|
|CM's Higgins & Miller new organization does not hold meetings open to the public and has not posted their by-laws on their website.||CM Higgins said in interview for being appointed Council member, "I hate the Brown Act" (open meeting law) see video
CM Miller, as director of Improvement Association, presided over exclusion of members of public from their annual meeting, previously open to the public.See LHHIA "welcoming" non-member at last public meeting. Here
|CMs Higgins & Miller vote to give LHHIA free trash service for stated Park events.||LHHIA publication Heights Life includes full page ad for CM Higgins & Miller new organization. Did they pay full price, or get a discount or for free?|
|You wouldn't know it by driving around, but, did you know contractor storage yards, or driving construction vehicles in and out of the city every day, are not allowed?
Send us pictures of them in your neighborhood.
Maybe if residents speak up, the City Council will enforce the Codes and restore our rural community.
No one is telling the contractor folks not to do it, so they probably think it is ok, and that attracts more of them to buy homes in City, so they can save money on paying rent in an industrial area.
Municipal Code 7.3.20
Storage yards for materials, mechanical equipment or vehicles inconsistent with permitted uses in the R-A zone, including, but not limited to the overnight storage of any of the following:
a. Construction equipment used for the removal or transport of construction related materials, including, but not limited to, derricks, hoists, bulldozers, dump trucks, water trucks, earth moving equipment, cranes, drills and fork lifts.
b. Any commercial vehicle except those that are permitted pursuant to a Home Occupation Permit. Permit application procedures are identified in Article 8.
|The City contracts with the Sheriff for about 12 hours of daily patrol.
Responses to calls are deducted from that.
From 8 A.M. to 6 P.M. at least 6 Sheriff
About 2 Days of Patrol time were expended by the City Council for this.
|Sheriffs were called to the scene because a couple of moms, also La Habra Heights residents, were passing out flyers to parents at the PreSchool in the parking lot.
The City is leasing space from the PreSchool and has deeded easement and right to the parking area and walkway.
|Who was in danger?
What subversive and dangerous information were they distributing?
They were passing out the City's own press release about extensive asbestos found at the City Hall construction site after the City had announced that all the asbestos was gone and the site was safe.
|At left, two City personnel were assigned by the Council to spend their time watching what was going on.
At right are a Sheriff's lieutenant, a Councilmember, and one of the City employees taking pictures or video of the local moms.
If you think this was a good use of Sheriff time instead of patrolling the streets, with burglaries up substantially, you can thank your Council members.
Workers on Roof Next to Pre-School Dec 30, 2013
After Claiming All Asbestos Removed, City Now admits extensive asbestos remains
|City Manager Shauna Clark confirms Asbestos Ceiling tiles in December 17, 2013 Sworn Affadavit
"I have witnessed asbestos tiles fall from City Hall buildings' ceilings."
|March 2013 Request for Quotes for City Hall remodel identifies Asbestos Ceiling Tiles and Wallboard
|December 2012 City Staff Report identifies exposed Asbestos in Ceiling tiles, Walls and Ducting in Ceilings
||May 2008 - Interim City Manager Shauna Clark reports on MPR room accident
|December 30, 2013 - City Representative Says Asbestos not in Ceiling Tiles, as stated in City report, but in glue holding them on
Could not explain how glue could be separated from tiles as removed from ceiling.
City will not release documents requested to substantiate this.
|December 31, 2013 - Asbestos Certification Company, Ambient Environmental, has not confirmed that ceiling tiles, plaster, and drywall had been removed prior to their inspection.|
|December 31, 2013 - Asbestos Removal Contractor City named in Court filing, REI, confirmed they did work at City Hall, but would not confirm that ceiling tiles, drywall or plaster were removed as part of their scope of work.
City has not released documents requested - Business license of contractor and permits pulled for asbestos removal.
|December 27th Court Hearing on City Hall Expansion - "There are little kids who are being exposed to stuff that kills people."
Whittier Daily News Story - Read
|Sheriffs trying to retrieve evidence of possible Brown Act violation
|* City Attorney Resigns - Cites decline in effectiveness (Can no longer stop City from breaking the law?)
* Council votes to spend $270,000 to defend City Hall lawsuit
* DA Criminal investigation of City is ongoing
* Council discusses Bankruptcy and Disincorporation
* Council uses Sheriff Dept to try to retrieve incriminating evidence of possible City Brown Act violation
|* Existence of La Habra Heights Improvement Association Political Enemies Disclosed
* Councilmember Higgins Received $500 per month for Heights Life editing
* Board voted to eliminate distribution of Heights Life and other pubs from District office
* Emergency item regarding City of La Habra takeover of LA County Cal Domestic Water customers
See Highlights video here
Council deploys 2 Armed deputies to duty preventing public from attending Trash Contract meeting, instead of patrolling City to prevent crime. Good idea?
Council subsidy to builders and developers would buy almost 2 months of Sheriff service.
Council Posts Armed Sheriff Deputies to Prevent Public & Press
|From: Shauna Clark <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, Oct 17, 2013 at 5:07 PM
Subject: City Hall project is on
To: Council Email <CouncilEmail@lhhcity.org>
Cc: David Nichols <email@example.com>, Staff Email <CityHallEmail@lhhcity.org>, "Holly Whatley <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Upon receipt of the attached decision and after a brief phone call with legal, Dave Nichols was directed to proceed with the City Hall Renovation Project.
Shauna Clark, City Manager
|Background: Two Council members are an employee and Board member of LHHIA.
See true disruption as Improvement Association members attacks a non-member at public meeting.
Video (Warning!! Graphic language and violence)
I approve of paying more taxes so builders & developers can get a discount on building fees
I'd rather my tax dollars be spent on Roads, Public Safety, or just returned to me.
Councilmembers Higgins & Miller + Their Wives Attended
|Water District Employee Carrying Own Building Debris in District Vehicle #7 on Sunday June 23rd||District Employee About to Back Debris Laden Truck to Dumpster at District Office. Photos & Story courtesy theAvocadoExpress.com||District Employee Drives 2nd District #0 Vehicle to Yorba Linda address on Sunday June 23, 2013|
|Video of Ballot Day Attack||Karen Vipperman Lawsuit Against George Edwards|
Last Planning Commission Meeting
Number of New House or Remodel Projects brought to Commission by Staff since 2008
Another Vipperman Lawsuit!
In 2007, Karen Vipperman Retains Attorney for action against then City Manager & Fire Chief for allegedly tarnishing her reputation and false statements - See Vipperman attorney letter
In 2009, Mayor Howard Vipperman spent $20,000 on Lawsuit, later dropped, against 101 individuals (including 100 John Does) for slander, fraud, etc - See Whittier Daily News Article See Vipperman Lawsuit
Warning Sign Entering City Hall
Front Counter Surveillance Camera & Monitor
MPR Room Camera Aimed at Residents
MPR Camera 2 Aimed at Residents
Planning Dept Camera Watching Customers
Planning Dept Monitor
MPR Warning Sign
Cameras Outside Restroom
Just Released Bureau of Fraud & Corruption District Attorney Letter Censures City regarding Open Meeting Law compliance saying: (see letter)
La Habra Heights was founded as a Volunteer Community
New Council Members add "Spying on Residents" to at least 2 City Employees' Job Duties - City Employees have been seen surveilling residents and taking pictures both at City Hall and out in the City.
New City Council Records Residents at Front Counter with Surreptitious Surveillance Camera
Did you know the La Habra Heights Improvement Association (LHHIA) & City Have Made Photos of Your Children from Easter Egg Hunt Available for Public Review at City Hall?
Note: We Pixelated the Faces for Childrens privacy
Is La Habra Heights Improvement Association's Heights Life magazine publishing unattributed Government Political Propaganda laying the groundwork for another try at the Road Tax??
|Dear Sirs: There seems to be problems with accessing records in the City of La Habra Heights. I am requesting from the City of La Habra Heights the following government documents:
Printed Copies of ALL Bank Statements held by the City of La Habra Heights from dates 07/01/10 thru 06/30/12. This will include any and all Banking, Financial, or ANY Other Institutions that are involved with the People's Money.
Printed Copies of the General Ledger including Transaction Numbers and Accounting Codes from dates 07/01/10 thru 06/30/12.
Printed Copy of All City Employees, Job Title, & Start Date.
Your prompt action on this request is appreciated.
Elizabeth A. Uremovic
Edison Towers About to Loom over City
|Agency||Per Meeting Pay||Appointee / Alternate|
|Gateway Cities||$125||Stan Carroll / Brian Bergman|
|California Joint Powers Insurance Agency||$250 for Exec Committee||Stan Carroll / Shauna Clark|
|Southern Cal Assoc of Governments||$120 plus mileage||Brian Bergman / Howard Vipperman|
|L.A. County Sanitation District||$125 plus mileage||Stan Carroll / Brian Bergman|
|* More to Come as We Obtain Info|
Bike & Skateboard Ban at Park
News You Can Use in City Crackdown On Residents
|Listen Live! - LHH Fire Dept, Fire Watch, Sheriff Dept, LA County Fire Courtesy of Unisat||See Live View From La Habra Heights ViewCam|
"The people of this state do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist they may retain control over the instruments they have created."
Preamble to the California Public Records Act
City Council Minutes 1998-2010
City Council Minutes - See the minutes for past meetings 1998 - 2009
Note: Detailed City Council minute were discontinued in Dec 2008, over residents objections.
Planning Commission Minutes 1998-2010
Planning Commission Minutes - Minutes for 1998-2010
La Habra Heights Fire Dept Web Site - Here
Safety Info for Your Evaluation
Los Angeles County Animal Emergency Response Manual
La Habra Wildfire Response Plan- with info for Heights Residents - See Here
Did you just move to
Buying a house? See
Find out about
Learn about the Open Space & Wildlife Corridor that borders our City
Powers & Limitations of a City, including Brown Act, Recalls, Initiatives & Referendum
See how the General Plan was truly a Community effort & must not be ignored by City Officials
*The General Plan is the "Constitution" of the City.
*Use our server copy when City website is down, then confirm later with city in case of changes.
See the OLD Municipal Code, 2000 Grading and Zoning version, here
This Code was valid through 2006, not many/any changes from 2000 version
See the La Habra Heights Fire Dept Map, which shows driveways, hydrants and pools.
City and Other Government Info
Ray Fernandez echoes National Association of Homebuilders 2008 "Threat" Letter to the City
After announcing they were leaving City last year
Read Whittier Daily News Article on Chester Jeng Record Spending
What is a Seat on City Council Worth?
Senders of "Hit Piece" Mailer against candidate Edwards include
League of Women Voters Forum February 12, 2013 - All Candidates Show Up
See Whittier Daily News story on "No Show" candidates to Candidate Forum
Measure B Will REDUCE Your Oil Royalty Payments
Successful June 30, 2012 Car Show - 94 Cars of All Kinds
Residents Sad at Last Days of Waste Management Trash Pick-up
Fatal Avocado Disease Found in La Habra Heights - May 2012
Waste Management to Cease Trash Pick-Up on June 3, 2012
May 7, 2012 - Lowell Joint Schools $76 Million Estimate for Modernization Revealed by Consultant
Council Touts Property Value Benefit of Roads Assessment, However State Constitution Article 13D Says
April 2012 - New $500+ Per Year Roads Tax
City Council Offers Phone-In Time For Resident Comment at Council Meetings
Watch April 12, 2012 Water Board Meeting on Rate Hike & Wheeling Deal - Here.
Watch 1st Ever Live Water Board Broadcast - Watch Excerpt
St. Patrick's Day Raid - One Year Anniversary
CM Shauna Clark, "The goal of Code Enforcement is compliance." Huh? March 2012
New 2 Million Gallon Water Tank Empty Over a Month
Why? Left Open as "Critter Den"?Feb 2012
Views Taken Seriously
5,000 Square Foot Home Demolished for Blocking View & Sunlight in Seaside Community - Feb 2012 Story
Secret Park & Rec Committee Reportedly Seen Meeting at Marie Callender's January 18, 2012 - More to Follow
Warning!! - Edison Going Through Community to Install "Smart" Meters.
You Can Say NO - for now.
New Meters Can Disconnect Power for non-Payment Jan 2012 - Story
New City Hall Coming? Dec 2011
Read $20,000 Report on Condition of City Buildings - See Report & Story
Chino Hills Successful Opposition to 200' high Power Lines in Nov 2011 LA Times Story
La Habra Heights City Council continues to do ......... Nothing
City of Chino Hills Holds Large Protest Rally & Press Conference Against Power Lines
City of La Habra Heights Does...... Well..... Nothing 2011 - Story
City Council Votes Against Open Space
Reducing Property Values and Saleability As
National Park Service Wants to Include Parts of LHH in National Recreational Area- Oct 11
Water Board Election Results - November 8th
Would the Easter Bunny Approve?
City Responds to Residents' Concerns with new Draft Fire Clearance Guidelines
Update: July 5 2011 - City Wants YOUR comments on them - Story
Read a great letter from Heights Residents to City Council -here
Everyone needs to participate to end the over-reaching weed abatement
La Habra Heights Fire Watch Takes on City Weed Abatement Program -June 2011 Story
City of Malibu, somewhat familiar with Fire, Gives Mulch Away FREE to Residents as part of Brush Program June 2011- Read Here
See 2011-12 Sheriff Contract. Service Cut to about 15 Hours Per Day - Story
Back Room Discussion with Sheriff Dept Averted. Sheriff Service Slashed. Story Sep 2011
Council Demands Roadside Vegetation Devoid "Moonscape"
Council Votes that Residents Must Subsidize Builders with $80,000 per year so
City Spending Binge Unabated
"The City Council is trying to make La Habra Heights "Irvine North" and we do not want that. Do you hear us City Council?" - June 2011 Link
Crackdown Seige on Residents does not rest even after Council tells Staff to give residents more time
Roadside Clearance & Entire Lot Clearance Remain as Major Issues -July 2011 Story
What is City Trying to Hide?
See the City Council describe what they are looking for in Roadside Clearance from April 2009
City Reveals "Sgt. Schultz" Type Code Enforcement Policy
"I See Nothing!" - May 2011 Story
2011 Car Show Builds on Success May 2011 Story & Pictures
starts April 13th and will take 6 to 7 weeks.
Update 4/12/11: Contractor Now Says "I don't know" why Undergrounding is being done.
See City Animal Farm Raid Photo Album - Here
RAID!! - Council Sends 3 Sheriff Cars & Staff Phalanx to Execute Search Warrant on Heights Animal Keeping Family - March 2011 See Story, Pictures & Warrant
City Manager Contradicts Federal Grant Application - March 2011 Story
Park Grounds Damaged by Weekend Event - Story
Update March 31, 2011 - Renter to Pay for Damages
City Gets 10" +/- of Rain Dec 2010
Skyline Drive between Sharpless Dr & Sharpless Ct. Closed Due to Collapse.
Workmanship or Design Problems Suspected. Story
Back to the Future - Automatic Aid Agreement Negotiations - Story Nov 2010
Council Postpones Mid-Year Budget Review Until March - After Election
Usually Held in January or February - Attempt to Protect Incumbents from Bad News?
City Council Sends "Crackdown Posse" to Prevent Public & Press from attending Hearing on
Code Enforcement Action Against City Council Candidate Phil Lough Dec 2010 - Story
Video Press Blackout of Council Candidates Forum Lifted after ACLU hits City with Letter Citing 1st Amendment Issues as
City Again Attempts to Shut Out Unfavored News Media - Story Mar 11
LHH Just Like Bell - Round 3
Council Imposed Illegal Fire Tax Increase Two Years in a Row - Story
State Controller Auditing City of Bell
Should La Habra Heights have an Audit too? - Story Oct 10
La Habra Heights Staff Salaries - Exclusive- Story Sep 10
Stonewalling Public Records Requests, including salary info - Another similarity between Bell and La Habra Heights - LA Times Story
Bell type government in La Habra Heights?
Part-time (less than 20 hours week) Fire Chief $100k, 6,000 resident community with $200k City Manager, Councilmember gets gold jewelry on residents dime, and Council gives Road Contractor extra $31k Sep 10
Stonewalling Public Records Requests is Illegal
Immediate Access Required, No need to give your name, fill out forms, or pay for searching - Aug 2010 Read Here
City Council Redevelopment Agenda - Phase II
"Residents Will Have to Pay Higher Taxes and Get Less Service to Subsidize Developers & Builders" - May 10 Story
Children Risk Arrest to Attend City Council Animal Keeping Hearing Apr 10- Story
LHHIA MIA in Struggle to Preserve Animal Keeping in the Heights- Apr 10
Winners and Losers in City Council Urban Estate Redevelopment Agenda - May 10 Story
Sheriff's Deputy Stationed at Planning Commission Meeting as Residents Protest Crackdown on Animal Keeping Apr 10- Story
Proposed Trash Tax Contrary to City Study - Gag Order Imposed on Trash Companies Apr 10 - Story
Assembly Bill to Exempt LHH From Housing Quota Fails - Listen to Hearing Here (29 minutes) -Vipperman Testifies Mar 10
Council Proposes Up To $700 per Residence in New or Increased Taxes Mar 10
Online Poll Indicates Almost 3-1 Opposition - See Poll and Vote
A Broken Trust
As the Council Considers Raising Taxes, Residents Consider Their Record
May 8, 2010 Car Show Pictures - Here
La Habra Heights Improvement Association Former Vice President Convicted and Sentenced - Mar 2010 Story
Market Day April 2010
Mayor Vipperman Spends $20,000 to Sue Residents - Story Feb 2010
La Habra Heights Residents to Celebrate "Freedom Day" April 8 - End of Vipperman Dictatorship - See Vipperman Chronicles
Layne Baroldi is subject of Orange County Register Travel Expense Article Mar 2010 - Story
Exclusive - Sexual Harrassment/Termination/Pay Lawsuit against
City Settles for $375,000 Feb 2010 - Story
Los Angeles Times Story about undue influence in Planning Department Feb 2010 - Story
Mayor Vipperman Proposes Aerial Surveillance of Residences for
Code Enforcement, Weed Abatement, Observing, etc
Other Council Members Appear Baffled Jan 2010
Fire! Above Construction Site on Hacienda, Spreads up Hill toward Panchoy
5 Acres Burn 11/23/09 - Pictures and Video
Brad Cooke & Jeff Heintz Win Water Board Election - See Results
Large Turnout - Gap Between Heintz and Edwards Narrowed to 25 votes in Late Returns
Council Approves Commercial Facilty 3-2
Majority 3 Vote Against the Community; More concerned with Tower Owner Profit
2004 Agreement called for tower removal this year. Important Story details here.
Members Now Play No Role Other than Paying Dues
Focus of Improvement Association VP arrest story shifts to LHHIA
La Habra Heights Improvement Association
Vice-President Arrested on charges including Identity Theft & Forgery
See Story on Topix
Water Board Approves Rate Increase, Raises & Bonus
Download Form Letter to Protest Water Rate Increase
A Trust Broken:??La Habra Heights County Water District??Rate Increase - May 14, 2012 Video
May 1 2012 - Rowland Water Approves Deal with La Habra Heights Water District to Supply Water.
Latest News - Citrus Leaves, Branches, etc MUST be double bagged & Put in Trash, NOT Green Waste!
Watch April 2012 Video of Citrus Disease Town Hall Meeting with Question from your Neighbors answered
Watch Important Video Here 23 minutes long
Quarantine! - April 2012 - La Habra Heights in Quarantine Area for Fatal Citrus Greening Disease - See Map
Citrus Fruit Should Not Leave the Property Where Grown Unless Commercially Cleaned & Packed
See Dept of Food & Agriculture Quarantine Press Release
More Info on Disease -- See Pictures --- Read Whittier Daily News Article on Quarantine --- Read L.A. Times Story
Electric Bills Skyrocket With New Edison Smart Meter - OC Register Story
You Don't Have to Let Them Take Your Old Meter!! April 2012
Councilmember Vipperman Leads Call to Do Nothing About 20 Story Power Lines and Towers Through City
Breaking News -Mar 2012 - County Document Links Aera Development to Rowland Harbor Blvd Pipeline!!! - Look
Rowland Water GM "ready to cancel" Water Deal. Says Rowland taking all the risk - see Video
LHH Water Board approves Water Deal with minor revisions at their Feb 28, 2012 meeting over resident objections and concerns. Several residents asked to leave due to over capacity - See Video
City Abandons Jan 31, 2012 Inspection of former Animal-Keeping Property Upon Seeing Camera-Man in the Street!
What is the City trying to hide? - Story and see 4 min Video of retreat
Watch the January 23, 2012 Matrix Oil Community Meeting that they initially didn't want you to see!! Here
HOSEC Communities Supplying Water to AERA Out the Back Door? - Feb 2012 Story
City Hit Hard in 2012 draft RHNA Housing Quota: 72 low/moderate income units
Draft 2012 SCAG Regional Plan Expects AERA approval
In the Red, Water Board meets at private Hacienda Country Club to Discuss Water Trafficking Deal Finances - Meeting Minutes Oct 2011
Whittier Daily News Article on Water Board Election - Here
Just Released Reports Indicate Insufficient Water to Supply Proposed Deal - story Oct 2011
Watch Video of Very Informative Water District Forum on Proposed Water Trafficking
Water Board Balances Budget with Unsigned, Controversial Trafficking Deal
Just Released! Read Draft Water Trafficking Agreement - Here
Water Board Pres Says, "Aera Dead"
Update: Wheeling & Dealing on the Water Board.
City Rearranges Fire Dept Pay to Fund Fire Marshal - Story Sept 2011
Developing Story: La Habra Heights Water District Explores Water Trafficking Deal with Rowland Heights - Story Sept 2011
Improvement Association's Heights Life Prints Discredited & Dangerous
Did LHHIA take idea from City Council or Vice Versa?
New LHHIA By-Laws posted
Do you give up your 1st Amendment Free Speech Rights when you are a member?
Malign LHHIA Board or Assocation & you are subject to expulsion -.July 2011
Receiving Thousands of Public Tax Dollars a Year
Improvement Association Closes Doors to Public at Annual Meeting
Probably Better than Inviting Public, then Attacking Them As Happened 1 Year Ago Today - June 2011 National Story
Improvement Association 'Peeps' get raided!
County Issues Notices of Violation- Story
Crackdown on Residents Escalates in Final Days of Baroldi Administration
Raid!, Kill Switch and Blackout of Public Comments - March 2011 Story
2010 US Census shows Heights population fell 387 people to 5325- See Stats
Most of Decline in Children - See Stories Below for Council Actions Against Kids
LHHIA Improvement Association Makes National News
Caught in a Lie?- Story
Update: City Manager Responds
Anonymous Packages Sent to Local News Editors - Investigation Underway
Improvement Association Connection? - Story Dec 2010
Whittier Daily News Story on Expensive City Business Cards
Symptom of Wasteful Spending
In LHH Hundred$ Spent on Fancy Gold Embossed Cards for Staff & Council
City Edits Lowell Joint School Board Candidates Forum Broadcast - Election Tampering? Oct 10
Recommendations for Lowell Joint School Board - Here
Officials Arraigned for Wining & Dining On the Public Dime
"La Habra Heights Water District Board Deja Vu" - Story Oct 10
Banned in La Habra Heights!!
Mayor Calls for Criticism of City Manager to be "Off Camera" Story Oct 10
See League of Women Voters - Lowell Joint School Board Candidates' Debate to - Cable Broadcast in the Works Oct 10 - See Webcast- Updated Story
"Skids Greased" for Mayor's 3 Level Addition - Procedures Waved?
See Pictures from the 2010 Avocado Festival - here
Follow-Up Improvement Association Story - "That is definitely Mail Fraud."- Nov 09
Contributors to Improvement Association at Risk - Organization May Not Be as Claimed - Oct 09
Water District Board Wines and Dines at Your Expense - Story Here
Follow-up - 40 More Pages of Water Board Hotels & Meals, including $1000 Weekend in Long Beach - Story here
Hacienda Closure an Awakening for All October 2009
Investigation - Water Board Candidate Jeffrey Heintz Under Investigation by L.A. County Recorder for Ballot Designation - Too Late to Change - Update: October 7th
Too Close for Comfort?
Improvement Association, City Council, & Water Board Axis of Influence?
Commissoner Ray Fernandez states checking plans for Code compliance is
New City Policy:
Residents prohibited from submitting correspondence to Planning Commission Prior to Meeting
Serious concerns of legality
Park Trail & Parking Area Dedication
August 19, 2009
Bike Ban at Park Passed
August 13 Council Meeting
Water District Board Election November 3, 2009
Announces intent to run again at August 13, 2009 CC Meeting
Back to the Future
Residents Suffering Again Under Planning Process
Commissioner Ray Fernandez Says That Residents should defend themselves against excessive runoff from new development.
Council Majority 3 Unhappy With Simple "Call for Review" Process to Correct Planning Approval Errors which violate Residents' Property Rights.
Will They Change it to Protect Builders?
Have you noticed that the planes inbound to LAX are much quieter than they used to be?
That is because they are silently gliding in now, not descending and repowering in steps.
|City Council Election
||Plans for Harbor Blvd to be widened to 6 lanes, with Bus Route.
What Did City Officials Know?
Council Unanimously passes opposition Resolution at Jan 15 Meeting!
Fire Tax Increase Double That Allowed by Codes
What do residents think about $25,000 overcharge?
Fires Burn November 15th
in Brea, Yorba Linda
Vehicle is Likely Cause
Hacienda Rd not closed to reduce Fire Danger
City Committees in Limbo
Council passes Handbook at Feb 09 meeting.
|Residents Seek Solutions To Reduce Hacienda Traffic
||View Protection Under Attack
||A Simple Way to Prevent the Most Likely Wildfire
|Public Records Requests
||City Council Meetings Broadcast Live on Internet Starting November 13
||Effective "Poll Tax" on City Council Candidates?
A Special Place & Special People
La Habra Heights is defined by the rural environment, lack of street lights, and low density.
La Habra Heights residents have vigorously and successfully defended our community against threats to our rural environment from within and adjacent to our community.
Residents have fought off high density housing, the 39 Freeway, condos in the hills of Whittier, development in Powder Canyon, the widening of Hacienda Blvd. and many others over the years.
As stated by a prominent resident, one of the most insidious and damaging threats is the one by one exceptions and variances to our Zoning Code which slowly, but surely, erodes the rural environment and quality of life.
Those interested in the history of the City can borrow the tape or DVD "The Story of La Habra Heights" at City Hall.
??"Beware of those who tout "individual property rights"
"Beware of those who tout "individual property rights" because that usually translates into"let's destroy the zoning and make this place look like the rest Los Angeles County". Experience has taught me that those people usually want no controls on their development, but want to tell everyone else what to do."
This was read into the public record by Julia Higgs at the August 12, 2002 GPAC Town Hall Meeting
THE BATTLE IS NEVER OVER
Time and people have been kind to La Habra Heights. Always, it has seemed that we are in the right place at the right time to save this special place from high density development and preserve it for future generations. One needs only to look at Hacienda Heights to the north or the newly emerging Shea development in Rowland Heights to the east to understand why we became a city. This hillside village is too beautiful to allow it to go the way of neighboring communities.
The battle to preserve La Habra Heights will continue. I remember turning to James Littlejohn when we had just won the incorporation struggle and saying, 'It's over, La Habra Heights is safe!." and James replied, "It will never he over, Jean, as long as there is money to be made here." And he was right! Often, people appear in front of the Council saying, "I love this community. I want to keep it the way it is - except for my home which I am going to build four stories high, in a stream bed, and by the way I am going to have to exceed the grading ordinance by 100%, and I would like to run an asphalt plant in the backyard- but I want to keep La Habra Heights the way it is"
Well, take it from an old mayor, you can't have it both ways my friends. Either you maintain your strict standards for development or you lose it all. The most beautiful communities in California; Santa Barbara, Rancho Santa Fe, Rolling Hills, etc., all have strict development standards. Beware of those who tout "individual property rights" because that usually translates into"let's destroy the zoning and make this place look like the rest Los Angeles County". Experience has taught me that those people usually want no controls on their development, but want to tell everyone else what to do. The future of this community depends upon you. It is your choice to make. But, I can assure you, I will always be there when I feel the community we first envisioned is in trouble...................
Our Country is a "republic", from Latin "res publica" - public thing.
It is up to each of us to learn about what your governments are doing, and be involved.
It is important for everyone to know their rights to participate in and find out about their governments activities. Find out the facts:
The Brown Act, also known as the "Open Meeting Law" or Anti-Corruption Act
The Public Records Act, another good Records Act link
"The people of this state do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist they may retain control over the instruments they have created."
Preamble to the California Public Records Act
As James Madison, author of the Bill of Rights, said,
"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own governers must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives. A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it is but a prologue to a tragedy or a farce, or perhaps both."
Find out what happened today in U.S. History - A Library of Congress site
Why does this even matter?.........Read these
The Bill of Rights - the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution
There's A Lot Going On In Town - You Need To Get Involved To Preserve Our Rural Environment
Don't Take It For Granted Or We Will Lose It
Note: Links to Off-Site locations may become defunct or change content. This is not within our control. Please notify us if you find one. Webmaster
Correction and Retraction Policy
Lost Animal Network - Call 691-1920 if you lost an animal or found a lost one.
Find out about the original "Roads Project" from the City publication "Top of the Heights" that describe them.
This was a 5 year long project to restore the roads that ended in 2001.
We now pay the annual "Roads Assessment" to keep the roads maintained.
See More La Habra Heights controversies at www.theavocadoexpress.com
Find Low Gas Prices at: