It has often been described that good can become the enemy of great. La Mirada has become a good city. In many ways we have failed to achieve our immense potential. I know many residents feel that a change is needed, perhaps a fresh perspective. That is what I will bring to the city council and below are some of the areas I feel need to be addressed.
LA MIRADA GOALS
This past year, I witnessed one of the most egregious actions ever taken by a city. With just one week before the start of the La Mirada Soccer Association season, the city voted to suspend the organizations field use thereby canceling the season for thousands of kids. This affected hundreds of families and never should have happened. Hundreds of parents and coaches stormed the city council meeting and for hours during public comment demanded that the city reinstate the field usage. They demanded that our children be allowed to enjoy playing the sport, learn about teamwork, build social skills, and engage in a healthy lifestyle. Because of the outpouring of support from the community they city was forced to reinstate their field usage. As an elected official I will ensure something like this NEVER happens again. I will fight to create more open space for families to enjoy in the city. I truly believe that kids are better served running around outside and playing with other kids than sitting in front of a TV or iPad. La Mirada has always been an active, family-oriented community and I will do everything in my power to keep it that way.
Parts of La Mirada have nice new streets, however, almost half the city does not. Despite the tens of millions in new taxes we had to pay, our street improvement project was not finished. Unsurprisingly, the city now needs more taxpayer money to finish it. To add to the problem, block walls around the city are literally falling into the street. We cannot continue to just raise taxes to cover just maintenance costs. We already have some of the highest sales tax, gas tax, income tax in the country. Not to mention massive fees on vehicle registration, smog, and so on. We need to stop overpaying and underdelivering. Another example of poor foresight is the center median improvement. We are spending millions of dollars to redo the medians with vegetation that will again die during the next draught when we can water them. Instead of looking at innovative solutions others cities have incorporated, our elected officials continue to make the same mistakes as before. Perhaps, instead of spending almost $3 million on new slides at splash, the money could be used for things the city actually needs, like infrastructure repair.
High Density Housing / Apartments
The state of California periodically conducts a regional housing needs assessment. In this process they determine how many additional housing units each city needs to build. Several years ago, La Mirada was the victim of this process and because we did not have representation from our elected officials, surrounding cities dumped much of the units on La Mirada. In a city that is 100% built out, we were forced to zone for almost 2000 more high density units or apartments. At the time there the entire city had less than that number. As a contrast, the city of Cerritos which is roughly the same size of La Mirada had to build less than 100 high density units. Now the state is going to force another 2000 high density units down our throat. Replacing already limited shopping centers with apartment complexes. That’s not what La Mirada needs, we need leaders who will fight to ensure our city remains a great place to live. For too long our elected officials have ignored their duty. The next round of units will be assigned in 2020 and we need elected officials who are not afraid to fight for our city.
Over the past decade, numerous restaurants and businesses have left the city. Even the Sizzler on Rosecrans has closed its doors. We need elected officials who actually understand business and can bring in brand name establishments for the residents to enjoy. Even more disturbing has been the city’s mentality of allowing big warehouses to come into La Mirada. These warehouses produce $0 in revenue (other than a $1,000 yearly business license), but in return we get massive trucks, fully loaded with cargo that tear up our streets which we the residents then have to pay to fix. I find it unacceptable that the city allows that kind of development, while literally make life a living hell for new restaurants or commercial businesses that want to come into the city. Placing odd requirement on businesses like putting up new street lights or redoing city sidewalks in order to get approval by the city for their new business. We need to learn from our neighbors like Buena Park or La Habra, who thirty years ago were nowhere near La Mirada, but have now surpassed us in everything, including home values.
Year over year, La Mirada continues to be one of the safest cities in the region. Nevertheless, good is often the enemy of great. Our city by its positioning and bedroom community nature would naturally not be a hotbed for crime. Thus, in order to improve our public safety, we cannot continue to focus on reactionary efforts. We need to begin employing crime prevention techniques to help improve public safety in La Mirada. By having organization such as Straight Talk, The Whole Child, and various school targeted educational programs working along side our law enforcement officials, we can help increase crime prevention. Instead of focusing on the symptoms of the problem, we should be focusing on the root cause. This will allow La Mirada to become the safest city around and not just one of the safest.