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Poll: City Wants Your Ideas for Spending $358,000

Los Alamitos has some cash to give back to the community, and city leaders are considering a survey for community input, giving residents a chance to win $50 for telling the city how to spend money.

The city of Los Alamitos has some extra cash - $358,000 to be exact - and city officials are looking for help with ideas for spending it.

At tonight’s City Council meeting, the council will vote on a Community Give-Back Survey aimed at soliciting community input on how to spend $358,000, the equivalent of 1 percent of the city’s utility users tax revenue. Earlier this year, the council decided that strong budget reserves afford the city an opportunity to exercise a one-time give-back to the community. Instead of a one-time tax reduction or rebate, residents urged the council to spend the money on projects that would improve the quality of life in Los Alamitos.

Toward that end, the city is considering a $50 drawing for all suggestions formally submitted to the city on how to spend the money. If the council approves the survey, every household that submits suggestions to the city will automatically be entered in a drawing to win a $50 gift certificate to a local restaurant or a $50 voucher for a city recreational class.

An Ad Hoc Committee has determined that the money should be spent on something outside the ordinary scope of city spending and that it should benefit every neighborhood and segment of the population. The proposed survey asks readers to rank their spending priorities for several options including:

  • A community garden
  • Light pole banners
  • Improvements at Oak Gym
  • A digital sign outside City Hall
  • Emergency kits for every household
  • Tree plantings
  • Expanded free summer parks programs
  • Iconic citywide signage
  • Scholarship program to send senior citizens on trips
  • Seed Money to start a Sugar Beet Festival

The last suggestion is the brainchild of local historian Larry Strawther and school board member Diana Hill. The festival would be a celebration of local history dating back to the city’s roots as a sugar beet ranch. The festival would involve local businesses and restaurants and help support local nonprofits.

Emily Knell July 16, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Yes to the Beet Festival, we can have a Borscht cook-off!
George Young July 16, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Fund some programs/book buys via the Friends of the Los Alamitos Library. They need staff, but that's a county problem.
Debra Donley July 17, 2012 at 01:45 PM
I read someone else's suggestion in the sun: Old Town area dentist Jorge Oaxaca wants Seal Beach to set up a citywide WI-FI system, with private donations of hardware and the city paying for the on-going Internet fees. I think this is an excellent idea and would benefit the whole community!
James Woods July 17, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Since Los Alamitos is the home of one of the few remaining military air bases in southern CA. I would like to see a program to help the returning military service men and women get into civilian life again through a jobs program. The job search program has changed since many of these men and women left to go overseas and they will need help in meeting the new challenges. A learning program could be put together to help them get started and relearn what it takes to become a civilian again. Not all of the returning members of the armed forces are going to be "lifers" and are going to need help! We need to help our own!
Marian July 20, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Combine some of the projects above into a Health and Wellness model incorporating park sites and open space (if there is any). Start walking clubs (could be age specific and competitive), provide pedometers (have electronic access for members to input their steps) , t-shirts (possible sponsors) feature a Healthy Los Al cookout day promoting local business that would be willing to share healthy recipes. Marian Last

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