It was the first meeting of the year, and Rossmoor started 2013 by choosing new leadership and looking forward to the goals and challenges of the new year.
In the months ahead, the community will move forward under a new general manager tackling ongoing issues such as increased independence from the county, park improvements and security cameras for public safety.
The board voted Director Michael Maynard in as president, Bill Kahlert as 1st vice-president and Ron Casey as Second vice-president of the Rossmoor Community Services District Board of Directors Tuesday.
Director Jeffrey Rips thanked outgoing President Alfred Coletta -- who will stay on as a director -- for his “leadership and stewardship for the community.”
“Your efforts and guidance were terrific,” Rips said.
District staff presented Coletta with a plaque and a large hourglass to represent the time he had spent as president. Two board members took the Oath of Office: Ron Casey and Jeffrey Rips. The two were unopposed in 2012, and the district voted to cancel the election because of a lack of candidates. New president Maynard, who was out sick, is expected to take the oath when he returns.
“The year ahead looks promising, but not without challenges,” said Coletta in his State of the District speech. “Rossmoor remains an efficient and stable island, an oasis in the midst of surrounding economic uncertainty.”
Coletta highlighted some of the district’s accomplishments including
- Updating the district website to meet a grand jury request for more transparency
- Contracting with a private provider to televise district meetings.
- Expanding its resident email database.
- Limiting picnic sites to only residents.
- Co-sponsoring the May Rossmoor Community Festival.
- Increasing the number of movies, concerts and plays in the park.
- Hiring a new general manager.
To download the full text of the speech, click the pdf under the photo on the right.
Coletta spoke with Patch afterward and highlighted some of the challenges the district may face over the coming year, including a discussion on whether to take over the county’s authority over trash, law enforcement and animal control in Rossmoor.
Also, according to Coletta, the board will decide whether to demolish and rebuild the Rush Park parking lot or fill in potholes and do slurry sealing. He also said officials will have to decide if and how to update the Montecito Center.
As for the possibility of security cameras, -- an idea suggested by Maynard at a previous meeting -- Coletta said that if the cameras were placed in “certain strategic sites” in the community they could be a benefit for the residents, including, for example the entrances and exits to the community.
“One location, for me, could be St. Cloud and Seal Beach,” Coletta said.
However, he said, he was wary of privacy intrusions too and wouldn’t want cameras on every corner or where there are a lot of resident interactions like Montecito Road and Bradbury Road.
According to staff, the possibility of security cameras is still under investigation and has not been voted on by officials.
In other notes, the meeting marked first full meeting for new General Manager Chris Montana.
Montana said she’s “getting to know the ins and outs of the district.”
“I just want to say I’m happy to be here,” Montana said. “I’m very grateful for my staff and all their help, and I hope to be here for a while."
Casey said he thought Montana would do an excellent job.
“I do believe that, based on the vetting that we did when we made this selection, that our community can look forward to a very successful campaign for hopefully several years under her stewardship,” Casey said.