City Administrators Weekly Report

October 21, 2008

CITY TREASURER’S DEPARTMENT

Customer Service Tip - Pack a Punch on the Phone

Your next irate call could be the best opportunity to prove that your organization stands behind its customers.  The following steps can help make a lasting impression:

  1. Begin your call by telling customers what you CAN do, not what you can’t;
  2. Allow the customer to vent without interruption;
  3. Use the customer’s name to diffuse their anger;
  4. Involve the customer in the solution by asking for their approval or input;
  5. Sync your voice tone with your words so that both send the same message;
  6. Ask the customer if there are any other problems or concerns you can help with;
  7. Offer your name, direct extension, and email address so they can contact you without hassle if the problem isn’t fixed.

COMMUNITY SERVICES DEPARTMENT

Senior Services Volunteers Needed

Volunteers are essential to the success of the programs of Huntington Beach Senior Services.  Without a dedicated team of volunteers, many activities now provided would not be available.  The mission of Senior Services is to provide a wide range of programming and services important to the quality of life for seniors in our community and to promote independence, dignity, and purpose. Volunteers help to carry out the mission by donating approximately 50,000 hours a year.  Currently, Senior Services is recruiting volunteers for transportation, bingo, holiday meals, and beach clean up.  Transportation volunteers drive seniors in city vehicles to medical appointments, shopping, and activities.  A DMV H-6 form is required.  Bingo volunteers call bingo, sell bingo cards, set-up equipment, and award prizes on Mondays or Thursdays from 12:30 – 2:45 p.m.  Families are welcome to deliver holiday meals to qualified clients on Thanksgiving and Christmas, and it takes just two hours out of your holiday.  Volunteers keep the beach clean between lifeguard towers 8 & 10 on the 1st Saturday of the Month, November – March.  They meet at 8 a.m., and parking and tools are provided.  Most volunteer positions require fingerprinting and background check.  For more information, contact Volunteer Coordinator Diane Swarts at (714) 374-1544, dswarts@surfcity-hb.org.

Popular “Art of the Brew” Event to be Held October 23

The Huntington Beach Art Center will hold its annual Art of the Brew event on October 23, 6 – 8 p.m.  Enjoy an evening sampling brews and munchies from BJ’s Restaurant and Brewery, BrewBakers, Oggi’s Pizza and Brewing Company, and the Huntington Beach Beer Company.  Tickets are $20 per person and should be purchased in advance since space is limited.  Tickets are still available for this event, but they are going fast.  Call (714) 374-1650 for reservations to make sure you do not miss this chance to try some of Huntington Beach’s best.  The Art Center is located at 538 Main Street.  For full details, call (714) 374-1650 or visit http://www.huntingtonbeachca.gov/Visitors/art_center/ for more information.

Project Self-Sufficiency Adopt-A-Family

Thanksgiving and Holiday Adopt-A-Family are a part of the Project Self-Sufficiency program each year.  Through community support, low income, single-parent families in PS-S are "adopted" for the holidays and provided with food and gifts for children.  PS-S has many individuals, churches, businesses, and groups that do this year after year and thoroughly enjoy it!  A PS-S family which has requested this help will be selected for those wanting to adopt a family.  Families go fast, so if you or your group wish to participate, contact the PS-S office for more information, (714) 536-5439.

54th Year of the Distance Derby

On Saturday, October 18, the city of Huntington Beach held its 54th Annual Distance Derby, the oldest race in Orange County.  Once again, the event benefitted Project Self-Sufficiency.  The 10-mile run, 5-mile run/walk, and Surf Kids Fun Run all began and finished at beautiful Pier Plaza.  Thomas Bedford from Teddington, UK, took first place in the 10-mile with a time of 53:57, and Daniel Wilcox was the winner of the 5-mile with a time of 26:16.  The event could not have been possible without the support of the various community groups and individuals who volunteered to provide outstanding services to the community.  A special thank you to event sponsors, including Mothers Market, Wal*Mart, AES Huntington Beach, Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort, Albertsons Huntington Beach, Glaceau, Snails Pace, Sam’s Club, and Z-Pizza for their contributions to this fantastic event!

Halloween Costume Contest at Bella Terra

The City of Huntington Beach Community Services Department will be partnering with Bella Terra this Saturday, October 25, to offer the Halloween costume contest to be held in the amphitheater area (by the theaters).  Registration and judging will take place from 1 - 2 p.m. followed by final judging until 3:15 in front of the theaters.  Prizes will be awarded for ages 3-under, 4-6 years, 7-11 years, and 12-15 years.  Come out and enjoy goodie bags, crafts, and trick-or-treating.

Fastpitch Softball College Showcase Tournament

Girls fast pitch softball was the activity of the weekend throughout the City of Huntington Beach. The Orange County Batbusters hosted a College Showcase tournament the weekend of October 17, 18, and 19.  The Central Park Sports Complex, Worthy, Greer, and other locations in the City of Huntington Beach were taken over by girl’s fast pitch softball teams from all over the nation, state, and the county.  Nearly 80 different teams from Arizona, New York, New Jersey, Nevada, Ohio, Washington, and California came to Huntington Beach for a National College showcase tournament.  This tournament featured some of the nation’s top softball players and gave college scouts from around the United States an opportunity to view and evaluate the top prospects in the nation.  This event also featured the Czech National Softball team paying a visit to Surf City.  With sunshine and clear skies, the event was a great time for all.  There were many compliments on the Central Park Sports Complex.  The OC Batbusters will be hosting their next event in the City of Huntington Beach in November.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Recruitment for Citizen Participation Advisory Board (CPAB)

The City of Huntington Beach is seeking a resident to serve on the CPAB to fill a vacancy with a term ending September 30, 2011.  This is a volunteer position.  The CPAB strives to represent the diverse views on the socioeconomic issues related to low-moderate income individuals.  Low-income residents and members of minority groups are encouraged to apply.  Along with staff, the CPAB assesses the needs of low and moderate income households and evaluates and prioritizes projects for the Community Development Block Grant program, a grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  The CPAB recommends projects and activities that are CDBG eligible to the City Council.  The CPAB holds regular monthly meetings, generally on the first Thursday of each month, at 7 p.m., in Room B-8 of City Hall.  All meetings are open to the public, and special meetings may be called in conformance with the Ralph M. Brown Act.  The CPAB annually holds a public hearing to obtain citizen input on community needs, plans, or proposals.  Citizens interested in applying to serve on the CPAB may apply on-line at www.surfcity-hb.org/government/boards_commissions or call Carol Runzel, Senior Administrative Analyst, at (714) 536-5224.  The deadline to submit an application for this volunteer position is October 27.

FIRE DEPARTMENT

Huntington Harbour Garden Club Donation

The Huntington Harbour Garden Club made a generous donation in honor of the Huntington Beach Firefighters to the USDA Forest Service and the Cleveland National Forest.  This contribution was made to thank the firefighters for their support, hard work, time, and dedication during the California wildfires this past summer.  The funds will be used to plant new trees and improve existing plantations for the Penny Pines reforestation program.

CERT Banquet

On October 11, the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) held its 2008 graduation and awards banquet.  CERT is a program that prepares community members to help themselves, their family, neighbors, and community in the event of a disaster.  Over 150 CERT members, Council members, and fire department employees were in attendance.  Awards were presented to volunteers who have gone above and beyond with their service.  Two city employees were honored at the banquet.  Karin Reed, of Human Resources, was presented with the Super Star Award.  This award is presented to a CERT member who can be called upon anytime to do anything that is needed.  Karin has been a member since 2005.  She has spent her lunch breaks volunteering on the CERT Clerical Team and deployed in response to the Santiago Fire in 2007.  Glorria Morrison was presented with a flag that flew over the Capitol.  The flag was presented by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher’s office for her 32-years of service with the city.  Two other city employees, Jayme Liu of Human Resources and Karen Leuer of Public Works, were graduates this year.  They will bring the skills they acquired not only to their family and neighborhoods, but to the workplace as well.  If you would like to learn more about HB CERT, go to www.SurfCity-HB.org/CERT.

INFORMATION SERVICES DEPARTMENT

Census 2010 Local Update of Addresses

The Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Division of the city’s Information Services Department, in coordination with the city Planning Department, has completed the process for submission of addresses for the 2010 US Census.  This is the first update the city performed entirely as an automated process using the GIS system to prepare the data and analysis portions of the project.  The GIS Division also performed analyses to identify the individual family addresses of apartments and other multi-family housing, as well as other traditionally difficult-to-count areas.  In the past, the census address update has required from 500 to 1,000 hours of city Planning staff time to complete the process.  Using the advanced capabilities of the GIS system, the process was completed in less than 100 hours.  The city submitted 78,739 addresses to the Census Bureau with 78,737 addresses accepted as accurate – an acceptance rate of 99.997 percent.  Using the GIS to assist in preparing the update resulted in a more accurate count of the city’s population using significantly less staff time.

LIBRARY SERVICES DEPARTMENT

National Friends of the Library Week - October 19-25

The Huntington Beach Library would like to announce the National Friends of the Library Week and acknowledge both the Friends of the Library and the Friends of the Children’s Library for their continued dedication and commitment.  The library system is fortunate to have such dynamic volunteers work year-round to raise money and community awareness crucial to maintaining the library’s status as a first-class cultural and educational resource facility.  Currently, over 800 members contribute annually to the FOTL and FOTCL combined, and approximately 250 of these members actively volunteer their time throughout the year to assist with fundraising efforts that help sustain and expand the library’s collection and programs.  Some of the fundraising efforts include staffing and managing the gift shop and used book sale, organizing events such as author luncheons and festivals, hosting the annual Taste of Huntington Beach, along with offering monthly children’s programs and the Festival of Folktales, which kicks-off the Summer Reading Program.  To learn more about how you can join to help support the Friends of the Library or the Friends of the Children’s Library, please call (714) 375-5114.

Children’s Department

The Children’s Library is pleased to announce that their second annual Back to School Reading Program, “Library Kids Lead the Way,” was a great success!  The program ran between September 15 - October 12.  In order to get a prize, kids had their choice of either reading five books, 250 pages, or spending 2 hours reading.  Listening to stories also counted.  Eligible children could come in each week and get a different prize.  At the four branches and the Central Library, over 1,200 children picked up a reading log and kept track of the books they read.  Visit our website at www.hbpl.org for a listing of all scheduled library events, or call (714) 375-5107.

PLANNING DEPARTMENT

Code Enforcement Activity for September 2008

For the month of September 2008, Code Enforcement staff opened 234 new cases, conducted 575 inspections, observed 206 violations, and successfully resolved 268 cases within an average of 40 days from initial complaint.  The following is a snapshot of the top ten most common violations observed in September:

 chart

POLICE DEPARTMENT

Detective Receives COPS West Annual Award

Detective Mike Reilly was selected as the 2008 COPS West award recipient for the “Best Cold Case.”  While working as a patrol officer in 1984, Detective Reilly responded to a homicide scene and filed the crime report.  The case remained unsolved for over 20 years.  In 2007, Detective Reilly, never forgetting the victim and her family, reviewed the case for any evidence which could be examined for DNA.  Changes in technology allowed evidence in older cases to now be forensically examined.  In October 2007, a DNA match was made on Gerald Su Go.  Go frequented Huntington Beach during the time of the homicide.  With the assistance of several law enforcement agencies, Go was located in Toronto, Canada.  Toronto Police and detectives from our city ultimately arrested Go.  He is awaiting extradition back the United States where he will answer to the homicide charges.  All involved in this investigation did a commendable job, and their efforts are appreciated.

Officials Meet with Restaurant Business Owners

Representatives of the Police and Economic Development Departments met with downtown restaurant business owners last week to discuss future plans for the downtown area.  Topics included the overall operations of the businesses, impacts on city services, and suggestions for improving service to the community.

PUBLIC WORKS

Safe Routes to Newland Elementary School Project

A new traffic signal at the intersection of Yorktown Avenue and Windward Lane is operational.  This is the most visible component of the Safe Routes to School Grant project that was awarded for the area serving Newland Elementary School.  In addition to the traffic signal, the project includes new curb ramps, damaged sidewalk replacement, the installation of radar feedback signs to display motorists’ speed, and signing & striping improvements.  A state grant for $251,700 funded approximately half of the project.  The balance of the project was paid from Gas Tax funds.  Work will continue on the final ramps and radar feedback signs through the end of October.

Yorktown Avenue Arterial Rehabilitation Begins

Preliminary construction work and parking restrictions have begun on Yorktown Avenue between Delaware and Main Streets in preparation for a major street repair project.  Yorktown is one of six street segments that will be rehabilitated over the next several months.  Work on Yorktown will take approximately 60 days.  The next scheduled section is Graham Street from Edinger to Bolsa Avenues.  Concurrently, work will proceed on Garfield Avenue between Beach Boulevard and Newland Street.  The final section of the project encompasses Garfield from Bushard to Ward Streets, then Ward from Garfield to Yorktown, and finally Yorktown between Ward and Brookhurst Streets.  The complete street rehabilitation consists of removing failed pavement, cold milling, constructing asphalt concrete pavement, and replacing signage & striping.  In addition, curb and gutter and pedestrian walkway areas will be reconstructed, where feasible, to meet current ADA standards.  Parkway landscaping will be removed and replaced in accordance with the recommendations from the Beautification, Landscape, and Tree City Council Sub-Committee.  The project utilizes rubberized asphalt concrete (RAC), which contains crumb rubber derived from scrap tires.  A 2-inch layer of RAC uses over 2,000 waste tires per lane mile.  This project will divert over 30,000 waste tires, which otherwise would end up in a landfill.  Street rehabilitation requires lane closures, so alternate routes are advised during construction.  The $6.5 million improvement project is a combination of Gas Tax and Measure M funds.














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