City Administrators Weekly Report

March 16 , 2009


Passport Processing Changes

Important information to help plan your travels:
The passport agency in Los Angeles is estimating the processing time for routine applications has increased to 5-6 wks.  They are beginning to get backlogged and processing times will likely increase the closer we get to the second phase of the Western Hemisphere Travel initiative going into effect June 1, 2009.  As of June 1, you will then need a passport book or card to travel to Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean region via land or sea.  Don’t miss out on your trip – keep the longer wait time in mind, and remember, the City Clerk’s Office can help you with your passport and passport photo needs


Quick Tip of the Week – Understanding

Help customers understand your systems.  Your organization may have the world's best systems for getting things done, but if customers don't understand them, they can get confused, impatient and angry.  Don’t assume they know what you’re talking about.  Take time to explain how your systems work and how they simplify transactions.  Make them part of the process.


Cooking: Delicious, Homemade Meals

In this class, you will assemble meals for your family (4-6 servings); take them home to your freezer. When you are ready follow the simple instructions and enjoy your savory meals with suggested sides.  You will prepare nutritious and cost effective meals of the highest standard.  Be sure to bring a cooler to take home your meals.  Please check out the Spring SANDS Bulletin ( for class times and registration information.  The next class is scheduled for Saturday, April 25.  You must register prior to the class as there will be no same-day registration. 

Community Services Supervisor, Harry W. Montague Remembered

At their March 11th, Community Services Commission Meeting, staff and community members remembered Harry W. Montague and officially re-named the Youth Sports “Good Sport Award” to the “Harry W. Montague Sportsmanship Award”.  At the conclusion of each season, the Community Services Commission recognizes the “League Champs” and “Good Sports” teams.  The “Harry W. Montague Sportsmanship Award” allows teams demonstrating exemplary sportsmanship to be honored at the same level as championship teams.  The City of Huntington Beach Youth Sports Program believes in developing the person, not just the athlete, and stresses the importance of sportsmanship, fair play, and hard work for coaches, players, and spectators.  The first recipients of the “Harry W. Montague Sportsmanship Award” will be recognized at the April 8th Commission Meeting.

Surf City Nights Parking Update

Daylight saving time has arrived and the popular Surf City Nights is heating up.  The Main Promenade Parking Structure will be staffed with extra help on Tuesday Nights in anticipation of extra traffic and longer exit lines.  We suggest you arrive early to avoid the hassles of finding a parking spot.  Also, there is no longer two-hour free parking for this event, so remember to get your parking ticket validated from participating downtown merchants.

Huntington Beach Senior Services

Surf City Strikers – On Friday, March 20th, the newly formed Surf City Strikers will compete at the Cypress Senior Center in their first Wii league bowling match.  Wish them luck!  Wii bowling is available for all to play at the Michael E. Rodgers Seniors Center on Wednesdays from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.  The Huntington Beach Council on Aging purchased a second Wii game unit so that eight players can compete at once.  Wii bowling is a video game that detects the motion of a hand-unit and rolls the ball down the alley displayed on the T.V.  The hand unit will even detect the amount of spin you put on the ball.  Wii can be played standing or sitting.  Players of all skill levels are welcome.  Drop-in or call to sign-up: 714-537-9387.


Both Colette’s Children’s Home and Jamboree Housing Corporation have acquired three apartment buildings in the Oakview Neighborhood with assistance from the Redevelopment Agency of the City of Huntington Beach.  The buildings offer affordable rental housing for very low and low income families for the next 60 years.  Over the next six months, both Colette’s and Jamboree will be making much needed repairs to their newly acquired units to ensure that all residents receive quality affordable housing. 

Downtown Image Ad Hoc Committee

The next Downtown Image Ad Hoc Committee meeting will be held on Monday, March 23 at 6:00 pm at the Huntington Beach Art Center located at 538 Main Street in Downtown Huntington Beach. At the meeting, Council Members Carchio, Dwyer and Hansen will consider the appointment of participants to serve on the Committee and sub-committees. For further information, please call Simone Slifman at (714) 375-5186 or [email protected]


Distinguished Budget  Presentation Award

The City of Huntington Beach received the “Distinguished Budget Presentation Award” from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for the Fiscal Year 2008/09.  While the Finance Department is the lead on the city’s budget process, it is through the hard work of dedicated employees working on the budget process throughout the city departments that makes the achievement of the award possible.


Beachwood Apartment Fire

On Saturday, March 14th the Huntington Beach Fire Department, along with mutual aid from the Fountain Valley Fire Department, responded to a structure fire at the Beachwood Apartments located at 19132 Magnolia St. On arrival, firefighters found pressurized smoke coming from an apartment located on the first floor. The fire was quickly extinguished and was contained to the kitchen area in the apartment of origin. The apartment unit was currently vacant and was undergoing kitchen repairs by the maintenance staff of the complex. The preliminary cause was determined to be an electrical short in the ventilation hood above the stove. No injuries were reported as a result of the fire.  


Health Info Just a Few Clicks Away….

The middle of cold and flu season is the perfect time to find good sources of information about health and wellness. Here in the library, we make sure to tell people about It’s a government sponsored site that provides extensive and trustworthy information on health topics. Also very popular is  When you logon to the library’s site ( with your library card and pin number you can access an online medical encyclopedia by Salem Health.

For more information and current articles, try the Gale Health and Resource Database. These online tools are great resources for good information whether you’re researching vaccinations, coronary issues, skin problems, nutrition and exercise, or just looking for relief from the common cold. Check it out!

Children’s Senior Librarian Mary-Pat Gonzalez Honored with the Mayor’s Award!

The Children’s Department is very proud to announce that one of our own is being recognized by the mayor as an outstanding employee!  On March 16, at the City Council meeting, Mary-Pat Gonzalez received the prestigious Mayor’s Award.  Mary-Pat earned her MLIS from San Jose State University’s Fullerton extension program.  She has been working in the children’s department as a librarian since 1994 and was promoted to Senior Librarian in October 2004.  She gives a weekly Lap time Storytime on Saturdays at 10:00 AM for children ages 18 months to 3 years.  Mary-Pat is also involved in many other projects that include working with the Friends of the Children’s Library to plan the wonderful children’s events, and acting as the children’s department representative for the Taste of Huntington Beach fundraiser.  We are very lucky to have her as our co-worker, mentor, supervisor, and friend. Congratulations Mary-Pat!  – Nanci, Barbara, Susan, Janet, Debra and Danielle, Children’s Library Staff.

Events at the Central Library

This is the beginning of a couple of busy months for the Central Library Theater…

The Huntington Beach Playhouse Group has their final performance of "Arsenic and Old Lace on Friday March 20th…  The set will strike that night to make way for BB Jazz' second concert in the series featuring Singer, Songwriter, & Pianist, George Duke on Saturday, March 21st...  Tickets for the performance and dinner are available by calling (714) 377-7574. 

Marina High School will perform "Once upon a Mattress" March 26th, 27th and 28th.  All performances start at 7 pm with a Saturday matinee at 2pm, as well as the 7 pm performance.  Additional information may be obtained from the Director of Choirs, Eric Graham, (714) 893-6571 X 4322


Departments of Building & Safety and Planning

Customers are now utilizing our newly implemented Customer Flow management system.  As customers arrive to the 3rd floor they are placed into a virtual queue – through a ticket printer, kiosk or by a personal greeter.   Once their information is entered into the system, they are segmented by type of service needed.  Now customers can relax and enjoy watching television while waiting and watching for their ticket to be called instead of standing in line.  Employees at the counter can manage customers more effectively by observing the queue and transferring customers to different areas.  Also, the system allows supervision to manage wait and transaction times and track productivity of staff.  Residents at home wanting to come to City Hall Building or Planning Department can now view the actual wait time from their home by logging on the city’s website to determine the best time to visit.

First Phase of Talbert Marsh Wetlands Restoration Completed

The first phase of the Talbert Marsh Wetlands restoration project was completed Thursday, March 12, as water began flowing to the Wetlands from the Huntington Channel around 4:10 p.m. on Thursday.  The applicant, the Huntington Beach Wetlands Conservancy, is in the process of restoring approximately 140 acres of wetlands along Pacific Coast Highway in the southern part of the City. The second and final phase of restoration will begin in the fall of 2010.

Neighborhood Workshop on March 25

The Departments of Planning and Economic Development will be holding a neighborhood workshop on Wednesday, March 25 from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Lake Park Clubhouse, 1035 11th Street.  The goal of the Neighborhood Workshops is to proactively inform residents of the City’s Neighborhood Preservation, Housing Rehabilitation, and Green Building efforts, the various tools and resources available through these programs, and to encourage residents to take active roles in preserving the quality of their neighborhood. For more information on the Neighborhood Workshops, please contact Neighborhood Preservation Manager Bill Zylla via e-mail at [email protected] or by telephone at (714) 536-5274.


New Police Helicopter in Service

On Thursday, February 12th, 2009, police helicopter, N523HB, “Ten-Henry” flew its first patrol shift.  “Ten-Henry” replaced N521HB, “Maverick”, which had been purchased in 1998.  Our newest helicopter was designated “Ten-Henry” in commemoration of the Air Support Unit’s 40th anniversary.  When the program began in 1968, the police helicopter radio call-sign was “Ten-Henry”. 


Orange County Sanitation District Project Begins Construction

The Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD) has begun the rehabilitation of their 54 inch diameter sewer line through the City’s beach parking lot between First Street and Beach Boulevard and through the State Beach parking lot south of Beach Boulevard. In addition, a small portion of this project will be in First Street between Pacific Coast Highway and Walnut Avenue.

In Huntington Beach, the project includes lining the inside of the existing pipe and construction of three manholes.  The project will result in the temporary loss of some parking spaces during construction.  Community Services and Public Works staff has worked with the contractor to specify construction phasing and working hours to minimize overall impacts.  Some early construction work may take place on Saturdays, but will not be allowed on or after the Memorial Day holiday weekend.    
Construction starts on Monday March 16, 2009 and will take approximately four months to complete. Most of the work in the City’s beach parking lot should be completed by early July 2009.  The adjacent property owners have been notified and a separate meeting was held with the hotels to discuss the project.  OCSD will be the primary agency responsible for the day to day operations but the Public Works staff will have some inspection oversight for this project.  Questions regarding the project should be directed to the OCSD Construction Hotline at 714-378-2965, or

Did you know?

Solar chimneys are passive solar ventilation systems. Shafts connect the interior and exterior of the building. The functioning can be improved by glazing and using thermal mass materials.  Learn more about solar.

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