City Administrators Weekly Report

October 12, 2009


Charter Review

The Charter Review Commission will be meeting again at 6:00 PM on Tues., October 20 to continue discussions on the city’s elected offices.  The Commission will be discussing the option of directly electing the Mayor versus appointment, and appointing rather than electing the offices of City Attorney, City Treasurer, and City Clerk.  Public comments are welcome.  The meeting is held in room B-8 on the lower level of City Hall.


Customer Service Tip of the Week – Half Empty or Half Full?

When we treat our responsibilities as tasks, we treat our customers as tasks; they end up feeling processed. When we treat our responsibilities as opportunities to create positive experiences, customers feel valued.


Huntington Beach Senior Services

On Thursday, October 15, 2009, the Surf City Senior Providers Network will meet at Michael E. Rodgers Seniors’ Center, 1706 Orange Avenue from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.  The Surf City Senior Providers Network is a forum founded by Huntington Beach Senior Services to address senior issues and concerns, facilitate access to needed services, provide advocacy on behalf of older adults, and improve communication between interested professional and community organizations.  The network’s goals are to promote and strengthen interagency communication, provide educational opportunities for network members and the community at large, and meet the needs of the older population. John Davies, from Hands on Rehab and Aquatics, will give a presentation on Aqua Therapy for Older Adults.  Caring Companions at Home, Heritage Memorial Services, and Meadowlark Gardens will co-host the luncheon.  Senior Service providers interested in attending should RSVP to Teri Simonis (714) 374-1517, or [email protected].

Huntington Beach Art Center

Artsy Sunday will be held on Sunday, October 18 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.  A free, hands-on workshop for children and families, Artsy Sundays feature professional artists teaching art activities based on the contemporary exhibitions in the galleries.   Artsy Sunday is sponsored by Target.  Call the Art Center for details.



The Annual Halloween Fest 2009

Join friends and family for an evening of fun in downtown Huntington Beach.  The Downtown Business Improvement District is hosting the annual Halloween event on Saturday, October 31, on Main Street.  Activities include game and activity booths, bounce houses, mobile video game theater, face painting, Surf City’s antique fire truck, a haunted house, and costume contests for children (12 and under) and dogs.   Businesses will be participating in a window decorating contest and will offer free candy to children under 12.  Downtown businesses will offer discounts, sales, and restaurant specials.  For more information contact the BID at 714.536.8300 or


The Fiscal Services Division of the Finance Department website has recently been revised to add the following page  This revision will allow customers to update the contact information on their water bill accounts, including home phone, work phone, cell phone, and e-mail address.  The city currently mails out approximately 53,000 water bill statements monthly.  A review of these records revealed that a large number of accounts do not contain a phone number or an e-mail address.  There are also thousands of phone numbers listed in the database that are no longer in service and need to be updated.  Having current information on record enables the city to contact the customer if there are any service issues on the account.  Providing the city with multiple channels of communication will serve to enhance the customer service experience.  Thanks to the Information Services Webmaster for the revisions.


Fire Department and Marine Safety Division Receive Fireman’s Fund Grant        

In September 2009, Marine Safety Division and Fire Department received $42,450 in grant funding from Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company and SullivanCurtisMonroe Insurance Services.  This funding will be used for the purchase of rescue and emergency medical equipment and wildland firefighting boots. The Marine Safety Division and the Fire Department have immediate needs for these items and, with recent budget reductions, are increasingly difficult to obtain. The Fire Department annually responds to wildland incidents.  Because of recent equipment failures, it was determined that the boots currently worn by firefighters on wildland fires are inadequate to function in this capacity.  With the grant funding, the City will be able to purchase this essential equipment.  In doing so, the Fire Department will be better equipped, protected, and safe while responding to this type of emergency.  Since 2004, Fireman’s Fund has donated more than $23 million in funding to over 1,400 different fire departments across the country.

Tsunami Information

On Tuesday, September 29, 2009, a magnitude 8.0 earthquake occurred off the coast of Samoa.  As a result of the earthquake, a large tsunami was generated which struck the islands of Samoa and American Samoa.  Later in the day, at 3:05 PM, a tsunami advisory was issued for the West Coast of the United States from the California-Mexico border to the Oregon-Washington border with anticipated wave heights ranging from 20-65 cm and an estimated time of arrival of 9:05 PM.  Though waves of this size would not cause widespread devastation as was seen in Samoa, they could cause minor flooding in low-lying areas and dangerous currents in the harbors and along the shoreline. 

After the advisory was received, the city’s EOC was activated to Level 1 (monitoring).  A planning meeting was held with representatives from Police, Fire, Marine Safety, Public Information, and Public Works present, and a conference call with representatives from all of the Orange County coastal cities and the County Emergency Manager occurred at approximately 4:00 PM.  Based on information received during the conference call, the decision was made to confirm that the State beaches along with businesses and residents on the beach side of PCH were notified of the advisory.  Marine Safety kept additional officers at the beach and the Police, Fire, and Public Works departments were available to assist if necessary.  The City Administrator and City Council were also kept apprised of the situation by the Police and Fire Chiefs.  The EOC remained open and in a monitoring mode until 10:00 PM.  Marine Safety officers reported that no unusual activity was observed in the water.

Residents are encouraged sign up for AlertOC notifications.  Registered residents will receive any emergency notifications sent out via AlertOC.  To register, go to:, click on “Sign Up for AlertOC” under the “What’s New” column.    


National Information Literacy Awareness Month 2009

In a time when we’re bombarded with more information than ever before, when any internet user is able to mix facts, misinformation, rumors and opinions and then broadcast them around the world, the need for information literacy is more important than ever. Information literacy is the term for the skills needed to acquire, collate, and evaluate information, to separate accurate, useful information from the background noise of opinion, advocacy and rumor.

Places like universities and libraries already help their users to critically evaluate what they hear and read, but to succeed in the 21st century everyone will need strong information literacy skills. To highlight the importance of critical thinking in the Information Age, the president of the United States has proclaimed October National Information Literacy Information Month. The president addresses institutions like the library when he says,An informed and educated citizenry is essential to the functioning of our modern democratic society, and I encourage educational and community institutions across the country to help Americans find and evaluate the information they seek, in all its forms.” As an important and ongoing part of its work, the library continues to help people find the current, accurate and useful information they need to be informed citizens of the 21st century.

Need Some Gardening Education? Annual Gardening Seminar Returns to the Library

The University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners are looking forward to greeting you at the 7th Annual Gardening Seminar to be held again in Huntington Beach at the Central Library Theatre and Meeting Rooms.  Don't miss this opportunity to learn about gardening practices in Southern California featuring instruction and advice on many gardening topics.  The seminar Saturday, October 17 will be held at the Central Library from 9:00am – 3:00pm.  The cost is $37.00 and pre-registration is required.  Lunch is offered at a nominal charge.  Dr. John Kabashima, who is always entertaining, will be giving excellent professional advice with his "What's Bugging your Plant? The Doctor is In" series.   More information, details, and registration are available at, or contact by phone: 714/708-1606.

Local Artists Featured at the Huntington Beach Public Library

The month of October features The American Artists of Chinese Brush Painting in the Windows Gallery; Gary Sohl is the featured artist in the Corner Gallery at the Central Library.   Gary Sohl earned his degree in Art from Montana State University.  His colorful paintings are prolific in a variety of outdoor landscapes including Laguna Beach, Joshua Tree, and Yosemite.  The sweeping brushstrokes of his mountain streams, canyons, waterfalls, and pastoral scenes can be enjoyed up-close and from afar.  Gary's many awards include being the winner of Outstanding Visual Artist in 2004-2005.   His website is
Knowledge is Power when it comes to Breast Cancer

National Breast Cancer Awareness in October is an annual event dedicated to increasing awareness of breast cancer issues and promoting education and empowerment.  Central Library is featuring a display in the new book area with brochures, books, and bookmarks highlighting this important issue.


Huntington Beach Motor Officer Recognized

The 37th Annual Motor Rodeo hosted by the Orange County Traffic Officers’ Association was held at Huntington State Beach on October 7, 2009.  Over 400 motor officers representing 56 law enforcement agencies from Southern California were in attendance for the competition.
The competition tests the officers’ riding skills in combination with agility and speed in real life scenarios that they would encounter while working.   The skills tests are divided into categories for the type of motorcycle the officer rides for their perspective agencies.
Huntington Beach police officers ride the Honda ST 1300 motorcycle.  Huntington Beach Police Officer Erik Himert won FIRST PLACE in the skills competition for the Honda ST 1300 category.  


Parking Changes near Huntington Seacliff Elementary

Lane striping modifications have been made on Garfield Avenue in the vicinity of Huntington Seacliff Elementary School to allow street parking from Edwards Street to Saddleback Lane.   After working through design and approval issues, the Public Works Transportation Division changed the traffic lanes for eastbound Garfield to allow parking on the south side of the street.  Approximately 500 feet of curb area is available for parking without a time limit.  Overnight parking will be prohibited from 9 pm to 7 am.  The modifications provide additional options for pick-up and drop-off activity in addition to extra parking for parents who may need more time at the school.  The parking may be used for the various meetings and activities at the school and for staff parking. 

Did you know?

The Huntington Beach Fire Department charges for emergency medical services and ambulance transportation.  However, residents can join the FireMed Program and protect their out-of-pocket costs!  Read more about the FireMed Program.

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