Los Al struggles might require drastic steps

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Letter to the Editor

I have been involved with and have appreciated Los Alamitos, since my kids started pre-school in the mid-‘90s. Home, school, shopping, and a bit of local involvement, have all been positive. I have not agreed with some of the decisions by our local leaders, but the streets were pretty safe, there were plenty of trees, and we have had some really nice neighbors. But when those earlier decisions stated to affect the quality of life kind of issues. I overlooked them because the value of my house kept going up.

Over the past many years, I have heard our city leaders talk endlessly about the deteriorating infrastructure affecting a diverse milieu of public goods and services.  How long have folks complained about traffic (too much) and parking (too little), yet we have a giant condominium project breaking ground, and it will not be too much longer until we have a hotel within a block of the high school.

A cursory look down the streets in my neighborhood will reveal trees missing in front of at least 1/2 of the properties. The number of City sponsored programs is getting smaller and smaller. While they are a suburb department, the LAPD has been understaffed for quite some time. The city hall is in need of long neglected, maintenance actions, and should in fact find new quarters, but the money to address a fix or a move does not exist.

And if all that was not enough, at the last City Council meeting we heard about the realities of the City personnel pensions and medical benefits.  The bottom line is that within 6 years, the City of Los Alamitos will be bankrupt.

I am not criticizing our local leaders or city personnel; they are doing the best possible job given the limitations within which they must operate. What I am saying is that it is time to make changes based on the economic and social realities of a tiny, tax-poor, municipality in California. And that is to form a new, larger, city with one of our geographic neighbors, or perhaps have one of them simply absorb us. Remember, the important issue is a continued quality of life, not the name of the city on your address label.

Elliott Singer

Los Alamitos