Improve the city's infrastructure. The
condition of our streets and water system particularly are not good.
Resurfacing streets that need a full reconstruction or replacing water means
only as they break are penny wise and pound foolish measures. My worry is
that the city does not have the money to do much in these areas. Lomita
operates very frugally, which is a tribute to city councils over several
years and to city management. Only one city in the South Bay spends fewer
general fund dollars per person overall than Lomita. (Somewhat surprisingly,
that city is Rancho Palos Verdes, which suffers from a lack of commercial
properties to provide sales tax. Most of the sales tax generators on the
peninsula are in Rolling Hills Estates.)
Traffic safety is a serious problem. Some
of our residential streets are designed in a way that encourages people to
drive faster than is safe. Eshelman Avenue is a great example. Speed bumps
are a popular response, but they are both expensive and interfere with
emergency vehicles. Adding stop signs where they are not otherwise warranted
encourages people to ignore them. Crosswalks create a false sense of
security for pedestrians. There are many other options to consider for
redesigning the infrastructure to be inherently safer. Check out
these ideas from the Institute of Transportation Engineers.
Focus on economic development to provide
goods and services while generating sales tax to fund necessary services.
We can create a more walkable community where we don't have to go to
other communities for everything! The improvements to the Lomita downtown
core are a good start. The local brewpubs have been a great addition and
made the area more interesting and inviting. We need to improve the business
district along Narbonne to 250th Street to build on that success.
Support our sheriff's deputies and firefighters.
Over the years, I have worked on many projects with public safety officials
including disaster response planning, developing a system for fire
department hydrant maintenance, and coordinating with the sheriff's
department for conducting homeless counts. As a member of the LA County
County Commission on Local Governmental Services Commission, I have been
working on a training program for sheriff's deputies to help them deal with
people with autism and other disorders. That program has already saved lives
in helping deputies deescalate incidents, and participants rated the
training as very useful. We are now trying to expand that program to all
sheriff's stations in the county.
Seek regional solutions to regional problems such as traffic, education
and regional infrastructure. Lomita is not an island. We are a part of a
large metropolitan community. I have been active with the
South Bay Cities Council of
Governments (COG) for many years in policy, economic development and
geographic services. The COG consists of fifteen cities working together to
solve shared problems. Because of my previous council experience and work
with the COG, I have strong relationships with elected officials in
Enhance the Lomita Railroad Museum,
making it the centerpiece for revitalizing Narbonne Avenue and showcasing
Lomita's small-town heritage. My wife and I have been financial supporters
of the museum for years. There is nothing else like it closer than Griffith
Park (and our displays are in much better condition). Did you know that only
a small part of the collection at our museum is on display? The museum has
its own board that operates it and a foundation that raises money for it.
They have done a great job of getting things going to expand the museum.
Keep an eye out for good things happening there.
Support the city's recreation programs.
The staff at our parks is wonderful. My sons participated in a number of
sports at Lomita park and always had caring and dedicated coaches who taught
them so much. We also have programs for seniors at the park, and I'd like to
see more. We need to encourage people to be more active at all stages of
We need to ensure high-speed broadband is
available throughout the city. You may think that is already the case, but
it is not. There are many places where there are few or only one choice, and
the speed is not sufficient for working or learning from home. Access to
high speed is not a luxury in modern society but a necessity. The South Bay
Cities Council of Governments has been working on a broadband initiative to
address the issue. That will not happen quickly, but it is certainly worthy
of further study.