The City of Signal Hill will conduct its municipal election on Tuesday, March 1. Incumbent City Clerk Kathee Pacheco and incumbent City Treasurer Emerson Fersch are running for re-election unopposed, each seeking another four-year term. The candidates for the two available City Council seats are (in alphabetical order) incumbent Larry Forester, incumbent Tina Hansen, and challenger Matt Simmons. Below is information about each of the candidates seeking service on the City Council.
Name Larry Forester
Years residing in Signal Hill 24
Occupation Retired sales engineer
Personal Information Single (LGBT)
Education BS in Civil Engineering, University of Notre Dame • MS in Ocean Engineering, Catholic University of America
Nonprofit/professional affiliations Board/past chair, Conservation Corps of Long Beach, helping disenfranchised young adults • Board, Urban Community Outreach, helping the homeless and children of low-income families • Advisory board, Long Beach Unified Educational Foundation, helping fund and promote education • Energy and Environment Sub-committee, SCAG (Southern California Association of Governments), Five-county MPO • Board, Los Angeles Division of the League of California Cites (88 cities) representing the Gateway Cities Council of Government (27 cities) • I-710 Project Committee, EIR/EIS for I-710 Freeway proposed modification
Goals if re-elected Keep our residents, businesses and visitors safe, with a strong and well equipped police department. Our new police station, under construction, has been a priority. • Fiscal responsibility in a recessionary climate that could last for several more years. We have reduced our budget 2 percent in each of the last two years and are planning a 3-percent reduction next year for a total of 7 percent. More will be reviewed as needed, all expenditures will be evaluated (Are they nice or necessary?) • Bring new revenue-generating businesses to our city. A new “materials handling” facility on the west side will generate a tipping fee to the city. Our loss of two car dealerships has been countered with expansion of one, replacement of another and a third still planned. • Keep Signal Hill the “city that could and did.”
Platform Work with all my fellow Council members to reach consensus, putting the city first • Fiscal responsibility • Strong partnership and involvement with many of the cities in the county and state for mutual goals: Gateway Cities Coalition of Government, Southern California Association of Governments, and the League of California Cities. • Environmentally responsible: storm water and the Los Angeles rivers, greenhouse gas reduction, reducing energy consumption, and sustainability • Continued constituent contact and accessibility • Experienced leadership
Endorsements Congressmember Laura Richardson • California State Senator Alan Lowenthal • California State Assembly Member Bonnie Lowenthal • Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe • Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund
Name Tina L. Hansen
Years residing in Signal Hill 20
Occupation Deputy district attorney, County of Los Angeles
Personal Information Married for 25 years in May, 6-year-old twins Benjamin and Kaitlin
Education BA in Speech Communication and Political Science, Pepperdine University • Juris Doctorate Degree, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco (Graduated Order of the Coif– top 10 percent of law students across country)
Nonprofit/professional affiliations Current Positions: PTA Parliamentarian, Prisk Elementary • Daisy Girl Scout Troop Co-Leader Previous Positions Board Chair and Fundraising Chair, Comprehensive Child Development • Chair, Public Safety Committee for League of California Cities • Board, League of California Cities • Member, Public Safety Committee, League of National Cities
Goals if re-elected Continue to show fiscal responsibility and guide the city through these difficult economic times while maintaining high-quality services to all of our residents and commercial partners. • Avoid lay-offs and furloughs for our employees. • Protect our redevelopment funds so that we can continue to provide jobs, attract new businesses and continue to grow our sales tax base. • Build a new library which includes a historical collection. • Begin meeting immediately with LBUSD regarding Burroughs Elementary. • Make sure our infrastructure is maintained. • Diversify our revenue base with projects like the EDCO transfer station. • Continue to create open space and recreational opportunities.
Platform Public service, not politics. • I came onto the Council with a vision to improve the quality of life for all our residents. • From affordable housing at Las Brisas to homes for the first-time home-buyer in the PCH corridor to homes on the top of the hill, we have created a diverse and dynamic community. • I have always supported expansion of our parks, public art and trail system. • I am equally committed to continued commercial growth, infrastructure repair and fiscal responsibility. • Under my leadership the city will continue to grow and prosper and move successfully through the economic downturn.
Endorsements Congressmember Laura Richardson • State Senator Alan Lowenthal • State Assembly Member Bonnie Lowenthal • Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe • City Treasurer Emerson Fersch
Name Matthew D. Simmons
Years residing in Signal Hill 2 plus
Occupation Local business owner
Personal Information Married to Melissa Rosenthal, 2-year-old daughter Sophie
Education MBA, University of Southern California • BA in Psychology, UC Santa Cruz
Nonprofit/professional affiliations Board of Directors, AJCC • Graduate, Long Beach Federation New Leaders
Goals if elected When elected, I will balance the budget. In just two years, our economic reserves plummeted from $4 million to $1.2 million. We need to live within our means today. I outline multi-million dollar spending cuts on SignalHillVoice.com. • I will increase property values through view-protection policies and will put resident needs above the wants of developers. • By spending wisely, we will be able to widen Cherry near PCH, which will reduce traffic inside our community. • My goal is to be accessible to everyone, and I can be reached at (562) 546-2277 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Platform I am the taxpayer’s watchdog. • Signal Hill spends money recklessly, which puts our basic civic services at risk. Our City paid a building official $159,569 for three hours of work per week. We drilled a $900,000 water well in a contaminated location, despite the advice of experts. Our Council just approved the first steps to issue a NEW $11.5 million bond. This approval is fiscally irresponsible, especially while we operate at a multi-million dollar deficit. • I will keep you informed at SignalHillVoice.com, and we will put a stop to our spending problem.
Endorsements Former Signal Hill Councilmember Ennis Neff