The Rossmoor Community Services District(RCSD) received a report from consultant Harvey M. Rose on their analysis of LAFCO’s Case Study: Los Alamitos, Seal Beach and Rossmoor dated June 18, 2011. The case study was authored by GST Consulting and provided by LAFCO staff in response to the often requested financial data from Orange County. These requests were for data which would support or refute statements made by County Supervisor Moorlach that Rossmoor was a $600,000 financial drain on the County, that the application to LAFCO for additional services to be provided by Rossmoor “don’t pencil out” and that the annexation by Los Alamitos of Rossmoor’s only commercial district was “good governance.”
The case study was deemed flawed, misleading, and certainly not on point by RCSD staff. The RCSD Board then commissioned an independent analysis of the case study by the firm of Harvey M. Rose Associates, a reputable and respected accounting firm with forensic capabilities. That analysis (pdf) was reviewed and critiqued by the Board this evening. Said Board President, Alfred Coletta, “I am very pleased with their analysis which concurs with our initial observations about the inadequacy of the case study. I am still perplexed, however, as to why the County and/or LAFCO is unable or unwilling to provide credible data in support of their stated assumptions”.
Nonetheless, the Rose analysis speaks volumes about the lack of foundation for the super city scenario. It also creates a false impression about possible savings for a merged community and gives rise to the impracticality of suggesting such a merger.
Moreover, said RCSD General Manager Henry Taboada, “It seriously calls into question the validity of any data produced by the County or LAFCO. Most glaring is Table 2 of the dase study which depicts the County’s deficit for providing services to Rossmoor no longer being $600,000, but rather now being $124,000. The Rose analysis, however, calculates in Table 3 that by using the Auditor Controller’s own data, the actual cost of providing services to Rossmoor is a positive $317,440, thus making Rossmoor a donor island, not a drain on the County”.
Said Board 1st Vice President Jeffrey Rips, “there is no quarrel with the County’s desire to get out of the provision of local municipal services to county islands. Rossmoor, however, has proven its ability to provide those services in a cost effective manner and is willing to take on additional services now being provided by the County”.
The general consensus of the Board was that the case study provides no basis for any initiative to change the status of Rossmoor as a financially stable community which is well managed. Rossmoor residents have spoken loudly in a recent poll that it just wants to stay the way it is. Until there is evidence to suggest otherwise it is both a disservice to the Rossmoor community and divisive toward maintaining a model of good governance.
File photo by C.E.H. Wiedel of Rush Park, where the RCSD holds meetings.
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