The inaugural Los Alamitos townhall, held on Tuesday, April 25 at the Community Center, succeeded in beating the modest attendance goal set by Mayor Shelley Hasselbrink.
Mayor Hasselbrink hopes that the townhall will become an annual event that brings together City staff and residents. The conversation between elected officials and City staff on one side, and residents and businesses on the other, has splintered across the many ways that everyone now has of getting news and information.
This splintering has caused frustration on both sides of the conversation. The City struggles to find effective ways of bringing vital information to the attention of residents and businesses. In their turn, residents and businesses are angered when blindsided by changes they knew nothing about, despite the best efforts of the City to “get the word out.”
The City went to extraordinary lengths to let residents of Los Alamitos know about Tuesday’s townhall. Notice on the City’s website. Announcements in local newspapers and news sites. They even distributed double-sided door hangers to every single residence in Los Alamitos — one side invited residents to a Spring recreation event, the other side invited them to the townhall.
The townhall, according to Mayor Hasselbrink, was modeled on two highly successful townhalls staged by the City of La Palma.
On hand to answer questions were:
- every single member of the City Council
- staff from City departments
- building and safety;
- public works;
- traffic engineer;
- recreation and community services;
- administrative services;
- city manager’s office;
- city clerk’s office;
- the police department;
- Long Beach Animal Services;
- Community Emergency Response Team (CERT);
- West Cities Police Communication, serving Cypress, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, and the Orange County Park Rangers;
- Orange County Fire Authority personnel from Station 2.
Refreshments were provided: cups of trail mix, fresh fruit, sandwich wraps, bottled water, and coffee. The recreation department rewarded visitors with a popsicle if they put stars on a board to show which words described Los Alamitos.
Mayor Hasselbrink welcomed everyone. A locally-produced video first shown at the State of the City Luncheon was shown again. (The video is quite good at introducing the people and departments that keep the City of Los Alamitos running.)
The many people manning booths were available for questions large and small, simple and involved.
If you were there, the Mayor would like to thank you for showing interest in and paying attention to your City.
If you were not there, you missed a huge chance to better your understanding of how the City of Los Alamitos is run, from top to bottom and from side to side. Nobody was asking for money — just your time and attention.
Attention should be paid.