los alamitos state of the city

Mayor Kusumoto highlights triumphs, trials at Los Alamitos State of the City Luncheon

The Los Alamitos Area Chamber of Commerce co-hosted the State of the City Luncheon at the 79th Theater Sustainment Command Headquarters on the Joint Forces Training Base on March 20, 2019, marking the third year for the venue.

los alamitos state of the city
Los Alamitos High School students provided entertainment before the program. Photo by Katie Wiedel.

Dignitaries included representatives from the Cities of Cypress, Seal Beach, and Stanton, Los Alamitos Unified School District, Orange County Fire Authority, and the offices of local elected officials in Sacramento. Guests from many other local non-profit organizations and businesses filled out the hall to listen to the keynote address by Los Alamitos Mayor Warren Kusumoto.

Lunch was catered by Country Garden Caterers, featuring Sonoma salad, chicken piccata, garlic mashed potatoes, and vegetarian lasagna. A string quartet composed of students from the Los Alamitos High School music program under the direction of Justin Padilla provided music before the event began.

The theme of the State of the City address was “This Is Home,” emphasized by a video highlighting many of the positive aspects of Los Alamitos, including its friendly businesses, excellent school district, welcoming residents, delectable dining options, and dedicated public safety officers.

A tasty lunch provided by Country Garden Caterers at the Los Alamitos State of the City. Photo by Katie Wiedel.
A tasty lunch provided by Country Garden Caterers at the Los Alamitos State of the City. Photo by Katie Wiedel.

City Manager Bret Plumlee gave the opening remarks, and Specialist Raivyn Hearne of the 40th Division Band sang the national anthem to great applause, with the California State Military Reserve Southern Command Joint Forces Color Guard presenting the colors. Major General Eugene LeBoeuf, Commanding General of the 79th Theater Sustainment Command, provided a warm welcome to all the guests.

During the State of the City address, Mayor Kusumoto highlighted the many positive accomplishments of the City over the past year, including a drop in serious (Part 1) crimes and traffic collision statistics, as well as a AAA credit rating for financial excellence from the Government Finance Officers Association. He also touted the partnerships that Los Alamitos maintains with neighboring cities and joint powers authorities such as the Orange County Fire Authority and West Cities Police Communications, as well as the many local non-profit organizations.

The mood turned more somber as the remarks came to the situation of the City’s fiscal sustainability. With the budget in its current position, Los Alamitos will burn through its money reserves by the 2024-25 fiscal year, putting it in a potentially ballooning debt, as shown in the graph on the slideshow during the presentation.

Los Alamitos state of the city
The fiscal sustainability of Los Alamitos is of prime concern. The City is projected to exhaust its reserves by the 2024-25 fiscal year. Photo by Katie Wiedel.

Mentioned briefly also were the staffing issues faced by Los Alamitos Police Department, otherwise highly praised for its community outreach through events such as National Night Out.

Not all was doom and gloom, however; Mr. Kusumoto went on to focus on what’s new and exciting in the City: a number of new restaurants that have already opened (including Wahoo’s Fish Tacos, Kansas City BBQ, and Mama’s Comfort Food and Cocktails) as well as projects under construction or soon to be so.

These projects include the Marriott Fairfield Inn (located in the long-empty lot at Los Alamitos Blvd. and Serpentine); new construction at the Los Alamitos Medical Center; luxury apartments on the 3300 block of Cerritos Ave.; the Olson condominium project at Sausalito and Walnut; and a complex at 5252 Katella Ave. that will feature a brand-new Starbucks.

Editor’s Note (3/26/2019): This article has been updated with the correct spelling of Major General Eugene LeBoeuf.