Candidates look to fill open LHH council seats
By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal
There will be some new faces on the La Habra Heights city council after residents elect three members on March 5, 2013.
Only one incumbent, Brian Bergman, will be on the ballot. Mayor Stan Carroll and Carl Westerhoff will not seek reelection.
The candidates vying for the open seats are: George Edwards, a small business owner, Michael Higgins, a retired executive of a manufacturing company and also the editor of Heights Life, Chester Jeng, a dentist, businessman, and attorney and Kyle Miller, a commercial real estate agent.
The candidates will join Roy Francis and newly appointed Jane Williams currently on the council.
In addition to the candidates, Heights residents will also be voting on two ballot measures that will be focused on funding and taxes.
Measure A is a proposal to raise the the city’s “Gann limit.” The limit was set as part of a statewide initiative in 1979 that helped control government spending.
“Establishes and defines annual appropriation limits on state and local government entities based on annual appropriations for prior fiscal year,” according to the official proposal in 1979.
The March ballot measure looks to increase the limit to allow the city to have more flexibility when it comes to operation spending.
Critics are concerned with the fiscal responsibility while supporters argue that the increased spending limits will help pay for city services like fire and police.
Measure B, which is the second measure on the March ballot is a proposal to raise the oil tax.
The increase would raise the per barrel tax from 25 cents to 60 cents. It would also raise the natural gas tax from 5 cents per 1,000 cubic feet of volume to 10 cents and the storage of gas removal tax from 3 cents per 1,000 cubic feet to 6 cents.
Supporters say the increase is needed to fund programs like fire and law enforcement, and has not been raised since 1996. Critics again are concerned with proper fiscal oversight and there are no safeguards that ensure the money will be spent for emergency services.