Rowland Heights for CityHood Press Conference Jan 08, 2009

The Rowland Heights Advocate for Cityhood (RHAC) continues to campaign for City hood. RHAC originally started collecting signatures for the issue of City hood to get onto the ballot in November, 2008. In order for the issue of City hood to get onto the ballot, RHAC was required to obtain petitions with signatures totaling 25% of registered voters in Rowland Heights. 5185 signatures were delivered to Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) on October 6, 2008. The number of signatures obtained by RHAC was well over the 25% mark based upon the number of registered voters in the April, 2008 voter consensus (the only number the RHAC was able to obtain from the County Registrar).

LAFCO handed the petitions to the Los Angeles County Registrar’ office, which then conducted a 100% verification. This meant that every one of the signatures RHAC collected were verified as being valid or invalid registered voters of Rowland Heights. A 100% verification is unusual.

On December 2, 2008, LAFCO sent RHAC an official letter that the RHAC had not met the 25% quota based upon no other reason than more than half of the signatures were invalid because they were “insufficient” and 218 was duplicates. LAFCO failed to properly notice all three proponents and later sent out a second round of notifications starting the 15 day time period to gather supplemental signatures.

More than half the signatures were thrown out because the County Registrar believed that the person signing the petition was not the same person who actually filled out the petition.

Due to the Holiday Season, the RHAC decided to stop the first campaign and start a new round. This second round will give us a six-month period to collect the necessary signatures. We would like to thank all City hood supporters and please sign the petitions again. The RHAC will hold a press conference at 3 p.m. on January 8, 2009 at Banana Bay in Yes Plaza (located at the corner of Fullerton Rd. and Colima.)

在2008年10月初, 羅蘭岡建市委員會(RHAC)把眾望所歸的羅蘭崗建市活動, 5185 份羅蘭崗住戶的簽名請願書遞送給洛縣審核單位(LAFCO).

在2008年12月初,羅蘭崗建市委員會(RHAC) 收到洛縣審核單位(LAFCO) 的公函, 內容聲明請願書並未達到標準.

經過調查才發現審核單位(LAFCO)以不合理的核對標準提出不通過的理由. 洛縣審核單位(LAFCO)將簽名請願書張張核對, 和以往用抽查的方式有極大的懸殊標準. 而送回不合格的簽名請願書當中, 有一半以上的資料為亞裔人口填寫,在亞裔族群超過40% 以上的羅蘭崗地區, 此舉造成了重大的影響. 官方交代的原因卻只是些許資料填寫上等簡單程序問題 如: 在同一住戶地址下有多人的筆跡類同, 或亞洲人慣用的相等符號(”)代替填寫,,,, 等. 可想如要幫年長者或英語不是第一語言者填寫地址, 就是不被允許的? 並且在未通知所有主要單位情況下, 洛縣審核單位(LAFCO)發出要求在15天內補上所需簽名數量

羅蘭岡建市委員會(RHAC)將集結這些疑似不合理和不平等待遇的要求, 在2009 年1月8日 下午 3 點 夜市廣場內的Banana Bay舉行新聞發布會

羅蘭岡建市委員會(RHAC)必須重新來過並在規定期間的六個月內再次收集羅蘭崗住戶的簽名請願書. 懇請所有的支持和贊助者再次為羅蘭岡獨立建市簽請願書.

RHAC Press Conference 1/8/09

Article from LA Times Jan 07, 2009

Rowland Heights tries again for cityhood

Supporters want more control over local services, development and traffic. The first attempt fell short of the required number of voter signatures.
By Catherine Ho
4:59 PM PST, January 7, 2009
Advocates in Rowland Heights have launched a second campaign for cityhood in order to give residents greater control over local services, development and increasing traffic.

Petitioners in this east Los Angeles County community of 51,000 must collect signatures of at least 5,300 registered voters by June, officials said. If the state's Local Agency Formation Commission finds Rowland Heights to be financially self-sufficient, the issue could go to voters as early as November.

Incorporation would give residents more say about their future, said members of the Rowland Heights Advocates for Cityhood, the 20-member group of residents, business owners and volunteers behind the push for cityhood.

"L.A. County is extremely large and [county] supervisors are burdened by the different areas they have to cover," said Szu-Pei Lu, president of the advocacy group. "The county isn't set up to focus their attention on individual communities like Rowland Heights. If you have someone local to take care of local issues, they'll be more attentive to what local residents want."

Rowland Heights is one of more than 120 unincorporated areas in the county, including East Los Angeles, which is also pushing for cityhood. Once home to citrus and avocado farms, Once a rural community, Rowland Heights rocketed to urban sprawl in the 1980s and '90s as Chinese and Korean immigrants transformed the region into a heavily Asian middle-class suburbia.

Cityhood would mean that Rowland Heights could make its own decisions about development and the delivery of such services as water and road maintenance, advocates said. Currently, residents serve on advisory boards and must defer to the county on key issues.

For example, the county is negotiating on behalf of Rowland Heights in plans to build a football stadium in the nearby city of Industry, said Robert Lewis, secretary of the advocacy group. But the location -- near the intersection of the 60 and 57 freeways -- could funnel heavy traffic into the community, he said.

"That's another reason we want a seat at the table of government," Lewis said. "The county is doing the best job it can for the entire county, but what's good for the county doesn't necessarily have a good impact on our community."

The advocacy group's first attempt to petition for cityhood failed last month. In order to qualify for the ballot, petitioners needed 5,354 signatures, or 25% of registered voters in Rowland Heights. They submitted 5,185 signatures, 169 short of the required number. In addition, many signatures were found insufficient by the county registrar-recorder.

"Quite a few signatures were found to be invalid because the people who collected the signatures wrote in the addresses and dates for the people who signed them," said Sandor L. Winger, executive officer for the agency formation commission. The state panel has the authority to permit a vote on cityhood.

On Dec. 31, volunteers launched a new campaign to collect signatures, Lewis said. They have not counted the signatures collected since then, he said.

Most of Rowland Heights is in the county's 4th District, represented by Supervisor Don Knabe. He has not taken a position on the drive for cityhood, said spokesman David Sommers.

But Knabe "does fully support the will of the people, in that if the voters and residents of Rowland Heights feel that becoming a city is what's best for them and their needs, he's all for it," Sommers said. The supervisor's main concern is that the proposed new city has a sufficient tax base to pay for municipal services, Sommers said.

Rowland Heights and other communities can become cities if they prove that their revenues and expenditures would allow them to sustain themselves financially. Only after the agency formation commission approves the proposal for cityhood can the issue go before voters.

Fewer than half of the communities that seek incorporation succeed, Winger said. They can run up against a number of obstacles, including lack of voter support.

But Lu's group is undaunted.

"If you have a City Council elected to oversee activities for one area, there's local control and focus and attention to the area," Lu said. "That's what we would like."

Staff Writer, Catherine Ho

Report form Taiwan Daily News 1/09/09

(記者陳美伶/羅蘭崗報導)籌備 2年的「羅蘭崗建市計劃」因首度向洛縣政府申請建市受創,羅蘭崗建市促進會(Rowland Heights for Cityhood)於1月8日(週三)下午在羅市舉辦說明會,會長盧思蓓表示,建市計劃未過關的原因包括簽名、填寫表格不符規定,將於半年內捲土重來、再度提案。




羅蘭崗建市促進會總部目前設於羅蘭崗夜市(Yes)廣場辦公室,開放時間為每週日中午12點至下午2點,地址為18230 Colima Rd, Rowland Heights, CA 91748;關於活動詳情,請上網至www.Rowland Heights City.org或電郵至city4RH@yahoo.com查詢。