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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Foothills Sentry

Villa Park City Council cools off with no controversy

By Andie King The Villa Park City Council

meeting, June 23, was wildly unexciting. All five councilmem- bers were seated, despite previ- ous protestations by Councilmen Bill Nelson and Bob Collacott, who had asked that the normal meeting date be altered to allow them to travel to Monterey for an optional League of Cities semi- nar.

Reserves boosted The city budget was passed

after discussions regarding the use of the Prop 13 two percent increase in projected revenue fig- ures, and disagreement about in- creasing the reserves. The city is,

historically, financially conserva- tive. The seasoned councilmem- bers, Mayor Diana Fascenelli, Rick Barnett and Greg Mills, voted in favor of increasing the undesignated reserves, while the newer members, Collacott and Nelson, dissented, preferring to spend the funds. After a 3-2 vote, an additional $100,000 increased the undesignated reserve figure to $1.4 million.

A ripple, not a (crime) wave There were 29 calls to the

fire department in May, none of which involved flames. Lt. Rob Gunzel reported that there had been 13 incidents of crime: two burglaries, one of which was at a home under construction, where

Santiago Hills votes to increase landscape fees

Ballots from the Santiago Hills landscape assessment


were counted in public view dur- ing the June 9 Orange City Coun- cil meeting. For the 1,571 parcels in the

district, a total of 633 votes were received. Of those, 54 percent said “yes.” To pass, the measure needed 50 percent plus one. Property owners were asked to

approve a fee hike of $235 per year per single-family home, $166 per year per condo, and $176 for resi- dents of Hillsdale. The fee, which appears on property tax bills, pays for the community’s landscape and hardscape maintenance, light-

ing, utilities and irrigation. The annual fees for the service had not been raised since the assessment district was created in 1987, and had not kept up with inflation. Mayor Tita Smith opened a

public hearing on the matter dur- ing the council meeting. There were no speakers who wished to address the topic or written state- ments submitted to the city. A last call for ballots was issued; none were forthcoming, and the counting began. The public hear- ing was continued until July 14, at which time the city council will be asked to approve the increased assessment.

tools were taken; at the other, the homeowner was out of town and had not asked for a sheriff’s vaca- tion check; three petty thefts from unlocked vehicles; four thefts from vehicles, including a wal- let, purse, briefcase, equipment; and two grand (over $750) thefts, including a federal express pack- age and books. Residents are encouraged to lock their vehicles and not leave valuables in sight, to avoid crimes of opportunity.

Farewell In a moving speech, Paula

Burton, founder and director of Celebration USA, announced her retirement and the end of the pop- ular patriotic “Catch the Spirit” troupe that has entertained, edu- cated and represented Villa Park for 25 years. Burton thanked the past and current councils for their support through the years, and presented each councilmember with a commemorative Helmut Lihs porcelain plate, DVD and “Documents of Freedom” book. Thanks to the generosity of

former supporter Bill MacAlo- ney, the group performed, for the last time, in the Huntington Beach Fourth of July parade, the largest parade west of the Missis- sippi. It was televised on Chan- nel 7. A reunion of past perform- ers and supporters is planned for July 18. The council presented Burton

with a proclamation from the city and from U.S. Congresswoman Mimi Walters, with their thanks for her exemplary service.

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The Villa Park City Council thanked Paula Burton, originator of the Celebration USA program, for patriotically distinguishing the city for 25 years. From left, Councilmen Bill Nelson, Greg Mills, Mayor Diana Fascenelli, Paula Burton, Councilmen Rick Barnett and Bob Collacott.


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