At a study session this week, the City of Westlake Village voted to engage ThirdWave to create an IT Strategic Plan. Study sessions are not video recorded, so the meeting is not available to view. The $51,353 contract covers ThirdWave doing both an "internal" and "external" plan.
Earlier this week, the Westlake Village City Council approved the Memorandum of Understanding between the City and LVMWD on the 5MG tank. This agreement adds a series of conditions to improve safety for the project (despite most of the council members citing that there was really no way to make it safe in Three Springs).
Tonight, Wed Feb 26th at 6:30pm, the City of Westlake Village City Council will take up a discussion and presumably vote on whether to approve a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District in regards to the tank construction above Three Springs at the Las Virgenes Reservoir.
At the next Council meeting, the City of Westlake Village City Council will take up a discussion and presumably vote on whether to approve a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District in regards to the tank construction above Three Springs at the Las Virgenes Reservoir. The estimated $12.7 million project to construct the tank is expected to start the first week of March, and last for 18 months with the construction transportation route using city streets: Three Springs Drive to Torchwood, and then onto LVMWD property.
The City has released the following news about the Lindero Canyon overpass construction project...
This impacts only one of the four onramps to the 101 at Lindero.
Specifically, the loop on-ramp when heading North on Lindero Canyon and wanting to go onto the 101 Heading North (West) on 101.
This will take place from February 24th through March 17th.
The California Dept of Transportation just released the following information.
55-HOUR CLOSURE OF SR-118/SR-23 INTERCHANGE PLANNED
MOORPARK – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will close the northbound Moorpark Freeway (SR-23) connector to the eastbound Ronald Reagan Freeway (SR-118) at Los Angeles Street from 10 p.m. Friday, February 7 until 5 a.m. Monday, February 10.
The closure is required to implement emergency repairs of bridge joints on the Arroyo Simi Overhead structure.
Tonight, the Board of LVMWD took up the vote to approve construction contracts for the water tank project in Three Springs. The meeting started with a 3.5+ hour section devoted to the tank which had a number of facets including: Louis Masry's announcement of a recall campaign against three board members, the launch of a voter ballot measure to restrict construction with blasting in Westlake Village, and legal action by one Board member against the Board president.
Ultimately, the Board vote was 3 to 2 with Directors Caspary, Renger, and Peterson voting to approve up to $12.7 million for the tank ($649 per customer). Directors Polan and Steinhardt voted against the project.
With so many "curve balls" at this meeting, it's hard to know what the future holds despite the majority and what would normally be considered a "final" vote. There now appears to be a major legal violation of board member rights/procedure that may cloud the issue by putting the basis for the Board's vote in jeopardy. No one is sure what that means at this time, but it could include action by the State Attorney General (see below). There's the issue of the announced recall of three elected board members, which if any one is recalled could significantly change the Board make up -- and no one knows that impact. And finally, if the proposed Westlake Village City ordinance makes it to the ballot and the voters pass it, the City of Westlake Village's council may be put in the position of deciding whether to grant approval to any developer, including LVMWD, to use blasting within City limits.
This weekend, on Saturday, January 18th from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. (rain or shine), the "4th Annual Coats-for-Casa Charity Event at the Park" at Three Springs Park in Westlake Village. Those attending are encouraged to bring gently used children or adult coats to benefit CASA Pacifica in Camarillo. This is a family event with complimentary snow play, coffee and smoothies, and winter crafts -- and this year, event organizers say there will be "even more snow" added to the festivities.
Earlier today, Las Virgenes Municipal Water District publicly released the agenda for next week's meeting. On that agenda is the final vote on the water tank. This is the vote to award contracts and start construction.
The agenda shows that the tank will now cost $11,500,000.00 -- or said differently, every customer from Westlake Village to Calabasas will be paying $589 for the tank. The cost was 21% higher than the District's most recent engineering estimate. It's about double the originally indicated costs of the tank.
Note: This is not a normal Westlake Revelations article. It's an idea for you think about.
You should consider this an "editorial" from Westlake Revelations' founder/editor, Neil Ticktin.
As we close up this year, and ponder the future, it may also be a fitting time to think about what Westlake Village can do as a city. No doubt, you've heard about the satellite TV provider rate increases coming, or experienced poor service from your cable provider, or even seen the inherent limits of technology from phone providers. Those are yesterdays and today's problems, but they don't even come close to allowing us to think about the future.
Westlake Village has some serious and unusual limitations when it comes to technology, cable, and telephone. These are complex, but mostly, these come from geography: proximity to the county line, and a narrow developed corridor between the two mountain ranges to the North and South. They also, however, come from the fact that Westlake Village is a tiny city. Over the past two decades, the City Council has tried a couple of different approaches to dealing with providers for cable and telephone -- essentially, these are regulation and deregulation. But neither can work, as we've seen -- there has to be something in between. Some cities have looked to yesterday's technology, and combined existing copper wiring for the 'last mile' with fiber. Or, taken the route of WiFi everywhere -- even though the technology changes so quickly, it's hard to pin down and has significant limitations. Others have tried grandiose plans that required too many to be involved.
40+ years ago, Westlake Village was a leader in creating a planned community -- one that has been modeled throughout the country. Today, our City thrives both economically, and in services provided... except deeply lacks in one area: technology infrastructure. This infrastructure is the foundation for good Internet connectivity, mobile phone access, WiFi, medical applications, etc... Compared to other cities, our lack of options is even embarrassing. While most Westlake Village residents have learned to cope with the frustrations and limitations, many have yet to see how limiting this will actually become with time. Is there a better way?
What if the City of Westlake Village could put in place the technology infrastructure? One that Internet, media, and content providers would compete for our business because they could focus on what they do best... not on what's most cost effective for them? Is it possible to do, without breaking the bank? Yes, I think so -- but to do so, our city would want to learn the lessons of the past.
The key for success is to identify the minimal amount necessary for the City to do, and to enable the private sector to realistically compete for our business.
For Westlake Village to do this, and leap forward, it needs to leap forward in its thinking -- and look at the future, not just play catch up. And, that likely means getting fiber optic connectivity to every home, business and service provider within our city. This does not mean trying to retrofit old technologies like cable, or beefing up copper wiring services, but fiber... real fiber... all the way to the home.
The Westlake Village City Council tonight considered an application for a new In-N-Out Burger with drive through located on Russell Ranch Road at the western end of the new Shoppes at Westlake Village (aka the Target center). The proposed hours were modified from 10:30am opening, to 12am closing (Sun-Thurs) and 12:30am (Fri-Sat).
The In-N-Out was approved. The council voted 4-1 with all council members except council member Halpern who voted against it.
Las Virgenes Unified School District tonight had its annual reorganization meeting where it not only welcomed two new and one re-elected board members, but also named its new board president. Dr. Dan Stepenosky swore in the two new board members -- Dallas Lawrence and Angela Cutbill -- as well as re-elected member Lesli Stein. LVUSD's new board has elected new officers: Jill Gaines as the new board president, Cindy Iser as the new vice president and Lesli Stein as the new board clerk.
When The Shoppes at Westlake Village (the "Target" development on the area known as "Lot C") was approved by the Westlake Village City Council last year, the developer (Dan Selleck) made the commitment that there would not be a fast food drive through restaurant on the property without bringing it back before the council to consider. In-N-Out Burger has filed an application to construct and operate a drive-thru restaurant at the southwest corner of the project, and the Council will consider that application at the December 11th meeting this week.
The below information just in Launch-Alert mailing list (see http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/launch-alert for more info about the list.
There's a launch tonight that should be visible if the weather holds.
Tonight's planned launch of an Atlas V rocket from Vandenberg AFB remains on schedule for 11:13 p.m. The probability of acceptable weather at launch time has greatly improved.
After liftoff, the Atlas will fly southward and could be visible over a wide area.
For current countdown status, go to:
This just released from City of Westlake Village about freeway closures related to the Lindero overpass project.
RECONSTRUCTION OF THE LINDERO CANYON/101 FREEWAY OVERPASS TO FORCE TEMPORARY LATE NIGHT AND EARLY MORNING CLOSURES OF FREEWAY
Last night, the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District held one of their regular board meetings. Unusual to these meetings, a few different residents from Agoura Hills and Westlake Village showed up to speak out on the controversial water tank. The first speaker was Louis Masry, son of Edward Masry (who worked with Erin Brockovich). Masry's family were part of the fight to keep Ahmanson Ranch from being developed.
From the City of Westlake Village, this announcement...
THE CITY OF WESTLAKE VILLAGE IS ACCEPTING NOMINATIONS FOR THE CITY’S ANNUAL CITIZEN AND YOUTH RECOGNITION PROGRAMS
The City of Westlake Village is now accepting nominations for the Annual Citizen and Youth Recognition Programs. Individuals nominated must be a Westlake Village resident and recognized for outstanding contributions toward the betterment of the community in a number of areas such as: academics, music, art, sports, valor and community services.
Westlake Revelations readers have a number of questions about last night's tank article. Put simply, here's what it all distills down to:
- the primary justification given for the tank is fire preparedness. you may hear other items, but fire is the core reason.
- if needed, the reservoir can provide 2000 times more water than the fire preparedness standard
- the cost of the tank is $9 million or $455 average per ratepayer (e.g., household). Will be more if costs continue to increase.
- building the tank would avoid the 1 in 350 chance in the next 30 years of needing to boil water during a catastrophe.
- LVMWD has far more water than necessary to meet the fire standard, and LA County Fire Department has never requested the tank be built.
The public should bear in mind that these circumstances have never occurred, and we're finding it difficult if not impossible to envision a situation that they can even occur.
The tank is not approved until the final vote. Those interested in the outcome should express their opposition or support of the tank project to elected officials or LVMWD's general manager. When you get a response, which you likely will -- you will likely hear that the money for the tank is already in hand (which it is), but you should know that if the tank is not built, those funds can be used elsewhere ... such as reducing future rate increases. In other words, one way or another, it affects your future rates (directly or indirectly). Many residents are also hearing back from LVMWD with other answers which are omitting facts, or have statements irrelevant to the situation at hand.
That said: As a major impact item for the ratepayers, citizens should make their views (pro or con) known to LVMWD General Manager David Pedersen DPedersen@lvmwd.com or call LVMWD at 818-251-2100. It's the responsibility of voters, ratepayers, etc.. to speak up PRIOR to a vote. Now is the critical moment to make your feelings known about your cost of water service.
The next water district board meeting is Tuesday, Nov 26, at 5pm at LVMWD Headquarters. 4232 Las Virgenes Road, Calabasas, CA 91302.
Note: Most of this article is hard fact. In a few cases, where facts were not readily available, there are researched assumptions as indicated.
In 1-2 months, Las Virgenes Municipal Water District's Board of Directors is expected to have the *final* vote to approve the water tank: now a $9 million project (up from $6 million). If approved, and assuming the project costs don't continue to increase, each LVMWD customer (e.g., household) -- in Calabasas, Hidden Hills, Agoura Hills, and Westlake Village -- is paying an average of $455 for the tank project. The chances of needing the tank pencil out to less than 1% chance (see below).
From the beginning, Las Virgenes Municipal Water District's core reason for the water tank has been fire safety. Specifically, a triple situation happening simultaneously: hot day peak usage, major disruption of water supply, and a massive commercial/residential fire (not brush). But, the District has never answered the question of the likelihood of needing the tank. To the contrary, LVMWD's Board President Charlie Caspary disbanded the probability analysis committee.
In terms of preparedness, the District now and always has had the option of using unfiltered water from the Westlake Reservoir, with a boil order, to handle catastrophic fires. The 3.1 billion gallon reservoir is 620 times bigger than the proposed water tank.
After talking to statisticians on how to calculate the probability properly, and determining components for each fact (or researched assumptions), the rough estimate comes out to a 0.29% chance of actually needing the tank in the next 30 years. That's less than 1/3 of 1% chance. Note: The triple threat scenario has never happened, nor has it been even close to happening. A real probability study would have taken this rough estimate to a more detailed analysis.
All of LVMWD's customers pay for the tank. The District has made clear that if the tank is not built, most of the money saved can be used to offset both the rate increases that LVMWD's board has already approved or projected for the next several years. The funds could be used to offset other costs: the expected pass along rate increases from the wholesale water supplier (MWD increases are in addition to LVMWD increases), the possible near tripling of sewer rates due to the new EPA standards imposed, conservation efforts, etc...
Unless something changes or the community directs otherwise, residents and ratepayers should expect three of the five board members to vote to approve the tank project. There are no other votes on the tank after this final approval: it's the approval to begin construction.
Westlake Revelations readers have asked about where to direct feedback. As always, voicing your opinion to elected officials is the best way. If you want to give LVMWD feedback, including support or opposition to the tank's construction, call LVMWD at 818-251-2100 or send email to its general manager, David Pedersen DPedersen@lvmwd.com. As always, feel free to cc (or not) email@example.com on your emails as well as others you want to inform in the community, or those you feel that can have an impact: other news outlets, or community leaders.
It's the time of year for the city council to vote for a new mayor. In addition this year, there's a new councilmember and a retiring councilmember. As covered in earlier Westlake Revelations articles, every two years the residents elect alternating sets of city councilmembers for four year terms. The city council, in turn, once a year elects a Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem. Tonight, each of these positions were selected as well as a retirement ceremony for councilmember Bob Slavin, and the swearing in of new councilmember Brad Halpern.
After recognizing service, a retirement ceremony for outgoing councilmember Bob Slavin, and the swearing in of the councilmembers who won the recent election, the Council voted Mark Rutherford as the new Mayor, and Ned Davis as the new Mayor Pro Tem, to serve for the next year. Mayor Rutherford pledged to keep going in the same direction, and the same way as it has been going.