MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — Rossmoor CSD — October 12, 2014

November 4th is rapidly approaching. As the OC Register has invoked my name in their piece below, here are my recommendations for the Rossmoor Community Services District:


Three of the four candidates are Republicans. The incumbent is a Democrat. I have not endorsed in this race. Italics means I’m comfortable with the candidate.

A community services district is the first step towards cityhood, which Rossmoor recently failed to do. But, Mark Nitikman was part of the effort and voted with his feet for incorporation by running for the proposed new city council and not rerunning for the RCSD, which proved his sincerity.

I am doubtful about the RCSD achieving latent powers from the Orange County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO). Pursuing city-light will be hard for LAFCO to swallow. It would be fun to see individuals elected to the RCSD that won’t waste money on unnecessary and expensive accounting firms in an effort to justify the District’s rigidity. The RCSD is in need of visionaries and not defenders of the status quo. Being annexed into a neighboring city is the best course of action for this wonderful community to pursue.

For the residents of Rossmoor, it was an honor to serve as your Supervisor. I’m just sorry that you perceived my best intentions for your community as threatening (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Rossmoor — March 12, 2011. You missed the point, became overly defensive (wasting a lot of money and emotions unnecessarily) and that was unfortunate.

I hope to release more election recommendations in upcoming CAMPAIGN UPDATES.


Around the time Los Alamitos incorporated in 1960 with 1,750 residents, according to a County of Orange timeline, Ross Cortese built the unincorporated community of Rossmoor. The upscale community of 3,500 homes was the largest yet to be built in Orange County. Rossmoor uses Los Alamitos’ zip code though they are two different communities.

Cortese, who also built the retirement community of Leisure World in Seal Beach, was a pioneer in many ways, including how homes were marketed: He took out full-page newspaper ads, targeted upscale buyers and opened fully furnished model homes.

Since 2010, the idea of combining Los Alamitos, with its 11,000 residents, and the unincorporated Rossmoor, with its 10,000 residents, has created tension between the two. Some proponents, particularly Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach, would like to see the two join Seal Beach as parts of one city.

5 things about Rossmoor’s election


ROSSMOOR – In a 1.5-square-mile area of about 3,700 homes and more than 10,000 people wedged between Seal Beach and Los Alamitos, the unincorporated community of Rossmoor may be small, but it has a strong sense of identity.

Just as California voters are preparing for a variety of city, state and congressional races in next month’s election, Rossmoor has its own local political process that has been in the spotlight there.

Who governs the community of Rossmoor if it is an unincorporated community?

The Rossmoor Community Services District and the Rossmoor Homeowners Association has presidents and boards that function similar to a city’s mayor and council when it comes to properties and maintenance. However, many responsibilities that a city usually would take care of are provided by the county.

“We have the same abilities as a city,” said Rossmoor Community Services District President Michael Maynard. “What we don’t have is pension liabilities and sales tax.”

What is the difference between the Rossmoor Community Services District and the Rossmoor Homeowners Association?

The RCSD is a legal governmental agency formed in 1986 made up of elected officials to manage properties and facilities in the community. It covers maintenance and upkeep of community buildings, parks and trees. It also handles street sweeping, lighting and the community’s recreation activities.

The Rossmoor Homeowners Association is a nonprofit organization that formed in 1956 and is run by volunteers. The RHA has its own board of directors, but the board has no governmental authority.

How does election season work in Rossmoor?

As volunteers who serve without pay, board members of the Rossmoor Homeowners Association are elected through a mail-in ballot election each May.

For the RCSD, board members are elected for four-year terms at November general elections and are paid.

Come November, all sample ballots that are addressed to Rossmoor will include a voting option for the two RCSD board seats.

Who are this year’s candidates?

Since 2010, there have not been challengers to the seats available. This year, however, there are four candidates vying for two RCSD director positions: Dave Burgess, CPA and general contractor; Rich Butterfield, executive pastor; Bill Kahlert, RCSD board member who works in technology marketing; and Mark Nitikman, president of the Rossmoor Homeowners Association, a former president of the RCSD and a real estate attorney.

What are the key issues candidates want to address?

Candidates weighed in on the race at a recent forum.

Burgess: “There’s not much attendance from Rossmoor citizens. We have to understand the demographics of residents and their needs, actually determine them and reach out. We should encourage feedback, get polls, rely on residents in Rossmoor who have trades and professions and know how to help the community.”

Butterfield: “I would like to place some goals to have good, open communication with residents of Rossmoor and our new Orange County supervisor. I’d like to have continued support for the position of Rossmoor in regards to the (I-405) toll lanes. I want to have better support, and be proactive on LAFCO (Orange County Local Agency Formation Commission) to gain more control for issues like coyotes.”

Kahlert: “We’ve had balanced budgets even when the economy was really bad. We’ve created rainy-day reserve funds, rehabilitated the Rush Park playground and have been designated a tree city for the past three years. We’ve had an independent audit that has proven we’re not a drain to the county on our taxes. We instituted a paperless agenda system for the board. We supported paying down the Rush Park bond debt.”

Nitikman: “I have familiarity with issues coming before the RCSD board (because of my profession). It is an exciting time for the RCSD with another shot at latent powers to try to get control of some issues, such as traffic, safety and coyotes.”

Contact the writer: kablaza

This UPDATE was sent from my personal account.