News & Events
Fruitland Magnesium Fire Incident June 28, 2016
Business Community Site Update
In response to the Fruitland Magnesium Fire Incident in Maywood on June 14, 2016 the Unified
Command (UC) has been conducting air and soil sampling throughout the vicinity.
For businesses in the area, unless your building has been red tagged, it is safe to operate your business in a normal manner. To date, only one evacuated business adjacent to the site has been red tagged.
Electricity has been restored to the area; however, communication utilities (phone, internet & cable) may not be working for some neighboring businesses. The fire damaged utility lines and infrastructure, and the UC is coordinating to provide communication utility technician's safe access to evaluate and repair damaged utility poles.
Fruitland Ave. between Everett Ave. and Maywood Ave. remains closed to traffic. Response support, and initial evaluation and subsequent removal actions at the burned facility require the street to be closed. The UC will provide additional information on street reopening when it is available.
Unified Command appreciates the patience and cooperation of area business during cleanup operations. For additional information, please visit: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/fire or contact 211.
Real-time particulate monitors were placed upwind and downwind of the burned facility during the
fire. During the fire, downwind particulate monitors exceeded safe levels. However, after extinguishing the fire, particulate levels were below federal occupational health (OSHA and NIOSH) guidance levels.
Debris evaluation and removal continues. There are also two daily air monitoring locations upwind and downwind of the burned facility to protect residents and businesses.
On June 14, 2016, a fire started in Maywood, CA. The fire burned Panda International Trading located at 3570 Fruitland Avenue. Fruitland Avenue is a commercial/light manufacturing district and directly bordering the south of the site is a residential neighborhood. The facility holds businesses, Panda International Trading (PIT) and Sokor Metals. PIT is a scrap metal yard that send scrap metal out in bulk for recovery and Sokor Metals is a precious metals recovery operation that recovers precious metals from electronic circuit boards and other electronics. The Unified Command is the US Environmental Protection Agency, the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health, and the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
June 20, 2016
Dear City of Vernon Gas & Electric Customer:
As you are likely aware, in October 2015, Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas)
employees discovered a massive natural gas leak at the Aliso Canyon storage field in the Santa
Susana Mountains near Porter Ranch. At this time, the entire storage facility (reservoir) that has
a capacity of approximately 86 billion standard cubic feet of gas is unavailable for use. SoCalGas
permanently sealed the leak on February 8, 2016.
Well testing is ongoing; however, the gas storage facility is not back in service. SoCalGas' June
2016 bi-weekly Community Awareness "Well Inspection Fact Sheet" states in part: "In
compliance with the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) Order 1109 there
are 114 wells which must undergo diagnostic testing, and this is currently underway. Only wells
which pass the full battery of six DOGGR -required tests will be considered for storage operations."
The report indicates that 107 initial tests have been completed and 72 of those are DOGGRapproved.
At this time, SoCalGas is unable to provide either a diagnostic test completion date or
a date when the storage facility will be back in full service.
Due to the limited availability of natural gas from the Aliso Canyon storage facility, there will be
less natural gas locally to produce electricity and to supply customers with natural gas, particularly
during high-use periods (e.g., on very hot days). This could possibly lead to power outages and
gas flow delivery curtailments to those industries which use natural gas as a fuel in their plants.
The City of Vernon was and continues to be very proactive in working with SoCalGas and other
participating agencies to achieve the best solution to the problem of limited availability of natural
gas from the Aliso Canyon storage facility. On May 17, 2016, the City Council passed a resolution
authorizing the City Administrator to sign a "Natural Gas Settlement Agreement for Enhanced
SoCalGas Balancing Rules during the Outage of Aliso Canyon Storage Facility." This agreement
provides for the most favorable balancing rules during the time that the Aliso Canyon storage
facility is not fully available. The Resolution and attachments are available on the City Website
(www.cityofvemon.org) under "Quick Links" I "City Council Agendas & Minutes" /"2016-05-17
City Council Agenda Packet" and "2016-05-17 City Council (Attachments to the Settlement Item
Unfortunately, even with this agreement in place, a gas curtailment notice from SoCalGas remains
possible for noncore customers transporting their own gas. Please consult the City's website at
www.cityofvernon.org for periodic updates.
Please contact the City of Vernon Gas & Electric Department with any questions related to this
Interim Director of Vernon Gas & Electric
Fruitland Magnesium Fire Incident: Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (PDF: 344K)
Press Release (PDF: 309K)
Vernon, CA – Vernon Fire Chief Michael Wilson has issued the following advisory to Vernon businesses and residents in proximity to the Fruitland Incident. A transfer of operations has taken place. The fire component is no longer an issue. U.S. EPA is in charge of the incident. Fruitland Avenue will remain closed from Maywood Avenue to Everett Court until further notice.
There are no further restrictions are placed on Vernon residents and businesses.
Advisory Update Letter (PDF: 308K)
Date: Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at 5:00 p.m.
Contact: On Duty Battalion Chief, (323) 583-8811, ext. 511
Vernon, CA – Vernon Fire Chief Michael Wilson has issued the following advisory to Vernon businesses and residents in proximity to the Maywood Fire/Fruitland Incident. The fire has been extinguished and overhaul operations are commencing.
The mandatory evacuations for the 6 companies will remain until all areas have been decontaminated and determined safe to return.
The Shelter-in-Place order for remaining businesses and residents has been lifted at this time. Power has been restored to all City of Vernon businesses.
For updates, go to cityofvernon.org
Fire Chief Letter (Pdf:321K)
Vernon, CA – Vernon Fire Chief Michael Wilson has issued the following advisory to Vernon businesses and residents in proximity to the Fruitland Incident due to the wind-blown exposure to potentially harmful magnesium ash particulates as a result of yesterday's industrial structure fire in the City of Maywood.
A mandatory evacuation order has been issued for the following four Vernon-based businesses:
Southland Box Corporation
Torgom Vintage Trading Co.
All Vernon-based businesses and any residents in the vicinity north of 49th Street between DowneyBoulevard and Everett Court are advised to Shelter-in-Place.
Shelter-in-Place safety procedures are defined as:
Turn off air conditioning systems
Close windows and doors
In the event any person within the affected area experiences nausea, eye or lung irritation, please leave the area or help an affected person evacuate the area.
Vernon Fire Department to Host Free Hands-Only CPR Training During ‘Sidewalk CPR Day’ on Thursday, June 2
Training to be held at Vernon Fire Station #1 at Fruitland and Downey, Fire Station # 2 at Santa Fe and Vernon, and Fire Station # 4 at Bandini and the 710 Freeway. Community residents and workers at Vernon's 1,800 businesses are urged to take five-minute training to learn how to save a life.
Vernon, CA – Members of the Vernon Fire Department will provide free hands-only CPR training for "Sidewalk CPR Day" on Thursday, June 2, from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm to increase the number of people trained to perform a tested life-saving procedure. Sidewalk CPR training will be available at three locations: Vernon Fire Station # 1 (3375 Fruitland Ave., Vernon 90058), Vernon Fire Station # 2 (4301 Santa Fe Ave., Vernon 90058), and Vernon Fire Station # 4, (4530 Bandini Blvd., Vernon 90058)
Over 70-sites across Los Angeles County will participate in this year's Sidewalk CPR Day. Last year, more than 10,000 people throughout Southern California learned how to save a person's life in just five minutes with a quick lesson from local firefighters and medical professionals.
Vernon Fire Department Captain Michael Busch said, "Sidewalk CPR is rapidly growing as a way to empower bystanders to step in to save someone's life when a person nearby suffers sudden cardiac arrest." "Only 32-percent of victims receive CPR from a bystander. Don't be a bystander in a cardiac emergency, be a lifesaver!" Captain Busch said.
"We are glad to team up with the Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Agency and American Heart Association to bring Sidewalk CPR to the Vernon community. 80 percent of all cardiac arrests occur at home. We need to help family members and friends learn how to double or triple a loved one's chance of survival by confidently using CPR techniques," Captain Busch said.
Learning hands-only CPR helps local emergency responders by focusing on the first few critical minutes following a cardiac arrest. Since a person's lungs and blood contain only enough oxygen to keep their vital organs healthy for a short amount of time, bystanders can become heroes by administering CPR until emergency responders arrive on scene.
Using hands-only CPR, ordinary residents – with each chest compression – can easily provide the ongoing blood flow a heart attack victim needs to help a patient gain a much better chance of survival once paramedic responders arrive.
Once trained in Sidewalk CPR, residents are encouraged to download the "Pulse Point App" for iOS and Android phones to receive notifications that someone nearby is in need of CPR. To learn more, visit Pulse Point Foundation at www.pulsepoint.org.
Vernon, CA – Members of the Vernon City Council have appointed Isaac Garibay to serve as director the city's Human Resources department. Mr. Garibay assumed his new position today. He previously served for nearly four-years as head of the City of Temecula's Department of Human Resources.
Mr. Garibay has 16-years of private and public sector experience in human resources management, labor relations, employee benefits, employee recruitment, risk management, employee classification and compensation, and personnel policies.
Before serving as Temecula's human resources director, Mr. Garibay worked for nearly a decade with the City of Chino where he rose to the position of human resources analyst. He began his professional career in human resources at the Montgomery Wards Distribution Center in June 2000. He accepted the position of human resources associate with West Covina-based East Valley Community Health Center in 2001.
Mr. Garibay earned his master's degree in Public Administration from California State University, Dominguez Hills, and earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis on Management and Human Resources from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Mr. Garibay is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management. He succeeds Teresa McAllister, who retired as Vernon's human resources director in October 2015.
Vernon, CA – Honorable William "Bill" Davis, Vernon mayor pro tem for the past three years, was elected mayor of the City of Vernon today by a 4-to-1 vote of the five-member Vernon City Council. He previously served as mayor from October 2012 to April 2013.
Mayor Davis said, "I am honored my fellow council members have, once again, placed their faith in me to serve as our city's mayor. I was very proud to serve our city as mayor pro tem. I continue to greatly appreciate the role and responsibility of leadership on behalf of Vernon's residents and business community."
Honorable Yvette Woodruff-Perez, Vernon city council member, was elected by a unanimous vote of the five-member city council to succeed Mayor Davis as mayor pro tempore.
Vernon, CA – Leticia Lopez took her oath of office today to become an elected member of the Vernon City Council following the city council's certification of April 12 municipal election results of her write-in campaign election victory over incumbent Councilmember W. Michael McCormick, who served as Vernon's mayor for the past three-years.
Following her oath of office, Councilmember Lopez briefly addressed members of the public attending today's city council meeting, saying, "I am privileged to be standing here before you as the newest City of Vernon council member. I look forward to serving the City of Vernon with integrity by being proactive and thinking critically in order to make decisions for the city."
"My vision is to create community between businesses and residents to keep Vernon moving forward and continue to prosper. My work as a family advocate has provided me with knowledge and experience in working within my community, which will assist me greatly in my newly elected position. I greatly look forward to working with each and every one of my fellow council members in order to keep the City of Vernon on its path to continued success," Councilmember Lopez added.
Councilmember Lopez is the fourth Latina to win election to the Vernon city council since June 2012. She serves a five-year term in office.
Vernon, CA – Leticia Lopez has been elected to a five-year term on the Vernon City Council in the final unofficial vote count in the city's April 12 election.
Councilmember-elect Lopez, a write-in-candidate, won over incumbent Councilmember W. Michael McCormick, who won election to the five-member city council 42-years ago and served as Vernon's mayor since April 2013.
The final unofficial municipal election results showed Councilmember-elect Lopez winning with 21-votes to Mayor McCormick's 14-votes. David J. Ybarra, a second write-in candidate, received one vote.
Vernon City Clerk Maria Ayala and her four-member election canvassing board tallied vote-by-mail results from 36-ballots. The clerk's office received 37 vote-by-mail ballots from Vernon's 72 registered voters, representing a voter turnout greater than 50%. One registered voter's ballot was disallowed for lack of a voter signature.
The final election results of the April 12 Vernon Municipal Election will be certified by a vote of city council members attending tomorrow's (Tuesday, April 19) regularly scheduled session in City Council Chambers.
Councilmember-elect Lopez is scheduled to be administered her oath of office and to assume her seat on the city council following the April 12 election results certification.
For more City of Vernon election information, go to: cityofvernon.org/election
Write-in candidate Leticia Lopez leads incumbent Council Member W. Michael McCormick for seat on Vernon City Council after preliminary unofficial vote count of mail-in ballots
Press Release (PDF: 100KB)
Vernon, CA – Vernon voters yesterday gave Leticia Lopez, a write-in candidate, a slim two-vote lead over incumbent Councilmember W. Michael McCormick for a five-year term on the Vernon City Council based on the preliminary unofficial vote count in the city's vote-by-mail contested election. Councilmember McCormick has served as Vernon's mayor since an April 2013 vote by the five-member city council.
The preliminary unofficial municipal election vote count has Ms. Lopez leading 15-votes to Mayor McCormick's 13-votes. David J. Ybarra, a second write-in candidate, received one vote.
Vernon City Clerk Maria Ayala and her four-member election canvassing board tallied vote results from 29-ballots. The clerk's office received 33 vote-by-mail ballots from Vernon's 72 registered voters. One voter's ballot was disallowed for lack of a voter signature. Three vote-by-mail ballots remain to be canvassed based on the clerk's need to verify voter signatures on those ballots.
The clerk's office will conduct a final unofficial ballot canvass on Monday, April 18 at 1:00 p.m. The final canvass will determine the final unofficial vote count from the three uncanvassed ballots that were received, but not counted plus any remaining ballots that are received no later than Friday, April 15 that were postmarked on or before April 12.
For more City of Vernon election information, go to: www.cityofvernon.org/election
Press Release (PDF: 110KB)
Vernon, CA – Members of the Vernon City Council today appointed Carlos R. Fandino to serve as Vernon city administrator. Since September 2010, Mr. Fandino had served as director of Vernon Gas & Electric, a municipal-owned utility serving the city's nearly 2,000 industrial business and residential customers.
On his appointment, Mr. Fandino said, "I'm honored and gratified to have been chosen by members of the Vernon City Council to lead our city through its next exciting phase: a period of sustained business growth strengthened by our city's good governance practices and improved relations with its surrounding communities."
"Vernon is one of the most important industrial engines in L.A. County for business, economic and job development. We intend to build on more than a century of municipal success. My experience in managing complex financial transactions, bond financing, department budgets, and understanding Vernon's infrastructure needs has prepared me to hit the ground running as Vernon city administrator," Mr. Fandino said.
During his tenure as director of Vernon Gas & Electric (formerly known as Vernon Light & Power), Mr. Fandino has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA) and an executive committee member of the Western Systems Power Pool (WSPP). Prior to his appointment as director of Gas & Electric, Mr. Fandino served as systems operator for the city's utility department.
During his 27-year career with Vernon Gas & Electric, Mr. Fandino held senior management positions in the utility department, serving as transmission and distribution manager, electric dispatcher, resource scheduler, and engineering and operations project manager.
Mr. Fandino was part of the original team that reestablished Vernon's municipal-owned electrical system after city leaders successfully negotiated a settlement with Southern California Edison (SCE) to reinstate its power system operating rights. In 2001, he was a member of the team charged with constructing Malburg Generation Station (MGS), the city's 134-megawatt natural gas power plant that was later sold to a private entity.
Mr. Fandino is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and decorated reservist. He served with the 2nd Marine Division Light Armored Vehicle Battalion in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm during the Persian Gulf War in 1990.
Mr. Fandino graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in Business & Management from Woodbury University. He is married and the father to three college-age young adults.
John Van de Kamp submits final report as Vernon Independent Reform Monitor, says ‘Vernon’s good governance is still strong.’
Press Release (PDF: 103KB)
Vernon, CA – Vernon Independent Reform Monitor John Van de Kamp has issued his 10th and final biannual report on the city's good governance policies and practices that commenced in February 2011 when he assumed an initial one-year role as the city's independent ethics advisor
In Mr. Van de Kamp's 41-page January 2016 report, he concluded, "Former [California Assembly] Speaker [John] Perez believed Vernon, because of its small electorate, is unable to govern itself properly. The city must continue to prove him wrong and live up to the expectations of [California Senate President Pro Tem] Kevin De León and others who gave Vernon a 'second chance.' Hiring a new city administrator [who is] committed to ethical and good governance practices is key to meeting the expectations of the 'second chance' Vernon was granted."
In the preface to his report, Mr. Van de Kamp wrote, "The city has shown consistent support for the essential reform measures recommended by Senator De León and me. In sum it can be said that Vernon's good governance is still strong. With the forthcoming change of leadership and replacement of key executives, extra effort needs to be exercised to make sure the progress made in the past four years continues."
In addition to chronicling Vernon's good governance reform progress since 2012, Mr. Van de Kamp has provided his independent critique on matters related to Vernon's finance and budget, internal and external audits, housing, city elections, and business activity.
Interim City Administrator A.J. Wilson said, "John Van de Kamp played an indispensable role as Vernon's independent reform monitor. When he began his work, Vernon was on the brink of dissolution due to the Legislature's menacing disincorporation measure. Mr. Van de Kamp's involvement with the city showed that Vernon was serious about carrying out reforms. In the past five-years, more than 150 good governance reforms have been implemented in response to Mr. Van de Kamp's recommendations. We owe Mr. Van de Kamp our sincerest gratitude and appreciation for his stellar work and thorough commitment as Vernon's independent reform monitor."
To view the full text of Mr. Van de Kamp's January 2016 Independent Reform Monitor report, click here.
Press Release (PDF: 28k)
Vernon, CA – Members of the Vernon City Council today announced the appointment
of Derek Wieske to direct the city's Public Works, Water and Development Services
department. He currently serves as assistant city engineer for the Long Beach Public
Works Department. Mr. Wieske will assume his new position on February 22.
Mr. Wieske is a registered civil engineer with more than 25-years of professional
experience and management expertise in municipal capital projects, private
development review and city infrastructure improvements, such as roads, bridges and
drainage systems, as well as street maintenance, solid waste management, traffic
signal improvements and bike infrastructure.
Mr. Wieske will oversee four departmental divisions: Building, Planning, Public Works
and Water. Vernon's public works department offers a streamlined, 'one-stop' approach
to permitting new development. Developers may process permits and receive project
specific information on building and zoning codes, public rights-of-way and water
services at the public works department's City Hall counter.
Over the course of his professional career, Mr. Wieske has served as public works
director for the cities of Rancho Santa Margarita and Los Alamitos, deputy public works
director for Rialto, assistant city engineer for Laguna Beach, civil engineering associate
for Lake Forest and civil engineer for Orange.
Mr. Wieske has earned a master's degree in Business Administration and master's
degree in Science (Civil Engineering) from California State University, Long Beach. He
earned his bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from University of California, Irvine.
He succeeds Samuel Kevin Wilson, Vernon's recently retired public works director.
January 7, 2016
Press Release (PDF: 142KB)
Vernon, CA – Members of the Vernon City Council announced today the appointment of A.J. Wilson to serve as the city's interim city administrator during the city's ongoing
executive search for a permanent city administrator.
Mr. Wilson is a public administration consultant with more than 40-years of public management experience. He most recently served as executive director of the San Bernardino International Airport Authority and Inland Valley Development Agency. He has served as a senior advisor to city managers in San Bernardino and Riverside.
Mr. Wilson was former deputy mayor in St. Louis, Missouri and city manager in the cities of Pomona, Santa Ana, Kansas City, Portland (Maine), and interim city manager in Norco. Mr. Wilson is president of Wilson Communications, LLC, a management services consulting firm.
In September 2015, Vernon council members engaged Bob Murray & Associates, an executive search firm, to recruit qualified candidates for city administrator. Council members are expected to interview prospective candidates in the coming weeks.
Former Vernon City Administrator Mark C. Whitworth retired on December 28, 2015 after more than 26-years of public service as a Vernon firefighter, fire captain, battalion chief, fire chief and city administrator. City leaders thanked Mr. Whitworth for his years of service and wished him well in his retirement and future endeavors.
City of Vernon Declares the Week of October 18 - October 24, 2015 as Freedom from Workplace Bullies Week
October 13, 2015
WHEREAS, the California Healthy Workplace Advocates and the Workplace Bullying Institute, raise awareness of the impacts of, and solutions for, workplace bullying in the U.S.; and
WHEREAS, the City of Vernon has an interest in promoting the social and economic well-being of its residents, businesses, and employees; and
WHEREAS, that well-being depends upon the existence of healthy and productive employees working in safe and abuse-free work environments; and
WHEREAS, research has documented the stress-related health consequences for individuals caused by exposure to abusive work environments; and
WHEREAS, abusive work environments are costly for employers, with consequences including reduced productivity, absenteeism, turnover, and injuries; and
WHEREAS, protection from abusive work environments should apply to every worker, and not be limited to legally protected class status based only on race, color, gender, national origin, age, or disability; and
WHEREAS, the City of Vernon wishes to invite all residents and businesses within the City of Vernon to support the California Healthy Workplace Advocates and the Workplace Bullying Institute for its efforts to promote safe and abuse-free work environments.
NOW, THEREFORE, THE MAYOR AND THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF VERNON, ON BEHALF OF ITS EMPLOYEES, RESIDENTS AND BUSINESSES, HEREBY DECLARES THE WEEK OF OCTOBER 18 – OCTOBER 24, 2015, AS FREEDOM FROM WORKPLACE BULLIES WEEK. THIS PROCLAMATION IS BEING PRESENTED TO CALIFORNIA HEALTHY WORKPLACE ADVOCATES AND THE WORKPLACE BULLYING INSTITUTE BY THE HONORABLE MAYOR W. MICHAEL MCCORMICK FOR AND ON BEHALF OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF VERNON THIS 6TH DAY OF OCTOBER, TWO THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN.
June 29, 2015
Notice: California Competes Tax Credit Application Periods for Fiscal Year 2015-2016
Application Periods: For fiscal year 2015-16, applications for the California Competes Tax Credit will be accepted online at www.calcompetes.ca.gov during the following periods:
1. January 4, 2016, through January 25, 2016 ($75 million available)
2. March 7, 2016, through March 28, 2016 ($50.9 million plus any remaining unallocatedamounts from the previous application periods)
GO-BIZ Workshop Application Presentation (PDF: 18MB)
Committee Meetings: The California Competes Tax Credit Committee meetings will be held on the following dates:
1.November 10, 2015
2.April 14, 2016
3.June 16, 2016
Times and locations to be determined.
Apply at: www.calcompetes.ca.gov
Contact California Competes Tax Credit Staff:
Phone: (916) 322-4051