City of Vernon California

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News & Events

Vernon voters elect Yvette Woodruff-Perez to Vernon City Council

April 22, 2015

Press Release (PDF: 148KB)

Vernon, CA – Vernon voters elected candidate Yvette Woodruff-Perez to the Vernon

City Council in the Tuesday, April 14 municipal election. Based on the final official vote
count, Councilmember Woodruff-Perez defeated candidate Dennis E. Roberts.

Ms. Woodruff-Perez's election establishes a first-ever female majority on the fivemember
Vernon city council in the city's 109-year history. Additionally, Ms. Woodruff-
Perez's election establishes a first-ever Latina majority on the Vernon city council.

Ms. Woodruff-Perez received 21-votes. Mr. Roberts received 13-votes. 35-ballots were
canvassed by the city clerk's six-member municipal election canvassing board. A total
of 36-ballots were received from the city's 63 registered voters.

Two ballot measures were approved in the April 14 election. Measure O was passed by
a vote of YES: 29-votes, NO: 4-votes. Measure P was passed by a vote of YES: 27-
votes, NO: 6-votes.

For more City of Vernon election information, go to: cityofvernon.org/election

Statement on Exide Technologies battery recycling plant closure agreement

March 12, 2015

Press Release (PDF: 148KB)

Vernon, CA – Vernon City Administrator Mark Whitworth today issued the following statement regarding the agreement reached with the U.S. Attorney by Exide Technologies, Inc. to close the company's battery recycling plant in Vernon.

"The City of Vernon intends to closely monitor the environmental cleanup of the Exide Technologies battery recycling plant, now that the company has reached an agreement with the U.S. Attorney to close the facility permanently.

"For the past two-years, Vernon city staff with our Public Works, Fire and Health & Environmental Control departments have been working with Exide plant operators to expedite the safe cleanup of lead dust originating at the facility from nearby Vernon business properties and thoroughfares. We have had a multi-department Exide Working Group monitoring all aspects of Exide's plant operation and its impacts since the South Coast Air Quality Management District's study on arsenic emission was made public in April 2013.

"In November 2013, members of the Vernon City Council unanimously approved a resolution in support of the AQMD's Rule 1420.1, the agency's tough air emissions standards for lead acid battery recycling facilities in the South Coast Air Basin. Vernon was the only city to do so.

"As Exide commences will full closure of its plant operations and site cleanup, our city's staff will work cooperatively and collaboratively with federal, state and regional health, environmental and air quality agency staff to ensure the Exide plant closure process causes no harm to Vernon residents or business employees or residents and workers in our surrounding communities."

Melissa Ybarra sworn in as Vernon City Councilmember, succeeds her late father, grandfather and great uncle as an elected official in Vernon

March 3, 2015

Press Release (PDF: 147KB)

Vernon, CA – Melissa Ybarra took her oath of office today as an elected member of the Vernon City Council, becoming the fourth member of the immediate and extended Ybarra family to serve in elected office in the City of Vernon since the 1930s.

Following her oath of office, Councilmember Ybarra said, in a brief address to the public attending today's city council meeting, "I am honored to be able to be a part of this council and I look forward to working with the city and the business community to keep Vernon growing strong and transparent. I plan on making a difference in the community that I have grown up in."

"For the businesses, advocating good governance when executing the approved budgets, studying the facts and being active in understanding the impacts to the businesses when decisions are made by the council are among my top priorities. I plan on embracing some of the characteristics that my father, Michael Ybarra, had. I plan on serving this seat with honesty and integrity. I plan on questioning all that I do not understand," Councilmember Ybarra said.

Councilmember Ybarra is the daughter of the Honorable Michael A. Ybarra, a former Vernon City Councilmember who died in office in September 2014. She ran unopposed in the city's February 17 special election, receiving 25-votes out of 25-ballots cast by Vernon's 63 registered voters. Councilmember Ybarra serves the remainder of her late father's unexpired term. She will face re-election in April 2017.

Councilmember Ybarra is the granddaughter of Vernon Mayor Pro Tempore Thomas A. Ybarra who served on the city council for 43-years and great niece of former Vernon Councilmember Esteban Peralta who served on the council for 15-years in the 1930s.

For more City of Vernon election information, go to: cityofvernon.org/election

Vernon voters elect Melissa Ybarra to succeed her late father on the Vernon City Council

February 17, 2015

Press Release (PDF: 146KB)

Vernon, CA – Vernon voters have elected candidate Melissa Ybarra to the Vernon City Council in today's special municipal election semi-official vote count. Councilmember-elect Ybarra was unopposed in today's special election. No write-in candidates had qualified for the election.

Ms. Ybarra received 24-votes out of 24-ballots canvassed. A total of 25-ballots were received from the city's 63 registered voters by the time polls closed at 8:00 p.m. One ballot was not canvassed pending signature verification for the voter's ballot. A second ballot canvass will be conducted to tally the vote on any remaining ballots – postmarked today – that may be received within three days of today's special election.

Councilmember-elect Ybarra is the daughter of the Honorable Michael A. Ybarra, a former Vernon City Councilmember who unexpectedly died while in office in September 2014.

Pending verification by Vernon City Clerk Maria Ayala and certification of the total vote count by the Vernon City Council, Councilmember-elect Ybarra will serve the remainder of her late father's unexpired term. She will face reelection in April 2017.

For more City of Vernon election information, go to: cityofvernon.org/election

Van de Kamp’s January 2015 Independent Reform Monitor Report concludes, ‘Vernon in the past six months continues on its reform path’

February 5, 2015

Press Release (PDF:  144KB)

Vernon, CA – John Van de Kamp, Independent Reform Monitor of Vernon's good governance policies and ethics practices, has issued his eighth in a series of in-depth, biannual progress reports [dating back to his role as the city's independent ethics advisor in February 2011].

In his 32-page report, issued on January 31, 2015, Mr. Van de Kamp concluded, "Vernon in the past six months continues on its reform path. While the city still has much to do, the issues it faces – budget balancing, dealing with its unfunded pension liability, [bond] refinancing, establishing new zoning rules and infrastructure investment – are issues facing most cities. Most important, they are on Vernon's agenda. Many of them will be addressed within 2015."

In the preface to his report, Mr. Van de Kamp writes, "This report, which essentially covers the period July 31, 2014 to January 31, 2015, was prepared with the assistance of Robert Stern, former president of the Center for Government Studies and former general counsel to the Fair Political Practices Commission... In those six months we have seen continuing progress."

To view the full text of Mr. Van de Kamp's January 31, 2015 Independent Reform Monitor progress report on Vernon's governance and reforms, go to:

http://www.cityofvernon.org/images/government/JohnVanDeKampIndependentReformMonitorReport_01_31_15.pdf

Vernon Council Members vote to hold special municipal election on February 17, 2015 to fill seat of the late Councilmember Michael A. Ybarra

October 21, 2014

Press Release (PDF: 67KB)

Vernon, CA – Vernon city council members today voted to schedule a special municipal
election on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 to enable Vernon voters to elect a successor to
serve the remainder of the late Councilmember Michael A. Ybarra's unexpired term on
the five-member Vernon City Council. Councilmember Ybarra was elected in April 2012.
He passed away on September 26. His term expires in April 2017.

The city council candidate nomination period for the special municipal election opens on
Monday, October 27 and closes on Monday, November 24.

For more City of Vernon election information, go to: cityofvernon.org/election

How do I protect myself against Ebola?

October 20, 2014

Press Release

In light of the first imported case of Ebola diagnosed in the U.S., we wanted to remind you of the valuable resources provided by CDC.  The CDC Website for Ebola Virus Disease has information for Healthcare Workers, Communications FAQs, and  information on the recent case.

How do I protect myself against Ebola?

If you must travel to an area affected by the 2014 Ebola outbreak, protect yourself by doing the following:

·          Wash hands frequently or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

·          Avoid contact with blood and body fluids of any person, particularly someone who is sick.

·          Do not handle items that may have come in contact with an infected person's blood or body fluids.

·          Do not touch the body of someone who has died from Ebola.

·          Do not touch bats and nonhuman primates or their blood and fluids and do not touch or eat raw meat prepared from these animals.

·          Avoid hospitals where Ebola patients are being treated. The U.S. Embassy or consulate is often able to provide advice on medical facilities.

·          Seek medical care immediately if you develop fever (temperature of 101.5°F/ 38.6°C) and any of the other

following symptoms: headache, muscle pain, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, or unexplained bruising or bleeding.

o     Limit your contact with other people until and when you go to the doctor. Do not travel anywhere else besides a healthcare facility.

For general information about Ebola, please use the links below:

·          About Ebola(http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/about.html)

·          Signs and Symptoms(http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/symptoms/index.html)

·          Transmission(http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/transmission/index.html)

·          Risk of Exposure(http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/exposure/index.html)

·          Prevention(http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/prevention/index.html)

CDC has issued a Warning, Level 3 travel notice for three countries. U.S. citizens should avoid all nonessential travel to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. CDC has issued an Alert, Level 2 travel notice for Nigeria. Travelers to Nigeria should take enhanced precautions to prevent Ebola. CDC has also issued an Alert, Level 2 travel notice for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). A small number of Ebola cases have been reported in the DRC, though current information indicates that this outbreak is not related to the ongoing Ebola outbreaks in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. For travel notices and other information for travelers, visit the Travelers' Health Ebola web page .

Has the first patient to become sick in this outbreak, know as "patient zero" been identified?

Reports in the medical literature and elsewhere have attempted to identify the patient who might have been the initial person infected in the West Africa Ebola outbreak. It's important for CDC to learn as much as it can about the source and initial spread of any outbreak.

With regard to the West Africa Ebola outbreak, tracing the lineage of how Ebola has spread thus far can help CDC apply that knowledge toward better prevention and care techniques. The knowledge gained in this work might entail details about specific patients. CDC generally refrains, however, from identifying particular patients in any aspect of an outbreak.

What is CDC doing in the U.S. about the outbreak in West Africa?

CDC has activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to help coordinate technical assistance and control activities with partners. CDC has deployed several teams of public health experts to the West Africa region and plans to send additional public health experts to the affected countries to expand current response activities.

If an ill traveler arrives in the U.S., CDC has protocols in place to protect against further spread of disease. These protocols include having airline crew notify CDC of ill travelers on a plane before arrival, evaluation of ill travelers, and isolation and transport to a medical facility if needed. CDC, along with Customs & Border Patrol, has also provided guidance to airlines for managing ill passengers and crew and for disinfecting aircraft. CDC has issued a Health Alert Notice reminding U.S. healthcare workers about the importance of taking steps to prevent the spread of this virus, how to test and isolate patients with suspected cases, and how to protect themselves from infection.

Infection Control

Can hospitals in the United States care for an Ebola patient?

Any U.S. hospital that is following CDC's infection control recommendations(http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/hcp/environmental-infection-control-in-hospitals.html) and can isolate a patient in their own room with a private bathroom is capable of safely managing a patient with Ebola.

Travelers

What is being done to prevent ill travelers in West Africa from getting on a plane?

In West Africa

CDC's Division of Global Migration and Quarantine (DGMQ) is working with airlines, airports, and ministries of health to provide technical assistance for the development of exit screening and travel restrictions in the affected areas. This includes:

·          Assessing the ability of Ebola-affected countries and airports to conduct exit screening,

·          Assisting with development of exit screening protocols,

·          Training staff on exit screening protocols and appropriate PPE use, and

·          Training in-country staff to provide future trainings.

During Travel

CDC works with international public health organizations, other federal agencies, and the travel industry to identify sick travelers arriving in the United States and take public health actions to prevent the spread of communicable diseases. Airlines are required to report any deaths onboard or ill travelers meeting certain criteria to CDC before arriving into the United States, and CDC and its partners determine whether any public health action is needed. If a traveler is infectious or exhibiting symptoms during or after a flight, CDC will conduct an investigation of exposed travelers and work with the airline, federal partners, and state and local health departments to notify them and take any necessary public health action. When CDC receives a report of an ill traveler on a cruise or cargo ship, CDC officials work with the shipping line to make an assessment of public health risk and to coordinate any necessary response.

In the United States

CDC has staff working 24/7 at 20 Border Health field offices located in international airports and land borders. CDC staff are ready 24/7 to investigate cases of ill travelers on planes and ships entering the United States.

CDC works with partners at all ports of entry into the United States to help prevent infectious diseases from being introduced and spread in the United States. CDC works with Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, state and local health departments, and local Emergency Medical Services staff.

Relatively few of the approximately 350 million travelers who enter the United States each year come from these countries. Secondly, most people who become infected with Ebola are those who live with or care for people who have already caught the disease and are showing symptoms. CDC and healthcare providers in the United States are prepared for the remote possibility that a traveler could get Ebola and return to the U.S. while sick.

What do I do if I'm returning to the U.S. from the area where the outbreak is occurring?

After you return, pay attention to your health.

·          Monitor your health for 21 days if you were in an area with an Ebola outbreak, especially if you were in contact with blood or body fluids, items that have come in contact with blood or body fluids, animals or raw meat, or hospitals where Ebola patients are being treated or participated in burial rituals.

·          Seek medical care immediately if you develop fever (temperature of 101.5°F/ 38.6°C) and any of the

following symptoms: headache, muscle pain, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, or unexplained bruising or bleeding.

·          Tell your doctor about your recent travel and your symptoms before you go to the office or emergency

room. Advance notice will help your doctor care for you and protect other people who may be in the office.

What do I do if I am traveling to an area where the outbreak is occurring?

If you are traveling to an area where the Ebola outbreak is occurring, protect yourself by doing the following:

·          Wash your hands frequently or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

·          Avoid contact with blood and body fluids of any person, particularly someone who is sick.

·          Do not handle items that may have come in contact with an infected person's blood or body fluids.

·          Do not touch the body of someone who has died from Ebola.

·          Do not touch bats and nonhuman primates or their blood and fluids and do not touch or eat raw meat prepared from these animals.

·          Avoid hospitals where Ebola patients are being treated. The U.S. Embassy or consulate is often able to provide advice on facilities.

·          Seek medical care immediately if you develop fever (temperature of 101.5oF/ 38.6oC) and any of the other following symptoms: headache, muscle pain, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, or unexplained bruising or bleeding.

o     Limit your contact with other people until and when you go to the doctor. Do not travel anywhere else besides a healthcare facility.

Should people traveling to Africa be worried about the outbreak?

Ebola has only been reported in multiple countries in West Africa (see Affected Countries(http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/2014-west-africa/distribution-map.html#areas)). A small number of cases in Nigeria have been associated with a man from Liberia who traveled to Lagos and died from Ebola, but the virus does not appear to have been widely spread. CDC has issued a Warning, Level 3 travel notice for United States citizens to avoid all nonessential travel to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. CDC has issued an Alert, Level 2 travel notice for travelers to Nigeria urging them to protect themselves by avoiding contact with the blood and body fluids of people who are sick with Ebola. CDC has also issued an Alert, Level 2 travel notice for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). A small number of Ebola cases have been reported in the DRC, though current information indicates that this outbreak is not related to the ongoing Ebola outbreaks in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. You can find more information on these travel notices at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices.

CDC currently does not recommend that travelers avoid visiting other African countries. Although spread to other countries is possible, CDC is working with the governments of affected countries to control the outbreak. Ebola is a very low risk for most travelers – it is spread through direct contact with the blood or other body fluids of a sick person, so travelers can protect themselves by avoiding sick people and hospitals where patients with Ebola are being treated.

Why were the ill Americans with Ebola brought to the U.S. for treatment? How is CDC protecting the American public?

A U.S. citizen has the right to return to the United States. Although CDC can use several measures to prevent disease from being introduced in the United States, CDC must balance the public health risk to others with the rights of the individual. In this situation, the patients who came back to the United States for care were transported with appropriate infection control procedures in place to prevent the disease from being transmitted to others.

Ebola poses no substantial risk to the U.S. general population. CDC recognizes that Ebola causes a lot of public worry and concern, but CDC's mission is to protect the health of all Americans, including those who may become ill while overseas. Ebola patients can be transported and managed safely when appropriate precautions are used.

What does CDC's Travel Alert Level 3 mean to U.S. travelers?

CDC recommends that U.S. residents avoid nonessential travel to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. If you must travel (for example, to do for humanitarian aid work in response to the outbreak) protect yourself by following  CDC 's advice for avoiding contact with the blood and body fluids of people who are ill with Ebola. For more information about the travel alerts, see Travelers' Health Ebola web page.

Travel notices are designed to inform travelers and clinicians about current health issues related to specific destinations. These issues may arise from disease outbreaks, special events or gatherings, natural disasters, or other conditions that may affect travelers' health. A level 3 alert means that there is a high risk to travelers and that CDC advises that travelers avoid nonessential travel.

In the United States

Are there any cases of people contracting Ebola in the U.S.?

CDC confirmed on September 30, 2014, the first travel-associated case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the United States(http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/2014-west-africa/united-states-imported-case.html). The person traveled from West Africa to Dallas, Texas, and later sought medical care at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas after developing symptoms consistent with Ebola. The medical facility has isolated the patient. Based on the person's travel history and symptoms, CDC recommended testing for Ebola.

CDC recognizes that even a single case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States raises concerns. Knowing the possibility exists, medical and public health professionals across the country have been preparing to respond. CDC and public health officials in Texas are taking precautions to identify people who have had close personal contact with the ill person and health care professionals have been reminded to use meticulous infection control at all times.

Is there a danger of Ebola spreading in the U.S.?

Ebola is not spread through casual contact; therefore, the risk of an outbreak in the U.S. is very low. We know how to stop Ebola's further spread: thorough case finding, isolation of ill people, contacting people exposed to the ill person, and further isolation of contacts if they develop symptoms. The U.S. public health and medical systems have had prior experience with sporadic cases of diseases such as Ebola. In the past decade, the United States had 5 imported cases of Viral Hemorrhagic Fever (VHF) diseases similar to Ebola (1 Marburg, 4 Lassa). None resulted in any transmission in the United States.

Are people who were on the plane with this patient at risk?

A person must have symptoms to spread Ebola to others. The ill person did not exhibit symptoms of Ebola during the flights from West Africa and CDC does not recommend that people on the same commercial airline flights undergo monitoring. The person reported developing symptoms five days after the return flight. CDC and public health officials in Texas are taking precautions to identify people who have had close personal contact with the ill person and health care professionals have been reminded to use meticulous infection control at all times.

Mayor, Council Members pay last respects to Hon. Michael A. Ybarra

October 6, 2014

Press Release (PDF: 149KB)

Vernon, CA – Mayor W. Michael McCormick, Mayor Pro Tem William "Bill" Davis,
Council Member Richard Maisano and Council Member Luz Martinez paid their last
respects today to Councilmember Michael A. Ybarra at Calvary Cemetery in East Los
Angeles. Councilmember Ybarra died of an apparent heart attack following a softball
game in Lodi, California on Friday, September 26. He was 61.

Mayor McCormick said, "I'd known Mike Ybarra since he was 15-years-old. I remember
seeing him going to school or returning home after baseball practice or games. Mike
was proud to have continued the legacy of public service his father and uncle had been
known for in Vernon."

Mayor Pro Tem Davis said, "Mike Ybarra loved Vernon. He campaigned against the
disincorporation of our city and then followed his late father's footsteps by winning
election to the Vernon City Council. Mike was a strong leader and dedicated public
servant. He was a good provider for his family and loved softball. He often shared family
stories when we carpooled together to meetings. He strongly supported Vernon
businesses and they strongly supported him. Mike was liked and appreciated by the
entire Vernon community. We lost a great man and a great friend."

Councilmember Richard Maisano said, "Mike Ybarra and I had a lot of conversations
about softball, which we both played as adults. We shared stories about our softball
aches and pains. We had similar interests. We talked about family. Mike was close to
his children and grandchildren. He was involved and engaged as a council member. He
never hesitated to ask tough questions of staff."

Councilmember Luz Martinez said, "Mike Ybarra was always very professional in
dealing with matters of the City of Vernon. He was a very polite man. Apart from his role
as an elected official, Mike was very involved with his family. He was a great family
man. He loved being a grandfather and took his grandchildren to school, softball games
and other family activities. Mike enjoyed the simple things in life and he really knew how
to genuinely enjoyed life.

The late Councilmember Ybarra was a lifelong Vernon resident. His widow, Susana
Rodriguez-Ybarra, and daughters Michelle, Melissa and Marlene survive him.

Vernon leaders to salute Councilmember Michael A. Ybarra for dedicated public service at funeral services for their fallen colleague on October 6 at Calvary Cemetery in East L.A.

October 1, 2014

Press Release (PDF: 162KB)

Vernon, CA – Honorable Michael A. Ybarra will be laid to rest following a funeral mass
honoring his life and dedicated public service to the City of Vernon on Monday, October
6 at 9:00 a.m. at Calvary Cemetery (4201 Whittier Boulevard, East Los Angeles, CA
90023).

Mayor W. Michael McCormick, Mayor Pro Tem William "Bill" Davis, Council Member
Richard Maisano and Council Member Luz Martinez will be joined by members of the
City of Vernon Police Department Honor Guard at Councilmember Ybarra's funeral
services. Flags at Vernon City Hall and city fire stations were lowered to half-staff on
Saturday, September 27 in honor of Councilmember Ybarra.
Vernon city department directors and city employees will attend Monday's funeral
services to pay their last respects to Councilmember Ybarra in tribute of his steadfast
commitment to the City of Vernon.

Councilmember Ybarra died on Friday, September 26 in Lodi, California following an
athletic event. He is survived by his widow, Susana Rodriguez-Ybarra, and three
daughters: Michelle, Marlene and Melissa. Councilmember Ybarra was 61.
Councilmember Ybarra was born and raised in Vernon. He was a lifelong Vernon
resident and U.S. ARMY veteran. He had worked as an aerospace quality engineer in
Vernon for more than 23-years.

City of Vernon mourns passing of Council Member Michael A. Ybarra

September 27, 2014

Press Release (PDF: 162KB)

Vernon, CA – Honorable Michael A. Ybarra, elected to the Vernon City Council as a good governance reform candidate in April 2012, passed away yesterday (Friday, September 26) in Sacramento. Councilmember Ybarra's family members informed city officials of his passing. He was 61.

Vernon City Administrator Mark Whitworth said, "Our city mourns the loss of Councilmember Michael Ybarra, a dedicated public servant with deep roots in this community. Councilmember Ybarra worked diligently to keep Vernon on its good governance path. He was a strong supporter of Vernon's businesses and kept a close eye on city fiscal issues. Councilmember Ybarra will be deeply missed by our city's mayor, mayor pro tem and his city council colleagues; our city's residents, business owners, labor representatives; and our city administrators and staff. We send our condolences to Councilmember Ybarra's family and friends. They are in thoughts and prayers in their time of profound loss. Mike Ybarra was taken from all of us far too soon."
Councilmember Ybarra was born and raised in Vernon. He was a lifelong Vernon resident. A U.S. ARMY veteran, Councilmember Ybarra formerly worked as an aerospace quality engineer in Vernon for more than 23-years.

Councilmember Ybarra's family members have resided in Vernon since the 1860s. Councilmember Ybarra's father – Vernon Mayor Pro Tem Emeritus Thomas A. Ybarra – served on the Vernon City Council for 43-years. Honorable Esteban Peralta, Councilmember Ybarra's great uncle, served on the Vernon City Council for 15-years during the 1930s and '40s.

Councilmember Ybarra is survived by his wife, Susana Rodriguez-Ybarra, and three daughters.

Vernon named finalist in L.A. Economic Development Corp’s ‘Most Business Friendly City’ award competition

August 22, 2014
Press Release - (PDF: 142KB)
MBFC 2014 Finalists Announced - (PDF: 152KB)

Vernon, CA – For the second time in six years, the City of Vernon has been named a
finalist in the 'Most Business Friendly City' award competition judged annually by Los
Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC). Vernon is competing in
a small cities category (populations fewer than 65,000 people) for the LAEDC's
prestigious Eddy Award®.

Vernon won the LAEDC's 'Most Business Friendly City Award' in 2008. Vernon's
ranking as an award finalist is based on the LAEDC's evaluation of the city's
demonstrated priority commitment to economic development, excellence in programs
and services designed to facilitate business entry, expansion and retention, competitive
business tax rates and fee structures, availability of economic incentives and effective
communication with and about business clients.

The LAEDC is scheduled announce its 2014 'Most Business Friendly City' winners at its
19th Annual Eddy Awards® ceremony on November 13.

For more information, go to: www.laedc.org/eddy 

Sens. Kevin De Leon, Ricardo Lara to join announcement of Vernon CommUNITY Fund at Huntington Park's Salt Lake Park soccer field

April 21, 2014
Press Release - (PDF: 159KB)
Salt Lake Park Soccer Field - (PDF: 199KB)

Vernon, CA – California State Senator Kevin de León, state Senator Ricardo Lara and Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard will join Vernon Mayor W. Michael McCormick and Vernon council members on Saturday, April 26 at 11:00 a.m. at Salt Lake Park (3401 E. Florence Avenue, Huntington Park, CA 90255) for the official launch of the Vernon CommUNITY Fund.

The Vernon CommUNITY Fund has been authorized by the Vernon City Council to provide grants to charitable and governmental entities for worthy projects in and around the City of Vernon that benefit the residents of Vernon and residents of the city's surrounding communities and improve their quality of life.

The Vernon CommUNITY Fund is the fulfillment of a pledge made in 2011 by Vernon city officials to establish a 'good neighbor' relationship with Vernon's surrounding communities.

Under Vernon's initial 'Good Neighbor Program' – which preceded the formal establishment of the Vernon CommUNITY Fund – city leaders authorized a grant of $624,000 to the City of Huntington Park for the installation of a state-of-the-art artificial turf system on a dirt soccer field at Salt Lake Park.

Under the Vernon CommUNITY Fund's structure, a seven-member Grant Committee appointed by Vernon City Council members will review grant applications from local nonprofit organizations serving a designated 'Vernon Area' and choose worthy projects to support with city grant funds.

Senators De León and Lara, and Congresswoman Roybal-Allard will participate in a groundbreaking ceremony marking the start of construction and installation of the new artificial turf soccer field at the 'Salt Lake Park Soccer Circle' in a festive Huntington Park community park and recreation event that will precede the formal community announcement of the Vernon CommUNITY Fund.

Huntington Park Mayor Rosa E. Perez and members of the Huntington Park City Council, as well as, Vernon Mayor W. Michael McCormick and members of the Vernon City Council will join De León, Lara and Roybal-Allard.

Vernon City Council members appoint Hema P. Patel as Vernon City Attorney

July 21, 2014
Press Release - (PDF: 163KB)

Vernon, CA – Vernon City Council members have appointed attorney Hema P. Patel to
serve as Vernon city attorney. Ms. Patel assumes her new duties today. Ms. Patel's
past legal work has focused on a broad range of complex business and commercial
litigation, with particular emphasis on contractual fraud and business torts.
Ms. Patel will manage Vernon's legal matters and provide legal advice and counsel to
Vernon city council members along with the city's Deputy City Attorneys Scott Porter
and Zaynah Moussa.

Ms. Patel has represented companies and individuals during internal and government
investigations, regulatory examinations, securities litigation, and other complex litigation.
She previously has advised clients on regulatory compliance and information
management issues. She was actively involved in managing all phases of federal and
state civil litigation.

Ms. Patel has had substantial experience in appellate matters. She participated in cases
before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the California Supreme Court
and previously served as a judicial clerk for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Ms. Patel previously devoted a substantial portion of her time to pro bono matters,
which included representations of individuals in asylum and refugee cases, and other
immigration proceedings. She was a volunteer deputy district attorney in the Orange
County Trial Attorney Partnership Program. She formerly worked for Jones Day, LLP
and Latham & Watkins LLP.

Ms. Patel is a board member of the South Asian Bar Association of Southern California
and formerly served on the board of governors of the Asian Pacific American Bar
Association of Los Angeles.

Sens. De Leon, Lara and U.S. Rep. Roybal-Allard set for 'Vernon Village Park' groundbreaking

Vernon Village Park

April 21, 2014
Press Release - (PDF: 144KB)
Vernon Village Park At-a-Glance - (PDF: 167KB)

Vernon, CA – California State Senator Kevin de León, state Senator Ricardo Lara and U.S. Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard will join Vernon Mayor W. Michael McCormick and Vernon council members on Friday, April 25 at 11:00 a.m. at 4675 52nd Drive, Vernon, CA 90058 to break ground for construction of 'Vernon Village Park,' a recently-approved 45-unit apartment development that is expected to welcome new families to Vernon in 2015.

Vernon Village Park is designed to be an attractive, affordable and energy efficient home for low-to-moderate income families in Southeast L.A. County. Vernon Village Park represents the fulfillment of Vernon's most significant good governance reform: The city's pledge to increase its voting population. Vernon Village Park is expected to more than double the number of voters in Vernon.

Vernon Village Park is a LEED Silver apartment development that will feature spacious one, two and three-bedroom units with balconies and patios, on-site laundry facilities, and a community building with kitchen.

Vernon Councilmember Luz Martinez elected to full term

April 8, 2014
Press Release - (PDF: 143KB)

Vernon, CA – Honorable Luz Martinez was elected today to serve a full five-year term as councilmember for the City of Vernon. Councilmember Martinez was unopposed on the ballot.

Councilmember Martinez said, "I'm proud of my work on the Vernon City Council. I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to serve our residents. My responsibility over the next five-years is to continue to serve the interests of our community."

"I look forward to working with my fellow council members to build upon our city's good governance accomplishments. While we have made solid progress, Vernon must remain on its reform path. Our city is important to the L.A. County economy. Our city's business community must remain strong and vital. Vernon must continue to be a city where businesses can locate, expand and create good-paying jobs," she added.

Councilmember Martinez has served on Vernon city council since October 2012. She completed the unexpired term of former Vernon Mayor Hilario Gonzales.

 

 

Van de Kamp's January 2014 Independent Reform Monitor Report on Vernon governance concludes, '…early promises for reform have been met… there has been no turning back.'

February 5, 2014
Press Release - (PDF: 155KB)

Vernon, CA – John Van de Kamp, Independent Reform Monitor of the city's government policies and practices, has issued the sixth in a series of in-depth, bi-annual progress reports on the city's good governance reforms.

In his 37-page report issued on January 31, 2014, Mr. Van de Kamp concluded, “Vernon continues to follow a reform path. A number of their early promises for reform have been met, or are in the works for implementation. There has been no turning back.” But he also noted, “That’s not to say that things [in Vernon] can’t get better – a comment that can always hold true.”

Mr. Van de Kamp prefaces his report by writing, “In the past six months [July 31, 2013 to January 31, 2014], Vernon has continued on its good government path, continuing to follow through on reform recommendations.”

“The most important milestone reached was the approval of Vernon’s Tax Credit Allocation, which will assist Meta Housing’s new home construction project, adding 45 new units in Vernon. When completed, it is expected to more than double Vernon’s population by the end of 2015. It is expected that ground will be broken on the project sometime in the spring of 2014,” Mr. Van de Kamp wrote.

Vernon City Administrator Mark Whitworth said in reference to Mr. Van de Kamp’s January 2014 report, “Our city has kept the promises it made in 2011. Today, Vernon operates much like any other municipality. Vernon endured two-years of intense scrutiny. But through it all, our city’s leaders did not waver from their pledge to adopt good governance practices.”

“Vernon has more progress in store. In addition to this year’s construction of our city’s privately-funded 45-unit apartment development, we will soon announce appointees to our Vernon CommUNITY Fund, a nonprofit charitable entity that will award grants to worthy municipal projects and nonprofit programs that benefit our city’s residents and residents in our city’s neighboring communities, much like the good neighbor support our city has provided to the City of Huntington Park for the renovation of soccer fields at Salt Lake Park, a popular recreation spot for Vernon families,” Mr. Whitworth added.

To view Mr. Van de Kamp’s January 31, 2014 Independent Reform Monitor progress report on Vernon’s governance and reforms, go to:

http://www.cityofvernon.org/good_governance_reforms/JohnVanDeKampIndependentReformMonitorReport_01_31_14.pdf

 

Mayor McCormick applauds AQMD Board’s approval of new rule to impose stricter limits on harmful lead air emissions from lead acid battery recycling plants

January 14, 2014
Press Release - (PDF: 197KB)

Vernon, CA – Mayor W. Michael McCormick today applauded the members of the Governing Board of the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) for their approval of a new, stricter air emissions rule that will toughen emission standards for lead acid battery recycling facilities operating in the City of Industry and Vernon.

Mayor McCormick said, “The City of Vernon remains fully committed to working cooperatively with AQMD to protect public health and improve air quality for our city’s workers, residents and the hundreds of thousands of residents living in our nearby communities.

In October 2013, members of the Vernon City Council passed a resolution seeking an AQMD health advisory for lead and arsenic emissions after AQMD staff issued a Notice of Violation to Exide Technologies for arsenic and lead emissions that had exceeded regulatory limits.

Mayor McCormick had also directed Vernon City Administrator Mark Whitworth to transmit the Council’s resolution to the L.A. County Board of Supervisors and city councils of the cities of Los Angeles, Commerce, Bell, Maywood and Huntington Park to urge those jurisdictions to support the AQMD’s then-proposed tougher rule on air emissions from lead acid battery recycling facilities.

 

Vernon firefighters use ‘Spirit of Giving’ to bring aid, comfort and joy to residents of surrounding communities during 2013 holiday season

December 23, 2013
Press Release - (PDF: 201KB)

Vernon, CA – Every year, the members of the Vernon Fireman’s Association (VFA) Local 2312 contribute their time and efforts to make Christmas a special time for families in need, donate blood to aid hospitalized children and mount special fundraising drives to help researchers find a cure for breast cancer.

As Christmas 2013 approaches, Vernon firefighters – working collectively as a surrogate Santa Claus – received more than 3,000 donated toys to distribute to children who might otherwise not receive gifts on Christmas Day. The Vernon Fire Department’s participation in the ‘Spark of Love Toy Drive’ brings heartfelt joy to children’s lives through its firefighters’ close collaboration with community-based organizations from Compton to Los Angeles.

Vernon Fire Captain Michael Langer said, “Giving back to our city and residents of our surrounding communities has long been a part of our mission in the Vernon Fire Service. This year, we are pleased to be able to bring joy to children’s lives on Christmas Day by distributing thousands of toys to families in need through our partnerships with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Maywood Community Center Salvation Army, Vernon Rotary Club, Vernon School, Holy Angels Church, Los Angeles Plaza la Roca, Huntington Park Police Department and Compton Fire Department.”

In October, Vernon firefighters raised $6,000 from sales of pink t-shirts and wristbands purchased by Vernon businesses and city employees to contribute to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation to commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Earlier this year, Vernon firefighters staged a fundraising blood drive to aid children needing transfusions at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, shaved their heads for their annual St. Baldrick’s Foundation ‘Conquer Kids Cancer’ fundraiser, and stationed members at key intersections in Vernon for their VFA ‘Fill the Boot’ campaign to raise thousands of dollars to support the work of the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).