Diamond Bar City Council applications due by Friday

Diamond Bar City Clerk’s Office is accepting applications to fill a vacancy on city council left by Ling-Ling Chang, who was elected to California Assembly.

To qualify, candidates must be a United States citizen, a Diamond Bar resident and a registered voter 18 years of age or older.

Council will interview selected candidates the week of Jan. 5, 2015, The appointment must be made by Jan. 30.

Applications are available on the city website at www.DiamondBarCa.gov/councilvacancy and in City Hall at 21810 Copley Drive.

For information or to request an application by mail, call 909-839-7010. The deadline for applications is 4:30 p.m. Dec. 19.

Mt. Calvary Lutheran School collects 7,000 boxes for kids in Diamond Bar

Operation Christmas child boxes
In November, Mt. Calvary Lutheran School in Diamond Bar collected more than  7,000 boxes for Operation Christmas Child and packed more than 1,000 boxes.
These are boxes filled with small toys and useful items that will be shipped to many different developing countries to children who may not get any presents for Christmas.

Working on packing boxes

Ling Ling Chang named Assembly Republican Whip

Assembly Member Ling Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar) has been appointed by Assembly Republican Leader Kristin Olsen to the position of Assembly Republican Whip for the 2015-16 Legislative Session.

“I’m very excited that Republican Leader Olsen has asked me to take on this new role,” said Chang. “I came to Sacramento ready to take on many challenges for California and my community.  Having the opportunity to serve as a Republican Whip will enable me to better serve my constituents as I work with my colleagues to advance Republican solutions to provide better schools for every student, encourage more job opportunities in every community, and reform state government.”

As Republican Whip, Chang will be charged with mobilizing member votes on important legislation, acting as a liaison between members and leadership, and helping to coordinate strategy within the Caucus.

Chang, the first Taiwanese-American Republican woman to be elected to the State Assembly, was first elected to the Diamond Bar City Council in November 2009 and served as the Mayor from 2011-2012. Before her election to the CityCouncil, she held a variety of positions in local government, including service as President of the Walnut Valley Water District, and as a member of the Diamond Bar Parks & Recreation Commission. Chang brings business sector experience as well, developing software products for the health information management industry.

“Ling-Ling Chang is politically savvy, intelligent, and hard-working,” said Assembly Republican Leader Kristin Olsen, of Modesto.  “She has a proven track record of success in local government and community activities.   She will be an effective advocate in advancing our message.”

Steve Tye named mayor of Diamond Bar, candidates sought

Steve Tye has been selected as the new mayor by the City Council, which also has decided to appoint someone to fill Ling-Ling Chang’s seat since she has been sworn into the California Assembly.

Councilman Tye was nominated by Nancy Lyons and unanimously approved by his fellow council members. Lyons was named mayor pro tem.

Diamond Bar Mayor Steve Tye

Diamond Bar Mayor Steve Tye

The council thanked outgoing mayor Carol Herrera, who has served as mayor five times. “You exhibit great leadership and we’re grateful for it,” said Mayor Tye.

“You were a wonderful leader for us this year and we really appreciate it,” agreed Lyons.

“You did a great job this past year in leading our city,” Councilman Jack Tanaka said.

The council had 60 days to take action to fill the remaining three years in Chang’s term, which expires in November 2017. It discussed the matter at Tuesday’s council meeting.

“We could appoint someone to fill her seat or call for a special election,” said Mayor Tye.

The city has faced similar situations five previous occasions. It decided to appoint a replacement four times, while calling for a special election in 2005.

Since Los Angeles County will not be holding an election in June, Diamond Bar can’t consolidate the special election with the county as it does with the regular municipal elections in November. The city would have to pay for all the costs, including election materials and equipment, ballots, precinct workers and vote tabulations.

“Should the City Council choose to call an election to fill the seat vacated by former council member Chang, it is estimated the city would incur election-related costs of approximately $150,000,” said Deputy City Manager Ryan McLean in a report.

Diamond Bar seeks applicants for city council seat

The Diamond Bar City Clerk’s Office is now accepting applications to fill a vacancy on the Diamond Bar City Council.

This vacancy resulted from the recent resignation of Ling-Ling Chang, who last month was elected to represent the California Assembly District 55.

During its regular meeting of December 2, 2014, the City Council voted to start to the process to fill the vacancy by appointment by soliciting applications from qualifying candidates. To qualify, candidates must be a United States citizen, a Diamond Bar resident and a registered voter 18 years of age or older.

City Council interviews with selected candidates followed by Council deliberation and discussion is tentatively planned for the week of January 5, 2015, followed by a vote on the appointment any time before January 30, 2015.

Applications are available on the City website www.DiamondBarCa.gov/councilvacancy and at City Hall (21810 Copley Drive). For more information or to request an application by mail, call the City Clerk’s Office at 909.839.7010. The deadline for applications is 4:30 p.m. on Friday, December 19, 2014.

Diamond Bar has to fill Chang’s vacant council seat

Bye-bye Ling-Ling. Diamond Bar City Council has to decide how to fill Ling-Ling Chang’s seat now that she has been sworn into the California Assembly.

Council has 60 days to take action to fill the remaining three years in Chang’s term, which expires in November of 2017. They plan to discuss the matter in tonight’s council meeting.

“We can appoint someone to fill her seat or call for a special election,” explained Mayor Pro Tem Steve Tye.

The city has faced similar situations on five previous occasions. It decided to appoint a replacement four times, while calling for a special election in 2005.

Since Los Angeles County will not be holding an election in June, Diamond Bar can’t consolidate the special election with the county as it does with the regular municipal elections in November. The city would have to pay for all the costs, including election materials and equipment, ballots, precinct workers and vote tabulations.

“Should the city council choose to call an election to fill the seat vacated by former council member Chang, it is estimated the city would incur election-related costs of approximately $150,000,” said Deputy City Manager Ryan McLean in a report.

These costs would be in addition to the costs for the regular election in November.

“I’m leaning toward appointing someone to fill the position because of the high costs for a special election,” Tye said. “People elect us to make difficult decisions, so I think we should interview candidates and appoint someone ourselves.”

City council isn’t legally obligated to even advertise the vacancy, seek applicants or interview them before appointing someone to fill the council seat. Council may choose any process it feels is appropriate.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story VACANCY.

Person struck by truck on 60 Freeway in Diamond Bar

A person was hospitalized in unknown condition after being struck early Saturday by a truck on the 60 Freeway. The incident occurred on the westbound lanes beneath the 57 Freeway about 2:45 a.m., California Highway Patrol Officer Tony Polizzi said.

The began with a single-vehicle crash with either the center divider or the right shoulder wall of the freeway, causing a gray Cadillac to catch fire, according to CHP logs.

The Cadillac appeared to have had two occupants, according to Los Angeles County fire officials and a videographer at the scene. At least one of them exited the car, officials said.

A person, described only as male, was trying to put out the fire when he was struck by the truck, fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Al Jackson said.  Paramedics took the injured person to the UC Irvine Medical Center, according to authorities.

The second person inside the Cadillac was not hospitalized, officials said.

Diamond Bar nonprofits invited to Winter Snow Fest

The City of Diamond Bar’s popular Winter Snow Fest event will again provide local nonprofits a fun way to raise awareness of, and cash for, their causes.

Nonprofits have until Friday, Dec. 5, to apply to work the event as a food vendor, game booth operator or craft area monitor.

In exchange for their work, nonprofits that staff the entertainment areas will receive a portion of proceeds from the wristband and game/craft cards sales; food vendors keep all their profits.

Winter Snow Fest event takes place on Saturday, January 17, 2015 from 9am until 3pm at Pantera Park. For additional details and a copy of the application, visit www.DiamondBarCa.gov/wsf or call 909.839.7067.

Diamond Bar residents protest cut in Diamond Ride

Diamond Bar residents are protesting cutbacks in the city’s popular Diamond Ride program. Seniors say the money-saving measures will hurt their health care.

Beginning Dec. 1, Diamond Ride will establish a new medical service area within a 5-mile radius of the city. The only exceptions will be trips to Pomona Valley Hospital and St. Jude Medical Centers in Fullerton. Leaving residents who need to go to the Kaiser Medical Center in Baldwin Park without a ride.

“My oncologist works in the Baldwin Park medical center,” explained 74-year-old Nancy Blum. “How am I supposed to get there?”

A resident of Diamond Bar for the past 43 years, Blum needs dialysis treatment three times a week just to stay alive. She has been going to the San Dimas Dialysis Center, but was told that was also outside the new Diamond Ride radius.

“It’s the only thing keeping me alive,” she noted. “Now I pay $50 to $60 a month for the Diamond Ride service. I figured it would cost me $300 to $400 a month beginning in December. I can’t afford that.”

The dialysis patient said she has been looking for another dialysis center, but all of them have waiting lists. Fortunately, Blum’s case worker may have found her a spot at a dialysis center Brea and is processing the paper work.

“Even then, I couldn’t get the same hours. I’d have to go in later and wouldn’t get home until 7 or 8 p.m.,” the angry senior said. “I didn’t know what I was going to do. The city is cutting us off at the knees.”

Other residents have been just as passionate over the pending cuts. Several have addressed city council about the pending problems.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story RIDE.

Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church packs gifts for kids

Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church and School in Diamond Bar will hold an Operation Christmas Child Packing Party on Saturday from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. 

They are filling 1,000 shoe boxes with items we have been collecting all year from our school.  Operation Christmas Child sends filled shoe boxes around the world for Christmas, so children less fortunate can get a gift on Christmas. 

To become a part of our packing party, call Ann Lovell at 909-730-9057 to sign up and learn more. The church is located at 23300 Golden Springs Drive in Diamond Bar.