Public participation is a key component to strategic planning processes. Citizen participation offers citizens the chance to voice their ideas, interests, and opinions. The Federal Emergency Management Agency also requires public input during the development of mitigation plans.
The City of West Covina Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan integrates a cross-section of citizen input throughout the planning process. To accomplish this goal, the City of West Covina Hazard Mitigation Advisory Committee developed a public participation process through three components: (1) developing a project steering committee comprised of knowledgeable individuals from the City and the Community.; (2) conducting stakeholder interviews to target the specialized knowledge of individuals working with populations or areas at risk from natural hazards; and (3) conducting two public workshops to identify common concerns and ideas regarding hazard mitigation and to discuss specific goals and actions of the mitigation plan.
Integrating public participation during the development of the City of West Covina Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan has ultimately resulted in increased public awareness. Through citizen involvement, the mitigation plan reflects community issues, concerns, and new ideas and perspectives on mitigation opportunities and plan action items.
Hazard mitigation in City of West Covina will be overseen by the Hazard Mitigation Advisory Committee, which consists of representatives from various city departments, representatives from local business and community organizations and the public. The Hazard Mitigation Plan Steering committee members have an understanding of how the community is structured and how residents, businesses, and the environment may be affected by natural hazard events. The steering committee guided the development of the plan, and assisted in developing plan goals and action items, identifying stakeholders, and sharing local expertise to create a more comprehensive plan.
Table B.1 lists the various people and organizations that participated on the City of West Covina Natural Hazard Mitigation Planning Committee.
Table B.1. Hazard Mitigation Plan Steering Committee
Meeting #1: Monday, February 9, 2004
Jim Rudroff, West Covina Office of Emergency Services and Interim Fire Chief Jim Ballard, convened the meeting and provided an overview to the committee about the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 and the planning process that was about to be undertaken. Mike Martinet, the Executive Director of the Office of Disaster Management, Area G presented background on the need for a natural hazards mitigation plan for the City of West Covina.
The City of West Covina Emergency Services Coordinator introduced the steering committee and described the department or organization that they represented addressing their roles in hazard mitigation. There was a discussion of past and current mitigation activities undertaken in the city to provide the committee members with a knowledge of historic community disaster issues. The City Manager designated Jim Rudroff, City of West Covina Emergency Services Coordinator, to serve as the chairperson of the committee. Committee members received copies of the Clackamas County Oregon completed Disaster Mitigation Plan, the Los Angeles County Disaster Management Area Coordinators' Natural Hazard Mitigation Planning Guidebook, and the City of West Covina's Safety Element document.
Meeting #2 Thursday, February 19, 2004
Jim Rudroff opened the meeting by reiterating the purpose of the Disaster Mitigation Plan and the responsibilities of the Steering Committee. New members not attending the first meeting were introduced and apprised on the previous meeting's discussions. The chairperson presented the project methodology and the draft framework for the Mitigation Plan. Steering Committee members were asked to provide input on key stakeholders to be included in the planning process. A brainstorming process was then conducted to develop the goals for the Plan. The committee discussed the natural hazards for the City of West Covina. Tasks were assigned to various committee members. The Steering Committee also discussed how and who to involve in the planning process and what measures could be taken to solicit community involvement. Members of the committee were asked to submit any documents in their possession that related to hazards in the city. The handout at this meeting was the ICS 214 Log Contacts for the purpose of logging in dates, times and people contacted during the planning process. The Steering Committee was asked to identify goals for risk reduction, and potential outcomes for how the plan could be used in the future.
Meeting #3: Wednesday, February 25, 2004 - Mapping Group Committee
The meeting was opened with a discussion explaining to the Mapping Group the Disaster Mitigation Plan and process. The City of West Covina's Information Services Manager gathered information to decide what kind of resources the City had available regarding the GIS effort for the Plan. Other stakeholders for possible participation in this task were identified and were to be contacted. Also discussed was the City's ability to scan maps into the final plan. Various tasks were given to members of this group including contacting Utility Companies, Cal Tech and the County of Los Angeles Office of Emergency Services for any resources available for the Mapping project. Tom Nguyen had asked all members of the City GIS group to attend this first meeting, out of this group the Mapping group was established.
Meeting #4: Thursday, March 4, 2004
The steering committee began the meeting by discussing the development of its Mission Statement. Members were asked to submit suggestions for a Mission Statement. A draft of a letter of information to the City Manager and City Council was developed at this meeting an assigned to a member for completion. The steering committee discussed the functions of the Mapping Group and the resources available to this group. The use of maps and the necessary detailed requirement of the maps was discussed. The handouts at this meeting included (1) The Risk Analysis Rating Form which is used gather useful information from employees, elected officials and employers relating to their feelings toward certain disasters; (2) The Local Hazardous Mitigation Pan Review that is used by the Sate and Federal government when reviewing Mitigation Plans; (3) The Historical Record Worksheet that is designed to capture information to the citizens.
Meeting #5: Wednesday, March 10, 2004 - Mapping Group Committee
Handouts were distributed showing the type of data that needs to be collected for the mapping process. The committee discussed the map scale and decided that a page suitable for the Plan, and a scale large enough to display nice maps at the Citizen's meeting. Limitation on the City's ability to do any GIS mapping was discussed. Sam Gutierrez stated that he had access to base maps and parcel maps. Electric substation sites were discussed. Members were asked to ascertain the availability of staff time from their respective Departments. A handout on maps we would like to include was passed out; these include Critical facilities, Essential facilities, HazMat handlers, Flood zones, fault zones, Liquefaction and landslides, wildland fire, windstorm, dam inundation, and debris flow. It was discussed the infrastructure map would be to time demanding to be completed for this plan. It was decided that a parcel map with no photos would display data with the greatest clarity.
Meeting #6: Thursday, March 18, 2004
Captain Jim Rudroff could not attend the meeting. Janice Petty led the discussion.The Steering Committee was brought up-to-date on status of the Mapping Sub-Group activities. Maps and overlays were handed out. These maps showed the areas of the city that would be affected by flood and inundation. Continued efforts were made to seek historical data. Information was shared with the group on Critical Communications Facilities. The finalized Mission Statement was discussed and would be incorporated in the letter to the City Council and City Manager. The Natural Hazard Risk Analysis Rating Form for the City of West Covina was distributed and completed by all attendees.
Meeting #7: Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - Mapping Group Committee
Copies of HAZUS were received by the City, but there is no computer with enough memory to run it. The City has borrowed an employee's GPS device to gather data on sites that are not already logged. Department of Conservation has sent some of the initial map layers and will assist any way they can. Mike Hitz priced out a nice GPS unit at $1400. - no money available.
Meeting #8: Thursday, April 8, 2004
The meeting began with advising attendees on up-to-date on the progress of the plan. The committee was working on establishing a common base map to link all the hazards and the locations of assets. The City did not have a computer with sufficient features to run the HAZUS program, one will be purchased. Sam Gutierrez and ESRI, a GIS/GPS firm located in Redlands, are working together The handout, Asset Inventory was discussed. This handout is the present compilation showing the dollar value of the at-risk assets of the City based on information supplied by the Finance department. Some of the dollar amounts were questioned and Jim Rudroff will further investigate. There was discussion of communications values. A handout of an updated Historical Record was distributed. The Steering Committee has received input from Maintenance, Naresh Palkhiwala, Dino Giolli, Diann Paul, as well as other city employees. Keep the information coming in. The results of the committee members' Natural Hazard Risk Analysis Rating form were discussed. Developing a website to survey citizens had been discussed at a past meeting. The federal and state governments have directed local agencies to conduct community meetings. A date needs to be set because of the time frame we're working in. Maps developed for the plan will give citizens an idea of what portions of the City might be effected by natural hazards. The community meeting will be advertised to the public through announcements, corkboards, website and commission meetings.
Outside Meeting: Thursday, April 15, 2004 AREA D MEETING
Group meeting for all of the Area D municipalities involve in Hazard Mitigation Plan. Distribution of computer disk containing updates from Disaster Management Area Coordinators. Roundtable discussion on issues common to all participants.
Meeting #9: Thursday, May 6, 2004
The meeting was opened by addressing the handout of the City's Asset Inventory. The twenty-eight page document is a collection of data listing all the City's assets. The inventory provided information such as cell phone sites, hazard material handlers and replacement values, to name a few. It was suggested that the Historical Record document be sent to the Historical Society and Hearst Ranch to get their input on any past events that would be pertinent to our plan. Diann Paul was asked to send a letter with the forms to these organizations. Diann Paul and Steven Samaniego sent letters to the various Commission Members and City Council asking their input on the Hazard Risk Analysis form. To date, only two responses have been received.
Sam Gutierrez demonstrated the newly acquired ArcView GIS program that showed the base maps and overlays of parcels, seismic and liquefaction for the City. The Flood Zone maps should be in the system by the end of the day. (5/6/04). Sam can continue on with the mapping process once he receives input from the committee regarding the locations needed. The state and federal government has mandated that the members of the community be involved in the drafting and pre-approval of the DMA Plan. These government entities have specified the utilization of public meetings to involve citizens and obtain their input. Some suggested media used to reach interested citizens and attract their attention would be:
- Conduct a structured community meeting
- West Covina Newsletter
- WCCTV help in using real-life footage of past incidents
- Website and Website online survey with links to "Mitigation Plan"
The public input is needed to determine the risk analysis to the community as they see it and obtain their input regarding the overall DMA Plan. An article on Hazard Mitigation and the upcoming public forum was drafted for the West Covina newspaper. Janice Petty will design the online survey and submit in Word format to IS department's Maureen Nelson. Since it is determined that the public needs to be first educated on the mitigation plan process, a community meeting will be held Wednesday, July 21, 2004, 7:00 PM at the Senior Citizens Center, 2501 E. Cortez Avenue, West Covina. Members from each city department is asked to be present at the meeting in order to answer any questions out of the scope of Fire personnel expertise. An additional community meeting will be held at a later date at another location in the city. Steve Samaniego brought up that an aggressive advertising campaign might aid us in attendance at the Community meeting. Web site, Discover, and a WCCT commercial were suggested as means of reaching the citizens.
Meeting #10: Thursday, May 20, 2004
The meeting was opened with a discussion on the progress of the "mapping" portion of our plan. Jim Rudroff had met with Lisa Pitts, an employee of ESRI, who offered her assistance to the committee. A meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, May 26, where Sam, and any other member of the Mapping Sub-Group, will attend and discuss how ESRI can help. We are waiting for an update on information requested from the various utilities.
Dennis Swink and Erin Hoppe have worked on the property assessments and Barbara Briley is to check with Shannon Yauchzee to see if the committee might obtain a copy of Building Standard book. The information in the book verifies the accuracy of the property valuation numbers we have obtained thus far. Geologic maps of the San Dimas 7.5' Quadrangle and Baldwin Park 7.5' Quadrangle for Los Angeles County were shown and it was agreed to utilize this information in the plan.
A handout of Hazard Assessment for the City of West Covina was distributed and discussed. The areas covered in the handout were Flooding and Earthquakes. In the Flooding section, Jim Rudroff explained the various "drainages" in the West Covina area and how they have (or will) effected the city. The Earthquake section discussed the various "Class" ratings of the various faults adjacent to the city of West Covina. A second handout was a Los Angeles County Hazards Mitigation and Preparedness Questionnaire. The attendees of the meeting were asked to complete the survey and submit it.
Janice Petty is developing a Citizen Survey form for our Plan. The form will be completed by Diann Paul has mailed a letter to the Historical Society of West Covina, requesting any input on past events that would benefit our Plan.
Outside Meeting: Thursday, May 20, 2004 AREA D MEETING
Group meeting for all of the Area D municipalities involve in Hazard Mitigation Plan. Draft maps are now available from the County. All sections have been updated and distributed. Seismic Hazard Maps are available from Brenda. Roundtable discussion on issues common to all participants.
Meeting #11: Thursday, May 27, 2004 - Mapping Group Committee
Discussion on the FIRM map and how we can access a shapefile of that data. Lisa Pitts says that she had all businesses from the yellow pages loaded in a GIS format that they had used for the High School. A Q-3 data disk from FEMA will be purchased for the City. Committee members are still sending in data on businesses.
Meeting #12: Thursday, June 3, 2004
The meeting was opened by informing the Committee of the State's request for a "letter of intent" from the City of West Covina. (The letter was signed by the City Manager and submitted to the State on June 4, 2004.)
The following sections were assigned to members, "Mineral and Soils"
, which involves the geological makeup of the city; "Population and Demographics"
, which includes the census and cultural diversity of the city; "Transportation and Community Pattern"
, which includes roadway uses, miles of road system and any transportation agreements in which the city in involved; "Employment and Industry"
, which involves trade-related industry, and career data; "Housing and Community Development"
, which involves information on number of single-family homes, number of Condos, and CDBG information in the city; and "Geography & Environment and Community Profile"
which involves location, amenities to living within West Covina. The committee received a handout of examples of the five "goal categories" the committee must consider. These five categories have been identified by the State and should be implemented into our plan. Committee members where asked to review the categories for the goals and the sample goals.
The draft of West Covina's Citizen Survey was discussed. The completed survey will be distributed to citizens in the community. Various means of distributing the survey and notification of the plan were discussed including, WCCTV, counters in the city's offices, Community Information website, Senior Center, the City's RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) and public notices in the Tribune. It was discussed that many hazards may have been previously unidentified by the citizens, city, state, or Feds. As these hazards are identified, this committee will have to decide whether the hazard is accurately depicted, has the hazard changed or been abated, and, if the hazard still exists, how will it be mitigated. These decisions may require policy recommendations involving zoning, building codes, and capital costs. We want to make sure we have the necessary personnel from the various City departments that reflect a commitment to this process.
Meeting #13: Thursday, June 17, 2004
Jim Rudroff opened the meeting my introducing Ms. Linda Segawa from Covina Valley School District. Jim Rudroff reminded the committee that FEMA requires partnership between stakeholders in their efforts to complete mitigation plans and as such, the City of West Covina and CVSD have reciprocity in developing their respective plans. It was announced that the citizen survey will be available on the City website. Planning department representatives were asked to develop "comment/question" cards for citizens that will be used in the Community Information Meetings. Second Community Information Meeting tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, August 17, 2004 at Shadow Oak. The committee members present received a handout of suggested "goals and ideas for implementation". Each committee member is asked to submit two (2) goals for the disaster mitigation plan within the next two weeks after the date of this meeting. Barbara Briley provided a Building Valuation Data sheet that showed the average costs for most buildings. This information will be used assist the committee in determining the value of the buildings in the city.
Meeting #14: Thursday, July 8, 2004
The meeting was opened with a discussion of the Plan sections and goals that have been submitted by the Committee. Some areas that required further information were:
- obtaining the number of registered vehicles there are in the city of West Covina. Diann Paul will try to get the information from SKAG or AQMD,
- statistics on number of commuters leaving West Covina going to other cities,
- statistics on percentage of renters vs. homeowners in the city, (this information is needed for the purpose of requesting additional funding for renters based on the type of home insurance they might/might not have.)
- number of jobs in the city, and the percentage of workers leaving the City for jobs in other areas, and percentage of workers from other areas coming into the City.
- number of business licenses issued in the city. (Dennis Swink will provide this information.)
The notification of Citizen's Community meeting will be posted in City Hall offices, Senior Center and City calendar. Barbara Briley has prepared a notice of the meeting to submit with the Council Weekly Report. Patty Dewus will film the Community Meeting scheduled for July 21, 2004.
Meeting #15: Tuesday, July 20, 2004
The meeting was opened on a discussion Plan sections and goals that had been developed since the last meeting. A draft of the Plan will be distributed shortly for committee members' comments and corrections. Each member will be asked to review their respective areas for the purpose of making the necessary comments and corrections. The DMA2K Citizen Survey form is now on the City's website and each member was asked to visit the site.
Mike Wallace was asked to deliver to Shannon Yauchzee a letter of License and Confidentiality Agreement for his signature. Los Angeles County Department of Public Works is requesting the signed document to share GIS infrastructure information between agencies completing Disaster Mitigation Plans.
The first Citizen Community Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, July 21, 2004. Hardcopies of the survey will be made available to citizens attending the meeting. There was discussion on the second meeting date and is was agreed to move the date back because of various conflicts. Janice Petty will firm up a date for the use of Shadow Oak Park. Diann Paul will prepare a Press Release on the second Citizen Meeting as soon as that date it solidified. Jim Rudroff has prepared a PowerPoint presentation for the Citizen Community meeting. There will be an open discussion with a question-and-and-answer period.
The Citizen's meeting has been advertised in the West Covina Discover and on the Corkboard on WCCT. A PSA was filmed to advertise both Citizen's Meetings.
Citizen's Meeting at West Covina Senior Center: Thursday, July 21, 2004
Meeting #16: Thursday, August 5, 2004
Jim Rudroff opened the meeting and updated the Committee regarding community involvement and the DMA2K Citizen Survey forms. Fire personnel have been distributing the forms at community group meetings and encouraging those in attendance to complete and return the forms. Jim Rudroff reported that we had one citizen and several Steering Committee members in attendance at the Community meeting held on Wednesday, July 21, 2004. Those in attendance viewed a PowerPoint presentation that included open discussion and a question and answer period after the presentation. Citizen input was very good and the ideas and concerns are being included in the plan. A draft of the Disaster Mitigation Plan goals were distributed to the Committee. The second Citizen Community Meeting is scheduled for Thursday, August 26, 2004, at 7:00 p.m. at Shadow Oak Park. Diann Paul will prepare a Press Release and Barbara Briley will post the meeting notice.
Meeting #17: Thursday, August 19, 2004
The meeting opened with the discussion of submitted goals. Members were reminded that they may submit more than two goals, and to follow the format submitted at previous meetings. Specifics and last minute items for the upcoming Citizen's meeting were discussed.
Citizen's Meeting at Shadow Oak Community Center: Thursday, August 26, 2004
Meeting #18: Thursday, September 2, 2004
Jim had to leave at the start of this meeting, because of an alarm for the Engine Company. Committee members picked up the handouts, and were asked to submit updates.
Meeting #19: Thursday, September 16, 2004
The meeting opened with a discussion on the "EARTHQUAKE" section of our plan. The members of the committee were told that at this point in the development of the plan, it is very important that the sections be reviewed and returned in a timely manner since we are coming down to the wire for submitting the final plan. Barbara Briley was asked to have some check the UBC to verify the correct codes were being referenced. (Page 16 of the EARTHQUAKE section). Questions regarding earth movement were to be investigated by Public Works. (Page 109). Committee members were asked to discuss with co-workers any historical events that they may recall due to severe slope movements, to mudslides, or any type of earth movement. Information is needed on what earthquake safety measures are a result of the bridge at Holt.
Risk Management was asked to submit any available data on wind damage to the City resulting in claims from private and commercial residents due to storms, wind or rain. Public Works is asked to submit a dollar amount of damages to trees brought down by storms of any sort. Other information needed is what would be the approximate cost to the City if landscaping, foliage, sod, re-seeding, etc, were damaged due to drought.
- Section 7 - Earth Movement (Landslides & Debris Flows)
- Windstorm Hazards
- Appendix A - Resources- Master Resource Directory
Please Review these documents and submit any changes, deletions, corrections or suggestions as soon as possible. The Steering Committee will meet weekly from here on out.
Meeting #20: Thursday, September 23, 2004
Committee members where asked to continue to input necessary changes to the Plan. Announcement that Wednesday October 6th was chosen for the Community Partners meeting.
The plan will be on the City Council agenda for October 19th.
Meeting #21: Thursday, September 30, 2004
Committee members turned in corrections and additions to the Plan. Community Partners meeting will be held prior to the West Covina Schools Disaster Preparedness Meeting to combine both groups.
Community Partners / Stakeholders Meeting: Wednesday, October 6, 2004
Meeting #22: Thursday, October 7, 2004
Committee members met to input corrections and additions to the Plan.
Meeting #23: Thursday, October14, 2004
Assignments were made for the final review of the Plan. Updates and corrections to be submitted immediately.Stakeholders Interviews
Stakeholders in the City of West Covina Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan were offered the opportunity to attend a Stakeholder meeting at West Covina Council Chambers on October the 6th at 10:00 am. A powerpoint program and workshop on City of West Covina Mitigation goals was presented. For those Stakeholders who were unable to attend but still interested in commenting, a separate individual meeting was arranged. Stakeholders interviewed for the mitigation plan represented agencies and organizations throughout the city. The Committee staff integrated information provided by stakeholders into the sections of the plan relating to current mitigation activities and, new action items and in the resource directory. Table B.2 lists the stakeholders that the committee staff interviewed during development of the mitigation plan.
Table B.2. Mitigation Plan StakeholdersPublic Meetings
City of West Covina coordinated two public meetings in the City to gather public ideas and opinions about the mitigation plan goals and activities. Two different sites where chosen to give citizens equal opportunity to participate in the process. Invitation Process
The Steering Committee worked to identify all possible public notice sources. A press release was submitted to the local daily and weekly print media, as a result of this notices of the meeting ran multiple days in the San Gabriel Tribune. A notice of the work that was being done by the Mitigation group was picked up by Chinese Daily News of Monterey Park. Flyers were posted at all City Fire Stations, the Senior Center, and City Departments. An advertisement ran in the West Covina Discover, the city newspaper that's mailed to every home. Public notices were made through the City Clerk's Office and posted in the usual places. The local community access cable television channel, WCCT, carried cork board notices and a PSA was videoed and played on this same channel. Notices were placed on the City Web site.
First Citizen's Meeting: July 21, 2004
The Citizen's meeting was held at the West Covina Senior Center at 7:00 pm. The first public meeting provided information on the mitigation plan to meeting attendees. A powerpoint presentation on the City of West Covina's Mitigation plan was presented and a question and answer period opened. Three citizens and representatives from each City Department were in attendance. Comment was received on the condition of expansive soil in West Covina.
Second Citizen's Meeting: August 26, 2004
This Citizen's meeting was held at the Shadow Oak Community Center at 7:00 pm. The format for this meeting followed the same as the first. Four citizens and three Steering Committee members were in attendance. Comments on the preparation for electrical outages were received.