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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 1, 1996 | LESLEY WRIGHT
City treasurers and clerks would be hired based on merit, not their political connections, under a policy approved this week that will take effect only if voters pass a ballot measure March 26 that would change the positions from elective to appointive. The adoption of the hiring policy Tuesday was seen as a tactical move to blunt criticism that officials would haphazardly appoint people to the positions.
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NEWS
December 18, 1998 | RICHARD MAROSI and LESLEY WRIGHT, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
The one-time head of a powerful Orange recycling company faces 65 felony counts for allegedly bilking the city out of $4 million in a 13-year fraud and embezzlement scheme that prosecutors said Thursday continued undetected because of lax municipal oversight. Jeffrey Hambarian, whose family has been Orange's exclusive trash hauler for 43 years, was arrested and booked into Orange County Central Jail.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 3, 1997 | LESLEY WRIGHT
City employees will be able to retire sooner under a program that officials hope will inspire some of City Hall's high-level managers to leave. During union negotiations last year, employee groups asked the city to adopt an early-retirement option offered by the state's retirement system, Personnel Director Steven V. Pham said. Under the plan, workers can retire at 55 instead of 60. Early retirements would cost a total of $8.2 million. Employees would pay $6.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 5, 1998 | LESLEY WRIGHT
Former Police Chief John R. Robertson filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court on Tuesday alleging that the mayor, city manager and other top officials conspired to violate his civil rights when they fired him in March. The suit states that City Manager David L. Rudat, Personnel Director Steven V. Pham, Mayor Joanne Coontz and Councilmen Mike Spurgeon and Mark Murphy fired him so he would stop investigating an alleged embezzlement scandal at the city's trash and recycling companies.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 15, 1992 | HELAINE OLEN
City government will have an office away from City Hall by the end of the month. As part of the city's attempts to address problems in the troubled El Modena neighborhood, a trailer that will be staffed by public servants has been placed in the parking lot of Albertson's Food Center at 3325 E. Chapman Ave. "The whole idea is to improve the quality of life for people who live in this area and in the apartments," Mayor Gene Beyer said Thursday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 5, 1993 | SHELBY GRAD
Four Orange city workers are about to become environmental gumshoes as they embark on a high-tech mission that will take them into the city's deepest and darkest sewers. The project was approved last week by the City Council and will take at least five years to complete. The workers' assignment: Inspect and videotape the city's vast sewer and storm drains network in search of illegal sewage dumping.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 23, 1990 | MARY HELEN BERG
The City Council this week approved a 1990-91 budget of $80.5 million that projects a 16% growth in revenue over last year and includes a reserve of $10.5 million. The city expects to add 58 new employees in the coming year, including eight police personnel and four positions in the Fire Department. Nine firefighting jobs will be added in 1991-92 to staff a station scheduled to open in the northeast sector.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 31, 1990 | GREG HERNANDEZ
Furman B. Roberts, Orange's city attorney for 22 years, wouldn't mind becoming television's next Mr. Whipple. On Friday, Roberts, 61, stepped down from the job he had held since 1968 to embark on a career as an actor in television commercials. While still the city attorney, Roberts filmed a commercial for Waterbed Warehouse that is still being aired locally. "I enjoyed it," Roberts said. "It was interesting to do something where you could use your creativity.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 20, 1991 | MARY HELEN BERG
Despite a looming $4.6-million deficit, city employees were granted a paid half-day holiday for Christmas Eve by the City Council this week. A Christmas party for department heads was canceled earlier this month as a cost-cutting measure, and the council had also considered eliminating the paid half-day off on Dec. 24 and New Year's Eve. Traditionally, city offices are closed for half a day on both Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 27, 1991 | MARY HELEN BERG
Some retire to putter in the garden, others to putt on the greens, but John V. Fonley wants to fly. "Gonna build me an airplane," said Fonley, 67, who will retire Monday after 36 years as a city employee, including his most recent stint as water superintendent. Fonley came to Orange in 1955 at the start of the city's building boom. He is credited with helping to create and direct a master plan to supply, store and distribute water for the rapidly growing city.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 9, 1998 | LESLEY WRIGHT
In a move expected to heat up controversy between teachers and the Orange Unified School District board, Trustee Kathy Ward tonight will call for a full audit of the trust that administers health benefits. Ward, a bank executive who was elected to the board in November, said last month she reviewed financial documents for the trust and found what she called significant problems. "There are too many questions and not enough facts," she said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 23, 1998 | LESLEY WRIGHT
City officials are confident enough about the economy to hire several new employees and to boost the budget by as much as $53.6 million, an increase of about 3% over last year. Although some sources of revenue are running a bit dry, the all-important sales tax revenue is projected to increase 4.9% for fiscal 1998-99, Finance Director Helen Bell said. City Council members reviewed the data this week during a budget workshop; a public hearing and a vote on the budget are set for May 26.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 3, 1997 | LESLEY WRIGHT
City employees will be able to retire sooner under a program that officials hope will inspire some of City Hall's high-level managers to leave. During union negotiations last year, employee groups asked the city to adopt an early-retirement option offered by the state's retirement system, Personnel Director Steven V. Pham said. Under the plan, workers can retire at 55 instead of 60. Early retirements would cost a total of $8.2 million. Employees would pay $6.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 30, 1997 | MIMI KO CRUZ
City maintenance workers voted this week to secede from the union that represented them for years and formed an independent employees association. On a 33-16 vote Monday, with one voting for no union at all, the employees created the Orange Maintenance and Crafts Employees Assn., a new union that will represent them during labor negotiations with the city.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 1, 1996 | LESLEY WRIGHT
City treasurers and clerks would be hired based on merit, not their political connections, under a policy approved this week that will take effect only if voters pass a ballot measure March 26 that would change the positions from elective to appointive. The adoption of the hiring policy Tuesday was seen as a tactical move to blunt criticism that officials would haphazardly appoint people to the positions.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 24, 1995 | LESLEY WRIGHT
A former city official has filed a wrongful-termination lawsuit alleging that her gender, age and religion were factors in her dismissal. Ellen Angele Bonneville, former operations manager of the Economic Development Department, was dismissed from her job in November, 1994, during a restructuring. In a suit filed Aug. 11 in Orange County Superior Court, she alleges that she was fired because she was over 40, a woman and "not a Mormon."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 25, 1990 | MARY HELEN BERG
The city will soon launch a recycling program to help all municipal employees be environmentally responsible without having to leave their desks. The program, which the City Council approved and which will begin operating next month, will provide each employee with a desktop recycling bin. All city government departments--including the libraries and the police and fire departments--will participate.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 22, 1994 | LESLEY WRIGHT
Three of the city's economic specialists will lose their jobs today if, as expected, the City Council approves a shake-up of redevelopment offices. The job cuts will save the city $250,000 in salaries and benefits and be a step in fulfilling the city manager's goal of creating a "leaner and smaller" government. "I have a philosophy to try to do more with less," City Manager David F. Dixon said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 22, 1995 | LESLEY WRIGHT
The city's interim personnel director this week laid out an 18-month plan to restructure City Hall without layoffs. Instead, the city will offer an early retirement plan that would cost $2 million if all 84 eligible employees took it. "When we are finished, the organization will not be destroyed," Steven V. Pham said of the municipal government in a presentation to City Council on Tuesday. Pham said he expects 18 to 23 of the city's 624 workers to accept the offer.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 3, 1995 | LESLEY WRIGHT
From her seat in front of the City Council dais, she's watched six mayors be sworn in, and she has won four elections herself, but last week City Clerk Marilyn J. Jensen packed up and retired after 30 years of serving the public. "I really feel like I'm going on vacation," said Jensen, who sat in an office empty of everything except the iron press that makes the seal of the city. "It will hit me soon and I'll cry for three weeks."
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