A 10-year resident of Rolling Hills, Bea Dieringer is one of four candidates running for one of two open seats on the Rolling Hills City Council.
Rolling Hills City Council members are elected at-large, meaning that each member represents all residents.
Dieringer is a deputy district attorney who has never held public office.
Below are Dieringer's responses to a questionnaire compiled by Patch editors.
Palos Verdes Patch: Why are you running for Rolling Hills City Council?
Bea Dieringer: Based on the encouragement that I received from my Rolling Hills neighbors, I decided to run for City Council. I would like to add to the expertise already on City Council by contributing my experience and background, particularly in the areas of law enforcement, litigation and drafting legislation. No other current council member or candidate has the extensive experience that I do in these areas.
This kind of experience on the Council is needful, given our residents' legitimate concerns with: (1) crime (with 49 reported crimes last year, including an incident of stolen resident mail possession with resulting identity theft and 14 unsolved residential burglaries in two years, etc.); (2) proper legal and fiscal management of the City's four existing lawsuits and the need to eliminate or minimize other potential litigation; and (3) the need to draft and revise City ordinances in a clear, fair and balanced manner that reflects the will of the residents and that also discourages unnecessary litigation.
I also want to be a readily available representative for our residents regarding their City-related concerns by providing them with my personal cell number and email address. I will work to enhance our residents' ability to: (1) keep informed of City issues affecting them, (2) express their concerns regarding these issues and (3) have their concerns factored into decisions made by our City Council.
Patch: In your opinion, what is the No. 1 issue in Rolling Hills?
Dieringer: To boil it down into one issue, I think the number one issue for residents in Rolling Hills is the protection and preservation of our way of life. Most, if not all of us, moved to Rolling Hills because of the security, privacy, beautiful views and country-style living that living "behind the gates" affords. We are willing to pay extra to live here because we value these unique characteristics.
Residents are justifiably concerned when events occur that threaten our protection and the way of life that we have come to expect and enjoy. These events have included the increase in crimes, many of which remain unsolved; this factor contributes to a feeling of insecurity and helplessness among residents.
Residents' expectations regarding the preservation of their privacy, beautiful views and country-style living have been affected by their concerns regarding how our City's current or future ordinances are affecting and/or will affect these important interests. In speaking to residents, it is clear that our residents want to have the assurance of knowing that their representatives on City Council value them, share their concerns and will work hard to protect our Rolling Hills way of life.
Patch: What is your position on Measure A, the ballot measure that would amend the city's zoning ordinance to allow stables built before July 12, 2010 to be used for residential purposes?
Dieringer: If elected to City Council, I will honor the vote of the residents if Measure A passes. Given the importance of this issue to our community, I will encourage the Council to conduct a resident survey and consider the results of this survey before enacting significant future amendments to the Stable ordinance.
Patch: What is your position on Measure B, which would amend current view preservation regulations?
Dieringer: If elected to City Council, I will honor the vote of the residents if Measure B passes. Given the importance of this issue to our community, I will encourage the Council to conduct a resident survey and consider the results of this survey before enacting significant future amendments to the View ordinance.
Patch: If elected, what are your top three priorities?
Dieringer: 1) Protect our security through my involvement with crime prevention efforts and follow-up with the Sheriff's Department regarding past and current crimes committed in the City, including the following:
- coordinating with the Sheriff’s Department and residents to devise additional practical security measures to assist in the prevention and detection of potential future crime, given residents’ concerns regarding recent criminal activity in our otherwise crime-free city;
- acting as a liaison between residents and the Sheriff’s Department regarding crimes in the city and crime-related issues; answering questions posed by residents, which I have already been addressing. Since I am a Deputy DA, I can explain the criminal investigation/prosecution aspects to our residents and follow-up with the Sheriff's investigators regarding the status of ongoing investigations;
- providing additional relevant safety education to residents regarding the prevention of crimes, particularly those that have already occurred in our city (e.g. burglary, ID theft, theft by false pretenses, etc);
- assisting in the formation of Neighborhood Watch groups for those areas in the city where the residents are interested in and willing to participate in that program;
2) Using my knowledge and 34 years of experience as a trial attorney:
- to evaluate potential litigation cases coming before the Council to avoid litigation, if possible;
- to provide input to the other Council members regarding Council decisions on potential litigation cases so that the City will have a firm legal and evidentiary basis for its decisions and hopefully avoid any liability for punitive or compensatory damages and any unnecessary expenses for costs and fees; and
- utilizing my knowledge and 26 years of experience in drafting/revising proposed statutes in all areas of California law to draft and revise city ordinances so that they are legal, fair and reflective of the resident majority’s views and do not encourage unnecessary litigation;
3) Making myself available to all city residents to address their immediate concerns by:
- providing them with my personal email address and cell phone number;
- advocating for procedures to improve our city’s communication to residents regarding new proposals that the Council and/or its committees are considering. These procedures should include posting on the city’s website the agenda background materials, which explain the Council/committee agenda items, sufficiently in advance of the meeting to allow residents to understand the issues addressed and decide whether to express their views regarding these proposals at the meeting.
- advocating for procedures to improve our city’s receipt of input from residents, particularly as to important issues affecting the entire community, such as community surveys, solicitation of anonymous suggestions, etc.
Patch: Why should people vote for you?
Dieringer: I can provide important background and experience that is currently lacking on the City Council. I am the only Deputy District Attorney candidate, the only candidate with any law enforcement experience, the only candidate endorsed by the LA County Firefighters, LA County Sheriffs and former LA County District Attorney Steve Cooley, the only candidate who is an attorney with any litigation experience and the only candidate with substantial legal experience in drafting/revising laws.
Patch: Is there anything else you'd like to say?
Dieringer: I hope this information has clarified some issues. For further questions or information, you can email me at email@example.com or call me at 310-714-3203. Thanks!