Huntington Beach

Chi is hired; Ascon issues are raised

AERIAL view of the Ascon landfill site on Magnolia Street in Huntington Beach (DTSC photo).

Oliver Chi, the current city manager of Monrovia, will become the new head appointed official of Huntington Beach. On Monday night, the city council voted 7-0 to hire him for the post, which he will assume on Sept. 30.

His starting salary will be $260,000 and he is planning to relocate to Surf City. The terms of the relocation assistance were the only sticking point in the contract with Chi, as Councilman Mike Posey opposed that portion of the deal, but voted in favor of the overall agreement.

Chi will follow Fred Wilson, who retired after 10 years as city manager.

Also on Monday, a dozen people raised concerns about the Ascon landfill site on Magnolia Street, across from Edison High School and the Edison Community Center.

Once a dump for oil production waste, the 38-acre site operated from 1938 to 1984 and is undergoing cleanup. Several of the speakers spoke of odors and health hazards they felt were associated with the site and its mitigation.

Additionally, Police Chief Robert Handy presented to the council a report on public safety issues related to the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing held in the city last week. He called the event “generally very safe” but noted that arrests and citations were up over last year, and – in an incident he said was not connected to the event – several officers were injured and seven people arrested.

The next meeting of the city council is scheduled for Aug. 19.

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