News In Brief : City Becomes Its Own Insurer

The Gardena City Council, looking to reduce its insurance costs, has voted to establish the City of Gardena Mutual Insurance Co., which will underwrite the city's liability insurance.

The City Council on Tuesday approved the formation of the company, including a five-member board of directors. Four board members will be selected from the insurance, financial and marketing industries. The fifth will be a City Council member, who will chair the board.

Gardena City Manager Kenneth W. Landau said this action would save the city hundreds of thousands of dollars over the next few years.

The city staff will develop a plan to finance the company, which will be presented to the council for approval. The completed plan will be submitted to the State Department of Insurance by next July. Until then, the city will continue to buy insurance.

Gardena City Councilman Mas Fukai was nominated to represent the city on the board. Subsequent nominations are subject to City Council approval and ratification by the policyholders of the insurance company. Pending approval of his nomination by the board of directors, Fukai will serve a five-year term. Other members will serve staggered terms of one to five years.

The company structure will also include an executive advisory committee made up of one council member from each city that buys insurance from the company.

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