Several highly valued services offered by the City of Vernon help make it an obvious choice for businesses looking to locate in Southern California. Outstanding fire and police protection, state-of-the-art fiber optics, and an excellent local health department create a secure and well supported work environment.
What other city the size of Vernon (5.2 square miles) can offer four state-of-the-art fire stations. All Vernon fire personnel receive the most advanced training and routinely provide assistance to other jurisdictions in the surrounding region.
VFD boasts an average emergency response time of three minutes, and staffs one of the nation’s best Hazardous Materials emergency response teams, in order to be prepared for possible emergencies within our City’s manufacturing industries.
VFD is one of only 42 in the U.S. to receive the highly coveted Public Protection Classification Program’s highest rating of Class 1. That rating allows businesses in Vernon to receive insurance premiums at rates as much as 15% lower than those in communities without a Class 1 designation.
Crime rates are low in Vernon compared to surrounding communities, and officers are trained to handle offenses unique to a commercial/industrial based community.
The city’s Police Department employs 59 sworn officers and 25 civilian men and women. Patrol units are fitted with mobile computer terminals using advanced wireless technology for superior communication capability. Night vision binoculars, Thermal Imaging Devices, digital cameras and recorders all aid in surveillance and crime scene evidence gathering. The department uses the Community Oriented Policing model, including bicycle and K-9 units, to effectively serve businesses and the public.
The City of Vernon has installed 35 miles of fiber optic cable around town, allowing it to offer both “dark fiber” and “lit fiber” services. This advanced network of fiber optic cables provides businesses in Vernon with higher-speed access the Internet for lower-than-standard rates, and with the ability to manage virtual data transmissions between office buildings quickly, easily and affordably.
The City of Vernon Health & Environmental Control Department is one of only four city health departments in the entire state of California. It is charged with monitoring and enforcing health-related municipal, state and federal laws, rules, ordinances and regulations related to public health and safety and the environment.
The focus of the department is on protecting the local environment and ensuring the health and safety of Vernon residents, workers, visitors and neighboring communities through emergency and disaster preparedness and educational campaigns.
H&ECD collects routine water samples throughout Vernon to ensure compliance with potability standards, including at USDA facilities and food processors. The Department provides annual water certification letters.
The Department also provides free plan check services for companies upgrading regulated facilities or undertaking new construction. These services ensure companies are in compliance with the latest health codes before construction begins, as part of the building permitting process in Vernon.
The City of Vernon exists as a municipal corporation, first established on Sept. 22, 1905. According to the city’s charter, elections are held the second Tuesday of every April when one of the five City Council seats becomes open.
Each Council member serves a staggered five-year term, and a majority vote determines which member will hold the title of Mayor and Mayor Pro Tempore. All five members have equal say, but the Mayor is the presiding officer at meetings and serves as the head of the City for ceremonial purposes.
The City Council appoints a City Administrator Vernon’s to oversee daily operations, public relations, legislative process and finances. The City Administrator’s Department also develops programs to benefit Vernon’s business community. The city administrator acts as chief staff adviser to the City Council, providing essential information for the council’s decision-making process.
The City Attorney's Office provides legal services for Vernon’s City Council, City officials and departments in the conduct of City business. The office handles and supervises the City’s legal needs including land use, public works construction, municipal finance, contracts and redevelopment, among other areas.
There are four divisions within the Community Services & Water Department: Public Works, Building, Planning and Water.
The forefathers of the City established Vernon as an exclusively industrial community in 1905. Over the years, the City constructed an infrastructure to serve Vernon’s unique community. It is the Public Works Department’s responsibility to maintain and enhance roadways, sewer and storm drain systems built to serve the City. The Public Works Dept.’s duties and tasks include:
The primary function of the City of Vernon’s Building Division is to ensure all structures built within Vernon meet safety standards. The City enforces the uniform building codes as adopted by the State of California. These codes establish the minimum construction standards for all buildings within the City.
The Vernon Building Dept. is a division of the Community Services Dept. and is responsible for issuing building permits. The staff’s duties include plan checking and inspecting structures to ensure conformance with appropriate state and local codes.
Vernon offers a one-stop community services counter where questions about buildings codes, zoning requirements and public works are answered. Due to the unique nature of Vernon, the City employs experts in individual fields of construction. The City has developed an especially efficient and quick review and approval process to support business development.
The City’s Planning Division is responsible for the development and oversight of the General Plan for Vernon. The General Plan establishes guiding principles on how the City will be developed and maintained through a series of written and approved goals and policies. The land use element of the General Plan is the basis for the City of Vernon’s Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance.
The Water Division is responsible for providing safe potable drinking water, meeting state and federal requirements at an economical price. The City maintains wells, reservoirs and piping systems designed to meet the demands of its industrial community. The Insurance Service Organization (ISO) has classified the Vernon system as a Class 1 System, the highest rating possible. Vernon’s water rates are among the lowest in the region.
City crews are responsible for maintaining wells, reservoirs, hydrants and ensuring a constant pressure is maintained by the City’s centrally located elevated tank. When needed, the city handles construction of new water services as well.