Sunday, October 11, 2009

Packed Agendas May Equal Bad Decisions

It's going to be an interesting week in Costa Mesa...

PLANNING COMMISSION HAS FULL AGENDA MONDAY

In the City Council chambers on Monday evening, beginning at 6 p.m., the Planning Commission will hear several items requesting extensions to their project time lines - not unexpected considering the state of our economy. However, they will also discuss a couple other very interesting items that have the potential to affect serious change in our city.

MANAGING LIQUOR SALES
The first is the consideration of a new ordinance that significantly tightens-up the way businesses that sell liquor are managed in the city. I suspect this one will sail right through the Planning Commission and the City Council this year without much difficulty.

DENSITY OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROJECTS

The second deals with a new ordinance that, in the words of the staff report, will "exclude the density of affordable housing projects from being subject to discretionary review during the Design Review process". I'm going to be very interested in the discussion on this item...

There are a few other items on the calendar Monday, so it looks like it might be a long meeting.

CITY COUNCIL STUDY SESSION AGENDA ON TUESDAY IS PACKED, TOO
Then, Tuesday afternoon in Conference Room 1A, the City Council will hold a study session with what appears to be a packed agenda. These meetings usually run from 4:30 to 6:30, but the number of items on the agenda - 6 - and the probability of extended discussions on five of them makes me think they may not make it through this agenda in the alloted time.

MESA WEST BLUFFS URBAN PLAN

For example, right off the bat, they will review the Mesa West Bluffs Urban Plan - which has been the subject of some lengthy debates in recent council and Planning Commission meetings.

PROTECTING OUR TAX DOLLARS
Then they will discuss the "1A Securitization Program" - a method of securing the $3.3 million the state is "borrowing" from us in this fiscal year to try to balance their budget. This one looks like a long discussion, too.

STREET SWEEPING
Then a presentation will be made regarding potential privatizing of our street sweeping operations. Based on the staff report, it looks like that would be an expensive change in our operations, so it might not get too much discussion.

DOG POOP BAG SPONSORSHIP PROGRAMS

Then they will discuss a sponsorship program for bags to clean up dog waste around our city. Resident Judi Berry stirred up this issue and may, in fact, have forced some good programs to be considered. This probably will be a long discussion, too.

TEWINKLE SPORTS FIELDS MANAGEMENT
What may be the most lengthy discussion will be the proposal for private management of the TeWinkle Sports Fields. The proposal by the contractor is 19 pages long.

EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH

At the very end they will consider candidates for Employee of the Month.

TOO MANY BALLS IN THE AIR
I just don't see how they will get through the agenda in the time normally provided. The scheduled Redevelopment Agency meeting that was planned for 6:30 in the council chambers has been canceled, so that leave an open end to the proceedings. We'll see...

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