Monday, July 12, 2010

A Busy Week Ahead

Chairman (and assumed City Council candidate) Jim Righeimer will lead the Planning Commission in it's monthly meeting on Monday, July 12th at 6:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers. I'd love to tell you about the agenda, but something is amiss with the link on the City web site. If I hear more during the day I'll post an addendum to this segment.

ADDENDUM: OK, got the confusion (on my part) out of the way. Tonight the Planning Commission will have a fairly normal mixed fare of issues to consider, beginning with a Code Enforcement Update. Following 5 public hearings, a couple of which may be continued to a future meeting, they will hear Staff's request for direction on three separate items that will take more than 4 hours of staff time to complete. Council policy requires such items to be specifically approved by the council. If the Planning Commission approves the request for direction these items will be bucked up to the City Council for it's decision.

The City Council will have one very busy day on Tuesday. First, they hold a Study Session beginning at 4:30, during which they will discuss four items:
1 - Maintaining the Standard of Care in Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
2 - Proposed Municipal Code Revisions and Code Enforcement Priorities
3 - Street Sweeping Services Analysis
4 - Central County Corridor Major Investment Study Report

The first item recommends a fee schedule for EMS services.
The second, which is covered in a 38 page staff report, deals with temporary signs (banners on commercial properties; storage of inoperative vehicles on residential properties; a Pilot Neighborhood Enforcement Program and the possible reassignment of supervision of Code Enforcement to the Assistant City Manager.

The third provides a report showing our current street sweeping procedures are the most cost-effective method as opposed to turning it over to private contractors.

The fourth is simply a briefing.

Then, following the Study Session, the council will morph into the Redevelopment Agency for a joint meeting of the City Council/Redevelopment Agency beginning at 6:30 or thereabouts. From the agenda report, it looks like most of it will be a closed session to discuss what appears to be four Affordable Housing Agreements that have gone sour.

In open session they will meet as the Redevelopment Agency to approve an additional budget item of nearly $150,000, which is simply shifting dollars from the City Budget to the RDA budget for certain items having to do with the Downtown Project fund.

Then, at who-knows-what-time, the City Council will meet in a closed session to discuss labor negotiations with the bargaining units. This could be a long evening, with most of it not available for public viewing because of the nature of the issues. The fate of our municipal budget depends on the success of those negotiations because we don't really have enough cash left in the Fund Balance to balance the budget.


And, as you've likely read in the press, the theme for this year's Orange County Fair is, "The Beat Goes On", which I like very much under the circumstances. And, the controversy about the Fairgrounds Sale also "Goes On".

I gave you a link previously to crooner Vern Nelson's first installment of a multi-part series on the Orange Juice Blog involving his investigation into the fairgrounds sale deal and who the players are. You can read that one, "The Great Fairgrounds Swindle: How Allan Mansoor sold us all out to his Campaign Contributors", HERE.

The second installment, The Great Fairgrounds Swindle pt 2: Meet the Pirates!, can be read HERE. If you were a little uncomfortable with the first installment, you'd better start chomping some TUMS because this second one is going to give you some serious gas pains. I'm not going to paraphrase either installment - they are best read in their original form, without editorial observations. Since Nelson and his amigos hope to quash the sale, I will remind them that if this deal fails the State may simply decide to enter into a long-term lease similar to what the City is proposing with Facilities Management West. If that happens, and the title to the land doesn't change, all bets are off on the uses that a lessee might consider. The City zoning and Measure C would be moot. Be careful what you ask for...

And, we're still waiting to hear from the State about the legislation necessary to make this deal work. The legislature is about due to take a vacation - from what I have no idea - and if the issue is not addressed before that time the delay is going to put a real crimp in the purchase timetable.

BEAZLEY: "THIS WILL BE THE BEST FAIR EVER!"I must confess my admiration for Fairgrounds CEO Steve Beazley and his staff for continuing on with all the turmoil of the sale swirling around them. Beazley has told me that it's their goal to make this year's fair the best one ever, and that every member of the staff is dedicated to doing just that. This year's fair opens July 16th and runs through August 15th, so I guess we'll know in a little over a month if they accomplish that goal. You can find out all the information on the fair HERE.

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Anonymous Vern said...

Geoff, you say the state can go ahead and lease out the Fairgrounds themselves for 99 years, WITHOUT the legislature passing a bill allowing that. I say no, it needs the legislature to go along, which totally wouldn't happen.

My source is Assemblyman Solorio, whom I just double-checked with. What is your source?

7/12/2010 02:33:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Vern, as I posted on your Facebook page, the head of DGS can accept the lease of the property. The legislature must process a bill for the SALE, but not a lease. Source is DGS months ago and the City last week.

7/12/2010 03:20:00 PM  

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