Councl Meeting Wrap-up
SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS
Wendy Leece pulled the issue of the loss of two school resource officers from the Consent Calendar for separate discussion. After much discussion and explanation by members of the Police Department, the council voted to approve the Memorandum of Understanding with the School District which eliminates two school resource officers - budget cuts are a pain!
Former mayor Sandra Genis pulled item #7, the results of the June 10, 2010 election as respects Measure C. Her concern was that some elements of the MOU in place Facilities Management West would supersede Measure C and the current zoning plans for the Fairgrounds site. After some discussion City Manager Allan Roeder affirms that the language in question was a safeguard, not a loophole. Katrina Foley requested that language in the land lease be crafted to further protect from those issues about which Genis expressed concern.
SENIOR CENTER CORPORATION BOARD APPOINTEES
After some spirited discussion, applicants Judi Berry, Kathleen Eric and Agnes Dubberly were appointed to the Costa Mesa Senior Corporation Board. Board President Bruce Garlich expressed some concern with the application of Judi Berry - that it seemed quite adversarial. I posted that segment of her application in my last entry, and I agree with Garlich.
BERRY WAS A POINT OF CONTENTION
Allan Mansoor recommended Berry - no surprise there, since she's his long, long time supporter and campaign Treasurer. (Wonder if she's sent all that money back to the Facilities Management West donors yet?) In my opinion, placing Judi Berry on the Senior Center Corporation Board is like turning a fox loose in the hen house. I suspect her presence will not reduce the animosity between the Board and the City, but will exacerbate it. Foley, from the dais, suggested that Garlich and Berry get together and try to find common ground. We'll see how that goes.
ERIC MAY BE A GOOD ADDITION
Kathleen Eric may actually be an excellent addition to the board. She has a strong positive senior orientation and has been attending board meetings for some time.
DUBBERLY HAS STRONG BACKGROUND
Agnes Dubberly brings a very strong background to the board, including extensive experience with non-profits and management background.
BROADWAY SAFE ROUTE TO SCHOOL GRANT
Perhaps the most positive segment of the council meeting was the presentation of the public hearing about the Broadway Safe Route To School Grant. This, as Foley stated during the discussion, was a perfect example of what can happen when community members and the city staff collaborate on an issue. Public Services Director Peter Naghavi made an excellent presentation and many residents and officers of the Eastside Neighbors Group spoke in support of the plan. Broadway is the widest residential street in the city and is an almost uninterrupted straight line from Irvine Avenue to Newport Boulevard. I'd have loved to grow up here - Broadway would have made a great drag race street!
GOOD JOB BY STAFF AND RESIDENTS
In any event, the council moved to proceed with this project and use nearly $1,000,000 of federal grant funds to make the improvements that will make that important stretch of roadway safer, slower and more beautiful. Congrats to all involved and especially to Naghavi and his staff for the excellent work done on this project.
Perhaps the most uncomfortable segment was the one dealing with the authorization of placing delinquent fines on the tax rolls for collection. Nearly $25,000 in overdue fines which have exhausted all local collection efforts and appeals require city council approval to turn the fines over to the county for placement on the tax bills. Two residents, with delinquent fines totaling $2,000 and $850 respectively, made impassioned pleas for the council to not place the obligations on the tax rolls. The discussion was frustrating. Eventually, a motion by Foley and seconded by Leece to permit those two to pay a small amount now and the balance within a year, was rejected. Both debts, plus the others for whom nobody spoke, will be placed on the tax rolls and will be due with the first installment of the property tax in November.
"THE MOUTH" IS BACK - UNFORTUNATELY
Scattered throughout the meeting were comments by the Costa Mesa racist laureate, our old buddy, The Mouth From Mesa North. He didn't miss many opportunities to berate the council on any issue, including another dose of "drain the swamp", and "bulldoze the apartments". He keeps yapping about making Costa Mesa a nicer city, but now the hypocrite is really ticked off because The City is going to purchase and rehabilitate a couple homes to be sold to low-income families in his Mesa North neighborhood. It was refreshing to see at least one resident rebut his rants. It's interesting that he no longer makes any attempt to veil his racist views, either in person or on his pathetic blog. It looks like people are finally beginning to figure him out...