City Council Agenda Posted
The agenda for the Costa Mesa City Council meeting next Tuesday, June 7th, has been released and, while some staff reports are still pending, it looks like this thing could get wrapped up by 9 p.m. The meeting starts at 6:00 in the City Council chambers.
WARRANT REVIEW IS FUN
Since the council decided to make available all the information regarding the Warrants in the Consent Calendar it's become a kind of fun practice to scroll down through them to see what little tidbits of interesting information we might find. This time was no exception.
In Warrant 2370 we find all kinds of consulting fees having been paid on 5/13/11.
Michael Ballet was paid $3,272.50 for professional services
Management Partners was paid $4,682.00 for management consulting
Command Strategies Consultants was paid $7,333.36 for "legal advice, CM investigation" Wonder what that's all about?
Civil Source was paid a whopping $13,270.00, with no explanation
AAA Animal Hospital was paid $8710.00 for "tranquilizer drugs". What did we tranquilize - a herd of elephants?
And Jones & Mayer was paid $106,266.29 for their legal services. Yikes!
LEGAL BUDGET NEEDS ATTENTION
You may recall that the City is tentatively budgeting $703,000 for legal services in the upcoming budget year, but as was pointed out at the recent Study Session by vigilant community budget watchdog Judi Berry, we're spending over $100,000 per month. I think, based on recent closed session agendas - including Tuesday's - that we may be prudent to budget a larger number for legal fees rather than be surprised in February when we've run out of budget dollars for that line item.
In Warrant 2371, which generated checks on 5/20/11, there were more interesting items.
Management Partners was cut another check - this one for $5,637.40. That's over $10,000 in two weeks.
GrowthPort Partners received $12,500.00 for "Employment Support Services". Hmmm, I didn't realize we were doing that much "employment" these days.
I'D REALLY LIKE TO KNOW ABOUT THESE
There were two REALLY interesting entries on this Warrant. Back-to-back we cut checks to the U.S. Marshalls Service in the amounts of $300,000.00 and $428,730.00 for "money seized NARC". I sure would like to know that's all about.
In Warrant 2372, with checks being cut on 5/27/11, we find even more fun.
Peter Merritt was paid $11,850.00 for professional construction inspection services
Management Partners was, again, cut a check. This time for $11,423.20, for organizational review for the police department and interim management assistance. So, on three checks in three consecutive weeks, we've paid them almost $22,000.00.
Intelligent Products was paid $4,760.00 for the "Dog Waste Bag Program". Come again?
Four Boys New Media (Bill Lobdell) was paid $9,000.00 for three weeks work - 4/22 to 5/12.
Enterprise Rent A Car was paid $7,745.47 for 8 undercover police cars.
California Forensic Phlebotomy was paid $4,936.20 for Blood Tests.
Carl Warren & Co was paid $3,627.41 for professional services.
I can't do this every time the warrants appear - makes my head hurt - but it gives you something to contemplate over the weekend.
Under Public Hearings - which is not supposed to start until 7:00 p.m. - the council will address the allocation of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds and funding priorities for the CDBG and Home Investment Partnership Program.
SPECIAL EVENTS FEES TO BE "CONTINUED"
Although it's on the agenda, staff is recommending "continuing until 6/21/11" the establishment of rates, fees and charges for services provided by the Costa Mesa Police Department for special/community events.
BIA TO BE RE-AUTHORIZED
And, the Business Improvement Area (BIA) will have its assessment of 3% for certain hotels and motels re-authorized for the new fiscal year.
Under Old Business, CEO Tom Hatch will provide an update on the Budget and how the RFP process for outsourcing is progressing. That should be very interesting and will likely generate some inquiries from the audience.
Under New Business we will apparently hear alternatives for the operation of the ABLE helicopter law enforcement program.
WORKING GROUPS TO GO AWAY
And, apparently the Working Groups will be discontinued. No surprise there, since only one actually met - the Budget and Capital Improvements group - and they did that in secret, or so it seems. Wendy Leece has been asking for minutes, notes, records of any kind dealing with those deliberations. I doubt we'll ever hear anything about those meetings between Jim Righeimer and Gary Monahan - the cocktail napkins were probably too soggy to place in a file somewhere.
Don't forget the Fish Fry this weekend. The weather is supposed to be perfect, the rides will be fun, the fish will be yummy as usual and on Sunday between 2 and 3 you'll see some of the most beautiful babies anywhere! Join my friend Mike Scheafer and his Lions Club pals and have a fun time and help the Costa Mesa Newport Harbor Lions Club raise money for many worthy community causes.