More Tuesday Night Fun Ahead
By the time most of you read this it will already be Tuesday and we'll all be looking forward to the next installment "As The Worms Turn", or whatever we're calling this soap opera that the governance of Costa Mesa has become. Will Steve Mensinger text to his pals from the dais and get called on it? Will he bark back at critics and interrupt Wendy Leece because he disagrees with her? Will Jim Righeimer lose his cool again? Will Eric Bever actually show up again? What kind of bombshells will be dropped during Council Member Comments at the very end of the meeting? These are things that make it all worth watching.
The agenda for the council meeting Tuesday night - 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers - promises some interesting discussions. One just never knows how long these things will take anymore.
And, as has been the case lately, the Consent Calendar - normally near the front end of the meetings, but not guaranteed, since Mayor Gary Monahan seems to like to exercise what little power he has left by juggling the agenda items in recent weeks - provides us with some interesting reading. (See below) The first two items, the Warrants, numbers 2388, HERE, and 2389, HERE, show us how the city is spending more than $3.1 million of our tax dollars. Thanks to the staff in the City Clerk's office for turning those spreadsheets sideways so we can actually read them without laying on our sides.
MORE OUTSOURCING RFPS TO BE RELEASED
Items number 9, 10 and 11 are three more Requests For Proposals recommended by the staff to be released to the public for bidding. #9 is the RFP for Animal Control Services, HERE; #10 is for Street and Storm Drain Maintenance Services, HERE and #11 of for Graffiti Abatement Services, HERE. Unless a member of the council or the public asks for separate discussion of these items they will simply be approved along with the remainder of the Consent Calendar.
SHIFTING HATCH'S COMMENTS
Perhaps the most interesting part of the Consent Calendar is Item #12, HERE, in which Monahan has formally suggested that CEO Tom Hatch provide his comments immediately following the Public Comments section in the agenda, instead of having them fall at the end of the meeting. Such a change requires a vote by the council. Personally, I don't think it's a bad idea, especially since in the past few months there has been a lot of palaver during Public Comments, where council members and Hatch have addressed speaker's concerns immediately. Heck, sometimes council members interrupt speakers because they don't agree with what they say. So, if this gets the meeting back under control - and those interloping council members will follow the rules - then I think this is a good idea. A better idea might be to have Hatch give his comments following the Consent Calendar, since that segment of the agenda has generated many comments from the public in the recent past.
AGENDA JUST MIGHT BE FOLLOWED
Since there are no Public Hearings scheduled for this meeting there seems to be no GOOD reason to further juggle the schedule - but one just never knows these days.
GRANNY UNITS AND SIGNS
The two Old Business items are second readings of two new ordinances. The first re-defines "granny units", HERE, and just may generate some discussion. The second amends our sign ordinance, HERE, and probably will not generate much controversy... we'll see.
TEWINKLE PARK ATHLETIC COMPLEX
Just when you thought we might see a short meeting, it's time to guess again. The only item under New Business titled, "Selection of a Qualified Firm For The Upgrade, Operation and Maintenance of the TeWinkle Park Athletic Complex", HERE. You'll recall I mentioned that the Parks and Recreation Commission already considered this issue and heard from three respondents to the request for Statement of Qualifications (SOQ) at a special meeting in August.
JUMPING THE GUN?
At its meeting in September the Parks and Recreation Commission voted to recommend to the City Council the formation of a Task Force - 9 members - to assess this situation and to perform public outreach. It is my understanding that this recommendation will be part of the discussions Tuesday night. If, in fact, the title of this agenda is correct, it seems very premature to actually "select" a vendor when no public outreach has been conducted and no public comments have been heard. In my opinion, the selection of a vendor - if we indeed decided to outsource the management of this facility - should only be made once public outreach is conducted and the preferences of the public, including the neighboring communities, is known. And, since the recommendation for the task force includes members of the public, some kind of a recruitment must take place for those positions. It will NOT surprise me if this council has decided to move ahead without public input. And, such haste makes me curious... why is it necessary? What's the rush?
BOOZE SALES PROPOSED
So, all you folks from Mesa del Mar and College Park - if you're interested in this issue and how it will affect your neighborhoods - attendance at this meetings seems to be essential. For example, proposals made to the Parks and Recreation Commission earlier included the sale of alcoholic beverages at the site. It seems to me that element may make a very significant change to the character of the facility and may have a very significant negative impact on the adjoining neighborhoods. Each of the three vendors will apparently be in the house Tuesday to make their pitch all over again - or to answer questions.
This meeting has the potential to be an early evening - unless lots of people decide to show up to speak on items of interest to them. Since the RFPs in question potentially represent the loss of dozens of Costa Mesa employee jobs, I suspect there may be a few employees present. I guess we'll see.