Of Trucks, Garages And The City Council Meeting Agenda
OK, before we launch off into the discussion of Tuesday's City Council agenda, some unfinished business. The Planning Commission voted to request staff time to work on two items covered in the previous post - Commercial Vehicles parked on city streets and Garage Conversions. It was VERY clear from the discussion of the former that Colin McCarthy wants to expand a city-wide prohibition on parking of large commercial vehicles to include work trucks owned by small businessmen. And, although the staff report for the Garage Conversion subject was aimed at apartments, he expanded it to include ALL garages in the city - including yours. Commissioner Jim Fitzpatrick, busily fondling his new moustache, voted NO on this one. It will be interesting to see if the council, probably at their meeting on December 6th, will go along with these issues.
CITY COUNCIL MEETING AGENDA
The City Council meeting Tuesday, November 15th, is going to be very interesting - to say the very least.
CLOSED SESSION SHIFTED TO A "SPECIAL" MEETING AT 5:00
First, a change late in the day Monday announced that what had been scheduled as a Closed Session meeting at the end of the council meeting on the original agenda has been moved to 5:00 - ahead of the scheduled meeting at 6:00. One can only assume this was done to accommodate somebody's schedule - maybe our high-priced hired gun, Richard Kreisler. That's OK with me - we're paying him over $300 per hour, so I don't want him sitting there in council chambers while the rest of the meeting is conducted and his meter is spinning.
ELITEST AND CONDESCENDING!
As an aside, just to give you a flavor for how the current power elite feel about city employees, Colin McCarthy, in his role as President of the Costa Mesa Taxpayers Association, crowed in a recent letter to his membership about the City hiring Kreisler and used the following statement, "The unions are represented by experienced, highly paid, negotiators. The City is normally represented by a staff member--the Director of Administrative Services. Putting aside issues about potential conflicts of interest, that’s like Elmer Fudd negotiating against the entire team from LA Law!" Talk about an arrogant, condescending attitude! And this man will almost certainly be running for City Council next year.
WARRANTS SHOW LEGAL PAYMENTS
Once the regular meeting gets going - no guarantee that it will start at 6:00 now - the Consent Calendar contains some interesting stuff again. As always, the Warrants provide a wealth (pun intended) of information. You can read #2394 HERE and #2395 HERE. In 2394 you will find that we paid the law firm of Jones Day $80,357.00 and Hanson Bridgett $4,968.69. So far, none of the November Warrants contain the payments to Jones and Mayer so I expect we'll see a BIG payment to them in the next batch next month.
GRANT FOR DUI ENFORCEMENT
Number 11 in the Consent Calendar is a resolution authorizing the application and acceptance of a grant for "Selective Traffic Enforcement Program" in the amount of $225, 856.00. You can read about what that's for HERE. Here's a hint - it includes lots of DUI checkpoints and targeted enforcement actions to reduce traffic problems. As you may recall, Costa Mesa officers are regularly recognized for high achievement in DUI enforcement.
HUNTINGTON BEACH CHOPPER CONTRACT EXTENSION
Item #12, HERE, is an extension of the helicopter support from the City of Huntington Beach through June 30, 2012 in an amount not to exceed $150,000. It's not ABLE, but it's better than nothing.
RFP FOR TREE MAINTENANCE
Item #13 is a new RFP for the outsourcing of Tree Maintenance. You can read it HERE.
RFP FOR PARK AND LANDSCAPE
Item #14 is another new RFP for the outsourcing of Park and Landscape activities. You can read that one HERE.
RFP FOR FIRE SERVICE
Item #15 is an RFP for Fire Services, HERE, which is designed to include the possibility of privatization of the Fire Service in our city. Unfortunately, the Staff Analysis by our new Interim Fire Chief, Tom Arnold, was not attached to the staff report as I prepare this just before midnight Monday. That's very distressing, since I imagine he has some very significant input to make on this subject. We can only hope it is attached to the agenda for the meeting Tuesday.
RFP TRACKING CHART
If you're interested in checking on the status of ALL the recently released RFPs you can do so on the chart available on the City web site, HERE.
SPITTERS NEEDN'T WORRY
After one Public Hearing, the next item is Old Business #1, the second reading of the Smoking Ordinance, HERE. You'll recall that Steve Mensinger pulled the prohibition of smokeless tobacco from the ordinance. Guess his buddies that want to run the TeWinkle Park Sports Complex want their teams to be able to spit and drool to their heart's content.
HOMELESS TASK FORCE REPORT
New Business #1 is the report from the Costa Mesa Homeless Task Force, which you can read HERE. This group expected to finish their assignment a couple months ago, but changes in leadership and the complexity of the subject caused it to move slowly. When you review their report you'll find some excellent progress has been made. Chair Jeff Mathews and the rest of the task force should be commended for their efforts so far.
TEWINKLE PARK ATHLETIC COMPLEX TASK FORCE
New Business #2 is the appointments to the TeWinkle Park Athletic Complex Task Force, HERE. The list of interested parties is impressive and I'm told some conversations have already begun, but not without some sparks caused by the designated vendor representative from Big League Dreams, LLC. This is going to be a VERY interesting process since it appears that the majority on the council already has it's mind made up on this subject. That's what happens when you conduct city business in a bar.
The final item on the agenda, New Business #3, is Telecommunications facilities in the public right-of-way, HERE. I'll be interested to see if Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer recuses himself because he's in the business of selling cell sites. This issue came up because of a cell tower installed recently about a block from my home on the Eastside of town. This image is a photo of that tower.
COUNCIL MEMBER COMMENTS - ALWAYS AN ADVENTURE
We just never know these days what kind of bombshell one of the council members might drop during the Council Members' Reports, Comments and Suggestions section, which is scheduled at the very tail end of the meeting. You'll recall from previous reports, sometimes they get around to this segment after almost everyone in the audience has departed for their beds - around midnight or later. However, your trusty servant will be there to listen and report.