A "Light" Schedule This Week
There are only two scheduled official Costa Mesa meetings scheduled this week so it seems almost like a vacation.
PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION MEETING
On Wednesday, May 23, 2012 the Costa Mesa Parks and Recreation Commission will hold its bi-monthly meeting in City Council chambers beginning at 6:00 p.m.. This is the first meeting under the guidance of new Chairman Kim Pederson and normally would deal with mostly fairly mundane issues - requests for tree removals and raised sidewalks. This meeting has plenty of that, but also has some potentially provocative subjects on the agenda, too. You can read the entire agenda HERE.
HUY PHAM MEMORIAL PLAQUE REQUEST
For example, on the Consent Calendar there is a request by the Costa Mesa City Employees Association (CMCEA) for the City to accept the donation of a memorial plaque in the memory of Huy Pham, the young man who leaped to his death from the roof of City Hall on March 17th, 2011 - the day he and more than 200 of his fellow-workers were to receive layoff notices. You can read the staff report HERE. It includes links to an image of the proposed plaque and the location proposed - adjacent to the tree placed in Pham's memory on the lawn at City Hall earlier this year. Since the plaque does not conform to the standard established by city policy AND because the commission previously approved last year another tree and plaque in Pham's honor at the Estancia Adobe, the approval of this request is no slam-dunk. There are those in City Hall who would prefer NOT to be reminded of Pham's death. We'll see how this goes.
A NEW "BEAUTIFICATION" AWARD
There are no Public Hearings, but there is one interesting Old Business item - the proposal of the creation of a "Landscape/streetscape Beautification Award Program". You can read that staff report, and the attachments, HERE.
CHANGING "R.O.C.K.S." FEE SCHEDULE
Under New Business there are several tree removal requests to consider, plus two items that may draw a crowd to the meeting. Item "e' is a report requesting "Replacing the Recreation on Campus for Kids (R.O.C.K.S.) Weekly Fee with a Monthly Fee". According to the staff report, HERE, only 5% of the users pay weekly, so this change would replace the weekly pay option with a monthly pay plan.
A "WHY ARE WE DOING THIS" ITEM - THE CIP BUDGET
Item "f" is a "Review of Proposed Capital Improvement Program (CIP) for Fiscal Year 2012-2013 Through 2018-2019." This issue is a little out of sync because the current City Council seems intent on micro-managing every element of the budget, but Capital Improvements in particular. The staff report can be read HERE. Part of that report is a schedule for more than $20 million in projects directly from the ORIGINAL Preliminary Budget - the one Jim Righeimer tossed back in Finance and Information Technology Director Bobby Young's face two weeks ago. Since then the council - led by Righeimer - has since ADDED items to the CIP budget and those ARE NOT reflected in this exhibit, the staff is going to have to present this issue as a moving target - one that is changing all the time. In fact, the next day - on Thursday - the council will meet in another Special Study Session to discuss the CIP budget in more detail. And, once again, it will be without the input from either the Planning or the Parks and Recreation Commission. It's a pretty curious way to run a city. But, maybe not so curious when you consider that this council majority gives no indication of caring what ANYONE else things on ANY subject. They're going to do what THEY want to do, PERIOD!
ANOTHER SPECIAL STUDY SESSION ON THURSDAY
On Thursday, May 24, 2012, as mentioned above, the City Council will again meet in a Special Study Session to discuss the 2012-2013 Fiscal Year Budget and a few other items, too. For example, the Drainage Plan - originally scheduled for discussion last Thursday - was shoved off to this meeting after three hours discussing other subjects. No official agenda is yet available, but I won't be surprised that a meeting that begins in Council Chambers at 4:30 runs until 10:00 that night.