Tuesday's Going To Be Fun!
I'm going to bed in a few minutes and will sleep straight through until Tuesday around noon to bank sleep in anticipation of what promises to be one very memorable evening at City Hall.
INSIDE AND OUT
READ ALL ABOUT IT
The agenda, HERE, is full of interesting stuff, so just take a deep breath and let me plow through it for you in the order it's presented.
The Consent Calendar, which is supposed to include items that won't require separate discussion and vote so could be passed on one vote, has taken on a very different look in recent months. This one is no different, with sixteen items listed for consideration. From the top:
#1 - This is the reading folder and has no staff report, but does include transfer activity on eight (8) liquor licenses. Every time I see entries like this I wonder why we permit there to be so darn many businesses in this town that sell liquor. It certainly must contribute to the fact that our police staff rack up huge numbers of DUI arrests every year.
#2 - This one, with no staff report, is a procedural item about the reading of issues. They've been doing this for years, so I wonder why it's necessary?
#3 - This is Warrant 2489, HERE, which includes some very interesting items, including yet another whopper of a check to our contract attorneys, Jones and Mayer, for more than $128,000, including a charge for the Benito Acosta appeal. Further on down we find a charge from Woodruff Spardlin & Smart for $17,645.85, also for Acosta. He's the gift that keeps on taking. We also find $7,378.00 to Management Partners for the last two weeks in July - we assume for the services of Tammy LeTourneau, who is making a career of being a consultant to our city.
STARTS AND ENDS STRANGELY
#4 - This is Warrant 2490, HERE, which begins with an interesting entry - $37,968.16 for "Misc. Procurement Card Purchases". I find myself want more detail for nearly $40,000 in miscellaneous purchases. We also find $6,998 to Keyser Marston Associates for consulting services and $6,049.80 to Liebert Cassidy Whitmore for legal services - they provide our negotiator. Perhaps the most interesting entry, although not about much money, is $102.00 to reimburse Margaret Chang for 4 birth certificates for 4 homeless people. And, among the several 60th anniversary celebration charges scattered throughout this warrant and the previous one is $6,875 to "We The Creative" for PR materials. Funny, that check was cut September 6th - fully a month after the scandal broke and well after folks requested records on bills.
HOUSING AUTHORITY BUDGET
#5 - This is establishes a $90,000 annual budget for the Housing Authority for this fiscal year, HERE.
HOUSING ELEMENT UPDATE TO GENERAL PLAN
#6 - This is the proposed Housing Element Update for the 2000 General Plan, HERE.
WEST 19TH STREET PEDESTRIAN CORRIDOR COSTS
#7 - This is for more than $500,000 in costs for the West 19th Street Corridor Pedestrian Improvement Project, HERE.
AQUATICS ALL-YEAR ROUND
#8 - This is a proposal to reinstate the Aquatics Programming Year Round at the Downtown Aquatic Center, HERE.
MODEL TRAIN SHORT EXTENSION
#9 - This is renewal of the agreement with the Orange County Model Engineers, Inc. (OCME) for use of a portion of Fairview Park, HERE. This group, who currently holds a 25 year agreement that expires this month. The Parks and Recreation Commission recommends an extension ONLY until December, 2014, despite the fact that the OCME has been an outstanding tenant in the park and have provided a very positive image for our community. I suspect the good folks who form that organization are just a little uneasy with this turn of events.
REPEAL PART OF THE MUNICIPAL CODE
#10 - This repeals a section of the Municipal Code based on a recent Redondo Beach legal ruling that has determined that our Section 10-354 violates the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and may no longer be enforced, HERE.
SUCCESSOR AGENCY BUDGET
#11 - This is the $125,000 6-month Administrative Budget for the Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency, HERE.
#12 - This is the review and approval of the Recognized Obligation Payment Schedule (ROPS) for the last six months of the fiscal year, HERE.
LONG RANGE PROPERTY MANAGEMENT PLAN
#13 - This one is the Long Range Property Management Plan (LRPMP) for the Successor Agency, HERE.
NEW FIRE DEPARTMENT DATA SOFTWARE
#14 - This is for the purchase of new Fire Data Mapping and Administration software for the CMFD, HERE. With the new deployment model, having accurate, timely data will be essential for efficient operations of the New Fire Department.
WHEN GOOD INTENTIONS TURN BAD
#15 - This one is a doozy! Take a few minutes to plow through the staff report, HERE. The shorthand version is - the city loaned Civic Center Barrio Housing Corporation a bunch of money to purchase affordable housing units decades ago. Those units are about to go into default and the only way to protect the city's interests are to appropriate $350,000 from the General Fund to pay off the loan, take title to it via the Costa Mesa Housing Authority and find someone to run the places. Good grief!
INCREASING SINGLE FAMILY REHAB LOANS AND GRANTS
#16 - This modifies the Single Family Rehabilitation Loan and Grant Program policies and procedures due to increasing costs of materials, HERE.
OK, take a deep breath, grab a cup of coffee (or Diet Coke, Jim and Steve) and we'll move on to the "real" business for the evening.
PUBLIC NUISANCE ORDINANCE
The first Public Hearing of the evening - who knows when that will begin - may be the most controversial. This is the now-infamous Public Nuisance Ordinance that has been juggled around between the council and the staff until they think they've finally got an ordinance that will be effective and (probably) not sink the city with lawsuits. You can read the staff report HERE. Among other things, it is presumed that this ordinance will facilitate regulation of rehabilitation homes that have begun popping around town like poison mushrooms and also enable more enforcement efforts for so-called "problem motels". However, it seems to me after a quick read of the ordinance and Attachment 3, HERE, that this is still way too broad and has the potential for mischief by folks in charge.
One of the things that got my attention is the penalties section of the new ordinance. Section 20-12, Civil Penalties, reads as follows:
(a) Commencing the day following the expiration of the period provided in the notice to abate, a fine of up to $1000 (one thousand dollars) may be imposed until the violation is corrected. Fines shall be set by city council resolution.
(b) Unpaid fines shall be collected pursuant to Section 1-48 of this code.
(c) Any fines collected for failure to maintain a property acquired through foreclosure or deed of trust shall be solely directed to the city’s nuisance abatement program.
The way I read that, if you are found in violation you could be fined up to $1,000 PER DAY until the violation is corrected!
FAIRVIEW PARK IMPROVEMENT PROJECT APPEAL
The second Public Hearing, Councilwoman Sandra Genis' Fairview Park Entryway Concept Plans Appeal, HERE, is likely to pack the auditorium with folks who are not happy with the plans recently approved by the Parks and Recreation Commission. If Mayor Jim Righiemer's recent Meet The Mayor event on Pacific Avenue is any indication, the nearby neighbors are not happy with this plan. You can watch the video clips recorded by Righeimer's presumed personal videographer, Barry Friedland, at his Costa Mesa Brief YouTube site. You can see the first 35 minute segment HERE and the second 47 minute clip, in which Righeimer describes the neighborhood as "third world" - twice - at around the 8 minute mark, HERE. I don't know whether he captured the entire evening, but the second one seems to end early and I'm told by those in attendance that the first segment left out part, too. And, the second segment had big difficulties with the sound and Friedland forgot about backlight, so Righeimer and Ernesto Munoz are only shadows at the end of the second one.
LIVE/WORK AT SUPERIOR AND 17TH STREET
HERE, which includes links to other relevant documents.
A CURIOUS REQUEST
The third New Business item is a curious one. The staff report is HERE. It's a request for a payment to an outfit called Cognify, Inc. of $52,274.63 and authorize previous payments of $34,387.51 made beyond the original professional services agreement of $49,900. So, what the heck happened with this one? I'm sure it's just a coincidence that we somehow managed to overpay this outfit without authorization and the CEO of Cognify, Mace Wolf, is a contributor to Mayor Righeimer's campaign, right?
So, that's it for that meeting. It's going to be a long night... I'll try to report the results as quickly as possible, but no guarantees.