First Costa Mesa City Council Meeting Of The Year Tuesday
OK, let's get right to it... I have absolutely no clue how long the Costa Mesa City Council meeting on Tuesday, January 7, 2014, is going to run. The closed session starts at 5:00 p.m. and the regular meeting is scheduled to commence at 6:00 in council chambers. But, if they blast through all the consent calendar items in one vote - highly unlikely - we could be out of there before 8 p.m.! Or, it could be another late night if folks get contentious on items on the short agenda, HERE.
WHOPPING CONSENT CALENDAR!
The Consent Calendar has Seventeen (17) items listed! Most of them will probably be handled in one vote, but a few may generate enough interest that they will be pulled from the agenda by a council member, staff member or member of the public for separate discussion. That means - under the new, dictatorial edict by Mayor Jim Righeimer - they will be trailed to the end of the meeting for discussion and vote. Here are a few tidbits that might get yanked:
Item #3, Warrant 2502, HERE.
- I note that we paid the City of Huntington Beach $19,285 for Helicopter Services in September.
- We also paid our contract law firm, Jones & Mayer, $136,194.65 for a laundry list of services, including something for the "Acosta Appeal".
- We paid law firm Liebert Cassidy Whitmore $7,326.60.
Item #5, Warrant 2504, HERE.
- We wrote a check to the Costa Mesa Conference and Visitors Bureau for $191,044.75.
- We paid law firm Jones Day - they handle the lawsuit between the City and the Costa Mesa City Employees Association (CMCEA) - $44,673.75 for September.
- We paid legal firm Enterprise Counsel Group $7,686.34 for Legal Svcs and Litigation in September. We paid LSA Associates, Inc., $4,865.00 for Biological Survey of Fairview Park.
- Again we paid Liebert Cassidy Whitmore $11,351.40.
- Once again we paid Management Partners, Inc. $5,642.00 for "Interim Mgmt Assist" for the first two weeks of November.
- We paid law firm Woodruff Spardlin & Smart $9.337.94 for legal services on Benito Acosta v City and CM Conf. & Visitor Bureau. How much longer are we going to be paying legal fees for former Mayor Mansoor's screw-up?
- Once again we find charges for Jones Day for $41,827.50 for work on the CMCEA case for October and November.
- We paid Endemic Enviornmental Services, Inc., $4,590.00 for Misc Exp Wetland Maint. This is the outfit doing the decomposed granite removal from the illegal paths in Fairview Park.
- Once again we paid Enterprise Counsel Group $13,806.08 for litigation in October.
- We paid Filarsky & Watt LLP $2,973.00 for Legal Svcs in October.
- Once again we see charges for Liebert Cassidy Whitmore for $8,166.75 for Legal services for CMCEA Labor Negotiations and CMPD Labor Negotiations.
- We paid Management Partners, Inc. $11,004.00 for CM Senior Center Organization Review and "Interim Mgmt Assist" for November.
- I note with interest that we paid Costa Mesa United $48,900.00 for Costa Mesa High School/Estancia Athletic Facility Improvement.
- And, we paid our contract City Attorney, Jones & Mayer, $137,267.04 for another laundry list of items.
- I also noticed with a smile that we paid Larry's Building Materials $1,508.87 for "Decomposed Granite, Sand for Sand Bags and Topsoil".
- And, we paid Liebert Cassidy Whitmore $2,271.00 for legal services.
TWO ITEMS REFLECT STAFFING SHORTAGES
There's a bunch of other stuff on the Consent Calendar - final tract maps, etc. - but of the remainder, two items caught my interest. #13, Harbor Blvd/Adams Avenue Intersection Project, HERE. The short version is that we don't have the manpower on staff to manage this $2.7 million project, so the council is being asked to authorize a contract for $192,400 to manage it for us.
Similarly, Item #14 is a request for extension of existing professional services agreements for the Interim IT Director and IT Consultant for an additional cost of $110,000. Recruitment is underway for a permanent Information Technology Director - the position was vacated when Bobby Young resigned for a job in the private sector. These extensions are to insure continuity of the many projects underway now until we get a permanent IT Director on board.
THE HOME STRETCH... MAYBE
SIGNAGE AT METRO POINT
HERE, which may generate some significant community comments. Councilwoman Sandra Genis appealed the decision of the Planning Commissions approval, citing agreement with the minority view on the commission that glare will likely be a problem and the amount of signage along the freeway. It's likely that Mayor Pro Tem Steve Mensinger will not be permitted to participate in this process because of his ties to the property owner, Arnel Property Development.
EXCESSIVE USE OF RESOURCES ORDINANCE
HERE, is the final official item on the agenda. This, as you will recall, is the club Righeimer intends to use to flog owners of "problem motels" into submission/departure. In the past he's stated flat-out from the dais that he intended to cause the owners to "re-value" their properties by flailing them with so much discomfort in the form of law enforcement visits and code enforcement fines that they would price their properties in a more reasonable range for those developers who might want to purchase them and throw up high density housing units. Did I mention that Righeimer is a developer? I suspect we might find one or two motel owners on hand to speak to this issue. Could be interesting.
MORE LATER AFTER THE MEETING