City Council Agenda Preview
On Tuesday, February 4, 2014 the Costa Mesa City Council will meet in open session beginning at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall, preceded by a closed session starting at 4:30 in the 5th floor bunker conference room. The full agenda can be found HERE.
...COULD BE A LONG ONE
The open session looks to be a long one, particularly if residents present themselves in Public Comments to address one or more of the current hot button issues swirling around town over the past couple days - Mayor Pro Tem Steve Mensinger's announcement that he will ask our City Attorney to set up a meeting with the United States Department of Fish and Wildlife to discuss the illegal Decomposed Granite path, and the recently-released 1,051 report on the 60th Anniversary Celebration finances.
On the relatively short Consent Calendar - about half the size of recent consent calendars - we find some interesting items on #3, Warrant #2508, HERE.
- Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth - Legal services for housing issues - $27,683.34
- Harbinger House - a permit refund (?) - $10,000.00
- Liebert Cassidy Whitmore - 2014 Memberships - To What? - $3.095.00
- Management Partners - Two entries.
- Senior Center Org. Review - $3,313.00
- Senior Center Reorg. Report - $16,457.00
- White Nelson Diehl Evans, Annual Audit - $8,323.00
- City of Huntington Beach - Helicopter Service, Nov. 2013 - $38,185.00
- Next Level Information Technology, Inc - Interim IT Director Services, 12/13 - $19,760.00
- City of Mission Viejo - IT Tech. Staff, 12/12 - 12/31/13 - $2,160.00
- FTOG, Inc - Interim Buyer, 1/6 - 1/17/14 - $3,510.00
- Intellibridge Partners, LLC - Purchasing Assistance - $6,595.50
Under New Business there are three (3) development-oriented issues.
Number 1 is Urban Master Plan Screening Request for a potential 33-unit live/work project at 765 W. 16th Street, HERE. The staff is looking for feedback to determine if 1) Does it meet the Council's expectations for projects within the Urban Plan areas? and, 2) Does the Council have any comments on any requested deviations?
NEW BUSINESS #2
The staff is looking for direction on this one - a proposal to build 28 detached residential units on a piece of property on the southwest corner of Harbor Boulevard and Hamilton Street. See image below. The units proposed are a combination of live/work and traditional single family units. You can read the staff report HERE.
NEW BUSINESS #3
The staff is looking for the Council to accept or deny a General Plan amendment to change the land use designation from General Commercial to High Density Residential to facilitate development of a 28-unit single-family detached residential project at 1239 Victoria Street. Read the staff report, plus attachments, HERE.
REORGANIZATION OF DEVELOPMENT SERVICES
New Business #4 is a proposal, HERE, by CEO Tom Hatch to completely makeover the Development Services Department. This is a VERY significant re-vamp of that organization and, according to the staff report, is necessary due to the significant increase in workload (and customer complaints) and a change in state law affecting the way CalPERS annuitants might be used as temporary contractors. In a nutshell, the proposal eliminates three contractors and has a net increase of eight (8) Full Time Equivalent (FTE) positions, taking the department to 35 people. This proposal includes among the additions a new Assistant Director of Development Services to help Development Services Director/Deputy CEO Gary Armstrong manage the department. The cost for this change would be over $700,000 annually. The charts provided in the staff report show quite dramatically how the staff of this organization has been sliced in nearly half since 2009 while service demands have increased significantly.
OPEN SPACE MASTER PLAN UPDATE
New Business #5 is an update to the Open Space Master Plan of Parks and Recreation, HERE. This document has not been updated since 2003 and was based on the 2000 census date. Updated data from the 2010 census is now available and several projects have been completed, so it's time for another look at this plan. The staff report indicates the need to hire a consultant for an estimated $200,000 through the 2014/2015 fiscal year. You can read the Scope Of Work for that assignment HERE.
PENSION COST REDUCTIONS
The final item on the agenda, New Business #6, is recommendations by the Pension Oversight Committee on Pension Cost Reductions, HERE. The proposals included in the staff report seem well-vetted and workable. According to the Conclusion on Page 4 of the report, by implementing the recommendations gross annual savings of $489,776 can be achieved by prepaying the annual contribution for the Miscellaneous and Police Plans. Using that savings plus the $1,000,000 budgeted in the last two years to make additional payments to the Fire Side Fund (see the report for a description of that fund) can completely pay down the liability on that fund seven years early, saving over $12 million. The report says this plan is self-sustaining and could free up $500,000 in the City budget for other purposes. Take some time to digest the report and the attachments.
HUNKER DOWN FOR A LONG ONE...
This meeting has all the earmarks of a long one... My prediction - we will be in Council Chambers until 12:30 a.m. Wednesday. Bring a blanket, pillow and snacks....