Council Meeting Preview
So, you missed me, huh? Well, my sweet and very patient wife and I celebrated our 47th Valentine's Day together by dodging Jamzilla and escaping to a more tranquil, romantic setting for the weekend. We returned, well-rested, filled with amore' and our batteries charged once again.
CITY COUNCIL MEETING
Tuesday, February 18, 2014, the Costa Mesa City Council will meet again beginning at 6:00 in council chambers for another adventure in municipal governance. The agenda is HERE. It will be preceded by a Closed Session meeting beginning at 5:00 that has four (4) items on it, including the still-ongoing Benito Acosta lawsuit.
CONSENT CALENDAR ITEMS
In the Consent Calendar, Item #3 is Warrant 2509, HERE. As usual I present some payments of interest for your information:
- CSG Consultants, Inc., $23,590.58 for plan check and inspection services.
- Jones & Mayer, $138,869.84 for legal services.
- Michael Brandman Associates, $10,169.63, for environmental consulting.
- Dougherty+Dougherty Architects, LLP, $10,468.40, for City Hall and Police Department Entryway Design.
- Enterprise Counsel Group, $9,272.45, for Litigation and Successor Agency legal support.
- FTOG, Inc., $3,240.00 for Interim Buyer, 1/21 - 1/31/14
- Liebert Cassidy Whitmore, $13,096.00, for legal services, including CMCEA labor negotiations.
- Liebert Cassidy Whitmore, $55.00, for Webinar for L. Chen.
- Melad & Associates, $5,555.60 for Bldg. Permit Tech and Plan Check Services
Yes, sir... the old legal cost meter keeps on spinning and the shortage of staff continues to result in expensive consultants doing work that once was done in-house.
Item #5 is a request for approval for $400,000 in Project/Construction Management consultative support for several upcoming projects, HERE. Again, shortage of staff creates this demand.
Item #6 is a request to increase the fees paid to Keyser-Marston Associates to $200,000 (it began at $100,000 and has steadily grown to an amount double the original cost), HERE.
Item #7, HERE, is to recognize the increase of $247,050 in HOME funds and authorize the change in the budget accordingly.
Item #9, HERE, is the Fiscal Year 2013/2014 Mid-Year Budget Report. Although there was a Study Session on this issue last week, I find it curious that this item appears on the Consent Calendar, which could be voted upon without any public discussion with the rest of the items on the Consent Calendar. We are, after all, talking about how the $7.1 million budget surplus will be allocated and other very significant financial issues. If someone DOES pull this for separate discussion, that won't take place until the end of the meeting. Another byproduct of the strange, convoluted thinking of Mayor Jim Righeimer.
SUCCESSOR AGENCY BUSINESS
There are no Public Hearings scheduled, nor is there any Old Business. The first three items under New Business, HERE, HERE and HERE, all deal with the Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency.
FACILITATING FASTER RESPONSE TIMES
New Business #4, HERE, is for the expenditure of $24,236.60 for Emergency Vehicle Preemption (EVP) devices in fire department emergency vehicles and at locations throughout the city. This, theoretically, should result in faster response times.
SUMMER YOUTH PROGRAM
New Business #5, HERE, recommends the establishment of a Summer Youth Program with the Newport-Mesa Unified School District.
REWARD FOR APPREHENDING VANDALS
New Business #6, HERE, is a change in the Municipal Code to provide rewards for information leading to the apprehension of those who willfully damage or destroy public property.
REPEAL OF SEX OFFENDERS IN PARKS ORDINANCE
New Business #7, HERE, is the repeal of a section of the Municipal Code - the Sex Offender Park Exclusion Ordinance. This is being done because of a recent court case involving a City of Irvine that found their similar ordinance to be invalid. The city has the option to leave the ordinance in place and just not enforce it until it becomes clear whether the California Supreme Court will review the Irvine case.