Sunday, June 29, 2014

Busy - Possibly Explosive - Council Meeting Tuesday

CONTROVERSIAL ITEMS
The Costa Mesa City Council will hold its first council meeting of the new fiscal year on Tuesday, July 1, 2014 and this one promises to be "special" in many ways.  First, the Closed Session that precedes the regular meeting has a long agenda so it begins at 3:30 p.m.!  The regular meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:00 in City Council Chambers starting at 6:00 p.m.  The agenda report is HERE.

FREE SPEECH RULES
I've previously written about the onerous change planned late in the meeting in which it will be proposed to crush opposing viewpoints by speakers before the City Council, HERE.  One thing I neglected to mention in the proposed ordinance, HERE, in my last post was the element included in Section c., 1.  During the discussion of "Enforcement", beginning on page 2 and continuing to page 3, mention is made of "warnings" given to violators of the policy before further action is taken.  However, in the second paragraph the discussion turns to examples of when a warning shall not be necessary and includes this final sentence: A warning shall also not be necessary when an individual violates the rules of conduct more than once during a council meeting, or continuously violates the rules of conduct council meeting after council meeting.  I read that to mean that if you violate ANY of the eleven (11) in more than one meeting - yell in one, speak without being recognized by the presiding officer in another and continue to speak after the allotted time has expired in another, a person could - without any warning - be subjected to the sanctions listed further in the ordinance.

 THE CONSENT CALENDAR
As always, the Consent Calendar is packed with issues that some might wish to have pulled and voted upon separately.  Mayor Jim Righeimer always reminds council members that he would prefer them to NOT pull items, but to discuss them during Council Member comments.  That accomplishes a couple things.  1) It keeps the item from being "trailed" to the end of the meeting - one of his draconian practices that is used to stifle public discussion of issues. 2)  It forces a member of the public to pull the item and stick around to the wee hours of the next day, in many cases, to ask questions or offer comments.

THE WARRANT
Item #3 is Warrant 2518, HERE, which is packed with interesting information.  I'll just list a few of the items you may find illuminating.
Civil Source - $28,215.00 - Design Alleys, Apr. 14 and $4,255.00 - Water Quality/Storm Drain
Costa Mesa Conference & Visitor Bureau - $222,105.09 - BIA Receipts for March, 2014
Jones Day - $54,821.25 - CMCEA, March and April
Enterprise Counsel Group - $9,911/10 - Successor Agency DOF, Apr. 2014
FTOG, Inc. - $2,115.00 - Interim Buyer, 5/26 - 6/6
Government Staffing Services - $3,410.00 - Temp Svcs Proj Mgr.
Scientia Consulting Group, Inc - $3,800.00 - IT Tech Consultant 5/4-5/10
Jones & Mayer - $166,585.92 - various listed services
Interwest Consulting Group, Inc. - $9,990.50 - Bldg Inspection Svcs, Apr. 2014
Liebert Cassidy Whitmore - $6,480.00 - PD and CMCEA Negotiations

Once more, we racked up more than $235,000 in legal fees for one month.  Yikes!

 SALARY CHANGES FOR CMPD AND CMPMA 

Item #4  fulfills the contractual obligation the City has with the Police Association and the Police Management Association for a 4% increase if certain fiscal milestones are met, HERE.  They were met, so the increases kick in.

PUBLIC SAFETY SOFTWARE
Item #5, HERE, is the continuation of a software maintenance and services agreement for $127,334 Public Safety software. 

PROJECT MGT/SERVICES CONTRACT EXTENSION
Item #7, HERE, is a change order for the contract with Civil Source for Project/Construction Management and Public Works Inspection services on as-needed bases due to the volume of projects and diminished staff - to the tune of $600,000.

ARLINGTON AVE. BIOSWALE
Item #8, HERE, is for engineering services of $208,863.00 for the design of the Arlington Avenue Bioswale and Dry Weather Diversion Project.

SUNFLOWER AND ANTON
Item #9, HERE, is for construction at the intersection of Sunflower and Anton for $238,823.00

55 GATEWAY AND MAINTENANCE PROJECT
Item #10, HERE, if the Agreement for Maintenance of the proposed Gateway Monument Sign and Landscape Maintenance Agreement with CalTrans.

HARBOR AND ADAMS IMPROVEMENT INCREASE
Item #11, HERE, is for an increase of $478,00 in the Harbor and Adams Improvement Project and a budget adjustment of $100,000.

CONVERTING PRINT SHOP TO MEETING ROOM
Item #13, HERE, is to increase the scope of the original contract for upgrading the audio/visual and broadcasting equipment to include conversion of the former print shop into a community meeting room to make up for probable loss of meeting space with the planned re-use of the Neighborhood Community Center as a library.

CIVIC CENTER BARRIO HOUSING CORPORATION
Item #14, HERE, is a Cooperation Agreement much too complicated to describe briefly here.  Read the staff report.

HARBOR SOARING SOCIETY AGREEMENT RENEWAL
There are no Public Hearings scheduled, nor is there any Old Business.  New Business #1 is the Renewal of the User Agreement with the Harbor Soaring Society, HERE.  This item has been reviewed with the Fairview Park Citizen Advisory Committee and the Parks and Recreation Commission and the staff recommends approval of a 5-year renewal with some terms amended.

FIELD USE AND ALLOCATION
New Business #2, HERE, is the Athletic Field Use and Allocation Policy Information and Recommendations.  Extensive modifications are being recommended, including the expansion of Lighted Fields at Back Bay School, Kaiser School, Lindbergh Field and Woodland School.  Changes are also being recommended for "Resident Status", "Priority Use Classifications", "Group 3 Organizations", "Payment of Fees", "Specific Field Use"and the "Banner Policy".

MORE SECURITY CAMERAS
New Business Item #3, HERE, is the Authorization of Security Cameras at the City Corporation Yard, Key Access Points Along the Joanne Bike Trail, Exterior Areas Around the Senior Center, the Volcom Skate Park and locations in Fairview Park.

REWARDS TO INCLUDE PRIVATE PROPERTY
New Business #4, HERE,  is the replacement of Municipal Codes section 11-15 relating to rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of persons vandalizing property.  It changes the language to include PRIVATE property.  Read the Redline version of the new ordinance HERE

FREE SPEECH QUASHING
New Business #5, HERE, is the new ordinance about conduct while addressing the city council, which I mentioned previously.

THE LATEST CHARTER SCHEME
Finally, at the very tail end of the meeting, is New Business Item #6, the consideration of placement of a proposed Charter on the ballot in November, plus other related resolutions, HERE.   You can read the entire proposed Charter HERE and some Public Communications on the subject HERE.
Those of you who are regular readers already know I'm against this Charter.  Less than two years ago the voters of this city resoundingly rejected a similar document, 60%-40%.  There is nothing in this "new" document that makes it more acceptable than Jim Righeimer's Charter in 2012.  This document - prepared by a committee he personally stacked in his favor - is just another example of Righeimer's apparent belief that he knows what is best for the City regardless what the voters think, so he's going to attempt to steamroll this through - again.  That being said, I expect this will be placed on the ballot by a 3-2 vote, with Sandra Genis and Wendy Leece correctly voting NO.  That's fine - if it ends up on the ballot in the form proposed it will be just that much easier to defeat.  The voters  two years ago recognized the danger of placing unbridled power in the hands of the current majority and events since then have only further demonstrated that danger of abuse.


COULD BE ANOTHER LONG ONE...
It's possible this could be another long, long meeting.  I'm projecting it running until at least 11:00 p.m.  Pack a lunch...



 


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