Sunday, January 18, 2015

Commission Appointments, New Library Design, On Agenda

The Costa Mesa City Council meets again Tuesday, January 20, 2015 for the first time under the new rules it approved last time around.  The meeting begins at 5:45 in City Council Chambers, when Announcements and Presentations take place.  Promptly at 6:00 Public Comments will commence and, if required, will proceed until 6:40.  If more speakers remain at that time they will be permitted to speak at the end of the meeting.  Speaker cards may be completed at any time prior to the last speaker commencing - a change from the iron-fisted rule imposed by former mayor, Jim Righeimer.  You can read the entire agenda HERE.

Following the Public Comments, council member comments will commence.  Although Mayor Steve Mensinger wanted to limit each member to three minutes in his original proposal, the council prevailed and there will be NO limit placed on their comments.  It is anticipated that each will do their best to keep their comments brief.  The CEO Report will be delivered by Tom Hatch.

Then comes the Consent Calendar, in which it is presumed that most, if not all, of the items can be voted upon in one vote.  Any items pulled by council members, staff or members of the public will be trailed to the end of the meeting.

Included in this Consent Calendar is Warrant #2528, HERE, which lists all payments to all vendors.  It's  always interesting to scroll down through the various entries to see how the City is spending our money.  Here are a few of the entries that caught my eye:
Boy Scouts Of America - $490.00 - Recharter with BSA for 2015.  Wonder what that's about?
City of Huntington Beach - $21,070.00 - Helicopter Services, Nov. 2014
City of Mission Viejo - $15,145.00 - IT Staffing Services, several months.
Jones & Mayer - $145,054.04 - Legal services (long list)
Lilley Planning Group - $23,270.00 - Planning Consultant, Nov. 2014
MJK Construction - $40,189.36 - Removal of Underground Fuel Tank (I presume helicopter tank)
CSG Consultants, Inc - $3,640.64 - Plan Check Services, Oct. and Nov. 2014
Endemic Environmental Services, Inc. - $10.000.00 - Biological Mntrng/Rpt, Oct/Nov.
Liebert Cassidy Whitmore - $3,406.50 - Legal, Personnel Matters
Randstad Technologies, LP - $8,840.00 - Temp IT Support Staff, Nov.
Scientia Consulting Group, Inc. - $4,257.00 - IT Consultant, Nov.
Scott Fazekas & Associates, Inc. - $1,124.69 - Plan Check
Traveltech Enterprises - $5,110.00 - Sr Cntr Travel to Laughlin
US Bank - $26,421.93 - Retreat/Luncheon, Finance Dept & Misc. Credit Card Purchases
Government Staffing Services, Inc. - $26,556.25 - Temp Staffing, various
FTOG, Inc - $2,160.00 - Interim Buyer, two weeks
Hyatt Legal Plans, Inc. - $1,735.50 - Prepaid Legal Services
Melad & Associates - $1,780.95 - Plan Check Svcs.

This is just a sampling.  We note that legal fees continue to rock along at nearly $150,000 on this Warrant.  Also, we continue to spend a ton of money on consultants, particularly in the IT, Planning and Inspection areas.  Take a look at the Warrant yourself, if you're interested.

Item #8 is a discussion of Animal Shelter Services, HERE.  The staff is recommending staying with the Orange County Humane Society in Huntington Beach.

Item #9, HERE, is the report on the Independent Financial Autid of the Costa Mesa Housing Authority.

Public Hearing #1, HERE, which is scheduled to commence at 7:00 p.m., is the consideration of adding the BLVD HOTEL to the Business Improvement Area (BIA).

Public Hearing #2, HERE, is he appeal of the permits for the neighborhood recycling facility (Replanet) at 2180 Newport Blvd.  Staff recommends the revocation.

There is no Old Business, but New Business #1, HERE, is a professional services agreement for architectural services for the design of the conversion of the Donald Dungan Library/Neighborhood Community Center for $125,125.  Apparently there is a CD that was distributed to council members regarding this issue that includes 479 pages.  It will be made available for review to the public at the City Clerk's office. Call them at 714-754-5225 for more information.

New Business #2, HERE, is the Appointments to the Planning, Parks and Recreation and Senior Commissions.  There are also links to the individual applications for each.  As I count heads, 45 individuals applied to the various open slots in the three commissions.  There are three (3) vacancies on the Planning Commission; three (3) positions in the Parks and Recreation Commission and five (5) positions in the brand new Senior Commission.

Of the 21 names presented for the Planning Commission slots, ten (10) have also applied for positions on another commission.  Vice Chair Rob Dickson and Commissioner Jeff Mathews have applied for re-appointment.  Interestingly, Chairman Jim Fitzpatrick has NOT applied, further fueling rumors that he may be in line for an actual job in City Government.

There are 17 names on the list for Parks and Recreation Commission, including Chairman Byron de Arakal (who also applied for the Planning Commission) and Commissioner Bob Graham.  Commissioner Dean Abernathy did NOT re-apply.  Of those on the list, nine (9) have applied for another commission seat as well.

There are 20 names on the list for the new Senior Commission.  There are five (5) positions open - three (3) of which will be for four (4) year terms and two (2) will be for two (2) year terms.  Three (3) of the applicants have applied for seats on other commissions, too.

I must agree with de Arakal, who said in a Facebook post that there are many excellent candidates this time around.  There are several familiar faces, including recent council candidates Jay Humphrey, Tony Capitelli, Lee Ramos and Al Melone.  Almost-candidate Harold Weitzberg has applied for two positions.  Termed-out councilwoman Wendy Leece has applied for a seat on the Senior Commission, as has Estancia High School Principal Kirk Bauermeister.  There are also some very interesting new names, with fascinating qualifications as presented to the council for consideration. 

This process is going to be very interesting Tuesday night.  I fully expect the majority on the council to continue to load the commissions with campaign supporters.  Watching how the Senior Commission is configured will be interesting.  Among the candidates are some who have been irritants in that process for years.  And, there are several new names that seem highly qualified.  I'll be hoping for the best.

The final item on the agenda, New Business #3, HERE, is the approval of the Mayor's appointments to the Costa Mesa Conference and Visitor Bureau, the Transportation Corridor Agency and the Orange County Vector Control District.  The list of appointees is consistent with a firm grip on power in the city. 

Also of interest will be the planned discussion of other new committees.  You will recall that this current majority has, over the past four years, created many new committees and packed them with their supporters.  I have absolutely no doubt this tactic will remain the same.  Suggested items mentioned include housing, special events, bike, etc.  We'll see.

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Anonymous It has to be said...

Who got an iPad Air for Christmas at $3,698.33?
(#0185183 12/26/14)

1/19/2015 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Caught that one, too, huh? Very good question. Maybe somebody will ask tomorrow night.

1/19/2015 05:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Judy Lindsay said...

Some of the written applications for the senior commission are a joke. The city has not really determined its exact role but at one time the solving of grievances would fall on that group, do not feel center members should be judging other members or volunteers judging other volunteers, need unbiased decision. And why they need paid is a mystery, former Board of Directors gave time, monies, love, and sweat for the satisfaction of serving their community and its seniors.

1/19/2015 06:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Arthur Nern said...

Judy Lindsay wrote:
"And why they need paid is a mystery, former Board of Directors gave time, monies, love, and sweat for the satisfaction of serving their community and its seniors."

Give Das Rigmarshal some tribute and everything will be fine.

1/20/2015 10:51:00 AM  

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