Saturday, April 04, 2015

Committee/Commission Appointments Top Tuesday's Council Meeting

A SHORTER MEETING?
The Costa Mesa City Council will hold its first meeting of April on Tuesday, the 7th in City Council Chambers at City Hall in what could be a shorter than normal meeting.  That means we will likely leave sometime Tuesday night instead of Wednesday morning.  Seriously, it won't surprise me if this meeting - which is scheduled to begin at 5:45 p.m. ends before 9 p.m., but you never know with this group.  You can read the agenda HERE.  The open session will be preceded by a closed session at 5:00 p.m. in which several law suits in which the City is a party will be discussed by the council.

PUBLIC COMMENTS UNPREDICTABLE
We never know what kind of turnout we will have for the Public Comments segment of the meetings - that time when members of the public can talk on items NOT on the agenda.  Things like the debacle of the Fairview Park Citizens Advisory Committee meeting, or the Roland Barrera fiasco, etc.

CONSENT CALENDAR HAS SOME INTERESTING STUFF ON IT
The Consent Calendar has ten (10) items listed.  These are, theoretically, "routine" items that could be passed with one vote unless a member of the public, a staff member of a council member pulls one for separate discussion and vote.  If that happens, those items will be trailed to the very end of the meeting, a stupid decision implemented by the council to discourage debate on issues.

THE WARRANT
Item #3 on the Consent Calendar is Warrant #2533, HERE.  Some of the more interesting items - to me, anyhow - are listed for your reading pleasure.

Agnieska & Victor Baltusis - $150,000 - Final Claim Statement
Civil Source - $56,280.00 - Temporary Staffing Services (various)
Costa Mesa Conference and Visitor Bureau - $159,366.55 - BIA receipts for Jan, 2015
Orange County Treasurer/Tax Collector - $123,644.65 - Shared cost (?)
West Coast Arborists, Inc. - $56,516.00 - Tree Planting and Maint.
Government Staffing Services - $3,960.00 - Temp Svcs, Pk Proj, 2/20
LSA Associates, Inc. - $7,523.30 - Initial Studies, Mitigated Dec.
Mobile Home Specialists - $11,114.00 - 903 W. 17th #24
Onward Engineering - $11,171.70 - Const. Mgmt & Inspection
Orange County Humane Society - $6,250.00 - Kennel Fees, 2/15
Pacific Munucipal Consultants - $3,300.00 - Group Home Consulting, Jan 15
Safe Moves - $5,990.00 - Bicycle Education Services
Keolis Transit Services, LLC - $43,383.36 - Senior Mobilty Svcs, various
Rimini Street, Inc. - $115,855.00 - Support Svcs Agreement (?)
FTOG, Inc. - $1,957.50 - Interim Buyer
Interwest Consulting Group, Inc. - $11,607.00 - Bldg Inspct. Svcs.Jan 15
Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth - $7,434.00 - Legal Svcs, various
Jones & Mayer - $152,627.63 - Legal Svcs, various
Liebert Cassidy Whitmore - $26,003.53 - Legal Svcs, various
PSOMAS - $16,701.25 - Initial Study/Mitigated Negative
San Joaquin Hills Transportation - $76,584.62 - Fees, Jan and Feb. 15
Accountemps - $4,971.88 - Temp Svcs, various
Costa Mesa Chamber of Commerce - $10,000.00 - Sponsor Mayor's Celebration
Government Staffing Services, Inc. - $10,706.00 - Temp Svcs, various
State of California Dept of Justice - $10,655.00 - Fingerprint Apps, Jan and Feb 15

Once again, we spent more than $180,000 on legal fees and a load on temporary services.

OLD, OLD, OLD MINUTES TO BE APPROVED
Item #5, HERE, is interesting.  The council will be asked to approve minutes of thirteen (13) meetings dating back to October 20, 2011!  Really... how do they do that?  How do they approve minutes three and a half years old?  Something's VERY wrong with the system...

GENERAL PLAN REVIEW
Item #6, HERE, is the 2014 Annual Review of the Costa Mesa General Plan and it's going to be done as part of the Consent Calendar, without discussion?  Really?

EXTENDING FAIRVIEW PARK LEGAL CONTRACT
Item #7, HERE, is a budget adjustment request to continue funding the use of law firm Meyers, Nave, Riback, Silver and Wilson on Fairview Park issues.  It means an additional $38,190, that would come out of CEO Tom Hatch's slush fund, er, contingency fund.  Interesting that we're doing this one as part of the Consent Calendar, too.

LOOSENING TRAVEL APPROVAL REQUIREMENTS
Item #8, a request to amend Council Policy 100-8, Conference, Meeting and Training Expenditures, HERE, is to permit travel to Las Vegas without full council approval.  The way the change is worded, officials could travel to Salt Lake City, Utah or Santa Fe, New Mexico without full council approval.

A QUESTIONABLE JUNKET
Item #9, HERE, is the approval - again - for Mayor Steve Mensinger and Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer and several senior staffers, including CEO Tom Hatch and Development Services Director Gary Armstrong, to attend the annual RECon - The Global Retail Real Estate Convention, International Conference of Shopping Centers (ICSC) in Las Vegas, May 17-20, along with city staff  AND approve canceling the May 19, 2015 City Council meeting!  No mention is made in the staff report of any positive results in the form of new businesses attracted to our city as a result of attending this conference in prior years.  Unless sending representatives to this conference produces tangible results in the form of new businesses attracted to the city, this seems like a waste of time and likely ends up just being a big schmooze session for Righeimer and Mensinger to chat up their developer pals at city expense.  An interesting line in the staff report may be found on page 2, under "key goals".  It reads as follows: "4. To schedule meetings with prospective businesses to present our City's Welcome Message," and to provide a "stream-lined" process for accommodating new business;"  I found myself thinking about Roland Barrera and the "streamlining" he's experienced recently - opening two new businesses, one without any permit of any kind, and violating city rules in both.  Yep, that's "streamlining", alright!  And why cancel the council meeting?  We would still have a quorum with Gary Monahan, Katrina Foley and Sandra Genis present.  The City's business COULD be done.  Heck, maybe we could get the new CMPOA contract approved that night!

GENIS TO REPRESENT COSTA MESA AT CONFERENCE
Item #10, HERE, is the designation of Sandra Genis as Costa Mesa's voting delegate for the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) 2015 Regional Conference and General Assembly.

SMALL LOT ORDINANCE AMENDMENT - AGAIN
There are no Public Hearings scheduled, so we will go directly to Old Business #1, HERE, the second reading of the Small Lot Ordinance amendment that makes it even EASIER for developers to jam more dwellings onto small lots.

APPOINTMENTS
The final item on the agenda is the biggie, New Business #1, HERE - the appointment of individuals to 61 positions on the Senior Commission or one of seven (7) committees.  Take a look at the staff report to see the names of your friends and neighbors who have volunteered to spend precious personal time to support worthy issues in the City.  Personally, I'll be interested to see if the cronyism we've seen in the recent past with this council is perpetuated in this round of appointments.

THAT MIGHT BE IT...
If no items had been pulled from the Consent Calendar, and if all the folks wishing to speak under Public Comments had done so earlier, that would mark the end of the meeting.  I'm hoping for 9 p.m., but one never knows...  See you there.





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1 Comments:

Anonymous It has to be said...

Interesting! I wonder why the vocal Mr. Gene Hutchins ("Unfunded Pension Liability"), along with Mr. Kent Mora (aka Art Vandalay and ghost writer for Monahan), Mr. Ron Robertson and Mr. John Stephens did NOT reapply for the Pension Oversight Committee.

And Fitzpatrick for the Board of Appeal for: Access, Building, Fire and Housing? Will he vote favorably for his MJ buddies? Group Homes? For Maison and other ventures a la Roland Barrera?

4/05/2015 01:53:00 PM  

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