Another City Council Marathon Anticipated Tuesday
Remember when I told you that the Planning Commission meeting Monday was going to be a biggie, HERE? Well, it looks like we're in for one heck of a double-header this week!
LONG AND MEMORABLE
The next, Tuesday, March 15, 2016, the Costa Mesa City Council will meet for the second time this month beginning at 5:45 p.m. in City Council Chambers at City Hall in what is likely to be a very long and memorable meeting, chock full of interesting and controversial issues. Read the full agenda HERE.
FOUR LITIGATION ITEMS IN CLOSED SESSION
As you view that agenda, right off the bat you'll notice something different. The meeting will be preceded by a longer-than-usual Closed Session beginning at 4:30 in which the council will discuss four (4) litigation items! Yes, sir, the hits just keep on coming. Through January, 2016 the total legal fees for this fiscal year were $1.3 million. For the entire last fiscal year they were $2.15 million, so we're well ahead of the pace from last year. Discussing litigation will almost certainly put them in a good mood for the remainder of the meeting - NOT!
HONORING DR. B
Apparently Dr. Kirk Bauermeister will be presented with the most recent Mayor's Award Tuesday. He's a terrific community asset.
WILL RIGHEIMER LOSE IT - AGAIN?
Public Comments - sometimes the most interesting part of the meeting comes next. It will be interesting to see if any comments provoke Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer to lose his temper - again - and see him launch off on a tirade. That alone is worth the price of admission.
WILL GARY SPEAK - AGAIN?
Next comes Council Member Comments - you just never know what will happen in this segment. Last time around Gary Monahan actually had something to say for a change.
WILL HATCH BE ALLOWED TO SPEAK?
Then comes the CEO Report - that is, if Mayor Steve Mensinger will actually let CEO Tom Hatch report anything.
NINE ITEMS ON THE CONSENT CALENDAR
Next up is the Consent Calendar, which has nine (9) items on it and at least a couple cry out for separate discussion and vote. These items are considered "routine" and could all be voted on in one vote. You will recall that if a member of the council, staff or public does pull an item for discussion, it will be trailed to the very end of the meeting - sometimes that means that interested parties may have to hang around until after midnight. Few do.
So, let's take the Consent Calendar from the top. I'll only comment on those item I think may get pulled, or that hold special interest. First comes Item #2, Warrant 2553, HERE. As has been my practice in the past, I'll list a few items that caught my eye as I scroll down through the list.
- Clean Sweet - $57,299.98 - Street Sweeping Svcs, Jan 16
- G4S Secure Solutions, Inc. - $52,621.50 - Jail Facilities Svcs, Jan 2015 (I suspect that's 2016)
- Jones & Mayer - $130,361.62 - Legal Svcs, various
- Moore Iacofano Goltsman Inc. - $50,630.00 - GP Update & Environmental Report
- RJM Design Group Inc. - $25,851.00 - Open Space Master Plan Update
- Bucknam Infrastructure Group, Inc. - $7,764.07 - Pavement Mgnt Prog.
- Endemic Enviromental Services, Inc. - $8,250.00 - Fairview Park Biological Montrng - Jan 16
- Larry's Bulding Materials - $7,935.84 - Sandbags
- Liebert Cassidy Whitmore - $11,967.20 - Legal Svcs, various
- Orange County Humane Society - $6,250.00 - Kennel Fees Jan. 2016
- Johnson Favaro LLP - $75,303.82 - Library/NCC Pkng Lot Imprv
- Glenn Lukos & Assoc. - $2,094.09 - Fairview Park Biological Services
- Interwest Consulting Group - $14,422.50 - Sr. Bldg Inspctr, Dec 15
- Keyser Marston Assoc. - $5,549.00 - Neighborhood Improv/Homeless Jan 16
- Liebert Cassity Whitmore - $5,135.00 - Legal, various
- REFS Inc. - $10,180.30 - Foreclosure services
- Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth - $13,770.07 - Legal Svcs various
FIELD USE AUDIT REPORT AND AMENDMENTS TO THE FUAP
Item #4, HERE, is the 2015 Fall Field Audit Report and Amendments to the existing field use and allocation policy. Under normal circumstances I guess I understand why this on is on the Consent Calendar except this is a hot-button item and, having read the staff report, leaves me with a big question. Four organizations have not met the residency standard for their groups so apparently will not have fields assigned for the fall. However, part of the staff recommendation is to loosen up the residency requirements for Group 6, and three of those four would now qualify. It's not clear if that has been taken into consideration for them.
Item #5, HERE, is a resolution for an application for a Community Based Transit Circulator Program Grant. Using Measure M2 funds, if successful in getting the grant Costa Mesa could receive up to $600,000 for planning and operation of a "circulator" system. See the attachment, HERE, that defines the project, which involves a transit system serving the Lab/Camp area.
See the staff report for the remainder of the Consent Calendar items.
COIN HEARING ON CMPA CONTRACT - FINALLY!
Public Hearing #1, HERE, is the required first public hearing under the COIN ordinance prior to the adoption of the Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Costa Mesa and the Costa Mesa Police Association (CMPA). The details of the agreement, already ratified by the CMPA are included in the staff report. The second public hearing will be held at the council meeting on April 19, 2016. Keep in mind, the CMPA has been working without a new contract for more than 600 days. Changes included involve the term of the contract; CalPERS Cost Sharing; CalPERS Retirement Contribution; Wage Increase; Vacation Leave and Sick Leave. Total fiscal impact through the expiration of the contract in 2018 is $1,837,682. See the staff report for the details. And, yes, Mensinger and Righeimer will have to step out of the room for this item because of their ongoing bogus lawsuit against the men and women of the CMPA.
APPEAL OF DENIAL OF RELIGIOUS/CULTURAL CENTER
Public Hearing #2, HERE, is the appeal of the Planning Commissions denial of a zoning application for a religious and cultural center near John Wayne Airport. The staff report and numerous attachments are voluminous and, since this is a "de novo" hearing - meaning everything starts all over - it could be a long one. The Planning Commission hearing was a long process.
- Bikeway and Walkability Committee - 3 positions, 8 applicants
- Cultural Arts Committee - 4 positions, 10 applicants
- Finance Advisory Committee - 9 positions 10 applicants
- Historical Preservation Committee - 7 positions, 7 applicants
- Housing and Public Service Grant Committee - 4 positions, 6 applicants
- Pension Oversight Committee - 1 position, 4 applicants
ANIMAL SHELTER SERVICES
HERE, is Animal Shelter Services. The staff recommends that the city maintain animal care sheltering services with the current provider, Orange County Humane Society. This organization has been under fire by the City of Newport Beach and more than a few Costa Mesa residents. The discussion on this issue is going to be VERY interesting.
SMART GROWTH INITIATIVE
Accept the Certificate of Sufficiency issued by the County of Orange Registrar of Voters regarding, "An Initiative To Require Voter Approval On Certain Development Projects".
...AND ONE OF THESE
Further, it will be recommended that the City Council approve one of the following options:
1 - Adopt the ordinance, without alteration, or within 10 days after it is presented; OR
2 - Order placement of the measure on the November 8, 2016 consolidated municipal election; OR
3 - Order a report pursuant to Election Code (EC) paragraph 9212.
NO SNOW IN HELL, SO...
Since the weather report for hades does not report snow, we assume the council will choose the latter and the Elections Code specifies the report can be anything the City Council requests, including, but not limited to:
1. Its fiscal impact; and/or
2. Its effect on the internal consistency of the city's general and specific plans, including the housing element, the consistency between planning and zoning, and the limitations on city actions under Section 65008 of the Government Code and Chapters 4.2 (commencing with Section 65913) and 4.3 (commencing with Section 65915) of Division 1 of Title 7 of the Government Code; and/or
3. Its effect on the use of land, the impact on the availability and location of housing, and the ability of the city to meet its regional housing needs; and/or
4. Its impact on funding for infrastructure of all types, including, but not limited to, transportation, schools, parks, and open space. The report may also discuss whether the measure would be likely to result in increased infrastructure costs or savings, including the costs of infrastructure maintenance, to current residents and businesses; and/or
5. Its impact on the community's ability to attract and retain business and employment; and/or
6. Its impact on the uses of vacant parcels of land; and/or
7. Its impact on agricultural lands, open space, traffic congestion, existing business districts, and developed areas designated for revitalization; and or 8. Any other matters that the legislative body wishes to be considered in the report.
CONSULTANT ALREADY RETAINED
And, we presume that, even though the City Council has NOT heard the item yet and NO official decision has been made, somebody decided to get cracking on the report because the staff report tells us that CEO Hatch has already retained a consultant, Keyser Marston Associates, for an estimated $15,000 to perform the analysis to help with the report. The report is required by law to be back before the City Council within 30 days, so it will be presented at the council meeting of April 5, 2016, at which time the council will either adopt it within 10 days or authorize placement on the November 8, 2016 ballot.
WHO WILL WASTE TIME DISCUSSING THE INITIATIVE?
This should be very interesting. I find myself wondering who will stray off the reservation and critize the issue itself, which will be a HUGE waste of time, since WHETHER it goes on the ballot or not is NOT up for discussion - it WILL be either adopted by the council or placed on the ballot without alteration. Let's see who does the grandstanding on this issue.
LIGHTING AND TURF FOR THREE SCHOOLS?
Next up will be New Business #4, HERE, a feasibility study by Councilman Gary Monahan for lighting and synthetic turf at at Kaiser Elementary, Davis Middle School and Parsons School. $200,000 has been allocated in the current budget for this activity and $45,000 is being requested to come from that account to be delivered to the Newport Mesa Unified School District to commence the study.
LIVESCAN FOR APPOINTEES?
The final item on the agenda, New Business #5, HERE, is requested by Councilwoman Katrina Foley, asking for council approval of a condition to require current and future City Council appointees to the City's commissions and committees to submit to a fingerprinting procedure, via LiveScan screening, prior to them taking their respective positions.
And that - certainly very late in the evening or early morning - will be that. It will be another meeting where bringing a pillow and packing a lunch is advised.