Next Tuesday's Council Meeting - Another Barn Burner!
BUSY TIME NEXT TUESDAY NIGHT
Just when you thought things might begin to ease off a little bit you get slapped in the face with an agenda for next Tuesday's Costa Mesa City Council meeting and you realize that there's still plenty of interesting stuff going on.
Next Tuesday, February 7, 2017, the Council will meet, first in a packed-agenda Closed Session beginning at 4:00 p.m., and later in another packed-agenda open session beginning in Council Chambers at 6:00 p.m. You can read the agenda items HERE.
FIVE ITEMS IN CLOSED SESSION
The Closed Session has three litigation items, including the first one which involves sober living organizations, plus two labor negotiation issues. I'm suspecting these items will take every bit of that two hours allocated for it.
ORDER OF MARCH
Following the call to order, announcements and Public Comments for items NOT on the agenda there will be the first segment of Council Comments - the segment restricts each council member to four (4) minutes. There is additional time at the end of the meeting if any council member wishes to deliver an extended commentary.
The Consent Calendar is shorter than has been the case in the past. Item #2, Warrant 2570, shows us how nearly $4 million of our tax dollars have been spent. You can read the entire warrant HERE. I'll scroll down through it and list a few items that caught my eye:
The first thing was a list of sixteen (16) checks that were reversed - voided because of mistakes. That's very unusual, but worth noting.
Admin Sure Inc. - $42,215.01 - Wkrs Comp Admin Fee - Jan-Mar 17
Arthur Lawrence - $22,000.00 - Final Stmt (for what?)
National Auto Fleet Group - $125,956.77 - purchase of 3 vehicles
Replacement Benefit Fund - $55,948.32 - 2017 PERS Retirement Plan
Travel Costa Mesa - $151,265.42 - BIA Receipts for November, 2016
Management Partners Inc. - $10,446.25 - Consulting Svcs DS 12/1-12/15
Jones & Mayer - $52,680.24 - Legal Svcs, Yellowstone and Dadey
MEASURE X INVESTIGATIONS
Further on down the agenda Item #6, HERE, is especially interesting. It's a resolution authorizing the City to access state and local summary criminal history information for licensing purposes and federal level criminal history information. According to the staff report, as a result of Measure X, which authorizes certain types of Medical Marijuana businesses - but not sales - in a small section in the north part of town, we will be required to have all owners, managers and all employees of such businesses undergo a background check prior to a business being issued a Medical Marijuana Business Permit. Here we go, with a whole new layer of administrative documentation being required. Yikes!
EXTENSION OF MARIJUANA BAN
There is only one Public Hearing on the agenda, HERE. This is an extension of the urgency ordinance adopted on January 3, 2017 and which would expire February 17, 2017 that prohibits ALL marijuana uses that are or will be authorized by Proposition 64. The staff recommends extending this urgency ordinance for ten (10) months and fifteen (15) days.
APPOINTMENT OF COMMISSIONERS
Old Business #1, HERE, is the appointments of commissioners to the Senior, Parks and Recreation and Planning Commissions. The staff report outlines the procedures and has a link to the files on the candidates plus one to the nomination forms to be used. This will be interesting.
WIND SPEED ORDINANCE
Old Business #2, HERE, is the second reading of Wind Speed Ordinance. This will take 30 seconds, flat.
ADIOS, COIN! GOOD RIDDANCE!
New Business #1, HERE, was a surprise to me. This one recommends dumping Steve Mensinger's bogus COIN Ordinance, sweeping more of the residue of his tenure on the City Council out the door. If you read the staff report you'll understand why - the State has passed the CRONY law, which requires any city using COIN to follow a similar process for ALL contracts. This was a bad idea from the start and it will be good to see it go. As part of this process staff is being directed to develop a policy that endures transparency in the labor negotiation process.
MERCURIO TAKES THE LOW ROAD
You may find it interesting to know that, when I posted an advance note about this item on Facebook, Julie Mercurio - she who dominates and controls the Costa Mesa Public Square and who was an appointee to the Parks and Recreation Commission last year to give her short candidacy for City Council a boost - posted this comment on that thread: "I truly don't believe all those that voted for Sandy Genis & John Stephens saw this coming. They voted for a safer community more cops & fireman. They didn't VOTE for us to be raped behind closed doors...." We are VERY lucky this woman is no longer a public servant.
AMBULANCE TRANSPORTATION, REDUX
New Business #2, HERE, was another pleasant surprise. This is the resurrection of the discussion of Ambulance Transportation within the City of Costa Mesa. The staff report outlines the four steps recommended by Fire Chief Dan Stefano:
1. Receive the updated presentation on the status of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) ambulance transportation for the City of Costa Mesa.
2. Authorize and approve a part-time Emergency Medical Services Coordinator to assist in the coordination of the Fire and Rescue department’s EMS ambulance transportation program, including billing and cost recovery.
3. Approve the scheduling of an April study session to discuss the reassessment of the city’s EMS ambulance service transportation options.
4. Approve the scheduling within a May City Council meeting to review updated recommendations on the city’s EMS ambulance service transportation.
This is GREAT news. You will note that it calls for a study session on this issue in April - remember when we used to have those before Jim Righeimer took over? - to thoroughly vet this issue in a more casual setting, then agendize it for a May City Council meeting.
STARTING OVER WITH ALL COMMITTEES AND BOARDS
The final item on the agenda is New Business #3, HERE, - another surprise to me. This one is certain to give loyal volunteers some heartburn. You can read the staff report, but basically this sweeps ALL committees and boards clean and starts over as of the end of March.
MAJOR CHANGES FOR THE PENSION COMMITTEE
It also recommends merging the Pension Oversight Committee into the Finance Advisory Committee. If the council decides to retain the Pension Oversight Committee the staff report recommends changing the scope of work and responsibilities and changing the name to the Pension Advisory Committee.
MORE CHANGES - ADDS AND DELETES
Also, this item recommends considering formalizing the Military Affairs Team as a Committee; the dissolution of the Fairview Park Citizen's Advisory Committee, the Charter Committee and the 60th Anniversary Committee. It also asks for the consideration of the creation of a Fairview Park Steering Committee and a Youth Sports Committee.
Here's the list of the current committees. There is an attachment to the staff report, HERE, that lists the members and term expirations:
• Access Building
• Fire and Housing Board of Appeal
• Cultural Art Committee
• Finance Advisory Committee
• Historical Preservation Committee
• Housing & Public Service Grants Committee
• Pension Oversight Committee
• Bikeway and Walkability Committee
• Traffic Impact Fee Ad Hoc Committee
• Fairview Park Citizens Advisory Committee
• Charter Committee
A MAJOR RECRUITMENT PROCESS STARTS NEXT WEEK
I can tell you this will get some spirited conversation. I don't have the sense that the council is unhappy with any committee or member of a committee. City Clerk Brenda Green will launch a recruitment effort, special interview meetings may be scheduled as was done with the commissions and new committee members will be appointed at the regular City Council meeting of April 4, 2017.
Recruitment/Interview options are provided in the staff report.
BRING A PILLOW
Tuesday is going to be one VERY interesting meeting - those attending should plan for a long, but fascinating, evening.