Another Packed Agenda For Tuesday's Council Meeting
The Costa Mesa City Council meets again on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 for a meeting full of interesting stuff. The meeting begins at 6:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers but a Special Closed Session precedes that meeting at 5:00 p.m. You can read the full agenda HERE.
SPECIAL CLOSED SESSION FIRST
The Special Closed session has two items on it. #1 is a conference with legal counsel on existing litigation - Timothy Dadey, et al v. City of Costa Mesa.
Any public comments on these two items only will be heard at 5:00 p.m., after which the council will recess to Conference Room 5A for deliberations.
The regular open meeting will commence at 6:00 p.m., or as close to it as possible following the Closed Session.
Following the opening events - National Anthem, Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, Public Comments and Council Member Comments the council will consider the Consent Calendar. There are seven (7) items on the Consent Calendar Tuesday. These are items that could be moved in one motion without separate discussion unless a member of the council, staff or public pulls one. Those items will be discussed immediately following the vote on the remainder. I'm not going to address them all - just a couple. You can read all about them on the agenda link above.
MORE CONSULTANTS AND LEGAL FEES
#2 is Warrant #2574, HERE, which shows us how we spent about $4 million of our tax dollars. I did notice that our list for our Contract Attorney firm, Jones & Mayer, is significantly lower this time around - just over $67,000. However, combined with other legal charges from other firms, we still spent well over $100,000 on legal fees on this warrant. And, of course, we continue to rack up large amounts for consultants for Plan Check, Building Inspection, Engineering, Department Management for Development Services and the like. We also spent another $60,000 for helicopter support by the City of Huntington Beach. Feel free to go to that link and scroll down to see for yourselves.
COIN HEARING FOR DIVISION MANAGERS
The first Public Hearing, HERE, on the agenda will be a doozy. This is the required first hearing under the Civic Openness In Negotiations (COIN) Ordinance for the adoption of the salary and benefits agreement between The City and the Costa Mesa Division Managers Association (CMDMA). This group has not seen an increase in salary ranges since 2008 and they agreed to increase contributions to CalPERS without a salary increase in 2012, which resulted in a pay reduction. Recruitment and retention is proving difficult under these circumstances.
The staff recommendation includes salary range adjustments between 2.00% and 15.88 % and has a handy chart to show those changes. Changes in contributions to the CalPERS plan are included, as are reduction in the vacation cap and Executive Leave. A Technology Allowance is created and the Car Allowance is increased. Read the staff report. It also includes those employees described as "Confidential".
REVISITING THE HELISTOP
Public Hearing #2, HERE, is a request for a retroactive time extension on a Planning Application and Conditional Use Permit for a private helistopat 3132 Airway Avenue that expired last November. If approved the extension would run until November 3, 2017. When the original request was approved in November of 2015 it was a split vote, with Foley and Genis voting NO. This will be interesting.
OVERSEEING FAIRVIEW PARK
New Business #1, HERE, is Professional Services Agreement for Fairview Park Maintenance, Management and Biological Services in the amount of $397,640 for one year. That number might increase by $30,000 or $60,000 if the council decides to include a Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) Program for one or two years. Read the staff report.
PLACENTIA AVENUE MEDIANS
New Business #2, HERE, is the Placentia Avenue Median Improvement Project between Adams Avenue and Wilson Street. Depending on which plant palette is utilized, it could result in 140 trees and over 3,000 plants installed in this median. The Public Services staff secured a grant of $844,200, of which $738,400 is available for the construction phase. See the full array of conceptual landscape plans HERE.
New Business #3, HERE, is the final item on the agenda. This is Appointments to various commissions and the Senior Commission. The City Council will be asked to appoint forty-nine (49) regular committee positions, four (4) alternate members to committees and one new member to the Senior Commission. Here we go again...
BIKEWAYS AND WALKABILITY COMMITTEE
The Bikeway and Walkability Committee consists of fifteen (15) members and we received sixteen applications (16). Membership will be split between 8 for two years and 7 for one year.
CULTURAL ARTS COMMITTEE
The Cultural Arts Committee, which consists of eleven (11) appointed members, which serve staggered two-year terms, has seven (7) positions available, including one (1) alternate. Fifteen (15) applications were received. The newly-appointed members will serve two years.
HISTORICAL PRESERVATION COMMITTEE
The Historical Preservation Committee also consists of eleven (11) appointed positions which serve staggered two-year terms. There are eleven (11) positions available - nine (9) regular and two (2) alternates. We received nine (9) applications. Newly appointed members will be 5 for two-years and six for one year.
FINANCE AND PENSION ADVISORY COMMITTEE
The Finance and Pension Advisory Committee, created by combining two other committees will have eleven (11) members, one of which will by the Mayor's designee - Mayor Pro Tem Sandra Genis - for a two-year term. Of the remaining ten (10) appointments, four shall have pension knowledge and others shall be residents or other individuals that conduct business within the City and have significant financial background as defined in the staff report. We received thirteen (13) applications. Five will be for two-years and 5 for one-year.
HOUSING AND PUBLIC SERVICE GRANTS COMMITTEE
The Housing and Public Service Grants Committee will have ten (10) appointments, nine (9) regular and one (1) alternate and will serve staggered two-year terms. We received ONLY seven (7) applications for the positions.
The Senior Commission has a vacancy because member Olga Reynolds resigned before she could take her appointed seat. There are seven members of this commission, four of which serve four-year terms and three serve two-year terms. This position will have an expiration of 2019. We received two (2) applications.
HOW WILL THEY BE CHOSEN?
No mention in the staff report is made about the method of selection for these committees and commission. You will recall the fiasco we had during the last such event. I'm hoping we will not see a replay of that event. When you go to the staff report for more information you will find links to all the applications by committee/commission as separate attachments. Enjoy.