Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Budget Deadline And Other Stuff

Tonight's Costa Mesa City Council should be more than a little interesting.


Right off the top our municipal party people, the folks who represent the Business Improvement Area (BIA), will hear the council approve the 2% assessment on hotel and motel fee
s for use by the BIA to generate visitors to our city. This is tacked onto our 6% Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT). Usually this item is at the very end of the agenda, so the party folks will be happy tonight.


Then the council will hear two items regarding the proposed In-N-Out restaurant at Harbor Blvd. and the 405 Freeway - the site of the defunct Kaplan's Deli. The applicant appealed both items after the Planning Commission threw them a curve ball. We'll see if the council will permit a 65 foot high sign, viewable from the freeway, or not. The second item involves maintenance of the setback.... Will the council do what is necessary to attract a high
ly desirable business to a location that has become a blight on that part of town? We'll see...


Next are three items having to do with the 2009/2010 municipal budget. In a perfect world, these will move smoothly through the process without a lot of discussion. However, I don't really expect that to happen. I expect that the council - at least a couple of them - will attempt to nit-pick the proposal. Mayor Mansoor, for example, already said he wants some changes in the kind of meals provided to the council at
their dinner meeting before the council meeting. He suggested they be cut out entirely. Katrina Foley made an excellent point when Mansoor made that suggestion at the recent study session... she pointed out that many of the council meetings run 5-6 hours, so the council should have some food before the meeting starts to keep up their energy. The point here is that we're dealing with a $19 million deficit and Mansoor wants to cut back to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! Great fiscal management at work!

And, I wonder if Gary Monahan plans to try to cut the contribution the city makes to the Senior Center... one could surmise that was in his plans based on his comments at the Study Session...


Then the council will consider
the revised contract with Mesa Verde Partners (MVP) to operate the Costa Mesa Public Golf Course and Country Club.


Following that item they will then consider Mayor Mansoor's request to "recognize the flag of the former Republic of Vietnam as the official flag of the Vietnamese people overseas". There's finally a staff report available which now tells us that Westminster City Councilman Andy Quach requested this item be considered. Based on information dredged up from an internet search by a friend, this item has been around for many years, so it makes one curious just why our mayor - who has announced his intention to run for the 68th State Assembly seat - would choose this particular moment in time to make this request. Don't suppose it could be because the 68th Assembly District has a very large and politically active Vietnamese-American population. What do you think?

All in all, it could be a very interesting evening in the council chambers... we'll see.



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