Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Fingers Crossed - A Short Council Meeting Tonight?

One never knows what to expect from the Costa Mesa City Council these days, so I'm trying to not get too excited about the possibility of a short meeting tonight.  Of course, on April Fool's Day, anything is possible.  The agenda for the meeting may be viewed HERE.  The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m., with a SPECIAL CLOSED SESSION scheduled to precede it at 4:00 p.m.

It will be interesting to see if they actually hold that closed session.  You may recall that at the last meeting two weeks ago Gary Monahan was a no-show, so they couldn't get a quorum for the closed session to discuss the contract with the Costa Mesa Police Officers Association - Mayor Jim Righeimer and Mayor Pro Tem Steve Mensinger are not permitted to participate in those negotiations because of their bogus lawsuit against the men and women of the CMPD.  So, will Monahan show up this time?

Also scheduled to be considered in the closed session are labor negotiations with the Costa Mesa City Employees Association (CMCEA) and the lawsuit between that group and The City.

The regular session includes a few items on the Consent Calendar.  Item #3, Warrant #2512, HERE, seems fairly straightforward.  A few items of interest are shown below:
  • Liebert Cassidy Whitmore - $18,307.50 for PD and CMCEA labor negotiations and 60th Anniversary investigation.
  • Accountemps - $4,113.76 for Temporary Services for Treasury and the Pension Oversight Committee.
  • Atkins North America - $6,757.00 for an Environmental Impact Report on Baker Street.
  • Enterprise Counsel Group - $12,465.66, for litigation.
  • Management Partners, Inc - $6,448.00 for Interim Management Services.
  • Mobile Home Improvement - $10,865.00 for 1973 Newport Boulevard (?)
  • Albert Grover & Associates - $18,968.00 for (?)
  • FTOG Inc - $2,880.00, for Interim Buyer
  • Government Staffing Services, Inc. - $4,400.00, Temporary Services Project Manager

Item #4 on the Consent Calendar, HERE, deals with the renewal of the Bus Shelter Advertising Agreement that will include services, maintenance and compensation for bus shelters throughout the city.  From the tone of the staff report, more cleaning is required these days - I presume it's due to the large numbers of homeless folks who inhabit many of those shelters.

Item #5 Development Services Director Gary Armstrong requested this - an amendment to a Professional Services Contract for Planning Consultants to try to keep up with the current and anticipated demand.  Development Services is short of staff, is in the recruitment process, but it will take several months due to the current backlog in Human Resources.  This request revises the current contracted cap of $100,000 to $255,000.

Item #6, HERE, is an interesting subject - the agreement with the State of California to share Business Tax Information.  In theory, by participating in this program in which the State will provide information on businesses which may not have applied for business licenses, the City will collect more fees.  Ten Orange County cities already participate in this program.  Also, in theory, we should be able to capture unpaid business license fees more efficiently.  Curiously, since this is generated by the Finance Department, no estimate of the cost of participation is given, and no estimate of additional revenues anticipated are provided.

Item #7, HERE, is interesting.  It's a modification of the agreement between the County of Orange and The City for Prosecution Services.  Currently the District Attorney makes the call about prosecuting a criminal complaint.  Once an item is referred to the DA the ball is in his court to determine whether it will be prosecuted.  This new agreement, which also changes the fee schedule that we pay for such services, give the City Attorney first crack at determining whether to prosecute a case or not.  I find myself wondering what prompted this change - maybe the Steven White case?  And, how will this change our agreement with Jones and Mayer, our contract City Attorney?  Will we be paying them more, or will they just outsource the prosecution as they seem to be doing with so much of our work these days.

The final item, #8, HERE,  is the consent by the city to inclusion of properties within the City in the California HERO Program, which finances distributed generation renewable energy sources, energy and water efficiency improvements and electric vehicle charging infrastructure.  Fascinating... read the staff report.

There are no Public Hearings scheduled, but the second reading of the Small Lot Ordinance is on the agenda again as Old Business #1, HERE.  You may recall that at the last council meeting Monahan was absent - no reason was given - so this item was continued because a vote would have likely resulted in a 2-2 tie - which would have meant it would have failed.  Now, that's not necessarily a bad thing since this ordinance basically codifies developer-friendly issues in the codes that they've been griping about for years.  Of course, those codes were installed to protect our property values and insure a livable community.  The discussion on this one will be interesting, again.

New Business #1, HERE, is a request to approve the posting of a $10,000 monetary reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the murder of Gary Smola, who was killed in his home on August 12, 2004.  The investigation has turned up no leads.

The final item on the agenda, New Business #2, HERE, is the selection of nineteen (19) individuals to fill vacancies on the following committees:
  • Cultural Arts Committee - 4 regular member vacancies (2 two-year terms and 2 one-year terms) and 2 alternate member vacancies (1 two-year term and 1 one-year term).
  • Historical Preservation Committee - 6 regular member vacancies (5 two-year terms and 1 one-year term and 2 alternates (2 two year terms.
  • Housing and Public Service Grant Committee - 3 regular member vacancies (3 two-year terms, reducing the committee to 9 members).
  • Costa Mesa Senior Corporation Board of Directors - 2 representative vacancies (2 one-year terms).
I have no clue how long this meeting will take.  It is possible that we could be out of there shortly after 8 p.m., but one just never knows...  I'll report when it's over.

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Blogger cynthia said...

can april fool's day be retro active?

4/01/2014 09:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Interesting, that at the last council meeting, all it took was a phone call and Gary didn't show. The manipulation of the vote via attendance. Yet another violation. When are residents going to get tired of this? I hope in November they show it at the polls.

4/01/2014 10:00:00 AM  
Anonymous jrs36 said...

More ramrodding development at the council meeting. The Mayor 'respectfully disagrees' and believes that the Citizens all think like him - April Fools.

4/01/2014 08:47:00 PM  

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