Friday, May 16, 2014

What Does The Agenda For Tuesday's Council Meeting Tell Us?

The Costa Mesa City Council will meet again next Tuesday, May 20, 2014 in City Council Chambers at City Hall for the next installment in government by imperial decree.  The closed session will begin at 4:30 and the open session is scheduled to start at 6:00 p.m.  The closed session - held in Conference Room 5A -  involves conferences with negotiators for all three of the employee organizations - the Costa Mesa Police Officers Association (CMPOA), the Costa Mesa City Employee Association (CMCEA) and the Costa Mesa Firefighters Association (CMFA).  You can read the entire agenda HERE.

There are no presentations presently scheduled so, after Public Comments, Council Member Comments and the report from CEO Tom Hatch, the Consent Calendar will be considered.  Typically, items on the Consent Calendar are of a routine nature so may be handled in one single vote.  That hasn't happened in a long time, though.  If someone - a staff member, council member or member of the public - requests an item be pulled for separate discussion Mayor Jim Righeimer has decreed by royal edict that those items be trailed until the end of the meeting.  That means if you are concerned about an issue you'd better pack a lunch and bring a pillow.

Items of interest on the Consent Calendar include #3, Warrant 2515, HERE, which shows us payments that have been made recently to vendors.  I'll give you just a little taste with a few that caught my eye.

  • Apple One Employment Services - $5,930.24 for nine separate entries for temporary employees for Planning, Development Services and Recreation.
  • Albert Grover & Associates, Inc. - $78,517.01 for "Baker/Placentia TSSP" for February and March
  • Liebert Cassidy Whitmore - $14,543.00 for legal services for the 60th Anniversary Investigation and more.
  • Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth - $18,270.00 for legal services
  • Accountemps - $2,874.51 for Finance temporary help
  • Government Staffing Services, Inc. - $2,200.00 for Project Management Temporary Services
  • Jones Day - $2,280 for CMCEA legal services thru 2/28/14
  • Liebert Cassidy Whitmore - $8,570.00 for PD labor negotiations and CMCEA Labor Negotiations
  • Melad & Associates - $5,490.00 for Bldg Permit Technical Services
  • Meyers Nave - $2,600.94 for Fairview Park legal services
  • Scientia Consulting Group, Inc. - $3,823.75 for IT Service
  • Woodruff Spradlin & Smart - $1,115.70 for legal services for Benito Acosta v City! Still?!

You'll note that we spent nearly $50,000 on legal expenditures on this warrant, including another $1100 on Benito Acosta - former Mayor Allan Mansoor's gift that just keeps on taking, and taking - a decade later.

Number 5, HERE, is a group of resolutions regarding the November elections.  The staff report is interesting reading.

Number 6, HERE, is for architectural and engineering services for modification of Fire Station #4 to accommodate larger apparatus.

Public Hearing #1, HERE, is the appeal of the Planning Commission's recent revocation of the Conditional Use Permit for the Sandpiper Motel on Newport Boulevard that allows extended occupancy of rooms at the facility.

Old Business #1, HERE, and #2, HERE, involve the second reading for the 240-unit apartment complex at 125 East Baker Street.  Despite the fact that the city has roughly 60% rental residents and 40% owners, the City Council seems determined to pass this project in a commercial/industrial zone.  This will almost certainly drive adjacent industrial businesses away in the very near future.  So much for being "business friendly"!

New Business #1, HERE, is VERY interesting.  This is a General Plan Screening request to develop a 236-unit residential development at the site of one of Mayor Jim Righeimer's "problem motels" - the Costa Mesa Motor Inn.  This is request to re-zone the property from General Commercial to High Density Residential, permitting 59 dwelling units per acre.  Some will recall that the mayor has stated quite boldly that it was his goal to cause owners of "problem motels" to take a more realistic view of the value of their properties.  Well, apparently his plan has sufficiently bludgeoned the owner of this particular property that he is now considering a change in use.  Former Development Services Director Don Lamm will apparently make the pitch for what is being called "Costa Mesa Luxury Apartments".  Here we  are again with more apartments - this will make nearly 600 discussed at this meeting Tuesday.

The last item on the agenda, HERE, is the renewal of the user agreement with the Harbor Soaring Society (HSS) for 5 years.  If approved, this is a good decision by the council.  The members of the HSS have been good tenants and good stewards of their little slice of Fairview Park.

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Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

I wonder how you can call these "luxury" apartments, with a car repair on one side, and Home Depot and McD's across the street?

Poor taste is Righeimer's stong suit.

5/16/2014 07:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

I want to know about the Neighborhood Task Force, and why it is meeting secretly, no agenda, no minutes, and no mission statement, yet it is using public money for apparently private interests? Why is this committee not willing to meet in public? Why isn't it subject to the Brown Act?

I want to know why this is a secret committee, and what they are up to!

5/17/2014 07:38:00 AM  

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