Sunday, June 15, 2014

Budget And Development Frenzy Tops Council Agenda

The Costa Mesa City Council has a packed agenda for its meeting Tuesday evening, June 17, 2014, starting at 6:00 in City Council Chambers.  Because of the number of items on the agenda, HERE, I expect there will be a large crowd attending.  You've got a little time to read the staff reports...

Bradley Zint already gave you a good preamble to the developer-oriented portion of the meeting, HERE, but I'll just slide on through the agenda from the top and let you know what's going on at this meeting that might stretch until Wednesday morning.  The regular meeting will be preceded by a Closed Session at 5:00 p.m, where two items await council discussion/decisions.

The Consent Calendar, where items are anticipated to be considered in one vote, contains 14 items this time around.  It's unlikely none of them will be pulled for separate discussion, but if any are they will be trailed to the end of the meeting - perpetuating Mayor Jim Righeimer's  scheme to quash dissent.  I'll comment on each of them, just in case you have an interest.

Item #3 is Warrant 2517, HERE, which contains detail on expenditures of over $4 million of your tax dollars.  Here are some entries I found of interest:

  • City of Huntington Beach - $17,654.00 for Helicopter Services for April.
  • Civil Source(2) - $26,140.00  for Project Staff Support and Inspection Services and $47,970.00 for Park Proj. Staff Support an Construct Mgnt. Inspection.
  • G4S Secure Solutions, Inc. - $21,915.76 for Jail Facilities Services for April.
  • Liebert Cassidy Whitmore - $18,779.79 for legal services, including 60th Anniv. Celebration Investigation, Background Waiver, J. Gottenbos IDR Appeal.
  • Malibu Pacific Tennis Courts, Inc. (2) - $20,888.12 for Del Mesa Park Picnic Shelter and $21,303.75 for Wilson Park Picnic Shelter.
  • Moore Iacofano Goltsman, Inc - $89,240.51 for General Plan Update.
  • Newport Mesa Unified School District - $61,459.68 for Developer Fees for April.
  • Synoptek, LLC - $30,780.00 for CAD/RMS Implementation.
  • US Bank - $41,244.63 for Executive Meeting Package, Misc. Procurement Card Purchases.
  • Costa Mesa Chamber Of Commerce - $2,500.00 for Mayor's Celebration Sponsorship 14.
  • Costa Mesa Newport Harbor Lions Club - $1,210.00 for 60th Anniv. Volunteer Pay.
  • IntelliBridge Partners, LLC - $12,164.25 for RFP Purchasing Assistance, April.
  • Randstad Technologies, LP$3,920.00 for Temp IT Support, March and April.
  • State of California Dept. of Justice - $11,632.00 for Fingerprint App Fees, April.
  • Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth - $8,325.24 for various legal services.
  • Endemic Environmental Services Inc. - $15,885.00 for various Fairview Park, habitat maint., monitoring and survey.
  • Jones & Mayer - $155,854.31 for various legal activities.
  • CSG Consultants, Inc - $2,434.92 for Bldg & Plan Check Services
  • Element Consulting Group - $12,055.39 for Emergency Consulting Svcs.
  • Filarsky & Watt LLP - $2,589.00 for legal services
  • Government Staffing Services, Inc - $3,575.00 for Temp Svcs Proj. Mgr.
  • Keyser Marston Associates, Inc - $4,580.00 for various housing issues support.
  • Scientia Consulting Group, Inc. - $3,800.00 for IT Tech Consultant.
  • Western Transit Systems, Inc. - $6,429.00 for Senior Mobility Programs for April.
Item #4, HERE, is the renewal of Measure M2 Eligibility.

Items #5, HERE; #6, HERE; #7, HERE; #9, HERE and #10, HERE, are all street, alley or storm drain improvements.

Item #8, HERE, deals with a public utility easement at Gisler Park and #11 is the vacation of right of way at 1677 Superior Avenue, HERE.

#12 is the Final Tract map for 2518 1/2 and 2525 Santa Ana Avenue, HERE.

#13 is a request to cancel the scheduled council meeting for August 19, 2014, HERE.

#14 asks for approval of minutes for five (5) meetings dating back to February, HERE.

As I said, it's likely that none of these will be pulled for separate discussion, which will bring us the Public Hearings on the agenda.

Public Hearing #1, HERE, is the General Plan Amendment and Pre-zoning for the Santa Ana/Colleen Island Annexation.  The staff report indicates that the area would be zoned LDR (Low Density Residential with less than 8-units per acre.  Currently the county has it zoned R-1 with a minimum lot size of 7,200 square feet.  Costa Mesa's plan is also for R-1 with a minimum lot size of 6,000 square feet.  Not a big deal in 14 acres that is built-out.  However, in this area there is a big chunk waiting for development and that reduction of lot size requirements represents a very significant advantage to the developer.  Only a cynic would suspect that's the reason for the annexation, right?

Public Hearing #2, HERE, is tied to the budgeting process and establishes the Appropriations Limit for the 2014/2015 Fiscal Year.

Public Hearing #3, HERE, is the adoption of the 2014/2015 Municipal Budget, which comes in at just about $140 million - up 6.33% from the current year.  There are several attachments to that staff report, including a Summary of Proposed Capital Improvement Projects, HEREAmong the many things I'll be interested in hearing about with the budget is just how much, and in what format, will be provided to the Costa Mesa Senior Center.

Public Hearing #4, is the review of the planning application and tentative tract map for the 28 residential live/work units at the corner of Harbor Boulevard and Hamilton Street, HERE.  This was one of the items mentioned in Zint's article, linked above.

New Business #1 is an amendment to the professional service agreement with the consultant working with the City on the General Plan Update, Moore Iacofano Goltsman, Inc. (MIG), HERE.  This asks the council to approve additional scope of work and more money - $134,800 and extends the contract period by a year.  The staff report makes for interesting reading.  This is the outfit that has been working on this for a year with their "Great Reach" program which seems to have resulted in very few of the suggestions of the community actually being transmitted to the Council and Planning Commission.  I've attended most of those meetings and the community input screamed "no high density housing", and yet we're going merrily on our way, filling up every nook and cranny with multiple-unit developments.  Go through this post and count them up, for example.

New Business #2 is an Urban Master Plan Screening Request for a 5-unit live/work development at 752 and 756 West 19th Street, HERE.

New Business #3 is the same process for a 176-unit residential and live/work development at 671 W. 17th Street, HERE, in an area roughly bounded by 17th Street, Superior Avenue and Pomona Avenue.  Both this one and the previous one were also discussed in Zint's piece, linked above.

I have no idea how long this meeting will take.  I'm guessing it will drag out until Wednesday morning, which means my report to you on it will be delayed by several hours.  Such is life.

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Anonymous Arthur Nern said...

"Benito Mussolini needed more than violence, intimidation, and “action” to rule. He also needed to justify his position. Like many dictators and politicians, he engaged in a highly sophisticated propaganda campaign designed to elevate his status. Mussolini wrapped himself in the Italian flag transforming himself into the living embodiment of the state. Propaganda infused itself into all aspects of Italian life as Mussolini became Il Duce and Italy marched toward a Second Roman Empire.

The postwar Italian economy sputtered along until Mussolini’s rise. Despite being an alleged “right wing” ideologue, Mussolini used government power to drive the economy. He drained marshes to create five new agricultural towns and 5,000 farms. Government subsidies and tariffs aided agriculture, industry, and those in debt. Additionally, draining the marshes put people to work in a New Deal-style work project. He compared these efforts to Roman public works projects and trumpeted the benefits for the newly employed workers and the farmland for peasants. Although the programs experienced marginal successes, and some failed, Mussolini's spin transformed them into amazing triumphs."

6/16/2014 06:12:00 AM  
Anonymous xyn bohemia said...

i feel dirty....

6/16/2014 12:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

I wish these warrants would indicate more than just "various legal", etc. Maybe they should be pulled every time that happens. I'd like to know what we are paying for.

6/17/2014 07:38:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Actually there is a long list in the warrant. Click on the link and scroll down through it.

6/17/2014 09:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Thanks Geoff. I was looking at Jones & Mayer, and one other. It gives you no description whatsoever, just a one word name. I wanted to know what the legal work was for.

Its easy to put little description or no description, or even an extensive description for that matter, but I want to know that the money is going for that specific item.

For instance, the description "Benito Acosta" really no longer has anything to do with him, but rather other issues stemming from that initial complaint years ago. But you cannot tell what's up from their description.

6/17/2014 03:02:00 PM  

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