Monday, February 16, 2015

Meeting Conflicts Mark The Week Ahead

It's going to be an interesting meeting next week in Costa Mesa.  After the City government takes the President's Day holiday off today, Monday, February 16th, Tuesday will make up for it.

First, there will be the most recent edition of Coffee With A Cop at the Starbucks, 1170 Baker Street, Costa Mesa from 8-10 a.m.  I've attended the others and it's a great time to stop by and meet members of the Costa Mesa Police Department and grab a cup of coffee.  See you there.
Later that evening there will be the next edition of the Costa Mesa City Council meeting, which begins at the new start time of 5:45 p.m. in Council Chambers.  You can read the agenda HERE.  The open meeting will be preceded by a closed session beginning at 5:00 p.m. during which negotiations with the Costa Mesa Police Management Association and the Costa Mesa Police Association will be discussed.  It will be interesting to learn whether Mayor Steve Mensinger and Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer absent themselves from the former - we know they MUST not be included in the latter.

The agenda looks like a fairly short meeting.  There will be the introduction of the new Command Staff of the 1st Battalion/5th Marines during Presentations.

There are seventeen (17) items on the Consent Calendar!  You can review them on the agenda.  Unless a member of the staff, council or the public pulls one for discussion, all will be decided on one vote.

Item #3 is Warrant 2530, HERE, and, as usual, it contains some entries of interest to most who follow municipal affairs:

  • Jones & Mayer - $143,459.12 - A large list of legal charges.
  • Steadfast Contracting, Inc - $16,639.34 - WiFi installation in Senior Center.
  • Trendway Corporation - $37,805.04 - Work Stations and Office Chairs
  • Western Transit Systems, Inc. - $46,580.82 - Senior Shuttle and Mobility
  • Civil Source - $10,020.00 -  Staff Support Services, Nov. and Dec.
  • Government Staffing Services, Inc. - $11,917.50 - Temp Services, Various
  • Liebert Cassidy Whitmore - $2,789.15 - Legal Services
  • Orange County Probation Department - $3,705.50 - Juvenile Court Work Program
  • Randstad Technologies LP - $9,360.00 - Temp IT Support Staff, Dec.
  • Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth - $13,959.74 - Legal Svcs, various
  • FTOG Inc - $1,935.00 - Interim Buyer, 1/19 -/1/30/15
  • Keyser Marston Associates, Inc - $5,575.40 - Homeless Consulting
  • Liebert Cassidy Whitmore - $1,034.00 - Legal ACA Advice

We continue to rack up serious legal fees and costs for temporary services for months at a time in jobs previously occupied by full time employees.

Item #4, HERE, is a contract to perpetuate the existing transportation agreement with Western Transit to transport Seniors to and from various appointments. It involves the acceptance of a grant from Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian Community Benefit Program just over $106,000 and  a two-year contract with Western Transit not to exceed $213,419.70.

Item #7, HERE, is a nearly $700,000, 5-year contract with three (3) optional one-year renewals with CleanStreet, HERE, for street sweeping services throughout the city.  As a taxpayer, I kind of thought it might be important for the folks charged with spending our money to explain this contract instead of burying it in the Consent Calendar.

Item #8, HERE,  is the dissolution of the Orange County Fairgrounds Authority.  Again, this item seems to be another curious choice to place on the Consent Calendar, where it is anticipated that no public discussion nor explanation of this action will occur.

Item #15, HERE, is the modification of the Study Session Start Time from 4:30 to 5:00 as requested by Mayor Mensinger.  Again, this seems like an item worthy of discussion since folks actually do attend study sessions, as witnessed by the budget study session last week.  But, nope - this one is buried late in the Consent Calendar.

Items #16, HERE, and #17, HERE involve the Successor Agency budget and obligation payment schedule.  Again, the budget represents $125,000 of taxpayer dollars and the obligation payment schedule involves several million.  One would have hoped for even a little brief explanation, but no - these items are at the end of a loaded Consent Calendar.

Following the Consent Calendar the council will recess and reconvene as the Orange County Fairgrounds Authority for the purpose of dissolving the authority.  The link to the staff report doesn't work, so we don't know much about it.

Then the council will re-convene and deal with three (3) new business items.  Item #1, HERE, is the resolution to add two more bodies to the Costa Mesa Senior Commission.  It is unclear that, if the council passes this item, whether new members would be appointed immediately.  I guess we'll find out.

New Business #2, HERE, is the return of the item yanked from a previous council meeting agenda which involves sending Mensinger and CEO Tom Hatch off to Washington, D.C. for the annual National League of Cities Congressional City Conference, March 7-11.  It will cost $2,500 from Hatch's slush, er, contingency fund.

New Business #3, HERE, is a request to reinstate the City's membership in the California League of Cities, with a dues payment and surcharge for ongoing legal costs totaling nearly $26,000, which would also be taken out of the slush, er, contingency fund.  This seems to be a matter of getting the cart back behind the horse - see #2.

But that's not all that's going on Tuesday night!  No sir, in a peculiar bit of scheduling, there is a community meeting at the site of the First Church of Christ, Scientist on Mesa Verde Drive where the developer invites neighbors in for a little chat about his plans to build thirteen (13) homes on that site.  This issue goes before the Planning Commission next Monday night, February 23, 2015.  The meeting begins at 6:30, so Mesa Verde neighbors interested in broader city issues as presented at the council meeting are going to have to deal with a serious conflict.  Here's an image of the letter about that meeting.  Click to enlarge it.
Thursday, February 19, 2015, Orange Coast College will hold a meeting at the Student Center on campus, 2701 Fairview Road, to discuss it's $661 million expansion plan - Vision 2020.  This plan includes new buildings, a four-story parking garage, a retail-restaurant center and a 145-room hotel.  You can read the 143 page document HERE.  This is a HUGE undertaking within our community and will have a very significant impact on a large section of our city, particularly the neighborhoods nearby.

  I guess that's enough for a short week... 

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Blogger Joe said...

Any idea why we paid $5600 for "homeless consulting?" Here's some for free: There are lots of homeless in the city. We need to do things to lessen their numbers.

Who did the consulting anyway- friends of Riggy and Mensy? Did they dress up as homeless and dispense advice from the Lions Park area?

2/16/2015 08:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Teresa Drain said...

Maybe they consulted on how to get rid of the homless at Lions Park for a day so they can hold their "Leadership" meeting there.

2/16/2015 03:29:00 PM  
Anonymous It has to be said said...

Taxpayer trip to DC! Those "dumb blonds" at the airport better not lose his baggage. It's still hunting season in Maryland and there is a bag limit of 10 for white tailed deer!

2/16/2015 06:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Eleanor Egan said...

Just in case there's any doubt, I am quite certain that all the proposed OCC development that is not part of the college's educational mission is subject to Costa Mesa's General Plan and zoning ordinance. Let's hope the City Council chooses to exercise its authority in the matter.

2/16/2015 08:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Robin Leffler said...

Mesa Verde Community Inc. is inviting the public to it's Board meeting Thursday night, so there's another chance for people who want to attend both:

Mesa Verde Community Inc, the volunteer home-owners association for Mesa Verde, invites you to attend an information meeting on a development proposed for 2880 Mesa Verde Drive East.

What: Info meeting about a 13 unit small-lot residential project proposal
When: Thursday February 19, 2015 7 P.M.
Where: 1701 Baker Street - the Methodist Church- in the youth lounge behind the office
Costa Mesa, California 92626

If approved by the Planning Commission and the City Council , per information provided by the developer, the small-lot project would consist of 13 two-story houses, 25' height, on lots averaging 5,000 to 5,500 sq feet, at the site of the existing First Church of Christ, Scientist. The main entrance would be on Mesa Verde Drive.

The developer’s representative will informally present their plans to the community in advance of a public hearing of the City Planning Commission, which is scheduled for February 23, 2015.

Your questions and comments are welcome.

Mesa Verde Community Inc. (MVCI)
A non-profit group established 1965 "To Inform, Educate, and Beautify Mesa Verde"

2/16/2015 08:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Arthur Nern said...

When they heard about the Marines, Fitzy, Sesler, and a couple of others got excited because someone said "boots on the ground." No problem boys- Riggy's back. You can go down to Newport and lick all the bosses' boots nice and shiny. Be sure to whine about Mr. West's excellent commentary in the Daily Pilot while you're working.

2/17/2015 07:03:00 AM  

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