Monday, May 04, 2015

Money Tops Council Agenda Tomorrow

The Costa Mesa City Council meets for the only time this month tomorrow, Tuesday, May 5th, in City Council Chambers beginning at 5:45 - too early for many, but that's what the mayor wants.  Read the agenda HERE.

The meeting will be preceded by not one, but TWO closed sessions.  The first, beginning at 4:00 p.m. in Conference Room 5A, involved labor negotiations for the CMPD.  Both Mayor Steve Mensinger and Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer are forbidden to participate in this event.  The second one, beginning at 5:00 p.m. in the same room, involves labor negotiations and a lawsuit involving the Costa Mesa City Employee Associaton (CMCEA).

There are two presentations scheduled.  Apparently Mensinger will present the Mayor's Award to the Automobile Club of Southern California - one of the city's biggest employers.  And, although there is no indication of the nature of his presentation, Pension Oversight Committee Chairman Jeff Arthur is on the agenda.  Maybe he's going to tell us that his group has a solution to the pension issue - hopefully, something short of municipal bankruptcy.

As always, the Consent Calendar has some interesting items.  There are a total of fourteen (14) items on the Consent Calendar this time.  These normally are voted upon in one motion unless someone - a staff member, council member or member of the public - pulls an item for separate discussion.  If that happens, those will be trailed to the very end of the meeting.  I'm not going to discuss all of them, but will mention a few. 

As has been my practice, I'll make a few notes from Item #3, Warrant 2535, HERE.  These are items I found interesting, either because of the amount of money involved or because of the circumstances of the payee.  They appear in order that you will find them in the many pages of the warrant, if you're actually interested.

  • Costa Mesa Conference & Visitor Bureau - $205,356.68 - BIA receipts for Feb. 2015
  • PSOMAS - $15,913.75 - Initial Study/Mitigated Declaration (For What?)
  • AMEC Environmental & Infrastructure, Inc - $6,964.10 - Inspection Services
  • Data Ticket Inc - $7,400.11 - Parking Citation Processing, Feb. 15
  • FTOG - $1,192.50 - Interim Buyer, 3/25-4/2/15
  • Government Staffing Service Inc - $8.042.50 - Temp Svcs (various)
  • Interwest Consulting Group Inc - $11,551.00 - Sr. Bldg Inspectr Svcs, Feb. 15
  • Merit Specialities - $3.225.00 - Lions Park Restroom Repairs
  • Orange County Treasurer Tax Collector - $11,184.25 - Parking Cit. Proc. 2//20/15
  • State of California Dept of Justice - $11,342.00 - Fingerprint Apps for March, 2015
  • Waxie Sanitary Supply - $12,690.34 - Warehouse Floor Stock (I smiled)
  • Johnson Favaro LLP - $34,190.72 - Library & NCC Proj, 3/16-4/15/15
  • Lilley Planning Group - $23,215.00 - Planning Consultant Svcs Feb. 2015
  • Government Staffing Services Inc - $4,345.00 - Temp Proj. Mgr 3/23-4/3/15
  • Scott Fazekas & Associates, Inc - $3,195.89 - Bldg Plan Check & Inspect.
  • Tandem Exhibits - $5,800.00 - Completion of City Promo Booth
  • Waxie Sanitary Supply - $2,729.61 - Supplies for Senior Center (I smiled again)
So, there you go.  I presume that next-to-last item is for the great Las Vegas boondoggle coming up soon.  Of course, there's a lot more on that warrant, including many more dollars spent on temporary services.  We've been doing a lot of that for the past few years... hiring temps instead of regular employees and those nasty pensions - then using the budgets dollars for other stuff without batting an eye.

Item #9, HERE, is the proposed sale of unused city property on Charle Street.  It's a 50/150 foot strip adjacent to land owned by a developer.  The city feels we will not be able to use it, so...

Item #10, HERE, is the contract for Sunflower Avenue Traffic Synchronization Project - a necessary and long-awaited improvement to traffic flow in the north part of town.

Item #11, HERE, is the renewal of Mike Linares' contract for managing our Community Development Block Grant/HOME process.  It's on the agenda down below.  Hope we renew Mike, or we're in big trouble.

Item #12, HERE, is a professional services agreement to FTOG, Inc, for a "Purchasing Performance Plan".  This one is interesting.  You may recall seeing FTOG on the warrants for months, receiving payment for providing a temporary buyer.  Well, now we apparently need to pay them another $50,600.00 to help implement procedures to streamline the purchasing process.  You may also recall that our "purchasing procedures" were part of the issue with the 60th Anniversary Celebration debacle.

Item #13, HERE, is the 2014 Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) Allocation.  We need to buy 14 new laptop computers to meet our obligations in this program.

Item #14, HERE, is a required process to meet state demands if Costa Mesa is to be able to receive disaster relief funds.  No-brainer... gotta do it.

There are two Public Hearings on the agenda.  #1, HERE, is the approval of more than $1.3 million in CDBG and HOME grant funds.  This is the time when the council will decide whether to follow the committee established for this purpose - formerly known as the 3R committee - or not.  If you look down the attachment which lists the grant requests, HERE, you'll find some interesting changes from the current year contributions.

Public Hearing #2, HERE, is the General Plan Amendment and Tract Map for a 28-unit residential development at 1239 Victoria Street.  This one promises to generate some discussion because of it's location and the variances requested to turn this site of an industrial building into home sites.  This project is not universally beloved by nearby neighbors, so I expect to see quite a few people attending this meeting.

The final item, New Business #1, HERE, is the reauthorization of the Business Improvement Area (BIA) and related items.  Eleven (11) hotels participating in the BIA, according to the staff report, seems to have been reflecting occupancy rates and rates of increase similar to those of Orange County as a whole.  The BIA hotels collect an additional 3% on the Transient Occupancy Tax (bed tax), for a total of 11%.  That money is funnelled to the Conference and Visitors Bureau (see the entry under the Warrant above), which is used to market Costa Mesa.  Read the staff report.

At the end of the agenda you will find a list of upcoming events.  Some of those that caught my eye are:
  • Wednesday, May 6th, 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in Council Chambers is a Neighborhood Meeting on Median Landscape Improvements.  Call Engineering Division - 714-754-5323 for more info.
  • Tuesday, May 12th, 5:00 p.m. in Council Chambers is a Study Session on the proposed 2015-2016 Operating and Capital Improvement Budget.
  • Thursday, May 21st at 6:00 p.m. in Conference Room 1A at City Hall is a Community Meeting on the proposed budget.
  • Thursday, June 18th at 6:00 p.m. is a Community Meeting on the Library/Neighborhood Community Center at the NCC, 1845 Park Avenue.
You can see the agenda for the rest.

So, that's it until after the Memorial Day holiday.  No council meeting on the 19th and City Hall will be closed on Memorial Day, May 25th.  That's a LONG time for our decision-makers to be away... maybe things will run better.

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Blogger Honeyman said...

Being the fact this CC meeting falls on another HUGE drinking holiday, Cinco de Mayo, will Monahan miss this one too working at his dive bar like he did on St. Patricks Day? If he attends, will he be sober? How long before Mensinger issues a proclamation that whenever the 5th of May falls on a Tuesday, Cinco de Mayo should be celebrated on Ses de Mayo?

5/04/2015 05:23:00 PM  

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