Sunday, June 14, 2015

Fireworks, Veteran's Museum, COIN Hearing And More

The Costa Mesa City Council will meet again on Tuesday, June 16, 2015 for their most recent attempt at governing our city.  This meeting, I'm told, will be short at least one member.  Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer will be vacationing.  As a result of his absence, the 2015-2016 Municipal Budget WILL NOT be on this agenda.  Instead, I'm told it will be discussed and voted on during a Special Council Meeting on Tuesday, June 23, 2015.  The appropriations element will be on the agenda this time, though.

So, here's what we can look forward to at the meeting, which begins at 5:45 - before too many people can make it home from work to show up for the Public Comments segment.  The full agenda can be found HERE.  For the first time in a very long time there is no Closed Session preceding the regular meeting.

I'll bounce through the seventeen (17) Consent Calendar items, only mentioning the ones that interest me, or that I think might interest you.  As you know, these could all be voted upon with one vote and no discussion of the items.  If anyone wishes to discuss any of the items, they may be pulled and trailed to the end of the meeting.

Item #3 is Warrant #2537, HERE, and includes expenditures of nearly $4 million.  Here are a few items that caught my interest in the order they appear on the Warrant:
  • Clean Street - $58,524.98 - Street Sweeping Svcs, Apr. 15
  • Complete Landscape Care - $58,891.00 - Landscape Svcs May 15
  • G4S Secure Solutions, Inc. -$60,901.18 - Jail Facilities Svs - Apr. 15
  • Jones & Mayer - $152,468.94 - Legal Svcs, various
  • Mobile Home Specialists - $25,489.00 - 1750 Whittier #73 and #16
  • Newport Mesa Unified School District - $153,774.90 - Developer Fees for April 2015
  • Newport Mesa Unified School District - $16,782.30 - Rental Jim Scott Stadium (13 times)
  • Government Staffing Services, Inc - $8,833.75 - Temp svcs, Proj Mgr and Mgnt Analyst
  • Liebert Cassidy Whitmore - $14,505.28 - Legal svcs
  • Quickstart Intelligence - $5,095.00 - IT Prof. Dev. plus server class
  • Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth - $8,119.00 - Legal, various
  • City of Huntington Beach - $19,530.00 - Helicopter svcs Apr. 15
  • Civil Source - $16,300.00 - Staff Sprt Park Proj. 2014 (!), Industrial Way Staff Support
  • Christine Prada - $15,000.00 - Settlement
  • Liebert Cassidy Whitmore - $15,144.10 - Legal
  • Lilley Planning Group - $25,400.00 - Planning Consultant Svcs Apr. 15
  • Dougherty + Dougherty Architects - $14,600.00 - Int. Design Consulting Apr. 15
  • Government Staffing Services, Inc. - $4,317.50 - Temp Svcs. Proj Mgr
  • Interwest Consulting Group, Inc. - $12,455.00 - Bldg Insp. Svcs, Apr 15
That amount for Jones & Mayer includes a few Rehab. Home issues and much more.  That, plus other legal services on this warrant run to nearly $200,000.

Item #10, HERE, is the extension of agreements with five consulting firms for Building Safety and Fire Prevention Plan Review and Inspections Services for a little over $500,000.

Item #12, HERE, is the adoption of plans and specifications for the Greenville-Banning Channel Improvement Project to the tune of $5.6 million.

Item #15, HERE, is the recommendation by staff for the council to appoint both the Newport-Mesa Unified School District and the Costa Mesa Chamber of Commerce as members of the Bikeways and Walkability Committee.  Each organization would appoint a member.

 Item #16, HERE,  is the request to cancel the August 18, 2015 City Council meeting, as has been done the past couple years.

Item #17, HERE, is the extension of helicopter services with the City of Huntington Beach for three more years for a maximum of $300,000 per year.   I thought one phrase in the staff report was interesting.  It said, "Since 2011, the ASU has provided Costa Mesa with acceptable coverage by responding to and assisting on calls for service when appropriate."  Somehow, "acceptable" seems like a low bar.

That's the end of the Consent Calendar... I really don't expect any of the items to be pulled, but you never know.

Next up are Public Hearings, which are supposed to begin by 7:00 p.m.  Public Hearing #1, HERE,  is the COIN hearing - the first of two required by that ordinance - for the adoption of the side letter agreement and the Memorandum of Understanding by the City and the Costa Mesa City Employees Association (CMCEA).  Both items are attachments to the staff report.  The second hearing will take place on July 7, 2015.

Public Hearing #2, HERE, is the Expedited Permitting Procedures For Small Residential Rooftop Solar Systems, apparently required by Section 5850.5(a) of the California Government Code and provides municipal codification of the procedures already being followed in Costa Mesa.

Public Hearing #3, HERE, is the Adoption of Fiscal Year 2015-2016 Appropriations Limit.  Normally, this item would be hear simultaneously with the adoption of the new budget, but since the budget will NOT be
heard and discussed Tuesday night because the Mayor Pro Tem will be absent, this mandatory issue will be heard this week.  This action is required by state law and the City is well below the maximum limit established by the formula.  It's a no-brainer that will likely take five minutes or less.

Public Hearing #4, HERE, cleans up some technical issues involved with our Group Home Ordinance - 14-13.  This shouldn't take much time and shouldn't generate much discussion, but one never knows with this issue.  It's such an incendiary subject that we just never know what to expect when it's discussed in public meetings.

New Business #1, HERE, is the discussion of the July 4th Public Safety Letter from the City Council and the Public Safety Departments to the community.  Most readers know I'm not a fan of fireworks in our city - unless in the form of a professional fireworks show.  And, once again, pressure from youth sports groups for cash outweighs public safety, so we will apparently have pet-terrorizing fireworks in our city not just on Saturday, July 4th, but on the 2nd and 3rd, too.  Below is the flyer that will be distributed.  It will also be distributed in Spanish. Click image to enlarge.
New Business #2, HERE, is the discussion of Nick Berardino's recent request to the City of Costa Mesa to provide $25,000 toward a New Veteran's Museum on the Orange County Fairgrounds.  Most of the funding will come from the OC Fair Board, but Berardino asked the City to match a pledge by the Orange County Employees Association for $25,000.  Personally, I think that amount is low, but that's just me, a veteran, talking.

Unless there are lots of Public Comments trailed to the end, or somebody pulls something from the Consent Calendar, that will be it for the evening.  So many variables - including the fact that Righeimer alone usually sucks up an hour during meetings with his little pontifications - so it's hard to guess what time this meeting will end.  I KNOW it won't be like last weeks Planning Commission meeting, which ended at 1:40 a.m.   So, closing my eyes and aiming at the dart board, I suspect this meeting will end at 9:32 p.m.!  Hold me to it.

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Anonymous Casual Viewer said...

COIN but no CRONEY (Civic Reporting Openness in Negotiations Efficiency Act). Of course. Unions are evil but government - business relationships are all good.

I'm disappointed in John Moorlach for opposing CRONEY, but I guess he has to play nice with the Republican shotcallers if he wants their support. With Jim and Steve, it's to be expected.

6/14/2015 11:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Skeptical in Costa Mesa said...

Fireworks Zero Tolerance is a Joke (not unlike our current 3 member CC). Last year the neighbor behind us was blowing off mortars every hour or so, along with hundreds of bottle rockets. I called our UNDERSTAFFED PD 3 times. Nothing changed. On the last call I was told that PD actually needed to see the 'act'.

I also was told I could do a citizens arrest. Let's thinks about that for a second. I'm 64 years old, 5'8" 175lbs. This (A-hole) neighbor is at least 6'5" and somewhere around 250lbs and usually drunk. Did I mention he has 2 little kids?

I have good health insurance but I'd prefer not to use it because I got beat up by some drunk idiot blowing off illegal fireworks. Zero Tolerance? I think not!

6/15/2015 08:16:00 AM  
Anonymous It has to be said...

Serendipity: Riggy on vacation AND a short meeting predicted.

6/15/2015 10:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Casual Viewer said...

Same in Santa Ana. They threaten big fines but NEVER impose them - just give warnings. There are more bottle rockets in the sky in residential neighborhoods than a week's worth at Disneyland.

6/15/2015 11:55:00 AM  
Anonymous CM Resident said...

Skeptical, welcome to the zero-enforcement policy! No matter what lip service CMPD tries to provide, they don't enforce fireworks laws. AT ALL. Easier to blame certain council members and not be the bad guy on the 4th than protect residents.

Too bad I can't get out of town, but there are so many hundreds of exploding aerial fireworks over my house, I do not dare leave for fear of fire.

6/15/2015 02:02:00 PM  
Anonymous muffin top bob said...

It's sad to say, but I think fireworks will have to burn a few houses to the ground before this City Council would even think about listening or changing the way fireworks are run in the City. Fireworks = Money, and Money wins over the residents and voters any day of the week!!!

6/15/2015 04:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Teresa Drain said...

Skeptical and CM Resident:

FYI, I could not find a report for last year (2014), but this disputes the claim of "zero tolerance" or "zero enforcement" by our CMPD:

in 2013: 428 calls for service sent out over "General Broadcast" for fireworks, up over 100 calls over the prior year. Chief Gazsi managed to staff extra patrols without overtime.

4or 5 years ago, the city allowed only one day for setting them off (on July 4th). Now it is 3 days! If you set them off before the 4th, you will buy more for the 4th. TNT (a big contributor to some campaigns) makes more $$$$ if there are more days allowed for setting off fireworks. And we have over 3 days with stressed out pets.

I LOVE fireworks, and buy the safe and sane fountain kind, not the loud annoying kind.

6/15/2015 04:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

CM Resident, there aren't enough police to enforce any such laws. They hate it. We hate it. There is only so much 88 officers can do. And YES! I blame the council majority for that, and specifically Steve Mensinger. TNT is paying a lot of money to Righeimer and Mensinger for their contract to sell fireworks for residents to have 3 days of blowing off fireworks. Let's place the blame where it belongs. Its $$$$$ to the CCM. If you want change, vote out Mensinger in 2016.

6/15/2015 08:54:00 PM  

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