Sunday, November 15, 2015

Excitement Anticipated At City Council Meeting

As mentioned in my previous post, the Costa Mesa City Council meets again on Tuesday, November 17, 2015 beginning at 5:45 p.m. in Council Chambers and, although there are few items on the agenda, once again we anticipate a contentious and, perhaps, long meeting.  You can read the complete agenda HERE.

Early in the meeting the Consent Calendar will be considered.  As most know, these items - ten (10) this time - are theoretically considered as a group, with one vote.  However, a staff member, council member or member of the public may "pull" an item for separate discussion.  If that happens the council forces the consideration of those items at the very end of the meeting.  Many times, when a meeting runs long, they will have out waited concerned citizens who leave before their chance to discuss an issue they feel is important.  It's just another method to stifle dissent in our city.

So, let us talk about a few of the items on the Consent Calendar.  Item #3, HERE, is Warrant 2546, which lists bills recently paid.  I'll list a few of the items that caught my attention.  They're listed in order as they appear on the Warrant, if you wish to plow through the document.
  • Admin Sure Inc - $41,387.10 - Wkr Comp Admin Svcs Oct-Dec 15
  • City of Huntington Beach - $22,330.00 - Helicopter Svcs, Sept 15
  • Clean Street - $57,524.98 - Street Sweeping Svc, Sept 15
  • G4S Secure Solutions - $57,607.56 - Jail Svcs, Sept 15
  • Jones & Mayer - $155,118.38 - Legal Svcs, Various (Many)
  • Keolis Transit Services, LLC - $16,036.02 - Sr. Mobility and Medical Transport
  • Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth - $23,150.20 - Legal Svcs, Various
  • FTOG - $3,462.50 - Procurement Consulting, 10/12-22
  • Filarsky &Watt LLP - $3,793.10 - Legal Svcs, Sept 15
  • Government Staffing Services, Inc. - $9,525.50 - Temp Svcs
  • Keyser Marston Associates, Inc - $5,692.50 - Consulting svcs
  • LSL CPAS - $576.00 - COIN Fiscal Analysis Svcs, Sept
  • Mercy House - $5,994.92 - Mental Health Outreach Consulting
  • Pacific Municipal Consultants - $4,200.00 - Consulting Svcs for Group Home
  • Time Warner Cable - $11,130.17 - Internet for Sr. Center
  • Civil Source - $27,482.00 - Construction Mgr, Aug 15

Of course, there's much, much more on that warrant.  We continue to rack up legal fees - this time it was over $180,000.

The Consent Calendar also includes some very hefty equipment purchases.  Item #4, HERE, is for the purchase of a new dump truck for $181,344.16.  Item #6, HERE, is for the purchase of a new asphalt patch truck for $173,044.96 and Item #10, HERE, is for the purchase of two (2) Fire Engines for $1,340,961.44, which totals nearly $1.7 million. 

Also of interest are two requests for "resident-only" parking in sections of the city.  This is becoming a regular occurrence, particularly in light of the tendency of those in charge to permit higher density housing throughout the city.  These two requests are from our neighbors in the Halecrest community, Item #7, HERE, and Item #8, HERE, requesting such restrictions on Parsons Street.

Although there are NO Public Hearings scheduled Tuesday, there's still plenty of action ahead.  Old Business #1, HERE, is the second reading of ordinances involving the re-zoning and a general plan amendment for the replacement of the Costa Mesa Motor Inn with 224 luxury apartments.  The first reading brought out demonstrators and many speakers opposed to this project, primarily because it eliminates affordable housing.

Old Business #2, HERE, is the second reading of ordinances involving group homes in other than R-1 residential zones.  This item is also very controversial and also brought out many speakers for the first reading, including one operator who haughtily told us "You don't even know where we are!"  Other proponents of the sober living industry - a $35 billion business - told us we will see many more lawsuits, which I don't doubt for a minute.  So let's talk about this one for a minute.

Activists concerned about the proliferation of sober living homes in our city - we are told by city officials that Costa Mesa has many, many more such facilities than other Orange County cities - have dug into this issue and done their own investigations.  They have informed city officials when they discover previously unknown sober living facilities and worked hard to be sure city officials are aware of goings-on with many of those sites.

This weekend I was provided with information you may find interesting, including the graphic below, which gives a snapshot of sober living facilities in our city.  According to those who provided this information to me, the 83 blue points on the map are state licensed facilities - the "State of California, Department of Health Care Services Licensed Residential Facilities and/or Certified Alcohol and Drug Programs" report dated November 1, 2015 was used to determine those locations.  The 218 red points are unlicensed sites compiled by community activists.  For a better look at this map click HERE, which will take you to the Google map used and allow you to expand it for greater detail.
Additionally, the person who prepared this map also looked at how many licensed facilities exist in surrounding communities and, using 2013 population figures, found this information:
Huntington Beach (pop. 197,575) has 19 facilities registered with the state.  That's one for every 10,399 persons.
Santa Ana (pop.334,227) has 34. That's one for every 9,830 persons.
Irvine (pop. 236,716) has 4. That's one for every 57,929 persons.
Newport Beach (pop, 87,273) has 19. That's one for every 4,593 persons.
Fountain Valley (pop. 56,707) has 6. That's one for every 9,451 persons.
Costa Mesa with 83 (pop. 112,174) has one for every 1,351 persons.  

That should get your attention.  So, let's see how this discussion goes Tuesday night.

The final item on the agenda, New Business #1, HERE, is the consideration of a new Donald Dungan Library, Neighborhood Community Center and Park Improvements at Lions Park.  The council will hear this delayed presentation and be asked consider building a new library; renovate the existing Donald Dungan Library to be used as a community center; the demolition of the existing community center and proposed parking and landscape developments.
They will also be asked to approve a further development and direct staff to return with an update on the funding options.  We're talking more than $30 million - even greater if they consider one of the options that includes costs for a new Fire Station #1, on the other side of town.

And, authorize the Mayor to execute a second professional services agreement with Johnson Favaro for architectural services for nearly $3 million for a five (5) year term, with a two year option.

I just hope this issue isn't heard after midnight, because this council - and most councils - seldom make good decisions after that hour.  And this issue has some HUGE financial implications - costs the taxpayers will be forced to swallow for the next two or three decades, depending on the choices selected.

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Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Just out of curiosity, who is the architect that designed Rig's new house?

Now the city has been advised of the unlicensed sober living homes, do you think they will do anything about them? Of course not. They lobbied to get them here. Scott Baugh doesn't lobby for free. There is money being made, for sure. And residents are being told to "eat it" if they don't like it. Rig wants to sell the motelS...yes, more than one, to his developer friends for profit. There is planning going on all the way from Hamilton down to 19th St., on Harbor, and both sides of Newport Blvd also. It will be a tunnel on both streets. Wonderful, huh? And the residents can "eat it" if they don't like it. $$ to be had.

Come November there will be many running on their side in order to split votes and keep the real Costa Mesans out of office. Don't fall for it. We need to get rid of these bozos if we want to maintain some sort of quality of living in this city.

11/16/2015 07:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Westside4ever said...

I sincerely hope the addresses of the 218 unlicensed sites compiled by community activists was verified in some manner other than driving by the address. I know if my address was mistakenly included on their list there would be absolute hell to pay!!

11/16/2015 08:36:00 AM  
Anonymous It has to be said...

Costa Mesa has one LICENSED facility for every 1,351 people -
and one UNLICENSED facility for every 514 people.

11/16/2015 11:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Tom Egan said...

@IHTBS: I noticed that Mesa Verde doesn't have many of these facilities, so I backed out those (12, combining licensed and unlicensed) and subtracted the approximately 11.5% of CM residents who live in MV. This leaves the rest of the city with an average of one facility of one kind or another for every 343 people.

In comparison, the average in MV is one for every 1080 people (that is, 12 for 12,967 people). The rest of the city carries about three times the density of these facilities as MV does(that is, 289 for 99,206 people).

11/16/2015 03:45:00 PM  

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