Saturday, March 12, 2016

Another City Council Marathon Anticipated Tuesday

Remember when I told you that the Planning Commission meeting Monday was going to be a biggie, HERE?  Well, it looks like we're in for one heck of a double-header this week!

The next, Tuesday, March 15, 2016, the Costa Mesa City Council will meet for the second time this month beginning at 5:45 p.m. in City Council Chambers at City Hall in what is likely to be a very long and memorable meeting, chock full of interesting and controversial issues.  Read the full agenda HERE.

As you view that agenda, right off the bat you'll notice something different.  The meeting will be preceded by a longer-than-usual Closed Session beginning at 4:30 in which the council will discuss four (4) litigation items!  Yes, sir, the hits just keep on coming.  Through January, 2016 the total legal fees for this fiscal year were $1.3 million.  For the entire last fiscal year they were $2.15 million, so we're well ahead of the pace from last year.  Discussing litigation will almost certainly put them in a good mood for the remainder of the meeting - NOT!

Apparently Dr. Kirk Bauermeister will be presented with the most recent Mayor's Award Tuesday.  He's a terrific community asset.

Public Comments - sometimes the most interesting part of the meeting comes next.  It will be interesting to see if any comments provoke Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer to lose his temper - again - and see him launch off on a tirade.  That alone is worth the price of admission.

Next comes Council Member Comments - you just never know what will happen in this segment.  Last time around Gary Monahan actually had something to say for a change.

Then comes the CEO Report - that is, if Mayor Steve Mensinger will actually let CEO Tom Hatch report anything.

Next up is the Consent Calendar, which has nine (9) items on it and at least a couple cry out for separate discussion and vote.  These items are considered "routine" and could all be voted on in one vote.  You will recall that if a member of the council, staff or public does pull an item for discussion, it will be trailed to the very end of the meeting - sometimes that means that interested parties may have to hang around until after midnight.  Few do.

So, let's take the Consent Calendar from the top.  I'll only comment on those item I think may get pulled, or that hold special interest.  First comes Item #2, Warrant 2553, HERE.  As has been my practice in the past, I'll list a few items that caught my eye as I scroll down through the list.
  • Clean Sweet - $57,299.98 - Street Sweeping Svcs, Jan 16
  • G4S Secure Solutions, Inc. - $52,621.50 - Jail Facilities Svcs, Jan 2015 (I suspect that's 2016)
  • Jones & Mayer - $130,361.62 - Legal Svcs, various
  • Moore Iacofano Goltsman Inc. - $50,630.00 - GP Update & Environmental Report
  • RJM Design Group Inc. - $25,851.00 - Open Space Master Plan Update
  • Bucknam Infrastructure Group, Inc. - $7,764.07 - Pavement Mgnt Prog.
  • Endemic Enviromental Services, Inc. - $8,250.00 - Fairview Park Biological Montrng - Jan 16
  • Larry's Bulding Materials - $7,935.84 - Sandbags
  • Liebert Cassidy Whitmore - $11,967.20 - Legal Svcs, various
  • Orange County Humane Society - $6,250.00 - Kennel Fees Jan. 2016
  • Johnson Favaro LLP - $75,303.82 - Library/NCC Pkng Lot Imprv
  • Glenn Lukos & Assoc. - $2,094.09 - Fairview Park Biological Services
  • Interwest Consulting Group - $14,422.50 - Sr. Bldg Inspctr, Dec 15
  • Keyser Marston Assoc. - $5,549.00 - Neighborhood Improv/Homeless Jan 16
  • Liebert Cassity Whitmore - $5,135.00 - Legal, various
  • REFS Inc. - $10,180.30 - Foreclosure services
  • Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth - $13,770.07 - Legal Svcs various
You will note that we spent more than $160,000 on legal fees on this warrant.  Gee, what a surprise!

Item #4, HERE, is the 2015 Fall Field Audit Report and Amendments to the existing field use and allocation policy.  Under normal circumstances I guess I understand why this on is on the Consent Calendar except this is a hot-button item and, having read the staff report, leaves me with a big question.  Four organizations have not met the residency standard for their groups so apparently will not have fields assigned for the fall.  However, part of the staff recommendation is to loosen up the residency requirements for Group 6, and three of those four would now qualify.  It's not clear if that has been taken into consideration for them.

Item #5, HERE,  is a resolution for an application for a Community Based Transit Circulator Program Grant.  Using Measure M2 funds, if successful in getting the grant Costa Mesa could receive up to $600,000 for planning and operation of a "circulator" system.  See the attachment, HERE, that defines the project, which involves a transit system serving the Lab/Camp area.

See the staff report for the remainder of the Consent Calendar items.

Public Hearing #1, HERE, is the required first public hearing under the COIN ordinance prior to the adoption of the Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Costa Mesa and the Costa Mesa Police Association (CMPA).  The details of the agreement, already ratified by the CMPA are included in the staff report.  The second public hearing will be held at the council meeting on April 19, 2016.  Keep in mind, the CMPA has been working without a new contract for more than 600 days.  Changes included involve the term of the contract; CalPERS Cost Sharing; CalPERS Retirement Contribution; Wage Increase; Vacation Leave and Sick Leave.  Total fiscal impact through the expiration of the contract in 2018 is $1,837,682.  See the staff report for the details.  And, yes, Mensinger and Righeimer will have to step out of the room for this item because of their ongoing bogus lawsuit against the men and women of the CMPA.
Public Hearing #2, HERE, is the appeal of the Planning Commissions denial of a zoning application for a religious and cultural center near John Wayne Airport.  The staff report and numerous attachments are voluminous and, since this is a "de novo" hearing - meaning everything starts all over - it could be a long one.  The Planning Commission hearing was a long process.

New Business #1, HERE, is appointments to various committees.  Currently six (6) committees have vacancies, either permanent or alternate.  forty-five (45) applicants responded to the recruitment in January and February.  They are as follows:
  • Bikeway and Walkability Committee - 3 positions, 8 applicants
  • Cultural Arts Committee - 4 positions, 10 applicants
  • Finance Advisory Committee - 9 positions 10 applicants
  • Historical Preservation Committee - 7 positions, 7 applicants
  • Housing and Public Service Grant Committee - 4 positions, 6 applicants
  • Pension Oversight Committee - 1 position, 4 applicants  
See the staff report and attachments for details of each committee and backgrounds of the applicants.
New Business #2, HERE, is Animal Shelter Services.  The staff recommends that the city maintain animal care sheltering services with the current provider, Orange County Humane Society.  This organization has been under fire by the City of Newport Beach and more than a few Costa Mesa residents.  The discussion on this issue is going to be VERY interesting.

 New Business #3, HERE,  is also going to be VERY interesting.  This is the so-called Smart Growth Initiative, sponsored by the group Costa Mesa First, and which has received sufficient signatures which have been certified by the Registrar of Voters to be placed on the November, 2016 General Election ballot.   As required by State Law, the staff recommends the City Council do the following:

Accept the Certificate of Sufficiency issued by the County of Orange Registrar of Voters regarding, "An Initiative To Require Voter Approval On Certain Development Projects".

Further, it will be recommended that the City Council approve one of the following options:
1 - Adopt the ordinance, without alteration, or within 10 days after it is presented; OR
2 - Order placement of the measure on the November 8, 2016 consolidated municipal election; OR
3 - Order a report pursuant to Election Code (EC) paragraph 9212.

Since the weather report for hades does not report snow, we assume the council will choose the latter and the Elections Code specifies the report can be anything the City Council requests, including, but not limited to:

1. Its fiscal impact; and/or

2. Its effect on the internal consistency of the city's general and specific plans, including the housing element, the consistency between planning and zoning, and the limitations on city actions under Section 65008 of the Government Code and Chapters 4.2 (commencing with Section 65913) and 4.3 (commencing with Section 65915) of Division 1 of Title 7 of the Government Code; and/or

3. Its effect on the use of land, the impact on the availability and location of housing, and the ability of the city to meet its regional housing needs; and/or

4. Its impact on funding for infrastructure of all types, including, but not limited to, transportation, schools, parks, and open space. The report may also discuss whether the measure would be likely to result in increased infrastructure costs or savings, including the costs of infrastructure maintenance, to current residents and businesses; and/or

5. Its impact on the community's ability to attract and retain business and employment; and/or

6. Its impact on the uses of vacant parcels of land; and/or

7. Its impact on agricultural lands, open space, traffic congestion, existing business districts, and developed areas designated for revitalization; and or 8. Any other matters that the legislative body wishes to be considered in the report.

And, we presume that, even though the City Council has NOT heard the item yet and NO official decision has been made, somebody decided to get cracking on the report because the staff report tells us that CEO Hatch has already retained a consultant, Keyser Marston Associates, for an estimated $15,000 to perform the analysis to help with the report.  The report is required by law to be back before the City Council within 30 days, so it will be presented at the council meeting of April 5, 2016, at which time the council will either adopt it within 10 days or authorize placement on the November 8, 2016 ballot.

This should be very interesting.  I find myself wondering who will stray off the reservation and critize the issue itself, which will be a HUGE waste of time, since WHETHER it goes on the ballot or not is NOT up for discussion - it WILL be either adopted by the council or placed on the ballot without alteration.  Let's see who does the grandstanding on this issue.

Next up will be New Business #4, HERE, a feasibility study by Councilman Gary Monahan for lighting and synthetic turf at at Kaiser Elementary, Davis Middle School and Parsons School.  $200,000 has been allocated in the current budget for this activity and $45,000 is being requested to come from that account to be delivered to the Newport Mesa Unified School District to commence the study.

The final item on the agenda, New Business #5, HERE, is requested by Councilwoman Katrina Foley, asking for council approval of a condition to require current and future City Council appointees to the City's commissions and committees to submit to a fingerprinting procedure, via LiveScan screening, prior to them taking their respective positions.

And that - certainly very late in the evening or early morning - will be that.  It will be another meeting where bringing a pillow and packing a lunch is advised.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,


Anonymous Ken Nyquist said...

Live scan eh? How about drug test the council members each meeting with an instant test...that way there is a price to pay for smoking weed, or a line of blow, or maybe some crank and coming to the dais loaded to handle the city business...'Come right on in here and pee in this cup and let's have a little hair off that head"...There will be a positive test in my opinion..

3/12/2016 05:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

I bet I could make a few bucks outside with a coffee kiosk.

The best part of the council meetings is watching Rig's head start to explode. Best entertainment in town.

As for the initiative, the people clearly want it, and want to be able to vote on their future rather than be dictated to about their city. Of course the little Czar isn't going to like that. He's got too much to lose.

3/12/2016 07:19:00 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

So, let me get this straight - so far 3 or 4 sports groups don't qualify due to residency requirements but WE STILL need nighttime lights at elementary school fields? Right. Cannot wait till I can sell my house to a sober living group and get out of this joke of a community....

3/13/2016 11:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Ken Nyquist said...

I am sure the community would be happy to see another sober facility in town. Let's all go down with the ship over lights at an elementary school. Who would threaten to sell to a sober facility so it would be by an elementary school? That is just really sad and creepy...

3/13/2016 02:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Terry Koken said...

Did anybody read the FUAP? It is a nightmare of bureaucracy and chickenshit. Any crew of kids, or adults, wanting to play a pickup game of baseball or soccer will have to hire a lawyer to chop their way through this jungle of a document. It is not about sports, or youth sports; it is about regimentation of people wanting to get out and have a bit of recreation and/or exercise. M'gawd, you have to submit a team roster six weeks in advance, and verify the residency of each player. What in hell would a team do if one of the players broke a leg, or fell out of a tree? When I was a kid (admittedly a long time ago) two or three of us could get a game of touch football on a grassy field, impromptu. Equal opportunity there: I even got a concussion during one such game. What about playing catch? it's absolutely required to do a bit of that if you want to be a baseball player. This document mandates the entire nine yards -- and everything not mandatory seems to be forbidden. Pay for play, fee structures, locked fields, no access to bathrooms while the fields are locked... This is not about field allocation! It is about sequestration of public parkland!

3/13/2016 08:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Ken Nyquist said...

Amen to that Terry. What a nightmare. it is always difficult in Ociania , to keep the Minitrue in check, and the Minipenny from instructing the Minitrue to make sure the unperson can not play sports on the fields. The Minilove is hard at work in Costa Mesa.

We used to leaves the Boy's Club pool on Center and Anaheim, go next door to Bert's Schwinn, look at the newest bicycles, hang out at the toy store next door to Bert's, get an Orange Julius, maybe daydream at Grant’s Surplus, then go play baseball and other games in Lion's Park, until it was time to go home. I played more Little League in Lion's Park than anywhere I can remember, with the exception of Channel Park in Newport Beach and Clara McNally on 19th and Newport, my High School. We did all of that without an attorney present, no Gestapo, no Thought Police, and certainly enjoyed the movie passes Jimmy Edward's dad gave out to those of us on the team so we could all go to the movies all summer. And I might add, a lot of this was done with no parent anywhere near us, fearless and unconcerned as is not the case today.
The first lights in a park I remember, was when the NBPD got their 1st copter in 68, and lit us up in Channel Park , so we teens to finish a Little League game that went to extra innings. I suppose the people making it so difficult to enjoy being a kid, would be more at ease with a kid high on meth sticking a blade in their gut instead of playing team sports under lights at an NMUSD school field. Our future lays at the hands of these children down the road. What a shame it has come to this..

3/13/2016 11:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Whee's My Coffee? said...


3/14/2016 07:47:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home