|The Council advises all to attend|
CALL TO ORDER/ROLL CALL - CLOSED SESSION
Mayor Moran, Mayor Pro Tem Walsh, Council Member Capoccia, Council Member Harabedian, and Council Member Koerber
PUBLIC COMMENT: Regarding Closed Session Items
RECESS TO CLOSED SESSION - REGARDING: CONFERENCE WITH LEGAL COUNSEL
Anticipated Litigation Pursuant to California Government Code Section 54956.9b(3)(C). A point has been reached where, in the opinion of the City Council/Agency on the advice of it legal counsel. Based on the below-described existing facts and circumstances, there is a significant exposure to litigation against the City Council/Agency. Receipt of Claim pursuant to Tort Claims Act or other written communication from Sierra Madre Police Officer’s Association threatening litigation (copy available for public inspection in the City Manager’s Office). Mod: You have to wonder if the SMPOA (or is it the SMPA?) has completely succumbed to schizophrenia. On the one hand they are sending out flyers with coupons for Mother Moo and a free movie offer, on the other they just keep suing this city. If the SMPOA is trying to make the Sierra Madre Police Department seem unsympathetic in the eyes of this City, then it appears they are succeeding. It is always possible that they believe that by threatening legal action they are forcing the City Council into a position where it will be forced to hand out raises and increased benefits to a Police Department that already receives 53% of our General Fund. But the SMPOA would have to be completely out of touch to believe that.
PERSONNEL Pursuant to Calif. Government Code Section 54957 Public Employee Performance Evaluation - Title: City Manager. Mod: It is obvious that this City needs to go in some new directions. And that the costly old school style City Hall operation that we have been saddled with since the late 1990s has pretty much run its course. There is no CRA any longer, plus grants and other moneys from Sacramento and Washington DC can no longer be depended upon. The rejection of the UUT extension earlier this year by the voters is also a sign that a new way of doing things is called for. Unfortunately, that will not happen tonight.
CALL TO ORDER/ROLL CALL
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE AND INVOCATION/INSPIRATION
REPORT OUT FROM CLOSED SESSION
APPROVAL OF AGENDA APPROVAL OF MINUTES
MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL REPORTS
PUBLIC COMMENT PRESENTATION
Mayor will request from the City Attorney a report from the closed session. Mod: The involved legal firms are going to ride the gravy train provided to them by the SMPOA for as long as they possibly can. It is in their interest to keep this under wraps. There will be nothing to report. This one will be ongoing for a long time.
Majority vote of the Council to proceed with City business.
Approval of Minutes from the regular City Council meeting of September 25, 2012.
Brief reports of individual Council Member activities relating to City business occurring since the last City Council meeting.
Public Comment - Regarding items not on the Agenda.
Presentation by the Sierra Madre Rose Float
1. CONSENT CALENDAR
a) ADOPTION OF RESOLUTION NO. 12-80 OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SIERRA MADRE RATIFYING CERTAIN DEMANDS Mod: The total spend tonight will be $421,799.71. Notable expenses include $2,300 for printing the 2nd unit survey, $18,000 for Colantuono & Levin, $9,000 for a landscaper, $12,000 for Willdan Associates, and $12,300 for meters from AXONTECH LLC.
b) RECOMMENDATION TO APPROVE CONTRACT WITH AT&T FOR CO-LOCATION ON T-MOBILE TOWER AT MAINTENANCE YARD Mod: AT&T, the lousiest of all of the lousy cell phone companies, has been promising to build a tower here that will make it possible to actually use their service in town. The glacial progress being made in keeping with this often repeated promise has now moved forward a millimeter with AT&T leasing space on the T-Mobile site from the City. AT&T will pay Sierra Madre $25,680 yearly for the honor.
c) BAKER AND TAYLOR CONTRACT RENEWAL Mod: Baker and Taylor first started doing business in 1828, making it amongst the very oldest continuously operating American companies. They are a distributor of books and music, and a good portion of what you see in our Library was purchased from Baker & Taylor.
d) RESOLUTION NO. 12-81, GRANTING TEMPORARY USE PERMIT 12-18 FOR THE HALLOWEEN HAPPENINGS PARADE AND COMMUNITY TRICK-OR-TREATING Mod: There is only one holiday in Sierra Madre that is more popular than Christmas, and that is Halloween. I have no idea what this means. Attend religious services as often as possible.
2. DISCUSSION – DISCUSSION OF STATE ROUTE 710 EXTENSION AND CONSIDERATION OF TAKING A FORMAL POSITION ON THE PROJECT Mod: This is being watched very closely by a number of other cities. The obvious issues are the quality of the environment here in Sierra Madre and whether large state bureaucracies such as Metro and CALTRANS should be allowed to build things that are detrimental to and overwhelmingly opposed by the taxpayers. Expect people from other jurisdictions opposed to the 710 Tunnel to give detailed presentations tonight about why this thing should not be built. Turning the 210 into a diesel truck clogged extension of the highly toxic 710 corridor is one of them.
3. DISCUSSION – REVIEW OF FERGUSON GROUP LEGISLATIVE ADVOCAY (sic) SERVICES PROFESSIONAL SERVICES CONTRACT Mod: The Ferguson Group is a lobbying organization that we pay approximately $60,000 per year to represent our interests in Washington DC. Their focus is to identify funds available through Federal Government and make certain that we receive our cut. This is a split expense with the City of Arcadia, with much of the funding raised in WDC having to do with water and its related infrastructure. I seriously doubt that our relationship with Ferguson will end tonight.
4. DISCUSSION – APPROVAL OF CONTRACT FOR TRANSPORTATION SERVICES WITH FIRST TRANSIT, INC. Mod: This has a lot to do with those small "round-about" buses we see circling around the town, more often than not with no passengers inside. First Transit is the company who provides us with both empty buses and the bodies to drive them. The funding for these buses comes out of Prop A and Prop C funds, and totals around $205,129 per annum. Yet another reason to never vote "Yes" on things such as these two propositions. Chances are always good that the money will be spent on things people don't really want, and as such just wasted.
5. DISCUSSION – CONSIDERATION OF RESOLUTION NO. 12-82 REGARDING PROCEDURES FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS OF BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS Mod: A lot of minutia dealing with how people are appointed to Boards and Commissions is contained in the Staff Report. The last time this matter came up the City Council made clear its desire to keep complete control of this highly political process, and not allow an undue portion of it pass to the Mayor. I am sure Josh had something specific in mind when he agendized this matter, but whatever it was seems to have dried up and blown away. We'll see tonight if something new hasn't been cooked up.
6. DISCUSSION – TREE ADVISORY COMMISSION RECOMMENDATIONS FOR AMENDING MUNICIPAL CODE CHAPTER 12.20 TREE PRESERVATION AND PROTECTION Mod: The Tree Advisory Commission has suggested 24 changes to the Tree Ordinance, it says in the Agenda Report. You have to commend them for their depth of caring.
7. DISCUSSION – CONSIDERATION OF RESOLUTION NO. 12-83: APPROVING SECOND UNIT AMNESTY PERMIT REQUIREMENTS Mod: This has to do with getting residents who own off the grid granny flats and guest houses to confess such so that City Hall can count them against our overall state imposed RHNA requirement number. Given the reluctance of many who live here to confess ownership of such things due to the fee and permit expenses involved, the City is proposing a 50% reduction. This is seen as necessary due to the City requiring the owners of unreported "2nd units" to bring them up to code. Something that will end up costing them quite a bit of money.
8. DISCUSSION – UPDATE AND REPORT REGARDING CITY REORGANIZATION Mod: This is yet another review of exactly what changes City Hall has made in reorganizing staff, with an eye to reducing head count in order to offset some of the money lost when the CRA was dissolved by the State. The resulting savings being in the vicinity of $260,000. The purpose here is to address " few operational issues." The City currently employees 67 full-time employees.
9. DISCUSSION – CONTINUED DISCUSSION OF THE STATE OF SIERRA MADRE INFRASTRUCTURE Mod: Saddled with a Police Department that consumes 53% of all available General Fund moneys, the City has found itself having to shortchange required maintenance of its infrastructure. This topic was covered at the last meeting as well, with Bruce Inman memorably declaring that we will run out of water within the year. That is going to be a hard act to top. A moratorium on new construction until the water situation is permanently resolved would be the wisest action the Council can take. Expect some discussion on how to raise some of the huge sums in additional moneys needed to address some of these problems. All without having to make any fundamental changes to how the City's finances are already being used.
10. DISCUSSION – STRATEGIC PLAN FROM APRIL 17, 2012, RETREAT UPDATE Mod: Yet another revisit to the historic Strategic Plan confab of April 17, 2012. As usual it has been stuck at the end of the meeting agenda, and since this one is probably the longest in months this item will be rushed through. That is, if it even gets discussed at all. Contains memorable language written in the hope that people will begin to confuse downtown development with preservation. It also sets forth the proposition that the Green Committee should become a full Commission, though it does not explain how this would in any way benefit the community or lessen some of its pressing financial burdens.