On the City Council Agenda, April 17, 2012

I apologize for not being around the past few days. It’s tax time, however, and the government actually thinks I make enough in wages to share it with them. In fact, Jerry (Brown, not Amante) called me personally to ask me to pay up or get out of California (or was that man up?).

Anyway, it has been pretty slow around Our Town Tustin these days. The City Council agenda is top heavy with closed session items. Topping the list, as we move into that time of year again, labor negotiations with all of the unions are taking place. The city is using a well known law firm to look after the city’s (meaning your) interests. We have been fortunate that our unions work well together with the city. Here is hoping that good relationship continues.

Of course, it would not be a closed session without a discussion of the lawsuits between the City and TUSD. They were supposed to go to trial April 16th on the original complaints. There have been some subsequent motions to split the issues made by the City that have been opposed by TUSD. Word is city staff and attorneys worked all weekend to prepare for trial. Unfortunately, we heard the judge announced this morning that he is going on vacation next week. So, the saga continues until July. One reader I was speaking with said that the city’s “Tustin Loves Schools” campaign should be changed to, “Most of Tustin Loves Schools”.

On the Open Session, there are plenty of presentations from around the county. One of these is of particular interest to both the citizens of Tustin and our own Councilman Jerry Amante, who sits on the board of the Transportation Corridor Agencies. A presentation being made by David Lowe of the TCA  regarding the 241 extension. Just like the bullet train to nowhere, this boondoggle won’t die. It is sure to be a hit with him and we are sure Amante will sing the praises of his cohort as well as push the issue of a toll road extension that only the so-called visionaries appear to want.

There is also a public hearing that we told you about earlier. In recent weeks, the Community Development Department has been busy strategizing parking in Old Town. To that end, they came up with an alternative to the expensive in-lieu parking fee structure that will make development of the area more feasible. The hearing Tuesday is for the purpose of setting the fee. Elizabeth Binsack’s crew has come up with a $60 per stall, per year (did you get that , Deborah?) fee structure that we think will work fine. We have heard of no opposition and one architect who is developing property on El Camino speaks highly in favor of it, saying the City has come up with a great solution. It is interesting to note that, after Jerry blasted Deborah for her questions on this issue, the Staff Report accompanying the agenda discusses the same issues that Deborah brought up in regard to seeing what other cities have done with their old town areas.

Most of the rest of the agenda is cleanup stuff regarding the demolition of Rawlings Reservoir and authorization to open bids for projects. We are also pleased the battery backup for the traffic signals project is proceeding. These systems will keep traffic flowing in what appears to be ever-increasing blackouts in the city.

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