On The City Council Agenda – September 3, 2013

Hidden Agenda ClipartAfter the train wreck of the Tustin City Council meeting two weeks ago, tonight’s meeting should be relatively quieter and  shorter. Yes, 5 hours, even during Jerry Amante’s regime, would be considered a marathon for these folks. It’s a wonder Chuck and the Podiatrist Councilman didn’t fall asleep. After all, it did go past their bedtime.

This week’s meeting begins with the usual Closed Session items, mostly having to do with litigation. A little more information has leaked on the agenda showing that one of the cases the City Attorney is considering is with the Department of Finance.

Also on the agenda is a conference with the real property negotiators concerning undeveloped property  on the MCAS base off Redhill and Warner Avenues. The city appears to be in negotiations for price and terms for several lots in the area.

On the Consent Calendar, the Annual Tustin Housing Authority report shows the city owns about 300 units for ownership and rent. We have complained the number is low for the size of our city but the city seems satisfied to accommodate the minimum number of low and moderate income folks, even if it does not satisfy actual need. You can read the report here.

Also on the Consent Calendar is an item for design and construction of a bocce ball court at Peppertree Park. A great idea and location considering the number of seniors that come to the Senior Center each day. The bocce ball courts are sure to get plenty of use.

The final item on the Consent Calendar is approval to purchase the computer and VOIP equipment from the low bidder, GovPlace. They also happen to be a local provider based in Irvine.  The contract is for $334 thousand dollars for equipment only and was budgeted last year.

On the Regular Business Agenda, the City Council will officially open invitations to applicants for the Audit Commission. Mr. Richard Hilde has resigned. The notice will be placed in the newspaper and the city’s website. There is also a current interest list of folks that will be notified.

The big ticket item, in our opinion, on the agenda is the Strategic Plan Update for the City Council. Presumably, this is where the city manager tells the council how great they are doing in implementing the Plan. Unfortunately, the part of the plan that deals with “obtain[ing] feedback from and strengthen our partnership with the community” has predictably taken a back seat to the more important issues like increasing the bed tax now that we have a couple of real hotels in the area.

And, although the report says the city has completed the accountablity and communication portion of the plan (it is posted ont he website), it is a bit soon to decide whether the city will actually take this part seriously or whether they are just paying lip service to it. We expect the latter.

Everything else on the plan, from improving customer service to fixing the website is “in progress”. Has anyone been asked to provide feedback on services? Makes you wonder who they are asking. In any case, the city’s lackluster response -despite the number of “in progress” notations- is predictable and saddening. After all, this plan was approved nearly a year ago. And, as we said back then, a plan is just a plan until it is actually implemented.

Better late than never, the Tustin City Council will adjourn in the memory of local resident, Jack Miller, who passed away in July 2013. Along with helping to create the 911 system, Jack is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force where he separated as a 2nd Lieutenant. Fly High, Jack.

Closed Session

Conference with Legal Council – 2 items each Initation of and Exposure to Litigation

Conference with Real Property Negotiators – Tustin MCAS Property

Consent Calendar

Tustin Housing Authority – Annual Meeting and Report

Acceptance of Public Improvement – Authorization to file notice of completion for Cedar Grove Park Playground Renovation

Approve Consultant Services Agreement – Design services for bocce ball court at Peppertree Park

Declaration of Surplus Property

Regular Business

First Reading – Ordinance no. 1430 Proposed amendments to the Tustin Subdivision Code

Audit Commission Vacancy – Set interview date and publication of required notices

California HERO Program Resolution – Adopt HERO program to facilitate loans and low interest for green projects

Stategic Plan Update – Report on strategic plan adopted in 2012 regarding implementation and recommendations

That’s it for this week’s city council meeting. I hope your Labor Day weekend was as enjoyable as ours.

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