On the Agenda – January 3, 2011
Our Town Tustin starts off the new year right with a City Council meeting as the first order of business. Before we do that, we would like to extend an electronic hand of thanks to our readers for giving us a great first year (actually, 6 months). This is as much your blog as it is ours. We just think of ourselves as the gatekeepers. If you have a topic or a hot news flash you think we should cover, please let us know, If you have a dissenting opinion from this blog, please post it. Discussion is the key and this is the perfect arena for that discussion to take place. And, by all means, let your fellow Tustinites know about the blog so they can join in.
Now, on to our first blog post of the year 2012, the City Council Agenda:
Quite a few items to be discussed in Closed Session. Hopefully the report by the City Attorney, David Kendig, will give us some insight into the litigation between TUSD and the city of Tustin. Don’t expect to hear much on the T-Mobile West litigation as it has just begun. That case is being held in Federal Court and was initiated by T-Mobile when the City squelched their last design review for a cell tower in Cedar Grove Park.
Along with three new liability claims, the City Council may have an extended Closed Session. Don’t forget, there is a Starbucks and a Keane’s across the street.
As long as the Closed Session may take, the Regular Agenda may not take as long. Will the SmartMeter folks show up?
The attachment to Item 3, Redevelopment Agency Projects illustrates the issues the city will face in view of the recent California Supreme Court Ruling that, effectively outlaws redevelopment agencies and does not provide for an alternative as Governor Brown proposed. Assuming there are no further court proceedings, the local RDA will be able to oversee projects in progress but not initiate new ones. This item may be pulled just so Jerry (Amante, not Brown) can lament about the demise of the RDAs.
Item 7, Appointment of George W. Jeffries as City Treasurer should be of concern to us all. As usual with city appointments of this type, there was no RFP put out to the general public. To our City Council, it is a matter of extending a current contract to a vendor for another year. Fortunately, for us, the delegation of authority to a city treasurer must be completed each year. Unfortunately, it does not appear to require anything more than lip service to California Law which explicitly states the delegation cannot automatically be renewed.
Jeffries has some questionable history with city investments and reporting them to the City Council. At an August 2009 meeting he admitted that he deviated from investment policy. So, why would we continue to work with someone who seems to have a basic problem with honesty? Is it because Jeffries and Jerry are good friends and Jerry has no problem steering no-bid contracts, even a meager $48,000 one, to his buddies? Perhaps the entire city council should pay attention to the ethics clause of the investment policy before making the final decision. Expect this item to be pulled for discussion and at least one “no” vote on the reappointment.
Item 11, City Council Appointed Representatives should prove interesting. The Agenda Report on the item calls for a “change” in the procedure in which the nominees for each appointment will not participate in the vote. Is this how the City Council makes a clear “unbiased” appointment? Theoretically, this could open more seats to the left side of the dais. But, in taking a closer look, the procedure is not as “open” as the Council would have us believe. It will still be just as easy, if not easier, to manipulate the vote. The only difference is in the subterfuge used. In the end, we will know as, in theory, everyone would receive at least one appointment as either alternate or principle. And, of course, it is only a recommendation which the council majority is free to ignore.
This is a good opportunity for our new Mayor John Nielsen to reach out to both the citizens of Tustin and his fellow councilmemebers. He can show that he is his own man, not owing allegiance to our lame duck former mayor, and is willing to work honestly for the improvement of our city government. Good Luck, Mayor Nielsen and all City Councilmembers of Our Town Tustin. And, Happy New Year.
Posted on January 2, 2012, in Local Government, politics, Tustin City Council and tagged conspiracy theories, cronyism, deborah gavello, Jerry Amante, John Neilsen, Redevelopment agencies, Tustin City Council. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on On the Agenda – January 3, 2011.