Review of the City Council Meeting June 8, 2006
Added by Email
Council Member Jim Miller question the $5800 voucher to the company Koontz now works for. He worked two days a week for the City and three days for Nolte Engineering. He no longer works for Nolte and is employed by this new co. Perhaps all the lawsuits he has brought down on the City scared Nolte. Ralph Megna's company is called Empire Development Solutions.
The Claim against the City listed on the Agenda turns out to be alleged damage to Chuck Hornsby’s house/slab caused by the city’s demolition of the Webber House, (House formerly located between the Senior Center and Terrace View Elementary School). Mr. Hornsby was delayed in getting to the meeting and was not allowed to speak as the Council Addressed that Agenda Item Prior to his arrival. They concluded they needed more information prior to accepting the Claims Adjusters Recommendation to Reject the Claim. Mr. Hornsby did not include in his paper work an estimate for repair, nor was there an engineering report showing damage came from what he said it did, and when... This was continued till next meeting, with a request for more information from the Claims Adjuster and Hornsby
Mr. Hilkey suggested it has been like they are the black birds on the wire waiting to get shot at. They have been set up in the past to be the fall guys for the actions of the staff, and he is tired of the process of just accepting the recommendation. He made the motion to continue the issue, Council Member Miller seconded it.
Council Member Lee Ann Garcia interrupted the vote on the motion to continue this item by asking if this was a new policy to not accept the Claims Adjuster’s recommendation, and Staff’s Suggestion on Claims issues. Council Member Hilkey repeated that it was his opinion that this is not like other claims in the past, where the city had not made prior statements to take corrective actions, and the cost of litigation out weighs the cost of repair. To request more information is not unreasonable in this situation and a delay is not going to be a burden on any of the individuals at this point.
Mayor Ferre asked is a continuance where the public can comment again at the next meeting. The City Attorney said yes, and advised the council not to speak to or about the matter until they meet in public forum again. This is why he suggest not allowing continuations as it is difficult to not speak on a subject outside of the council meeting.
. The council did not hear from Mr. Hornsby when he arrived as he was told they had already gone past that agenda item. He will be able to speak and make a presentation of fact.
Crime Prevention Report:
Council Member Miller asked about the lack of names in the Crime Prevention Meeting Minutes, and the Sheriff and Legal Council said inclusion of names of perpetrators alleged or arrested can be released and made public. However, it has not been the practice of the city in the past.
Council Member Miller asked how old is the information contained in the minutes and the response was about six weeks old. Not current, an arrest or apprehension had been made in the case of an old man asking for money.
Mayor Pro Tem Bea Cortes asked about the Event on Barton Road, where a homeowner and son had an encounter with people saying they were going to measure for a fence, and one went into the house and began to steal things, The son came in and found the thief in the house, and chased him out, and was nearly ran over as they perpetrators were trying to flee.
The Sheriff's characterization of the Grafter/Gipsy Home Invasion of Marylou is an insult.
The Sheriff provided no tick tock or time line report or detail of the suspect. Just because there have not been other "Similar" reports... he concluded it is a one time thing. How convenient... No one can check "reports".
The Sheriff failed to report:
When the call came in?
Where the deputy was responding from?
How long it took the deputy to arrive? Reports are that it was 30 minutes or more until the Deputy Arrived. The possibility of an apprehension diminishes as time laps.
What were the Actions of the Responding Deputy?
Reports are the Deputy suggested the Protective Son may have a complaint against him for breaking a mirror on the perpetrators Truck. Did the Deputy call in the truck and identifying information so that immediate information was out so the perpetrators could be apprehended? What was the level of concern, and action taken, to apprehend the suspects?
Did the Deputy tell the victim to preserve the evidence of finger prints, and broken glass?
Did the Deputy tell the victim a Detective would arrive the Next Day?
The City Council delayed making a decision on the Karger/Pico Development with a direction to the Developer/Engineer to meet with the concerned neighbors adjacent to the property being proposed for development. Each of the issues raised by the neighbors of the project were discussed and deliberated upon. No decision was made and the issue was continued to the July 13th meeting.
Continuance allows for more public comment at the meeting it is on the agenda. Council Members must not speak of the topic with anyone till then...
However, there seems to be a procedural problem related to the Planning Commissions Actions. When the Karger/Pico proposal was in front of the Planning Commission it was continued at the Planning Commission as the meeting went long. At the second meeting the right to public comment was not allowed, and the citizens were barred from a fair hearing, and none of their issues were mitigated or resolved. It needs to be determined if the Planning Commission meeting was not concluded and closed, it was continued and closed? The Planning Commission needs to review its minutes, and practices to make sure that the difference between a continued meeting and a concluded meeting is understood, and recorded properly.
Nice how all the Homeowners were praised for their professional presentations, and attitude as they brought their issues forward to the council. The council made particular effort to have each issue discussed. IF the council conducted itself as prudently in the past there may not be law suits on other developments now pending.
Law suits result from the combined problems or compounded problems which begin at the Planning Department, Planning Commission, and finally the City Council. The procedural problems are at the base of the problems in city management of the development in Grand Terrace.
What we have learned. The Highland Riverside Water Company paid for a great wall which makes the treat of rocks and mud slides and flood insignificant to the development being proposed. Mud and boulders assailing an Orange Grove is different than the same event running through a housing tract. Boulders bounce over walls. Hill side development is always a risk. It is a mater of fact Hills want to be flat.
We have learned the road to the houses will be on top of the aqueduct. How would the homeowners access their homes if this had to be repaired?
We have learned the same problems or issues exist for building as currently zones 15 houses vs the 20 desired by the developer. Twenty Homes being the desired build is for financial reasons only. What is the Financial Impact on the homes adjacent to the development if there is a higher density build out? For the city, more houses, sold at higher values, more property tax.
Perhaps the Existing Ditch Maintained should become the requirement of the new homeowners as they will have the access.
Perhaps the city can be indemnified from action when boulders come bouncing down the hill and mud flows up and over the water company block wall.
Perhaps the Water Company can be indemnified for flooding should the tank break.
Perhaps, Karger/Development can make nice with the neighbors, in such a way that the apparent procedural flaws at the Planning Commission do not result in yet another suit against the city, and city management of development procedures.
We have also learned that WE have Avocado Trees around the water tank. Who gets to harvest the avocados? Perhaps we could have a Guawk GT… where Chips and Dip is served up by sports teams and a concert by all our students in band,… Woops what is that a suggestion?
Closed Meeting: Labor Negotiation
The public portion closed at a closed meeting for labor negotiations. (This is allowed by the Brown Act.)
HOWEVER, locking the doors so that the public can’t re enter the City Council Chambers to hear the announcement of the Results of the Closed meeting is not Legal. It constitutes a violation of the Brown Act. This is a procedural error typical of the type the Council makes at times with intention, and other times with out intention.
What have we learned Throw a good party, and then negotiate. hmm, must remember that tactic.
Did the Planning Committee get as much praise as the Paid City Manager Assistant and his staff for the success of the GT DAYS?
How much time of the City Staff, was used for a one day party? Again is this how we should be spending our funds for police and city staff?
We know that Steve Berry and Staff worked at the GT Days.. Who else has hours spent on the party? We saw Sheriffs, and Firemen. How much did that cost?
Is this really what we want to be known for ....? To be honest, I don't get it... Paying for entertainment for one day... when the community has no Youth Program those same donations could be solicited for. I truly don't get it. Perhaps with the Heehaw.. The Planning committee could involve the community a bit more...Perhaps the 4H sheep and goats, chickens, and a community year of farming could be promoted... Each of the NPO’s in GT should have a booth reserved in the FRONT of the Park, not way back in the back. Guest Vendors and Organizations should be deeper into the “show grounds”.
What happened to the revised policy of the council and mayor document??? did the Adjustments get made... if so the 3 minute rule, and no discussion blurb were still practiced.
OTHER ITEMS BROUGHT BY COUNCIL MEMBERS
Pancake Breakfast Sat June 10… Fire HOUSE… UMMM
The next Chamber Meeting to be the place of ” Aggressive Fire Works Education” . Is this appropriate education forum, a lunch attended by Chamber Members of course the public is invited, but at that hour most citizens are not in town, nor do they feel welcome to pay 8.00 to eat a lunch in a room with a capacity of perhaps 100 lunchers? Is that Education at the Aggressive level?.. Interesting interpretation of the desires of the Fireworks Committee. Interesting. How much will it cost the city for this “Education of the Chamber Members”? Remember to bring cash for the No Host Bar at City Hall during these meetings.
Remember: Age is 55-56 not 65 that is the point needing to be corrected about the statements made about Bea Cortes. That is a fact... hmm one would think there were more interesting things to correct.
It is Cortes not Garcia who is 55 not 65... Correction Made...