On The Agenda

Highlighting this week’s public meetings agendas across the county is a request to the Orange County Board of Supervisors from Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas to form a public corruption unit.

Rackauckas has been criticized in recent years for being soft on public corruption cases.

But that was before he charged Carlos Bustamante, a Santa Ana city councilman and former Orange County Public Works executive, with multiple sex crimes.

Rackauckas estimates the new unit will cost more than $1.1 million a year and comprise a staff of seven, including two senior deputy district attorneys and two district attorney investigators. Rackauckas’ budget request also acknowledges that the new unit may require new allocations from the county’s public safety tax.

Here’s a rundown of noteworthy items:

Orange County Board of Supervisors, Tuesday, Sept. 25, at 9:30 a.m.

  • County response to grand jury on reaction to AB 109 prisoner realignment.

Anaheim City Council, Tuesday, Sept. 25, at 5 p.m.

Huntington Beach City Council Special Meeting, Monday, Sept. 24, at 5 p.m.

Orange City Council, Tuesday, Sept. 25, at 4:30 p.m.

  • Update on implementation of a police organization assessment report.
  • Update on implementation of a development services organization assessment report.
— ADAM ELMAHREK

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On The Agenda

After months of lobbying and waiting by a Santa Ana activists coalition, the City Council is scheduled Monday to consider a proposed sunshine ordinance aimed at increasing transparency at City Hall.

The ordinance would open up council members’ meeting calendars, start a lobbyists registry, require community meetings before development projects go to the council, provide more advanced notice of council meetings, increase outreach on the city budget and goals known as a strategic plan and require a panel to evaluate requests for proposals.

When the ordinance was first proposed six months ago by an activists coalition known as the Santa Ana Collaborative for Responsible Development (SACReD), it received only tepid, if any, support from council members. But the issue became one of the rallying points of the “Santa Ana Spring,” a movement by the council majority to increase transparency and oust longtime Mayor Miguel Pulido.

Activists have said Pulido was the only council member who has been cold toward the proposal. In particular, Pulido opposes making public the council members’ meetings calendars, according to the activists.

Here’s a rundown of other important agenda items across Orange County.

Santa Ana City Council, Monday, Sept. 17, at 5:45 p.m.

  • A proposed sunshine ordinance to increase transparency at City Hall.
  • A discussion to consider holding all regular council meetings in the council chambers.
  • Report on citywide records retention and destruction policy.
  • Approving more than $36,000 in legal expenses related to a lawsuit against the city filed by parks commissioner Max Madrid and Councilwoman Claudia Alvarez.
  • Employment agreement with City Clerk Maria Huizar.
  • Agreement with Firetec Used Apparatus Sales to sell surplus fire equipment.
  • A contract with CARE Ambulance Services for emergency transport.

Special joint meeting with the Irvine City Council and the Great Park Board of Directors, Thursday, Sept. 20, at 9:00 a.m.

Huntington Beach City Council, Monday, Sept. 17, at 4:00 p.m.

  • Study session regarding employee tax override and AB 340, the pension reform bill.
  • The city budget for fiscal year 2012-13.
  • Councilwoman Connie Boardman’s proposal to discontinue outsourcing the city attorney’s office.
  • Councilman Devin Dwyer’s proposal to implement a hiring freeze until Gov. Jerry Brown’s pension reform bill takes effect.
  • Proposed emergency medical services fee increases.

Fullerton City Council Study Session, Tuesday, Sept. 18, at 4:00 p.m.

  • The city’s pension liabilities.
  • An update on the city’s infrastructure.

Yorba Linda City Council, Tuesday, Sept. 18, at 5:30 p.m.

  •  Discussing the preparation of emergency evacuation plans.
— ADAM ELMAHREK

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On The Agenda

Highlighting this week’s public meeting agendas in Orange County is funding for Downtown Inc., which has been the center of a prolonged battle over a special property tax that funds the downtown booster organization. Council members are to consider authorizing the Orange County Auditor-Controller to levy the tax for the next fiscal year and possibly dissolving the tax district.

But whether the council may even consider the levy could depend on whether Councilman Carlos Bustamante, facing 12 felony charges for alleged sexual assault crimes, will attend the council meeting. Council members have been unable to achieve a quorum and thus unable to consider the issue at recent council meetings.

Also, an Aug. 31 deadline to submit the tax to the county auditor-controller has expired, effectively ending the tax for the next year.

A group of property owners have been fighting the tax for more than a year, arguing that it was imposed undemocratically and that they receive no benefit from it. The property owners were armed with new ammunition after a recently released Orange County grand jury report concurred with their sentiments and declared that the tax district was formed illegally.

Santa Ana City Council, Tuesday, Sept. 4, at 5:45 p.m.

  • A special downtown property tax that funds the booster organization Downtown Inc. However, the issue likely won’t be considered because of council member conflicts of interest and one councilman – charged with multiple sex crimes — dodging open session meetings.
  • A joint use agreement with Garfield Elementary School to provide more public open space.

Closed Session

  • Annual performance review of the city clerk.

Tustin City Council, Tuesday, Sept. 4, at 7 p.m.

  • Response to the Orange County grand jury report calling a council member’s attempt to influence university officials unethical.

Mission Viejo City Council

Closed Session

  • City manager evaluation.
— ADAM ELMAHREK

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