Topping this week’s actions in local government, Seal Beach considers banning new electronic cigarette businesses, and members of Orange City Council set aside time for mystery discussion topics behind closed doors.

As e-cigarettes gain popularity, government agencies are considering whether and how to regulate them.

The latest local example is in Seal Beach, where council members are set to vote Monday on issuing a temporary moratorium on new permits for stores that sell the devices.

E-cigarettes vaporize liquid nicotine in various flavors and are being promoted by their manufacturers as an alternative to smoking tobacco.

City staff are using stark language in justifying an urgency ordinance on the issue, calling the unregulated operation of e-cigarette retailers “a current and immediate threat to the public health, safety, and welfare.”

The Orange City Council will allot time on Tuesday to discuss issues in closed session that aren’t specified on the agenda, which appears to conflict with the Ralph M. Brown Act.

The council’s agenda for Tuesday includes a closed session item:

b. To consider and take possible action upon such other matters as are orally announced by the City Attorney, City Manager, or City Council prior to such recess unless the motion to recess indicates any of the matters will not be considered in Closed Session.

When it comes to council meetings, the Brown Act requires that “each item to be transacted or discussed in a closed session must be briefly described on an agenda for the meeting,” according to the California Attorney General’s office. “The description must be sufficient to provide interested persons with an understanding of the subject matter which will be considered.”

Monday, Aug. 26

Orange County Transportation Authority board of directors – 9 a.m.

Cypress City Council – 5:30 p.m.

  • Workshop on solid waste and recycling services competitive bidding process.
  • Approving a reimbursement agreement with Cypress School District for election and pre-planning costs related to the development of properties at 9470 Moody St. and 8721 Cypress Ave.

Closed Session

  • Discussion of Orange County Superior Court lawsuit Karla Ramirez and Mario Ramirez v. City of Cypress, et al.

Seal Beach City Council – 7 p.m.

  • Temporary ban on issuing any permits for electronic cigarette retailers, drug paraphernalia retailers, smoke shops and head shops.
  • Buying a $260,000 sewer vacuum truck from Municipal Maintenance Equipment.

Tuesday, Aug. 27

Garden Grove City Council – 6:30 p.m.

  • Approving a $2-million contract with Kana Pipeline for Lenore Street-Lampson Avenue sewer improvements.
  • Considering a proposal from the nonprofit Trung-Tam Van-Hoa Hong-Bang to host the Tet Festival in Garden Grove.

Orange City Council – 4:30 p.m.

  • Congressional update by Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Santa Ana.
  • Accepting resignation of William Cathcart from the Planning Commission and post vacancy notice.
  • Discussing city treasurer vacancy.
  • Reviewing the Public Health Goals Report for 2010, 2011 and 2012, which details the presence of contaminants in the drinking water supply detected at levels above the state’s public health goals.
  • Adding a neighborhood permit parking program for both sides of Cully Drive from the western property lines of 861 and 864 West Cully Drive to the cul-de-sac.

Closed Session

  • Discussion or action of unspecified “such other matters as are orally announced by the City Attorney, City Manager, or City Council prior to such recess.”

Buena Park City Council Adjourned Meeting – 4 p.m.

Closed Session

  • Discussion of property negotiations with Scott Riordan, City and Ryan Ahe, City Ventures LLC. over various properties on Orangethorpe, Stanton, Indiana and Page avenues.

Laguna Hills City Council – 7 p.m.

Villa Park City Council – 7 p.m.

  • Orange County Sheriff’s Department update.
  • Considering changes to City Hall staffing.
  • Approving an estimated $25,000 in upgrades to City Hall, including installing new carpet in the front office and council chambers, new paint and executive chairs in the council chambers and repairing the main sewer line in the public restrooms.

Wednesday, Aug. 28

Westminster City Council – 7 p.m.

  • Recognizing the sponsors of the Mayor’s Ball.
  • Approving a final parcel map for demolishing an existing single-family home at 14101 Pacific Ave. and developing four condominium units, without mentioning whether the city conducted an environmental review per the California Environmental Quality Act.
  • Awarding a $438,000 contract to Macadee Electrical Construction for constructing a traffic signal at Newland and 15th streets and modifying traffic signal at McFadden Avenue and Ward Street.

Adam Elmahrek, Brendan Wiles and Thy Vo contributed to this report.

You can reach Nick Gerda at, and follow him on Twitter: @nicholasgerda.

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