Among the top items for consideration this week in local government are legal fees in the Costa Mesa police union lawsuit and the first Santa Ana council meeting after the revelation of a controversial deal involving Mayor Miguel Pulido.
The legal battle between two Costa Mesa councilmen and the city’s police union heated up last week, with new claims that a GPS tracker was secretly placed on Councilman Steve Mensinger’s car last year.
The councilmen's attorney called it "straight out of the Watergate diaries."
The union has denied any knowledge of such tactics, and is asking that the city cover its legal fees, an issue expected to be discussed in closed session at Tuesday’s council meeting.
And with the lawsuit’s plaintiffs — Mensinger and Mayor Jim Righeimer — likely not permitted to vote on the issue, the balance of power on the decision is expected to fall with the council minority: Councilwomen Sandy Genis and Wendy Leece.
Also at Tuesday’s meeting, council members will decide on changes to salaries for police officers and police managers and submitting a grant application to OCTA for the West 19th Street bicycle trail project.
And finally, the Santa Ana City Council will be meeting for the first time since Voice of OC revealed that Mayor Miguel Pulido voted for a city contract with a company just over a year after he bought property from the owner at $230,000 below market value.
The deal is drawing concern from his fellow council colleagues, Councilman Vincent Sarmiento calling the circumstances “disturbing.”
Monday’s meeting will provide residents a chance to give their thoughts on the issue.
Here’s what’s up for debate this week across Orange County:
Monday, Nov. 18
- Taking action on the actuarial funding policy (amortization), assumed earnings rate and accelerating unfunded liability payments.
- Adopting the administrative and investment budget for fiscal year 2014.
- Fiduciary counsel request for proposals and invitation for bids for general counsel search firm.
- Outcome of board member elections.
- Presentation on the state’s open meetings law, the Ralph M. Brown Act.
Santa Ana City Council – 5:45 p.m.
- Allowing developers to defer development impact fees.
- Study session on the creation of an arts and culture commission.
- Conditional use permits for alcohol consumption at the Volstead, Au Naturaw and the Robbins Nest restaurants.
Mission Viejo City Council – 6 p.m.
- Approve a five-year contract with Tyler Technologies to replace the city’s financial management software for $676,000.
Tustin City Council – 7 p.m.
- Approving the refunding of business license fees collected by city contractor MAS for the years 2000-2010.
- Appointing the city’s finance director as city treasurer, with a 5-percent salary boost to $174,000 per year.
Tuesday, Nov. 19
- Deciding whether to award a $62-million contract to Papich Construction Co. or a $75-million contract to Sukut Construction for the La Pata Avenue-Camino Del Rio extension project.
- Approving an agreement with the Los Angeles County Flood Control District for the Coyote Creek class 1 bikeway project.
Anaheim City Council – 5 p.m.
- Allowing a hookah smoking lounge at a banquet hall.
- Extending the charter review committee's recommendations deadline to Jan. 28, 2014.
- Increasing the monthly rental rate for CARE Ambulance for housing of vehicles to recuperate city costs.
- Extending the CARE Ambulance agreement by five years.
- Extending agreement with city videographer Brian Biggs for council meeting videos for up to $200,000.
- Approve the appointments of Dukku Lee as public utilities manager and Kristine Ridge as deputy city manager.
Costa Mesa City Council – 6 p.m.
- Closed session discussion of whether to pay the legal fees for the city’s police union in a civil rights lawsuit brought by two councilmen.
- Submitting a grant application to the Orange County Transportation Authority for the West 19th Street bicycle Trail project.
- Directing the Cultural Arts Committee on establishing an “Art in Public Places Program.”
- Changing salaries for police officers and police managers.
San Clemente City Council – 6 p.m.
- Approving a contract with Anderson Penna for Marblehaed Coastal development inspection services for $115,000.
- Receiving an annual performance evaluation of the programs funded by community development block grant funds.
Lake Forest City Council – 7 p.m.
- Discussing the notification policy for public hearings.
Laguna Niguel City Council – 7 p.m.
- Canceling the Jan. 7, 2014, City Council meeting.
- Selecting a mayor and mayor pro tem, effective Dec. 3.
Wednesday, Nov. 20
Aliso Viejo City Council – 7 p.m.
- Approving cafeteria plan benefits of $1,676 per month for council members and employees.
Adam Elmahrek and Brendan Wiles contributed to this report.