Opening statements in the long-awaited criminal trial of the Fullerton police officers involved in the beating death of Kelly Thomas are on tap for Monday.
Also Monday, the Orange County Transportation Authority will again debate toll lanes on one of America’s busiest freeways, and the Santa Ana City Council will discuss a proposal to make it harder for Mayor Miguel Pulido to be re-elected.
Here is a rundown of these and other top local issues we’re tracking this week:
1. Officers On Trial in Kelly Thomas Beating Death
Two former Fullerton police officers will face opening arguments over the death of Kelly Thomas, whose 2011 death sparked outrage locally and internationally.
The officers have pleaded not-guilty to the charges, which include second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter.
When: Monday at 9 a.m.
Where: Superior Court in Santa Ana (Map)
2. Officials Likely to Kill 405 Toll Lanes – for Now
A month ago, local officials in areas along Interstate 405 in northwest Orange County cried foul over plans to install toll lanes on the congested freeway.
Now their effort seems to have paid off, with transportation officials reversing course and recommending a nontoll path for the foreseeable future.
When: Monday at 10:30 a.m.
Where: OCTA headquarters (Map)
3. Primary Elections For Santa Ana’s Mayor?
Santa Ana’s longtime mayor could be in for a tougher re-election battle if a proposed primary election requirement is approved by voters next year.
His foes on the City Council are set to discuss the issue on Monday and could direct city staff to pursue a charter amendment vote.
Pulido has served 10 terms as mayor and recently provoked controversy over making a $200,000 profit from a business deal with a city contractor.
When: Monday at 5:45 p.m.
Where: Santa Ana City Hall (Map)
4. Huge Public Bond for Private Mobile Home Parks?
The operator of mobile home parks in Lancaster, Yucca Valley, Lakeport, Vista and Brea is set to receive $70 million in public bond money, with one set of approvals going before Brea city officials this week.
The funds for Caritas Affordable Housing Inc. seem to be a remnant of now-defunct redevelopment agencies, which injected public money into private development projects.
When: Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Where: Brea City Hall (Map)
Monday, Dec. 2
OCTA Executive Committee – 9 a.m.
- Property negotiations with unspecified people over OCTA headquarters and other buildings.
- Update on implementing a direct connector between State Route 241 and the State Route 91 Express Lanes.
OCTA Regional Planning and Highways Committee – 10:30 a.m.
- Approving an $87-million contract with Caltrans for improving the carpool lane on a 0.7-mile section of the Interstate 5 freeway in San Clemente.
- Selecting a nontoll lane option for improving the I-405 freeway, which would add one general lane in each direction.
Santa Ana City Council – 5:45 p.m.
- Creating an arts and culture commission.
- A ballot measure to require a primary election for the mayor's seat, among other items.
- Appointing a representative to the Orange County Vector Control District.
- A $5,000 grant program for low-income new entrepreneurs.
Huntington Beach City Council – 6 p.m.
- Choosing a new mayor for 2014, and comments from outgoing mayor Connie Boardman.
Tuesday, Dec. 3
- Update on future projections from the Center for Demographic Research.
- Bikeways update from OCTA bikeways planner Carolyn Mamaradlo.
Orange County Great Park Board – 2 p.m.
Costa Mesa City Council – 6 p.m.
- Establishing an ordinance charging local motels for excessive use of city resources.
- Approving $18,000 in equipment upgrades to allow live streaming of video from the South Coast Plaza mall to police cars.
Fullerton City Council – 6:30 p.m.
- Establishing new rules for dog parks.
- Choosing a new mayor for 2014.
Brea City Council – 7 p.m.
- Approving the issuance of $70 million in bonds to benefit the private mobile home parks in Lancaster, Yucca Valley, Lakeport, Vista and Brea operated by the company Caritas Affordable Housing, Inc.
- Approving a final tract map for a 48-home development at the northeast corner of Imperial Highway and Valencia Avenue by La Floresta LLC.
Wednesday, Dec. 4
Orange County Airport Commission – 5 p.m.
- Awarding a three-year, $10.4-million contract to JBT AeroTech Services for passenger loading bridge and baggage handling services.
- Approving $900,000 in rent credits to airlines AirTran and Interjet to encourage their Mexico service as well as creating a new domestic-service incentive program.
Thursday, Dec. 5
Meeting agenda not posted online as of Monday morning.
- Discussion of community issues facing the 20,000-plus residents of unincorporated North Tustin.
Friday, Dec. 6
- Approving a $250,000 contract with Clean Fuel Connection Inc. to establish 20 electric car DC fast chargers as the building block of a statewide network.
- Approving $300,000 contracts each with Earth’s Flame Inc. and Blazing Design Inc. to develop and demonstrate propane and natural gas fire rings.
- Changing regulations requiring large lead-acid battery recycling facilities to reduce arsenic emissions and other key toxic air contaminant emissions.
- Directing Ideal Uniform Rental Service and the Colleen R. Green Trust to clean and abate the effects of PCE pollution at 13811 A Better Way, Garden Grove.
- Discussing a federal lawsuit by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency against the Orange County Sanitation District.
County Commission to End Homelessness – 11 a.m.
- Appointing Karen Roper as permanent executive director.
- Updates from implementing groups.
- Approving an emergency shelter model cost analysis.
Adam Elmahrek contributed to this report.