Here’s a rundown of the main issues we’ll be tracking this week throughout Orange County.
Police Oversight Debate in Anaheim
Anaheim’s city manager is creating a pilot “public safety board” that will review police shootings and in-custody deaths, among other duties, according to an update for City Council members on this week’s agenda.
The panel would comprise nine residents picked by lottery.
Two mothers, whose sons were shot and killed by Anaheim police, are already taking issue with the proposal.
Theresa Smith and Donna Acevedo sent out a news release over the weekend that calls the plan “Fake Police Oversight.” They asserted that the proposal “falls short of having subpoena powers to look into allegations of police misconduct.”
A city staff report, meanwhile, concludes that such subpoena power wouldn’t be effective.
“If the person subpoenaed does not voluntarily comply, there is no practical means of enforcement,” the staff report states. “The board would have to petition a court to secure compliance, which is costly, time consuming, and likely to be ineffective.”
But the mothers insisted subpoena power is needed to help rebuild trust with the community.
“We don’t need more bureaucracy. We don’t need more red tape,” Acevedo stgated in the news release. “What we need is true oversight of the police and this cannot be done without the power to review the police’s actions and practices.”
Also on the agenda are closed sessions about Angel Stadium negotiations and a lawsuit filed by relatives of Manuel Diaz, whose July 2012 police shooting death helped prompt riots downtown.
The meeting starts Tuesday at 5 p.m. Click here for the staff report.
County Supervisors Meet in Sacramento
Orange County’s top elected officials plan to hold a public workshop in Sacramento this week with their counterparts in the state Legislature.
A special meeting has been called for Wednesday morning, with “proposed and pending legislation and the State budget’s impacts to the County of Orange” as the sole topic for discussion.
The meeting is expected to include Orange County’s representatives in the Legislature.
It’s scheduled for Wednesday at 9 a.m. in the Capitol’s Room 3162, the Assembly Rules Committee room. The agenda doesn’t state where locals can watch the meeting or participate from. Click here for the agenda.
CalOptima Committees Meet After Audit
As officials at the county health plan try to avoid losing their authority to oversee federal health insurance, two key committees are set to meet this week.
CalOptima’s Finance and Audit Committee is set to meet Tuesday at 2 p.m., and the Quality Assurance Committee plans to meet Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.
A recent federal audit found a “serious threat” to the health and safety of low-income elderly people who are in the Cal Optima’s OneCare program.
At a recent CalOptima board meeting, a board member questioned how the agency’s own audit division failed to catch the serious violations found by federal auditors.
In his response, CEO Mike Schrader said CalOptima’s audit staff only examined CalOptima itself and not the contractors who the agency heavily relies on. He also said CalOptima staff didn’t expect to be held accountable for their contractors’ actions.
Both committee meetings are at CalOptima’s headquarters in Orange.
Housing Project in Orange Back for Debate
The controversial Rio Santiago project is set for another round of discussion, with planning commissioners asking questions of staff and deciding whether to ask the landowner to make changes.
Commissioners have raised questions about the project’s eight “significant and unavoidable” environmental impacts, more than any project known to be approved by the city.
The meeting starts Wednesday at 7 p.m. Click here for the agenda.
School Officials in Orange Selling School Site
Property for a proposed elementary school would be up for bidding under an action item before Orange Unified School District board members this week.
The land, designated for Riverdale Elementary School, was declared surplus by an advisory committee in 2012. Bids start at $15.9 million.
The property lies in Anaheim at 4540 E. Riverdale Ave.
The meeting starts Thursday at 6 p.m. at Canyon High School in Anaheim.
Mission Viejo Meeting on President’s Day
Monday’s status as a federal holiday isn’t stopping the Mission Viejo City Council from holding its meeting.
Other cities that normally meet on Mondays, such as Huntington Beach, instead hold their meetings on Tuesday when Monday is a holiday.
Among the items on the agenda is choosing contract specifications for replacing the city’s second-largest playground and releasing a request for bids. The project is expected to cost $1.3 million.
The meeting starts Monday at 6 p.m. Click here for the agenda.
Guns and Light Bulbs in Santa Ana
The Santa Ana City Council is set to decide on whether to buy $141,000 worth of bullets and $22,000 in new, energy-efficient street lights.
A staff report explains that the ammunition would be bought from four vendors: Adamson Police Products, Dooley Enterprises, Proforce Marketing and San Diego Police Equipment. But it doesn’t state how much the city’s getting for that price. The City Council is expected to decide on the purchase.
City leaders are expected to buy 60 more LED street lights this week, potentially saving the city on its electricity bill and carbon footprint.
At a price of $22,000, the city expects to reduce its power usage by 31,734 kilowatt-hours per year.
With electricity rates for outdoor lighting ranging between $0.19 and $0.27 per killowatt-hour, the city could save between about $6,000 and $8,500 per year on electricity costs.
Under that estimate, taxpayers would break even on the investment in two and a half to four years. The carbon footprint reduction is equivalent to removing just under 5 cars from the road, according to the staff report.
The new lights would be bought from Powerlux Corp. in addition to the 354 already purchased.
The meeting starts Tuesday at 5:45 p.m. Click here for the staff report.
Huntington Beach Expanding to Bolsa Chica Wetlands
City leaders are set to start the process of annexing the protected wetlands into its city limits.
The city plans to spend $185,000 to annex the land from the county.
After that, the city expects to have ongoing revenue of $136,000 — the large majority from oil extraction taxes — and expenses of at least $25,000. City staff are citing unknown extra costs for fire, police, code enforcement, animal control and public works.
The shift is ultimately subject to approval by the Huntington Beach City Council, Local Agency Formation Commission and Orange County Board of Supervisors.
The meeting starts Tuesday at 6 p.m. Click here for the staff report.
Major Meetings This Week
- Anaheim City Council
- Costa Mesa City Council
- Dana Point City Council
- Fountain Valley City Council
- Fullerton City Council
- Huntington Beach City Council
- Irvine Unified School District Board
- Laguna Niguel City Council
- La Palma City Council
- Lake Forest City Council
- Los Alamitos City Council
- Los Alamitos City Council (midyear budget review)
- Placentia City Council
- Rancho Santiago Community College District Board
- San Clemente City Council
- San Juan Capistrano City Council
- Santa Ana City Council
- SCAG Legislative/Communications and Membership Committee
- Tustin City Council
- Yorba Linda City Council
- Aliso Viejo City Council
- Coast Community College District Board
- Orange County Board of Supervisors (workshop on state legislation and budget)
- Orange Planning Commission
See something interesting in the agendas? Let us know!
Adam Elmahrek contributed to this post.