Claremont Insider: City Council Meeting Tonight

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

City Council Meeting Tonight

Claremont's City Council meets tonight, beginning at 5:15pm in the Council Chambers at 225 Second St. in the Claremont Village.


The meeting begins with a special closed session meeting for the council to hear City Manager Jeff Parker report on negotiations with Golden State Water Co. on the purchase of a parcel of land from the water company, apparently for affordable housing. Here's the closed session agenda.

Parker will also report in the closed session on negotiations with Jamboree Housing, the company that wants to build the proposed affordable housing project at the old Claremont Courier site at 111 S. College Ave., across from the Pooch Park. You can read more about the proposal on the city's website.

One odd thing about the way the city s touting the proposal - the city's Affordable Housing Task Force employed the VERY same arguments made by the people who opposed failed Base Line Rd. project last year. Recall that those folks suggested a couple downtown locations as alternatives superior to the Base Line Rd. site.

We quote from the city's information for the current proposal:

This site was recommended as the top site in the City for the development of affordable housing by the Affordable Housing Task Force that was appointed by the City Council in Spring 2008. This recommendation was based on the site's close proximity to transit, parks, schools, and other services in the downtown.

[Emphasis added - ed.]

If you stick around long enough, you'll notice that two groups can make precisely the same suggestions to the City, but where one will be ignored and dismissed, the other will be lauded for thinking creatively - about the same idea!

* * * * *

In tonight's closed session meeting, the two agenda items concern two particular parcels of land: the water company parcel (L.A. County parcel number 8312-022-800, according to the agenda) and the old Courier property (parcel number 8312-022-001).

We tried looking both those up on the L.A. County Assessor's website, but it kept telling us those parcel numbers do not exist:

Click to Enlarge

We don't have time to run this to ground, but doesn't the city at least have a problem with the public notice of the phantom parcel negotiations? Just wondering....

Click to Enlarge


The council meeting continues at 6:30pm with a report on the closed session, followed by the council's regular meeting. You read the regular agenda here or watch it streamed live tonight here.

Among the regular session items up for review and discussion are:
  • A report from City Treasurer Adam Pirrie on the state of the City's investments, which were off by $1,556,831 for the first quarter of 2009. The investments, totaling $18,769,480 as of March 31, 2009, are supposed to be in pretty conservative instruments. You'll recall that as a backlash to the city's investment of over $5 million in the defunct Orange County Investment Pool in the early 1990s, the City has tried to keep things mostly in safe CDs and cash accounts.

    The Claremont Redevelopment Agency's investments also lost money, the treasurer's report says. The CRA had a total of $2,128,190 in investments as of March 31, and that was down $739,144. Just as with the City's investments, the report attributes that CRA investment decline to having to pay for CRA's operational expenditures.

    So why the decrease? According to Pirrie's report, the city has been spending the money on operations because revenues have been decreasing. They're dipping into savings to cover the costs of services.

    More on this item later

  • Current economic conditions have the City scrambling for revenue, which means we should look for fees to increase anywhere and everywhere city staff can possibly find a buck.

    To this end, staff proposes that the council approve some changes to its film production permit process to allow for inflation-indexed increases in current permit charges. Staff also wants the council to add commercial still photography to the list of activities covered by the film production permits.

    Here's the staff report for the matter.

  • The council will also consider the recommendation of its Ad Hoc Commission Sub-committee (Councilmembers Linda Elderkin and Larry Schroeder) to appoint Jeff Camacho to the Community Services Commission.

    A side note: This commission seat seems to be the ticket to the City Council. Both Schroeder and Councilmember Sam Pedroza served on this commission before being elected to council.