The Claremont City Council meets this evening for their last session before the municipal election on March 8. The next time the council meets, it will be to have the three winning candidates sworn in on Tuesday, March 15.
The council will meet in the council chambers at 225 Second St. across from Saca's Mediterranean restaurant (you're welcome for the free product placement).
As always, you can watch the meeting here.
Tonight's council action starts with a closed session meeting beginning at 4pm. These closed session meetings typically start at around 5:15, so there may be some longer discussions involved in the three items on the closed session agenda.
The first agenda item involves undisclosed potential litigation. The second has to do with negotiations involving the Peppertree Square shopping center at the southeast corner of Indian Hill Blvd. and Arrow Hwy.
The last closed session item has to do with a lawsuit filed in Pomona Superior Court in June last year. We haven't had a chance to run down to the courthouse to review the suit, but the plaintiff is a dentist named Dan Sizemore. The case is a civil rights suit, and the defendants are the Claremont Police Department and several of its officers, the City of Claremont, and a Glendora marriage and family therapist named Ilissa Banhazi:
Case Number: KC058857
DR. DAN SIZEMORE, D.D.S. VS CITY OF CLAREMONT
Filing Date: 06/02/2010 Case Type: Civil Rights (General Jurisdiction) Status: Pending
02/22/2011 at 08:30 am in department O at 400 Civic Center Plaza, Pomona, CA 91766 Conference-Case Management (M/STRIKE)
SIZEMORE D D.S. DR. DAN - Plaintiff
BARUCH JOEL W. ESQ. - Attorney for Plaintiff
CLAREMONT CITY OF - Defendant
CLAREMONT POLICE DEPARTMENT CITY OF - Defendant
COSTA J. SERGEANT - Defendant
ABARCA C. OFFICER - Defendant
J. TING. OFFICER - Defendant
MEDRANO J. OFFICER - Defendant
GROSSBERG SCOTT J. - Attorney for Defendant
BANHAZI MFT. ILISSA - Defendant
CAUDILL O. BRANDT - Attorney for Defendant
Tonight's regular session convenes at 6:30pm. You can see the agenda here.
There's one ceremonial matter, recognition of Jerry Tessier of Arteco Partners, developer of the Claremont Packing House and the Padua Hills Theatre; Jonathan Tolkin of The Tolkin Group, developer of the Claremont Village Expansion; and Harry Wu, developer of the Old School House and Griswold's complex.
After public comment, the meeting moves on to the consent calendar, which includes a couple items of interest:
- The Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFRs) for the City of Claremont and the Claremont Redevelopment Agency. This is something of particular interest this year thanks mostly to Governor Jerry Brown, who has proposed eliminating redevelopment agencies.
- A memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Claremont Management Association, unrepresented employees, and the Claremont Employees Association.
The MOUs lock the city into agreements that the employees will start contributing their share of their CalPERS pension payments (a total of 8% per year). The employees will start contributing 2% each year until they reach 8%. CMA safety employees (police management) will end up contributing a total of 9%, which is supposed to be their contribution.
Currently, the employees pay nothing with the City picking up the employees' share. This proposal came out in the Mayor's Ad Hoc Committee on Economic Sustainability's recent report and has been a council campaign issue.
Candidate Opanyi Nasiali, who was a dissenting vote on this matter while on the Mayor's committee, believes the employees' contributions shouldn't be graduated because the City can realize an immediate savings of $1.2 million per year if the employees simply switched to paying their entire contributions - something the city's waste management workers agreed to do in their contract last year.
- Authorizing NBS Corporation to prepare the City's annual Landscaping and Lighting District (LLD) engineer's report. Always a point of contention, this. We'll undoubtedly have more on this once the report is released. We'll see if the LLD gets increased this year.
- Request for council approval of a land acquisition agreement for the 150-acre Cuevas Property, which will be added to the Claremont Wilderness Park. The purchase price, "not to exceed $4,850,000," was negotiated by the Trust for Public Land and will be paid through two grants of $2,425,000 each from the San Gabriel and Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy and from the state's Wildlife Conservation Board.
As to adminstrative items, the council will also receive and consider the City's Youth Sports Facilities Needs Assessment report, of which we'll try to have more at a later date.
There's also a police department staffing report that will disappoint some of the candidates and the police officers' union with it's assurances that the police department should be able to get along fine at its current staffing level. The police officers and some of their allies in the Claremont 400 have been working hard to put a scare into the public about understaffing as the City prepares to negotiate the CPD officers' contract.
Lastly, there's a recommendation from the Council's Ad Hoc Committee on Commission Appointments (council members Larry Schroeder and Corey Calaycay) to appoint residents Donna Lowe and Glen Hood II to the Community Services Commission.