Claremont Insider: Tonight's Council Meeting

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tonight's Council Meeting

The Claremont City Council meets again tonight, beginning with another one of their closed sessions at 5:15pm at City Hall. Do you get the impression this is where the real business of the people gets done?

The Council reconvenes at 6:30pm in the Council Chambers for its public session. Here's what's on tap tonight:


In their ultra-secret bunker, the City Council will:

  • Meet with their labor negotiators, City Manager Jeff Parker, Assistant City Manager Tony Ramos, and personnel manager Shawna Urban to discuss negotiations with the Claremont Professional Employee's Association.

  • Discuss the Protect Our Neighborhood lawsuit against the City and Claremont McKenna College.

  • Meet with Jerry Tessier regarding price and terms for the Padua Theatre renovation.


When the Council reconvenes, they'll give a report on their closed session actions, then jump into the regular part of the meeting, beginning with public comment. Among the agenda items are:
  • A second reading of the residential parking ordinance.

  • Authorizing City Manager Parker to sign a lease agreement with Tri-City Mental Health to lease that agency the city's Youth and Family Support Center facility.

  • Awarding a $2.2 million contract with Mega Way Enterprises of Pomona to build Phase 1 of the Padua Ave. Park. According to the staff report, Phase 1 will include one unlit soccer field and 52 parking spaces.

    Additionally, the staff report says that the City is expecting to receive $850,000 from the San Gabriel and Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy for aspects of habitat restoration and water conservation. The city's agenda report seems to indicate that if the City receives the money, staff wants the council to shift $850,000 of money already budgeted for Phase 1 and go forward with Phase 1A, which is the lit soccer field and 58 more parking spaces.

    This money transfer keeps the RMC's hands nominally clean when it comes to taking out the sensitive habitat they are supposed to be saving, but in reality it allows the City to go forward not only with removal of habitat but also with introducing sports field lighting that is not in keeping with the City's Draft Sustainability Plan or the rural area lighting restrictions for Northeast Claremont.

    The report says the total for Phases 1 and 1A is $3,667,859. If the City receives the RMC money and goes forward with Phase 1A, it will have to appropriate another $527,000 from the City's General Fund Reserve to build Phase 1A with its lit field.

    The RMC was supposed to vote on granting the $800,000 to the city yesterday, and the staff report seems to indicate that the deal was a done one ahead of time, so it's likely that the council will be voting on raiding the General Fund Reserve for that extra $527,000 to go forward with Phase 1A.

    The Daily Bulletin's Wes Woods II had an article on the Padua Park agenda item in today's paper.

  • Considering the Police Commission's recommendation for the Corey Nursery site at 1650 N. Monte Vista as the best location for the proposed new Claremont Police Station. The Council is also being asked to direct staff to seek funding for the station, which is projected to cost between $20-25 million.

  • Considering recommendations from the Architectural and Planning Commissions on streamlining approval of wireless communication towers. Not enough of these in town, and the do generate a steady revenue stream.
  • An appointment to the Human Services Commission to replace Commission Chair Gwen Carr, who recently resigned her position. Carr was a casualty of former Human Services Chair Valerie Martinez's Preserve Claremonster scheming. No good deed goes unpunished is the lesson here. Maury Feingold will replace Carr on the commission.