City Council Meeting Wrap-up

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The following is from the Sept. 18 City Council meeting. Mayor Jane Egly absent due to a death in her family.

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EXTRAORDINARY BUSINESS

Mayor Pro Tem Verna Rollinger presented a proclamation honoring the Beautification Council on its Diamond Jubilee and its founder the late Harry Lawrence.

The council is celebrating 60 years of contributions to the city image, including recognizing outstanding improvements to commercial and residential properties that are in public view.

Longtime Beautification Council member Eleanor Henry announced that Lawrence will be honored on his birth date, Oct. 1, at a fundraising dinner from 6 to 9:30 p.m. at Montage Laguna Beach, 30801 S. Coast Hwy. The public is invited to attend, potential members particularly welcome.

Tickets are $100, $50 tax deductible.

For more information or to make reservations call (949) 494-4439.

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PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS

The public may speak on any subject not on the agenda. Speakers generally are limited to three minutes, but the time can be adjusted by the council.

•Ann Hyde and Christine Montonna invited the public to a Friend Raiser at Madison Square Garden and Café, 320 N. Coast Hwy., hosted by Jon Madison.

Admission is one treasure per person to be donated to the Assistance League's Turnabout Shop or $25. Hyde said donations could be decorative items, collectibles, art, household items, jewelry and designer clothing.

Hors d'oeuvres, beverages and desserts will be served from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday. Entrance will be from the alley at the rear of the property.

•Wayne Fortin, founder and CEO of Trauma Intervention Program (TIP), introduced Freddie Charles, Laguna Beach resident and 15-year volunteer of TIP.

TIP-trained volunteers support folks affected by a tragedy, which allows police and firefighters to do their jobs. The volunteers are on-call 24/7, Fortin said.

"I am so thankful, glad that Laguna Beach calls on us," Charles said. "When I hear a siren, I hope people call on us — I don't want it to be necessary, but if it is — I hope you call."

Laguna Beach Police Employees Assn. President Larry Bammer expressed his thanks to Charles for helping the department shoulder the burden of emotionally stressed victims.

•Ocean Vista Drive resident Curt Bartsch said his neighborhood applauded the Fire Department for the extraordinary job fighting the fire above Ruby's. However, the fire has made him concerned about fuel modification, which has been banned where the fire broke out and he would like the dry brush cleared in his neighborhood.

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PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS REOPENED

Public Communications was reopened at the conclusion of Public Hearings to hear requests from South Laguna Community Garden supporters who wanted city funds to purchase two parcels on which they have planted the 11,307-square-foot garden. The funds requested were derived from the $251,251.87 sale of property signed over to the city by the county.

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COUNCIL AND STAFF CHAT

Council members and staff report on events they have attended, people with whom they have met and other items of public interest.

•City Treasurer Laura Parisi announced that the Bank of American Foundation contributed $60,000 divided between the Laguna Beach Art Museum, the Sawdust Festival, Art-a-Fair and the Festival of the Arts.

•City Clerk Martha Anderson announced that interviews and appointments of five residents to the Housing and Human Services Committee will be held Oct. 2. Deadline to submit applications was 5 p.m. Sept. 25. Interviews and appointments of three residents to the Design Review Board will be held Oct. 16. Deadline to submit applications is 5 p.m. Oct. 9.

•Councilman Kelly Boyd first wished a happy 30th anniversary to his wife Michelle. As for city business, Boyd said he received a letter from someone suggesting that the City put nice vegetation around the temporary lifeguard headquarter trailers. Boyd agreed that the city should soften the area with something attractive.

He was told that the city is working on some ideas.

•Councilwoman Toni Iseman reported that a Craigslist rental scam is going on. She said scam artists would take an existing property listing and post the rental ad on Craigslist for a fraction of the real price. After paying the requested amount, the would-be renters learn the listing is bogus.

She warned that when prices seem too good to be true, they probably are. Rental ads should be thoroughly checked out before sending money, she said.

Iseman announced she had attended the meeting of the Coastal Coalition Committee meeting, a group of coastal cities that are trying to figure out a way to better work with the Coastal Commission. She said the Coastal Commission was not always aware of what staff was doing and it was important for the city to have a direct relationship with commissioners so they had a better grasp of city issues.

She also announced that she had scheduled a meeting with South Coast Water District General Manager Mike Dunbar to discuss the district's proposed tunnel. Iseman would like to bring an agenda bill before the Council with information on what to expect during the upcoming four-year project.

City Manager Pietig said if the council wished, he would invite Mike Dunbar to give a brief presentation.

•Councilwoman Elizabeth Pearson said Laguna Beach has become a performing arts community as well as a visual arts community, with much credit due to the Arts Commission.

Pearson thanked the Arts Commissioners for Music in the Park and the Sunset Serenades. The last Sunset Serenade is Friday night

She applauded the recent Bluegrass Concert at Aliso Creek and the Laguna Dance Festival, which she said has brought national acclaim for the city.

•Rollinger said she had attended the California League of Cities Conference which was a wonderful way to get together with representatives of other cities and share information.

Among her recent activities Rollinger attended the 60th birthday celebration of the Methodist church and represented the council at the Patriots Day 9/11 ceremony and she found the Dance Festival "breathtaking."

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CONSENT CALENDAR

Consent calendar items are approved unanimously in one motion unless a member of the City Council, staff, or public "pulls" the item, which then requires opening it for public comment and a separate vote.

Among the items approved unanimously:

•The 2013 Laguna Craft Guild schedule of 14 shows at the Main Beach Park Cobblestones area and El Paseo.

Shows were approved for Jan. 20, Feb. 10, March 3 and 24, April 7 and 28, May 12 and 26, June 9, Sept. 15, Oct. 13 and 27, Nov. 10 and Dec. 15.

•Appropriation of $20,000 to underground utilities at the Hortense Miller Garden.

•HIV Advisory Committee recommendations to allocate $7,166 to the Laguna Beach Community Clinic, $3,667 to Laguna Shanti and $2,667 to Aids Services Foundation.

•Adoption of Resolution No. 12.069 amending the Conflict of Interest Code Appendix of Designated Employees, as periodically required.

Designated employees and their disclosure categories are listed with the agenda item, available on the city's website.

•A low-interest, $7,500 loan to Patricia Worthington-Shannon and Richard Shannon to participate in Utility Underground Assessment District 07-2.

They claimed financial hardship.

City staff said the alternative to the loan would have been the more-expensive pursuit of a court order to disconnect utilities for a household in which one of the residents has a medical condition that is dependent on utility service.

Pulled for discussion:

•A $74,500 professional services agreement with Ninyo & Moore (with a provision for additional compensation of up to 25% of the contract if changes are made in the scope of the services) to prepare grant applications for submittal to CalRecycle and other tasks related to remediation and restoration of the site; submittal of an application to CalRecycle for a grant pursuant to the Illegal Disposal Site Abatement Grant Program and/or the Legacy Disposal Site Abatement Partial Grant Program; and $70,000 set aside for a California Environmental Quality Act consultant to assist in preparing an environmental document for the remediation and restoration project. Approved 4-0.

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REGULAR ORDER OF BUSINESS

Items require separate discussion and citizen input, if desired, before the council makes a determination.

Park renovation concepts approved 4-0

The council approved the design concepts for the renovation of Alta Laguna, Moulton Meadows, Top of the World and Lang Park.

Public Works Director Steve May reported on current conditions at two of the parks, as well as proposals for improvements and the costs.

Alta Laguna and Moulton Meadows parks need improvements to the soil for better irrigation — synthetic turf was not recommended due to the variety of uses at the parks.

Moulton Meadows renovations are projected to cost $1.2 million; Alta Laguna, $800,000; Top of the World and Lang parks, $150,000 each.

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CLOSED SESSION

•Conference with legal counsel regarding consideration of whether to initiate litigation concerning abatement of nuisance conditions.

•Conference with legal counsel regarding pending litigation Rowden V. city, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Case No. 12-80144.

Any action taken by the council in closed session must be reported publicly. None was announced.

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NEXT MEETING

The council meets next at 5 p.m. Oct. 2 in closed session. The public meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 505 Forest Ave.

Meeting agendas are available by 4 p.m. on the Thursday prior to the meeting in the city clerk's office in City Hall, 505 Forest Ave. Agendas are also published on the city's web site http://www.lagunabeachcity.net.

Compiled by Barbara Diamond from information provided by the city clerk's office.

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