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Huntington Beach council to review terms of new police contract

Huntington Beach Police Officer Bobby Frahm looks on as Levi Bonjean, 2, sits on his motorcycle. The
Huntington Beach Police Officer Bobby Frahm looks on as Levi Bonjean, 2, sits on his motorcycle. The City Council on Tuesday will review a new contract for the city’s rank-and-file police union.
(File Photo)

In a move that could end nearly two years of tense negotiation with rank-and-file police, the Huntington Beach City Council on Tuesday will consider a proposed contract that provides officers retroactive incentives dating back to October 2017 and extends them through the end of this year.

The proposal, if approved, would cost the city $759,293.

The Police Officers’ Assn. has worked without a contract since fall 2017, a factor that contributed to mounting tensions between the union and Police Chief Robert Handy, as well as his supporters on the City Council, that eventually led to an independent review that called for operational efficiencies and better “succession planning.”

Under the pending 2017-19 contract, officers would see adjustments in medical benefits, vacation time and time off and a one-time, $1,200 reimbursement for law enforcement-related equipment purchases.

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The city’s monthly contribution toward employees’ medical plans would increase by a couple hundred dollars.

Officers will also have the option to convert up to 80 hours of accrued vacation into cash.

Employees would also be able to choose to be paid for compensatory time off twice a year, according to the contract.

If preliminary approval is granted Tuesday, the contract would eventually return to the City Council for the final OK.

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False alarm burglary calls

In other business, Handy is proposing a modified resolution to alter false-alarm fees and fines after Councilwoman Kim Carr suggested lowering fees for senior citizens during last month’s council meeting.

Under the amended resolution, qualifying senior citizens will pay a reduced rate of $20.50 instead of $41 for an annual alarm permit.

The program is open only to residents 62 and older who meet “very low income” guidelines set by the federal government.

City’s charter review

The council will also vote on how to move forward with a review of its charter.

Councilman Mike Posey initially pitched creating a 15-member commission and hiring a consultant to examine the document during last month’s meeting.

The charter is typically reviewed every 10 years. The city spent about $25,000 in 2009 for a consultant who did not recommend any amendments.

A second option is to create an ad hoc committee made up of three council members, the city manager and the city attorney who will review the city’s guiding document and determine whether changes are needed.

The process is estimated to take about 120 days with minimal costs and less staff time, according to a staff report.

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Tuesday’s meeting begins at 6 p.m. at 2000 Main St.


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