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CITYSCAPE ROUNDUP:City employees get pay raise

City employees and lifeguards have had their pay bumped up by the Laguna Beach City Council.

City officials cited competition to attract and keep qualified personnel as the reason for the increased salaries and benefits.

The council approved a resolution ratifying memos of understanding between the city and the Marine Safety Assn. and the Municipal Employees Assn. on April 17.

Employees who work at city hall and in other nonemergency service jobs will receive a 6% salary increase in July and 5% yearly increases over the next four years, among other increases.

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The city’s hourly lifeguards will get a 5% yearly increase over the next four years.

In December, firefighters negotiated a hard-fought increase totaling 31% over five years.

The four-year agreement with the hourly lifeguards includes a 5% per year salary increase over the life of the agreement, starting July 2. Equipment allowance will be raised $15 at the beginning of the second and fourth years of the agreement.

Highlights of the five-year agreement with municipal employees include:

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  • Salary increases of 6% in July and 5% per year increases in the following four years;
  • Pre-tax contributions by the city of $100 per month, per employee, for retiree health care; and
  • Public Employees Retirement System coverage for “miscellaneous” employees, with the city paying both the employee and employer contribution rate. The retirement plan will not include employees who leave city jobs before July 1, 2010.
  • — Barbara Diamond

    Design Review Board to meet less

    The Design Review Board will meet only three Thursdays each month beginning June 1 — instead of four meetings — except in December, when the group will meet twice. The board has seen a slowing in applications for development projects.

    The 2007 schedule is:

    May 3, 10, 17, 31; June 14, 21, 28; July 12, 19, 26; Aug. 9, 16, 30; Sept 13, 20, 27; Oct 11, 18, 25; Nov. 8, 15, 29; Dec. 13, 20

    LANO membership meeting planned

    Laguna North Neighborhood Association (LANO) will hold a general membership meeting at 7 p.m. May 8 in the Wells Fargo Bank third floor community room, 260 Ocean Ave., Laguna Beach.

    Guest speakers will be Mayor Toni Iseman and Design Review Board member Ilse Lenschow. Officers and board members will be elected and results of the recent survey concerning the need for a North Laguna Specific Plan (residential and commercial) will be presented.

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    The public is invited. For more information, call (949) 494-2950 or (949) 494-9538.

    ‘Truth’ film to be shown

    “An Inconvenient Truth,” the Oscar-winning film about global warming, will be shown free of charge at 6:45 p.m. Monday at the Forum Theater on the Festival of Arts Grounds, 650 Laguna Canyon Rd., Laguna Beach.

    The sponsors, including Village Laguna, are hoping that the showing will generate ideas and strategies for addressing the issue of global warming in Laguna Beach.

    Additional sponsors are: Laguna Beach Taxpayers Assn.; VillageAT; Help Blue Water; Keep America Beautiful; Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce; and Zero Trash Laguna.

    To become a co-sponsor, contact Chris Prelitz at (949) 494-6353.

    Conservancy to discuss Foothill toll road

    The Laguna Canyon Conservancy will hold a dinner meeting Monday, May 7, at Tivoli Terrace, 650 Laguna Canyon Road.

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    Special guest Brittany McKee will discuss, “The Foothill-South Toll Road, To Be or Not To Be?”

    The Conservancy believes there are alternatives to the now-delayed 241 toll road that could better serve residents.

    Also on the agenda will be the annual election of the board of directors.

    Nominated this year are incumbents Jeanie Bernstein, Max Brown, Sonia Campbell, Catharine Cooper, Ed Drollinger, John Keith, Gene Felder, J.J. Gasparotti, Siggy Johnson, Sharon Larimer, Fran McGowan, John Pfeffer, Kimberly Stuart, Patricia Turnier, Diane Valentino, Gayle Waite, and Carolyn Wood.

    Additional nominations from the floor are welcome.

    Conservancy dinner meetings are open to the public. A no-host bar opens at 6 p.m., with dinner served around 6:40 p.m.

    Dinner tickets are $10 for members and $15 for non-members and may be paid at the door with prior reservations.

    Membership is $10 per person, per calendar year. New memberships and renewals will be good through Dec. 31.

    To reserve a seat, call Ed Drollinger at (494) 6465 by May 5.


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