City Council Meeting Wrap-Up

The following is from the April 3 City Council meeting. Councilman Kelly Boyd was absent due to illness.



The city declared April Donate Life California month.

Mayor Jane Egly presented the proclamation to Debra Duran, filmed by her daughter, Jennae. The proclamation recognized the need for donors of organs, tissue, marrow and blood. A single donation of a heart, liver, lungs, kidney, pancreas and small intestine can save up to eight lives; a tissue donation can save up to 50 lives; and a single blood donation can help save three people. Almost 9 million Californians have signed up with the state-authorized registry to ensure their wish to be donors is honored.

About 10,000 people, including Duran's daughter, are expected to participate in the Donate Life Run/Walk set for April 28 at Cal State Fullerton.



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

•Amy Walker gave a graphic description of animal behavior she finds offensive. She asked for clear rules prohibiting dogs from grocery store entrances, restaurant patios and areas where people are eating or drinking.

•Arnold Hano declared that 76% of voters in August 1971 approved a citywide height limit of 36 feet. Recent discussions by the Planning Commission about building heights triggered the comment.

•Bruce Hopping suggested the Junior Lifeguards could teach the city's children how to swim, and that the group be honored with a sculpture. He also denigrated the Monument Point memorial to veterans, which he says is not adequate, although approved by the city's veteran posts.  

•Matthew Wood, president of the Laguna Concert Band, reported that the group was one of the city's most active volunteer organizations and is gaining size, recognition and quality.

He presented the council with CDs of a recent performance that featured principal Chicago Symphony tubist, who was featured at a concert held recently at the Laguna Playhouse. Two swing bands, a Dixieland band and a flute ensemble, being tutored by the Pacific Symphony musicians, are subsets of the band.

The downside of the band's success is that the 65-member group no longer fits comfortably in the high school music room where rehearsals are held weekly on Tuesdays.

Wood asked for suggestions on where they might meet in order to continue their goal of being the finest community band in California.

•Marion Pack updated the council on her concerns about San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station safety issues. She said Irvine joined Costa Mesa and Laguna Beach the previous week proclaiming interest in issues related to safety.

Pack said that two of San Onofre's units have been closed since January due to major problems with the steam generators that are only 2 years old.

She said citizens have the right and responsibility to decide whether more money should be invested in an aging facility, which was due to be closed next year, according to the original license.

•Robert Ross continued to question the legality and cost of the recent Reassessment District 12-1 bonds, and Treasurer Laura Parisi continued to explain the virtues of the reassessment bond issue.

•David Horne, founding chairman of the Greater Laguna Coast Fire Safe Council, said that he was looking for a successor to his leadership of the group for the past 18 years, for which he has never taken a penny.

He offered to help anyone who would take on the job to make the transition orderly. Interested parties can contact Horne at

•David Fleischmann said the city needs medical marijuana dispensaries and claimed traffic fatalities increase when people turn to alcohol because they can't get pot legally.

He said dispensaries would improve the quality of life and the city shouldn't be criticized as opening Laguna to drug tourism.



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

•Councilwoman Elizabeth Pearson expressed condolences on the passing of Bob Henry, Steve Esslinger and Harry Lawrence, all of whom made major contributions to Laguna, she said.

•Mayor Pro Tem Verna

Rollinger reported attending the first meeting of the new Environmental Sustainability Committee, and she said she is looking forward to some good recommendations.

She also informed the council that the water summit meeting on Friday evening in the council chambers was well attended. The discussion included new sources of water and using water more efficiently.

•Councilwoman Toni Iseman congratulated Laguna Beach High School on its production of "The Sound of Music," which she described as extraordinary. She also attended the Art Star awards, which she said had fewer in attendance this year.

"It is amazing that our town has all that talent," Iseman said.

Iseman congratulated Egly, Rollinger and Laguna Beach County Water District General Manager Renae Hinchey on the valuable water summit.

She reported attending a county Environmental Quality Committee meeting in Ontario where the discussion included recycled water. She reported that Laguna has no purple pipes, which are required for recycling purposes.

Iseman said the pipes need 10 feet of separation from other pipes and suggested staff might look into the subject here in town as well as on a state-wide level.

She also attended a festival Coordinating Committee meeting and opined that the Sawdust's policy of free nights for residents of various communities should be publicized to inform the communities. She suggested that local restaurants might piggyback on the idea.


reported attending the Art Star Awards, the Senior Plus Art Awards exhibited at the Susi Q and a Laguna Beach Visitors and Conference Bureau meeting at which she was updated on what the bureau is doing to increase visitors coming to Laguna and enjoying the town. She also attended Susan Cannan's retirement party with sadness but with good wishes on Cannan's retirement.

Egly congratulated Thurston Middle School for its "Hero" program, which teaches younger people about older people. She particularly thanked Eliot Cook.



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:

•Denial of claims filed by Richard Brown and Eli J. Grossman.

Brown claimed black mold on wood, insulation and drywall in cavities between roof beams, exterior roofing and ceiling was due to lack of air circulation, caused by a building inspector's requirement to close in all open eaves with fire resistant material. He is asking for $60,903.88 compensation.

Grossman is asking for more than $2 million for police conduct during his transportation to Orange County Jail on Sept. 22, 2011, when he claims he was seated backward in a vehicle after telling the transporting officer he got sick in that position. About 10 minutes into the ride, Grossman said he was sweating, nauseous and felt like he was having a heart attack. The Fire Department was called, and he was taken to a hospital, Grossman claimed.

Pulled for discussion:

•Installation of "Streamline Bench" at 237 Ocean Ave. was continued to the April 17 meeting.

The continuation was requested by Rollinger, who said she would prefer to have the council see all of the entries. Iseman asked to have the models brought in for review by the council. Approved 3-1, Egly opposed.

•$15,929 to Ironwood Plumbing for the purchase and installation of a hot water heater for the Community Pool. Approved 4-0.

•Approval of a resolution proclaiming November 1-7, 2012, as National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week in Laguna Beach, and a contribution of $500 from city funds to assist with the printing/publication costs for the event. Approved 4-0.

•Amendment to an agreement between the city and the Orange County Transportation Authority for the Broadway Beautification Project.

OCTA requested two changes: imposition of a one-year application moratorium on recipients that do not aggressively pursue the use of the funds and permission to use the full amount of the granted funds even if the project doesn't cost that much.

The staff opined that the city benefited from the changes and recommended approval of the amendment. Approved 4-0.

•A $26,000 contract with Pyro for annual Fourth of July fireworks. Approved 4-0.



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

PTC appointments

Rebecca Clifford and Aaron Talarico were appointed to the Parking, Traffic and Circulation Committee for terms that expire February 28, 2014.

Although youthful looking, Clifford has been a practicing attorney for five years. She said it is important for young people to get involved in the community.

Talarico is an urban environmental planner who has lived in Laguna for 25 years. He previously served on the Recreation Committee and was head coach of the Laguna Beach High School boys' tennis team for six years.

He is a member of the Chamber of Commerce Government Action Committee and a director of L.E.A.R.N., a nonprofit junior sports and language program.

Ocean Plan amendments, 4-0

A letter signed by Egly will be submitted to the State Water Quality Control Board with comments on proposed amendments to the California Ocean Plan that establishes criteria for designating water quality protection areas within the Marine Protected Areas.

"This is not some sort of nirvana they are creating," said David Shissler, director of city water quality. "Anything in this that is really needed will be wrapped up in the new permit.

Senior Water Quality Analyst Will Holoman said it is just more regulation.

"We see no good reason for another layer of bureaucracy," he said.

However, he did meet with some activists to get feedback on why they supported the proposal and was thanked by Rollinger for meeting with them.

Mayor's Water Wise Challenge, 4-0

The council adopted a resolution supporting the Wyland Mayor's Challenge for Water Conservation.

Egly urged residents to log onto through April 30. The cities in each population category with the highest percentage of pledges win the challenge.



The next regularly scheduled meeting will be held at 6 p.m. April 17 in City Council Chambers, 505 Forest Ave.

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

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