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City Council Meeting Wrap-Up

The following is from the Oct. 16 City Council meeting. All council members were present.



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.


•Kathryn Doe asked why she was not selected to serve on the Housing and Human Services Committee after six attempts. Doe said she was running for City Council as a write-in candidate. However, she failed to qualify according to the Registrar of Voters process.

•Bruce Hopping said the late Dr. Eugene Atherton was a patriot for attending to people who could not afford medical treatment. He would like the Laguna Beach Community Clinic to be dedicated to Atherton for his years of devoted involvement with the clinic.

Hopping also said there was a large bump on Coast Highway near Emerald Bay that needed repair and reiterated his position that education and building self-esteem in young people works better than the War on Drugs.

“Prohibition didn’t stop alcohol use,” he said.


•Laguna Beach Community Coalition member Christy Cornwall announced that information on the prevention of alcohol and drug abuse by minors and ways to keep them safe may be found on the coalition’s website:

•Tijana Hamilton said she was the only Laguna Beach resident that attended the Community Coalition meeting regarding the social host ordinance, which is scheduled to be heard by the City Council at its Nov. 6 meeting.

Hamilton does not favor the proposed ordinance and said more community input is needed and urged the council to look at the repercussions of the proposed ordinance as well as the benefits.

She said the Community Coalition’s brochure provided good information on the subject, and more information on underage drinking and the law could be found on the website,



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

•City Water Quality Director David Shissler introduced the new Senior Water Quality Analyst, Tracy Ingebrigtsen, who has replaced Will Holoman.


Ingebrigtsen, who is originally from Ohio, earned her bachelor’s degree from UC Davis and worked for Stanford University for 15 years.

She has been working in Laguna for about two months.

“I couldn’t be happier,” Shissler said.

•Councilwoman Elizabeth Pearson announced that painters from all over the country came to Laguna to participate in the nationally acclaimed annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational.

Events included the Collectors’ Soiree Gala on Saturday at the Laguna Art Museum, which featured paintings that were created during the invitational for sale and an awards ceremony. The event was a joint venture of Laguna Art Museum and the association.

•Mayor Pro Tem Verna Rollinger announced that she and Mayor Jane Egly had survived the candidate forums to date — with one to go.

Furthermore, she said, she, Councilwoman Toni Iseman and Mayor Jane Egly had also survived the first weekend of “Lagunatics.”

Rollinger showed up for the meeting wearing a turquoise silk cape, a costume for the show. Iseman donned hers during the meeting.


•Iseman said the word on the street was that the 2012 show was the best-ever “Lagunatics.”

On a more serious note, Iseman announced she had recently attended two meetings related to San Onofre. She said the nuclear power plant not only has the worst problems in the country, they are the worst by 10-fold.

•Egly reported that she and Iseman had the pleasure of cutting the ribbon for Laguna’s only radio station, KX93.5. She wished the station luck and encouraged everyone to turn on KX93.5 to receive local information and music.

Egly announced the retirement of Mike Dunbar, manager of the South Coast Water District.



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 three claims filed by Leonard J. Porto lll.

Porto claimed he had been harassed three times by Laguna Beach police between May 13 and Sept. 1. He also claimed the city was guilty of multiple violations of the California Public Records Act. He is asking for statutory, punitive, compensatory and special damages as a court of law deems fair and just.

Porto stated his age was none of the city’s business on the form.

•Acceptance of the California Energy Commission, Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Funding of $16,272 to be used to retrofit approximately 77 fluorescent light fixtures in at least 14 sewer lift stations.

•A grant application for $25,000 to the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, Ernest F. Hollings Ocean Awareness Trust Fund for an 18-month Marine Protected Area outreach and tide pool education program.

The foundation is seeking proposals to increase ocean awareness and to promote action for ocean conservation — innovative programs that engage the public in compelling stewardship issues and more effective and focused action that benefits humans and the sea, according to Marne Safety Chief Kevin Snow.

Laguna would use the grant to augment Tidepool Educator hours, solicit assistance in evaluating and updating the Tidepool Education Program and to purchase tools to implement the program.

Matching funds are required from the city.


Pulled for discussion:

•A $315,956 contract with Golden State Constructors for construction of the Broadway Streetscape Improvements project; and approval of related expenses, not to exceed $85,000.

Seventy-four percent of the $450,000 budget is covered by a Federal Transportation Enhancement grant approved 5-0.

The project includes decorative pedestrian walkways, landscaping and the reconfigured intersection at Cliff Drive. Funding for public art is not included in the construction contract.

•Report summarizing the city’s use of natural gas, water, electricity and fuel.

Staff reviewed thousands of bills from January 2008 to December 2011 to conclude the city spends about $1.6 million a year on natural gas, water electricity and fuel, which includes gasoline, propane and diesel. The data was then separated by city facility and summarized in 38 bar graphs.

Graphs and associated data will help to identify usage trends at city facilities and facilities where energy efficiency could be maximized, to establish a usage baseline and to track cost savings from energy-efficiency improvement projects, according to the report submitted by Gavin Curren, city director of finance and I.T.

The graphs are available on the city’s website and will be updated annually..

•A letter to be sent to Congressman John Campbell expressing the need to reform the pending “federal sequestration,” the mandatory spending caps on most federal programs through 2021 and other across-the board annual spending cuts, per a request by the League of California cities.

The cuts to non-defense discretionary programs are critical to local government programs, which include Community Development Block grant, HOME Investment Partnerships, COPS and Bryne Justice Assistance grants, according to the league.



Any action taken must be reported publicly.

•Conference with labor negotiations with the Laguna Beach Police Employees, Municipal Employees and Marine Safety Employees associations

•Conference with legal counsel regarding anticipated litigation and two items of significant exposure to litigation

•Conference with legal counsel regarding existing litigation: Club Laguna LLC vs. the city, Orange County Superior Court Cast No. 30-2012-00549548)



The next regularly scheduled meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Nov. 13 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 website

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