ABSTRACT: Random Reportings on the City's hiring of Protrades Connection, City Administrator Rich Guillen's decision not to enforce the removal of holiday lights in the Commercial District by the second Wednesday in January, city expenditures to appellate attorney Joel Franklin for Flanders Mansion Legal Services and the status of the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the Villas de Carmelo Project, with associated COMMENTS, are presented.
• UPDATE: Total expenditures associated with Holiday Lights equal $2,684.73.
117291 2/3/09 PROTRADES CONNECTION $ 367.29 50 24050 REMOVAL OF HOLIDAY LIGHTS
117041 12/23/08 PROTRADES CONNECTION $ 428.52 50 24050 LABOR COSTS FOR CITY HOLIDAY LIGHTS
The City hired Protrades Connection, “one of California's leading providers of temporary help,” to install Holiday lights in the Ocean Av. medians at a taxpayer expense of $1,888.92, according to the city’s December Check Register.
COMMENT: In contracting with Protrades Connection, the City has commercialized what had once been a community event.
Reference: 116930 12/10/08 PROTRADES CONNECTION $ 1,888.92 50 24050 CITY XMAS LIGHTS INSTALLATION
• City Administrator Rich Guillen instructed staff not to enforce the removal of holiday lights in the commercial district by the second Wednesday in January, but to allow holiday lights until after next month’s AT & T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am Golf Tournament, according to “Deadline extended for removal of lights” in The Carmel Pine Cone, dated January 9, 2009.
COMMENT: When the City indiscriminately and inconsistently enforces the Municipal Code, when the City suspends a “rule” for dubious, unsupported reasons, the City is communicating to the public that the City views the Municipal Code and “rules” as discretionary, not mandatory. Moreover, if the Carmel Chamber of Commerce wants more lights in the Commercial District, then the Chamber should petition the city and an amendment to the Municipal Code and/or changes to the “rules” should be considered at a public hearing.
• A check for $32,129.20 to attorney Joel Franklin for “Flanders Litigation Legal Expenses,” dated December 16, 2008, represents the largest and latest taxpayer expense to appellate attorney Joel Franklin regarding the Flanders Mansion property.
Reference: 116969 12/16/08 JOEL FRANKLIN $ 32,129.20 01 61051 FLANDERS LITIGATION LEGAL EXPENSES
COMMENT: After Judge Robert O’Farrell’s decision regarding Flanders Foundation vs. City of Carmel-by-the-Sea et al (M76728), the city hired appellate attorney Joel Franklin to advise about filing an appeal. The City chose not to appeal the decision. Since that time, the city has compensated attorney Joel Franklin a total of $89,363.70 for “Flanders Legal Services,” from October 2007 to December 2008. That taxpayer dollar amount, not to mention the expenditures to William B. Conners, the city’s previous attorney, and Susan Brandt-Hawley, Flanders Foundation attorney, is more than the city has spent on the maintenance and upkeep of the Flanders Mansion since the City purchased the property in 1972!
116969 12/16/08 JOEL FRANKLIN $ 32,129.20 01 61051 FLANDERS LITIGATION LEGAL EXPENSES
116513 10/21/08 JOEL FRANKLIN $ 20,744.70 01 61051 FLANDERS LEGAL SERVICES
115987 8/12/08 JOEL FRANKLIN $ 8,857.70 01 61051 FEB-JUN 2008 FLANDERS LEGAL PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
114859 2/19/08 JOEL FRANKLIN $ 14,832.10 01 61051 FLANDERS LITIGATION PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
114144 10/30/07 JOEL FRANKLIN $ 12,800.00 FLANDERS LAWSUIT LEGAL EXPENSES
• The Draft Environmental Impact Report for Villas de Carmelo Project at the site of the former Carmel Convalescent Hospital is still being finalized by Denise Duffy & Associates, Inc. and is therefore not expected to be available and loaded onto Monterey County’s website for another month, according to Bryce Ternet, Planning and Environmental Consultant, Denise Duffy & Associates, Inc.