Wednesday, March 04, 2009

‘MINUTES’ for Two Noteworthy 3 March 2009 City Council Agenda Items

March 3, 2009

VII. Consent Calendar
These matters include routine financial and administrative actions, which are usually approved by a single majority vote. Individual items may be removed from Consent by a member of the Council or the public for discussion and action.

G. Consideration of a Resolution entering into an agreement with Burghardt + Doré Advertising, Inc. for Destination Marketing services in an amount not to exceed $27,500 in fiscal year 2008/09

Item G was pulled from the Agenda.

IX. Ordinances
D. Consideration of an Ordinance to revise the Municipal Code and Zoning Ordinance/Local Coastal Implementation Plan to dissolve the Design Review Board (First Reading).

City Administrator Rich Guillen presented his recommendation for the dissolution of the Design Review Board (DRB) based on the “economic downturn,” lack of staff and reduction in staff time and workload.

Planning & Building Services Manager Sean Conroy cited the requirement of an Amendment to the LCP approved by the California Coastal Commission if approved by a majority of the City Council Members. Further, after a Second Reading by the City Council, the California Coastal Commission could conceivably place the item on their agenda 30-90 days later, according to City Administrator Rich Guillen.

During the Public Comment period, Carmelite Monte Miller, DRB Chairman Michael LePage and DRB Members Michael Lynch and Keith Paterson questioned and/or rebutted the City Administrator’s reasons for the dissolution of the DRB citing that dissolution would not yield economic savings or reduce staff workload. Barbara Livingston, as President of the Carmel Residents Association and on behalf of the board of Directors, requested the City Council continue the item due to the need for the mayor to meet with the chairs of the Planning Commission and the DRB to receive their input and the need for the staff to research the original intention of forming the DRB. Steve Dallas voiced his opposition to the dissolution of the DRB and doubted whether the California Coastal Commission would approve the dissolution if approved by a majority of City Council Members.

During City Council deliberation, City Council Member Ken Talmage recognized that the more important issue than staff time and workload was the issue of whether or not “venue shopping" was still occurring; that is, applicants tailoring their applications to be placed on one body’s agenda due to the belief that the City’s design standards were being inconsistently applied by the DRB vs. the Planning Commission.

After approximately eleven minutes of deliberation, a consensus was achieved that the City Council Members required more “facts,” more research and clarification of criteria which determine which applications are placed on the DRB vs. the Planning Commission agendas prior to any decision on the dissolution of the DRB. Ergo, no action was taken and the item was not continued to a date certain in the future.

Although City Administrator Rich Guillen reiterated that there would be economic savings and reductions in staff time and workload dealing with only five Commissioners as opposed to ten Commissioners, he failed to present any evidence or data to support his contention that the dissolution of the DRB with the resultant shifting of DRB responsibilities to the Planning Commission would result in economic savings, et cetera.

The next meeting (workshop) of the City Council is Wednesday, March 25, 2009 at 4:30 P.M.:
Agenda Item, The Fire Department Contract with the City of Monterey

(Source: Archived Videos, Regular City Council Meeting, March 3, 2009)


Anonymous said...

I love it when government screams efficiency and then proceeds to waste everyone's time by delaying a vote. Hey, life is about making decisions with incomplete information. The council should step up to the plate and make a decision with the information they have and should feel confident in their decision. That said, their individual and collective indecision is bad, but often their reasoning is worse, that bothers me.

Anonymous said...

I have never before had the displeasure of seeing a more inept city manager than Rich Guillen. He is impotent in not making good arguments for his recommendations and not having the requisite information available to the council for them to feel comfortable making a decision on the fate of the DRB at the meeting, for example. He would be long gone if it were not for his service to the even more inept mayor. He is looking out exclusively for himself and has no allegiance to the public. He is an impotent, empty vessel and an embarrassment.

Anonymous said...

The fire department merger with the city of monterey fire department is long overdue. We have suffered through so many mischaracterizations from the city and council over this eventuality, from when the Citygate study was released to the campaign for April 2008 election to the present. So many changing stories about do we or don't we...when it was obvious merging with monterey was the only viable solution. Plus the Carmel firefighters supported it from the beginning.
Council, just do it finally, for our firefighters and for us, the residents. We should be thankful we have monterey to merge with, they are a professional bunch.

Anonymous said...

At the same city council meeting Mayor McCloud announced that once again Carmel had been selected as a Tree City. Those of us who love our forest can be proud of that designation. Unfortunately, McCloud,as she so often does, tried to give the impression that she, the city council and city staff were responsible. She failed to give credit where it's due. Those really responsible for Carmel once again being named a Tree City are, in order of most responsibility, the Friends of Carmel Forest, the Forest and Beach Commission and Acting City Forester Mike Branson. In point of fact, it is because McCloud and others on her city councils have not liked our forest that the city's designation as a Tree City was allowed to lapse for most of her years as mayor.