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City Council Round Up: Future Of Redvelopment; Landscape Fees Shift

cc_9_27A state of ambiguity clouds the future of redevelopment districts.

City Attorney Joe Montes described the proposed Voluntary Alternative Redevelopment Program Resolution of Intent a “just in case” item.

Last night the Santa Clarita City Council voted 5-0 to adhere to his prudent advice.

 

Governor Brown’s signing of AB X1 26 and AB X1 27 in order to “back fill” a $1.7 million dollar shortfall in the state’s budget, has thrown the future of redevelopment districts into a “state of ambiguity.”

Montes dubbed AB X1 26 the “Dissolution Legislation” that eliminates a city’s right to have a redevelopment agency beginning October 1.

AB X1 27, or the “Pay to Play Legislation” as Montes calls it, provides for cities to “opt-in” and continue to have their redevelopment agencies function if the city adopts an ordinance by October 1.

If a city is not able to adopt its ordinance by October 1, it may adopt a non-binding resolution of intent and would then have until November 1 to adopt an “opt-in” ordinance.

 

On July 18, the California Redevelopment Association and League of California Cities filed suit with the California Supreme Court to invalidate AB X1 26 and 27. Their lawsuit includes the City of Santa Clarita.

 

On August 11 the court stayed the effectiveness of both laws but less than a week later modified its stay. However the court did not rule on what would happen to cities and agencies that missed a key statutory deadline that passed on August 15.

 

Further lack of clarity has left and open question as to what the court might order when it issues its final decision in the matter in December 2011 or January 2012.

 

Because of the lack of clarity Montes has been reviewing the city’s options and advised that if the City wishes to extend the life of the Redevelopment Agency, then prudence dictates that the City adopt its AB X1 27 “opt-in” ordinance now rather than waiting for a final determination in the litigation.

 

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Item #13 under Unfinished Business included a statement from Assistant City Manager Darren Hernandez to make Landscape Maintenance Districts into “more bite-sized pieces.”

 

This statement was in response to complaints that a larger district pitted property owners against one another when some rates would go down and other would go up with voter’s passage of the assessment ballot.

 

City Council Member Bob Kellar’s impassioned remarks at the September 13 city council meeting about the state of the economy and how raising taxes hurts the people in Friendly Valley got them a reprieve from a rate hike until Fiscal Year 2013.

 

Kellar asked if there weren’t some kind of legal action to ensure the residents don’t have this type of conflict again. He said the concerns of citizens were “right on the mark.”

 

More information about ballot tallies can be found here.

 

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To kick off last night’s City Council meeting, Mayor Marsha McLean proclaimed the city’s observance of National Hispanic Heritage Month.

 

Noting the 25 percent Hispanic population in the Santa Clarita Valley she acknowledged the many contributions their community has brought to the city.

 

Saugus Union School District Board Member Paul De La Cerda received the proclamation and expressed his gratitude for the opportunities given to him as “a young Latino male.”

 

“I will continue to work to make the vision of Santa Clarita as the best city to work, raise a family and reside,” De La Cerda said.

 

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

 

The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.

 

The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

 

In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.

 

 

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Laurene Weste recused herself from voting on Item #10 Newhall Metrolink Parking Expansion stating she lived close to the area and might be perceived as benefiting from its passage.

 

With a 4-0 vote the city council approved the project that will expand the joint parking lot for the Newhall Metrolink Station and the Newhall Community Center to provide an additional 95 parking spaces for Newhall Metrolink riders.

 

The city awarded the construction contract to R.C. Becker and Son, Inc., in the amount of $583,769 and authorized a contingency in the amount of $116,750, for a total contract amount not to exceed $700,519. They also authorized an increased expenditure in the amount of $60,000 to the existing professional services contract with Rick Engineering Company.

 

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Assistant City Planner David Peterson showed a PowerPoint presentation regarding Item #12 Regarding Historic Preservation and Adopting a Negative Declaration which detailed the removal of Newhall Hardware, 24322 Main Street in Newhall, from the list of designated properties under the current Historic Preservation Ordinance.

 

The property owner had testified on August 23 during Public Participation that historic status was impacting his ability to sell the property.

 

The structure was identified by the city council and city staff as having poor historic integrity and with 5-0 vote was removed from historic status.

 

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The following agenda items were passed as part of the Consent Calendar without discussion or debate:

 

Item #3.

AMENDMENT TO THE ORANGELINE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY JOINT EXERCISE OF POWERS AGREEMENT - This amendment provides more flexibility in membership requirements, includes provisions for potential participation by Los Angeles and Orange Counties, and modifies language regarding dues, voting, and selection of directors to accommodate these new membership opportunities.

OLDA’s goal is to obtain public and private funding for the construction of an environmentally friendly, grade-separated, state-of-the-art high speed transit system in Southern California. The City of Santa Clarita is currently a member of OLDA.

 

At the OLDA Board meeting on June 8, 2011, members of the OLDA Board unanimously supported the third amended agreement to facilitate a growth in OLDA membership.

 

The Third Amended Agreement has the following main effects:

The following cities were added to the list of entities authorized to become members of OLDA: Bell Gardens, Commerce, Compton, Fullerton, Hawaiian Gardens, La Habra, La Mirada, Lakewood, Long Beach, Lynwood, Norwalk, Orange, Pico Rivera, Santa Fe Springs, Seal Beach, and Westminster.

 

 

Item #4

 

AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA CLARITA, CALIFORNIA AMENDING THE PERSONNEL ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF SANTA CLARITA - The Personnel Ordinance establishes the personnel system and is needed in order to create an equitable and uniform system for dealing with personnel matters and to comply with applicable laws relating to the administration of the personnel process. The Personnel Ordinance provides definitions for key personnel matters and terms.

The current Personnel Ordinance was adopted by the City Council on January 10, 1989.

 

The proposed Personnel Ordinance includes updated terms to reflect changes to federal and/or state law and which more closely match the City of Santa Clarita's existing practices. The proposed Personnel Ordinance must be adopted in order to implement changes to the city's Personnel Rules.

 

A resolution to adopt new city Personnel Rules and a new Employer-Employee Relations Resolution will be brought to the council for review and adoption at the October 11, regular city council meeting.

 

Item #5.

WORKFORCE INVESTMENT ACT (WIA) ADULT AND DISLOCATED WORKER GRANT - FISCAL YEAR 2011-12 -  City Council voted to adjust WorkForce Investment Act (WIA) Formula Grant funds by $25,253.25 from the estimated appropriation of $383,517.25 to $358,264.00 based on the allocation provided to the City of Santa Clarita through the Antelope Valley Workforce Development Consortium for FY11-12.

 

Total funding for this year's WIA Program is $358,264. This represents a decrease from last year's program funding level of $462,057. The decrease is due in part because last year the City received additional funding for this program from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). That additional funding is no longer available and therefore the City will only receive the base allocation from Los Angeles County this year.

 

In accepting this funding, the city agrees to provide Core A WIA Services including access to the Computer Resource Center, referrals to EDD, and workshops as well as Core B WIA Services including staff assisted job development, job placement, enrollment, and follow-up for one year from the exiting program.

 

In July 1998, the City of Santa Clarita entered into a subcontract with the Antelope Valley Workforce Development Consortium to receive the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) grant for Adult and Dislocated Worker Programs from the Los Angeles County Department of Community and Senior Services. Since then, the City has been receiving annual WIA funding for the operation of the Santa Clarita WorkSource Center.

The Santa Clarita WorkSource Center offers year-round services for job seekers, including computer access, the ability to research and pursue job leads, and workshops to improve job search skills and marketability.

 

The funding also allows the Center to offer business services, such as providing space and coordination for employee recruitments and interviews, pre-screening, and workshops for the Santa Clarita Enterprise Zone program.

 

Item #6.

APPROVE RESOLUTION 11-01 CHANGING THE MEETING DATE OF THE ARTS COMMISSION FROM THE THIRD THURSDAY OF EACH MONTH TO THE SECOND THURSDAY OF EACH MONTH

 

The Arts Commission meets on the third Thursday of each month, which occurs at the same time as Thursdays @ Newhall and the newly implemented SENSES event.

 

Moving the Commission’s monthly meeting from the third Thursday of the month to the second Thursday of the month would allow the Commissioners to attend SENSES, network with various arts groups, assess the community’s response to Thursdays @ Newhall, and gain better insight into how Newhall can continue to be transformed into an Arts and Entertainment District.

 

Item #7.

PURCHASE OF REPLACEMENT POOL HEATERS FOR THE SANTA CLARITA AQUATICS CENTER –

 

City Council authorized the purchase of four replacement pool heaters manufactured by Raypak Inc. at a total cost not to exceed $106,071.05.

 

The city called the arrangement “a unique opportunity” to use previously approved funding along with incentives offered by the Southern California Gas Company to replace the four pool heaters at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center.

 

The new heaters are expected to increase energy efficiency, reduce long-term utility costs, reduce ongoing maintenance costs, and meet requirements of the Climate Action Plan.

 

Item #8.

PHOTOVOLTAIC SYSTEM AND SHADE STRUCTURE FOR THE SANTA CLARITA TRANSIT MAINTENANCE FACILITY, PROJECT F1016, FEDERAL TRANSIT ADMINISTRATION AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT FUNDING PROJECT D2009-TGGR-003 - PROJECT ACCEPTANCE

 

The city council accepted the completion of the Photovoltaic System and Shade Structure for the Santa Clarita Transit Maintenance Facility and directed the City Clerk to file the Notice of Completion; and direct staff to release the remaining retention 35 days after the Notice of Completion is recorded, provided no stop notices have been filed, as provided by law.

 

The project consisted of photovoltaic (PV) modules installed on top of three canopies that generate electricity while providing shade for the City’s transit fleet. Additional PV modules were installed on top of the Transit Maintenance Facility’s bus wash building.

 

Item #9.

INTELLIGENT TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT SYSTEM PHASE III AND SIGNAL SYNCHRONIZATION GAP CLOSURE, PROJECT I0006 - PROJECT ACCEPTANCE

 

The city council accepted the work performed by Moore Electrical Contracting, Inc., and Roadway Data & Electrical, Inc., and directed the City Clerk to file the Notice of Completion; and direct staff to release the retention 35 days after the Notice of Completion is recorded, provided no stop notices have been filed, as provided by law.

 

This project enhanced the existing communication system by installing Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras and system detection equipment at various intersections.

 

This project also installed fiber optic interconnect on arterial roads at various locations throughout the City that did not have existing interconnect to enhance the City's traffic monitoring efforts.

 

Additionally, the project included a redundant fiber optic interconnect system that functions like a ring system so intersections and all other design elements such as CCTV cameras will be accessible at all times.

 

Finally, this project provided backup communications between City Hall and the Activities Center, Newhall Community Center, and Central Park.

 

Communication links were also added to the Canyon Country Library, the Valencia Library, and for the future Old Town Newhall Library. The existing computer network between these facilities has been enhanced and network speed increased.

 

For users, upgrading the connections to fiber optics will enhance overall network speed and reliability, resulting in increased performance of programs and email/file access from these facilities to City Hall