Newly sworn in Council Members Bob Kellar and TimBen Boydston received a standing ovation after Mayor Pro-Tem Frank Ferry announced their official addition to the council. Kellar even elicited a chorus of "Hip, hip hooray!" from the audience.
Then the tension began.
(photo: Council Member Timben Boydston)
Laurie Ender was a no-show for the transfer of power so Ferry was handling the council duties. First on the agenda Ferry opened up the special council meeting for nominations for mayor. Kellar (being sworn in below) who should have been Mayor Pro-tem under Ender nominated Ferry quickly.
"If I may Mayor, I'd like to nomiate you," said Kellar.
Laurene Weste seconded the nomination followed by a request from Ferry for comment by the council.
Boydston started off with what may be an early indication of how the council would be proceeding under the new regime.
"Mr. Ferry, I would just ask that you would make a committment to the citizens of Santa Clarita that there wouldn't be any disrespect from them, from the dais, accidentally calling them a names or anything of that nature. And I would appreciate that you commit to that before voting for you for Mayor.
"Any other comments from the council?" said Ferry, who then immediately asked for a roll call.
Not addressing the request elicited uncomfortable titters from the audience and at least one person bit their lower lip to stifle a smile.
The council approved Ferry as mayor with Boydston the lone "No" vote.
Kellar was voted in as Mayor Pro Tem.
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During public comment Ray Kutylo from the Singing Hills Neighborhood Group spoke to the council with an example of Ferry's past name calling. Kutylo explained that at one time when he'd brought some concerns to the planning department and to the council about the height, the density and zoning violations of a proposed project Ferry called his group 'developmental terrorists'.
"Now, terrorists is a very loaded word in the United States of America. I think that perhaps is what Councilman Boydston was referencing when he asked that you respect all citizens of this town. You should not be calling citizens terrorists when they come before the city council with their concerns, said Kutylo.
Ferry did eventually address Boydston's request saying he feels like he has given respect during his 15 years on the council. He rattled off a list of past council members and issues that created conflicts, and emphasized that serving on the city council has changed.
"To think in the audience that it doesn't take a toll when you read things in the paper. But now with blogs. I mean there's five or six active blogs, where people just openly, 'bam, bam', it's like a machine gun. They're just hitting you every day," said Ferry.
Ferry says he has extreme passion. Even comparing his passion to Boydston's. His name calling, Ferry suggested, is not disrespectful but a passionate response to attacks.
"When the attacks come and they come and come. There's a time where you fight back. And you may think it's disrespectful or not disrespectful. But we have positions," said Ferry.
Only Item 7 was pulled from the calendar for discussion:
Purchase 1.11 +/- acres of real property in Sand Canyon for the purpose of future infrastructure and road improvements, at a total cost of $325,000, which includes $20,000 for escrow, title, surveying fees, and due diligence costs, and $73,000 for initial clean up, grading, demolition, fencing, and signs as may be required; appropriate $252,000 from the Eastside Bridge and Thoroughfare District Fund Balance.
Santa Clarita Valley Resident Lynn Plambeck said after looking at the parcel map it was clear that the land was being purchased by the city for the Vista Ranch project for the roundabout that they need for the school. She wondered why it was being purchased with funds from the Eastside Bridge and Thoroughfare District Fund when the developers hadn't paid into it yet.
"It seems to me either that developer ought to pay for this or it ought to be delayed until his permits are drawn so that you know it's going to be needed," said Plambeck.
City Manager Ken Pulskamp said the reason it's being purchased now is that it's for sale and would save the city the costly measure of purchasing it later through eminent domain. He added that the developer will still have to pay their full amount of 'B and D' fees so it's no harm or benefit to the developer. They end up paying the same amount. In fact, buying now would end up providing the city more money.
"We'll end up when it's all said and done, if we get it cheaper now, with more money in the 'B and D' fund so the council has additional funds to do other projects in that district," said Pulskamp.
The rest of the Consent Calender was approved on a vote of 5-0.
AWARD BID TO 'THE OFFICE PAL' FOR TONER AND PRINTER SUPPLIES FOR ALL CITY PRINTERS AND COPIERS
NEWHALL AVENUE PEDESTRIAN IMPROVEMENTS
This project constructed pedestrian improvements along the east side of Newhall Avenue from Sierra Highway to 2nd Street, enhancing safety and beautification to this heavily used pedestrian corridor.
FISCAL YEAR 2010-11 FEDERAL OVERLAY PROGRAM
The Federal Overlay program is an integral part of the City’s pavement management program and adds pavement maintenance treatments to selected City streets.
Item # 8
RESOLUTION ADOPTING UPDATED BICYCLE TRANSPORTATION ACCOUNT COMPLIANCE DOCUMENT FOR THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA BICYCLE TRANSPORTATION ACCOUNT - The Bicycle Transportation Account (BTA) provides state funds for city and county projects that improve safety and convenience for bicycle commuters. This resolution will adopt an update to the City's Bicycle Transportation Account Compliance Document.
SECOND READING AND ADOPTION OF AMENDMENTS TO CHAPTER 12.48 OF TITLE 12 OF THE SANTA CLARITA MUNICIPAL CODE FOR WEIGHT LIMIT RESTRICTIONS FOR THE BRIDGEPORT AND WHISPERING LEAVES/FRIENDLY VALLEY NEIGHBORHOOD
BUS FAREBOX PROCUREMENT FOR PARATRANSIT FLEET - Procure six UFS/TAP enabled fareboxes for the City's existing paratransit bus fleet.
JOINT RESOLUTION BETWEEN THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES AND THE CITY OF SANTA CLARITA TO TRANSFER THE LANDSCAPE MAINTENANCE DISTRICT (LMD) ZONES T-65B AND T-51 FROM THE COUNTY TO THE CITY
FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY AND AUDIT PANEL VACANCY - City Council declared an unscheduled vacancy on the Open Space Preservation District Financial Accountability and Audit Panel and approve the special notice of vacancy for posting at City Hall and Santa Clarita Public Libraries.
CONTINUE PUBLIC HEARING GRANTING A FRANCHISE AGREEMENT TO CRIMSON CALIFORNIA PIPELINE, L.P. - On March 27, 2012, the City Council adopted a resolution to declare the City's intent to adopt a proposed franchise agreement with Crimson California Pipeline, L.P., and set the public hearing for April 24, 2012. Due to noticing requirements it is requested the public hearing be continued to May 8, 2012.
ACTIONS BY THE CITY COUNCIL AS SUCCESSOR TO THE HOUSING FUNCTIONS OF THE OF THE FORMER REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY
Armine Chaparyan, Redevelopment Manager for the City of Santa Clarita requested the city council, acting as Successor Agency for the Redevelopment Agency of the City of Santa Clarita, adopt an amended Recognized Obligation Payment schedule for the period of January 1-June 30, 2012; adopt the Recognized Obligation Payment Schedule for the period of July 1-December 31, 2012; and adopt an administrative budget for Fiscal Year 2012-13 to cover the administrative costs associated with staffing the Oversight Board.