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Lynne Plambeck, a longtime member of the Newhall County Water District Board of Directors has alleged that the board violated California’s open meeting laws (the Ralph M. Brown Act) by voting in closed session to pursue a merger with the Castaic Lake Water Agency, which it is suing over its purchase of the Valencia Water Company. She points out that the matter was never agendized and results of the secret vote were never reported in open session. The Signal has more buy modafinil ireland, and we’ve got a copy of her full complaint to the LA County District Attorney buy modafinil online canada (PDF link, full text is below)

Other members of the board claim that the discussion and the vote was covered under exceptions that allow closed session discussions over pending litigation. I’ll have to do some more research, (and who knows, this case might wind up setting its own precedent) but the Attorney General has regularly warned that the exception “is not to be used as a subterfuge to reach nonlitigation oriented policy decisions.”

My immediate thought upon hearing the news of the planned merger was that it sounded like a major policy decision (the NCWD is effectively seeking to end itself) and the litigation exception seemed like a stretch, unrelated to the case itself. But we’ll be keeping an open mind and watching this closely.

The full text of Playback’s letter follows:

Lynne Plambeck
PO Box 220516
Newhall CA 91322

2-11-16

Board Members and Responsible Staff
Newhall County Water District
23780 Pine St.
Newhall CA. 91321

Via Hand Delivery to the Newhall County Water District

Dear Fellow Board Members:

As a more than twenty year incumbent on this Board who has taken an oath of office to follow the law and who has regularly full-filled the requirements of AB1234 by attending the required ethics training classes to ensure that I am knowledgeable concerning the laws governing elected members of Boards in the State of California including the Ralph M. Brown Act, I now wish to file a formal complaint under this statue on behalf of myself and my constituents in Newhall County Water District whom I believe have been wronged by violations of the Ralph M. Brown Act by our Board.

The Ralph M Brown Act states:

“In enacting this chapter, the Legislature finds and declares that the public commissions, boards and councils and the other public agencies in this State exist to aid in the conduct of the people’s business. It is the intent of the law that their actions be taken openly and that their deliberations be conducted openly. The people of this State do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created.

This chapter shall be known as the Ralph M. Brown Act.”

I firmly believe that this concept must hold true for our own water district and the people that have elected us not only because it is the law but also because it is a moral and ethical obligation to our constituents to act in an open and transparent manner. The residents of Newhall County Water District absolutely have the right to know what actions and discussions are being taken by their elected representatives.

Therefore, this letter is to call your attention to what I believe was a substantial violation of central provisions of the Ralph M. Brown Act, Govt. Code Sections as follow below, which may jeopardize the finality of any action or decisions made by Newhall County Water District (NCWD).

Approximately a year ago our Board formed an “ad hoc committee” to commence “settlement negotiations” with Castaic Lake Water Agency (CLWA) over various legal disputes including an illegal rate increase to Newhall County Water District, a Brown Act violation claimed against us by CLWA and the illegal acquisition of Valencia Water Company in violation of state law including the State Constitution, CLWA’s own enabling act and AB134, a law previously negotiated with CLWA to settle actions they took a decade earlier. Since that time, the Second Appellate Court has ruled for Newhall County Water District on two of these disputes, which are therefore settled.

What constitutes a “legislative body” under the Brown Act? According to section Section 54952 of the Brown Act:

As used in this chapter, “legislative body” means:

(a) The governing body of a local agency or any other local body created by state or federal statute.

(b) A commission, committee, board, or other body of a local agency, whether permanent or temporary, decision making or advisory, created by charter, ordinance, resolution, or formal action of a legislative body.

However, advisory committees, composed solely of the members of the legislative body that are less than a quorum of the legislative body are not legislative bodies, except that standing committees of a legislative

body, irrespective of their composition, which have a continuing subject matter jurisdiction, or a meeting schedule fixed by charter, ordinance, resolution, or formal action of a legislative body are legislative bodies for purposes of this chapter.

This “ad hoc” committee was established by the Board and held meetings for approximately a year and was therefore in fact, a standing committee. Discussions by this “ad Hoc” committee went far beyond discussions of settlement of a lawsuit into consolidation of all of this Valley’s water agencies, including how this would be accomplished, structure, public relations to persuade the public, what legislation might be needed, etc. None of these discussions were ever agendized or reported to the public during that time, although a vague summary has since been made public by means of a “workshop” held on February 4th, 2016.

 Section 54952.6 of the Act describes an action as:

“As used in this chapter, “action taken” means a collective decision made by a majority of the members of a legislative body, a collective commitment or promise by a majority of the members of a legislative body to make a positive or a negative decision, or an actual vote by a majority of the members of a legislative body when sitting as a body or entity, upon a motion, proposal, resolution, order or ordinance.

 Using the statue’s description of an “action” our Board took an action in closed session at our Board meeting of January 14th as to whether or not the District should proceed with consolidation with the Castaic Lake. No report of the action taken was made after the end of the closed session.

54953 (c)(1) of the Brown Act states

No legislative body shall take action by secret ballot, whether preliminary or final.(2) The legislative body of a local agency shall publicly report any action taken and the vote or abstention on that action of each member present for the action.”

At the Board meeting of January 14th our Board took an action secretly in closed session as to whether or not the District should proceed with consolidation with the Castaic Lake Water Agency. No report of the action taken was made to the public after the end of the closed session.

Section 54954.2 describes when and what must be posted on public meeting notices as follows:

(a)(1) At least 72 hours before a regular meeting, the legislative body of the local agency, or its designee, shall post an agenda containing a brief general description of each item of business to be transacted or discussed at the meeting, including items to be discussed in closed session. A brief general description of an item generally need not exceed 20 words.

(2) No action or discussion shall be undertaken on any item not appearing on the posted agenda, except that members of a legislative body or its staff may briefly respond to statements made or questions posed by persons exercising their public testimony rights under Section 54954.3.”

At no time in the past year was the discussion of consolidation, a new governance structure, a public relations campaign or legislation or other related matters that are of vital interest and importance to our constituents ever posted on a Newhall County Water District agenda.

I make note to the Board that under Section 54963:

“(e) A local agency may not take any action authorized by subdivision (c) against a person, nor shall it be deemed a violation of this section, for doing any of the following:

(1) Making a confidential inquiry or complaint to a district attorney or grand jury concerning a perceived violation of law, including disclosing facts to a district attorney or grand jury that are necessary to establish the

illegality of an action taken by a legislative body of a local agency or the potential illegality of an action that has been the subject of deliberation at a closed session if that action were to be taken by a legislative body of a local agency.

(2) Expressing an opinion concerning the propriety or legality of actions taken by a legislative body of a local agency in closed session, including disclosure of the nature and extent of the illegal or potentially illegal action.

(3) Disclosing information acquired by being present in a closed session under this chapter that is not confidential.”

To cure and correct, Brown Act Govt. Code Section 54960.1, requires you to withdraw and disclose any commitments made. Govt. Code Section 54957.1 (b), (c) also requires copies of any contracts or settlements approved must be made available promptly. As provided by Govt. Code Section 54960.1, you have 30 days from receipt of this demand to either cure or correct the challenged action or to inform me of your decision not to do so.

Sincerely,

Lynne Plambeck
Board member, Newhall County Water District

CC: Public Integrity Division,

     Office of the District Attorney
     Los Angeles County

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The state’s annual report on Kindergarten vaccination rates is out, and because some people never learn, several SCV schools are reporting dangerously high rates of parents refusing to vaccinate their children.

Four SCV Kindergartens report exemptions in that danger zone (over 8%) where herd immunity for measles and whooping cough is threatened. Two schools, Trinity and SCVi, were also on this list buy modafinil uk paypal, and SCVi has been on this list for buy modafinil nz. Here are the schools:

School (District), Personal Beliefs Exemption Rate
Trinity Classical Academy (Private), 14%
Legacy Christian Academy (Private ), 11%
SCVi (Hart – Charter), 9%
North Park (Saugus), 9%

Overall, SCV Kindergartens are showing that 92% of kids are up to date with their vaccinations, but 3% of kids are not vaccinated under what’s known as a Personal Belief Exemption (PBE) which means their parents refuse to get the vaccinations required for Kindergarten. That’s up slightly from last year (2.7%) but better than two years ago (4.6%).

This is the last year that parents of Kindergartners will be able to claim a PBE. Under a state law buy modafinil with bitcoin all children in preschool, Kindergarten, and 7th grade will need to show proof of vaccination. Only medical exemptions will be allowed.

The full dataset can be buy modafinil canada reddit. Reports on 7th grade and childcare/preschools are expected in the coming weeks.

Herd Immunity
Apart from the obvious risk to their own children, the decline in vaccinations it threatens the “herd immunity.” The herd immunity is when nearly everyone in a group is vaccinated, and it prevents outbreaks from occurring. Without it, there is a much higher risk of infection for unvaccinated schoolchildren, younger children, the elderly and anyone with compromised immune systems. This video explains it really well.

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Tonight, three-fourths of the Santa Clarita City Council approved a very popular plan for Old Town Newhall that includes a parking structure, mixed retail/residential, and a Laemmle theater, the best that $18M in taxpayer funds can buy. It’s not the end of the redevelopment story, but it still took five hours to get there. The lengthy meeting was a product of other business (council raises, mobile homes), Boydston’s extensive comments about the theater proposal, and a very talkative public. Indeed, there were dozens of supporters for Laemmle, many of whom saw the theater chain as nothing less than the salvation of Newhall–nay, the salvation of Newhall, Santa Clarita’s economy, and the Arts themselves. A few opposing voices were largely ineffective. Bob Kellar would close the meeting with the promise that “We’re gonna have a Laemmle Theater in this town!” Time for recapitulation.

*Note: “theater” will be used instead of “theatre”–Laemmle uses both, but “theater” is used more often on its buy modafinil amsterdam page. Unfortunately, consistent spelling was not a condition of tonight’s deal.

 

Dangerous Dairy

Mayor McLean’s invocation addressed a topic that made her “a little sad.” She spoke of the passing of Frank Kleeman, a man who served many non-profits in Santa Clarita. McLean had spoken with Frank’s wife, who revealed that Frank would have been shocked at the attention his passing received in The Signal and at City Hall. McLean believes that volunteers ought to know they are valued while they’re still alive, and she advised people in the crowd to make their appreciation known.

The Men of Harmony Chorus came to the front of the room and sang because, well, why the hell not. The performance was pleasing in its brevity.

No coherent threads could be pulled from public participation. State Senator Bob Huff introduced himself to the crowd because he’s going to be running for LA County Supervisor Mike Antonovich’s seat once he’s termed out. Huff seemed rather self-involved, so he would be a natural successor. Elaine Ballace asked for someone to return her missing scarf (one of her favorites, she said). She also requested that those in power, particularly council members, show some support for mobile home residents by attending rent panel meetings. A local father and BMX enthusiast said he’s been taking steps to get a BMX track in Santa Clarita and asked for discussion of options to be agendized next meeting.

Al Ferdman was upset at what he perceived to be City efforts to block the County from meeting with residents to talk about park needs. The County has been engaging in outreach as research before a bond measure. In response, Rick Gould said that they’ve already had many meetings with residents and have passed those results along to LA County, and City Manager Ken Striplin said that they could provide the county with a meeting venue if the county would go to the trouble of organizing and publicizing the meeting itself. Striplin stated that opting out of the recent meetings didn’t mean Santa Clarita would be exempt from county park funds. Ferdman brought up the matter again in a later comment, stating that he’d call the county tomorrow morning to get the ball rolling on a meeting. At that point, an annoyed Mayor Kellar “reminded” Ferdman that elected officials and staff make such calls, not Al himself.

Two college students were the final public speakers. The first read a slew of statistics about environmental issues, most relating to industrial agriculture. He requested that the council require school assemblies to inform students about these issues. The second student took things several steps further. He said that just because something is a part of one’s culture, that doesn’t mean it’s right–he used the history of slavery in the U.S. as an example. But the cultural norm he was interested in changing was consumption of meat, eggs, and dairy. He said the practice was unhealthy and unethical, and he went into considerable detail about how most of the world is lactose-intolerant. He also called for better food education of Claritan youths. The council seemed more amused by the youth and pluck of these speakers than impressed by their proposals, but City Manager Striplin encouraged them to bring their suggestions to a school board meeting. Steve Petzold was the first to juxtapose their comments with the McRib comments of several meetings ago. He tweeted, “#sccouncil hungry for a mah crib,” after the plea for more vegan lifestyle choices.

Council updates followed. They were a mix of tedium, anticipation, and remembrance. In summary: go to the Cowboy Festival.

Dante Takes on TimBen

The consent calendar was relatively brief, but the second readings of two items attracted discussion. First, several speakers said that they supported the plan to appoint voting alternates for the mobile home rent panel. This would make up for lost votes in those instances where panel members must recuse themselves from voting because they own or rent at a particular park. But with some appeals in the near future, several on the council wanted the change to the ordinance to be put into effect immediately, not after the next election when it would be too late. Councilmember McLean said “We’re smart and we should be able to come up with something that will work!” By “we” she meant City Attorney Joe Montes, who was tasked with devising a solution on the spot. He said that the council could adopt the ordinance and make plans for accelerating the election of alternates. In the interim, hearings on cases where alternates were needed for owners or renters would be postponed. The council was happy to accept the plan, but when considering the fallout, Montes could offer nothing more than a promise to “play the cards where they fall,” which mixes a couple of gambling metaphors but still manages to communicate the uncertainties ahead.

Most significantly, the entire council is now behind mobile home park residents. With the lawsuit that the city is facing from owners, continual skirting of rent policies, and literally years of hearing about mobile home woes from renters at every meeting, the councilmembers are frustrated. Weste feels that the entire state has failed to find a solution, and even Mayor Kellar said, “It’s time this thing gets fixed.”

During discussion of an item finalizing raises for the 2017-8 council, things got even more tense. Acosta was the most fired up. From his buy modafinil asia, which range from “Angry Middle Eastern Driver” to diabetic father to the quirky “Chef Hollandaise”, it’s clear that the mayor pro tem knows how to emote. But he’s usually quite reserved at council meetings, if he speaks at all. Not so tonight.

After Councilmember Boydston made his expected protest of a 10% raise, a decision he called “morally reprehensible,” Acosta called him out. “We couldn’t just leave it alone…Councilmember Boydston seconded this item to be put back on the agenda!” Acosta contended that Boydston wanted to use the discussion of pay raises as an opportunity to discuss cash-in-lieu benefit discrepancies, but when Boydston was told he couldn’t discuss them, he flipped on the matter. Next, Acosta chastised Boydston for always having to have the last word and he said the raise would be applied next year, not immediately. “Should you be so fortunate enough to get reelected, I’m challenging you to direct the city manager to dock your pay that amount and give it to the seniors,” Acosta told Boydston. He added that the raise would help to cover the expenses he covers for his elderly mother, whose car is in the shop today. Acosta closed by calling Boydston “disingenuous” and asked, “Did you only bring it up to cudgel us with it?…Sorry but I’m tired of it.” Acosta’s remarks were somewhat scattered, but the crowd applauded him. Unlike former Mayor McLean, Mayor Kellar doesn’t make much effort to restrict applause.

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“Councilmember Boydston, let’s try to keep it kindly,” Mayor Kellar warned before letting Boydston respond to Acosta (Acosta received no such warning). Boydston said of Acosta’s claims, “Nothing could be further from the truth.” He said he seconded discussion of raises because he’s frustrated that a councilmember needs support of others councilmembers to get an item on the agenda. And in Boydston’s book, more discussion is always good. Acosta began defending the raise to the audience yet again, saying, “We make basically just over minimum wage.” He said the raise was 5-and-5 percent, not 10 percent, and he said he would be comfortable letting voters decide “Am I worth $183 more a month or not?”

When the vote on the raise went around, Boydston said yes. Some members of the audience reacted in disbelief, and after a few moments Boydston realized his error, the crowd guffawed, and Boydston corrected his vote to a “no”. Kellar was the other “no”, but the item passed with the support of McLean, Weste, and ,of course, Mayor Pro Tem Acosta. The rest of the consent calendar was approved with the recommended actions.

$3.4 Million Reasons for Laemmle to Come to Santa Clarita

At last, it was time for the big agenda item of the night: Laemmle. Jason Crawford kicked things off with a thorough presentation about the $21.6M construction project. There are multiple parts and parcels–mixed use business/residence, theater, parking. But the basics are that Serrano (developer) would purchase a chunk of property at fair market value. Then the City would pay for and give a chunk of property to Laemmle plus cover other costs/fees totaling $3.4M in subsidies to the theater chain. There were several conditions placed on Laemmle, including a requirement to operate 6 screens for at least 7 years (their plan is 7 screens), and no fewer than 4 screens thereafter for a total of 15 years. And finally, Santa Clarita would cover the multi-level parking structure, the really big ticket item. The request for proposals on the structure has yet to go out, but it’s estimated at $15.2M. The plan is more finely detailed than what I’ve written and there were nearly two full pages of specific recommended actions for the council and redevelopment successor agency on the agenda, but that’s the big picture.

Crawford spent quite a bit of time discussing the studies done and consultants consulted about economic benefits of the project. The presentation was full of stats and figures, but the critical one was an estimated ~$200,000 from increased sales tax revenue and increased property tax revenue. He also said that Santa Clarita wasn’t the exception when it came to subsidizing the theater–Glendale gave $5.1M to get its Laemmle and North Hollywood residents subsidized theirs with $3.3M. Laemmle appears accustomed to accepting millions in subsidies as a housewarming present from communities.

When the presentation ended, Greg Laemmle, who was in attendance, did not speak but rather sat through public comments. Mayor Kellar said that there were 40 speaker cards, and he recommended that people keep it brief lest everyone be “late for breakfast.” The crowd laughed, and the procession of speakers began. (Councilmember Weste, incidentally, was in the Century Room watching because she has property in the area and had to recuse herself–Kellar had gotten laughs when he said he wanted to join her.)

The vast majority of speakers and comment cards were in favor of the theater/retail plan. Many predicted a strong, positive financial impact on the community. The first speaker owns property in the area, and he explained how delighted he was that rents were going for $2 a square foot in anticipation of a theater. Other business owners in the area were supportive of bringing in a big new business to anchor downtown–these included the wife of a veterinarian who practices down the street and a woman who runs Organic Sweat Shack, an infrared sauna for sweating away calories. Terri Crain and Holly Schroeder offered the blessings of the Santa Clarita business community at large. Dick Jeffrey said, “No potential business should ever be denied simply because it represents a threat to a similar type of business in the same area. If there is not enough room for both, capitalism and that process that it entails will tell the tale and take care of the difference.” In light of the generous subsidies and exclusive negotiation privileges that had been afforded Serrano/Laemmle, Jeffrey’s contention that we were watching the free market work seemed poorly supported.

Another batch of comments focused on benefits to Santa Clarita’s arts scene. One woman complained that she has to drive over the pass to have her lunch and movie with the ladies. Another lamented her inability to watch Oscar-nominated films in local theaters. Bob Hernandez, president of ARTree, spoke slowly and with pregnant pauses as he offered his withering assessment of Claritan arts: “I believe in culture. We, frankly, in Santa Clarita, do not have any…” And Hernandez should know–he has given Santa Clarita a tacky mural on the bike trail and crafty project events where kids can glue decoration onto shoes, which clearly establishes him as our valley’s de facto cultural authority. A local filmmaker was supportive of the project, just hoping that Newhall could avoid “all these chains that come and ruin everything” (the exception, of course, being the Laemmle chain). A man who has sold art films and just bought a home in Newhall said, “This town needs art, it needs it so bad!” He mentioned that Mike Levine, a beloved local actor who passed away a couple years ago, had wanted a theater like Laemmle. The speaker said it was “insane” (an adjective presumably addressed at Boydston) to push back against the project. And a lot of people just plain liked the kinds of movies the Laemmle will likely show.

There were many other supporters ranging from bicycling enthusiasts (who hoped for bike parking in the garage) to couples looking for something to do to people who have put their time into making Newhall great (well, great-ish). Carol Rock got quite a lot of applause after she laid out the merits of the project and made a preemptive critique of Boydston’s opposition. She said that Boydston’s theater guild had received a grant to move from Sierra Highway to Newhall, so Boydston, too, was a beneficiary of the public’s largesse. And of course, Leon Worden, tireless champion of Newhall, history, and the intersection thereof, was in favor of the project.

Some, however, spoke in opposition. Steve Petzold and Gene Dorio wondered whether the movie industry could even be counted on to exist in 15 years–was this the right horse to bet on in the race for long-term financial stability? This sentiment seemed at odds with recent record-setting movie ticket sales despite rampant piracy and improved home theaters. If tonight’s crowd was any indication, there are people who really, really want to see movies in the theater. Deanna Hanashiro raised the threat of paid parking, and she said that with empty building elsewhere in town, a new theater amounted to a “frivolous” expenditure.  Cam Noltemeyer called the plan a gift that would benefit a private company. While accurate, her statement was poorly received.
When comments ended, Boydston asked for a bathroom break, explaining he’s been ill all week. Kellar agreed, but asked, “Can we get ‘er done in 5 minutes?” TimBen promised even faster.

Boydston Talks

Councilmember Boydston was the first to speak, and he went on for the better part of an hour. His comments began with a lengthy explanation of his ability to be impartial on the item, despite having a theater that could benefit/lose from the presence of a Laemmle (he wasn’t sure which was more likely–more traffic or competition.) Still, Boydston said, “There is nothing I would like better” than a Laemmle in town. He acknowledged that the City of Santa Clarita had subsidized the move of the Canyon Theater Guild in the past (they gave $1 for every $2 spend by the guild). All that said, Boydston presented another plan. It wasn’t well drawn out, looking more like a draft from Microsoft Paint than a slick sketch, but it was adequate as a visual aid. His plan envisioned only commercial buildings and street level parking–no theater or big parking structure. Boydston said the plan would save a lot of money, and the City could expect to recover its investment in 11 years versus 97 years. Boydston said the money saved could go to: senior center ($2M), adult day care center ($2M), transitional care unit ($2M), year-round homeless services ($2M), no-kill animal shelter ($2M), parks facilities ($3M) and Via Princess extension or other roads ($5.6M). Basically, he was asking the people to weigh whether they wanted a theater and big parking or a major contribution to old people, puppies, the homeless, and the ill.

The plan attracted no support.

Boydston next had a lengthy interview with Greg Laemmle. He asked if they could guarantee that they would show arthouse-type films. Laemmle said they usually show a mix of popular and more obscure films depending on audience demands. Next, Boydston asked if the theater could add a $1 surcharge or tax on every ticket, which could be used to pay costs associated with development. Laemmle said that would put them at a competitive disadvantage and that the City would have to impose it. Boydston still pushed the idea, which didn’t seem so outrageously unreasonable, but Laemmle said it was “Not something that I’m willing to do…I think that I’ve answered your question and the answer is no!” Some in the crowd cheered Laemmle. Apparently, they were supportive of his insistence on taking the full subsidy from Santa Clarita taxpayers.

Boydston’s remarks began to test the patience of Mayor Kellar and the crowd. He tried to get clarification on whether anticipated tax revenue was coming from shuffling people around Santa Clarita or from attracting new patrons from outside the area. As the clock moved toward 11, Kellar put a time limit on Boydston so that other councilmembers could speak. “It’s just getting out of hand here!” he said.

Councilmember McLean moved the recommended actions for the City, and Mayor Pro Tem Acosta gave her a second. Acosta then moved the recommended actions of the redevelopment successor agency, and McLean gave him a second. Then Acosta offered a few minutes of his own thoughts. He said that the parking structure would benefit everyone and that that’s what cities do–build parking. He said it would be cheaper now than later. Acosta also said that Laemmle was a small chain and gave charitably, so it was more deserving of public funds than, say, Regal.

Before the vote, Councilmember Boydston asked if they could separate the parts of the motions so that he could give his support to some limited aspects of the project while withholding support from others. City Attorney Joe Montes said it would take a bit of work, but a tired (or fed up, or both) council decided to force a vote of the motions as McLean and Acosta had already made them. Thus, Boydston voted no, and the others voted yes. The vote leaves much business to be settled, but the project is moving forward.

I’m not sure if Old Town Newhall looks like a hundred million bucks, but it’s more than halfway there in terms of tax expenditures ($50M was the figure that Leon Worden and others gave for City investment in Newhall to date, and this project adds another $20M or so). The theater development will be the biggest step yet toward Newhall’s gentrification.

The crowd cheered, and it was time for the last round of public participation. Only Cam Noltemeyer spoke, and more memorable than her remarks was her opening line at the microphone. Standing with steely contempt for the antics of those celebrating around her, she asked, “Could you calm down the rabble-rousers, please?” She complained about the “gift of public funds” and asked about redevelopment agency titles/capacities. The meeting ended a minute before 11.

 

Appendix: Whole Foods is to SoDoSoPa as Laemmle is to Old Town Newhall

Below is a transcript from a recent episode of South Park (“buy modafinil south africa“) that explores gentrification of South Park’s rundown urban center. A number of cities though the script was specifically buy modafinil los angeles, and it certainly works well for Newhall. In other words, it shows that Santa Clarita’s pursuit of more cultural sophistication is making it a cultural cliche, right down to the twinkling white lights in the trees that say hey, I’ve gentrified. Just replace “SodoSoPa” with “Old Town Newhall” and “Whole Foods” with “Laemmle” in the script.

Mayor: I’m announcing a plan for SodoSoPa. A new urban development that will turn the most rundown and dilapidated part of our town into a quaint center of artisan shops and cafes.
Randy: Lots of cities are doing this. The area south of Downtown South Park has always been the ugly eyesore of this town. But now, SodoSoPa is going to bring in the fresh new vibrancy that Whole Foods can’t ignore.
Architect: We’ll keep the existing structures, but add brick walkways and some quaint white lights. A plaza in the middle will be a place where young couples can play with their toddlers. And it will all be small businesses like artisan cheese shops or noodle houses.
Randy: Oh, this is really exciting. I thought this area was just gonna stay shitty forever… [in phone conversation trying to woo Whole Foods to set up shop in town:] We have a SodoSoPa and this town is completely different! SodoSoPa! We have an arts and entertainment district! Cultural!

The arts/entertainment district, the plaza, the brick walkways with white lights, the charming eateries, and even the mixed residential loft spaces…Old Town Newhall has/will have it all. How innovative, how sophisticated, how unique.

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The whole city is abuzz over whether tonight the city council will approve $3.5-ish million to lure Laemmle Theaters to Downtown Newhall. It’s a topic worthy of deep and contrasting discussions, and there will be time for that. But tonight, we want you to follow the action, in person or at home, and make up your own mind.

And what better way to stimulate engagement than a game of bingo?

As blocks are filled, tweet us @SCVtweets (#SCCouncil) and if BINGO hits, I expect to hear some cheering on my TV. Do we have a deal?

(click on the image for a bigger version)

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buy modafinil bootsTonight’s Santa Clarita City Council meeting was full of inflammatory statements. Elaine Ballace said “They are raping both of us!” in reference to recent business practices by mobile home park owners. “We’re sitting in a circle of death!” said a Val Verde resident of Santa Clarita’s proximity to landfills and a natural gas storage field. And Councilmember TimBen Boydston proclaimed, “There is a special place in Hell reserved for you,” that “you” referring to mobile home park owners who raised rents so as to effectively force seniors out. The heated rhetoric was certainly contagious–likely a result of discussing many issues that hit close to home (literally) tonight. Apart from fielding residents’ worries about Chiquita Canyon Landfill, Honor Rancho, and mobile home rents, the council also managed to officially raise its future salary (second and final reading), shuffle around committee appointments (no luck again, TimBen), and take further actions in the ongoing mobile home struggle.

Actually, That Wasn’t Jefferson

Mayor Kellar read many quotations from Thomas Jefferson to open the meeting. More correctly, they were quotations incorrectly attributed to Jefferson on certain websites and in some popular social media posts but for which there is no evidence of Jefferson’s authorship. These included, “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government,” and, “The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.” The Thomas Jefferson Foundation has a full page devoted to clearing up these buy modafinil bangkok. Kellar closed with the observation that “He was a very, very intelligent man…many of his thoughts and writings…they apply every bit to today’s society.” Invocations are one of the portions of the meeting not scripted by city staff and, consequently, are prone to error.

Awards and recognitions followed. The Valencia High School Marching Band was applauded for winning a recent competition despite the fact, we learned, that the program really struggles with funding and must use some 20-year-old instruments. Deputy Curtis Foster was recognized as the Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Department Deputy of the Year, and the crowd was quite vocal in its support of him. Finally, the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Committee came up to celebrate itself. Holly Schroeder gave an update on the SCVEDC’s year of accomplishments, which included attracting Logix Federal Credit Union’s corporate headquarters to Santa Clarita–they’re currently in Burbank. She said this would lead to an anticipated $1.7M boost in tax revenue each year. “If the economic development committee had not been involved in this project they would not have chosen the Santa Clarita Valley,” Schroeder asserted. Other accomplishments included taking credit for listening to businesses, taking credit for businesses staying in Santa Clarita, and taking credit for the tagline, “Still Golden,” which the SCVEDC was able to trademark because no hair color company or luxury retirement community was convinced that “Still Golden” was the right direction to take their marketing (my inference).

The End is Near

There was a decidedly apocalyptic tone to many of tonight’s public participation remarks. Elaine Ballace spoke about mobile home park owners who are trying a variety of tactics to get more money from renters. She called them selfish and successful only because “he who has the best lawyer wins,” not because justice has been on their side. “The landowners need to answer a little bit more clearly to the people, and to the city, because they are raping both of us!”  she pronounced.

A couple of Val Verde residents spoke about their experiences with Chiquita Canyon Landfill and the Castaic Area Town Council. Steve Lee described how residents found “receipts of deadly substances that the Chiquita Canyon Landfill accepted.” They asked the CATC to write a letter to Supervisor Antonovich about the allegedly dangerous landfill practices, but the request was tabled multiple times until it was decided that no letter would be written. “One of the reasons was that to do so would cost them the promise of money from the landfill,” said Lee. This inspired a recall effort, but there were many more obstacles to finding out exactly how many voter signatures were needed and to getting agencies to stand by their numbers (Lee said that the L.A. County Registrar, Congressman Knight’s office, and others were contacted in this effort). Lee closed by stating that three people in Val Verde had recently died of cancer and that action was needed. Susan Evans, also of Val Verde, spoke about the CATC recall and predicted the valley’s demise by some combination of the dumps, natural gas field, and oil pipeline: “We’re sitting in a circle of death, in my opinion…we’re sitting ducks waiting to blow up.”

Sandra Cattell and Cam Noltemeyer were also worried about Santa Clarita’s natural gas storage field, Honor Rancho, in the north part of the valley. The massive gas leak at Aliso Canyon was used to urge the City Council to be more active in assessing the safety of Claritans.

Lynne Plambeck implored the city to look into the proposed merger of the Castaic Lake Water Agency (CLWA) and Newhall County Water District (NCWD). She said that it would do nothing to benefit ratepayers: “Bigger is not better, a huge water monopoly in our valley will just increase our rates.” She said that the CLWA has “had its way” with Santa Clarita for long enough.

City Manager Ken Striplin tried to calm concerns over Honor Rancho, which he said had just one-third the storage capacity of Aliso Canyon and was being thoroughly monitored for leaks. Striplin said that scrutiny by various oversight agencies is strict and that staff have been in communication with the gas facility. There was still interest from the council in learning more about the facility and about the potential effects of Aliso on the SCV. At the urging of some residents who had contacted her, Councilmember Marsha McLean asked that the Air Quality Management District make a statement about whether the Aliso methane plume could be impacting air quality in Santa Clarita. Overall, most councilmembers agreed that Aliso Canyon and Honor Rancho were not the same beast. Mayor Pro Tem Acosta stated, “This is a much different facility…it is quite a bit newer.” And he should know, as he recalled “being chased off the [Aliso] property a number of times” in his wayward youth.

Mayor Kellar asked for the council’s interest in discussing the CLWA/NCWD merger, and interest was high. Councilmember McLean, in particular, wanted to ask “a lot of questions” because she is a NCWD ratepayer and would be affected.

The council was mute on the topic of Chiquita Canyon Landfill and the politics of the Val Verde recall. These are out-of-city issues, certainly, but it wouldn’t be untoward for Santa Clarita to look into Chiquita Canyon Landfill practices considering it’s a nearby neighbor with whom the city shares an air- and water-shed. As readers don’t likely need reminding, Chiquita has spent money on Santa Clarita politics, so it certainly seems to think that it’s already on the radar.

Separate Votes

The consent calendar had a number of items that were handled in separate votes due to conflicts of interest or disagreement among the council members. Let’s cover them in order, briefly.

On Item 3, the second reading of the plan to increase 2017-18 councilmember salaries by 10%, Councilmember TimBen Boydston and Mayor Kellar voted no while the others pushed it through with their yes votes. Boydston reiterated his statement from last week that a raise wasn’t warranted given that seniors hadn’t seen an increase in social security, inflation hadn’t shot up dramatically, and the workload of councilmembers remained about the same.

The Cross Valley Connector was proposed to be renamed “Santa Clarita Veterans Memorial Parkway” in Item 4. Councilmember McLean asked that the word “Memorial” be removed so that the road would honor Santa Clarita’s thousands of living veterans as well as the deceased, and everyone agreed.

Item 5 presented $155,755 worth of grants to Santa Clarita’s arts and community services groups. Groups recommended for funding ranged from the American Diabetes Association to the Gibbon Conservation Center to the Santa Clarita Philharmonic. The majority of groups that applied for funding were funded, and Councilmember McLean suggested that those which weren’t funded seek help form the city on preparing their applications for next year. Boydston and Weste had to sit out votes on the Canyon Theater Guild and SCV Historical Society because of their involvement, but both of their groups were also funded.

Finally, on Item 6, Al Ferdman expressed some dissatisfaction with the loan repayment arrangement between Santa Clarita’s redevelopment successor agency and the city. Ferdman pointed out that only a tiny amount of the loan was being paid back and actually brought up one of Kellar’s erroneous Jefferson quotes about the importance of paying off one’s debts. City Manager Ken Striplin disagreed with Ferdman’s assessment, however, stating that the State dictated interest terms and the repayment schedule. He added that it was good news that Santa Clarita would be getting paid back at all–the loans repayments could have remained unenforceable. The recommended loan modifications were approved.

That Special Place in Hell

If anyone had thought that the City Council’s major overhaul of mobile home park ordinances would have helped ease tensions between park owners and renters, they were proven wrong yet again at tonight’s meeting. In response to testimony from renters about senior parks changing to family parks (a change usually accompanied by a hefty hike in rents) and a problematic recusal policy for the Manufactured Home Rental Adjustment Panel, two actions were taken. First, the council approved an urgency ordinance that prevented any parks from changing from mostly/only seniors to all-age rentals. It went into effect immediately and will last 45 days. Second, the council passed to second reading a plan to appoint replacements on the mobile home review panel, which hears appeals. Currently, if someone on the panel owns or rents at a park under review, they must recuse themselves, which makes for a lopsided vote (the panel is composed of two owner reps, two renter reps, and one neutral arbiter, so losing an owner/renter could doom a vote from the start.) The new policy will be to allow the third-highest vote-getting representative from the effected side (owners/renters) to replace a recused panel member for a particular vote. Obviously, the replacement will have to come from a different park.

There were a number of speakers on this item before it passed, and the council’s sympathies seem to remain most strongly with renters. Some residents spoke about the nightmarish conditions that have followed new ownership at parks, their inability to keep up with rent increases, and less than respectful treatment from owners and managers. Councilmembers Laurene Weste and TimBen Boydston were among the most insistent on seeing that seniors would not be forced out of their homes by increases in rents. It was at this point in the meeting that Boydston informed park owners who forced out seniors via rapid rent increases that “there is a special place in Hell for you.” The statement ended with a steely glare from Boydston into the beyond and surprised but mostly supportive utterances from the audience.

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No San for You

Committee appointments are an important opportunity for the mayor to exert his/her limited power through recommendations of who should serve on which committee. Before Mayor Kellar read his adjustments to committees, a few speakers had some recommendations of their own. Al Ferdman asked that lobbyists not serve on committees. This was in reference to Arthur Sohikian, the man who lobbied to erect massive digital billboards along Santa Clarita’s freeways, who has long represented Santa Clarita on the North County Transportation Coalition. Sohikian is the only non-councilmember to serve on a committee. Steve Petzold and a few others recommended that Councilmember TimBen Boydston serve on the sanitation district. Petzold said that Boydston is among the best-informed on sanitation-related issues, and he felt that perennial sanitation district member Laurene Weste wasn’t qualified to serve any longer based on her past performance. “I can’t see putting her back on the board after the complete disaster we saw in 2015 with deep-well injection,” said Petzold.

After public comments, Kellar read his list. Everyone was named as member or alternate to 10 or 11 committees , which is a more even distribution than we’ve seen in the past. However, Boydston was only named as an alternate to Kellar and Weste on the sanitation district. He asked whether Weste was a sanitation district ratepayer. “For my rentals,” she replied. He said being a ratepayer can be helpful in getting action, but he didn’t push it further. There was also some discussion about the cost-efficacy of having sanitation meetings in Whittier or in Santa Clarita, and Weste restated her expertise and efficacy regarding the chloride disposal issue. She felt proud that they had reduced chloride removal costs by a projected $400M. In the end, the list was approved. Councilmember McLean, who has jealously guarded her committees in the past, only gave a little mumble instead of a strong yes on the item. Though she didn’t address it in comments, perhaps she missed out on some wanted appointments.

During the closing round of public comments, Al Ferdman suggested that the council needed to be more technologically up to date with the ability to show written materials on-screen and to use teleconferences to save money on traveling to meetings. Stacy Fortner spoke about the council’s plan to discuss the recent CLWA proposal. “There is some backroom, shady business going on” said Fortner. She did not deign to go into too many specifics, but she felt there was ample cause to carefully examine the issue. The meeting ended at 9:18.

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The Hart district governing board on Wednesday is scheduled to consider whether to take up a complaint brought against board member Joe Messina over disparaging comments he’s made on his radio show about gay and transgender individuals, according to documents obtained by Sclarita.

Erin Kotecki Vest in October submitted a written complaint to the William S. Hart Union High School District after listening to episodes of Messina’s radio show, The Real Side. As Sclarita buy modafinil in mexico blog, Messina has routinely made offensive remarks on his show about the LGBTQ community.

While she said she finds the remarks on gay and transgender individuals generally offensive, Vest, 41, told Sclarita Tuesday that Messina’s remarks became personal after her 10-year-old daughter, Hala, came out to her last year. Vest said she has allowed Hala, currently a 5th grader at Santa Clarita Valley International Charter School, to continue listening to Messina’s show in order to prepare her for people who are bigoted toward the LGBTQ community. SCVI’s charter buy modafinil cheap by the Hart district.

Sclarita asked Vest permission before putting specific identifying information about her daughter in this story. Vest said her daughter has already come out to her classmates and is “in a very supportive home.”

“I am disgusted,” Vest said. “I can’t believe someone on the school board is allowed to say things like this. It’s incredibly offensive.”

Vest claims Messina’s comments and stories he’s written mocking the LGBTQ community violate administrative rules prohibiting district officials from engaging in unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying.  Messina was elected in 2009 to the Hart governing board which oversees district policy.

“The bylaws state board members must represent every student fairly,” Vest said. “It’s a direct conflict of his job. He doesn’t only get to represent straight Christian students. He has to represent all students.”

Reached for comment Tuesday, Messina did not respond specifically to Vest’s complaint. In an email, Messina said, “Why don’t you come on my show to discuss, we can actually have a 2 way [sic] conversation. I have talked about this locally, over and over again. I’m really not sure anyone wants real answers…just me gone.”

Though the matter is not fully adjudicated, it appears unlikely Messina will be formally censured under district rules. In a letter the district sent Vest last month, Hart Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Michael Vierra said that the district lacks the authority to take action against Messina because he made the statements in his capacity as a private citizen. Vierra wrote:

The District acknowledges that Mr. Messina made comments, in his capacity as a private citizen, regarding gay, lesbian, and transgender individuals. The District finds you were offended by these comments. However, after carefully considering your complaint, the District has determined that, while it does not dispute your concerns or condone Mr. Messina’s conduct, the District cannot regulate or restrain Mr. Messina’s speech, which was made in his private and professional capacity. The District understands and appreciates your concerns about Mr. Messina’s comments. However, your allegations are more properly addressed in another forum. The District’s complaint procedures do not envision and are not designed to address complaints raised against Board members.

Before reaching its initial decision, Vierra said in a letter that the district interviewed Messina, reviewed his webpage, opinion articles and listened to his show from October 19th, a show Slcarita wrote about. On that broadcast Messina brought on Tami Jackson, senior editor at an anti-gay website called BarbWire.com. The website was founded by Matt Barber, a member of The Liberty Council, an organization the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as an anti-gay hate group.

During the show, Messina mocks Caitlyn Jenner, “Coming Out Month” and days that are set aside to raise awareness of LGBTQ issues. Although Vierra indicated that the district is concerned by Messina’s statements, Hart can’t censure him under its bylaws (Emphasis mine):

 

“The District acknowledges that Mr. Messina made comments, in his capacity as a private citizen, regarding gay, lesbian, and transgender individuals. The District finds you were offended by these comments. However, after carefully considering your complaint, the District has determined that, while it does not dispute your concerns or condone Mr. Messina’s conduct, the District cannot regulate or restrain Mr. Messina’s speech, which was made in his private and professional capacity.”

 

Vest appealed the decision and Hart board members are scheduled to consider that appeal during Wednesday’s hearing, according to correspondence with the district that Vest provided to Sclarita and posted on her Facebook page. The buy modafinil credit card for the meeting says the board will “Consider Whether to Hear Appeal of Uniform Complaint Pursuant to Administrative Regulation 1312.3”, but provides no further information.

If the board decides not to hear the complaint, the district’s existing decision will be considered final; if members do decide to hear the complaint, Messina will be formerly notified, according to complaint procedures buy modafinil cheap online on the Hart School District website. In an email to Vest that she forwarded to Sclarita, Vierra said members of the board will meet in closed session with legal counsuel to discuss the complaint. The board will vote on whether to hear the complaint in open session, he said.

When asked a question about what would happen next if the board does take up Vest’s complaint, Hart spokesman Dave Caldwell directed Sclarita to Vierra for an answer. Vierra could not immediately be reached for comment late Tuesday. This post will be updated when Slcarita receives a response.

Vest, meanwhile, said she intends to speak at the hearing, though she indicated that she is not optimistic that board members will take up her complaint.

“I don’t have any faith that the board will do what I’m asking,” Vest said. “I hope they surprise me.”

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Tonight’s meeting was brief, but not brief enough to have spared several councilmembers from awkwardness. Councilmember Boydston generously praised the Canyon High School Theater Group’s recent success in competition, but none of its members showed up for their certificates. Councilmember McLean had to ask City Manager Ken Striplin for a definition of “contract city.” And Councilmember Weste and Mayor Kellar took quite a while to grasp the nature of the councilmember pay raise they were voting on. Even with all the bumbling, the council managed to approve a raise for next year in a 3-2 vote, reversing a decision they had made mere months ago. Things are off to an auspicious start for 2016.

Panel Me This

“Everybody’s not home for the State of the Union–that’s obvious,” observed Mayor Bob Kellar as he opened the meeting. Mayor Pro Tem Dante Acosta then delivered the invocation, a freeform prayer of sorts: “May our words and our deeds be pleasing.” Both Kellar and Acosta emphasized titles when referring to one another, helping December’s transitions to sink in.

While Canyon High’s drama students were dramatically absent for their recognition, Saugus High’s phenomenally successful cross country team members came to the meeting to be recognized as CIF champions. They’ve spent an unprecedented 10 years finishing in the top three.

Public participation followed. R.J. Kelly requested that the cross valley connector be named “Santa Clarita Veterans’ Highway” (or similar) in honor of the thousands of veterans living in the SCV. He pointed out that everyone on the council had served in the armed forces or had a family member serve. Kellar followed the remarks by asking whether fellow councilmembers would support agendizing the item, and they agreed.

A number of speakers addressed mobile home park rent and appeals when they came to the podium. The most compelling comments came from Dave Boizelle, a resident of Greenbrier Mobile Home Park. He explained that he is filing an appeal against his park’s rent increase. The appeal will go before a panel which consists of two representatives for park owners, two for renters, and one neutral arbiter. Unfortunately, one of the renters on the panel is also from Greenbrier, and she will have to recuse herself from voting on the appeal. Boizelle believed this doomed his appeal, as park owners wouldn’t vote against their self-interests. That would mean at best a 2-2 vote, and ties aren’t enough for an appeal to be ratified. To highlight his point that park owners wouldn’t be impartial, he read a statement from Dowdall Law Offices, which represents Santa Clarita’s mobile home park owners: “This form of panel is not impartial but evenly unbalanced…two partisans cancel each other out.” It seemed clear that a means of substituting owner/resident representation in cases of recusal was necessary.

However, City Manager Ken Striplin seemed to think that the system was working fine. After public participation concluded, Striplin said, “I understand the concerns that the speaker spoke of, but I can also tell you that, historically, that has just not played out…In the appeals that we’ve seen, we have not seen the decision of the panel come down to party lines, so to speak.” This conclusion seemed utterly at odds with the structure of the panel, the forced recusal of the Greenbrier resident, and the statement from the park owners’ attorney, but Striplin assured the council that despite recusals in the past, the panel had operated fairly and effectively.

Councilmembers McLean and Weste were not satisfied with Striplin’s assurances. They made a point of asking whether they could do something to address the potential for unbalanced decisions, and City Attorney Joe Montes explained that the ordinance would have to be amended. Weste wanted to “find a way for there to always be an alternate.” The council supported discussing potential amendments at a future meeting. Striplin added that there have been discussions about changing some senior home designations to family spaces, and the council also wanted to discuss that sooner rather than later.

Other remarks from Striplin and the council included support for L.A. County Sheriff’s Department. Al Ferdman had expressed some misgivings about the station moving west of Santa Clarita and about the lack of a station in the east valley, and the city manager assured him that current discussions were aimed at improving presence rather than decreasing it. Mayor Kellar echoed Striplin’s support, contending that Santa Clarita gets access to a lot of big department resources at a cost-effective rate through its contract. He seemed to be heading off any calls of “let’s start our own police department!” at the pass.

Avoiding Larry

The consent calendar came and went without much discussion and without speakers. Most of the items dealt with bookkeeping matters like approving tract maps and landscape contracts. One item gave up to $130,000 to Southern California Edison to develop plans for “undergrounding” utilities along Soledad Canyon Road, which will make for a more pleasing skyline. All items passed with the recommended actions.

One of the votes went 4-0 instead of 5-0, however, because Kellar recused himself. The item was a parcel map approval involving Spirit Properties, and Kellar explained that he wouldn’t vote because he had had “a business transaction in the past” with Spirit’s Larry Rasmussen. Of course, Kellar hasn’t always been so meticulous in avoiding votes that affect his pal. As buy modafinil com, “Kellar voted ‘yes’ to pay Larry Rasmussen $1.1 million for the future billboard property.” That was quite a long time ago, of course, but the question of when to recuse oneself is always popping up in a valley as small and connected as Santa Clarita.

Sloppy Vote

After approving a 3% increase in fire district developer fees (this puts Santa Clarita in line with the rate for unincorporated LA County), it was time to discuss councilmember compensation. Didn’t that just happen a few months ago?, the attentive reader asks. Yes, it did. Tonight was a revisitation of last year’s vote 3-2 against giving the City Council a raise. Recall that the council always votes on raises that will take place after elections.

Discussion began with Cam Noltemeyer making several points about how the council was already adequately compensated, especially if benefits were considered. She then pointed out that councilmembers receive different benefits (in line with city staff benefits when elected), but she believed, “Every single councilman should get the same pay. The same pay. And let’s start being open with the public because you definitely are not.” Noltemeyer meant that Boydston should be compensated as well as Kellar, McLean, and Weste, but she even extended her statement to include Mayor Pro Tem Acosta, who is also getting lower benefits since he came on so recently. “And Acosta too, I guess, reluctantly,” she conceded.

Mayor Kellar asked if any of the councilmembers wished to discuss the matter. Councilmember McLean started with a question based on the use of the term “contract city” in earlier comments from this evening. She asked, “I was just wondering if you can explain what it means that we’re a contract city?” City Manager Ken Striplin then explained that it meant that Santa Clarita contracts with LA for services like fire. “So it’s providing for those types of services specifically and not giving contracts on individuals projects?” McLean queried. With that concept clarified, Kellar again sought action on the item.

Staff normally supplies a recommended action, but on the pay raises, all that was written was, “Provide direction to staff regarding Councilmember salary.” This led to confusion.

Weste: “I’d like to move the recommendation for the increase of the council compensation.”

Kellar: “I have a motion…is that the 5%?”

Weste: “If the council’s willing, yes.”

Kellar: “Do we have a second?”

Acosta: “I’ll second it.”

McLean, over Acosta: “Wh…OK, I was going to say if you don’t I will but you did, so…”

Boydston, over Kellar: “Discussion! Yes, there will be discussion…I thought this was settled three months ago!”

Boydston contended that Councilmember Weste’s motion had been improper, as she had moved the staff recommendation, which was only to provide direction–there were no specifics much less a recommended increase. Boydston’s speech soon veered into into grandstanding. He said that council pay had increased roughly twice as rapidly as the rate of inflation, and that seniors weren’t seeing any meaningful, comparable increase in social security benefits. He asked why the vote had to be brought up again–had their workload increased dramatically in the past few months?

Boydston has had a strained relationship with some staff and fellow councilmembers over compensation in the past. He once buy cephalon modafinil against the City for about $10,000–the discrepancy in benefits between new and old councilmembers once a two-tier health care system had been adopted. Boydston contended that it wasn’t about more money but about paying everyone the same to do the same job. He was unsuccessful. At the time, he had suggested being OK with everyone taking the lesser benefits as well so long as everyone got the same deal. Boydston used the tactic of less is more again tonight, suggesting that the council actually vote to cut its compensation by 10% and give the funds to senior care.

Though Boydston spoke a lot, the rest of the council was silently clamoring to get to the vote without engaging in the merits of a raise. Weste and Kellar showed that they lacked a rudimentary understanding of the item, since Weste thought they could only do a 5% raise (not 5% per year) and Kellar thought it only applied to one year and that’s why Weste had said 5% (it applied to two). When asking for clarity from Dante Acosta, who had seconded the motion:

Acosta: “I believe it was 5% per year”

Kellar: “That was your interpretation, that it was 5% per year for a total of 10?”

Acosta: Nods, mumbles something

Weste’s recommendation and stated understanding had been 5% total, so how Acosta came to this interpretation is not clear. Perhaps his earlier prayer had granted him greater clarity than that afforded me or The Signal‘s Luke Money, who tweeted “Unclear on whether the #SCCouncil approved a 5% total pay increase or for 10% (5% for two years). Will check as soon as meeting ends.” In any case, the vote took place and  went 3-2, with those running for reelection this year voting against the raise (Boydston, Kellar), and those not running for reelection voting for it. And even though it’s for 10% total (Money got clarification from the city clerk), that is a tiny amount relative to the budget, and it marks the first time councilmembers will receive over $2000 a month.

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As buy modafinil ebay as our City Council meetings get during public comments, we’ve never seen a show quite like this. But then again, we’ve never had a gadfly like John Walsh nor a badass like Sheila Kuehl.

Towards the end of Tuesday’s meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, a man named John Walsh came to the podium to chastise the board for their earlier vote to welcome Syrian refugees to Los Angeles County.

But when he called Supervisor Sheila Kuehl an anti-semitic “scumbag,” Kuehl punched right back.

SUP. SHEILA KUEHL: Listen, you asshole, I am a Jew! My mother was a Jew! And if you say that again, I will shout the entire time you are talking! Thank you.

Walsh continued yelling as his microphone was cut. Supervisor Hilda Solis, who was chairing the meeting, asked a sheriff’s deputy to remove Walsh before Kuehl intervened and asked him to continue his speech. Walsh goes on for a while, but with his microphone cut, we don’t know what he was saying.

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John Walsh also spoke earlier in the meeting where he dropped at least one f-bomb in an anti-muslim tirade.

JOHN WALSH: …If you believe in Islam, you’re going to go to heaven and you’re going get 150 houris, H.O.U.R.I.S. and you’re going to fuck them all day and all night for the rest of eternity. And your wife disappears. That’s what it is. And I say it. And if you vote for these terrorists, let the blood be on your hands, Miss Kuehl. Let the blood be on your hands, Miss Solis and let the blood be on the hands of Mark Ridley-Thomas…

HILDA SOLIS, CHAIR: Time has expired. Next speaker, please.

JOHN WALSH: Scum bags!

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You can try your best to watch video of the meeting buy modafinil online europe, but it requires something called Windows Media Player, so good luck with that.