All council members were present for the Tuesday, Apr. 5 City Council meeting. Open session started at 5:00 p.m. and ended at 9:26 p.m. Here's what you missed:
First reading of ordinance to increase Councilmember salaries by 5% or $3,875 passes with a 3-1-1 Vote. An ordinance, which implements a 5% salary adjustment to the tune of $3,875 for City Councilmembers, passed without any deliberation despite receiving one vote in opposition and one abstention. The first reading vote passed 3-1-1 with Councilmember Jim Dear voting no and Mayor Lula Davis-Holmes choosing to abstain. However, neither Davis-Holmes nor Dear explained why they chose not to vote for the ordinance. The staff report explains that the ordinance is a result of the city showing an “abundance of caution” as the $12,500 HERO pay which was approved during the Mar. 15 council meeting is not considered an pensionable compensation under CalPERS rules and thus can not be considered an increase of ongoing salary or compensation. “However, in an abundance of caution regarding the compensation limits, and in consideration that there has been no salary adjustment since the City Charter was adopted in 2018, the proposed ordinance adjusts the City Council member compensation in accordance with the requirements of Section 2301 of the Carson Municipal and Government Code Section 36516. The City Council desires to implement a 5% salary adjustment of $3,875.” According to the staff report any City Council salary adjustment is limited to only 5% per year.
Carriage Crest Park Storm Water Capture Project awarded first place in Engineering Achievement by CWEA. The California Water Environment Association (CWEA) awarded the City of Carson first place in Engineering Achievement for the Carriage Crest Stormwater Capture Project. Director of Public Works, Eliza Jane Whitman, explained the project's popularity across the nation for being the first to allow stormwater to be put into the sewer which leads to a wastewater treatment plant. "The significance of this particular stormwater project is that we capture stormwater [...] in these tanks below ground, and then it's pumped into the sewers, which then goes to the joint plant which is in the city of Carson." revealed Whitman. An award will be presented to the City at the next state convention.
Acting Assistant City Manager, Robert Lennox, told the council that city staff is looking into broadening the conceptual design of the park's expansion and will return in the next two meetings with updated cost estimates.
Neighborhood Pride Program increased by $5,000. The council voted to increase the Neighborhood Pride Program (NPP) amount by $5,000 for both single-family units and mobile homes. NPP was established in the City at the end of 2016 and provides low-income residents some amount of money to be used for home improvements and/or repairs. Originally, homeowners could qualify for a grant or a loan for $15,000 and mobile home residents could only apply for a grant for $10,000. Now the amounts have been increased by 25% to $20,000 for single-family units and $15,000 for mobile homes. Additionally, if a single-family unit requires substantial health and safety repairs, the City Manager may approve a loan up to $50,000. "Anything that's structural repair: roofs, insulation cabinets, counters, plumbing repairs... We've seen some houses that are in pretty bad shape and we’ve help the residents kind of make their home livable again," explained Community Development Director Saied Naaseh on what the funds are for, "flooring is included, sometimes includes fencing, windows, doors. So there's a there's a lot of different things there that can be used the money can be used for." Councilmember Jim Dear explained to the community the importance of NPP and maintaining a good living standard across the City, "This is really important because for those of you who might not understand it, we often have situations where individuals in Carson have lived in a neighborhood a number of years. Maybe their spouse passed away or someone went through financial difficulties or something, and their house goes into disrepair and it affects the entire neighborhood. But I just want the taxpayers to know that this type of funding for the neighborhood program is beneficial for everyone in the city. And when your neighbor's house is in disrepair, it doesn't look good for the rest of the street." According to Nasseh, a flier with instructions on how to apply for the program will be placed in the next Carson Report.
City approves Apple License Agreement to make services more iPhone friendly. Apple product users will soon be able to streamline some city services through the ActiveNet's Captivate app as an Apple License Agreement was approved by the council. Ever since the start of the pandemic, the city has been pursuing a more online/remote-friendly experience and launched ActiveNet in December 2021 to streamline registrations and reservations. While this allowed many computer and android users to view programs, register, reserve a room, and make payments; Apple users were unable to access ActiveNet's app. The agreement details the rules and regulations for developing apps and programs under the Apple platform and can be used to authorize the creation of other developer apps branded and commissioned by the City in the future; not solely apps made by Active Networks.
City approves searching for consultant to discuss benefits of creating a Building and Safety department in the City. The City wants to see how much it would cost to have its own Building and Safety department and not contract out to L.A. County. According to Community Development Director Saied Naaseh's presentation the City relies on nine full time and some part time L.A. County staff with specific expertise including a Building Official, a couple Building Plan Check Engineers, three Permit Technicians, and three Building Inspectors. Naaseh explained that hiring locally to replace those positions would cost the City $2.1 million over the $1.8 million the City currently pays to Los Angeles County; to which the council motioned to hire a consultant to confirm what the actual costs are as well as discuss the pros and cons of having a Building and Safety Department.
Council approve ordinance declaring certain mobile homes as ‘Protected Units” under SB 330. After a series of mobile home park closures, the city council has been pursuing ways for several years to preserve mobile home parks including updating the City’s Housing Element and issuing changes the General Plan to include zoning for mobile homes. For an extra layer of protection, the council unanimously approved the second reading of an ordinance. declaring certain mobile homes as “protected units” under the Housing Crises Act of 2019, otherwise known as SB 330. Under SB 330, a housing development project that will require the demolition of occupied or vacant “protected units” cannot be approved unless the project replaces all existing or demolished protected units. A “protected unit” includes residential dwelling units that have been subject to any form of rent or price control within the past five years, or have been occupied by low- or very low-income residents for the past five years. Most of the City’s mobilehomes are subject to rent control and many are occupied by low- or very low-income households and thus are considered “protected units.”
The council made the following Proclamations:
Recognizing the month of April as Autism Acceptance Month.
Recognizing the month of April as Alcohol Awareness Month.
Recognizing April 24 as National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.
New Resolution passed proclaiming the month of April as Fair Housing Month.
E-Waste Recycling & Paper Shredding Event: Saturday, April 16, 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. @ Carson City Hall Parking Lot
Cinco De Mayo Celebration: Sunday, May 1, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. @ Carson Park
Faith, Family, & Friends Festival: Saturday, May 14, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.