Monday, February 28, 2011
Council Meeting Tonight
First off, there is a special meeting at 4:00 pm when the council will get a presentation on the fight by most cities to save their redevelopment agencies. My personal take on this issue is that the city is cutting funding right and left and yet there is still funding, because of redevelopment money, to give money to developers. Right now Pomona is actually at a disadvantage in the RDA situation. Our RDA, because we haven't had any major developments to increase our tax increments, doesn't have the funding that a city like Ontario has. So, right now Ontario can offer developers a lot more in funding and "concessions." Perhaps, deleting RDAs from every city might re-level the playing field? Note that item 6 on the regular agenda has the city writing off 3/4 of a million dollars owed to the RDA.
One of the things that I'd be all over if I were to attend the meeting is item 12 ADOPTION OF A RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING A `CONTRACTING FOR SERVICES' POLICY. This is how the city has decided it's going to operate, to outsource everything and let private industries take our tax money to provide services. Will we see savings in all cases? I find it hard to believe that "profit motivated" private industry can provide a service, in most cases, for a cost lower than we can ourselves. In the reports section of the meeting documents online, there is a report on our current outsourcing and evaluation. I'd certainly love to know if the citizens agree with some of the report's conclusions. (Click Here for Report) I'll probably write more on this later.
Item 16 is a review of Angelo's Pizza's Conditional Use Permit (CUP). Mr. Aboud has refused to sign a certificate that he will abide by the current CUP. While I feel that Angelo's has in the past year not had the kind of issues that lead up to previous modification of the CUP, he has not lived up to the CUP either. While his current modified CUP (MCUP) only allows beer and wine sales, I've heard that he is selling hard liquor. However, it appears that it may be a little different. According to a police report as part of the council report (Click Here) starting on page 24, undercover officers ordered a whiskey and coke, which they were given. When they went back in uniform and retrieved the bottle of "whiskey" they found that it was actually an orange-based wine drink (12% alcohol). So while they may be following the "letter of the law," they're dishonest with their customers. There were also bottles labeled Gin which were likewise wine beverages. In addition, they are sometimes operating the facility as a nightclub and not serving food which is another violation of the MCUP. How can we continue to allow someone to skirt the laws and treat the city and its citizens with such disrespect?
Finally, it looks like staff is still studying the issue of the proposed business park at Fairplex which would convert 20 of the stables to offices and a self-storage facility. Another eating away of the fairgrounds to commercial development as we've seen with the hotel and convention center. At what point will we actually have a fairgrounds? Are fairgrounds important to the city? What of the historic nature of the stables? A lot of questions to consider.