The following is from the March 20 City Council meeting.
The 100th anniversary of the Girls Scouts of America was recognized at the meeting,
Mayor Jane Egly, who was once a Girl Scout, read a proclamation extolling the accomplishments of the group, which includes developing leaders in education, business and government; hours of community service; and sending cookies to the military.
The proclamation was accepted by Katie Palina.
Girl Scouts Natalie Olson, Danielle Borelli and Stephanie Andrews distributed cookies to elected officials and city staff on the dais.
The public is allowed to speak on any subject not on the agenda. Speakers generally are limited to three minutes, but the time can be adjusted by the council.
•Amy Walker said that beaches are for people, not dogs, and asked the council to ban dogs from the beach. Previous attempts to keep the dogs off Laguna beaches have failed due to public protest.
•Festival of Arts President Fred Sattler presented the council with a check for $1,200 to help pay for recent lighting improvements for art in City Hall.
Sattler said the donation was in appreciation of the emergence of City Hall as an important place to exhibit art, such as the "Art That's Small at City Hall" exhibition.
•Bruce Hopping proposed a tax incentive for businesses that install art around their property in Laguna Canyon and the recommission of an art project at the Brooks Street stairs.
•Alex Gill-Gerards thanked the council for its support of the gay and lesbian community.
•Robert Ross said that at the last meeting he was ignored when he asked about attorney fees and administrative fees for the assessment bonds.
City Treasurer Laura Parisi explained again the costs and benefits of the issue.
COUNCIL AND STAFF CHAT
Council members and staff report on events they have attended, people with whom they have met and other items of public interest.
•City Clerk Martha Anderson announced that council will make two appointments to the Parking, Traffic and Circulation Committee on April 3.
•City Manager John Pietig introduced Ben Siegel, who will be assuming Susan Cannan's position as assistant to the city manager/director of community services when Cannan retires at the end of March.
•Councilwoman Toni Iseman reported on her March 11 to 14 trip to Washington, D.C., to attend the National League of Cities Convention. A representative of the Ferguson Group took her to meet with representatives of John Campbell, Loretta Sanchez, Dana Rohrabacher, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein to discuss what is going on in Laguna and what its needs are.
She said one of the advantages of going to the convention is learning how other cities handle problems similar to those in Laguna Beach. She was told by a member of the league's Telecommunications Committee that there might be some things the city could do in regard to location of facilities.
Iseman hoped to get assistance for undergrounding utilities in the canyon. She said she did not understand why Edison was replacing the utility poles in the canyon when the city plans to underground them.
Pietig said Edison representative Steve Nelson explained that new cables are needed to provide more electricity in town, and the poles must be replaced to carry the additional weight. Pietig said he was told that the installation of the new poles could not be delayed because of safety concerns and power needs.
Iseman opined that undergrounding in the canyon should be at the top priority.
•Mayor Jane Egly
congratulated the Visitors & Conference Bureau on A la Carte, a wine and food festival, and announced that No Square Theatre would be doing two more musicals this spring.
REGULAR ORDER OF BUSINESS
Items require separate discussion and citizen input, if desired, before the council makes a determination.
Heritage, TechComm committee appointments
Tamara Campbell, Anne Frank, Rick Gold, Carl Iverson and Jon Madison were reappointed to terms through March 31, 2014.
No one applied for seats on the TechComm Committee. The council will discuss at the April 17 meeting whether to continue the committee and, if so, under what objectives or direction.
PTC annual report
Parking, Traffic and Circulation Committee Chairman Ernest Hackman reported 676 traffic collisions in Laguna Beach in 2010 — 149 of them included injuries — and 505 arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Collisions went up in 2011 to 611, injury accidents increased to 154 and DUI arrests jumped to 641.
Requests for action by the committee only rose by two to 34 in 2011.
"The vast majority of requests are related to parking," said Hackman.
Support for Wildlife Corridor, 5-0
The council voted unanimously to ask the FBI to prepare an environmental impact statement on its proposal to take over a long-planned wildlife corridor, supporting the position of the city of Irvine and environmentalists.
Charging station fees and parking policy, 5-0
The council voted to charge electric vehicles at the city's two charging stations at one half of the going rate for adjacent parking spaces because charging is limited to four hours — about half the time allowed for daily parking.
Sewer improvement update
Water Quality Director David Shissler and Senior Water Quality Analyst Will Holoman summarized improvements to the city's wastewater system since 2002 and recommendations for the next 10 years of capital improvements.
The council overrode staff recommendations to hold off on rate increases and approved three consecutive increases starting next year.
Loma Terrace sewer contract, 5-0
The council approved a $94,000 contract with Psomas Inc. for the design of the Loma Terrace Sewer System Relocation Project.
A new sewer line will be installed under Third Street from the top of the hill, past City Hall, through the Lumberyard parking lot and terminate at the Laguna/South Orange County Water Authority lift station.
The project is to be designed to minimize disruption of downtown traffic and businesses, while consolidating numerous sewer lines and manholes and replacing deteriorated pipes.
Shissler was told to eliminate bad odors at the lift station.
Marine Protected Areas change, 5-0
The council gave final approval of an amendment to the Municipal Code to reflect changes in boundaries of the Marine Protected Areas that became effective on Jan. 1.
The next regularly scheduled meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday in City Council Chambers, 505 Forest Ave.
—Compiled by Barbara DiamondCopyright © 2015, CT Now