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Cerritos City Council Meeting Minutes

MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING OF THE
CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CERRITOS
HELD MARCH 8, 2007

CALL TO ORDER

The Mayor called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers at Cerritos City Hall, 18125 Bloomfield Avenue, Cerritos, California.

INVOCATION

Mayor Pro Tem Lee offered the invocation.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Councilman Edwards led the assembly in the salute to the flag.

ROLL CALL

The City Clerk noted attendance of the following Members of the City Council:

Councilman John F. Crawley
Councilman Jim Edwards
Councilwoman Gloria A. Kappe
Mayor Pro Tem Laura Lee
Mayor Paul W. Bowlen

PRESENTATIONS

Councilwoman Kappe and Mayor Bowlen presented plaques to their appointees on City Commissions and Committees.

PUBLIC COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS

Chris Fuentes, Cerritos resident, reflected on the contributions to the community of former Cerritos resident Bernard Einson, who recently passed away.

 Cindy Chen, Cerritos resident and Planning Commissioner, invited everyone to the Cerritos Chinese School Lunar New Year Festival on March 10 from 12 noon to 4 p.m. at the Cerritos College Student Center.

CONSENT CALENDAR ITEMS

Approval of Register of Demands

MOTION:
It was moved by Councilwoman Kappe and seconded by Councilman Edwards to approve the Register of Demands dated March 8, 2007, Checks 88681 through 88992, in the total amount of $13,070,467.92. The motion carried unanimously.

Approval of Minutes

MOTION:
It was moved by Councilwoman Kappe and seconded by Councilman Edwards to approve the Minutes of the February 22, 2007 Regular City Council Meetings. The motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance for second reading and adoption. Reading of ordinance waived and ordinance adopted.

ORDINANCE NO. 922 - AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF CERRITOS AMENDING THE CERRITOS DEVELOPMENT MAP BY CHANGING THE ZONE CLASSIFICATION OF APPROXIMATELY ±0.426 ACRE OF LAND LOCATED ON THE NORTHWEST CORNER OF GRIDLEY ROAD AND ELOISE STREET (APN 7049-022-042), FROM SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENTIAL (RS-6500) TO SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENTIAL (RS-5000).


MOTION: It was moved by Councilwoman Kappe and seconded by Councilman Edwards to waive reading of and adopt Ordinance No. 922. The motion carried by the following vote:

AYES:      Councilmembers - Crawley, Edwards, Kappe, Lee, Bowlen
NOES:     Councilmembers - None
ABSENT: Councilmembers - None
ABSTAIN: Councilmembers - None
 

PENDING LEGAL MATTERS

Resolution for consideration

RESOLUTION NO. 2007-3

A Resolution of the City Council of the City of Cerritos supporting state legislation to amend the State Water Code to establish separate groundwater replenishment assessment rates for the Central Basin and the West Coast Basin based on the cost of providing services to the respective basins.

MOTION:  Following a staff report by Senior Assistant City Manager Brar, it was moved by Mayor Pro Tem Lee and seconded by Councilman Crawley to waive further reading and adopt Resolution No. 2007-3.  The motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS ACTIVITIES

Consideration and award of contract for the construction of street improvements in Marquardt Avenue from 183rd Street to Artesia Boulevard, Bid No. 1039-07, Projects No. 13012 and 14096.

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilwoman Kappe and seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Lee to award a contract for the construction of street improvements in Marquardt Avenue from 183rd Street to Artesia Boulevard, Bid No. 1039-07, Projects No. 13012 and 14096, in the amount of $799,599 to Griffith Company, and to reject all other bids; and authorize staff to utilize the remainder of the budgeted amount for other street and landscape projects.  The motion carried unanimously.

NEW AND OLD BUSINESS

Review and consideration of Dial-A-Ride Program policies.

Advance Planning Manager Lopez provided an overview of the proposed Dial-A-Ride policy manual as outlined in the staff report dated March 8, 2007, noting policies related to handling of misconduct of bus riders and habitual reservation late cancellations and/or no-shows.  Mr. Lopez responded to Council inquiries regarding the appeal procedure, disabled Cypress College student service, and bus size, capacity and ridership.

Chris Fuentes, Cerritos resident, opined that the proposed policies related to late cancellations and no-shows are punitive, and suggested the policies be rejected and a study to increase the program be undertaken.

Additional discussion was held regarding the cancellation policy being directed toward the small minority of habitual late cancellations and malicious intent with regard to misconduct of riders, the negative impact on riders to utilize the service when late cancellations occur, the possibility of implementing the policies on a trial basis, and adding a process where dispatchers would call ahead to ensure that riders would be utilizing the service as scheduled.  It was observed that the proposed policy is not as stringent in comparison to other cities' policies and the policy could be brought back to the City Council in six months for review.

MAIN MOTION:  It was moved by Councilwoman Kappe and seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Lee to approve the City of Cerritos Dial-A-Ride Policy and Procedures Manual as submitted in the staff report dated March 8, 2007 and directed staff to bring back the policy in six months for re-evaluation. 

AMENDED MOTION:  It was moved by Mayor Bowlen and seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Lee to amend the main motion to provide for a process where reservations are confirmed two hours prior to pick-up for riders who habitually cancel reservations on a six-month trial basis.  The motion carried with Councilwoman Kappe dissenting.

MAIN MOTION, AS AMENDED, CARRIES:  The foregoing main motion, as amended, carried, with Councilman Crawley dissenting.

It was noted by City Manager Gallucci that the confirmation of reservations would be handled by the current contract provider.

Consideration to adopt a resolution of the City Council censuring Councilmember John Crawley.

City Attorney Steres presented the resolution for Council consideration and read it by title.

Jim Yee, Cerritos resident, elaborated on his recollection of comments made at the February 22 Council meeting regarding this matter and urged forgiveness.

Randy Economy, Cerritos resident, opined that this is a pattern, urged that Councilman Crawley resign and commented on recall.

Chris Fuentes, Cerritos resident, indicated that Councilman Crawley has apologized, and he urged understanding.

Rick Renaker, Cerritos resident, called for the resignation of Councilman Crawley and opined that denials were made prior to an apology that was not offered until after the investigation was completed.

Herb Ryan, Cerritos resident, spoke in support of Councilman Crawley.

Jerry Kamashian, Cerritos resident, suggested action commensurate with the offense and sensitivity to residents.

Chris Tierheimer, Cerritos resident, called for the resignation or recall of Councilman Crawley.

Hugh Villegas, Cerritos resident, commented that Councilman Crawley had made a mistake and urged forgiveness.

Pete Sinclair, Cerritos resident, noted that Councilman Crawley had made a mistake and thanked him for his service.

Anna Titus, Cerritos resident, expressed hope that Councilman Crawley had learned from his actions.

Councilman Crawley indicated that he had apologized in writing in a letter to the editor and through public statements at the last council meeting and that he cannot undo what has been done.  He congratulated the winners of the Council election and applauded the efforts of the others who ran.  He offered special thanks to Laura Lee and Carol Chen who told the Press Telegram that he had apologized and also to Chris Fuentes for his comments.  Councilman Crawley thanked his family for their support.  He added that any recall efforts would be in the hands of the voters, and he has no intention of resigning, but will serve the remaining two years of his term to contribute to the welfare of the City and the residents.

Councilwoman Kappe observed that everyone makes mistakes, however, Councilman Crawley had not owned-up to sending the e-mail, which triggered a series of events resulting in staff and Sheriff's time and expense involved in investigating the matter.  She added that it was her understanding that Councilman Crawley had been asked and denied several times prior to the story breaking that he was involved with the e-mail, and not until after the evidence was presented did he admit to what had happened.  She expressed that elected officials are held to a higher ethical standards and what Councilman Crawley did was not a good representation of what an elected official should be held to, particularly taking into account that the investigation lasted from November through February.

Councilman Edwards indicated he represented the residents of Cerritos and the election had nothing to do with the matter being made public, noting the investigation required a subpoena and sometimes the wheels of justice work slowly.  He indicated this was not just a censure for John Crawley, but for the entire Council.  He stated that his integrity had been challenged, he had no idea who had done this, but this could have been avoided if Councilman Crawley had admitted to this when asked, noting that there has to be some accountability.  He noted that Mrs. Coomes was the victim and the situation must be rectified, commenting that during the investigation, the business of the City had not been hampered and the matter before the Council this evening would prevent this from happening again.  Councilman Edwards concluded by indicating that he had to do what was right and that he was in favor of respecting all of the residents of Cerritos.

Mayor Pro Tem Lee observed that a prompt apology would have been more appropriate and integrity and honesty are basic to being a Councilmember.  She indicated that resignation or recall would divide the community, and inquired about the possibility of Councilman Crawley reimbursing the City for the cost of the investigation as a means of recompense.

City Manager Gallucci indicated that the Council could ask for payment, however, payment could not be demanded, and City Attorney Steres concurred.

Mayor Bowlen commented on the difficulty of the situation, commented generally on the demands of being a Councilmember and on Councilmember Crawley's accomplishments while in office.  He expressed agreement that what was done was totally inappropriate and he would concur with the censure, and expressed hope that we would get the matter behind us.

RESOLUTION NO. 2007-4

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CERRITOS CENSURING COUNCILMEMBER JOHN CRAW

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilwoman Kappe and seconded by Councilman Edwards to waive further reading and adopt Resolution No. 2007-4.  The motion carried with Councilman Crawley abstaining.

CITY COUNCIL COMMUNICATIONS/COMMITTEE REPORTS/REPORT ON MEETINGS

Mayor Pro Tem Lee thanked the residents for re-electing her and suggested that flowers be sent to Mrs. Coomes.

Councilwoman Kappe congratulated Councilmembers-elect Bruce Barrows, Joseph Cho and Laura Lee.  She commented on her tenure on the Council and thanked the residents for giving her the opportunity to serve.

Councilman Edwards thanked those who have served on Commissions and Committees and commented on the Elliot Gray field dedication.  He addressed the Friends of Art Education Talent Night and congratulated all of the candidates and those who were elected.

Mayor Bowlen congratulated all of the City Council candidates, and commented on the Chick-fil-A grand opening and engineering competition at Cerritos Elementary School.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the City Council, the meeting adjourned at 9:55 p.m. in memory of Bernie Einson, former Cerritos resident who recently passed away.

/s/ Josephine Triggs
Josephine Triggs, City Clerk

ATTEST:


/s/ Laura Lee
Laura Lee, Mayor

Approved: March 22, 2007

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