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Cerritos City Council Meeting Minutes



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


Pastor Amy Lunde-Whitler with New Life Community Church in Artesia offered the invocation.


Boy Scout Troop 1005 led the assembly in the salute to the flag.


The following Members of the City Council were in attendance:

Councilwoman Carol Chen
Councilman Jim Edwards
Councilwoman Laura Lee
Mayor Pro Tem Joseph Cho, Ph.D.
Mayor Bruce W. Barrows


Proclamations were presented to Angel Baltazar, Officer Alvaro Garzon, Aaron White, Tony Whitfield, Kathleen and William Kooiman, Carlos Rubio, and Deputies Raul Marquez, Jason Jones, Frank Cordova and Anthony Morga in recognition of their heroic assistance in saving the life of Genessia Mercado following a major traffic accident in Cerritos.


Ron Jung, Cerritos resident, indicated he would be making a presentation at the Cerritos Senior Center on February 17 on heart disease and nutrition and invited interested parties to attend.

Jim McMahon, Cerritos resident, referenced the Cerritos residents and commercial properties that are located within the City of Cerritos, but are on the east side of Coyote Creek and receive water service from the City of La Palma.  He noted that the City of La Palma is considering a water rate increase of approximately 30% through the Proposition 218 process, asserting that the La Palma water rates are already 50% higher than Cerritos and that the 218 process involves a protest vote wherein affected property owners against the increase would be required to vote against the proposal to prevent the increase.  Mr. McMahon added that he was not notified by the City of La Palma regarding the proposal and learned of it only recently, noting that the City of Cerritos had placed information on its website at his request and had also sent a staff member to attend one of the City of La Palma’s public information sessions regarding this matter. 

He also stated that the City of La Palma had referenced previous elections at which the affected Cerritos resident had voted to be served by the City of La Palma, but neither the City of La Palma nor the City of Cerritos had any records to that effect, and he encouraged affected property owners to vote on this matter when they receive their 218 ballots from the City of La Palma.

At the request of the Chair, City Attorney Steres provided an overview of the Proposition 218 process, confirming that only if a majority protest can the increase be prevented, and if an affected property owner does not vote, it is considered a yes vote.

During ensuing discussion it was noted that this matter affects 161 Cerritos homes and several Cerritos commercial properties generally located east of Coyote Creek; those La Palma residences west of Coyote Creek receive water service from the City of Cerritos;  the City of La Palma had not notified Cerritos of this proposal; a letter was sent from Cerritos outlining the impact of a water rate increase on affected Cerritos residents; the City of Cerritos would assist those affected residents; and Cerritos would advise the City of La Palma to keep the City of Cerritos apprised of this matter as well as future issues affecting Cerritos.

Randy Economy, Cerritos resident, referenced the affect of the recent rains on streets resulting in pot holes particularly in the areas of Shoemaker Avenue and Bloomfield Avenue and in and around the east side of the City near Stowers Avenue, Rose Street and Ashworth Place.  He requested that the pot holes be patched and that a status report be made.

City Manager Gallucci noted that work on Bloomfield Avenue would begin after the rains and that the other streets mentioned would be reviewed by staff.

Paul Bellenbaum, Cerritos resident, expressed that the New Orleans architectural details in the Auto Square have diminished; suggested the vintage car depicted on the Auto Square logo be changed to a more contemporary automobile; and suggested Huell Howser do a story on the Auto Square.

The Mayor presented Tony Whitfield with a proclamation for his heroic efforts in helping to save the life of Genessia Mercado following a major traffic accident in Cerritos.


Approval of Register of Demands

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilman Edwards and seconded by Councilwoman Lee to approve the Register of Demands dated February 11, 2010, Checks 114237 through 114505, in the total amount of $5,817,985.67.  The motion carried unanimously.

Approval of Treasurer's Report for the period ending December 31, 2009

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilman Edwards and seconded by Councilwoman Lee to approve the Treasurer's Report for the period ending December 31, 2009.  The motion carried unanimously.

Approval of Minutes

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilman Edwards and seconded by Councilwoman Lee to approve the Minutes of the Regular Meeting of January 28, 2010, as corrected.  The motion carried unanimously.


Consideration of additional traffic mitigation measures at the intersection of Mapes Avenue and Artesia Boulevard.

Assistant City Engineer Vancheswaran presented the staff report dated February 11, 2010.

Howard Sachs, Cerritos resident, indicated that of the 50 homes he polled 38 signed a petition in support of keeping the intersection of Mapes Avenue and Artesia Boulevard open, noting that many of those who signed indicated they did not understand a previous petition, which they signed in support of the closure.  He added that those supporting the closure live at the north end of the tract and that 12 of the 14 residences on the south end of Mapes are opposed to the closure.  Mr. Sachs indicated that the City should have conducted the poll, not residents; Mapes is the primary access to the tract and Abana is a secondary access; public safety would be compromised with the closure of Mapes and it would be irresponsible of the City to do so; and he suggested the installation of speed bumps as a traffic deterrent.

Hugo Enciso, Cerritos resident, concurred with the comments of Mr. Sachs and opposed the closure of Mapes Avenue, citing concerns related to safety vehicle access, trash vehicle maneuvering, and inconvenience for residential traffic exiting the tract.  Mr. Encisco requested and received clarification with regard to State warrant criteria for traffic signals, which had not been met for the Mapes Avenue location, and he indicated that although the warrants had not been met placement of traffic signal at this location should be considered.

June Kaewsith, Cerritos resident, observed that there are no traffic issues other than the one hour in the morning and the one hour in the afternoon when students are dropped-off and picked-up.  She suggested a school district employee be assigned to the Mapes Avenue crossing to help manage pedestrian traffic, was unaware of any car accidents at this location, and questioned the benefit of speed bumps.

Mitchell Alves, Cerritos resident, indicated he resides at one of the 14 houses at the south end of Mapes Avenue and agreed with the temporary closure of Mapes Avenue to determine the potential effects of a permanent closure.  He indicated that there is a problem exiting the tract, a traffic light would increase traffic at this location, the staff report did not address the impact of U-turns, and the presence of law enforcement changes driver behavior.

Discussion ensued regarding the possibility of an ABC Unified School District security employee managing pedestrian traffic in the mornings and afternoons at Mapes Avenue and Artesia Boulevard, given their authority to report matters to school authorities, with the potential for the City to participate in funding if necessary.  Additional discussion was held regarding the success of the previously implemented traffic mitigation measures, the possibility of speed bumps hindering emergency vehicles, and the continued monitoring of this situation to determine if it should come back before the Council for additional consideration.

MOTION:  It was then moved by Councilwoman Chen and seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Cho that the City Council direct staff to work with ABC Unified School District and Gahr High School in developing a Crossing Guard Program before and after school at Mapes Avenue; and make a finding that previously implemented traffic mitigation measures have improved area traffic circulation sufficiently at this time; as recommended in the staff report dated February 11, 2010 as Option 2.  The motion carried unanimously.


Consideration by the Cerritos City Council of a proposed program for recognizing City-based businesses.

Following presentation of the agenda report, staff responded to Council inquiries that new and existing businesses would be highlighted and that all business types would be eligible for recognition, including retail, service, or industrial.

Catherine Gaughen, Cerritos Regional Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, indicated the Chamber’s support of programs to support and recognize local businesses, encouraged approval of such a proposal, and offered the assistance of the Chamber in identifying the highlighted businesses.  She also commented on the Chamber’s review of Proposition 16 with regard to power plants and its potential impact on the City of Cerritos.

Jim McMahon, Cerritos resident, expressed support of the proposed program.  He suggested the Council consider incentives to Cerritos residents for making purchases within the City; reducing building permit fees for Cerritos businesses; displaying Auto Square vehicles in entertainment and retail areas throughout the City; employ construction project workers who reside within or near Cerritos; and award bids based on the location of the company bidding the project, specifically Los Angeles County businesses.

At the request of the Chair, City Attorney Steres observed that State law related to public works projects prohibits excluding bidders based on location and that the City is required to award bids to the lowest responsible bidder.

MAIN MOTION:  It was moved by Councilwoman Chen and seconded by Councilman Edwards that the City Council authorize the City Manager and/or his designee to implement a Business Recognition Program for Cerritos-based businesses as an extension of the existing Business Spotlight Program; and select Option 3B providing for presentation of awards and/or proclamations to occur during the Presentations portion of regularly scheduled City Council meetings, as outlined in the staff report dated February 11, 2010.

SUBSTITUTE MOTION FAILS:  It was moved by Mayor Pro Tem Cho and seconded by Councilwoman Lee to direct staff and the Economic Development Commission to develop and bring back to the City Council a more detailed City-based business recognition program recommendation.  The motion failed, with Councilmembers Chen and Edwards and Mayor Barrows dissenting.

MAIN MOTION CARRIES:  The foregoing main motion carried, with Councilwoman Lee and Mayor Pro Tem Cho dissenting.


City Manager Gallucci indicated that staff is in the process of reviewing Proposition 16 and Assistant City Manager Matsumoto presented an update with regard to a proposed Statewide initiative entitled the Local Taxpayer, Public Safety, and Transportation Act of 2010.


Councilman Edwards commented on the success of the Festival of Friendship.

Mayor Pro Tem Cho reported that he attended the welcoming ceremony and luncheon for Banciao city delegates, Festival of Friendship, Chinese School fundraising, Our Lady of Fatima School Science Fair, 60th India Republic Day Celebration, and Boy Scout Troop 394 Annual Green and Gold Ceremony.  He noted that he and Parks and Recreation Commissioner Nick Kim completed the Huntington Beach Surf City USA half marathon and a discussion regarding Sister Cities followed.

Councilwoman Lee requested information regarding business licensing related to door-to-door sales activities as well as the use of wasp versus pepper spray for self-defense, and she wished everyone a Happy Lunar New Year and Happy Valentine’s Day both of which fall on February 14.

Councilwoman Chen reported on her attendance at the Lions Club Student Speech Contest, Boy Scout Pack 595, 2nd Webelos recognition event, Festival of Friendship and the Cerritos Library hosting of Lisa See, author of Shanghai Girls.  She also noted that a benefit performance by the Orange County Symphony Orchestra will be held at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts (CCPA) on February 22, with proceeds benefiting the Symphony and the CCPA Endowment Fund, and thanked community organizations and individuals who have supported the event.  She wished everyone a Happy Lunar New Year.

Mayor Barrows commented on those who received proclamations this evening for their heroic efforts and he referenced the benefits of interacting with the students and delegates from Banciao.  He suggested interested donors be offered an opportunity to donate to the Friends of Arts Education in the event they are not able to donate to the CCPA Trust.  He noted the meeting would be closed in memory of Pat Piercy, wife of former Lakewood City Councilmember Wayne Piercy.


The meeting adjourned at 9:05 p.m. in memory of Pat Piercy, wife of former Lakewood City Councilmember Wayne Piercy, who recently passed away.


/s/Josephine Triggs                    ____
Josephine Triggs, City Clerk


/s/Bruce W. Barrows                ___
Bruce W. Barrows, Mayor


Approved:  February 25, 2010

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