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Cerritos City Council Meeting Minutes

MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING OF THE
CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CERRITOS
HELD FEBRUARY 25, 2010

CALL TO ORDER

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

INVOCATION

Councilman Jim Edwards offered the invocation.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Girl Scout Troop 678 led the assembly in the salute to the flag.

ROLL CALL

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

PRESENTATIONS

Proclamations were presented to Aaron Sung and Andrew Park for attaining the rank of Eagle Scout; and to the 2010 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ceremony participants Brownie Troop No. 4113, Cerritos Area Chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Men's Ensemble of the Baptist Church of the New Covenant, Zoe Christian Fellowship Expressions Dance Team, and Diahann & Amir Greenridge, Sheréa VéJauan Riley, Jasmyn Riley and Kennedy Riley.

PUBLIC COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS

Cerritos residents Jason Kim and Timothy Chen commented on the Empowered Teens organization's efforts at improving bicycle safety, and at the request of the Council it was noted by staff that in April the Parks and Recreation Commission would be reviewing a bicycle master plan for the City.

Chris Tierheimer, Cerritos resident representing Friends of the Marine Corps 1st Combat Engineer Battalion (CEB), announced a 1st CEB bowl-a-thon fundraiser on March 13 at Cerritos Lanes.  He requested the meeting be adjourned in memory of Lance Cpl. Alejandro J. Yazzie who was lost in combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.  Mr. Tierheimer also commented on the efforts of the Artesia Senior Center Women's Knitting Club to knit caps for Bravo Company currently deployed in Afghanistan.

Shaoli Xu, Cerritos resident, requested City assistance with regard to an assessment being considered at Cerritos Villas.

At the request of the City Council, City Attorney Steres observed that the assessment, which is an independent matter from the City, would be more appropriately addressed through the Cerritos Villas Homeowner Association Board.

CONSENT CALENDAR

Approval of Register of Demands

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilman Edwards and seconded by Councilwoman Chen to approve the Register of Demands dated February 25, 2010, Checks 114506 through 114882, in the total amount of $8,363,023.35.  The motion carried unanimously.

Approval of Treasurer's Report for the period ending January 31, 2010

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilman Edwards and seconded by Councilwoman Chen to approve the Treasurer's Report for the period ending January 31, 2010.  The motion carried unanimously.

Approval of Minutes

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilman Edwards and seconded by Councilwoman Chen to approve the Minutes of the Regular Meeting of February 11, 2010, as corrected.  The motion carried unanimously.

NEW AND OLD BUSINESS

Consideration of a request by the 1st Combat Engineer Battalion (CEB) Adoption Committee to the Cerritos City Council to waive fees at the Iron-Wood Nine Golf Course for a fundraising event for the 1st CEB, previously adopted by the City of Cerritos.

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilwoman Lee and seconded by Councilman Edwards to waive the green fees at Iron-Wood Nine Golf Course and provide other assistance as outlined in the staff report dated February 25, 2010 for a golf tournament fundraiser hosted by the 1st CEB Adoption Committee to benefit the Marines of the 1st CEB.  The motion carried unanimously.

Consideration of a memorandum of understanding between the City of Cerritos and the City of Los Angeles for the 2009 Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program Award.

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilman Edwards and seconded by Councilwoman Chen that the City Council approve the Memorandum of Understanding titled “Memorandum of Understanding Between Jurisdictions and the City of Los Angeles Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program Award”; and authorize the Mayor to sign all necessary documentation on behalf of the City of Cerritos.  The motion carried unanimously.

Review and consideration of the sponsorship of the Family Arts Festival by the City of Cerritos at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts (CCPA).

Theater Executive Director Springer presented the staff report dated February 25, 2010.

In response to inquiries of the Council it was noted by staff that the wage/benefits cost represented actual amounts for part-time staff for this event; that although the timeframe to stage the event by June of this year is short, staff would see that it was staged if that is the direction of the Council; and that funding of the event could be made through the reserve or from funds the City traded for Community Development Block Grant Funds, which are placed in the CCPA trust fund.  It was suggested that members of the Friends of Arts Education Board respond to inquiry of the Council that the event would be held every other year rather than annually.

Ken Cha, Cerritos resident, observed that although there are benefits to the Family Arts Festival, it has not been budgeted for and he urged the Council to remain within the budget framework already set by the Council, particularly since other City-wide programs have been sponsored and are being planned by the City.

Damaris Alfaro, Cerritos College student and Lynwood resident, commented on the importance of promoting the arts and spoke in support of the Family Arts Festival.

Cindy Yen Chen, Cerritos resident, indicated that the cost-benefit ratio of the Family Arts Festival is appropriate in light of the priceless educational benefit of this program.  She suggested enlisting the help of more volunteers to reduce expenses and for-rent booths to generate income.

Diana Xu, Cerritos resident, discussed her family's positive experiences at the Family Arts Festival and the disappointment of performers in the event the program is canceled.  She asked the City Council to retain the Family Arts Festival and referenced the comments of the previous speaker to enhance the budget.

Tammy Tsai, Cerritos resident, observed that the Family Arts Festival provides a free venue for participants of all ages and income levels to enjoy the cultural diversity and richness of the community in a stress-free learning environment.  She presented a petition containing approximately 226 signatures in support of City funding of the Family Arts Festival.

Sophia Tse, ABC Unified School District Board Member speaking as a Cerritos resident, expressed that the Family Arts Festival complements the activities of local schools and enriches the community and students.  She referenced the difficult economic considerations associated with sponsoring this event, noting that canceling the Family Arts Festival would be a great loss to the community.

Louzana Kaku, Cerritos resident and former Friends of Arts Education Board Member/Vice President of Arts Education, noted a correction to page 3 of the staff report, indicating that the prime purpose of the Family Arts Festival is to provide a
multi-generational, multi-cultural event for families to enjoy the performing arts together and to educate theater patrons of the future.  She offered personal reflection on the benefits of the Family Arts Festival and urged the City Council to support the program.

Gloria Kappe, Cerritos resident and Friends of Arts Education Board Member, addressed the core mission of the Friends of Arts Education to present education programs for students and teachers and the difficult decision to cancel the event this year due to limited available funding, although it is the intent of the Friends to continue the event next year if funding is available.  She responded to Council inquiry that Board input would be required to commit to assisting the City should it sponsor the event this year and whether or not the event is held every year or every other year would depend on the financial position of the Friends.

Maynard Law, ABC Unified School District Board Member speaking as a Cerritos resident and Friends of Arts Education Board Member, reiterated the comments of the previous speaker, noting that the decision to cancel the event was purely financial.  He commented that the program is worthwhile for the community and observed that it would be a difficult task to put the program together in the short time frame available.

George Ray, Cerritos resident and former Friends of Arts Education Board Member, noted that the core mission of the Friends is to educate people and families in the arts and expressed disagreement in the estimated attendance outlined in the staff report as well as the lack of information regarding the new revenue generated by the Family Arts Festival in comparison to the expenses for the event.  He also commented on the importance of the program in generating interest in the arts for the future.

MOTION:  Councilwoman Chen moved to proceed with the Family Arts Festival with the City sponsoring the event this year.  The motion was seconded by Mayor Barrows.

Discussion ensued regarding the time frame required to stage the event, which is currently six months behind the typical amount of time necessary to move forward with the program; the lack of identified budgeted funding for this purpose based on the Friends of Arts Education decision to cancel the event and the budget shortage recently facing the City as well as this added burden on staff; the intent to cancel the event for one year and continue with it next year or following years when funding is available, with the possibility of holding the event every other year or possibly creating a City event after an evaluation of all factors associated with implementing such a program should the Friends be unable to continue its sponsorship.  A general discussion was held regarding the value of the Family Arts Festival, and it was noted during the discussion that the event is not just a Friends endeavor, but benefits the community at large, particularly in light of the reduced School District funding for the arts.  It was also pointed out that potential funding options through the City budget may be exist, which would enhance the feasibility of the City undertaking the program in the available time frame, since the event has been staged before and an implementation template exists.

MOTION FAILS:  The foregoing motion failed with Councilmembers Edwards and Lee, Mayor Pro Tem Cho and Mayor Barrows dissenting.

PENDING LEGISLATION

MOTION:  Following discussion regarding the financial ramifications of AB 32 related to global warming solutions and SB 375 related to the impact of land use on climate change, it was moved by Mayor Barrows and seconded by Councilman Edwards to authorize a letter to the Governor to suspend AB 32 and SB 375.  The motion carried unanimously.

CITY COUNCIL COMMUNICATIONS/COMMITTEE REPORTS/REPORT ON MEETINGS

Councilman Edwards reported his attendance at the Miss Cerritos Scholarship Contest, the City's Volunteer Coaches Recognition Dinner, suggested a study session on City protocol, and asked that the meeting be closed in memory of Lance Cpl. Alejandro J. Yazzie who was lost in combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

CONSENSUS:  It was the consensus of the City Council to direct staff to prepare for a study session next week to consider City Council protocol.

Councilwoman Chen indicated she attended the City's Volunteer Coaches Recognition Dinner and the Municipal Revenue Enhancement Program sponsored by the State Board of Equalization in Los Angeles.

Councilwoman Lee noted she attended the Miss Cerritos Scholarship Contest, the City's Volunteer Coaches Recognition Dinner, and the Carver Academy Community Read-Aloud Program.

Mayor Pro Tem Cho referenced the events he attended including: Miss Cerritos Scholarship Contest, the City's Volunteer Coaches Recognition Dinner, Formosa Senior Association Celebration, Senator Alan Lowenthal's Legislative Briefing, Chinese Senior Association New Year's Celebration, and Happy Seniors Association meeting.

Mayor Barrows commented on the City's Volunteer Coaches Recognition Dinner and the commendable efforts of the City's volunteers.  He suggested the initiation of a Good Neighbor Program, announced the Sheriff's Station Expansion Re-Opening on Saturday March 6 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.  Following the Mayor's suggestion to scale-back the March 10 Mayoral Transition in light of the tight budget situation, it was noted during ensuing discussion that modifying the event would be difficult given the short time frame between now and the transition.

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting adjourned at 10:10 p.m. in memory of 1st Combat Engineer Battalion Marine Lance Cpl. Alejandro J. Yazzie who was lost in combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.


/s/Josephine Triggs                                __
ATTEST: Josephine Triggs, City Clerk

 

/s/Joseph Cho                           _
Joseph Cho, Ph.D., Mayor

Approved:  March 11, 2010

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