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City Council

The People's Business: Sept. 14, 2020

Happy Monday to you all. After last week's special meeting, the City Council is back this week for its first regularly scheduled meeting following summer recess, and, as usual, we have a rundown of the agenda.

If you'd like more detail on anything summarized here, click the agenda, then click on the item. Over on the right side of the page, you'll see links to a staff report and other pieces of supporting material.

City Council -- Tuesday, Sept. 15

Tuesday's agenda includes six proclamations and 13 consent items that won't be discussed unless a Council member or member of the public pulls an item for conversation.

The discussion agenda includes eight items, including a proposal to create an Environment Advisory Board (Item S500). Currently, the San Diego wetlandsCity has three advisory boards that focus on environmental issues -- the Community Forest, Sustainable Energy, and Wetlands advisory boards. On Tuesday, Councilmember Jennifer Campbell, who chairs the Council's Environment Committee, will ask her colleagues to collapse those boards into a single Environment Advisory Board that will cover a broader scope and advise the Mayor and the Council on all issues related to sustainability, climate change, and creating a more environmentally friendly city.

The board would comprise 15 members who have expertise in one or more of the following areas: energy and water efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable technology, environmental justice, mobility, climate resilience, clean technology and green workforce, urban tree canopy, and zero waste.

Here's the remainder of the agenda:

  • Avion Property Project (Item 336): There's a roughly 41.5-acre chunk of vacant land south of Carmel Valley Road and east of Black Mountain Road in the Black Mountain Ranch area known as the Avion property, surrounded by the Black Mountain Open Space Park. The area allows for 117 housing units. The City's Development Services Department would like the Council to take a series of actions that would allow a developer to build 84 homes here and transfer the right to build 19 affordable units and 14 market-rate units at nearby Black Mountain Ranch North Village Town Center.

  • CDBG Allocation to San Diego Workforce Partnership for the TechHire Program (Item 332): In May, when the Council was asked to approve local allocations of federal Community Development Block Grant funding, the Council held off on approving allocations for two programs, one of which was $1 million for TechHire, administered by the San Diego Workforce Partnership. TechHire helps low- to moderate-income individuals and other vulnerable populations begin careers in the information and communication technologies field through paid work experience and placement in high-demand jobs lacking a trained workforce. In May, the Council wanted additional information, which, presumably, will be provided on Tuesday.
  • Performance Audit: Strategic Human Capital Management (Item 330): Interim City Auditor Kyle Elser and his team have been performing a series of audits of the City's workforce issues. This one evaluates the City’s efforts to collect, monitor, and analyze employee-separation trends and compensation competitiveness. The audit found three main issues:
    • San Diego lags far behind other cities in compensation competitiveness.
    • The City could strengthen its efforts to monitor and communicate core metrics of its workforce.
    • The methodology of the City's Special Salary Adjustment process leads to undercounting of turnover, and the process for identifying positions at risk is inefficient and erratic.

The audit makes 14 recommendations to resolve these issues.

  • Property Management Agreement for 1200 Third Avenue, 201 A Street and 101 Ash Street (Item 331): Since 2015, the City has contracted with CBRE Inc. for property management services at two of its buildings -- at 1200 Third Ave. and 201 A St. -- and since 2017 at a third building, 101 Ash St. On Tuesday, the City's Real Estate Assets Department will ask the Council to extend those contracts long enough for the City to initiate a new competitive-bidding process. The Council heard this item on Aug. 6 but took no action.

  • Temporary Outdoor Operations for Instructional Studios, Barbershops, Hair Salons, Massage Establishments, and Nail Salons, Gyms, Fitness Centers, and Religious Assembly (Item 337): On Aug. 4, soon after the Council passed an ordinance allowing outdoor dining in San Diego, they passed a similar program to allow other types of businesses and organizations to operate outside on the sidewalk, in parking lanes, or in private parking lots. This one covers barbershops, hair and nail salons, masseuses and masseurs, gyms and fitness centers, instructional classes, religious assemblies, and entertainment. It is effective for 45 days, but it can be extended for the remainder of a full year -- so that's what the Council will consider doing on Tuesday.

  • Verizon Mt. Ada Tower Project (Item 335): The Development Services Department is seeking approval from the Council to remove a 133-foot-tall pole on a piece of land at 6426 Mt. Ada Road in Clairemont Mesa East and replace it with a 79-foot-tall decorative tower sporting three transparent cannisters containing 12 panel antennas, two microwave dishes and 12 radios. An existing 484-square-foot enclosure housing associated equipment and a new emergency generator enclosed within a concrete enclosure would both be located at the base of the tower. The project was developed by Verizon as a result of litigation stemming from the denial of an extension of the previous permit. The Clairemont Community Planning Group is cool with this project.

  • Palm treeStreet Tree Maintenance Contract (Item 334): From the City's Transportation and Storm Water Department (TSW) comes a proposal to renew a contract with West Coast Arborists (WCA) for citywide street tree maintenance. WCA won a one-year contract last October that included four additional option years. TSW wants to go ahead with the first option year. If all options are exercised, the contract would be worth a max of $15,830,000 over the full five-year period.

  • FY 2021 Statement of Budgetary Principles (Item 333): The Statement of Budgetary Principles, presented by the Independent Budget Analyst, is a list of things that the City Council and the Mayor agree on in order to facilitate healthy communication and cooperation regarding the City budget. The two branches of government have been agreeing to this set of principles for 13 years now. This year's document is not substantially changed from last year's.

Tuesday's meeting officially starts at 9 a.m., when the Council will listen to public comment on any items on the closed-session agenda. Then they'll retreat to closed session and return to open session at 11 a.m. Only City staff and credentialed members of the press may attend in person. However, anyone can participate and make comments by dialing 619-541-6310 and entering the access code 877861 followed by # when the item you're interested in comes up (PDF icon full call-in instructions). Watch the meeting on cable TV channel 24 or AT&T channel 99, or stream it online.

Next up -- a post on the Council committees meeting this week -- Budget and Government Efficiency, Active Transportation and Infrastructure, and Land Use and Housing.

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