Editor’s note: If you have a question about a city issue—or a suggestion for filing a Public Records Act request—email Associate Editor Charles M. Kelly at email@example.com.
Traffic study in College Park West
There won’t be new stop signs at the College Park West intersections of Harvard and Occidental, Stanford and Occidental and on College Park Drive, according to Mayor Thomas Moore’s newsletter to his District Two constituents.
He described the results of a recent traffic study in the College Park West neighborhood. (District Two includes both College Park West and part of Leisure World. Mayor Moore lives in College Park West.)
“This study was done based on complaints from neighbors of people speeding and suggesting that stop signs might be a good deterrent,” Moore wrote.
“Unfortunately, the State of California has strict guidelines for implementing stop signs and they are only warranted if certain criteria are met where a certain volume of vehicles or history of incidents take place. The intersections in our neighborhood did not come close to the requirement for stop signs,” Moore wrote.
According to the newsletter, Moore will be working with staff on a long-term solution to the speeding problem in the neighborhood.
SBPD to have access to McGaugh security cameras
The City Council last week approved a “memorandum of understanding” between the school district and the Seal Beach Police Department that will allow officers access to McGaugh Elementary’s surveillance system. The surveillance system includes both a live feed and recordings.
This was a Consent Calendar item. It was approved collectively, along with nine other items on the Consent Calendar, with no discussion by the council.
Los Alamitos Unified School District installed surveillance cameras at the Seal Beach elementary school during the last fiscal year (2018 to 2019), according to the staff report prepared by Operations Bureau Commander Phil Gonshak.
At the time, McGaugh Principal Roni Ellis said, “The surveillance cameras are positioned throughout the campus to provide administration and law enforcement the ability to monitor the campus 24/7. The goal is to have the cameras fully operational by December ’18 or January of 2019. Each camera can be monitored by an authorized user by way of a secure internet feed on a personal device (i.e., phone, tablet, laptop computer, etc. The cameras will be monitored on a regular/as needed basis. Seal Beach PD and District administration will have access to the live feed as well as the ability to access footage from the past.”
The report went on to say that in the event of an on-going crime, the police would be able to access the surveillance cameras “to assist with an appropriate law enforcement response, if necessary.”
“This item is not applicable to Measure BB, the Seal Beach Neighborhood and Essential Services Protection Measure,” according to Gonshak’s report.
“There is no financial impact for this item,” according to Gonshak’s report.
Editor’s note: Sun contributor and McGaugh parent Jeannette Andruss contributed to reporting to this story.
City planning on planting more trees in Gum Grove
City staff is working on an overall tree-planting plan for Gum Grove Park, according to Recreation Manager Tim Kelsey.
“I’m hoping for February at the latest,” Kelsey said.
He confirmed on Nov. 4 that the project would include replacing trees that were removed from Gum Grove Park without the city’s authorization in 2016.
“It’s been a long work in progress,” he said.
Kelsey said the city had recently completed the first phase of the Gum Grove project, the maintenance phase.
Kelsey said this week that the city was waiting for a more optimal time of the year to plant new trees in Gum Grove park. Some of them are expected to be large.
Kelsey said the trees would probably be measured by “box size,” apparently meaning the roots would be contained in a box. According to Kelsey, each of the boxes for the trees that would come to Gum Grove park would probably be 96- to 112-inch boxes.
Part of the goal, according to Kelsey, is to mix 24-inch box trees with larger trees.
He pointed out that this was an expensive process. For example, he pointed out that the city recently planted 12 to 14 foot tall palm trees that had to be first trucked in and then placed with cranes. They probably would have been 36 to 48-inch trees, according to Kelsey.
“You can’t go to Home Depot and pick one up,” he said.
Kelsey said he thinks the city has found a vendor for new eucalyptus trees, but staff hasn’t actually gone out to see them.
Kelsey said it took time to identify trees for planting. Kelsey said the city was trying to look at what will be a sustainable forest 60 years from now.
Kelsey also said the plan was to plant a diverse variety of eucalyptus species. He said one pest could wipe out a single species.
In March 2018, the City Council received and filed staff proposal to create a Gum Grove Park management plan.
SBPD gets traffic safety grant
The California Alcoholic Beverage Control Department recently awarded the Seal Beach Police Department $19,700 “to aid in alcohol license, abuse, and enforcement,” according to a staff report prepared by SBPD Sgt. Dave Barr.
The City Council last week authorized Police Chief Joe Miller to enter into a contract between Seal Beach and the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
“This grant will focus on alcohol licensee inspections and underage minor decoy operations, to include shoulder tapping of people to buy alcohol for underage minors and similarly physical attempts by minor decoys to purchase alcohol inside establishments,” according to Barr’s report.
“This is a reimbursement grant so we will submit for reimbursement after the funds are expended,” wrote Finance Director/Treasurer Victoria Beatley.
City Council closed session items for Oct. 28
Here’s what is public record about last week’s closed session of the City Council: No news yet on the First Street restaurant building. No news yet on labor negotiations. The city will pursue a $45,000 claim with the city’s insurance provider. Keep in mind that in California, councils can meet in closed session to discuss items such as real estate negotiations and litigation or potential litigation. The City Council on Oct. 28 discussed three matters during the closed session, which is the session the public doesn’t get to attend.
During the public session of the council meeting, City Attorney Craig Steele said that no reportable action was taken on items A and B: the council’s conference with its labor negotiators and real estate negotiations concerning the city-owned former restaurant space at 15 First St.
Steele said the council had directed staff to pursue the matter of a $45,00 claim against Seal Beach with the city’s insurance provider.
The insurance issue was Item C on the closed session agenda.
Item C was a conference with legal counsel concerning “significant exposure to litigation.”
DCOR, Inc., filed a claim against in April 2018, for money spent on the landing as a result of the May 2016 pier fire.
Item A: labor negotiations. According to the Closed Session Agenda, City Manager Jill Ingram and Assistant City Manager Patrick Gallegos are currently negotiating labor agreements with the city’s executive management, the Orange County Employees Association, mid-management and confidential employees the Seal Beach Marine Safety Management Association and the Seal Beach Supervisors and Professionals Association.
Item B: Conference with real property negotiators.
According to the agenda, City Attorney Steele is the city negotiator with Bay City, LLP, over 15 First St., a building and land owned by the city that is best known as the former home of River’s End Cafe and the future home of the Beach House restaurant.