Seal Beach City Council candidates answer hard questions from public at forum event

The city manager and possible litigation over the First Street restaurant property were among the issues that came up during the Wednesday, Oct. 19, Candidates Forum. (The event took place after the Sun’s publication deadline for that week.) Three panels, each representing a different council district, took questions from the public and from moderator Kori DeLeon, public affairs chair of the Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber sponsored the event.

Space limitations make it impossible to report every question and every answer that ran for more than a couple of hours. What follows are summaries of some of the highlights from the forum.

“We are following the same city directive: civility first,” DeLeon said. “If there is a targeted question, if there is an uncomfortable question, I will shut it down. I am not expecting any of that. We are fantastic in the city.”

She urged the public to direct their answers to all the candidates, not just one. Spoiler alert: Some questions were still aimed at specific candidates.

DeLeon said anyone who was not comfortable asking questions could write them down on one of the tables in the back of the Senior Center, attached to the Mary Wilson Library building, which served as the location for the event.

District Five candidates went first, followed in turn by District Three and District One.

District Five

Local businessman Brian Kyle was the first to pose a question after the candidates gave their opening statements. He described city management as the worst he’s seen in years. “And I think for the last two years of COVID she’s been controlling this council behind the scenes and I think—”

DeLeon reminded everyone of the need for civility within a tight time frame.

Kyle asked if the candidates would be willing to review city management all the way down. “Would you be willing to do that?” he asked.

“I have not been around the city management team enough personally to have an option about the quality of management,” said Nathan Steele, one of the District Five candidates.

“I am absolutely going to come in and look at the management quality, the management, the budget, the budget process from top to bottom,” Steele said. He cited his business experience, including his time as a stoke brokerage analyst and a trader on the Chicago Board Options Exchange.

Mariann Klinger said she could not really tell Kyle how she would vote on an issue that wasn’t there. She said when an issue comes before the Planning Commission, she goes and checks it out. “I was a newspaper reporter for many years covering a lot of city and county governments,” she said. She saw how government works behind the scenes. “I promise you I will get the story,” she said.

Michael McGrorty argued that local governments can be difficult “very often because they simply don’t have the resources.”

“I will grant you that the question was about the city management per se,” McGrorty said.

“I know that in the time I’ve been here and the reason that I’m actually running for office is because I’ve had difficulties,” he said.

McGrorty cited issues he had with the gardens in Edison Park. He said after two meetings, nothing was done. He also disputed the accuracy of Census numbers.

“A couple of weeks ago, I sent a letter about veterans preference,” he said.

“They [the city] don’t have a veterans preference program,” he said.

“And they said no, we don’t have to because we don’t offer any tests,” McGrorty said.

“In essence, it has been very frustrating dealing with the city and the better cities,” McGrorty said.

Jonathan Rich was the last to answer. He said if you look at an organizational chart of the city, the citizens are on top, and then is the city council, then is the staff and the city administrator.

“So I fully recognize that role, that if there’s something wrong, it would be up to me to fix it,” Rich said.

“Now, as I’ve mentioned, I’m a psychologist. I do business consulting. I look at company dynamics, and what’s going on and try to understand what’s going on,” Rich said.

He said his own experience with the city manager has been positive. “Now I understand that I me getting a biased view because any of us could be her boss in a month or so,” Rich said.

“Maybe she doesn’t respond to citizens; I don’t know,” Rich said. “But she would have to respond to council members and I would certainly be willing to solve problems that you bring to me that you need me as an intermediary.”

DeLeon pulled a question from what she called the “magic jar.” “Given existing budget constraints, how would you stretch taxpayer dollars to have affordable events for our community?”

DeLeon selected Klinger to be the first candidate to answer that question.

“One of the  big things for Seal Beach is to get more money,” Klinger said.

She said she wanted to see more involvement from the restaurants in the area. She told a brief story about students in Monterey who asked people in the community help them raise funding for an observatory.

McGrorty argued for charging fees for events. “People that don’t participate get angry because they’ve been charged for something that they didn’t see or didn’t do. The best indication that somebody wants to do something is paid off, and even paying dollars is better than paying nothing, particularly for large outdoor events,” McGrorty said.

“I would say that two things are trying to make better use of volunteers and maybe charging at least nominal fees,” McGrorty said.

Rich said he thought those were excellent suggestions.

Rich discussed art fairs that cities have set up. He said Seal Beach could get commissions from that. “We just visited Laguna Beach. It’s like a sister city, there’s so many things that are similar in Laguna Beach, almost exactly the same population right on the ocean,” Rich said.

“But it has a reputation as an art community,” Rich said.

“I think that would really enhance our city,” Rich  said.

“So profit-making events, charging admission,” Rich said.

Nathan Steele suggested doing something that is done in Leisure World called “Neighbor’s Night.” “They do this in other countries as well, [such] as in France; they have one night every month where its neighbors and all the neighbors in the neighborhood come out from their houses and they sit in their front yard and easy chairs,” Steele said.

“They talk to their neighbors and they’re friendly with each other,” he said.

District Three

After the District Three candidates gave their opening statement, a local man asked what the candidates have done to contribute to the city and to the environment.

Candidate Lisa Landau said that she moved to McGaugh when her son Cody was in second grade at  McGaugh Elementary. She came to love the crossing guard, who she identified as Miss Sylvia, an individual who apparently passed away recently. “But because of Sylvia, I saw the love that she had for our town and for our kids,” Landau said.

“And so I became a police volunteer,” Landau said.

She also said she became a Lion (the largest service club in town), a Leo advisor (LEOs are the Lions’ youth organization) and was part of the Miss Seal Beach and Band on the Sand events.

Landau said she no longer participated in environmental issues, but had a lot of background in environmental issues that she could bring to bear. She cited the wetlands as an example. “It’s been a long time since it was promised to do things about the wetlands which would help our environment but nothing has been done,” Landau said.

Candidate Stephanie Wade said the environment was the issue that got her interested in running. “I came here, I already knew about some of the problems with water quality because I got sick sometimes surfing Ray Bay,” Wade said.

“And there are a lot of people in District Three [who have] been flooded,” Wade said.

Macksoud said he threw himself into the life of the city, including council meetings. “And I found it surprising that nobody was talking about sea level rise or the flooding issues or looking at more permanent solutions than just moving the pups around and who got the pumps on this rainstorm,” Macksound said.

The next question came from Richard Glassman, who addressed his remarks to candidate Stephanie Wade.

“Stephanie, I admire you because I love people that are in service,” Glassman said, apparently referring to Wade’s time in the Marine Corps and Glasman’s own service in the California Department of Corrections.

Glassman said they were both from Brownsville, New York.

“But the difference is that I’ve been here 35 years. You’ve been in Seal Beach, how—?”

“A little, I’ve lived here a little over a year,” Wade said.

(Glassman said he was upset by something Wade had posted online about the Los Angeles Fire Department. Glassman said he was offended because he almost gave his life in the line of duty. Glassman didn’t go into detail, but it’s a matter of public record that in 2015, Glassman received the Medal of Valor from the California Department of Corrections after enduring a vicious beating from eight of his wards. He was attacked while serving as a youth corrections counselor at the Ventura Youth Correctional Facility. Because he refused to surrender a key to his attackers, he prevented the murder of another of the wards. Another counselor came to Glassman’s rescue and was also attacked.)

The post that offending Glassman said nothing would change in public institutions until they were wrested from “the white men who have preserved them as a country club for white male supremacists.”

Glassman argued that Wade was generalizing abut first responders and  questioned whether Wade could make unbiased decisions for the city.

Wade said she had been endorsed by firefighters here in Orange County, thanked Glassman for his service, and said she was sorry that Glassman felt disrespected. Wade stood behind her original statement. “We’re talking about historic levels of racism, people who were not being disciplined in our Los Angeles Fire Department for putting nooses in black people’s lockers or defecating repeatedly in their locker,” Wade said.

“I was referring to a command staff that was not handling clear instances of people being male chauvanists and white supremacists,” Wade said

Glassman agreed that there was racism in the LA Fire Department. He acknowledged there was racism when he was in the Corrections Department. “Your comment is generalizing all white men. How are you going to be able to be fair in the City Council if you have this bias?”

Hostess DeLeon expressed concern that the conversation was bordering on incivility.

Wade said she and Glassman disagreed on what the statement meant. “It’s very clear to me that I have no bias against white men or white people. I was one for a long time,” Wade said.

Neither of the other candidates addressed Glassman’s question.

Another man asked Wade why Wade wanted to establish a relationship with Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach.

DeLeon put that question to all the candidates, starting with Wade.

“They’re part of our community,” Wade said.

Wade said she wanted to make sure that the people who live at the base and veterans are supported. “But moreover, I also want to make sure the interests of the city are taken into account,” Wade said. “Give you a case in point. The Navy has has recently, is discussing selling off a piece of property on PCH and developing it.”

(In an Oct. 24 email, NWS Public Affairs Officer Gregg Smitth wrote: “The Navy is looking for ways to better utilize the land, and leasing to developers is one potential option that is being considered.  Selling the land is not being considered.”)

Landau said that Seal Beach already has a relationship with the Navy base. “I think it is in our best interest to foster a better relationship, especially with them expanding the port; we will be having an aircraft carrier here eventually,” Landau said.

“And that’s going to be a lot of people coming in and out of Seal Beach,” she said.

Landau argued that they will need support from city staff and the SBPD.

“I believe that there’s a possibility of being able to utilize some of that Naval Weapons Station land for those 1,200 housing units that the state has mandated us to come up,” Landau said.

Candidate Fred Macksoud, however, said the Navy would need to decommission part of the land from what he had read.

“They have been unwilling to do that so far,” Macksoud said.

A woman named Amanda asked Landau how she was going to separate her relationship with the owners of the as yet unopened First Street restaurant who are renting a city-owned building on First Street when Landau is on the City Council.  She also asked if Landau was willing to apologize for a comment posted on social media.

“Well, first of all, I think I did apologize,” Landau said. Later, Landau apologized at greater length.

DeLeon asked candidates if they could keep their personal interactions from city business and would they keep city business confidential.

“Well, first of all, I’m very proud to be friends with Brian [Kyle] and Rosie [Ritchie],” Landau said, referring to the partners in the Beach House restaurant.

“They’ve worked hard to get the chance to work out big, you know, facing all the challenges that they’ve had,” Landau said.

“But as far as my own ethics, being a volunteer with the Police Department, I had to go through a complete DOJ background check, so I know where I stand there,” Landau said.

She said the last thing she was going to do was jeopardize her relationship with her son and how he perceives her as a parent.

“If it gets to that point, I’m hoping the Beach House will be open soon and this will be a moot point,” Landau said.

She said if everyone felt it was in the city’s best interest that she abstain from voting, she would.

“Well, of course if it’s confidential you can’t disclose things,” Macksoud said. “But you know this city is entitle to know what happens in their city.”

Macksoud cited as an example of personnel matters that his opponents don’t like the city manager and he didn’t understand why. “I’ve observed her over the years, and she is a great city manager and does a good job,” he said.

Wade addressed the subject of the First Street restaurant property. “I feel that it’s for you in the sense that there have been such delays in getting your utilities hooked up,” Wade said.

“I look forward to being able to eat there for the first time myself,” Wade said.

Wade said she had heard it in Bridgeport, Seal Beach Shores, and on the Hill—that people are troubled by the way the city does business.

“I think that’s mostly perception,” Wade said.

“Joe Kalmick, mayor, Mayor Kalmick, is sitting here and Joe’s reminded me that you don’t know until you know, and so that’s what I propose. I want absolute transparency,” Wade said.

Wade said she didn’t have any contracts with the city and doubted she ever will.  “But if I ever have any dealings with the city that might affect how I vote on things, you will know about it because I will recuse myself,” Wade said.

Rosie Ritche, one of the owners of the Beach House, was the next to ask a question. She said it had been a long four-and-a-half years. She said understanding the history of Seal Beach was important for anyone sitting on the council. “I would like to know from each of you if you can please share some of the challenges we have faced trying to open the Beach House,” Ritchie said.

Macksound said he had just learned about the problems they were having opening up the Beach House. He said all he knew was that they weren’t getting property electricity.”

Ritchie said they signed the lease saying that they would have full electrical and to that day they are ready to open in 30 days. “We do not have the electric panels that the city has promised per lease,” Ritchie said.

“I would investigate it to see what’s happened,” Macksoud said.

“Other than that, I don’t know your specific issue. I’m sorry,” Macksoud said.

Wade said she has followed the issue both in the papers and when she’s spoken with Ritchie at Chamber events.

“All I’ll say is that it does seem to be an enormous problem that ought to get fixed right away,” Wade said.

“I think you said you’re pursuing legal action. I, you know, I hope we can avert that so that it doesn’t cost the city money and that we can find some amicable way to settle up,” Wade said.

Landau said that she knew this had been a long road for the Beach House owners. “And I think in the beginning you guys got a bad rap,” Landau said.

“And when we had this storm, nobody bothered to put pumps at your back door” until they had to make numerous calls to the city and finally the city got a bulldozer out there and built the berm, Landau said.

A woman named Camilla asked if the candidates would accept the election results certified by the Orange County Registrar of Voters if they do not win.

All three said they would accept the results.

Another question was how they would grow the environment, fund the proposed aquatics center, and address the San Gabriel River.

Wade said this was an issue she was really focused on. “We see the effects of sea level rise, the poor water quality, the trash that rolls up on our beaches from the entire port of LA and the LA basin,” Wade said.

Wade referred to money in the Inflation Reduction Act that is earmarked for coastal communities. “We need to make sure that we’re at the head of the line asking for that money,” Wade said.

“We can’t afford a $20 million pool which some people got excited about. That’s not going to happen,” Wade said, referring to the pool that was originally proposed for construction on the Navy base.

As previously reported, in early 2022, before the pandemic shut downs, city-hired consultants asked the public if they preferred a $22 million pool, a $20 million pool, or no pool at all. The participants at the time overwhelmingly preferred the $22 million pool.

“We’re going to make sure that we have a pool to teach our kids now to swim because it’s a matter of public safety,” Wade said.

Landau agreed with Wade that there was a need for remediation at Gum Grove Park. “Also, as a mother of a former junior lifeguard, I understand how important it is for our bodies to be clean because those kids are in the water besides the tourists,” Landau said.

She hoped that by putting equipment up river, Seal Beach could minimize what’s coming down the San Gabriel River.

“But you know regarding the McGaugh pool, we definitely need to have a pool whether it is going to be in that location,” Landau said.

“This has been going on longer than we’ve lived here,” Landau said.

It was in 2008 that a consultant first advised the City Council to replace the McGaugh pool. Earlier this year, another consultant made the same recommendation to the council’s swimming pool subcommittee. In 2021, the council formed a subcommittee to work on the project. Recently, the subcommittee reviewed but took no action on five possible concepts for a new pool at McGaugh. At that 2022 meeting, consultants recommended replacing the McGaugh pool.

“But I do think it’s important for our children to learn how to swim because when they do go to junior guards, they make them jump off the pier,” Landau said.

Macksoud said he would like to see Gum Grove Park improved.

“As far as the river goes, we need to get cooperation from the cities upstream on that river,” Macksoud said.

“As far as the aquatic center goes, it’s been far too long on the backburner but there’s no money that I can see,” Macksoud said.

“That’s why I am in favor of asking for aid wherever it it’s possible,” Macksoud said.

District One

DeLeon told the audience that District One candidate Gregg Barton could not be there that evening.

(In a recent phone interview, after the forum was held, Barton said that his girlfriend had tested positive for COVID and he was quarantining himself as a precaution.)

Following opening statements from the candidates, resident Richard Glassman had a question for Joe Kalmick, for whom Glassman said he had voted. “But what do you think in the years that you’re mayor, council member, could have done better?”

“I believe that in terms of communication with my residents, I answer all my emails, I answer all my phone calls,” Kalmick said.

“But there’s always things that, that can improve; there are projects that have been delayed that I want to see come to fruition,” Kalmick said.

DeLeon rephrased the question for candidate Chris DeSanto, asking what he would do differently.

He proposed a performance audit.

“The only way that you can change or make any changes operationally or financially is to know how you’re stacked up against your peers,” DeSanto said.

Brian Kyle returned to the podium. He said the city was close to litigation with Kyle, apparently in reference to the Beach House project. (The future location of the restaurant is a city-owned building located in District One.) Kyle said the city manager was incompetent. Kyle said the city attorney was inviting litigation.

DeLeon rephrased Kyle’s question to ask how the candidates would avoid litigation. Hostess DeLeon said she wanted to avoid specific questions but wanted to know how they would avoid litigation.

“Well, so the question of how you avoid litigation, the answer is simple,” DeSanto said.

“You did things right the first time, we do, you do your due diligence,” DeSanto said.

“You’re treating people with respect and dignity,” DeSanto said.

“You build relationships, you think win-win; eliminate you start thinking win-lose or lose-lose,” DeSanto said.

He also suggested seeing if mediation could take place.

“No body wants to, I don’t want to go to a courtroom,” DeSanto said. “You don’t want to go to a courtroom.”

Kalmick said “respectfully” he would not engage with Kyle about it. “I’m opposed to getting involved in litigation,” Kalmick said. “But I don’t think this is the venue for me to defend either the city manager, the city attorney, or myself, when we’re really only hearing your side,” Kalmick said.

“Joe, you heard both sides,” Kyle said. “Let’s get the truth.”

Kalmick said no one really wins in litigation.

“I will when we get there, because you’re wrong,” Kyle said.

The next question was from a woman who wanted to know what Kalmick’s top number was for the aquatic center. She wanted to know if Leisure World residents, about one third of the city’s population, were going to pay for a third of the aquatic center.

“First of all, we’re no longer engaged in looking at a pool at the Navy base,” Kalmick said. “There’s no way that the city of Seal Beach can or should try to find a $22-and-a-half million-dollar pool.”

Kalmick  said when the Navy announced their friendly lease was going to be “just under” $1-million a year, that closed the door.

(In 2021, the city finance director put the combined cost of the lease and maintenance of the pool at $2.2 million a year. City Manager Jill Ingram at that time said she could not recommend going forward with the pool project at the base.)

“In the meantime, we did re-engage with the Los Alamitos Unified School District,” Kalmick said.

Kalmick pointed out that they (the council’s pool subcommittee) had seen four proposals for taking the space at McGaugh and building a community pool there at a price the city can afford.

“So how do we afford it or how do we finance it? We have $4.6 million that is already earmarked for a swimming pool,” Kalmick said.

He said the city was going to receive about $5 million in ARPA funds from the Federal government, of which $2.6 million was earmarked for the Tennis and Pickleball Center.

“And we have a certain amount of credit to be able to float a bond, because there’s no way we can finance something like that with cash,” Kalmick said.

DeSanto said the city wanted a pool. “Personally, I still believe the easiest way to find money is through existing expenditures. I’ve seen it in my career. I’ve seen it in audits I’ve done, you free up cash flow,” DeSanto said.

Later, he said the city needs to prioritize. “This has been talked about for so long, that somebody dropped the ball somewhere, right?” DeSanto said.

“At the end of the day, you either need to move forward with it or you don’t if they’re not going to do it and you give the money back to people,” DeSanto said.

For a history of the pool project, see “Seal Beach swimming pool project: a chronology of events,” at

Rosie Ritchie, a partner in the Beach House restaurant project, was among the speakers who came to the podium. “The Beach House has spoken at City Council on many occasions,” Ritchie said. She said she went straight to Kalmick at a recent council candidate event to ask how she should respond to questions about what the current council has done to assist with the Beach House’s many setbacks. “His response was … it’s not my job. You don’t understand how it works. Jill is in charge,” Ritchie said. Jill was apparently a reference to City Manager Jill Ingram.

“I shared that Jill works for City Council, not the other way around,” Ritchie said.

“His response again was even as mayor, I don’t have control,” Ritchie said. “My question is: Is it your opinion that Jill works for City Council or does City Council work for Jill?”

“First of all, the City Council makes policy and the city manager carries out the policy through management of the city and the city staff,” Kalmick said.

“So on an everyday basis, neither myself and I would even assume that my colleagues on the City Council are not running and following every task that the city Public Works Department or Community Development Department is engaged in on a daily basis,” Kalmick said.

“So again, I respectfully [am] not going to get involved in a conflict specifically about your restaurant and your conflict with the city,” Kalmick said.

“Does Jill work for the City Council or the City Council work for Jill? Ritchie asked.

“I said that the City Council makes policy and hires the city manager. The city manager manages the operations of the city,” Kalmick said.

Hostess DeLeon turned the question over to DeSanto.

“Could be a pretty short answer but I work for you,” DeSanto said.

He told a brief story about after they graduated college, his brother got a job with the IRS. “I looked at him and I said, ‘just remember, you work for me,’” DeSanto said.

“But to answer your question, yeah, I mean the city employees, the City Council, which is effectively the Board of the City, right?” DeSanto said.

“You know, just like private enterprise you can pay for the services of a company or a corporation. And the same will hold true here in the city,” DeSanto said.

“And so, you know the like, just like the shareholders are the owners of the company and the residents are the owners of the city. And that’s the bottom line,” DeSanto said.

Resident Shelly Bolander said she had heard rumors that the city is not business friendly. “I’d like to know how you feel, both of you, about a restaurant on the pier,” she said. She said she had lived here almost 30 years and the majority of the people want a restaurant there.

“So what would the foot traffic on our pier allow?” DeSanto said.

“Because I’m also a business man and I want to make sure that whatever goes up there would be successful,” DeSanto said.

“I’m not opposed to it. I think it’s time to get something done,” DeSanto said.

Kalmick said the city had started discussions with “folks” regarding a food service entity at the pier. “And again, I don’t mean it as an excuse because the simple fact that we basically had to stop all of that activity during COVID. We have the people that we’ve talked to that have experience in working with food service on piers and building restaurants, and some local folks that have a lot of experience in restaurants,” Kalmick said.

“The consensus seems to be that people would like to have some sort of food service at the end of the pier,” Kalmick said.

“We very shortly will present four or five different concepts that range from an empty whiteboard to a replacement of a building that would be similar to Ruby’s, which I don’t feel is economically feasible, and some other ideas in between” Kalmick said.

Asked about the cost, Kalmick said that even though the city has $1.4 million from insurance, the city would be looking at $2.5 million to construct a shell. He said that if you talked to people that managed the Ruby’s Diner, they would say they only made money five months of the year.

Glassman asked if Kalmick felt he could have done more during the COVID pandemic.

DeLeon, speaking as a business person, said there was constant pivoting during the pandemic. She said every time they were going down one road, they pivoted and had to go down another road.

“Based on something that probably no city has ever had to deal with, I think the city as soon as we could started helping with masks, distribution of masks when it came to vaccinations,” Kalmick said.

“We reacted as quickly as we possible could. There’s, there was no way to pre-plan something like this,” Kalmick said.

“I would definitely say that you can’t plan for every contingency,” DeSanto said.

“But of the contingencies that are likely, you should plan for and so I think now, unfortunately, like a lot of things is you learn through experience, and then you adjust accordingly,” DeSanto said.

Another woman came to the podium to ask about how they would address the problem of the unhoused being on the street. “I do not think that having a more visible police presence will improve the situation,” she said.

DeSanto said that he was a sentimental guy and the older he gets, the more sentimental he gets. “And I think, you know, we need to help everybody,” DeSanto said.

“You get more with honey that you do with vinegar,” he said.

“And so by going and helping these people, it’s about meeting them at their level,” DeSanto said.

DeSanto then asked how you help people that don’t want help.

DeSanto said he didn’t want cops putting handcuffs on homeless people. “So now the question is, how do we get them the help and the support that they need?” DeSanto said.

Kalmick said that earlier this year, every city in Orange County did a head count of the homeless individuals that they could find in their cities.

“The number from Seal Beach was eight,” Kalmick said.

“Which, grand scale, is very, very low. We do have homeless, unhoused people that come into town. The weather is better here than a lot of other cities. And so that could be one of the reasons I can say that,” Kalmick said.

He said the Seal Beach Police Department has two officers who work with the homeless.  “And the next step beyond that is outreach in order to provide services, food vouchers, transportation and even taking them someplace,” Kalmick said.

“I don’t mean out of town but I mean if they need transportation to relatives or somewhere else,” Kalmick said.

“I know at one point, this goes back a few years, but money was raised to send an unhoused person back to their family in Philadelphia [and] provided a plane ticket,” Kalmick said.

The candidates were also asked about parklets.

“We are reviewing permitting the parklets,” Kalmick said. He said the parklets that exist now were literally thrown together in a week and a half.

“What if we have parklets that are professionally designed?” Kalmick said.

According to Kalmick, restaurants would be obligated to pay for their construction and the city would charge a mitigation fee for the square footage of parking spaces.

He was not prepared to say yes or no until he saw the results of the parklet subcommittee meeting that was scheduled for the next day. (See the story on page 1.) Councilman Kalmick is a member of the two-member council subcommittee on parklets.

“This is a subcommittee meeting. It’s open to the public and people are welcome to come and listen,” Kalmick said.

“This is a big change for the community,” DeSanto said.

He said he tended to lean toward restoring things as they were.

“One is fairness of retail versus non-retail establishments with additional real estate,” DeSanto said.

“The second one is standard of care,” DeSanto said.

“You know, we’re having space operate other than originally intended,” DeSanto said.

This article has been edited to correct errors that appeared in print.