Should the City Council and the Chamber hold a joint meeting?

The thought passed through my mind while I was watching a video of a recent Avalon City Council meeting: Should Seal Beach officials and Chamber directors try a joint meeting?

Personally, I’m uncomfortable with the idea—I’ve covered a city that is virtually controlled by their Chamber and another city that is dominated by one company—but I’m throwing the idea out there for consideration.

The Avalon City Council and Love Catalina Tourism Authority (Avalon’s Chamber of Commerce) recently held a joint study session. One of the items discussed was mistrust between the two groups.

Another issue was how to achieve “tourism sustainability,” which is a fancy way of saying they want to balance quality of life for residents, protect their environment, and keep the visitor revenue coming in.

This was an important subject for several reasons. Avalon’s on an Island. If people don’t visit the Island, many residents can’t pay their bills. Also, the Avalon Chamber gets a percentage of the hotel bed tax to market the Island.

(The Seal Beach Chamber doesn’t get a percentage of the local transient occupancy tax, though I seem to recall the late Seth Eaker arguing in favor of the notion during the public comment segment of council meetings.)

Should the Seal Beach council and Chamber hold a joint study session? The public would be allowed to comment at a study session.

Note: In one sense, this is happening in an informal sort of way. The Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce gets a monthly update from the city government at the Chamber breakfast. So the two groups do keep in touch.

I learned the names of the candidates to succeed Phil Gonshak as police chief at one such Chamber breakfast.

Members of the general public can attend these Chamber breakfasts if they pay admission. Chamber members pay a little bit less.  Email your opinions to and CC

Seal Beach parking revenue

Speaking of parking: A reader asked me to find out about parking revenue.  I forgot a couple of times, but on Friday, April 28, I emailed Finance Director Barbara Arenado two questions: “How much money does the city receive annually from paid parking at the beach and Main Street lots? How much money does the city receive annually from parking citations?”

On May 4, Arenado wrote:

“The FY 2021-22 actuals are $155,839 for parking meters, $1,730,339 for parking citations, and $600,922 for off-street parking.”

Federal bill proposes ban on local parking requirements

I don’t cover the Federal government, but this one could have a serious impact on future development projects in our region so I’m passing the information along.

Rep. Robert Garcia (42nd District), and two of his colleagues recently introduced a bill called the “People Over Parking Act,” which according to a press release would eliminate “minimum requirements for new affordable residential, retail, industrial or commercial construction.”

According to Garcia’s office, this Federal bill is based on California legislation.

League of California Cities and state legislation

The state government is considering imposing housing-related rules on city governments.

“SB 4 would allow schools and churches to build certain housing projects on their properties by right. Cal Cities is seeking amendments that allow cities to maintain their height and parking standards,” according to a recent press release issued by the League of California Cities.

“The Board directed Cal Cities to not take a position on SB 769 (Gonzalez), which would require some members of all local legislative bodies to receive at least two hours of fiscal training every two years,” according to CalCities.