Council pares down its list of priorities

DOWNEY - Realizing the enormity of the Council Priority List project, the City Council Tuesday voted to rationalize its priorities list and adopted City Manager Gerald Caton's recommendations that included the body tackling one priority at a time over a period of several months.It was agreed that the majority of the 17 items on the priorities list under consideration could be stricken off because they are either currently being implemented or form part of departmental projects that are ready for launching. Under the new rubric, seven items have been identified as worth addressing in future sessions: 1) comprehensive parks evaluation as well as public works yards consolidation; 2) road maintenance; 3) accelerate economic development program; 4) the use of cameras for increased crime prevention; 5) code enforcement to reduce blight in general; 6) formation of grant team to maximize grants resources; and 7) improve public information system. In other action, the Council: •Approved the agreement for the Joint Powers Communication Center (based in Downey) with the cities of Compton and Santa Fe Springs, following the withdrawal of the Montebello fire department, reflecting an increase in Downey's shared cost; •Approved the professional services agreement with the Ramsay Group, in the amount of $21,000 for the preparation of a 5-year consolidated plan required to continue to take advantage of the Community Development Block Grant Program and the Analysis of Impediments Report for the Home Investment Partnership Federal Housing Program; •Approved the confirmation order with ICMA-TV for $19,500 for the production of a documentary film about the former NASA industrial plant in Downey, which has received a Phoenix Award from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for cleanup and reuse of the site, labeled as a Brownsfields site; the site will be profiled as a best practices project at the 2009 Brownfields Conference in New Orleans on Nov. 16-18, 2009; •Approved the recommendations from the "energized" Green Task Force that included: the development of a green page on the city's website; authorizing the city's participation in a high efficiency toilet retrofit program targeting multi-family buildings; sponsoring a drought tolerant gardening workshop; and appropriating $2,500 from the General Fund for the purpose, while authorizing $9,600 for staff time expense to coordinate these activities; •Adopted a resolution amending the uniform schedule of fees previously adopted by Resolution No. 09-7139 by eliminating the city emergency response team (CERT) training fee of $52 per enrollee; •Re-introduced an ordinance amending Article VI, Chapter 5, Part II of the Downey Municipal Code regarding the placement and operation of publication vending machines (newsracks) on city property; adoption is set for next meeting; •Authorized the city to continue as a collaborative partner with the Downey Unified School District for submittal of an After School Education and Safety program grant renewal application to benefit the district's flourishing After School Program for Information Recreation and Education (ASPIRE) program; •Adopted a resolution approving the appointment of Kent Halbmaier to the Traffic Committee for Council District Two; •Heard Mayor Mario Guerra proclaim Oct. 28, 2009 as National Immigrants Day; •Heard Sylvia Southerland of Southern California Edison present a check for $59,367.28 representing the city's energy savings for its upgrade of its water pumps under Edison's Agricultural Energy Efficiency Program (AEEP); and •Heard Guerra present the Mayor's Diakonia (servant) Award to community leader Luann Parker. The special City Council public meeting at 6 p.m. this Tuesday, at City Hall will discuss the subject of name change from Clark Avenue to Columbia Way. The next regular public meeting of the Council will be at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 27 at City Hall, 11111 Brookshire Ave. ********** Published: October 16, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 26