In a Minute June 14

More news from the City Council Meeting

The City Council met for a regular meeting on June 14. Among the issues discussed were amendments to ordinances, changes to proposed breeding ordinance, approved the tentative 2005-06 budget and the sale of city property to a retail developer.

Council approved the changes to the first reading of the breeding permit ordinance. The ordinance will take effect if at least five Council members approve the second reading. The most significant amendment changes the terms "major breeding" to "breeding" and "minor breeding" to "litter."

Council member Judy Howell voted against the amended ordinance. She said it would still not address the issue of people abandoning animals rather than pay for a permit.

"I still do not think it would work," she said. "I don't want to see a law that is virtually unenforceable. And I don't know how you're going to enforce this."

Howell said she would support regulating the selling of animals but not breeding.

Council voted to sell 63,911 square feet of city property to local business owners Steve Adams and Mike and Sylvia Hartnett for $95,867. However, Council could not decide where to earmark the money so it was placed in the General Fund until it can be appropriated.

The land is north of the freeway and east of North Park. City Planing and Zoning Manager Jane Zukowski said the owners placed a deposit on the land but have not submitted plans for development review yet.

The recommendation to approve the land sale also included an emergency clause. Six Council members must approve an emergency clause for it to be effective. Council member Dee Rodriguez was absent. Council member Howell said she did not believe selling the land constituted an emergency.

However, Howell changed her vote after City Attorney Dale Patton explained the city could lose as much as $100,000 in sales tax revenue unless the land sale was approved immediately.

"I wanted a firm commitment to be sure," Howell said. "I didn't want to see us rush into an emergency clause and have the land sit there for, like, eight-nine months later. Then people say 'what was the emergency?'"

The sale became effective that night.

On June 14, City Council approved the first reading of changes to the Municipal Code section 17.60.110(A) to comply with other sections of the code that prevent relocating manufactured or mobile homes into the city that are more than 15-years old.

In 2000, the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended Council enact the ban. Ordinance 900 passed that spring. However, City Planner Jane Zukowski said she found another place in the zoning laws that needed to state the restriction.

"Unless you went to another part of the code to find that, it might not be in the part you were looking at," she said.

The restriction applies only to new homes coming in to the city, otherwise existing manufactured or mobile homes are considered legal non-conforming and are permitted.

Council heard comments from two residents regarding the proposed 2005-06 budget. Both requested the city put other projects aside until the city could purchase a ladder truck for the Fire Department.

With those comments, Council approved the tentative city budget of $20,392,866. The 2005-06 budget is $2,157,336 or about 12-percent higher than the budget for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30.

Council also approved the authorized positions list for the next fiscal year. It includes 97 full-time positions and 25,294 part-time hours. It needs to be amended since the Council voted on Friday, June 17 to close the Magistrate Court and hire another police officer (see front page story).

In addition, a current position is transferring from the Finance Department to the Animal Boarding Facility. The Code Enforcement Officer position is being eliminated as well.

The proposed changes include an additional 520 part-time hours at the Public Library, 460 additional hours in Roadside and 988 more part-time hours in the Police Department for the boarding facility. The additional part-time increases the General Fund salaries by $18,720.

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