Mayor Judy Ritter announced there would be a lengthy number of items on the agenda last night and, after several presentations, people who stayed discovered just how long, because there was need to take a council vote on going so late.
After presentations, including Beth Duncan and local Vista youth working hard at fundraising for the Make a Wish Foundation – Vista’s Big Give (see Vimeo link here), the community survey results just finished last month by BWR (83% satisfied residents overall and surveys offered in English or Spanish), as well as an update on the “Innovate78” concept of working to leverage the area’s collective strengths and assets (see businessInsider) presented by Matthew Sanford, Director of Economic Development, for the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, quite a number of items were discussed.
No report was given on item c3, an ordinance regulating the sale of dogs and cats at retail pet stores, which was introduced to the council in September. Rigby and Franklin again opposed it, the vote was 3-2.
Dope code praised
Speakers came out in favor of the next agenda item, c-4, regarding an ordinance meant to clarify the development code and the concept of a permissive zoning code which permits in Vista “only those land uses expressly contained in a list of uses allowed in a zoning classification, and thereby prohibits all uses which are not expressly listed.” New lingo makes clear that “marijuana-related uses, marijuana related land uses, and medical marijuana businesses (none which are among the list of allowable uses) are prohibited.”
Gregg Galvan and Erica Leary thanked those on the council dais who made comments in support of this clarification. Galvan has served on a task force and said once upon a time he used to believe that sick and dying people should be able to buy pot at local pot shops, but now he knows that sick and dying people don’t really get their medicine from these pot shops. “The pot industry fights regulations every step of the way,” Galvan stated, “they hire high-priced lawyers and lobbyists and [try to] influence policymakers and threaten lawsuits.” He believes pot shops are “a smokescreen” for drug dealers and pharmacies are the only place to dispense medicine for sick people.
Leary, who serves as a Program Manager for North Coastal Prevention Coalition, does not want to see “new users” of drugs. Marijuana use is “a growing tide” according to some surveys.
Mobilehome Park Accord
Last August the council heard from angry residents who felt there was “a lack of leadership” as they tried to reach a new Mobilehome Accord. (See Examiner story previously on this.) Steve Harvey, who previously made that accusation came again to address and encourage the city council to approve the new accord reached with the help of city staff. Harvey sang the praises of several people who helped the situation immensely after that August appearance: Councilmember Cody Campbell, Deputy Attorney Jon Stone and redevelopment director John Meyer.
Council voted 5-0 to approve. Much appreciation was given to Stone and Meyer by councilmembers.
Finance Director/Treasurer Lauren Warrem, gave a summary report. Total revenue was 69.7 million, which is increased by up at 3.2 percent. Warrem stated this was due to increased actual property tax revenues. According to the information, further on, “[a]fter funding required reserves and designations, and programming $1,300,000 into the Fiscal Year 2015/16 Operating Budget, there is $7,328,158 of available General Fund fund balance at June 30, 2015.”
The City Manager recommended possible uses of that year-end fund balance, including $2,804,166 million to increase the General Fund Emergency Reserve to 19%, $295,834 for Vista Firefighters Association salaries, $1.975 million for Property Acquisition on Broadway at S. Citrus Avenue Acquire properties to provide for future downtown parking and $1.0 million for Development of a Parking Lot on Broadway at S. Citrus Avenue, $150,000 for Road Improvements near the Civic Center Drive Off-Ramp. Funds for maintenance and improvements were also recommended.
Discussion of the suggestions later ensued. Councilmember Amanda Rigby, gave kudos for the report and the management of the city finances. (Others did as well, but she was first.)
Councilmember Campbell reported on a new California law AB1826 which will be a “major” change, he stated. The name of “CalRecycle” was invoked and explained. The important points might be: Governor Jerry Brown signed AB1826 last year but a new phase in begins January 1, 2016 and it gives very little time to actually implement let alone educate people on. Suffice it to say, Edco is aware of it and hurrying as fast as they can. Expect something in the mail at a later date regarding the law, food-soiled paper, et cetera.
Councilmembers decided to unburden the Mayor and become more involved in talking to prospective commissioners on boards. Stay tuned.