At its July 14 meeting, the City Council will take on several controversial issues and few housekeeping items.

LOBBYING

The council will hear the first reading of proposed rules to govern lobbying within the city.

According to the staff report, “basic requirements are that lobbyists register with the City, make periodic disclosures about their activities, and pay registration fees to cover City costs.¬† A few activities would be prohibited.¬† Remedies would be established.”

Lobbying would be defined as attempting to influence a city official with regard to action by the city and a “lobbyist” would be defined as someone receiving compensation for that work in excess of $1,000.

Public officials or city employees acting in their official capacity, journalists, individuals limiting their efforts to public forums, property owners working on behalf of their properties, individuals submitting bids for city work, whistleblowers, people discussing legal matters with staff, non-profit employees working on behalf of their organizations, members of neighborhood associations representing the associations, union negotiations, communication solely about ministerial actions and individuals responding to an enforcement proceeding by the city would be exempt.

Lobbyists would have to disclose their paid clients and rates. Prohibited activities amount to bans on lying or attempting to directly control city procedures. The proposed ordinance includes both civil and criminal remedies.

AIRPORT LEASES

All airport leases expired on June 30 and the city is considering lease renewals with all rents set to “market rate.” According to the report, three-year leases are appropriate for some tenants as any city action on closing part of the airport will be delayed for several years due to ongoing litigation. However, those leases would include a provision allowing for early termination if litigation is resolved more quickly. Aviation tenants are being offered month-to-month leases.

Lease recommendations are:

1.   Ruskin Theatre (3-year term at $3,595.27 per month).

2.   Atlantic Aviation of Santa Monica (3-year term at $54,889.93 per month and 40% of the net rental revenue from subleasing).

3.   Krueger Aviation Inc. (month-to-month at $4,920 per month and 50% of the net rental revenue from subleasing) (western parcel).

4. ¬† Gunnell Properties LLC (3-year term at $91,170.80 per month and 12% of gross revenue above the amount of the City’s base rent).

5.   Ameriflyers of California dba American Flyers (month-to-month at $11,229.58 and 50% of the net rental revenue from subleasing) (western parcel).

6.   Campclar Corporation dba Spitfire Grill (3-year term at $8,474.40 per month or 6% of gross receipts, whichever is greater).

7.   Typhoon Restaurant Inc. (3-year term at $6,060.00 per month or 6% of gross receipts, whichever is greater).

DOWNTOWN SPECIFIC PLAN

Council will consider an ordinance that extends the current rules for development downtown. The Downtown Specific Plan has yet to be formally adopted and approval of projects is governed by an interim ordinance that will expire without council action.

“The purpose of extending the initial interim ordinance is to ensure that there continues to be a development agreement process, in the interim, for Downtown projects over 32 feet high to ensure that the City has flexibility to incorporate into the development review process goals for the Downtown, including urban design, community benefits, and trip reduction,” said the report. “Currently, there are 13 pending development agreement projects and one Administrative Approval project located within the LUCE Downtown Core designation.”

COLORADO AND LINCOLN ASSESSMENTS

Council will formally adopt property bases assessment districts for Colorado and Lincoln. Property owners voted to establish the new districts and the money will be used for enhanced maintenance, ambassador services, additional marketing and beautification projects.

OF NOTE

>> The council will consider allowing Public Safety Communications Division to participate in the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) program now that Santa Monica public safety dispatch operations have been consolidated.

>> Council is being asked to set tax rates for a library general obligation bond.

>> Council will consider extending the current management system for the Pier. Authority for the Santa Monica Pier Corporation expired on June 30. Council is being asked to extend the current governance structure for the operation of the Pier and that the current Board’s term be extended until Dec.¬†31, 2015.

>> Council could create an internal audit committee composed of council members. The committee is a result of previous council requests to bring the city in line with best practices in financial management.

>> Several appointments are scheduled for the meeting including seven members of the Pier Corporation (depending on the outcome of the Pier Corporation reauthorization), three members of the Social Services Commission and one Planning Commissioner. The Planning Commissioner is controversial following a terse exchange amongst the council last month that ended with Councilwoman Pam O’Connor threatening to walk out of the meeting if the appointment were not extended.

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