BUBBLING UP: A fire hydrant at the corner of Ocean and Colorado avenues. City officials are considering purchasing parts for the water system. (Daniel Archuleta daniela@www.smdp.com

Editor’s note: This story is part of an ongoing series that tracks the city’s expenditures appearing on upcoming Santa Monica City Council consent agendas. Consent agenda items are routinely passed by the City Council with little or no discussion from elected officials or the public. However, many of the items have been part of public discussion in the past.


CITY HALL — The Santa Monica City Council has a heavyweight calendar set for Tuesday night, but it will get the ball rolling with an easy round of consent.

The entire consent agenda calls for spending in the amount of $535,000, and even includes a $60,000 savings on contract agreements with three of City Hall’s unions and revisions to the executive pay plan.

The big spender on Tuesday’s agenda is the Water Division, which is asking for $250,000 this year (and $750,000 over a three-year period) to buy replacement and repair parts for Santa Monica’s water infrastructure.

The division cares for 205 miles of water main, 1,300 fire hydrants and 17,000 service connections, and the division needs to have parts on hand for regular maintenance and emergencies.

The amount was based on the expenses from previous years.

Officials chose the lowest of two bidders, S&J Supply Co., for the contract.


Bike routes


City officials propose to sign a $160,000 contract with design firm Ryan Snyder Associates to plan, design and do outreach for bicycle improvements at Santa Monica High School.

The work is part of the “Safe Routes to School” program, which is supposed to make it easier for students to walk and bike to the Samohi campus.

Ryan Snyder Associates will observe student behavior at six critical intersections around the school beginning in the 2012-13 school year, and staff plans to come back to the City Council in summer 2013 for permission to get started on construction.

The company has finished similar plans for over 55 schools, and bicycle and pedestrian plans for cities and counties.

The work will be paid for with a state grant of $880,000 and a $100,000 local match.




Santa Monica may not have an all-electric fleet, but even its more traditional cars need a little jump every once in a while.

The City Council is expected to approve $120,000 to purchase new heavy-duty batteries for buses and fire vehicles.

Valley Power Systems, a California-based company, was selected out of three submitted bids.

The contract requires $120,000 upfront and potential two-year renewals with a 4 percent increase each additional year for a total of $375,000.


Bargaining table


City Hall expects to save $60,000 under a new contract with three of its unions, with cost cuts up to three times that in future years.

The three groups — the Management Team Associates, Public Attorneys Union and Public Attorneys’ Legal Support Staff Union — will accept a 3 percent pay raise to account for cost-of-living increases.

All three will see a decrease or elimination in their performance-based bonuses.

The Management Team Associates and executive pay plan would no longer get an annual performance bonus, which currently provides a bump of between 1 and 5 percent.

Support staff will also lose their opportunities for performance-based bonuses, which previously ranged between 1 and 10 percent, and some members of the Public Attorneys Union will see their bonus opportunities decreased from 10 percent to 5 percent.

They will lose those bonuses entirely by June 30, 2015.

Instead of bonuses, the base salaries for Management Team Associates, support staff, executive pay plan recipients and some members of the attorneys union will be increased by 3.8 percent.

Bargaining groups will also see changes in their ability to cash out vacation days, which will reduce costs when those employees leave their city jobs.

The changes are expected to save $60,000 in 2012-13 and another $170,000 in 2015-16.



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