Santa Monica City Hall (File photo)

The members of the City Council have as much to be thankful for as anyone else, but a break from City Business won’t receive their gratitude as Council meets Tuesday night to hear a variety of issues.

In addition to second hearings of several items, such as revisions to Santa Monica’s taxi regulations and mandatory water meters, new businesses covers multiple topics.

Council recently approved the regular addition of a City Manager’s report to their meetings. City Manager Rick Cole will kick-off the Nov. 24 meeting with report on citywide planning and preparations in anticipation of an El Nino Weather event

On the consent calendar, staff are recommending adoption of a values based Code of Ethics. According to the report, the city has been without a Council authorized code for some time, but staff have consistently followed ethical principles and adhered to legal standards.

“Yet legal standards set only a minimum -City staff should always strive for the highest ethical standards. Adoption of a values-based Code of Ethics would reinforce current behavior and expectations and provide staff with more resources and training to appropriately handle possible ethical dilemmas,” said the staff report. “Once the Code of Ethics is adopted, it would be fully integrated into the organization’s communications, training programs, and administrative processes.”

The Consent Calendar also includes a pair of grant acceptances. The agenda describes $10,800 from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) for the 2015 Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s ABC-OTS Grant Program and $9,297 from the United States Department of Justice (US DOJ) for the 2015 Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Award.

Income is also part of a consent item that modifies the City’s contract with Transworld Systems for collections services on delinquent debt. According to the report, the contract has yielded $488,000 so far. The contract extension would keep Transworld employed through Dec. 30, 2018 at a cost of $200,000.

The Nov. 24 meeting includes a study session on the Lincoln Neighborhood Corridor Plan.

According to the agenda, Council will “1. Review proposed streetscape, transportation network and business improvement concepts; 2. Provide policy guidance on the design of medians on Lincoln Boulevard; 3. Provide input on proposed incentive programs, and 4. Direct staff to proceed with additional public participation process and refinement of concepts.”

While the consent calendar includes a requirement that new construction include individual water meters, a second study session revisits water and development.

According to the agenda, staff is recommending “that the City Council review and comment on options for creation of a water neutrality ordinance for new development, tenant improvement projects and major remodels, and provide staff with direction on how to proceed.”

The staff report states there are no existing systems that provide exactly what the city needs.

“Santa Monica would be breaking new ground; there are practical advantages as well as disadvantages to the various options, including paying for start-up costs for implementation, ranging from $25,000 to $340,000; potential reductions between $235,000 and $300,000 in future Water Fund revenues from WDM fees under the direct offset approach; and possible annual reductions in Capital Facility Fee revenues of between $375,000 and $475,000,” said the report.

The City has been studying the implementation of microparks, known as Parklets, at the request of the Main Street Business Improvement Association. On Tuesday night, Council will consider two or more pilot parklets on the 2900 and 2800 blocks of Main Street to be operated by Holy Guacamole, LLC and One Red, LLC (dba Wild Flour also Ashland HiIl). In both cases, the private businesses would be authorized to operate the parklet for one year with potential extensions.

Matthew Hall

Matthew Hall has a Masters Degree in International Journalism from City University in London and has been Editor-in-Chief of SMDP since 2014. Prior to working at SMDP he managed a chain of weekly papers...