Public attention at the April 26 council meeting will likely center on discussions of the recently released ethics report, but Council has a full agenda in addition to the flagship item.
Council will revisit past decisions on tenant rights, solar energy, and the minimum wage. New business includes business participation for Expo celebrations.
Two laws will get their second reading Tuesday. Second readings are often formalities that follow the initial in depth discussion but are necessary for new rules to actually go into effect. A recent decision to strengthen tenant harassment laws and hire a tenant relocation coordinator will be the first item up for a second reading. The other reaches back to a 2015 decision that strengthens local requirements for water efficiency and solar power.
Santa Monica’s recently adopted Minimum Wage rules will be revised Tuesday following recommendations from a working group. The law sets Santa Monica’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020. However some details were left vague pending the working groups report.
The item Tuesday recommends phasing in sick days up to 5 days for small businesses and 9 for large. Enforcement fines will be set at $100 with the ability to triple and the recommendation is for City Hall to revisit the education/enforcement policies after one year. The working group added specificity to the rules, expanded some definitions, included “healthcare surcharge” and “benefits surcharge” in the service charge definition and use, removed regulations for other surcharges and added directions for use of healthcare surcharges. The working group recommends decreasing the hours in the first time worker exemption to match the state learner provision to 85 percent of the minimum wage for 160 hours. Additional recommendations were for more information on some definitions and monitoring of the impacts to answer questions related to youth employment, job turnover, or pier affordability. The recommendations also call for aligning Santa Monica’s multiple wages to their Los Angeles Counterparts in the coming years.
City Halls ongoing process for naming the new park adjacent to the Expo Line could come to a head Tuesday. Debate around a final name for the so called Buffer Park has swirled around several names but focused on Gandara Park and George Ishihara Memorial Park after to veterans who lived in the area. A compromise proposal called for naming Buffer Park after one of the veterans and possibly renaming Stewart St. Park after the other. However, the Parks and Recreation commission rejected renaming Stewart Street Park and recommended Gandara Park, Heroes Park or Citizens Park for the Buffer location. That recommendation will be before Council Tuesday night.
The only item of new business is temporary rule facilitating business participation in the June 5 open streets event, Coast. Current rules limit the number of sidewalk sale events businesses and business districts can hold in a year. This year, some businesses have already hit their limit but the City wants to facilitate business participation in Coast by allowing business to host sidewalk events without violating the pre-established limit. The proposal would be specific to events held in conjunction with a public street event and would waive the filing fee for temporary use permits.
Council will meet at 5:30 p.m. in City Hall, 1685 Main St., on Tuesday, April 26.