City Administrators Weekly Report

April 27 , 2009

CITY ADMINISTRATOR

The Huntington Beach City Council is seeking Huntington Beach residents to serve on a 15 member Charter Review Committee. Applicants must be 18 years of age, a registered voter, and resident of the City of Huntington Beach. Applications can be submitted online or by picking up an application at the City Council Office on the 4th floor of city hall. While a meeting schedule has not, as yet, been set, it is anticipated that the committee will begin its work sometime in June, and that meetings will be bi-weekly, in the evening. If you have questions regarding this committee, please contact Pat Dapkus at (714) 536-5579 or at mailto:pdapkus@surfcity-hb.org.

CITY CLERK

City Clerk and Police Department Co-Host Booth at Earth Day Event

On April 19, 2009, the City Clerk’s office, in partnership with the Police Department, hosted a booth at the Rainbow Environmental Services Earth Day Event.  The focus of the day, as part of the city’s Centennial Earth Day event, was to educate the public on identify theft, ways to protect their vital documents, personal records management methods, and suggested retention periods to store those documents.  The free-to-the-public outreach event featured a 10,000 pound-capacity GoGreen Mobile Shredding truck giving citizens the opportunity to safely dispose of as many personal documents as they wished, as they watched.  Feedback from those citizens, who participated, indicated the shredding event was a huge success.  During the five hours of operation, citizens dropped off box upon box of outdated records of every kind that eventually produced 27,740 pounds of finely shredded paper, which was then recycled via Rainbow Environmental Services . 

The City Clerk’s staff would like to publicly thank the young men and women of Huntington Beach Search and Rescue and from the First Battalion 558 Infantry Explorer Post BSA.  These young people were invaluable to the success of this project as they displayed exemplary leadership, team spirit and high levels of professional conduct. 

Municipal Clerk’s Week
The International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC), a professional non-profit association with 10,000 members throughout the United States, Canada and 15 other countries, announces its 40th Annual Municipal Clerks Week—May 3 to 9, 2009.  This event features a weeklong series of activities aimed at increasing the public’s awareness of Municipal Clerks and the vital services they provide for local government and the community.

Each day during the week, the City Clerk’s office will post interesting historical facts at the front counter as a way to educate the public about the duties performed by the City Clerk long ago.  Additionally there will be a special open house held on Tuesday, May 5.  All city staff is invited to drop by for refreshments and an informal tour of the offices.  The hours for the open house will be from 3:00 – 4:30 pm. 

CITY TREASURER

Quick Tip of the Week – No Customers?

Think that you don’t have "customers" in your line of work?  Think again.  Everyone has someone who needs their help at some time.  Maybe you don't deal directly with outside customers.  If you manage employees, they can be viewed as your customers.  Your executive and management peers are customers of your services.  Business people in other departments or divisions are customers of your services.  Your own manager is a customer of your services.  Approach ALL “customers” with a positive attitude, people will notice!

COMMUNITY SERVICES DEPARTMENT

Marine Safety

On 5:45 a.m. on April 24, Huntington City Beach Lifeguard Dispatch received a call for mutual aid assistance from Huntington State Beach. A father and his teen age son were surfing off Newland Street when they were caught in a rip current. The son lost his board and was unable to return to shore. A California State Parks Lifeguard was rescuing the father when City Beach Marine Safety Officer Eric Dieterman arrived at the scene.

After contacting the father, MSO Dieterman spotted the son 400 yards off shore at the head of a rip current. MSO Dieterman navigated his rescue board through the pounding six-foot surf to reach the son. Once the son was secured on the rescue board, MSO Dieterman paddled for shore in the 57 degree water. About half way in, a wave with a 10-foot face knocked MSO Dieterman and the son off the rescue board. MSO Dieterman maintained a tight grip on the son as they were tossed around in the exploding surf. Several minutes later, the pair reached shore and the father and son were reunited.

Youth Character Awards

On May 16, 2009, the Children’s Needs Task Force will be hosting their annual Youth Character Awards Recognition program at Bella Terra Huntington Beach.  In 2000, the Children’s Needs Task Force implemented the Youth Character Awards program inviting public and private schools and youth services organizations in the community to nominate young people who exhibit strength of character.  The American Youth Character Awards are designed to honor young people whose lives and achievements demonstrate an enduring commitment to qualities associated with good character.  Students are not recognized for isolated acts of heroism or generosity, nor is it given for good grades, leadership posts, excellence in athletics or arts, or any combination thereof.  The young people who are honored are role models for their generation.

Each year, several outstanding role models are selected from the field of nominees to be honored for the Bella Terra Youth Character “Wall of Fame”.  Each year, the honorees have their name memorialized on a bronze plaque permanently displayed at Bella Terra.  Now in its ninth year, past sponsors of the Youth Character Awards Bronze Plaque Award include Senator Tom & Dianne Harman, Robert & Connie Mandic, Ron Shenkman (Rainbow Environmental Services ), Dr. Phyllis Lembke, Dr. Frank & Carol Infusino, the Huntington Beach Police Officers Association, and this year The Robert Mayer Corporation.

The Children’s Needs Task Force Chairperson will present the recognition certificates and honoree medals beginning at 10:00 a.m.  The hour-long program is open to the public.

Huntington Beach Senior Services

Friday Afternoon at the Movies – The Michael E. Rodgers Seniors Center will be showing “Doubt” on Friday, May 1, at 12:30 p.m.  John Patrick Shanley successfully transforms his Pulitzer and Tony Award winning play to the screen and garners five Oscar nominations, starring Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, and Viola Davis.  Come early and enjoy the Community Senior Services lunch at 11:30 a.m.; recommended donation: $2.50 for seniors 60+.  For more information, call Rodgers Seniors Center at (714) 536-9387.  Seniors on the Go provides transportation for the movies and other activities at the Rodgers Seniors Center.  To reserve a ride, call (714) 374-1742.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Kohl’s to Open Second Huntington Beach Location

Beginning this fall, Huntington Beach will be home to two Kohl’s Department Stores.  The existing Kohl’s at Bella Terra will be joined by a second location at Towne House Plaza, at the northwest corner of Brookhurst and Adams.  The site was formerly occupied by Mervyn’s, which closed earlier this year.  It is anticipated that the store will open in September, creating 130-150 new jobs in our community. 

Free Small Business Fair

The California State Board of Equalization (SBE) will hold a Free Small Business Fair at the Huntington Beach Library on May 12 from 9:00 am-2:30 pm. The Fair is presented by Michelle Steel, member of the SBE.  Several participating agencies and organizations will be there to provide small businesses information on starting and growing their businesses.  The program is free, but advance registration is necessary.  For more information and to register, please visit www.boe.ca.gov/sutax/sbf.htm or call 888-847-9652.

FINANCE

While much of the news from Finance centers on declining revenues, we are also taking steps to make sure that the City is receiving all the revenue to which it is entitled.  The Finance Department recently conducted audits of city concessions and leases.  Beginning in May, audits will also be conducted on hotels and motels to determine the proper collection of transient occupancy taxes.  Past audits have recovered significant monies.

FIRE

Fire Department’s Centennial Celebration

The Fire Department celebrated 100 Years of Service to the community on Saturday, April 25th at Fire Station 1 - Gothard.  In attendance were current and former Fire Department employees, dignitaries including Mayor Bohr, City Council Members Carchio, Coerper, Dwyer, Green, and Hardy, and City Treasurer, Shari Freidenrich.  A BBQ lunch was provided and cooked by members of the Huntington Beach Fire Association.

In October, during Fire Prevention Week, the public will be invited to the eight Fire Stations to join our continuing Centennial Celebration this year.  More details will be announced in the fall.

INFORMATION SERVICES
Parking can be a challenge, especially during the busy summer months down at the beach.  Did you know that you can obtain specific parking information on Surf City Pipeline by typing in “Parking Information” in the word search box?  The system will take you to the city’s website that provides parking information within the City of Huntington Beach. It provides information about parking locations, including garages, parking lots, and meters, as well as specific information pertaining to beach parking, downtown parking, event parking, and RV parking.  You will also find details about parking passes, parking regulations, and parking citations.  Check it out!
LIBRARY SERVICES DEPARTMENT

The Children’s Library’s Presentation of “A Bug’s Life”: the Ballet is a Crowd-pleasing Success!

On April 21 and 22, the Children’s department and the Friends of the Children’s Library welcomed Ballet Etudes to the Library Theater for another one of their amazing ballet performances.  In addition to the annual Nutcracker Ballet, held in December, we are able to book at least one other ballet show per year with the popular Ballet Etudes Company, and each time they have produced a winner.  Performing in four shows over two days to an audience of almost 1200, children in brightly colored costumes appeared as butterflies, glow worms, bees, grasshoppers, and other insects.  In their version of “A Bug’s Life”, this talented group of dancers presented a spectacular portrayal of an adventurous little ant and his adventure into the big city. What a perfect way for young children to discover the fine art of ballet!

PLANNING

Edison Park Master Plan

Draft Mitigated Negative Declaration No. 08-001 (Edison Park Master Plan), in conjunction with Conditional Use Permit No. 2008-04, analyzes the potential environmental impacts associated with a proposal by the City of Huntington Beach Community Services Department to establish a park Master Plan.  This plan will reconfigure existing open space areas; construct additional recreational amenities, including bocce ball courts and a skate park; reconfigure an existing 132 space parking lot along Magnolia Street; provide 124 additional parking spaces; construct a new 120 space parking facility along Hamilton Avenue; install nine fitness/wellness exercise stations; install new landscape and hardscape improvements including fencing around the existing fire station and walking paths; and install four lighted practice soccer fields and a lighted multi-purpose field.  The master plan is proposed to be carried out in four phases of construction over eight years.  

Copies of the Mitigated Negative Declaration are available at City Hall, Central Library and on the Planning Department website at http://www.huntingtonbeachca.gov/government/departments/planning/Environmentalreports.cfm.  The 30 day public comment period opens on Thursday, April 23 and closes on Friday, May 22.  For more information or to comment on the Mitigated Negative Declaration, contact Rami Talleh, Senior Planner, (714) 374-1682.

Former Gun Range

The 30-day comment period for the Notice of Preparation (NOP) for the former Gun Range opens on Thursday, April 30 and ends on Monday, June 1.  The Notice of Preparation period allows interested parties to submit comments on the scope and content of environmental issues to be reviewed for the proposed project.  The approximately 4.91 acre site is located within Huntington Central Park, surrounded by Talbert Avenue to the north, Ellis Avenue to the south, Gothard Street to the east, and Goldenwest Street to the west. 

The project proposes the remediation of hazardous materials contamination associated with the site’s historical use as a gun range facility.  Following remediation, the project site would be developed as an open space/park element, as part of Huntington Central Park.  On-site improvements may consist of facilities typical of open space/park uses, such as a children’s playground/park area, dog park, basketball courts, tennis courts, snack bar/restaurant, picnic area, and associated parking areas, restrooms, irrigation, lighting, and various utilities.  Potential future improvements could also include higher intensity uses such as a commercial recreational facility (e.g., skate park, BMX area, or paintball area), or incidental City park maintenance/operations facilities.  

Copies of the NOP will be available at City Hall, Central Library and on the Planning Department website at http://www.huntingtonbeachca.gov/government/departments/planning/Environmentalreports.cfm.  For more information or to comment on the NOP, contact Ricky Ramos, Senior Planner, (714) 536-5624.

POLICE DEPARTMENT

Arrest made for Attempted Murder

The Huntington Beach Police Department has arrested Ryan Nigel Curtis, age 27, for Attempted Murder for the stabbing which occurred on March 15, 2009 at approximately 2:00 AM in the downtown area of Huntington Beach.  Through a combination of evidence collected from the scene on the morning of the attack, witness and victim interviews, along with cooperation from the downtown business community, detectives were able to identify the suspect and make an arrest on Tuesday, April 21, 2009 in Los Angeles at the suspect’s place of employment.

The investigation began after police received a call on March 15, 2009 at about 02:09 AM regarding a stabbing that had occurred near 6th Street and Olive in the downtown area.  Responding officers arrived and discovered a 21 year old male victim lying on the south-east corner clinging to life with an apparent knife wound.  According to victim and witness statements the confrontation began near Olive and Main.  The suspect and another group of males, which included the victim, exchanged words over the perceived treatment of a female who was standing nearby.  It appears the female may not have been with either group at the time of the confrontation.

Detectives have been following up on leads since the morning of the incident.

PUBLIC WORKS

 

Residential Streets Overlay Project

The Public Works Department has a project underway that involves resurfacing 109 residential street segments with an asphalt concrete overlay.  This project will affect residents in many areas of the city, as parking and street use may be restricted for several days.  Signage for parking restrictions is posted from 48 to 72 hours before construction.  Once the project work begins it usually takes seven to eight working days to complete the street segment.  Parking will be restricted while workers are present. Work began on March 2 and is expected to be completed by May 22, 2009.  To date, 66 streets are finished.  Damp weather and demand for asphalt has caused some delays during the course of construction.  The Public Works Construction staff makes every effort to keep the affected residents informed of any changes as work progresses.
Earth Day Open House at Rainbow 

On Sunday April 19, Rainbow Environmental Services held an Earth Day Celebration for the City’s Centennial at their recently modernized facility.  The day featured displays and information on environmentally friendly topics ranging from solar panels to hybrid vehicles to compost.  The “MRF Experience” was a highlight, and included a tour of the Materials Recovery Facility and a hands-on simulation of how recyclables are recovered at Rainbow.  The Public Works Department displayed some heavy-duty equipment and employees distributed information on water quality, water conservation, and recycling services. Other City participants included Planning, Building and Safety, the City Clerk’s office, and the Police Department.  Approximately 2,000 members of the public attended. 

Public Works Celebrates Earth Day with Reusable Shopping Bags

In celebration of Earth Day and commemoration of the City’s 100th year, the Public Works Department supplied city employees with reusable shopping bags featuring a Centennial theme.  The bags were manufactured with 80% post-consumer recycled beverage container plastic.  The purchase was made possible by a grant from the State of California Department of Conservation.  To help reduce the production and use of disposable plastic bags Public Works encourages the community to take reusable bags every time you shop.  Let’s keep Huntington Beach clean and beautiful for another 100 years.