City Administrators Weekly Report

December 02, 2008

ADMINISTRATION

Huntington Beach Centennial

On January 1, 2009, the “Huntington Beach Centennial Geraniumwill be introduced to the entire world via television by being featured on the Huntington Beach Rose Float in the Pasadena Rose Parade.  It is now available for sale at Shipley Nature Center.  Stop in and get this lovely new hybrid geranium, the symbol of our city.  Shipley Nature Center is open Monday – Saturday, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.  It is located in Huntington Central Park with parking available at 17829 Goldenwest Street, south of Slater near Talbert.  For additional information, visit www.shipleynature.org, call (714) 842-4772, or email info@shipleynature.org.

Help kickoff Huntington Beach’s Centennial and help decorate the city’s Rose Parade float! Volunteers are needed for dry preparation and decoration of the “Surf City USA” float Saturdays in December and the entire week after Christmas in Azusa.  There will also be work done at the Huntington Beach Art Center from December 4 – 13.  For more information on decorating the float and the Tournament of Roses® Parade, visit www.HB100Years.org.

The Rose Bowl is coming up quickly, and it looks like USC could be a part of the game!  Don’t miss the opportunity to see this historic event in a very unique way.  The Tournament of Roses® Package Online Auction is still going on.  The package includes four tickets in the VIP grandstands at the Rose Parade, four tickets to a VIP tailgate party, four tickets to the Rose Bowl game between the 40 and 50 yard lines, and a Rose Bowl parking pass.  As of today, the highest bid is only $2,500 for the once in a lifetime package.  Bidding closes December 18.  To bid, visit www.HB100Years.org.

CITY TREASURER

Quick Tip of the Week – All Write

Always keep a pen and paper handy for those occasions when a solution for improving service pops into your head.  Creative ideas can slip from your mind if you don’t jot them down.

COMMUNITY SERVICES DEPARTMENT

Municipal Beach Parking Pass

The 2009 Municipal Beach Parking Passes went on sale December 1.  The pass is good in the city beach lots from Beach Boulevard to Seapoint, including the meters on both sides of Pacific Coast Highway.  Also, the pass is good at the Main Promenade Parking Structure, located in downtown Huntington Beach, and is a great option to use for parking to shop and dine after a day at the beach.  The pass is $125, and the senior pass (62 +) is $50.  Passes can be purchased at Lifeguard Headquarters or the 5th floor of the Civic Center.

Huntington Beach Senior Services

The Huntington Beach Council on Aging will host their annual New Year’s Eve Ballroom Dance on Wednesday, December 31, at the Michael E. Rodgers Seniors’ Center from 8:00 p.m. - 12:30 a.m.  The evening will include live big band music from the Bob Warren Trio, appetizers, hearty dinner, beverages, dessert, and the “Grand Countdown Toast.” Tickets are available now for $35 at the senior center front counter. The purchase of eight tickets will reserve a table.  Singles are welcome at the friendly single’s table.  Michael E. Rodgers Seniors’ Center is located at 1706 Orange Avenue.  The Council on Aging is a non-profit organization that supports programs and services for Huntington Beach Seniors through the Michael E. Rodgers Seniors’ Center and the Huntington Beach Senior Outreach.  For more information, please call the Michael E. Rodgers Seniors’ Center at (714) 536-9387.

Santa Home Visits

As a reminder, there is still room on Santa’s busy calendar to schedule a home visit in Huntington Beach for you and your family.  The home visits will begin on Wednesday, December 3, and end Sunday, December 21.  A fee of $40 is charged for each 15-minute visit.  To schedule a visit, please visit the Community Services Department on the 5th floor of the Civic Center.  To check availability, please call (714) 536-5486.

Light a Light of Love

The holiday season kicks off on Main Street with the Light a Light of Love event on Sunday, December 7.  Activities start off with the Taste of Main Street, from 1 - 4 p.m., with local restaurants serving up chili and soup.  At 4:30, a children’s parade begins at Orange Avenue and proceeds to Pier Plaza.  Following the parade, festivities continue with holiday entertainment at Pier Plaza.  The event culminates with the lighting of the snowflakes on the Pier and on Main Street promptly at 6 p.m.  Snowflake sponsors and proceeds from the Taste of Main Street support the Huntington Youth Shelter.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Applications Are Available

The city of Huntington Beach has its Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) applications for the fifth year (2009-2010) of the Consolidated Plan available for downloading at www.surfcity-hb.org/government/departments/ed/cdbg/.  The downloaded file is in Microsoft Word as a fill-in form.  The Department of Economic Development must receive the completed signed application by 4 p.m., Wednesday, February 11.  There are two application types: one for construction and/or development projects that include eligible public facilities and infrastructure projects, property acquisition, and other eligible renovation projects; the second is for non-construction projects that include eligible public services, code enforcement in eligible designated areas, fair housing activities, and housing rehabilitation loan program administration.  Applicants needing clarification regarding project eligibility are encouraged to call Kellee Fritzal, Deputy Director, at (714) 374-1519.  Only those applicants with eligible projects and/or activities will be invited to present their proposal to the Citizens Participation Advisory Board (CPAB).  If awarded CDBG funds, the grant year commences on October 1, 2009.  For non-construction activities, any expenses incurred after September 30, 2010, may not be applied toward this CDBG award, making the unexpended funds available for re-programming by the city.

Downtown Specific Plan/Parking Master Plan Update

The departments of Economic Development and Planning will be hosting a fourth community workshop to obtain input from residents, property owners, business owners, and developers.  The meeting will take place on Thursday, December 4, at the Rodgers Senior Center (1706 Orange Avenue), from 7 - 9 p.m.  The purpose of the update is to modify the current development regulations to promote development of underutilized parcels and to devise parking management strategies that reflect current and future parking demands.  For additional information on this meeting, please contact Kellee Fritzal, Deputy Director/Economic Development Department, at (714) 374-1519, or Jennifer Villasenor, Associate Planner/Planning Department, at (714) 374-1661.

LIBRARY SERVICES DEPARTMENT

Architect Checks Out Library

Library staff was surprised and delighted Saturday, November 22, by an unannounced visit by Dion Neutra, the renowned architect responsible for the city’s Central Library building.  Mr. Neutra walked through the building, considered one of the most architecturally significant in the county.  He commented positively on recent renovations which reflect his original vision for the space, particularly the new color scheme and the use of the Neutra font, which he helped design, on library signs.  Mr. Neutra graciously visited with staff and posed for pictures.  His visit has inspired talk of inviting him to speak sometime in the future.

Children’s Department’s November Balloon Show Was a Blast!

The audience in the Library Theater was bursting with laughter at the wild and crazy antics of the ACME Balloon Company’s Buster Balloon.  They saw Buster and his eager audience participants slip on his big brown jacket and become an expert at balloon tying, watch him make cartoon characters in a comic book disappear, or tie him into a straight jacket – only to witness him wriggle free while simultaneously making a balloon monkey!  All before finally watching him step into a giant pink man-sized balloon.  A wonderful time was had by all at this sold out show.

Children’s Department Has Something New Besides Books…Come See What!

Have you noticed the tree in the children’s department?  Not just any tree, but a bare tree with some lights and a few white paper snow flake ornaments.  Hardly a Christmas Tree fitting for such a spectacular Children’s Library, you say!?  Well, fear not.  On Saturday, December 6, at 10:30 am, the Friends of the Children’s Library will be hosting their annual Tree Trimming Party complete with ornament making, a puppet show featuring Daniel Porcu, and pictures with Santa Claus himself!  Tickets went on sale last month, so they have long been sold out, and many a happy child will be coming to create home-made ornaments to hang on our tree or to take home.  A fun time is sure to be had by all.  Stay tuned for a full update.

PLANNING

Deadline For Comments on Beach/Edinger Specific Plan Extended

The deadline for interested persons to submit comments on the Beach Boulevard/Edinger Avenue Draft Specific Plan has been extended to December 19.  Comments should be sent to Rosemary Medel, Associate Planner in the Planning Department, at City Hall, 2000 Main Street, Huntington Beach, 92648, or rmedel@surfcity-hb.org.  Additionally, the Planning Department sent a 4-page vision statement outlining the form-based code method that will guide development in the Specific Plan to 1,700 property owners in the Specific Plan area.  The vision statement is also available at the website listed above.

POLICE DEPARTMENT

Department Promotions

The police department will be holding a promotion ceremony on Wednesday, December 3, to recognize the promotions of Captain Dave Bunetta, Lieutenant John Domingo, and Sergeant Jonathan Haught.  Captain Dave Bunetta has worked for the Huntington Beach Police Department since 1988, after coming to this department from the Orange County Probation Department.  Lieutenant John Domingo has worked for the Huntington Beach Police Department since 1992, after coming to this department from the Los Angeles Police Department.  Sergeant Jonathan Haught started his career in law enforcement with the Huntington Beach Police Department in 1992.

PUBLIC WORKS

Rainfall Event

In response to the rains last Tuesday, crews worked all evening setting up flooding signs and responding to calls of flooded streets.  No major issues or problems were reported.  All flood control stations were in operation without failure, with the exception of Bolsa Chica Station.  This large facility, located at the south end of Springdale Street, was hit by lightning that interrupted all remote control and communications systems.  Operators were notified of the loss of communication by the Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) system and responded immediately to switch the engines into manual mode.  Thanks to the rapid response of the staff and the SCADA program, no damage was incurred.  All engine controllers are back in operation.  During the period between 9 p.m. Tuesday and 4 a.m. Wednesday, the other 14 drainage stations recorded rainfall totals across the city that varied between 1.84 and 3.60 inches.