City Council Snippets
From Issue: Volume XXI - Number 22
by Steve Propes
October 22 Meeting
Acting Director of Public Works Ara Maloyan stated, “City hall does not appear to meet FEMA guidelines for seismic sufficiency. The council has three options. Seismically retrofit the building immediately. Relocate city to a new facility. Build a new city hall in the civic center.”
Director of Business and Property Development Mike Conway stated, “The retrofit alternative is estimated at $685 per square foot. City hall and the main library will remain functionally obsolete. Both buildings should be replaced rather than repaired.”
Eighth District Councilman Al Austin stated, “I’ll probably be taking meetings in field offices from here on out. If there is seismic activity here, we could be looking at fatalities. Mr. Conway? You don’t have to answer that question.”
Fifth District Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske asked, “Where did we get those costs about how much it would cost to retrofit?”
Conway answered, “Together with the soft cost management, relocation during construction, the result being about $685 per square foot, which would be in excess of the cost of build a new city hall.”
Schipske asked, “Who’s going to bear the cost of the new structure, because we are sitting a liquefaction area? Who bears the liability and that 8.3 that’s projected brings the building down?”
Conway responded, “Who would be liable for the earthquake?”
Schipske asked, “Who’d have to pay for a brand new building?”
Conway answered, “There is insurance on city hall, it’s an amount that qualifies us for FEMA aid if there’s a disaster.”
Tom Stout said, “All of a sudden you want to build yourself a Taj Mahal. It needs to slow down. Bringing up a fear factor is one way to win an argument when you can’t do it on merit. Schipske is the only one looking out for the taxpayers here.”
Passed 8 to 1, Schipske opposed.
Foster commented, “The first thing to go when budgets get tight is maintenance, that’s why the courthouse is the way it is, the library, this building and other buildings are in the condition they’re in. You defer maintenance and somehow you just never catch up. It is the bane of public buildings.
On Pay Raises for Managers
Seventh District Councilman James Johnson said, “Managers receive an 11 percent increase in FY14 and an additional five percent increase in FY15 for an overall increase of 15 percent. They will effectively give back six percent of this increase for a new increase of nine percent over two years. These numbers should have been laid out explicitly. There is a conflict of interest. Is it reform to give a 15 percent salary increase and take six percent back? Tonight’s item is not pension reform. It’s simply a salary raise. Tonight’s item does not follow the path of previous agreements. Tonight‘s proposal gives out new raises the employees are not entitled to, thus costing the city an additional $8.2 million a year. This is not pension reform.”
Schipske said, “I move we delay the vote on both management and city manager until after November when we should hear from the city manager about restoration at fire station eight.”
Third District Councilman Gary DeLong said, “My concern is we have to restore our services to our residents. Let’s make sure we’re restoring these two fire services we talked about in the budget before we go ahead and provide those raises. It seems crazy to me to do that with management. By giving everybody the exact same raise demeans the process.”
Motion to delay to November 5 passed, five votes yes, Andrews, Austin, Garcia and Neal, voting no.