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SPECIAL MEETING OF THE COMMON COUNCIL

OF THE CITY OF EL MIRAGE

EL MIRAGE SENIOR CENTER

14010 N. EL MIRAGE ROAD, EL MIRAGE

6:00 P.M. – WEDNESDAY– JUNE 9, 2004

 

MINUTES

 

CALL TO ORDER:  Mayor Robert Robles called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.

 

ROLL CALL:   Present were:  Mayor Robert Robles, Vice Mayor Norma Valdez, Councilmembers Almond Cutright, Jr., Alice Ortiz, Bruce Baker, Michele Kern, Tensi Reed, City Manager BJ Cornwall, Attorney Fredda Bisman, Police Chief Dick Yost, Fire Chief Roy Levenda, Finance Director Diana Betancourt, Community Services Director Ramon Leon and City Clerk Edith Hoover.

 

SPECIAL SESSION:

 

Consideration and action authorizing and approving a professional services contract with the Sereno Group for performing a Police Department Assessment.

 

Councilmember Kern made a motion to discuss this agenda item; seconded by Councilmember Reed.

 

VOTE:            Yea:                Baker, Ortiz, Reed, Valdez, Cutright, Kern and Robles

                        Nay:

                        Motion:           Carried

 

Councilmember Kern asked what this contract was for.  She had a copy of the proposal but would like to see changes to the contract.  She is not opposed to an assessment of the Police Department but is not satisfied with the contract itself and the form in which it is written.  Councilmember Baker stated he felt it was necessary for the budget process and the necessity to cut the budget by $5,000,000 to move forward.  The city is mandated to put in water wells.  Councilmember Kern pointed out there is nothing budgetary in the contract.  She agrees we need to make cuts but in the right places.  This contract deals only with the administration of the Police Department.   Councilmember Cutright does not see accountability as a bad thing.  Councilmember Kern recommends looking at the organization as a whole.  She would like to see the Council expand on this contract and the Police and Fire Departments answer to the City Manager.  Councilmember Reed reported this is ridiculous and the City cannot afford this now.  Councilmember Kern reported the budget process begins next week and the timeline for this contract is 45 to 60 days out.  Mayor Robles recommended an overall audit of the City to see what we need to do at a later date.  He had hoped this contract would help with the budget process. 

 

Kathy White, 12629 W. Myer Lane – She is not opposed to an audit but this company has no experience with department audits.  She would like to see the bids and feels this is a witch hunt.  Mayor Robles and Councilor Ortiz should exclude themselves from voting due to ongoing investigations and pending litigation.  We are in the middle of a big budget crunch.  Where are the three bids.  Why aren’t we auditing the Fire Department?

 

Randy Thomas, 12045 W. Flores Dr. – This is pathetic and a witch hunt.  Council needs to recuse themselves.

 

Gerald Moxley, 12749 W. Charter Oak Rd. –  Asked why this was happening today and not tomorrow.   When the department head presents a budget, it is Council’s responsibility to let them know what money you have available for them to operate on.

 

Roy Delgado, 11204 N. 125th Ave.He reads the Daily News Sun on a regular basis and has not seen this advertised.  Wanted to know why it was kept a secret until now.  The expenditure of $31,000 is not being fiscally responsible.  The Police Department staff is currently very short.  It is also unfortunate when the City should be coming together to support the loss of Lt. Paul Esparza whose wake is being held as we speak.

The Finance and Human Resource Departments should be audited.

 

Terry Brown, 11542 W. Wethersfield – Councilmember Kern is his hero.  Wanted to know who authorized a contract if it went through they would get 75% of the contract.  Since City Council is responsible for Police Department, the Council is pointing the finger at themselves.

 

Charlotte Diaz, 12742 W. Charter Oak Rd. – She feels this is a personal vendetta against the Police Chief.  The money used will cheat the people in the City.

 

Councilmember Almond Cutright, Jr. – He was told this was about accountability.  They were hoping to spend good money to save money.  They are not here about vendettas.  You can look everywhere in the City and see where we need accountability.

 

Councilmember Cutright made a motion to table this item; seconded by Vice Mayor Valdez.

 

VOTE:            Yea:                Baker, Ortiz, Reed, Valdez, Cutright, and Kern

                        Nay:   

                        Abstained:     Robles

                        Motion:           Carried

 

ADJOURNMENT:

 

Vice Mayor Valdez made a motion to adjourn at 7:05 p.m.; seconded by Councilmember Kern.

 

VOTE:            Yea:                Baker, Ortiz, Reed, Valdez, Cutright, Kern and Robles

                        Nay:

                        Motion:           Carried