Foothills Sentry February 2021

Foothills Sentry Page 2 PROTECTING WHAT MATTERS MOST 714 282 0828 | aco 4202 $ 15 95 /mo SECURITY JADTEC February 2021 Orange Council to fill citizen committee seats before updating their mandates By Tina Richards In reviewing the duties and responsibilities of the citizen committees, boards and commis- sions that serve the city in var- ied capacities, the Orange City Council discovered that several hadn’t convened in years, had no members or were populated with members whose terms had long expired. The council determined that the priority is to refresh the member- ship of city committees and en- courage residents to apply for po- sitions. The unanswered question was, should committee member- ship reflect the city’s new districts or representation remain at large. Councilman Mike Alvarez rec- ommended the council look at district representation and sug- gested forming an ad hoc com- mittee to explore it. Councilmem- bers Arianna Barrios and Ana Gutierrez agreed with him. Broader representation Using the planning commission as an example, Barrios noted that four of its five members live in her District 1. “Is that fair to the city?” she asked. “We need to allow voices from all over the city to be heard. There is a perception that the system is set, that there is no possibility for anyone else to serve.” “We need to incorporate dis- tricts,” Gutierrez said. “We need to refresh the committees with people from districts who would come together and think citywide. I don’t think district representa- tives would be narrow-minded.” Chip Monaco preferred a city- wide scenario. “I’m not con- vinced we need to go to district appointments,” he said. “We need to think like a city. Any council- member can nominate any per- son, it provides checks and bal- ances to parochial districts.” Mind the gaps Mayor Mark Murphy reported that, at this point, he wanted to focus on filling existing vacancies. “People shouldn’t lose their position because their address is in the wrong part of town," he offered. "Since some committees have vacancies, I don’t want to expand membership to reflect districts now.” It depends on qualified candidates, he added. Instead of having a five-member group with two vacancies, there could be a seven-person committee with four vacancies. Councilwoman Kim Nichols concurred. “Grand sweeping changes right off the bat aren’t good,” she said. It was noted that the audit committee had not met since 2012, and the park planning and development committee silent since 2014. Councilman Jon Dumitru offered a suggestion for revitalizing dormant committees as well as determining membership. The park committee, for example, could be expanded to include planning and overseeing community events. “It would give it more duties,” he said, “and it wouldn’t be stagnant.” Districts differ Because community events happen all over the city, he added, a by-district membership would be appropriate. “By-district mem- bership could also apply to traffic and the planning commission,” he pointed out, “because they impact different parts of the city in differ- ent ways.” Barrios asked for appointment clarification, specifically the planning commission. While the mayor is afforded the ability to appoint people to the city’s committees, boards and commissions, it is not clear what role the council plays in the process. It is the mayor’s role to make appointments, Murphy explained. But, if the council strongly dis- approves of a candidate, it can intervene. When he was mayor in 2000, he advised, he asked his council colleagues to make recommendations for planning commissioners. From that time forward, planning commissioners have been selected by incoming council members, with approval of the mayor. Whether that trans- lates into seven future planning commissioners instead of five has yet to be seen. Volunteer for vacancies “Let’s target filling vacancies,” Murphy stressed. “Everyone on the council should bring can- didates forward and encourage folks to apply. When we fill va- cancies, we can consider expired terms and what committees make sense to expand. That may be driven by the number of qualified candidates.” “Those committees that require skillsets may not make sense to expand,” he added. “The design review and audit committees, for example, require specific skills.” The City of Orange currently has four committees (audit, com- munity development block grant program, design review and in- vestment advisory); three com- missions (planning, traffic and park planning) and one board of trustees for the public library. Residents interested in volunteer- ing may fill out an application with the city, or speak to their dis- trict council representative. By Andie Mills Crystal Miles presided over her first 2021 city council meeting as mayor of Villa Park, Jan. 26. In attendance were newly designated Mayor Pro Tem Chad Zimmerman, Councilmen Robert Collacott and Robbie Pitts. Councilman Vince Rossini was absent. When Miles recused herself from the discussion of a variance request for a residence on Jocotal, it created “procedural morass,” as described by City At- torney Todd Litfin. The three re- maining councilmen had to vote unanimously to either deny or ap- prove the variance. The 2-1 vote left the issue in limbo, causing it to be continued until the next meeting when all members are present. Committee seats assigned Committee, advisory and council liaison assignments are shuffled each year at the behest of the mayor, and must be approved by the council. Discussion surfaced regarding only one assignment, that of OC Sanitation District liaison, one of the three positions that includes a stipend. (OCSD is $212.50 per meeting; Vector Control, $100 per month; OCFA, $100 per meeting, not to exceed $300/month.) Collacott, who has been the Villa Park liaison since 2016 and earned $4,960 from the as- signment in 2020, read a plea to continue in the position, despite an agreement made last January that he would step down to al- low Zimmerman to take over in 2021. The council voted, 3-1, that the assignments stand, with Zim- merman as OCSD liaison. He was also named to OC Library Advi- sory Board. Other assignments were: Rossini, Fire Authority, Law Enforcement Advisory; Collacott, Infrastructure Management, League of Cities; Pitts, VP Community Services Foundation, OC Council of Governments; Miles, Vector Control, SCAG, Bridges at Kraemer Place, Housing Legislative Committee and, for a 2-year term, the Senior Citizens Advisory Committee. Coffee klatch Mayor Crystal Miles indicated that she will work to make her- self accessible to city residents by holding a monthly Coffee with the Mayor. The first Zoom meet- ing, will begin at 9 a.m. on Feb. 16. The link will be in the weekly city news vehicle, The Feeder. VP City Council sets stage for 2021