October 29, 2020 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Council Discusses Changing Council Meeting Process:

Santa Monica’s City Council decided Tuesday to evaluate its meeting process as well as their compensation and staffing.

Mayor Bloom suggested that the evaluation be done because having meetings on “alternate weeks isn’t working as well as another system might.” He suggested moving to weekly meetings.

Councilmember Bobby Shriver suggested having “some sort of a timing device” to control the length of Council meetings.

The only public speaker, Joe Natoli, told the Council, “You have part-time Council people trying to run a full-time City. We need to start getting full-time Council people in here, and we need to get staff for individual Council people.”

In other business, the Council conducted a lengthy study session on commercial proposals received to provide services for solid waste collection, transfer, recycling, and disposal services. Council decided to request City staff to begin to explore a private/public partnership by negotiating with the Allan Company and Athens Services, Inc. for transfer services. As for collection services, the Council asked for more information on changes the City has implemented to improve efficiency with collection and an update on costs.

An Evaluation Committee comprised of a independent solid waste consultant from Northern California, the assistant city manager, the city finance director, an environmental community representative, a business community representative, and a former executive director of the Orange County Sanitation District has been working for two years, according to the City staff report, on “a multi-year review “of the City’s sold waste operations. This review included “an operational and financial analysis to assist the City in determining base-line revenue and expenditure data” and developing a Request for Proposals for solid waste services from private companies.

Donald Patterson, Assistant to the City Manager for Management Services, told the Council that the Evaluation Committee concluded that the City’s Solid Waste Management Division is the best provider for all the needed services, but the City should investigate whether a partnership with private firms could bring costs down.

City staff noted in their report that changes in the how the City deals with solid waste services “could have impacts on the Solid Waste fund and rates for the next 15 years.”

In other news, the Council appointed Todd Flora to a special vacancy on the Pier Restoration Corporation Board of Directors.

Previously, at the October 23 meeting, the Council heard a report on options for financing election campaigns and asked staff to return with an analysis of how to address campaign contributions and other related issues.

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