Needles, CA: Summary and voting results from the Needles City Council and Needles Public Utility Authority Meeting.

By: Zachary Lopez (ZachNews):

Source: Dale Jone, City Clerk with the City of Needles (Information):

Needles, California: The Needles City Council and Needles Public Utility Authority held a meeting inside the Needles City Council Chambers on Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020.

ZachNews broadcast live on Facebook the meeting.

The Needles City Council is continuing to hold meetings pursuant to the provisions of the Governor’s Executive Order N-29-20 which suspends certain requirements of the Ralph M. Brown Act.

As a result of the Executive Order to stay at home, in person participation at the City Council meetings is not allowed at this time and the Council Chambers are not open to the public.

Needles City Council Members Shawn Gudmundson, Timothy Terral, Tona Belt and Needles City Mayor Jeff Williams were all present inside the chamber well Needles Vice Mayor Edward T. Paget M.D., Zachery Longacre and Louise Evans were present via teleconference.

** Here is a summary and the voting results that occurred during the meeting: **

*** Executive Session: ***

No Executive Session Held Tonight

*** Recess The Needles City Council Meeting And Convene A Joint Needles City Council / Needles Public Utility Authority Meeting: ***

*** Public Hearing: ***

– Agenda Item #1:
– Needles City Council / Needles Public Utility Authority Action:

Approve Amendment No. 6 to Contract No. 00-DSR-11223 as restated and superseded among United States Department of Energy Western Area Power Administration, Desert Southwest Region, Parker-Davis Project, Boulder Canyon Project, SLCA Integrated Projects and Yuma County Water Users’ Association; Wellton-Mohawk Irrigation and Drainage District and City of Needles for Aggregated Energy Services and authorize the city manager to sign said amendment.

*** Agenda Item: ***

1600657777618_CC-01-092220-WAPA

Members of the Needles City Council voted unanimously to approve Amendment No. 6 to Contract No. 00-DSR-11223 as restated and superseded among United States Department of Energy Western Area Power Administration, Desert Southwest Region, Parker-Davis Project, Boulder Canyon Project, SLCA Integrated Projects and Yuma County Water Users’ Association; Wellton-Mohawk Irrigation and Drainage District and City of Needles for Aggregated Energy Services and authorize the city manager to sign said amendment.

*** Adjourn Joint Needles City Council / Needles Public Utility Authority Meeting and Reconvene Needles City Council: ***

*** Needles City Council Consent Calendar: ***

All matters listed on the Consent Calendar are Considered to be routine and will be enacted by one motion in the form listed. The Mayor or any member of the Needles City Council may pull an item from the Consent Calendar for discussion. Prior to Needles City Council action, a member of the public may address the Needles City Council on matters Scheduled on the Consent Calendar. A 3 minute time limit per person applies. Recommended Action: Approve items #2 through #4 on the Consent Calendar by affirmative roll call vote.

– Agenda Item #2:

Approve the warrants register through September 22, 2020.

*** Agenda Item: ***

CC-02-092220-WARRANTS

– Agenda Item #3:

Accept the bid from Colorado River Plumbing Inc for a total amount of $63,968 for the purchase of 2 refrigeration units, including installation at two locations, St Vincent Food Bank and Firehouse Ministries Food Recovery Program in conjunction with the CDBG COVID-19 Food Recovery and Distribution Project; authorize staff to issue a Notice to Proceed and authorize the city manager to sign contracts between the City and Non-Profits subject to city attorney review.

*** Agenda Item: ***

CC-03-092220-REFIRIGERATION UNITS COVID

– Agenda Item #4:

Waive the reading and adopt Resolution No. 2020-57 rescinding Resolution No. 2020-49 and amending the Measure I Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan for Fiscal Years 2019 through 2024.

*** Agenda Item: ***

CC-04-092220-MEASURE I

Members of the Needles City Council unanimously voted to approve Agenda Items #2 through #4 on the Consent Calendar. Needles City Council Member Louise Evans voted to approve Agenda Items #2 and #3, and abstained herself from Agenda Item #4 on the Consent Calendar.

*** Needles City Council Regular Items: ***

– Agenda Item #5:

Approve the Addendum to June 11, 2019 real property purchase agreement between the City of Needles as seller and Ashot Minasian as buyer, granting a 24 month extension on covenant to develop property described as 2.2 acres generally located at the north west corner of W. Broadway and G Street, APN 0186-095-04 and APN 0186-095-03 (aka APN 0185-351-11).

*** Agenda Item: ***

CC-05-092220-ADDENDUM-MINASIAN

Members of the Needles City Council voted 5-1 to direct staff to renegotiate the terms of agreement and prepare an addendum giving the city first right of refusal, 6 month extension with 90 day milestones developed by staff and if purchaser fails to achieve they are in default and the city has the right to repurchase the property. Needles City Council Member Louise Evans voted “No” on this agenda item.

This is the project that involves a three story building, with ground floor with retail spaces and parking area, and two above ground floors of apartments ranging from a studio to three-bedroom apartments, all located on the third lot near the old Needles Chamber of Commerce building.

– Agenda Item #6:

Resolution No. 2020-59 approving Scott Goodman’s Economic Development Program Application for Oasis Petroleum Corp dba Westside Chevron Circle K located at 2321 Needles Highway, APN 0185-261-25-0000 in the amount of $4,523.56.

*** Agenda Item: ***

1600657540643_CC-06-092220-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

Members of the Needles City Council unanimously voted to approve Resolution No. 2020-59 approving Scott Goodman’s Economic Development Program Application for Oasis Petroleum Corp dba Westside Chevron Circle K located at 2321 Needles Highway, APN 0185-261-25-0000 in the amount of $4,523.56.

– Agenda Item #7:

Resolution No. 2020-58 rescinding Resolution No. 2019-8 establishing an Economic Development Program and adopt Resolution No. 2020-58 establishing a Wastewater and Water Capital Improvement Fund allocation and request the Utility Board allocate the funds between water and wastewater rates effective November 1, 2020.

*** Agenda Item: ***

CC-07-092220-RESCIND 2019-8 W-W AND WATER CIP

Members of the Needles City Council voted 5-1 to approve transfer $200,000 from the Economic Fund to Capital Improvement Projects for water for one year. Needles Vice City Edward T. Paget M.D. voted “No” on this agenda item.

**** Needles City Attorney’s Report: ****

Needles City Attorney John Pinkney:

Spoke about California’s AB-992: Open meetings: local agencies: social media, and how this will affect members of the Needles City Council and their interactions on social media, including responding to comments or using “Like” button or other Facebook emoji to express their support or oppose to a post that is in the district matter of the city council, in otherwords post on an upcoming city council agenda item, not responding with a comment or even a “Like” or “Thumbs Up” emoji on Facebook.

AB 992, a bill that modernizes the Brown Act as it relates to social media, was signed by California Governor Gavin Newsom.

AB 992 simply clarifies that members of a local elected body may engage on social media platforms provided they do not do so in a way that violates the Brown Act. In other words, a majority of members cannot use social media to discuss business of a specific nature among themselves or business that is within the subject matter jurisdiction of that respective legislative body.

AB 992 does not encourage or allow local officials to deliberate without notice on social media, but instead provides structure and clarity to interactions that are most likely already happening online.

“When the Brown Act was first enacted in 1953, the significant evolution of communication and advent of social media was not on anyone’s radar. When local officials approached me asking for legislation that might clarify how they could better interact with constituents without being in violation of existing policy, I was happy to pursue a solution with AB 992. Civic engagement is a core principal of democracy. We have evolved from the times when a constituent could only access their local officials by appointment, by attending a Council meeting, or by chance meeting them out and about in the community. To exclude social media participation in the 21st century, does a disservice to the public and undermines transparency. AB 992 helps give citizens nearly full access to their elected officials,” said Kevin Mullin, Speaker pro Tempore of the California State Assembly.

*** More Information on AB 992: ***

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB992

Reaction by members of the Needles City Council were in shocked and unhappy with the AB 992 law.

John said to members of the Needles City Council that he thinks this is overreaching and said that this may run fell on the First Amendment.

**** Needles City Manager’s Report: ****

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels:

Congratulated the local business community for having the greatest growth in retail sales of any of the 25 jurisdictions in San Bernardino County, California.

Rick said that our reported sale tax revenue increased 9 percent in the last quarter; April, May and June of 2020, well every other jurisdiction in the county was a negative number, including jurisdictions that have large shopping centers that lost 34 percent of their sales tax; the City of Needles leads the County.

Rick also congratulated the shoppers in the community for shopping locally.

*** Needles City Council Requests: ***

Needles City Council Member Shawn Gudmundson:

Said he had nothing because I’m afraid of my legislation body (joking because of AB 992).

Needles City Council Member Timothy Terral:

After drawing a smiley face emoji on a piece of paper to respond to Shawn’s comments about AB 992, Timothy said, “I want to thank the State of California for taking care of this important legislation when our state is currently on fire, and there’s a few things to be a little more important than policing social media at this time.

Needles City Council Member Louise Evans:

Spoke about Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ and his stand to not defund the police, and proposing law and order legislation that would crackdown on protesters and penalties to cities that defund the police.

Needles Vice City Edward T. Paget M.D.:

Spoke about lights being out under L Street, and thanked law enforcement and fire department for their service to our community.

Needles City Council Member Tona Belt:

Spoke about the United States Census 2020; including the upcoming outreach event happening Wednesday night to help people complete their census question survey, and about making sure to register to vote for the upcoming elections in November 2020.

The simple nine question survey helps determine dollars that funds important programs for the next 10 years.

According to the United States Census 2020 website, “When you respond to the census, you help your community gets its fair share of the more than $675 billion per year in federal funds spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works and other vital programs. Businesses use census data to decide where to build factories, offices and stores, and this creates jobs. Developers use the census to build new homes and revitalize old neighborhoods. Local governments use the census for public safety and emergency preparedness. Residents use the census to support community initiatives involving legislation, quality-of-life and consumer advocacy.”

The community can participated in the United States Census 2020 to be counted and go to:

https://2020census.gov/en.html

The community has until Wednesday, September 30th, 2020 deadline to complete their United States Census 2020.

According to the San Bernardino County Election Office of the Registrar of Voters website, “voter registration deadline is October 19, 2020 and deadline to apply to vote by mail is October 27, 2020.”

More information to register to vote in San Bernardino County, California can be found on the San Bernardino County Election Office of the Registrar of Voters website at:

https://www.sbcountyelections.com/Home.aspx

The Election, including for United States President as well as for Needles City Mayor and Needles City Council, will be held on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020 so make sure you are registered to vote.

Needles City Council Member Zachery Longacre:

Spoke about putting in new street sign at the intersection of Coronado Street and Erin Drive, and about First and Second Beaches clean up work.

Needles City Mayor Jeff Williams:

Spoke about kidney transplant and possibly having two donors, and addressed concerns as well as gossip regarding his health.

*** Important Note: ***

Mayor and Needles City Council Members may be able to attend future meetings via telephonically by calling: 1 (866) 576-7975 and putting in Participant Access number that is provided for that scheduled meeting, such as #853544.

The public may also attend via telephonically by calling the phone number above, or can submit any comments in writing prior to the meeting by emailing: djones@cityofneedles.com

Please make sure to save that phone number and email so the public can participate in the upcoming meetings.

For more information regarding the Needles City Council Meetings, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at the City of Needles at: 1 (760) 326-2113 Ext. 145 or Press #2.

***

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