February 9, 2022
News You Can Use 

 Celebrating 34 Years of Community Service

We are all looking forward to something resembling normal shortly with gatherings  protocols-free very soon.  In the meantime, please take care, stay safe and healthy.

More Important Dates in February:

  • Happy Valentine’s Day – Monday Feb 14th  
  • Community Workshop #3 – Tuesday Feb 15th  Get this groups summary on Carmel housing+ so far and details on next week's meetings HERE
  • CRA next at Carmel’s Weekly Farmers Market – Thursday Feb 24th 10am-2pm






Upcoming March Dates:

  • Carmel Regular City Council – Tuesday Mar 1st 4:30pm.  Details will be posted on the City meetings webpage
  • Happy Saint Patrick’s Day – Thursday Mar 17th, green beer anyone ;-)?
  • CRA Beach Clean Up – Saturday Mar 19th 9am-12pm.  Details available HERE.
  • CRA next at Carmel’s Weekly Farmers Market – Thursday Mar 24th 10am-2pm
  • CRA Hosts – Brandon Swanson, City Planning Director – Future of Architecture in Carmel – Thursday Mar 24th doors open 6:30, program starts 7pm Carpenter Hall in Sunset Center. For details visit HERE.  This is a do not miss!
  • And watch for the upcoming date/time for City Strategic Priorities Workshop, where the City Council and your input will determine the most critical projects and incremental spending in the months to come. CRA will send out email as soon as these details are available, targeting in March. 

Your CRA Needs Your Leadership – Get Involved - Please join us!

Are you interested in joining our CRA Board? Learn more HERE

Are you interested in leading our CRA Beach Clean Up? Learn more HERE.  

Regular City Council Highlights
Tuesday Feb 1, 2022

   YouTube Video here  Full Agenda Packet here

Hot topics include Fiscal Budget Update & Council Parklet Guidance 

Special Recognition – from Blue City Network as introduced by Agnes Martelet

Carmel-by-the-Sea is the first city certified in Monterey County receiving this recognition. https://bluecitynetwork.org/   This is a result of the many efforts on behalf of our ongoing environmental efforts city-wide protecting our marine environment. These includes addressing waste minimization, climate protection & resilience, water quality & efficiency and healthy ecosystems. 

Open Comments: 

Beth Bowman – provided Sunset Center first half year update and new programs. North Wing 132 events held, and the theater held 67 events.
There are many upcoming programs, their schedule is available at  https://www.sunsetcenter.org/event-calendar.htm

Richard Kreitman – flagged a potential gap in the approval of the China Arts remodel regarding the roof deck use and nighttime disruptive noise.

David Fink – As he was awaiting his move-in on Dolores there was a fire close by. He flags the weak water pressure available from CalAm and requested this be a future city council topic on this critical life-saving issue.

Kenny Spilfogel – Thanks to Jeff Baron on the effort underway soliciting open community input.

Alexandria Dramov – Reinforces her appreciation of the Planning Commission and City Council position denying the Version Tower permit and is looking for an update on the gap in notification covered in the press.

Nancy Twomey – Thanks to Chip Rerig and Maxine Gullo for the open input session last week on the upcoming hiring of the Police Chief.

City Staff & Council Announcements:

C.Rerig – Chip did have Covid but is now 2-test negative. Welcomes Yasin Abash as interim city clerk. He thanks Ashley Wright for all the fill in work. 2 new hires since last report, and much more. The beautification work continues with the Median on Ocean Avenue phase 1 implemented (between Monte Verde and Lincoln) and is requesting public feedback.

J.Baron – He also had Covid, still with lingering symptoms. Feb 17th Climate Committee first drafts of adaptation plans to be reviewed and then will target a May Council presentation. They will also be doing outreach to building trades to review Climate Committee plans impacting construction.

B.Richards – He is now a Carmel Cares Median Minder near his home on Santa Fe.

D.Potter – He offers extra thanks to Ashlee Wright for exceptional fill in for the City Clerk.

Consent Agenda  

Item #7 the request is to pull/postpone the approval request on the Design Guidelines (and more) agreement with Winter and Company – due to Council Member Ferlito’s input requiring project scope refinements.  Neal Kruse – offers thanks for this Winter and Company contract work. He also suggests everyone brushes up on the General Plan. Motion to postpone Item #7 Approved 5-0

Item #3 pulled by Dale Byrne – offers thanks to Robin Santtini who reached out requesting Carmel Cares lead the submission for this newly awarded $50K grant for a new City Ambulance. He highlights other efforts underway to engage a team on new Grant submissions. Mayor Potter also extends his appreciation.

Item #6 - D.Potter item #6 calls out added thanks to Carmel Police Department on the Scenic parking enforcement.

Consent items 1 through 6, Approved 5-0

Orders of Business

Item # 8 - Mid Fiscal Year Budget Report – presented by Robin Santtini Finance Manager.

[Editor's note:  There is good news shown here with regard to revenues etc. - possibly more than many want to know.   Plus this includes directions on the Carmel $900k ARPA (aka Biden Bucks) funds.  Due to the restrictions on use of these ARPA $'s, re-alignment of various qualified capital and personnel expenses are anticipated.  Budget $ and Personnel investments are essential to delivery of services and quality of life throughout our community - and these receive careful oversight by Council, and City Staff.  We are thankful for everyone's efforts and transparency on this path.]

Earlier the pre-approved thoughts on use of the (aka American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds) was to consider the (2019 previously approved and then placed on hold) Police Department Remodel. However, given firm constraints on ARPA $ use, shifting qualified items from existing budgets to using the ARPA $ is the current plan. Hiring is clearly an authorized use of these ARPA $’s and likely also some of the CIP (water/drainage refresh) items, and vehicles etc. With the shifting of budget $, this would open up other $’s for projects that may include the anticipated remodel, yet to be formally re-approved.

Council Discussion included: When will there be a review of more specifics for the Police Department (PD) Remodel? This was expected, but not prepared for today’s Council. After extended discussions by Council, it was agreed to support the requested income and expenditure items now, with required presentation on the PD Remodel and updated budget #’s and shifts for March Council meeting. Approved 5-0.

Item #9 – City Administrator Salary Increase Supplement

With significant reinforcements and the appreciation by all of City Council. Approved 5-0.

Item #10 – Outdoor Seating Guiding Planning Commission (Parklets) – presented by Brandon Swanson Planning Director

   Public Comments:

Richard Kreitman – He is worried about the timing for long-term offering and possible continuance of the temporary program, which is concerning.

Janice Bradner – Tied to Carmel Cares work, she looks for standards tied to safety, look & feel, ADA compliance and upkeep/cleanliness s.

Tim Twomey – Thanks the City for their increased reinforcement on today's compliance. The CRA board looks forward to providing input on a possible permanent offering. He also reinforced some points made by council – including reworking of design guidelines and a critical holistic view of the downtown.

David Fink – Agreed with Janice’s comments. He notes that costs are up. He also believes outdoor dining is here to stay, please consider this.

Joel Jung – He asks how will these change the character of Carmel? What is required to get this effort to permanent?  Maintenance must be addressed. Why do we need these now (is this simply to expand their businesses)?  There are also concerns about parking and ADA compliance to name a few.

Jack Galante – He reinforces that General Plan is the community’s view of its future. The survey said that the community is interested in parklets. The future planning can include bigger ideas including one-way streets, wider sidewalks. Planning all of this is important.

Graeme Robertson – He offers thanks for the Winter And Company upcoming design standards project, but that scope should be expanded to include this item first. Lets continue to remember that there are 33 restaurants with private outdoor seating. He suggests stopping wasting time on this issue at this time. He also asks who is benefiting?

Bashar – He reinforces that the community strongly supports outdoor dining, as per the prior survey.

   Council Comments:

D.Potter – On the water item – he believes expanded water use is OK’d temporarily and only for COVID period.

J.Baron – This is a lot of work for planning commission. How with this project align with an anticipated Design Review Board? How do we involve all the stakeholders? Was retail well represented? Why are we doing this? For example paid parking has a clear answer on why.  But this does not or it is yet to be clarified. Prefer to defer official guidance to after the prioritization.

K.Ferlito – It is premature to move on this now…especially given the Winter And Company engagement ,with a more thorough process. She requests this topic be a part of the upcoming overall priority session.

B.Richards – Agreed, guidance needs to wait for the overall project prioritization in March.

C.Theis – She doesn’t want to lose the momentum. However, she is willing next steps to defer to after prioritization.

Conclusion – hold this Planning Commission Guidance until the prioritization meeting targeted for March. Approved 5-0         

Item #11 Additional Staff Pay Schedule Updates.  Approved 5-0

End of City Council Meeting

These highlights reflect best efforts to summarize key topics and mentions by the Council, Staff and the Public.  For exact wording used, please refer to the Video link provided.

 Cheers!    Your comments, questions and suggestions are always welcome.   

Carmel Residents Association
PO Box 13, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921
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