20 Aug 2014
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Patch Instagram photo by _chrisbrink

City Council: A New Fire Engine and Other Difficult Decisions

First the Council has some fun with the City's "new toy," then they get down to the difficult work of allocating ever scarce funds.

Wednesday night's Santee covered a broad range of issues, from a new , to allocating (CDBG) and discussing what redevelopment projects to hustle on.

To begin the night, everyone stepped outside and Richard Matticks presented the newest addition to the City's collection of fire fighting apparatus, a 2010 Pierce Arrow XT engine, to the Council and those in attendance (see video).

The Council then presented a proclamation to Calvin Smith, who has spent 16 years working with in Santee as a coach, referee and commissioner (see video).

Then the soccer ball on the Council Chamber screen was replaced by a spreadsheet, and things became more serious.

For a , the Council asked for public comments and suggestions to "assess and prioritize community development and ... and to solicit proposals for a Community Development Block Grant." Last week a few suggestions were added from the public, but this week no one spoke out.

The Council divvied up the available federal CDBG funds to submitted projects and an average was agreed on. , Meals-on-Wheels, , Elderhelp, , Crisis House, , , Center for Community Solutions and Caring Neighbors were amongst the public service projects that were given funds (see the spreadsheet image for detailed information).

Councilmember John Minto brought two topics to the table.

The first was a unanimous motion that the City staff look into the City's "temporary sign" and law, and how it can better be enforced and implemented in general.

Secondly, Minto made a motion, which was unanimously adopted, saying that City staff investigate how the City's "campaign finance" ordinances can be amended to agree with recent Supreme Court rulings that would allow entities other than individuals, such as corporations, to give contributions.

The Council then went into discussion with staff and financial consultants about redevelopment projects, funds and potential problems from Sacramento.

As reported in , the state is threatening to pull redevelopment money, and new legislation on the table in Sacramento may ruin the City's financial team's quickness in getting together a slew of redevelopment projects in Santee, including: Prospect Avenue, Woodside and Magnolia avenues, two Mission Gorge Road projects, affordable housing near Olive Lane, and more (Santee Patch will detail these proposed projects in an upcoming article, or see the meeting agenda in the media box).

The Council will be announcing decisions about redevelopment projects, if the funds are still available, in the next few meetings.

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