Pasadena City Council Back in Session Monday Night

Published : Monday, January 22, 2018 | 6:40 AM

Pasadena City Council

The Pasadena City Council is scheduled to review and discuss several financial reports on Monday, January 22, for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2017. After deliberation and review, the reports will be filed with the Pasadena Community Development Commission.

An Agenda Report from Pasadena Director of Finance Matthew Hawkesworth shows the City’s six financial statements and five compliance-related reports will be presented by the City’s External Auditors, Lance, Soli and Lunghard LLP, for the City Council’s information:

Hawkesworth said reports are required under the Pasadena Municipal Code every year. For the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2017, Hawkesworth said all financial statements received an unmodified (or clean) opinion.

“No material weaknesses in internal controls, two significant deficiencies, and one instance of noncompliance were identified in the Independent Auditor’s Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting and on Compliance and Other Matters Based on an Audit of Financial Statements Performed in Accordance With Government Auditing Standards,” Hawkesworth report said.

The external auditors, Lance, Soli and Lunghard LLP, are expected to give a presentation before the City Council on Monday to explain the details of each financial statement.

Also on Monday, the City could decide to adopt a resolution authorizing the Department of Human Resources to be exempted from the 180-day wait period required under the California Government Code before a retired government employee is rehired.

The Pasadena Police Department has recommended that Kelly Kiser, who retired in November after more than 34 years serving as a police dispatcher, be rehired to fill a “critically necessary role” in the department.

Kiser’s services will be required from January 23, 2018 through January 23, 2019 on a part-time basis to assist in dispatching duties.

In recommending approval of the resolution, the Department of Human Resources said there is a need for continuity and highly-trained professionals to answer the City’s 911 calls, in support of the police department’s operations and City Council’s goal of ensuring public safety.

The California Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013 says the 180-day wait period for recalling a retired employee back to work can be waived if the employer – in this case the City of Pasadena – certifies that the appointment is necessary to fill a critically needed position. The appointment also has to be approved by the governing body of the employer in a public meeting and not on a consent calendar.

Pasadena’s Department of Human Resources has earlier said finding qualified emergency dispatchers has been difficult and challenging even when advertising is continuous and incentive pay have been announced. The department said the City received about 900 applications for the dispatcher position between January 2016 and June 2017, but only a small number of candidates were qualified and successfully completed the comprehensive safety background check. Of those qualified, a total of only six candidates were hired.

Police dispatchers are assigned to the Pasadena Police Department’s Dispatch Center, the primary point of contact for the City’s 9-1-1 NextGen Emergency system, non-emergency, and information phone lines, and the Police Radio system. They dispatch calls for service. Ancillary duties includeafter-hours call outs for City services on an emergency basis, and monitoring for City service radio systems and alarms.

The Dispatch Center operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year.

Another resolution that may be adopted Monday is one that authorized the execution and delivery of supplemental bond indentures and one or more continuing covenant amendments with MUFG Union Bank N.A. related to the Pasadena Public Financing Authority Variable Rate Demand Lease Revenue Bonds Series 2006, Series 2013A and Series 2013B.

The bonds worth $47.3 million were issued initially in February 2006 to to refinance the then outstanding 1991 and 1996 Rose Bowl Certificates of Participation and provide additional funds to complete improvements to the Rose Bowl stadium and other facilities, including new locker room and press room facilities as well as a portion of the City Hall seismic retrofitting project.

The liquidity crisis that began in 2007 and intensified in 2008 placed severe pressure on banks and other financial institutions, reducing the credit capacity of many banks that were able to continue to participate in the municipal credit market. As a result, the City Council approved a direct purchase of the City’s outstanding Lease Revenue Bonds by MUFG Union Bank in 2011, pursuant to a negotiated deal by the Director of Finance of an initial term sheet which expires in 2018.

Because of the incremental increase in the Rose Bowl project cost, the City restructured and partially refunded the 2006 Bonds by issuing the 2013A (Tax-Exempt) Series-in the amount of $34.9 million, and 2013B (Taxable) Series Bonds in the amount of $19.065 million, also privately placed with MUFG Union Bank.

By adopting the resolution Monday, the City Council will authorize remarketing the bonds and privately placing the remaining Series 2006, Series 2013A and Series 2013B Lease Revenue Bonds with MUFG Union Bank for a one year term with a new mandatory tender and remarketing date of January 2, 2019.

The new rate for Series 2013A (Tax Exempt) bonds will be 67 percent of the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) plus 0.80 percent, which equates to 1.83 percent interest rate in today’s market. The Series 2013B (Taxable) bonds will bear a fixed interest rate of 2.70 percent.

Also, the City Council is expected to deliberate on a proposal from the City Manager’s Officer to consider placing in the June 5, 2018 ballot the issue of regulating cannabis use and commercial activity within the City of Pasadena. The proposal was in response to recent moves by certain proponents that are in favor if allowing commercial cannabis activity in Pasadena.

The proponents submitted a referendum against Ordinance No. 7313, which amended Title 17 of the Zoning Code and was intended to protect residents and residential neighborhoods from unregulated and untaxed commercial marijuana activity. This was followed by a Notice of Intention to circulate an initiative measure to the City Clerk’s office proposing regulations that would allow commercial marijuana businesses to operate in the City.

Specifically, the City Manager is proposing that the City Council direct City staff to prepare all documents needed to place the issue on the ballot, and return with a full report to the City Council afterwards.

Historically, the City has always prohibited all kinds of commercial cannabis activity within the City. When the state of California passed the Adult Use of Marijuana Act and SB 94, which legalized recreational, non-medical cannabis, the City Council passed three ordinances in 2017, further strengthening its prohibition ordinances. The only procedure allowed is the delivery of medical marijuana into the City from licensed cannabis businesses in other jurisdictions.

The City Manager’s Office will present two options on putting the issue on the ballot: one for a June 2018 special election that would put forth the City’s own proposed land use regulations regarding the sale, cultivation, and delivery of recreational and medical cannabis, and another for a November 2918 measure, at the same time as the initiative proponents are asking assuming they are successful in their signature gathering.

The City Manager’s Office said taking no action would be unfavorable for the City, since the initiative proponents would have their ballot initiative considered, possibly in November 2018, without a competing measure from the City. The City could lose its control over an important land use decision, and could be prevented from applying conditions to the operations of what it considers as formally illegal cannabis dispensaries.

The City Council meeting opens with a closed session at 5:30 p.m., and proceeds to the open meeting at about 6:30. Public comment on matters not on the agenda is allowed right after the roll call and ceremonial matters. No public hearing is scheduled during the Monday meeting.

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