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Redding City Council’s relatively short meeting sailed smoothly throughout, without drama or contentiousness.
Jim Milestone, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area Park’s Superintendent, gave an enticing presentation that outlined the upcoming Whiskeytown 50th Anniversary Celebration. The party will take place on August 22 at Brandy Creek from 7 to 9 p.m.
Along with the dedication of a plaque to Stephen Mather, the first National Park Service Director, Whiskeytown’s celebration will feature:
• a “performance on the sand” by the Shasta Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Dwayne Corbin
• lighting candle luminaria on the Lake
• sealing the Childrens Time Capsule, which won’t be opened again until the 100th anniversary celebration
In other news, In a quick order of business, the Council approved a new ordinance that the Mayor Pro Tempore can act in an emergency should the Mayor and Vice Mayor be absent or out of town.
Also, Redding City Manager Kurt Starman gave a progress report on the pending Blueprint for Public Safety. The Council had put a priority on public safety, he said, evidenced by the fact that they’d grant-funded 5 new police officers, hired 4 more police positions and hired 5 new firefighters.
“This has been a collaborative effort with the county,” said Starman, noting that the Shasta County was paying one-third of the fee for the Blueprint’s consultants Matrix Consulting – $50,000 of the total $150,000 fee.
Started in early May, the Blueprint is a big comprehensive effort, Starman said. Slated for completetion in late August /early September, it will be presented to the council in September.
Chief Robert Paoletti said the consultants have worked with his departments and created two documents: a department profile and a best-practices assessment.
He acknowledged that the “difficulties of crime analysis are glaring.” The next step is to put together a group that will compile the entire draft.
Fire Chief Gerry Gray reported that through extensive employee input to identify “the Now”, they will now work on defining long-term goals.
Starman noted that the Blueprint wasn’t about identifying new funding sources but examining specific scenarios.
Councilman Weaver said he hears the public’s frustration, that people feel things aren’t happening fast enough.
Using the analogy of the Golden State Warriors and their long-held abysmal track record, he noted that after a shake- up in management and a shifting around of team members, they won the 2015 NBA Championship.
“If we have a strong foundation, if we get it right,” he said, “then the community will forgive us for taking a little longer to get there.”
Prescription “take back” programs are being established around the country. Reporting on prescription drug disposal for our area, City Attorney Barry DeWalt referenced Alameda County’s drug company Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) ordinance, passed in 2012. Challenged by a lawsuit by the pharmaceutical industry, the ordinance was upheld when the 9th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals found that it didn’t interfere with interstate commerce and the US Supreme Court declined to hear the case.
DeWalt says Shasta County is establishing a three-year take-back program and will be hiring a consultant to manage to allow consumers to drop off unused prescription medications. He recommended that the City work with the County for the next three years, then decide whether or not to adopt a separate ordinance.
Chief Paoletti said the Police Station will have a drop box for this as soon as the consultant is in place. He’ll send out a press release when it’s available.
During the Public Comment period, the sole speaker, Dale Ball, founder of Shasta Services, spoke about unlicensed cell phone kiosks springing up around town. Having contacted Code Enforcement but receiving no response, he said the City of Anderson had kicked them out of town.
Councilman Weaver said this should be looked into. The City Clerk said they’re working with Code Enforcement regarding these kiosks.
When asked about possible future topics for future meetings, Weaver asked if the city could increase code enforcement, adding that code enforcement needs to be sustained over time. He asked staff to look into self-funding for Code Enforcement, especially regarding hotels, motels and apartment complexes.
Weaver wants these audited annually, focusing first on one-star motels. He expressed less sympathy for those motels, especially for the service they offer their tenants. Weaver said he envisions needs-based Code Enforcement, and wants to seek staffing both within the ranks and outside. Councilwoman Kristen Schreder agreed.
Councilwoman McArthur asked to have fleet impact reports – status of City inventory – brought back.
McArthur also asked for Body Camera reports. Starman said he could provide both.
Mayor Sullivan said she expected body cameras as part of the Blueprint. Chief Paoletti said he can give this complete report by early September when the POA President was back.
The Council adjourned to then hold three Special Closed Door meetings, then adjourned for the evening.