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Council to Discuss Wide-ranging Issues


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By Lookout Staff

February 9, 2024 -- From public nuisances to a trip to Vienna, the City Council on Tuesday will discuss a number of wide-ranging items its members placed on the agenda.

The items also include weighing in on the State budget and supporting residents at the Bergamot Station Arts Center.

At the request of Councilmembers Gleam Davis and Oscar de la Torre the Council will be asked to approve a resolution opposing the Governor’s proposed $33.2 million cut from the State's $35 million budget for food programs.

The item urges Governor Gavin Newsom "to maintain all safety net programs including the California Nutrition Incentive Program (CNIP), in the 2024/25 state budget."

The CNIP funds Market Match, which enables CalFresh shoppers to double their money for produce at more than 270 farmers’ markets and farm direct sites.

The Council will also take up a discussion item at the request of Councilmembers Jesse Zwick and Mayor Phil Brock to review the City’s laws and regulations regarding the abatement of public nuisances.

If approved, the City Manager and City Attorney will "propose revisions that include additional definitions of what constitutes a public nuisance," according to the item.

Staff will look at "frequent response and/or Calls for Service from SMPD to a real property or its adjacent area that are meaningfully and substantially disproportionate to the average number for a property of a similar size and character."

The Council on Tuesday will also be asked to authorize the use of travel funds to cover the registration fees and travel expenses for a week-long housing program in Vienna, Austria in April.

"Vienna is considered one of the most livable and most importantly, affordable cities in the world and cities committed to creating housing opportunities for all are participating in this program," according to the item.

An attached article that ran in the New York Times lauds Vienna's housing policies, saying that "perhaps no other developed city has done more to protect residents from the commodification of housing."

Finally, the Council is being asked by de la Torre and Zwick to direct the City Manager to "create an economic support program to ensure that the Bergamot Station Arts Center is thriving and continues to be a leading arts and cultural hub."

City Manager David White should consider alternatives that include
"investing in tenant improvements to create smaller spaces that are more affordable in an effort to attract new tenants and retain existing tenants."

He also should explore "allocating additional City funding to help reduce property management fees that are currently borne by the tenants (and) helping tenants access technical assistance to support business operations."

Discussion items placed by Councilmembers on the agenda include everything from giving small grants to programs or organizations to suggesting policies that become important ordinances.

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