A very long but interesting city council meeting tonight. Here are the highlights:
Mr. Castaldo brought up my letter in his council member report. He told the audience that a forensic audit would cost around $100,000 and he didn't believe the cost justified the forensic audit. Obviously Mr. Castaldo didn't read my letter and I wonder if any of the other council members did either. During the public comments I pointed out to Mr. Castaldo that my letter never mentioned a forensic audit and that I had revised my request from the July 2 council meeting to ask the council just to discuss the idea of an Internal Control Audit. I pointed out that I agreed the cost of the forensic was prohibitive until an Internal Controls Audit was completed first.
The developer for the Hidden Canyon warehouse/industrial park requested the council pull their amendment and continue it to the first meeting in October. Mayor Berg said the continuance was requested to allow for time to consider the comment letter they received today. Click here to read the letter. I still asked the council and the developer to hold a public forum and allow the community and the developer an opportunity to come together and discuss the project. Later in the meeting, Mr. Castaldo indicated he was interested in reviewing the general plan and reconsider the future of warehouses in Beaumont.
I asked the city council to review the minutes from the July 2nd meeting and confirm what motion was made by Mr. Castaldo regarding the Heartland Warehouse project. I listened to the podcast this morning and heard Mr. Castaldo move to "kill this deal". I pointed out that the minutes they were about to approve said the motion was to "Deny the item as presented". I pointed out that this indicated it could be brought back and I questioned if anything had been killed. Mr' Castaldo said he was comfortable with the minutes and the council approved the minutes 5-0.
Finally, the biggest surprise of the evening came from Mrs. Knight. In response to a comment about Urban Logic's 20 year old contract, Mrs. Knight told the audience that they are "working behind the scenes to modernize Urban Logic's contract." Since this issue was not on the agenda and a council member brought the subject up, probably in a violation of the Brown Act, I felt I had a right to respond. So after my comments about the minutes, I asked Mrs. Knight not to modernize Urban Logic's contract behind the scenes. I asked them to do it in the public eye. Mayor Berg told me I was off topic and shouted me down. If they are going to do this behind close doors, I doubt there will ever be an opportunity for public comment.