City Council Considers Sponsoring Cycling Safety Workshop
• Sheriff's Department Expresses Concern about Its Effectiveness as Cyclists Want Own Rules
BY BILL KOENEKER
The Malibu City Council, when it meets next week, is scheduled to consider giving the green light to several city-sponsored events.
The council is being asked to consider whether to authorize the Public Safety Commission to schedule a Saturday morning meeting to conduct a three-hour bicycle public workshop and approve the allocation of overtime pay for staff to attend.
The purpose of the meeting, according to a staff report prepared by City Manager Jim Thorsen, would be to try to sort out the differences of opinion that have arisen during several past commission meetings about interpretation of the law.
During a recent meeting last month, commissioners talked about asking the council to authorize a public workshop to address those differences "as well as establish an opportunity for dialogue between cyclists and motorists."
Commissioners agreed to recommend inviting leaders from cycling organizations and members of the cycling clubs in the Los Angeles area, the council PCH safety subcommittee, representatives from the sheriff's department, the Automobile Club of Southern California and experts in the field of traffic safety.
Commissioners, according to the report, also discussed the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a moderator or facilitator, but ultimately agreed that the cost and time would outweigh what it could offer.
"It should be noted that the sheriff's department expressed concern about whether a workshop would be a benefit to the city's goals of improved safety. During previous discussions with members of cycling organizations and bike clubs, the sheriff's liaison stated that the cyclists continued to disagree with the sheriff's interpretation of the law. There was additional concern expressed that the goal to open communication between motorists and cyclists would not likely be achieved through the workshop as it is doubtful that many non-cycling members of the public would consider attending," the staff memo said.
When commissioners discussed the matter, they thought the event could be worthwhile even though staff overtime would be required. A three-hour time limit for the workshop was agreed upon to keep the city's costs to a minimum.
Thorsen indicated the actual fiscal impact would depend on how many staff members were in attendance. He expected that three officers from the sheriff's department would also attend and would either receive overtime pay, or they would need to adjust their regular schedules to attend. There would also be overtime pay for public works and administrative staff, he said.
City officials are expected to decide to have the next Malibu Water Quality Symposium at Malibu City Hall on June 30.
The staff report indicates revenue from fees and contributions are expected to offset costs associated with the symposium, so there should be no fiscal impact.
Malibu hosted what was called "a very informative and successful water quality symposium in 2009 at Pepperdine University."
"Since that time, critical research projects have been completed within the city's region and throughout the United States. This symposium event provides an opportunity for regulators, elected officials, researchers, city staff, residents and others to have a comprehensive presentation of these research projects in one location," a staff report states, adding this year's event should provide "an excellent opportunity for scientists, engineers, water and wastewater consultants, contractors, regulators and water quality experts to hear about and discuss related projects."
City officials say they hope to have individuals from the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, and the U.S. Geological Survey.
It will be an all-day event and lunch will be included as part of the $25 registration fee.
The designers of Legacy Park, RMC Water and Environment, GeoSnytec and Dr. Rich Ambrose have agreed to host a one-hour technical tour at Legacy Park after the symposium.
Municipal officials are hopeful that there may be as many as 250 paid admissions.
Several other cities have already offered to co-sponsor the event which could provide an additional $2500 to offset the cost of the symposium.
The council is also expected to hear an update from colleagues about the direction on the activities proposed for the city's 20th birthday party.
Both Councilmembers Laura Rosenthal and Pamela Conley Ulich have been working with a volunteer committee which has incorporated fundraising activities to help pay for the costs of the two-day event.
The council has already established a $2000 fund to assist in paying for invitations, food, decorations, and similar expenses.
The event will take place on March 27 at Legacy Park and will be held at the same time as the farmers market. The event is one of the six events that are allowed at the park on a annual basis, according to a staff report. The day's event will include a park gathering with music, food and children's activities.
A more formal celebration will take place on Monday night, March 28, at a city council meeting.
The Monday event will be for the community, dignitaries, elected officials and volunteers. The event is on the actual anniversary date of incorporation and will be an opportunity to showcase the new city hall, which will be officially opened that evening.
Conley Ulich has been trying to organize a community art project much like the event that took place on the city's 16th birthday bash.
She and others have come up with an art project called the "Porcelain Project"
The proposal will transform 20 pieces of porcelain restroom fixtures (sinks, urinals, and toilets) that have been recycled from the library reconstruction project and make them into "works of art." The 20 pieces can be displayed at Malibu City Hall and or at the Landon Center and or other locations for a limited period of time. The 20 pieces will be auctioned off through eBay or other process on or around Earth Day, April 22, 2011 and the proceeds will be used to help build the proposed Civic Center wastewater treatment plant.
In addition, the city could display the 28 pieces of children's art it recently received from the art contest along with other photographs of Malibu at city hall for a limited time.