CITY COUNCIL MEETING RECAP — 5/04/2021
Shohreh Dupuis Selected City Manager By 5-0 Vote
By a vote of 5-0, the City Council has selected Assistant City Manager Shohreh Dupuis as the next City Manager and given her a three-year contract at an annual salary of $275,000. For reference, current City Manager John Pietig’s base salary is $286,056. per year. Ms. Dupuis officially assumes the duties of City Manager on June 12, 2021. These salaries are further augmented by other benefits within their compensation packages.
George Weiss: (See my statement made to Ms. Dupuis at the City Council meeting which is posted elsewhere on this website.) While this is a demanding job, the pay is also outstanding. Besides the salary, the new City Manager also given a City-subsidized mortgage. Ms. Dupuis has assured me that her management style is to delegate authority to the very talented group of department heads, while she focuses on outreach to residents, businesses and working closely with the City Council. I look forward to working with her in a collaborative manner, with the goal of improving the quality of life for residents, our business community and visitors.
City Council Representatives Designated For Aliso Estuary Restoration Project
This project has taken years to get to this stage, but the good news is that most of funding for the restoration has been secured. The next steps involve concept development and planning, plus complicated coordination between the City of Laguna Beach, The County of Orange, State of California Fish and Wildlife, South Orange County Water District, all led by the Laguna Ocean Foundation. Expect work to start in 2025. Mayor Bob Whalen and I were selected as the primary and alternate representatives for the City.
George Weiss: I’m pleased and excited to be part of the team that will restore the estuary to what it was in the 1930s. Its a massive undertaking and needs the support of residents. If you would like to get involved and/or support this project, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lean Six Sigma Recommendations To Improve Development Review Process Approved 5-0
Lean Six Sigma was developed as a process improvement program for manufacturing, particularly in the auto industry. As this methodology has evolved, it’s been applied to healthcare (Lean Healthcare) and other industry segments. Staff members in Community Development recently attended training sponsored by UCI and learned about the program’s tools to improve and streamline business processes. I fully support this program sponsored by Mayor Pro-Tem Sue Kempf.
George Weiss: Community Development Director Marc Weiner gave a PowerPoint presentation on streamlining processes at the City Council meeting. His department chose 31 projects and estimated that these took approximately 460+ work hours to process. The work hours were estimated but it’s difficult to gauge improvements without accurate time study data that requires staff to log every minute of time spent working on a project.
Going forward, Community Development has created 24 project types, so that may help provide a more accurate, apples-to-apples, comparison of time spent using new Lean procedures. Community Development is implementing two new software programs EnerGov (a permitting management system) and Bluebeam (a building plans software). One of the goals is to allow residents, architects, and builders to apply for many types of permits online.
The majority of Laguna’s departments, including Finance, have not applied software automation tools. The City still uses Excel to manage Laguna’s finances. This will soon change.
Laguna has tremendous opportunities to automate and make it easier for residents and businesses to work with our City. A new City website will be introduced soon as well.
City Extends Covid-19 Emergency Provisions 60 Days
To Comply With State Mandates – 5-0 Vote
George Weiss: Some people objected to extending this declaration. However not complying with State mandates could have put possible FEMA and other Covid-19 funding for Laguna Beach at risk.
Rivian Theater Pulls Renovation Permits
The City of Laguna Beach has issued permits for the renovation of the Rivian Theater.
George Weiss: This is a great initial step to restoring the theater to its former look and glory. It appears that the outdoor façade of the theater will closely resemble what the theater looked like in 1935.
Hotel Laguna Ordered To Temporarily Stop Construction
On May 5, the City issued an order to temporarily stop further construction work being done on the Hotel Laguna by developer Mo Honarker. At issue is construction work being performed outdoors without proper permits. Previous work is also being appealed to the Coastal Commission, which will rule on the appeal on Wednesday, May 12. To learn more, go to: https://www.coastal.ca.gov/meetings/agenda/#/2021/5
Longhi/Dornin 28-Unit Artist Work/Live Project Ordered To Temporarily Cease Construction
Orange County Court Judge Glenda Sanders ruled that the City of Laguna Beach had abused its discretion in issuing building permits for this Laguna Canyon project. See below for more details: https://www.occourts.org/tentativerulings/gsandersrulings.htm
CURRENT NEWS — May 12, 2021
I’d like to congratulate our designated City Manager for her appointment as our third City Manager in the last thirty years.
I look forward to working with her to make Laguna a better place to live. <MORE>
May 4, 2021
Rivian Given Permits To Renovate
And Restore South Coast Twin Theater
The City of Laguna has issued permits to electric car manufacturer Rivian for the renovation of the South Coast Twin Theater. This is a great initial step to restoring the theater to its former glory. Proposed renderings suggest several original key design elements from the 1930s will be included. Rivian looks to remake the theater into a showroom-like space with a coffee bar, film screenings and live events. The location will also arrange test drives for interested buyers.