The Vista City Council meeting tonight started with the Pledge of Allegiance to an unseen flag, continued with an odd assortment of remarks as topics were examined, and ended with an imputation.
Council member Cody Campbell, who has a website announcing that he will be running for Mayor in 2014 before the end of his four-year council job, seemed to take issue with quite a bit Tuesday night from his place on the council dais.
A major problem seemed to be how things actually got onto the agenda. Council member Amanda Rigby appeared to be in agreement with Campbell, stating:
"It hasn't gone unnoticed that it takes a consensus [for city council] ... to get something on the agenda." Rigby added that for this night just one unelected person [the City Attorney] managed to get the e-cigaret item onto the agenda.
Rigby seemed frustrated with the fact that elected persons could not bring up issues and have them discussed. "...We are elected officials .... one of us should be able to bring an item up."
Council member Dave Cowles mentioned his concern that two members could "burden" an agenda even if there was no majority of council support to discuss an item.
In other actions:
Following the invocation, which called for wisdom, enlightenment and the hope that discussions this evening would bring "blessings" to the city, Mayor Judy Ritter moved to have several consent calendar items removed for discussion. Those items were:
- C3 - Treasurer's Cash report for the month ended August 31st
- C4 - Application for a Class "D" Cabaret License for Lush Coffee & Tea, located on 324 Main Street (Passes)
- C10 - An Amendment to the Vista Municipal Code to Prohibit E-Smoking in public places (Passes)
Suggestion for City of Vista to use Obamacare
A suggestion came from one earnest gentleman that Vista take advantage of the Affordable Care Act and use that for employee healthcare benefits. "[You're] spending so much money, millions and millions of dollars, and you have benefits. I like, you know, Kaiser Permanente. I have Kaiser Permanente. ... If you can take a chance and take advantage of Obamacare, so be it."
There was no council comment on the treasurer's cash report, and it was approved.
Coffee & Tea Lounge license
Mayor Ritter called on Councilman Campbell who had "a couple of comments" regarding the cabaret application.
"I'm concerned in regards to the number of Cabaret licenses that we've been issuing and the related noise impact that it will have in the community as well as law enforcement responses that are going to have to be called out to these locations for noise complaint violations, et cetera."
The application for a Class "D" Cabaret License for Lush Coffee & Tea, located on 324 Main Street, would allow the owners to create an artistic environment by offering acoustic music on a weekly basis between 4:00 pm and 9:00 pm., according to the staff report.
E-cigarets, diethylene glycol and antifreeze
Two speakers came before the council to comment on the e-smoking issue, each stating reasons why they oppose the product.
Gena Knutson, Tobacco Control program manager at Vista Community Clinic, addressed the council on the "trend" of e-cigarets which were sold in flavors meant to appeal to children and teens: strawberry, chocolate, root beer, bubblegum, etc.
She cited the FDA website which concerned the Food & Drug Agency's notification to healthcare professionals and patients that a laboratory analysis of electronic cigarette samples discovered carcinogens and toxic chemicals such as diethylene glycol, an ingredient used in antifreeze. She ended her remarks with an offer to explain further.
Erica Leary, a program manager for the North Coastal Prevention Coalition, located in north San Diego County and managed by Vista Community Clinic, also opposed e-cigarets.
She mentioned Senate bill 638, a bill authored by Sen. Ellen Corbett of San Leandro, which the SacBee said bans "e-cigarettes inside public buildings, near a playground, inside restaurants and on an airplane. It would also restrict the places where e-cigarette companies could advertise."
The legislation requires the e-cigarette industry to be held to the same standards as tobacco-based products, according to the Bee, and quotes Corbett:
"This bill does not ban the use of e-cigarettes, it just treats them the same as other cigarettes."
Councilman Campbell, according to an online post from the VistaChamber, has served with the nonprofit North Coastal Prevention Coalition. He mentioned this evening that he is one of many who are sensitive to cigarets, as a matter of explaining his position on the item.
"... I think the effect on our children is one of the reasons I am considering this," Mayor Ritter said, after inviting further council comments.
The General Plan 2030
The Director of Community Development and Engineering, John Conley, provided council with an update to the General Plan.
Conley stated it is "a living document" and "used as a blueprint for growth." Further, he gave a summary of issues, looking for council feedback to City staff, which was given to him.
Erica Leary also spoke:again: "Regarding the general plan I just wanted to make the point ... that [it] be cited and referenced in the staff reports when the specific agenda items come before the council. I think this would be a benefit ...."
Leary explained she felt it would be allow people to see progress in addressing the goals of the plan, and help leaders as well. She also mentioned she wanted Vista to be "put on the map" as far as being a health leader and had been disappointed in some previous decisions by city leaders.
Shadowridge residents oppose stop sign
In regards to a Shadowridge stop sign, several residents spoke in opposition. One resident/speaker stated since nothing was broken, the City should not waste money trying to fix it.
Councilwoman Rigby stated she wanted it entered into the record that she had received 113 emails on the matter. Apparently no one really wanted the stop sign.
In closing remarks, Council member Campbell brought up his issues:
- getting council items on the agenda for discussion so every council member can have his or her ideas discussed and do the job which they were elected to do
- Puppy mills - Vista should have an ordinance.
- Controversial issues - "tell your friends and neighbors" everything "is glossed over"
To the first issue Council member Cowles stated this has not been a problem in the three years he has been on the council.
On the puppy mill remark, City ManagerPatrick Johnson did advise council members: "At this time I have no applications" for breeders or stores to sell dogs and cats.
Mayor Ritter disagreed with Campbell on the third remark about controversial issues.