Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS

FROM: CITY MANAGER

DATE: APRIL 6, 2004

SUBJECT: LETTER OF SUPPORT FOR THE STATE ASSEMBLY BIPARTISAN GROUP

RECOMMENDATION

Consider authorizing the Mayor to send a letter in support of the California State Assembly Bipartisan Group.

BACKGROUND

At their meeting of March 16, 2004 the City Council directed the City Manager to receive input from the City Council on the wording of an appropriate letter to be addressed to the Governor and all members of the State Senate and Assembly.

Mayor Pro Tempore Larry Clark originally requested this item be placed on the agenda for City Council’s consideration in support of the California Assembly Bipartisan Group. As the City Council will recall from the March 16, 2004 Staff Report, in 2003, Assemblymen Joseph Canciamilla, a Democrat from Pittsburg, and Keith Richman, a Republican from Northridge, created an informal bipartisan work group dedicated to open consideration of common sense solutions to California’s problems regardless of party affiliation.

The bipartisan group is an informal working group with no written platform, objectives or membership list. Although not an inclusive list, the following Assembly members have reportedly joined the bipartisan group: Patricia Bates (R), John Benoit (R), Patty Berg (D), Lou Correa (D), Lynn Daucher (R), Manny Diaz (D), John Dutra (D), Tom Harman (R), Shirley Horton (R), Abel Maldonado (R), John Laird (D), Carol Liu (D), Alan Lowenthal (D), Gloria Negrete-McLeod (D), Lois Wolk (D), and the Woman’s Caucus.

DISCUSSION

Since the March 16, 2004 meeting staff has received input from several Council members. As a result of that input, the attached letter is proposed for City Council approval.

Also, since the March 16, 2004 City Council meeting, Councilman Long has raised some concerns that the Bipartisan Group may be supporting one of the bills related to continuing energy deregulation. Councilman Long asked that a recent article in the Los Angeles Times also be attached to the Staff Report.

Respectfully submitted:

Les Evans

City Manager

Attachment: Draft Letter

Memorandum from Councilman Long

Los Angeles Times Article (March 21, 2004)

PROPOSED LETTER

Date

Assemblyman Joseph Canciamilla

Assembly District 11

State Capitol

P.O. Box 942849

Sacramento Ca 94249-0011

Assemblyman Keith Richman

Assembly District 38

State Capitol Room 5128
Sacramento, CA 94249-0038

On March 16, 2004, the City Council of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes unanimously expressed its strong support of the Assembly Bipartisan Group’s commitment to cooperatively consider and offer solutions to California’s problems.

Partisan politics has dominated the decision-making process in Sacramento to the detriment of the State as a whole. Critical public policy issues such as affordable housing, transportation infrastructure, energy, workers compensation, etc. have become secondary priorities to party politics. The negative political environment cannot continue; the State’s severe fiscal crisis is jeopardizing the financial solvency of local governments as well as the State itself.

The call for bipartisanship is encouraging and we hope the message becomes clear throughout the State by various political leaders. We agree that meaningful debate, discussion and consensus across party lines are necessary for the development of innovative solutions. We strongly encourage all our legislators to embrace the Bipartisan Group and call on all California cities to support the leadership of Assemblymembers Canciamilla and Richman

On behalf of the residents of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, we commend you for your political courage and will to lead the informal Bipartisan Group.

Sincerely,

Peter C. Gardiner Larry Clark

Mayor Mayor Pro Tem

Thomas D. Long Douglas W. Stern

Councilmember Councilmember

Stefan Wolowicz

Councilmember

Cc: Governor Schwarzenegger

Members of the California State Senate

Members of the California State Assembly

----Original Message-----

From: Laura Lee & Tom Long

Sent: Sunday, March 21, 2004 12:00 PM

To: 'Les Evans'

Cc: tom.long@rpv.com; peter.gardiner@rpv.com

Subject: Bipartisan Group Letter

Les,

When this item comes back to us please do not place it on the consent calendar. Despite my prior comments I now have some concerns. Please include with this e-mail a copy of the article in today s (Sunday March 21st) LA Times about utility deregulation. It appears that the leaders of the bipartisan group we identify in our draft letter are sponsoring one of the two bills to continue electric deregulation as opposed to reregulating electric utilities. Both deregulation bills are sponsored by the industry and/or business that profited from prior deregulation. Consumer groups are opposing deregulation and supporting a bill that passed the Senate last year (but stalled in an Assembly committee) to reregulate electric utilities. I am now reluctant to offer unqualified support to this group unless I gain a better understanding of their bill and why they support deregulation.

Tom Long