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M I N U T E S
Mayor Clark called the meeting to order at 9:25 A.M. in the Multi-Purpose Room at Fred Hesse Community Park, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard, Rancho Palos Verdes, notice having been given with affidavit thereto on file.
Present: Mayor Clark, Mayor Pro Tem Wolowicz and Councilmen Gardiner Long and Stern
Also present were City Manager Evans; Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru; Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement Rojas, Deputy Director of Finance/Information Technology Downs; and Assistant to the City Manager Park.
The salute to the flag was led by Assistant Fire Chief Thom Glonchak.
Mayor Clark introduced the members of the City Council and introduced the following members of the audience:
Ann Shaw, former RPV Mayor
Mayor Clark introduced the guest speaker, Gunnar Kuepper.
Self-introductions by the other attendees followed.
Mayor Clark acknowledged the arrival of Steve Kuykendall, former RPV Mayor and Susie Seamans, Councilwoman of Rolling Hills Estates
Mayor Clark acknowledged Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe’s $1 million contribution towards the acquisition of the Portuguese Bend Nature Preserve.
APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA:
Mayor pro tem Wolowicz moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to approve the agenda. There being no objection, Mayor Clark so ordered.
APPROVAL OF THE CONSENT CALENDAR:
Councilman Stern moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Wolowicz, to approve the Consent Calendar.
The motion to approve the Consent Calendar carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Gardiner Long, Stern, Mayor Pro Tem Wolowicz, Mayor Clark
Repair of the Tarapaca Storm Drain
Reviewed and reconfirmed a four/fifths (4/5) vote, the Council’s action on December 21, 2004, to authorize staff to conduct an informal bid process to repair the Tarapaca Storm Drain.
Lessons to be Learned from Hurricane Katrina
With the assistance of a Power Point presentation, Gunnar Kuepper with Emergency & Disaster Management, Inc. made a presentation regarding the circumstances surrounding the Hurricane Katrina disaster on the Gulf Coast. He discussed the political realities of preparing for emergencies and coordinating the actual disaster response. He stressed that it was not just the government, but that all citizens must take responsibility to prepare for and survive a major catastrophe. He described the positive aspects of the current level of preparedness in Los Angeles County, but noted major areas of weakness, including the area’s large population of poor and homeless people and the lack of emergency and trauma care centers. He indicated that the primary goals of any emergency preparedness program should be to protect people, public infrastructure and the environment. He stressed that special attention was need to protect the most vulnerable populations in the community: the poor, the disabled and the elderly. Mr. Kuepper urged residents to become better educated about the disasters that have occurred in the area in the past in order to better understand the potential threat, and noted that the probability of the same type of disaster happening again was very high. He discussed the importance of information flow during and following a disaster, the problems associated with incomplete or biased information and the need for secondary verification of information that was received. He indicated that the primary function of elected officials and management staff during an emergency was to provide strong leadership and reassure the population everything was under control and will be all right. He concluded by stating that most disasters were preventable, all disasters were manageable and recovery, even from the most devastating events, is always possible.
Mayor Clark thanked Mr. Kuepper for his presentation and asked how people should best prepared for the predicted avian influenza pandemic.
Mr. Kuepper responded that the avian flu was a biological threat, but did not think it would be a major issue in the United States. He stated that proper hygiene was the key and recommended that people wash their hands frequently when coming in contract with potentially contaminated materials. He stated that the most vulnerable populations were the poor and homeless who did not have the education and/or resources to protect themselves against the disease.
Mayor Clark presented Mr. Kuepper with a City tile in appreciation of his presentation.
Sharon Nolan, Rancho Palos Verdes, referring to an article that appeared in the Palos Verdes News attributing the cause of the July 2005 fire to the Edison Company, asked that utility companies be required to communicate with the Fire Department whenever their crews were scheduled to work in isolated or vulnerable areas of the City. She asked if utility workers had been trained and equipped to deal with small brush fires before the situation escalated into a major wild fire.
Mayor Clark responded that the City was looking to the Edison Company and the Los Angeles County Fire Department for lesson learned from the recent fire in order to minimize or avoid similar situations in the future.
Mayor Clark noted several accomplishments the City had made since the Spring 2005 Community Leaders’ Breakfast, including:
- Moving forward on the preservation of 400 acres of open space in Portuguese Bend;
Mayor Clark thanked the audience for attending and declared the meeting adjourned at 10:20 AM.