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July 08, 2005

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Publication Date: Friday, July 08, 2005

Council Briefs Council Briefs (July 08, 2005)

Rallying for Rengstorff

Tennis players once again turned out in droves Tuesday night to show their support for Cuesta Tennis Center, and the city council voted 5-1 to limit the amount of money the city charges the operator to around $20,000 per year. The move is likely to help Tim Foley renew his lease with the city when the contract goes out to bid again later this year.

At the same time, several council members wondered aloud why the city was not as active in managing the eight lighted courts at Rengstorff Park across town. Parks and Recreation Commissioner Ivan John said that he had already planned to bring that same issue up at the July 13 commission meeting.
Downtown's future on hold

Starting their summer recess a little early, city council members put off a discussion of what to do with three vacant city-owned properties downtown. Nobody was blaming the council, though -- a large amount of public interest in both the Cuesta Tennis Center and downtown parking garage pushed the meeting to 10:30 p.m. (it had started with a closed session at 4:30), and many were hurrying out of the council chambers.

Now serving as temporary parking lots, the three properties were the topic of a study session scheduled for after the meeting. They are located behind the Tied House restaurant, along the Caltrain tracks and on Bryant Street across from the site of the new parking garage. City staff has recommended selling all three properties to housing developers.

The council's next meeting is Aug. 16.

City manager, attorney get bonuses

Council members defended their decision to grant bonuses to City Manager Kevin Duggan and City Attorney Michael Martello. Council gadfly Don Letcher pulled the item from the omnibus consent agenda, and proceeded to list his grievances against the two officials. Council members, who normally do not respond to Letcher's points, quickly jumped to their defense.

Nick Galiotto said that while he personally disagrees with Duggan's position on spending the city's reserves, Duggan deserves credit for the fact that the city has reserves in the first place.

Mayor Matt Neely and council member Laura Macias both admonished Letcher for continuing to refer to the police department by using the word "Gestapo."

Duggan received a $4,000 bonus and Martello $3,600.
-- Jon Wiener

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