Presidio Square gets update by Public Services staff

Public Services Maintenance staff completed improvements to Presidio Square.

The goal of this project is to deter vehicle traffic from entering the wrong way or parking in the no parking, red curb area.

The delineation will better define the driving lane and increase safety for pedestrian traffic walking to Davis Elementary School and TeWinkle Park as Presidio Square is used predominantly as a drop off area by school busses and parents for the surrounding schools.

City launches new website to make Costa Mesa’s budget more user friendly

The City of Costa Mesa has launched a new interactive website called Open Budget Costa Mesa that will provide residents and city staff with financial data that is easily accessible and understandable.

Click here to access Open Budget Costa Mesa.

Rather than wading through hundreds of pages of scanned legal and financial documents, residents and city staff can now see financial data contextualized in charts, graphs, and visualizations that are attractive, navigable, and easy to understand.  The information is available at various levels of detail and updated monthly.

“We are happy to provide the residents of Costa Mesa with this on-line tool that will make our city budget more user friendly,” Mayor Sandy Genis said. “Residents can now create their own charts, graphs and spreadsheets to pursue their own budget research and interests and do it during a set time frame.”

Click here for a video tutorial on how to use this new tool.

To launch the new site, the City of Costa Mesa’s Finance and Information Technology department’s partnered with Socrata, the leader in making existing government data discoverable, usable, and actionable for public servants and the people they serve.

Costa Mesa announces Stacy Daugherty will be city’s new Finance Director

The City of Costa Mesa is pleased to announce that Stacy Daugherty, a strong financial leader with 14 years of experience in the industry, will become the new director of the city’s Finance Department at the start of the year.

Daugherty, who currently leads the Fiscal Services Division of the City of Pasadena, will replace Interim Finance Director Steve Dunivent, who is leaving the city after four years of dedicated service.

“We are extremely lucky to have found someone with Stacy’s experience and background,” City Manager Tom Hatch said. “She has it all. She is bright, talented and personable and her last role gave her significant experience comparable to what her responsibilities will be here. She is a great fit for this important position.”

In Pasadena, Daugherty led the Fiscal Services Division, supervising the purchasing, accounts payable, budget and accounting teams and managed all citywide financial policies and procedures. Her duties ranged from the adoption and forecasting of the city budget, reviewing and monitoring the fiscal impact of city projects and programs and managing the city’s fiscal analysis plan.

She worked closely with the city manager and advised executive leadership on long-range financial planning, labor negotiations and special projects.

“To be a part of a stellar organization is a wonderful opportunity,” Daugherty said. “Embarking on the next chapter of my career with the talented staff of the city of Costa Mesa and supporting its citizens, mayor and council is an ideal pairing.  I look forward to our future success.”

Prior to her work in Pasadena, Daugherty spent 11 years at two of the state’s largest public utilities.

For five years she was a senior financial analyst for Southern California Edison, where she managed budgets, provided fiscal forecasts and established revenue requirements for the Information Technology, Financial and Operational Services and Customer Services divisions.

From August of 2006 to January of 2011, she was employed as an accounting financial analyst for San Francisco-based Pacific Gas and Electric Company where she applied her economics and accounting education to help manage customer billing, regulatory requirements and all aspects of the company’s financial statements.

Daugherty has a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of California, Santa Cruz and is currently in her last semester in the Executive Masters of Business Administration degree program at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business.

She will begin her career in the City of Costa Mesa on Jan. 2, 2018.

New JWA tracking site added to city webpage

The city of Costa Mesa has now added a John Wayne Airport flight tracking system to the Airport Noise and Concerns page on the city’s main website.

That page can be seen here.

By viewing the flight tracker, website viewers can track arriving and departing flights by airline, altitude, destination and more.

Click here to see the tracking system. 

City officials will continue to monitor issues regarding aircraft noise and increasing traffic reported by residents and will continue to be engaged at the regional level to advocate for protecting Costa Mesa.

City staff looking for a new Land Management System

On Nov. 22 the city released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a new Land Management System software program.

The city’s Land Management System rests at the core of all data related to building permits, entitlements, code enforcement cases and general plan zoning, and specific plan amendment applications and more.

The Land Management System is used every day to enter, retrieve, or update thousands of records. The city’s current system is old and in need of replacement, so a project management consulting team has been retained to guide the city through the selection of a new system.

To ensure its broadest use and functionality, a stakeholder group spanning all city departments conducted workshops with the project management consultants to develop a project scope to meet the disparate needs of multiple city departments.

The RFP is open until Jan. 3, 2018. Staff provided a longer window than normal for applicants to respond due to the holiday season. Release of the RFP represents a major step forward in the update of this critical information system. Goals for the new software system include greater connectivity, enhanced analytical abilities, and easier data entry and retrieval.

This process will continue to require time and attention throughout the city, however, the update is critical and will allow city staff to better serve the public through speed, efficiencies and advanced technologies, and the city will have the flexibility to add increased functionality in the future. Stay tuned for more updates in this exciting process.

I-405 Improvement Project creates interactive map

OCTA launched a fully interactive, mobile-friendly resource for the I-405 Improvement Project.

Click here to view this map.

Users can click on a location to see when construction is anticipated to start and find details on any current pre-construction activities planned in the area. The newly launched map currently features preliminary construction activities that are happening now.

When construction officially commences in early 2018, users can explore the project area in real time, view both planned improvements and current construction activities for each bridge, as well as, updated closure and detour information.

When construction officially commences in early 2018, users can explore the project area in real time, view both planned improvements and current construction activities for each bridge, as well as, updated closure and detour information

Residents respond with kindness and lots of donations for Marine families Toy Drive

Gifts are flooding in for the 1/5 Marines Toy drive.Volunteers have collected well over four boxes full with plenty of time still left to contribute.

The city of Costa Mesa and the Costa Mesa Military Affairs Team are currently seeking donations of new, unwrapped toys for the children of the city’s adopted 1st Battalion 5th Marine Regiment.

The collected toys will be given to the children at the Marine unit’s annual Christmas Carnival held at Camp Pendleton.

Donations can be dropped off at City Hall in the foot locker located in the first floor lobby until Friday, Dec. 8, 2017.

Click here for more information.

Communications Officer Ann Barrett presented with City Manager Leadership Award

City Manager Tom Hatch named Communications Officer Ann Barrett as the recipient of his monthly Leadership Award at the employee Meet and Greet Thursday Dec. 7 at City Hall.

“Ann is known for her exemplary work ethic, commitment to service and professionalism as well as her dedication to the development of new communication officer trainees,” City Manager Hatch said. “She is viewed as a leader within the Telecommunications Unit and her co-workers rely on her knowledge and experience daily.”

Barrett began her career with the City of Costa Mesa in February of 2010, when she was hired as a communications officer. Prior to that she had worked the year before as a part time communications officer for the city of Downey.

But her experience in the field goes back even further. She originally began her career as a dispatcher in 1981 with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. She worked there for eight years and in 1989 left that job to raise her children.

During her seven years with the city, she has diligently applied herself to expanding her knowledge with the aim of providing the highest level of service to the public safety profession and the community. Regardless of the task assigned, Barrett approaches it with a very positive attitude.

In August of 2013, Barrett earned the title of communications training officer.  This position is critical to the training of new employees.

Her experience in dispatch also helped police officers and detectives recently to solve what at first seemed like a call from an assault victim, but it was later discovered that the alleged victim had instead been involved in a homicide.

In addition to honoring Barrett, City Manager Hatch congratulated several new employees or newly promoted employees as well as four employees who are retiring. He also had a special recognition for outgoing Interim Finance Director Steve Dunivent, who is leaving the city at the end of December.

The new employees include Ellen Medalle, a new human resources analyst and from Economic and Development Services new hires include Ryan Bohr, building inspector, Courtney Harvey office specialist II, Sheila Larson, building technician, Kim Martinez intern and Aaron Thompson combination building inspector.

In the Parks & Community Services Department the new hires include Caitlin Knight recreation leader II, Amanda Mansfield recreation leader III, George Mosqueda recreation leader III and Vanessa Romero instructor guard.

Police Department new hires include Sarah Davila, crime scene specialist, Danielle Whitehead police records technician and Oscar Nichols police aide and in the Public Services Department Elliot Huang assistant engineer was welcomed.

The newly promoted employees are Ameerah Ghaznavi management aide in the City Manager’s Office, Jon Neal who has been promoted to assistant fire marshall, longtime employee Mike Tucker who moved from Code Enforcement to Parks and Community Services as a new management analyst and Catherine Pimentel, who was promoted as a new community service specialist for the Police Department.

Those honored for their retirements included Fire Captain Lenny Goodsir, who started his career in 1985 as a fire prevention intern, Ronald Penley who spent 28 years with the city as an equipment mechanic, Jody Gonzalez a police training assistant who started with Costa Mesa in 1987 and Liz Wright, a senior records technician who began her Costa Mesa career in 2004.

And finally, City Manager Hatch thanked Steve Dunivent for his four years of dedicated service to Costa Mesa. Dunivent took on the role of interim finance director in 2013 after retiring from the County of Orange, where he had a distinguished 30-year career.

Snoopy House gets a little assistance from OCC student volunteers

Students from The Architectural Technology program at Orange Coast College volunteered at Snoopy house this past weekend and provided some much-need assistance with some of the more complex moving pieces associated with Snoopy and the Gang.

The Architectural program offers courses in design, building materials, construction documents, design graphics, and computer-assisted design and drafting and provides students with the discipline and critical thinking skills.

Fire and division chief join honor guard to pay tribute to firefighters who passed away in 2017

Members of the Costa Mesa Fire & Rescue Honor Guard, which includes Capt. Mike Hurd, Capt. Fred McDowell, Engineer John Brock, and Capt. Chris Coates, along with Fire Chief Dan Stefano and Division Chief Jason Pyle, joined with members from all of the fire agencies in Orange County to pay tribute and honor the fire service members who passed away in 2017.

The Costa Mesa fire family honored former firefighters Scott Coykendall, Paul Durham and Archie Y. Locke.

The annual memorial event usually takes place each year in October at the Orange County Fire Service Memorial in Santa Ana, but this year it was rescheduled later because of the wildfires.

Mayor and city staff take an informational tour of Fairview Park wetlands

Mayor Sandy Genis joined city staffers and the city’s consultant biologist Barry Nerhus for a tour of the Fairview Park wetlands on Thursday Nov. 30 to inspect the conditions of the habitat and water flows, and to further investigate the potential for mosquito breeding in the ponds.

The mayor was joined by Public Services Director Raja Sethuraman, Parks and Community Services Director Justin Martin, City Engineer Bart Mejia, Fairview Park Administrator Cynthia D’Agosta and Janet Hauser and Tony Dodero from the City Manager’s Office.

The group spent the morning observing several things, including the flow of water to the park’s five wetland ponds, local wildlife and habitats, native plants and vegetation, cattail removal efforts and evidence of debris and trash left in the ecosystem by transients.

Some of the wildlife observed by the group were white tail kites, osprey, falcons, turkey vultures, egrets, mallard ducks and other waterfowl. Also observed were northern harriers. The harriers have nested in the trees in the lowlands and there are only about a dozen nesting pairs in all of Orange County.

The total 23-acres of riparian habitat and wetland ponds were officially christened by the city in 2013 and was part of a decades-long plan to restore wetland areas in Fairview Park that was approved in 2003-2005 in the Fairview Park Master Plan.

The project called for restoring the native plant community and habitat, building and grading wetland ponds and streams and installing an irrigation system to assist with the plant and tree growth.

The ponds capture storm runoff and flood control water and are designed to flow at a rate of 350 gallons a minute to be treated naturally and sustain the constructed habitat.

Recently, the ponds have been the subject of questions about how they impact the breeding of mosquitoes. City staff, Nerhus’ crew, and Orange County Vector Control officials test the pond water frequently for mosquitoes. Several abatement measures have been put into place including adding mosquito fish to the pond and clearing cattail that inhibits water flow.

On Thursday, maintenance crews were busy at work clearing the cattails from one of the ponds with a goal of clearing the cattails from all the ponds prior to the next nesting season.



Mesa Verde Branch Library gets roof and window upgrades during Thanksgiving break

Public Services maintenance staff performed roof repairs and completed a window film replacement project at the Mesa Verde Branch Library over the Thanksgiving holiday closure.

The roof repairs addressed the deteriorating metal edge around the facility’s perimeter and provided preventative maintenance to the existing roof.

The window film replacement project removed a variety of different types of existing window film tints that presented an overall miss matched interior and exterior. The library’s windows were then applied with an energy efficient window film tint that provides an overall aesthetic and functional improvement to the library. Both projects occurred simultaneously and were completed during the holiday closure.