Huntington Beach

PCTA exit notice, charter panel OKd

THE PCTA broadcasts events such as the Huntington Beach Fourth of July parade (PCTA).

A divided Huntington Beach City Council approved two controversial measures Tuesday night on 4-3 votes.

The council approved a proposal to give a six-month “notice of intent” to withdraw the city from the Public Cable Television Authority, which provides local programming for Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley, Stanton and Westminster.

Voting no were councilmember Lynn Semeta, Mike Posey and Jill Hardy.

Semeta asked that the matter be continued in order to allow the PCTA board to consider whether to go ahead with the planned purchase of a $325,000 truck. However, Councilmember Patrick Brendan said Tuesday’s decision did not obligate the city to leave the authority. “If we decide to reverse course, we aren’t committed,” he said.

Later in the meeting the council approved convening a Charter Review Commission, which will be made up of 15 members – seven appointed individually by council members and eight by the council as a whole.

Additionally, the city will employ a consultant to work with the commission and staff on possible revisions of the charter. The cost of such a consultant was put at “$25,000, give or take,” by City Manager Fred Wilson.

Voting in opposition were Mayor Erik Peterson and councilmembers Semeta and Hardy.

The matter was brought up by Councilmember Mike Posey, who noted that the city charter suggests a charter review every 10 years and that the last review was in 2009.

He added “Sacramento doesn’t seem to care that we have some autonomy.”

City Attorney Michael Gates demurred, saying that charter’s assertions of local control are already “as broad as they can be.”

Also on Tuesday, the council approved on a 7-0 vote an ordinance regulating street vendors. This new  move came in response to a state law prohibiting cities from banning such vending completely. The city ordinance will require a health department permit to sell food items and restrict vendors from areas such as downtown and along Pacific Coast Highway.

The next meeting of the council is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 4.

 

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