Garden Grove

Coyote plan gets OK, council funds don’t


By Jim Tortolano

An earlier proposal to divvy up the city council contingency fund to allow individual members to get allocations by district died fast but not so quiet at Tuesday night’s meeting of the Garden Grove council.

Before the council was a draft policy outlining the spending and reporting guidelines for “district allocation funds” under a plan first championed by Councilmembers George Brietigam (District 1) and John O’Neill (District 2).

But the rest of the council wasn’t ready to accept the concept.

“I don’t think this is a bad idea,” said Mayor Steve Jones. “I just don’t see a problem to solve here. There are more down sides than up sides.”

Councilmember Stephanie Klopfenstein (District 5) worried about potential internal conflicts on spending the money – estimated at $5000 for each council member including the mayor – that could damage the governing body’s unity.

“Five thousand dollars could potentially blow that up,” she said.

But Brietigam complained that “getting things done requires an act of Congress” and suggested that his district – which includes the western part of the city – gets less attention than others, especially the Harbor Corridor.

Finally, the consensus was to “let it lie” and no action was taken on the draft policy.

Also on Tuesday night, the council heard and approved on a 7-0 vote the proposed Coyote Management Plan.  The wild canines have been spotted all across the city, and incidents of sighting and attacks on pets have become more commonplace.

The report includes a variety of measures to take to curb the coyote problem, including removing food sources and “hazing” the creatures to drive them away. Councilman Phat Bui (District 4) said that while he supported the plan, the city must be willing to do more if necessary.

“My concern is that a lot of people are still afraid,” he said. The question then becomes “is the plan solving the problem” and “if the answer is no, we’ve got to do better than that.” Combining that issue with parking problems on residential streets, he went on to say “I cannot take the answer that this is all we can do.”

Klopfenstein said “residents will let us know if it’s not enough. It’s a good first step.”

She added that the most effective way to help the city to coordinate its efforts is for residents to call the coyote hot line at (714) 741-5286.

Additionally, during the public comments section of the meeting, several members of the Rise Up Willowick coalition addressed the council urging that the 101.5-acre golf course site owned by the city but located within Santa Ana limits not be developed in way that would “gentrify” their neighborhood and drive up rents.

Supporting potential development options such as a stadium or mixed-use development would mean “kicking people out of their homes,” said one speaker. “You’re kicking me out of my home.”

The speakers generally advocated using the land for open space, affordable housing and other uses such as schools or community centers.

The next meeting of the council is set for Sept. 10 at 5:30 p.m.



Leave a Reply