City Receives County Grant of $100,000
By Jean McLeod — Wednesday, August 28th, 2013
Fillmore Police Chief Monica McGrath informed the Council of her plans to apply for a state grant from the California Gang Reduction, Intervention and Prevention (CalGRIP) Program of $500,000.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013 Fillmore City Council Meeting was new City Manager David Rowlands' first and very short meeting, being completed in less than an hour. Police Chief Monica McGrath and Building Official Stephen Stuart addressed the Council wanting approval for use of grant money received and also applying for future state grants that are available. Other agenda items discussed were the new City's Code of Ethics, an appointment to the Parks and Recreation Commission, and approval of work on the Police Station parking lot.
Rowlands attended his first council meeting, with a first statement from the dais, "Glad to be here, it's been an exciting twelve days."
When asked the difference between Fillmore and Clayton, Ohio where Rowlands last served as city manager, he responded that Clayton had a lot higher humidity and Fillmore is much busier, then added, "I love it here."
Other grant monies were presented by Fillmore's Police Chief Monica McGrath. McGrath informed the Council of $8,215,000 in state restitution funds available for the fiscal year 2014-2015 and her plans to apply for a state grant from the California Gang Reduction, Intervention and Prevention (CalGRIP) Program of $500,000 grant for the period of January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2015. These grants are a competitive process controlled by the Board of State and Community Corrections and require a dollar for dollar match. McGrath told the Council she may not get that amount and that asking for such a large sum is really reaching out there, but feels it is worth a try.
Those receiving the grants must have an Evidence-Based Program, Practices and Strategies (EBT) which includes a prevention (43%), intervention (36%) and suppression (21%) approach on how the grant is used. The EBT requires measurable outcomes that reliably produce significant reductions in recidivism (participants who entered and left the program or returned to illegal behavior) and practices known to produce positive outcomes. This requirement ensures the grant monies are being used effectively.
A Code of Ethics document was presented to the Council for approval, but in it was an ending paragraph that three of the Council Members questioned and were not comfortable approving. It stated quote; "If it is determined that there is a potential breach in this code of ethics the governing body and /or City Manager should determine the process with which to conduct an investigation that is fair and impartial. The investigation will allow for the accused and the accuser to participate in the investigation on their behalf. Appropriate disciplinary actions will be taken by the governing body. The City Council will be advised of the outcome of the investigation and any potential disciplinary actions taken."
Council Member Diane McCall said, "I feel we all have the qualities it called for" but also thought the paragraph quoted was too vague and not clear enough to approve. Council Member Steve Conaway responded that he had been working to have a code of ethics since the last one was taken out years ago and that he appreciates that the one presented has a clear path of what will be done if breached. Council Member Douglas Tucker, who helped write the new Code of Ethics version, said the goal was to give the document some teeth and both sides have a say while keeping politics out of it. The end result was that the document’s wording will be clarified and be resubmitted at the next council meeting.
The Council also agreed to some infrastructure improvements and approved the bidding process for work to be done on the Police Station parking lot. This work includes repaving the asphalt lot and moving a fence to allow for an additional 45 feet of parking. It is estimated to cost over $95,000. Construction will start October 23, 2013 and be finished December 1, 2013.
Another item on the agenda was approval of a student to the Parks and Recreation Committee. There were two applicants and both were well qualified. Caitlin McCall was chosen due to it being her senior year in high school and the last time she could apply for the position and be involved. The other applicant has two more years of high school leaving two remaining years to apply.