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April 24, 2018, Council Agenda Item 10 Comments <br />The following comments on an item on the Newport Beach City Council agenda are submitted by: <br />Jim Mosher ( jimmosher(c)yahoo.com ), 2210 Private Road, Newport Beach 92660 (949-548-6229) <br />Item 10. AB 1196 (Harper) and Contract with Don Schmitz and <br />Associates <br />Setting aside that the Coastal Commission vote on AB -1196 is misquoted in the staff report <br />(characteristic of the fog of misinformation that has surrounded this item, it was 9-3, not 8-3), it <br />is good to see the words "Port Master Plan" appear, for the first time ever, in a Newport Beach <br />agenda (albeit in the fine print). <br />That said, it should be clear this matter has been grossly mismanaged from start to present, <br />with a great many things being done completely backwards to the normal expectations, with <br />generally disastrous results. <br />Among other mistakes, the yet -to -be -produced matrix of options promised at the end of the staff <br />report is clearly something that should have been carefully reviewed by the Council before <br />embarking on this effort at all. <br />Of the recommendations offered, I favor "d" (abandoning the effort entirely for 2018) and <br />could support "b" (asking staff to report on other options), but am adamantly opposed to <br />"c" (continuina to Dav the comedv team of Schmitz and Henschel). <br />Indeed, I don't know why the City paid Schmitz anything to get a reaction from Coastal <br />Commission staff, since as their Director said on April 12, anyone on the City staff could have <br />simply called them. <br />Why the City Should Terminate its Involvement with Schmitz and Henschel <br />To expand on recommendation "c", in my opinion, the contract should have been terminated, <br />and a refund sought from Messrs. Schmitz and Henschel, the moment it became clear they had <br />not only led decision makers down the garden path to an unrealistic pipe dream, but materially <br />misled the City. <br />The most glaring public example of that came on March 27, when Mr. Schmitz was arguing for <br />the Council to award a $16,000 per month/$120,000 contract to himself (as Item 16 on the <br />Council agenda), and in response to Council comments that they did not want to push <br />something that would be opposed by the Coastal Commission, he said that although the <br />Commission itself might support, oppose or be agnostic about AB -1196, in view of the freeing <br />up of administrative resources "1 think it will be warmly received [by Coastal staff] ... And 1 will <br />make sure 1 keep you in the loop." <br />Subsequent testimony at the Coastal Commission's April 12 meeting indicated the <br />Commission's Legislative Analyst had conveyed Commission staff's opposition to AB -1196's <br />pre -cursor, AB -2464, and explained alternatives, to Assemblyman Harper's office and, at length, <br />to Mr. Henschel on February 22. And the Commission's Executive Director recalled letting "the <br />