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This week at City Hall: Oct. 5

City Council considers the allocation of COVID-19 relief funds and the mayor is named in formal complaint along with several councilmembers.

A photo of the entrance to Riverside City Hall.
City Hall in Downtown Riverside

City Council Meeting

Item 11: American Rescue Plan Act Funding

The council will consider the expenditure plan for funds from the American Rescue Plan Act, a $350 billion COVID-19 relief fund being allocated to eligible state, local, territorial and Tribal governments. Riverside was given $36,767,594 million in funding from the federal act.

The city will potentially divide the funds into six different categories, the largest portion being over $12 million each for “Negative Economic Impacts” and “Services to Disproportionately Impacted Communities.”

Item 20: Potential Approval of Phase 1 of the General Plan

City Council will move to adopt Phase 1 of its General Plan to comply with California’s Regional Housing Needs Assessment’s (RHNA) 2021-2029 Housing Element Cycle. At Tuesday’s meeting Riversiders’ will have a last chance to provide an opinion on the matter before the potential initiation of Phase 1. For more information read the Gazette’s earlier report here.

Item 23: Establishing Legal Council Budget for Board of Ethics

The council will be look to establish an outside legal counsel budget for the Board of Ethics. This would only occur at the discretion of the board if they chose not to use the City Attorney’s council.

If passed, it would require at least five affirmative votes from the Board of Ethics and appropriate the necessary funds in the amount of $100,000.

Item 27: Potential Procedure Negotiation of Code Enforcement Fines

This memorandum will look to approve the negotiation and reduction of code enforcement fines and execution of rehabilitation agreements. The fines occur in instances such like vacant or neglected properties.

If passed, this would authorize the the city’s community and economic director to negotiate and reduce up to $25,000 of outstanding code enforcement fines per parcel. It would also do the same for the city manager, but up to $50,000 per parcel. If one were to pursue more than a $50,000 reduction, it would require City Council and city manager approval or the memorandum designee would  execute all said agreements.

Special Ethics Hearing

A resident of Desert Hot Springs has filed an official complaint claiming that particular elected officials, “worked actively to cancel a rally that was to be held at the Riverside City Convention Center on Saturday, July 17, 2021, hosted by U.S. Representatives Matt Gaetz and Marjory Taylor-Green..actions we believe were unlawful.”

The complaint is against Councilmembers Ronaldo Fierro, Clarissa Cervantes and Gaby Plascencia, as well as Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson. A special hearing panel will take place this Thursday, Oct. 7, at 6:30 p.m.