Capitola gets proposal to sell City Hall


Appointed treasurer, McGregor Park, Nov. 9 run-walk on Thursday agenda

By Jondi Gumez

CAPITOLA >> A local development group has approached city officials with a proposal to buy 420 Capitola Ave., the property in Capitola Village where City Hall and the police station is located.

“We’ll take a look at the idea,” said city manager Jamie Goldstein, noting the city created a hazard mitigation plan after the police station was closed temporarily in 2011 due to village flooding caused by a pipe break. “It’s a big project.”

A closed session discussion with Moss Beach Associates, represented by land-use consultant Owen Lawlor of Santa Cruz, is scheduled for Thursday evening. Lawlor did not return a call seeking comment.

Among the questions to be answered are where would the offices relocate in the small, mostly built-out city and how would the financing work.

“There aren’t a ton of properties,” Goldstein said.

The City Council is expected to discuss at 7 p.m. Thursday whether to ask voters about changing the city treasurer’s position from elected to appointed. The deadline to place a measure on the November ballot is Aug. 8.

The treasurer, who is paid $250 a month, is expected to attend twice-a-month council meetings.

Only three of the five council members were on hand to discuss the possible change two weeks ago.

Councilwoman Stephanie Harlan said she didn’t see the value in the treasurer’s position but she didn’t want to go ahead with a ballot measure because of community opposition.

A survey found voters split on the issue. Of likely voters, 44 percent were opposed to the change and 41 percent were in favor.

Mayor Sam Storey wanted to wait for a recommendation by the city’s financial advisory committee.

That group advised against putting a measure on the ballot and offered to play a larger role in recruiting and vetting future candidates for treasurer.

City staff are leaving the decision to the council.

All seven bids for McGregor Park are for more than the $165,000 budgeted.

Public works director Steve Jesberg recommends accepting the low bid from Earthworks Paving of Capitola, which bid $171,362 plus $35,640 to do the skate park pad, and working to cut costs to include the skate park pad.

The high bidder, Don Chapin Co. of Salinas, bid $378,175 plus $66,440 for the skate park pad.

Tom Bradley of Lifestyle Escapes is seeking permission for a new event on the morning of Nov. 9, the Surfers Path 10K/5K run walk, which could draw 1,000 participants and require $2,172 in fees.

The proposed race course would be along Cliff Drive, Stockton Avenue, crossing Stockton Avenue Bridge and onto Esplanade Avenue. This would require posting these streets as no-parking zones 72 hours beforehand and closing Stockton Avenue, with all streets reopening by 11 a.m.

Police Chief Rudy Escalante said Capitola will have 12 general special events this year including the Monte fireworks Oct. 12, up from 10 last year, prompting concern by residents, business owners and city staff about “event fatigue.”

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