Avalon Council OKs new contract with sheriff

Avalon Sheriff's Station.

The Avalon City Council this week unanimously authorized the city manager to execute a law enforcement services contract with Los Angeles County.

The agreement was on the consent calendar, but was pulled for separate discussion.

Assistant City Manager Michael Parmer said the city had received no comments from the public prior to the meeting.

Resident Carl Johnson, speaking in person, said he wanted to hold the Sheriff’s Department responsible.

“I think we need to look at every contract that we have,” he said.

According to Johnson, the contract was not attached to the report.

He also raised concerns about the cost of reserve deputies.

Capt. John Hocking, commander of the Avalon Sheriff’s Station, said reserve deputies usually get paid $1 a year. According to Hocking, the city of Avalon pays for their boat rides, lodging and meals. The staff report by City Manager Denise Radde said the same thing.

Johnson, however, said the reserve deputies were not enforcing the city code.

Hocking argued that Avalon benefitted from having the deputies. “I’m not going to call them when I don’t need them,” he said.

Under the agreement, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department will provide service for the next fiscal year (2020-2021) for $1,488,032.70.

“LASD has 46 contract cities,” according to the staff report by City Manager Denise Radde.

“Of those cities, the city of Avalon receives a special ‘Catalina deputy’ rate for services. This special rate is an approximately $24,600 savings per deputy,” Radde wrote.

“The city contracts for five deputies resulting in a cumulative $123,000 savings over other cities,” Radde wrote.

According to the report, the contract offers Avalon the option of asking for additional deputies as needed. “The city does not pay these reserve deputies a salary, rather covers travel, hotel accommodations and reimbursements for meals,” Radde wrote.

“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 situation, the city has not utilized reserve deputies as much as in previous years,” she wrote.

“On April 15 the city of Avalon requested a deferment of law enforcement contract costs due to the financial crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but has not received a response to date,” she wrote.

“From FY 19-20 to FY 20-21 the total contract cost is slated to increase by approximately 6 percent, or $92,501.22,” Radde wrote.

In other news:

The City Council unanimously directed staff to continue with the ongoing Cabrillo Mole Ferry Terminal revitalization project.

Public Works Director Bob Greenlaw recommended continuing with the current construction project at the Cabrillo Mole Ferry Terminal in his staff report to the council.

“The Cabrillo Mole Ferry Terminal Revitalization Project (Mole Phase 1) is the first phase in a two phase project to revitalize and enhance the public facilities at the Cabrillo Mole Ferry Terminal (Mole),” Greenlaw wrote.

“The scope of the first phase is to rehabilitate the wharf portion of the Mole by reinforcing the existing concrete members and steel grates, repairing the existing concrete deck and railing, and the installation of pedestrian shade structures,” Greenlaw wrote.

“The second phase is a more robust effort to rehabilitate and transform the ferry terminal and floats into a complete multimodal transportation facility that will serve the community for the next 20 years and beyond,” Greenlaw wrote. (This was based on information provided to the council on June 2.)

Avalon Council OKs new contract with sheriff