Culver City Observer -

By Lynne Bronstein
Observer Reporter 

Council Approves New Committee Members


October 13, 2011

October is Disability Awareness Month, as declared by the City Council at its meeting Monday night. Appropriately, the Council and Redevelopment Agency, during an agenda item on appointments to boards, appointed two new members to the Disability Advisory Committee.

On June 23 the Council agreed to expand the membership of the Disability Advisory Committee from seven to nine members. Six applications were filed for the two additional seats.

Three of these applicants spoke in public comment during the agenda item. Two of the speakers, Chu Tang (Sean) Yee and Marci Sookne, received the endorsement of Disability Advisory Committee chair Dr. Jay Shery who noted that the two applicants came regularly to events relating to the disabled and had shown more than sufficient interest. Shery also commended the Council for adding the two seats.

Mayor Micheal O’ Leary nominated Yee and Marci for the seats and the Council/Agency followed suit, voting 5-0 in their favor.

Also appointed were Michael Hamill, to the Advisory Committee on Redevelopment, and Kyle Jones, to the Landlord-Tenant Mediation Board.

The two appointees to the Disability Committee and the appointee to the Redevelopment Committee will serve four-year terms expiring on June 30, 2015. The appointee to the Landlord Tenant Board will serve a three-year term expiring on June 30, 2014.

Prior to the appointments, the Council gave out five commendations, four of which involved disabilities.

In addition to the proclamation of Disability Awareness Month, the Council honored the Culver City Branch of the State of California Department of Rehabilitation and gave commendations to David Bunker, founder of My Life Foundation, and to Michelle Christie-Adams, founder of No Limits, a theatre group for deaf and hard-of-hearing children.

Christie-Adams accepted her commendation flanked by two of her former students, John and Ivy. She spoke of how the theatre program helped these two students and the students also praised the program for helping them to gain self-confidence.

A commendation was also presented to Mercedes Paz for her work with the Cultural Affairs Foundation. Paz said she was “humbled” by the commendation and told of how her Bolivian-born father had worked at MGM Studios in Culver City, building movie sets. Paz had asked her father’s spirit to guide her to a place to live and work where she would be happy and that, she said, was how she came to Culver City where she worked steadily to make sure that the arts were an important part of life here.

More prosaically, the Council adopted a resolution of intention to approve a contract amendment between the Public Employee’s Retirement System (PERS) and the city of Culver City. The amendment will implement a two percent at 60 and three-year final compensation for new hires in the local miscellaneous plan (Culver City Management Group and Culver City Employees’ Association).

Although public employee retirement compensation has been the subject of some public debate, the Council made it clear that this amendment concerns new hires only and will not affect current employees of the City including the City Council and Agency members.

With this caveat, the Council approved the amendment after brief discussion.


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