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Council extends consultant's contract

Costa Mesa officials also take next step in finding a replacement for the defunct Tower Records building off Newport Boulevard, 17th Street.

February 08, 2012|By Joseph Serna

The Costa Mesa City Council this week extended a consultant's contract to continue managing multiple city projects for a total cost of $230,000 for 16 months of work.

Tamara Letourneau, a senior manager with Irvine-based Management Partners, was retained in March to help the council restructure the city.

Letourneau helped City Hall reduce the size and change the structure of the Police Department. Now, she is working on a review of workers' compensation processes and working with outsourcing committees ahead of putting out city jobs for bidding.


FOR THE RECORD:
An earlier version did not make it clear that Tamara Letournea is no longer a city department head and instead only oversees multiple city projects.

"As the second phase of outsourcing evaluations begin, her presence is critical to ensure this process proceeds according to administrative regulations and objectivity," according to a city staff report given to the council.

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Letourneau was paid through a $25,000 Management Partners contract from March to May of last year to help restructure the Police Department.

After Administrative Services Director Steve Mandoki left that April, Letourneau filled in at $120 an hour, 30 hours a week, with a contract not to exceed $120,000.

That money will run out this month, so the council on Tuesday approved another $85,000 to last through June, this time at a rate of $124 an hour, which brings the total city cost since March to $230,000.

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Tower Records site

In other action, the council took a step toward finding a replacement for the defunct Tower Records building that's been an eyesore off Newport Boulevard and 17th Street.

The council gave Walgreens the green light to continue planning a new 14,310-square-foot store at the location, which has been vacant for five years.

The company had to get approval from the council to move forward because the proposed building violates existing guidelines on a ratio for building size to property size.

More than 4,000 of that square footage will be in the store's basement, company officials pointed out, which puts the surface-level coverage to about 9,990 square feet — smaller than the Tower Records that was there before.

City officials said Walgreens will likely get more business than the record store did, so there are a lot of studies and planning to do before anyone breaks ground on the lot.

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