Ryah Cooley

Hermosa council to keep E&B negotiations closed and not televised

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E & B Oil Hermosa Beach

E&B’s rendering of its proposed oil drilling site. Courtesy of E&B Natural Resources

The Hermosa Beach City Council Tuesday night looked at matters ranging from rising sea levels to negotiations with E&B Natural Resources, the company that seeking to drill for oil along the city’s coast.

NEGOTIATIONS WITH E&B

When the topic of the closed negotiations with E&B Natural Resources came up, council member Nannette Barragan made a motion that the negotiations for the development agreement be televised so the public could see what is happening during those meetings.  Since the motion was not put on the agenda ahead of time, it could not proceed. Barragan then made a motion to put the matter on the agenda for the next city council meeting.  The motion was shot down in a 3-2 vote, with Barragan and Mayor Pro Tem Peter Tucker dissenting, as they did at the March 11 meeting when it was originally decided that the negotiations would not be open to the public.

Council member Caroyln Petty defending the majority vote, saying that the closed sessions were necessary.

“You’re going to get the best deal when you can speak freely, without people looking over your shoulder,” Petty said.

COASTAL CONSERVANCY GRANT

The council unanimously voted to adopt a resolution which authorizes Hermosa Beach to enter into a grant agreement with the Coastal Conservancy. The city was selected in January to receive $100,000 from the Conservancy to conduct an assessment of underground infrastructure vulnerability due to a projected sea level rise associated with climate change.  Hermosa Beach and other cities along the coast from San Diego to Humboldt were chosen to take part in this project. The city was also chosen to receive another $100,000 grant from the California Coastal Commission’s Local Coastal Assistance Grant Program in January.

Geosyntec Consultants, an environmental consulting service group, will be paid $95,000 to conduct the assessment on the potential affects of the sea level rising.