Merced council to review priorities

A study session on policy priorities will be held at 5:30 p.m. Monday by the Merced City Council. The regular council meeting will be at 7 p.m.

The study session and council meeting will be held in the council chamber on the second floor of the Merced Civic Center, 678 W. 18th St., according to a city of Merced news release.

Earlier this year, the council held two workshops to discuss policies and priorities for city staff. The council has been asked to review the results and establish what the priorities are for the next year.

The council will hear a report on the draft Bellevue Community Plan, which looks at how the area around Bellevue Road will be affected by growth at UC Merced and other nearby developments. The draft plan has been presented to other city commissions, and council members will have the opportunity to comment before the final version is presented later this year.

The council will consider a contract with the law firm of Liebert Cassidy Whitmore for assistance with negotiations with the city’s five labor unions. The contract is capped at $100,000.

Also, the council has been asked to extend the contract with Environmental Compliance Resources for three years to provide graffiti abatement services at a cost of $172,485 a year. The firm has worked with staff to track graffiti hot spots and develop a database that can be used to prosecute offenders, the release said.

A closed session will follow the study session to discuss possible litigation by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund over at-large elections to the council. Council has been asked to approve a resolution calling for a Nov. 4 ballot on the switch to district elections. Council will discuss labor negotiations during closed session.

City Council meetings are streamed live on the Internet. A link to the live meeting is on the city’s home page at The city will add the council video to YouTube for those unable to watch it live. These services are in addition to the live broadcast of the regular meeting on Comcast’s Government Channel 96.