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Council agenda covers priority setting, Downtown benches

Mike Conway

Post Date:03/02/2018

Priority setting, Downtown benches on agenda  

Setting priorities for the coming year and Downtown benches are on the Merced City Council agenda Monday night.

The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers on the second floor of the Merced Civic Center, (City Hall), 678 W. 18th St. The Council meets the first and third Mondays of the month, except when there is a holiday, when it will meet the following day.

Every year the City holds Town Hall meetings to listen to residents' concerns and gather ideas for the budget. The City Council also shares its ideas on the needs of the City during the budget process.

Monday night staff will present a summary of the Town Hall meetings and seek the Council's priorities. The public also has an opportunity to provide additional budget suggestions during the priority session. Council will be asked what it would like staff to incorporate into the budget development process.

Benches in Bob Hart Square were removed in 2014 after merchants and property owners said they were being used by people who bathed in the fountain, sat nude and harassed patrons of nearby businesses.

After a speaker at a Town Hall meeting asked for the benches to be brought back, Council asked for a report from staff giving a history on the benches.

Also on the agenda is a request for Council direction on the future police headquarters building site. The City purchased the former Sun-Star building on G Street and is seeking permission to move forward with architectural services.

The Council will meet in closed session at 5 p.m. to confer with labor negotiators, and discuss anticipated litigation.

City Council meetings are streamed live on the Internet. A link to the live meeting is on the City's web site at Videos of previous meetings can be found at that link, and are tied to each agenda item. Those services are in addition to the live broadcast of the regular meeting on Comcast's Government Channel 96.

The Council agenda is posted online at and is available outside the chambers prior to the meeting. Request to Speak forms are available at the meeting or can be downloaded from the City's website. Cards must be turned in to the City Clerk in order for a person to be recognized by the Council.

Hmong and Spanish translators are available at all Council meetings.

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