FUTURE UNSURE FOR $13 BRUSH CLEARANCE FEE.Byline: Deborah Sullivan Daily News Staff Writer
Eager to avoid the firestorm fire·storm
1. A fire of great size and intensity that generates and is fed by strong inrushing winds from all sides: the firestorm that leveled Hiroshima after the atomic blast.
2. of outrage that followed the release of a brush-clearance inspection-fee notice this spring, the Mayor's Office is scrutinizing the revised letter and may waive To intentionally or voluntarily relinquish a known right or engage in conduct warranting an inference that a right has been surrendered.
For example, an individual is said to waive the right to bring a tort action when he or she renounces the remedy provided by law for such the fee altogether, the mayor's budget director, Steve Rubin, said Wednesday.
``The mayor's prime concern is that if and when the letter goes out, it's fair and equitable,'' Rubin said.
He said it was unclear when the new letter will be issued and added that it's possible the fee will not be required at all this year.
If the $13 assessment is suspended sus·pend
v. sus·pend·ed, sus·pend·ing, sus·pends
1. To bar for a period from a privilege, office, or position, usually as a punishment: suspend a student from school. for a year, he said, there are various ways the city might handle the thousands of fees that have already been paid.
``The fee could be refunded, (or) the fee could be applied to next year's brush fee,'' he said. ``Maybe some people would be willing to pay the fee, since the service has been provided. At this point, it's all hypothetical Hypothetical is an adjective, meaning of or pertaining to a hypothesis. See:
In another development Wednesday, the City Council voted unanimously to suspend a 200 percent penalty that was intended to apply to property owners who failed to make the fee payment on time. Due to the confusion surrounding the warning letter, as well as the still-undetermined time line for its reinstatement Reinstatement
The restoration of an insurance policy after it has lapsed for nonpayment of premiums. , the council decided to forego the late fees this year.
Officials from the Fire Department and other municipal offices met this week, and plan to meet again next week, to try to resolve those issues and decide how to proceed, Rubin said.
The original letter, mailed in April, raised an outcry among property owners who objected to its harsh language, confusing con·fuse
v. con·fused, con·fus·ing, con·fus·es
a. To cause to be unable to think with clarity or act with intelligence or understanding; throw off.
b. instructions and imposition of a $13 brush clearance inspection fee, which many felt was unfair or illegal.
The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association helped sponsor Proposition 13, the property tax-cutting initiative in California in 1978 which slashed property taxes by fifty-seven percent and initiated a national tax revolt. It was founded by California republican Howard Jarvis. has pledged to sue, claiming that the fee - assessed to cover the cost of brush clearance inspections - is actually a hidden tax and was imposed without voter approval as required by Proposition 218.
After the City Council suspended the fee, then restored it in May, the Fire Department reworked the letter with friendlier language and simplified instructions.
But Mayor Richard Riordan Richard J. Riordan (born May 1, 1930) is a Republican politician from California, U.S. who served as the California Secretary of Education from 2003–2005 and as Mayor of Los Angeles from 1993–2001. Riordan ran for Governor of California unsuccessfully in 2002. judged it unsatisfactory and called for additional revisions.
On Wednesday, Fire Department officials met with representatives of the Mayor's Office, City Attorney, Chief Legislative Analyst and City Administrative Officer to discuss the revisions demanded by Riordan.
``We want to be sure that when the letter goes out, it's fair and equitable to all residents to the city, that all the legal issues have been addressed, and that the language of the letter is clear, simple and understandable, and answers also the questions residents might have,'' Rubin said.
Rubin said the agencies are also evaluating who should receive the letter and are awaiting Fire Department review of the Mountain Fire District and Buffer Zones buffer zone
A neutral area between hostile or belligerent forces that serves to prevent conflict.
Noun 1. buffer zone to determine which of the 180,000 properties assessed the fee are actually at risk of brush fire and which should be removed from the fire zones.
Ana Cubas, an analyst with the Chief Legislative Analyst's Office, said city officials were also concerned about the implications of issuing the letter after the Fire Department has already inspected properties and issued notices of noncompliance noncompliance
failure of the owner to follow instructions, particularly in administering medication as prescribed; a cause of a less than expected response to treatment.
noncompliance to uncleared parcels.