Licenses, Fees, Consultants and Public Relations, (and a City Council Agenda)

“The fees range from $30 for some smaller cities with only a couple of retailers to $665, with the majority of fees between $200 – $350.  Enforcement and compliance checks for these ordinances are handled by a variety of different agencies including the police department, sheriff’s department, public health department, code enforcement and others.” – The Center for Tobacco Policy and Organizing

Yeh, Yeh, Yeh, I know. It’s supposed to be “just” a presentation. But Presentations sometimes end up as Discussion and Potential Action Items, which morph into Public Hearings, and eventually grow up to be Ordinances.

More on this on a little later. But first…it’s been a little while since we’ve peeked into Delta Bravo Sierra land

 

1 This Could Turn Out to Be the Least of His Worries2 I've Heard of Pick-Up Lines But3 Just Keep Digging Lucky4 Finally - Something Original

Where is this heading? Not necessarily where you might think. After all, There’s strange, than there is “Army Strange” out there in Delta Bravo Sierra Land: courtesy of Damon Shackelford: furious scribbler of military cartoons.

Family Hamburger Night at the VFW

HamburgerJoin us for the VFW Hamburger Night, April 26, 2012, from 5-7 pm at the Livingston Veterans Memorial Building, 1605 7th Street, in Livingston. The public is invited, and you do not have to be a member to attend.

You will be able to enjoy hamburgers, cheeseburgers, fish sandwiches, chicken sandwiches, hot dogs and chili. The sandwiches include your choice of homemade salads. Price ranges from $2.00 to 4.00 per meal. All proceeds go to help support our community programs.

Livingston/Delhi VFW Breakfast in April

pancakesThe Livingston/Delhi Veterans of Foreign Wars and Ladies Auxiliary Breakfast will be served on April 29, 2012, at the Livingston Veterans Memorial Hall, located at 1605 7th Street, in Livingston.

Adults can eat for $7.00, and the children under 12 for eat for $5.00. Breakfast consists of Pancakes, French Toast or Biscuits and Gravy; served with Eggs cooked to order, Hash Browns, Sausage or Ham and Coffee and Juice. Breakfast will be served from 8 am to 12 pm.

If you need more information on the Breakfast, Family Hamburger Night, or if you would like to become a member of the Post or Auxiliary, contact Denis or Sue Wells at (209) 394-2059.

There’s Still Time to Help Give the Lil Guys and Gals and even better place to play!

clip_image004[5]In 2006 the city purchased the storm drain basin (4 lots) next to the park and filled it in with the intent of making it a park to service the ball park participants and their families. Since then, Lil Guys and Gals field has been a ball park used for many years by the residents of Livingston…By purchasing a stepping stone the community not only provides the financing for the park, but in turn places a personal monument in the park for years to come.

Stones will be sold until there are enough sales to cover the completion of the park. The Commission’s goal is Summer of 2012.

If you are interested in creating a Memorial Stone and/or participating in one of the many work days that will take place to upgrade the park, call the Recreation Office at 394-8830 for more information.

Are there more Licensing Fees in Livingston’s Future?

On This Tuesday’s Agenda there will be a Presentation about Adopting a Retail Licensing Policy for Tobacco Sales. There was nothing in the Online Agenda Packet about this Item.  So, I did a little research online and found an article about Tobacco Retail Licensing (which can be found by CLICKING HERE.)

According to the Article

In order to reduce illegal sales of tobacco products to minors, many cities and counties in California have adopted strong local tobacco retailer licensing ordinances

And

The fees range from $30 for some smaller cities with only a couple of retailers to $665, with the majority of fees between $200 – $350.

Don’t get me wrong here. I am not saying that people shouldn’t be concerned about the use of Tobacco by Minors. But what I am saying is, Isn’t the Tobacco Industry already heavily regulated and taxed?

The State + Federal tax on a pack of cigarettes is already around $1.88. Right?

(Um..weren’t these high taxes supposed to “help” discourage smoking in general. And wasn’t some of that tax money supposed to go towards programs and such to discouraging minors from smoking? Is it too politically incorrect to ask where that money actually goes?)

And don’t forget about Proposition 29……

If Proposition 29 is approved by California’s voters, the tax on cigarettes in the state will increase by $1.00 per pack. California’s current cigarette tax is 87 cents per pack. The total tax per pack of cigarettes, if Proposition 29 passes, will be $1.87/pack. The additional tax revenue will be used to fund cancer research, smoking reduction programs, and tobacco law enforcement with 3% (approximately $ 23 million annually) (going) to tobacco law enforcement "to support law enforcement efforts to reduce cigarette smuggling, tobacco tax evasion, and counterfeit tobacco products, to reduce illegal sales of tobacco products to minors, and to enforce legal settlement provisions and conduct law enforcement training and technical assistance activities for tobacco related statues". (emphasis mine) - California Proposition 29, Tobacco Tax for Cancer Research Act (June 2012), Ballotpedia

Don’t we have local businesses in town who are already struggling to keep their doors open while paying for the Permits and Licenses they have to get already?

So… do we do we really need yet another fee paid by Local Business People?

And it Looks Like The Next Prop 218 Hearing will feature both a Rate Study Consultant and a Public Relations Firm

Hansfore and GoodStandingStaff Report, Agenda Item # 3. Resolution Awarding a Professional Services Contract to Provide Water, Wastewater and Solid Waste Utility Rate Studies, Community Outreach and Proposition 218 Balloting Services to Hansford Economic Consulting (HEC) Truckee, California and Authorizing the City Manager to Execute the Agreement.

During the Rate Study Consultant selection process, one of the issues the Utility Rate Stakeholders Committee discussed was how to "translate" complex Regulatory and Engineering terminology, into terms the general population could relate to.

It’s one thing to “crunch the numbers” and come out with Rate Scenarios. It’s quite another to explain the “why” behind the numbers. It’s been my observation that even some the best and brightest in the "technical trades" have a really hard time dealing with the Language Barrier between themselves and those who do not speak the same "technical language" they do.

One option being considered by the Utility Rate Stakeholder’s Committee is to  hire a Public Relations Firm which has expertise in translating "Regulatory/Engineering geek speak" and jargon into Everyday Language .

But that would have it’s own share of objections to overcome.

Most people do not like to feel they are being "sold a bill of goods". And after having been told during the Run Up to the Recall, that the prior rate increases were "unwarranted and unnecessary", they may not be inclined to accept any Rate Increase they perceive as still "too high" and might resent what they would see as the "intrusion" of a Public Relations Firm trying to "fool them" into thinking otherwise.

If the use of a Public Relations Firm is really necessary this time around, I would hope it could do some of the initial "translation" and preparation of materials for the Public.

Then have the 2 Educators, 2 Business Persons, 1 Former Council person/Planning, Commissioner, and 1 Newcomer to Livingston actually participate in the Presentations to the Public.

After all, if they are competent enough to be on the Committee and recommend which Consultants to hire. They should be equally able to stand before the Public to help explain the results.

And now on to the

CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING AGENDA

APRIL 17, 2012

CLOSED SESSION: 5:30 P.M.

OPEN SESSION: 7:00 P.M.

Notice is hereby given that the City Council will hold a Regular Meeting on April 17, 2012, at the City Council Chambers, 1416 C Street, Livingston, California. Persons with disabilities who may need assistance should contact the Deputy City Clerk at least 24 hours prior to this meeting at (209) 394-8041, Ext. 121. Any writings or documents pertaining to an Open Session item provided to a majority of the members of the legislative body less than 72 hours prior to the meeting shall be made available for public inspection at Livingston City Hall, 1416 C Street. The Open Session will begin at 7:00 p.m.

The Closed Session will be held in accordance with state law prior to the Open Session beginning at 5:30 p.m. The Closed Session will be held in the City of Livingston City Hall Conference Room located at 1416 C Street. The agenda shall be as follows:

Closed Session

1. Call to Order.

2. Roll Call.

CLOSED SESSION

A "Closed" or "Executive" Session of the City Council or the Livingston Redevelopment Agency may be held in accordance with state law which may include, but is not limited to, the following types of items: personnel matters, labor negotiations, security matters, providing instructions to real property negotiators, conference with legal counsel regarding pending litigation. The Closed Session will be held in the City Hall Conference Room located at 1416 C Street, Livingston, California. Any public comment on Closed Session items will be taken before the Closed Session. Any required announcements or discussion of Closed Session items or actions.following the Closed Session will be made in the City Council Chambers, 1416 C Street, Livingston, California.

3. Public Employee Performance Evaluation

(Government Code Section 54957)

Title: City Attorney

4. Public Employee Performance Evaluation

(Government Code Section 54957

Title: City Manager

5. Conference with Legal Counsel-Potential Litigation

[(Government Code Section 54956.9(b)(1)]

Number of Cases: I

6. Conference with Labor Negotiator

(Government Code Section 54957.6)

Agency Negotiator: City Manager Jose Antonio Ramirez

Employee Organizations: All Represented City Employees

Regular Meeting


CALL TO ORDER Next Resolution Number: 2012-30

Next Ordinance Number: 600

Pledge of Allegiance.

Roll Call.

Closed Session Announcements.

Changes to the Agenda.

AWARDS, PRESENTATIONS, APPOINTMENTS AND PROCLAMATIONS

1. Presentation by Justin Surratt, Schneider Electric Company, "Energy Saving Partnership."

2. Presentation by Ritem Sandhu, Outreach Specialist, California Health Collaborative, Merced County Tobacco Control Program, "Tobacco Sales to Minors in Efforts for the City of Livingston to adopt a Tobacco Retail Licensing Policy."

GRANT ANNOUNCEMENTS

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REPORTS

Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements and Reports. City Staff Announcements and Reports.

City Manager Announcements and Reports.

City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports.

Mayor’s Announcements and Reports.


PUBLIC HEARINGS

CITIZEN COMMENTS

This section of the agenda allows members of the public to address the City Council on any item NOT otherwise on the agenda. Members of the public, when recognized by the Mayor, should come forward to the lectern, and identify themselves. Comments are normally limited to three (3) minutes. In accordance with State Open Meeting Laws, no action will he taken by the City Council this evening. For items which are on the agenda this evening members of the public will be provided an opportunity to address the City Council as each item is brought up for discussion.

CONSENT CALENDAR

Items on the Consent Calendar are considered routine or non-controversial and will he enacted by one vote, unless separate action is requested by the City Manager or City Council Member. There will be no separate discussion of these items unless members of the City Council or City Manager request that specific items be removed.

3. Resolution Awarding a Professional Services Contract to Provide Water, Wastewater and Solid Waste Utility Rate Studies, Community Outreach and Proposition 218 Balloting Services to Hansford Economic Consulting (HEC) Truckee, California and Authorizing the City Manager to Execute the Agreement.

4. Resolution Ratifying Appointments by the Mayor to the Oversight Board for the Former Livingston Redevelopment Agency.

5. Resolution Approving the Designation of the Official Representative and Alternate Representative to the PACE JPA Board of Directors.

6. Resolution Supporting Camp Green Meadows Outdoor School’s Summer Camp.

7. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on March 6, 2012.

8. Approval of Warrant Register Dated April 12, 2012.

DISCUSSION AND POTENTIAL ACTION ITEMS

9. Continuation of Closed Session if Necessary.

ADJOURNMENT

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