Fireworks Stands, Stray Dogs, Garbage Rate Increases, and a City Council Agenda

The proposed changes haven’t sparked any discontent from the community, (City Manager) Ramirez said. Residents have been open to it. Livingston set to decide on utility fee hike, Mike North, Merced Sun Star, Tuesday March 19, 2013

"We have to do what we have to do, but I still want a little more explanation from the city," he (Mayor Pro Temp Gurpal Samra) said. Ibid

Our underground utilities are as old as the town–Public Works Director Humberto Molina, Utility Rate Stakeholders Committee Meeting, March 18, 2013 (copy of audio available upon request)

You also have to take into consideration the life span of the wells, the life span of the treatment plant, and space. You know we have had to purchase some property from some of our neighbors as we are adding filtration systems……..But we want to give you all the data because one way or the other, its quite a bit of money. City Manager Jose Ramirez Ibid

What I want is that the Stakeholders become aware of is what our system is today, what the study is going to propose, and what needs to happen altogether,….  to bring it, from wherever it is, to the standard it needs to be brought up to. Public Works Director Humberto Molina , Ibid

We are going to be giving you the information.  You will be determining if we stay Status Quo…..We are taking information that’s important and sharing it and making sure that more than one person knows about it…City Manager Jose Ramirez, Ibid

When we first started this…We knew that pipes had to be replaced..there’s three different sections..and we knew we had manganese in the water. We knew that needed to be addressed: can’t have brown water coming out of the pipes…. Then you talk about SCADA systems. Then you talk about Lift Stations….Where does the list stop. Richie King, Foster Farms, Member: Utility Rate Stakeholders Committee – Livingston, Ibid

You can only put maintenance off for so long before it catches up to you, Humberto Molina, Director of Public Works, Livingston Ibid

So..The City Manager says residents are open to the Rate Increases for Garbage Pick Up while Mayor Pro Temp Gurpal Samra wants MORE explanations from City Staff about why there is still a Deficit in the Sanitation Fund.

Interesting…more on that later. But First


Yep…There’s Strange and then there is Army Strange. Courtesy of Damon Shackelford: furious scribbler of military cartoons.

HamburgerFAMILY HAMBURGER NIGHT AT THE VFW…..Join us for the VFW Hamburger Night, March 28, 2013, 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.

MM900354413TAKE OUT DINNER!!!The Ladies Auxiliary and VFW will be having a Spanish Take Out Dinner on April 11, 2013. Presale tickets are $8.00 and $10.00 at the door.

The menu will be Mexican Casserole, Salad, Roll & Butter and Dessert. The dinner will be held at the Livingston Veterans Memorial Building, located at 1605 7th Street in Livingston.

For tickets or more information contact Denis (209) 394-2059 or Teresa (209-) 496-7310, or contact us through the contact page on our website,

Proceeds will go to support our local programs

MC900060176GIVE BLOOD, & RECEIVE A TICKET FOR A FREE MEAL FROM VFW 8327……Community Blood Drive to be held at the Livingston Veterans Memorial Hall, 1605 7th Street, Livingston, on April 18, 2013 from 3-7 pm.

Donate a pint of blood and receive a coupon meal hosted by the Livingston/Delhi Veterans of Foreign Wars and Ladies Auxiliary.

For more information call Denis Wells at 394-2059 or visit our Website at

Walk-ins are always welcome.

AT THE MARCH 05, 2013 CITY COUNCIL MEETING there were a few things that caught my attention.  The City Manager reported that the State Water board will be curtailing water flows by at least 35%. this will have an impact on groundwater quality due to additional pumping.

CHANGES TO THE ORDINANCE ALLOWING THE SALE AND USE OF “SAFE AND SANE” FIREWORKS was, again, on the Agenda.  Part of Page 3the discussion revolved around whether or not to limit Livingston High School to only 1 Fireworks Stand per year. There had been complaints that Livingston High School has been getting the lion’s share of Fireworks Stands over the years and if the High School was limited to only 1 of the available 5 annual permits, more non profit organizations would be able to “have a turn” at having a Fireworks Stand.

Another part of the discussion was about whether or not to allow the sales and use of “safe and sane” fireworks after July 4th, and what to do about “illegal/dangerous” fireworks. According to David Bates, Volunteer Fire Chief, the City should do what it can to limit the hazards created by fireworks use: limiting the sale and use of legal fireworks to June 28 through July 4th and stepping up the enforcement against the use of illegal fireworks.

The Council decided it was too late in the year to make any changes to the Fireworks Stand Rotation (see above), except for granting a slot for the July 4th Committee.

The decision about “who should get booths the next time around” was continued to a Some Time In The Future Council Meeting.

HOW MUCH SHOULD IT COST to license cats and dogs in the City of Livingston?

There have been repeated complaints at Council Meetings over the years about dogs running loose and either “doing their business” on other peoples’ yards or harassing people as they walk or jog. 

But dealing with “stray dogs running at large” isn’t cheap: It costs $75 per animal to send them to the pound and Livingston has already racked up well over $18,000 in Animal Control related costs in just the first 6 months of the Fiscal Year. (See Below.)

Page 3 Animal Control

It was suggested in the Staff Report, that dramatically raising Licensing Fees might help offset some of the costs the City is incurring for Animal Control.

However some members of the community who commented that night, said that if getting dogs licensed (and vaccinated against Rabies) and spayed/neutered (meaning fewer unwanted dogs/cats running at large) was really the reason for the Ordinance, then the City would be better off by keeping Licensing Fees low and raise the penalties on violations.

Council person Soria suggested that penalties for “Running at large ($150) and “Unlicensed" ($150) be waived if an “offending animal” was vaccinated and licensed within a set time period.

Final Action on this item was also continued  for Further Discussion at a Future Council Meeting.

OK. CALL ME CYNICAL BUT WHEN SOMEONE, ANYONE ON THE CITY COUNCIL ASKS “Why did the City end up with a Deficit in the Sanitation Fund despite recent improvements?”

ESPECIALLY someone who has either been on the council, or at Council Meetings FOR YEARS

It feels like one of those “Are.. You.. KIDDING.. me?” moments.

You mean to tell me that question wasn’t answered when you passed the Budget was last year????

Or during the Mid Year Budget Review that took place on March 5th of this year? Didn’t you read it? If you did, and you had questions, why didn’t you get them answered then????

Or how about during any Audit Report Presentations that have taken place over the last couple of years or so????

Or at all the Utility Rate Stakeholders Committee Meetings that have taken place since around mid 2011?

Or, even more specifically, at the Utility Rate Stakeholders Committee Meeting when the Consultants numbers were first presented?

After all, copies of the consultants calculations were made available to all the members of the Committee who were there. 

There was another meeting of the Utility Rate Stakeholders Committee Monday, March 18, 2013.

But I don’t remember any questions about the deficit.

Isn’t part of the reason for having TWO City Council Members assigned to the Utility Rate Stakeholders Committee is the opportunity to ask questions of staff and get those questions answered? Right there and then?

In a place where Administrative Staff, and Engineering Staff, and Consultants, etc are set to meet at a Specific Place and Time?

And where other members of the Utility Rate Stakeholders Committee can have access to the same information too?

And where interested members of the Public who go to these meetings can have access to the same information too at the same time as the Committee Members?

Am I missing something here?


One last thing…

There may be no “discontent” when it comes to Garbage Rate Increases this time around….but when it finally comes time to confront the growing list of “issues” with our Water & Waste Water Systems…

Well..What do you think?

And now on to the





MARCH 19, 2013



Notice is hereby given that the City Council and

Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency of the City of Livingston will hold a Regular Meeting on March 19, 2013, 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 6:00 p.m. The Closed Session will be held at the City Council Chambers located at 1416 C Street. The agenda shall be as follows: 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.

1. Call to Order.

2. Roll Call.

3. Successor Agency

Conference with Legal Counsel – Potential Litigation

[(Government Code Section 54956.9(d)(2)]

Number of Cases: 1

4. Conference with Legal Counsel – Potential Litigation

[(Government Code Section 54956.9(d)(2)]

Number of Cases: 3

5. Conference with Real Property Negotiator

(Government Code Section 54956.8)

APN Numbers 047-140-006 and 047-140-0017

Negotiating Parties: City Manager

6. Conference with Labor Negotiator

(Government Code Section 54957.6)

Labor Negotiator: City Manager Jose Antonio Ramirez

Employee Organizations: All Represented City Employees

Regular Meeting

CALL TO ORDER Next Resolution Number: 2013-8

Next Ordinance Number: 604

Pledge of Allegiance. Next Successor Agency

Resolution Number: 2013-3

Roll Call.

Closed Session Announcements

Changes to the Agenda.


1. Introduction by Police Chief Ruben Chavez of new Reserve Officers Javier Ramirez, Badge Number L20; Satveer Singh, Badge Number L21. Oaths of Office by City Clerk Tony Silva.



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



2. Resolution and Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Livingston Establishing Rates for Solid Waste Service Fees.


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 be 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.


Items on the Consent Calendar are considered routine or non-controversial and will be 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. Waive the Second Reading and Adopt Ordinance No. 600, of the City Council of the City of Livingston Amending Livingston Municipal Code (LMC) Section 5-4-2(J)(1) Relating to Front Yard Setback Fence Heights.

4. Waive the Second Reading and Adopt Ordinance No. 601, of the City Council of the City of Livingston Amending Livingston Municipal Code (LMC) Section 5-6-2(B) Pertaining to Amendment or Rezoning Initiation.

5. Waive the Second Reading and Adopt Ordinance No. 602, of the City Council of the City of Livingston Amending Livingston Municipal Code (LMC) Section 5-3-15: Table 2, Table 3, Table 4, and Adding Section 5-5-12, Cultivation of Annual Crops.

6. Resolution Supporting State of California Senate Bill 391, the California Homes and Jobs Act of 2013.

7. Resolution Opposing the State Water Resources Control Board Substitute Environmental Document Regarding Potential Changes to the Water Control Board Plan for the San Francisco – Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta.

8. Resolution for the Acceptance of the “CMAQ – Purchase Four (4) Replacement Heavy Duty Vehicles for Construction Activities,” and Authorizing the City Manager to Release Performance and Material Bonds to N&S Tractor Company, Merced, CA; Holt of California, Turlock, CA; and Mission Valley Ford, San Jose, CA.

9. Resolution Ratifying Appointments to the Parks and Recreation Commission.

10. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on February 5, 2013,

11. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on February 19, 2013.

12. Approval of Warrant Register Dated March 14, 2013.




Author: thegardeningsnail

Local Politics fanatic. Often spending hours researching the historical background to current issues; reading through City Council and Planning Commission Agenda Packets. Some people can spend hours playing online video games. I can spend hours looking up old newspaper articles online..... One of my favorites quotes is from the "Dune Saga"..."Belief can be manipulated. Knowledge is dangerous"

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