6 Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on August 18, 2015.

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Meeting Date: October 20, 2014

MEETING MINUTES

CLOSED SESSION/REGULAR MEETING

LIVINGSTON CITY COUNCIL

AUGUST 18, 2015

A Closed Session/Regular Meeting of the Livingston City Council was held on August 18, 2015, in the City Council Chambers with Mayor Espinoza presiding.

CALL TO ORDER

Mayor Espinoza called the meeting to order at 6:05 p.m.

ROLL CALL

Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza

Mayor Pro-Tem Gurpal Samra

Council Member Jim Soria

Council Member Arturo Sicairos

Council Member Alex McCabe

Mayor Espinoza opened and subsequently closed Citizen Comments at 6:07 p.m. as there were no comments from the audience.

CLOSED SESSION

Mayor Espinoza opened the meeting for public comments at 6:08 p.m. There were no comments and the Council went into Closed Session immediately thereafter to discuss the following matters:

1. Conference with Legal Counsel – Potential Litigation

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

Number of Cases: 1

2. Conference with Labor Negotiator

(Government Code Section 54957.6)

Labor Negotiator: Interim City Manager Odi Ortiz

Employee Organizations: All Represented and

Unrepresented City Employees

REGULAR MEETING

Mayor Espinoza called the meeting to order at 7:06 p.m.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

The pledge of allegiance to the flag was recited.

ROLL CALL

Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza

Mayor Pro-Tem Gurpal Samra

Council Member Jim Soria

Council Member Arturo Sicairos

Council Member Alex McCabe

CLOSED SESSION ANNOUNCEMENTS

No reportable action was taken.

CHANGES TO THE AGENDA

None.

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REPORTS

Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements and Reports.

None.

City Staff Announcements and Reports.

Police Chief Chavez gave a PowerPoint presentation regarding burglary statistics and vandalism. In addition, he talked about National Night Out and some of the activities and information that the Police Department provided for the community. He also talked about the Police Explorers recent detail in Northern California.

Council Member Soria commended the Police Department for their hard work.

Mayor Espinoza asked how many Explorers attended the detail.

Police Chief Chavez replied that thirty-five explorers participated at that event.

Recreation Superintendent Benoit provided an update regarding the Sweet Potato Festival. She distributed Festival T-shirt Sponsor Forms and announced that additional forms will be available at City Hall. In addition, she mentioned that vendor spots are still available for the festival.

Interim City Manager Ortiz announced that discounted carnival tickets are also available at City Hall.

City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports.

Council Member McCabe announced that he is working with PG&E and MID to implement water reduction technology to Livingston residents. Said technology includes, low-flush toilets, efficient water nozzles, and drought tolerant landscape.

Council Member Sicairos thanked City employees for their hard work. In addition, he implored parents to be careful when driving their children to school.

Council Member Soria announced that school and football season is starting again. He encourages the community to support students and student athletics.

City Manager Announcements and Reports

Interim City Manager Ortiz reported that the City is currently being audited. He expects the audit to be complete sometime in September. In addition, Interim City Manager Ortiz mentioned that he met with the State Water Board to discuss the challenges with Foster Farms trying to reduce water consumption without affecting production and employment.

City Attorney Sanchez added that there are alternative options for cities like Livingston that have one user consuming a large portion of water.

Mayor’s Announcements and Reports.

Mayor Espinoza implored the community to be careful when driving children to school. Moreover, he suggested that the City should apply for Safe Routes to School Grants to repair the sidewalks close to the high school and middle school. In other matters, he expects more commercial development by Winton Parkway.

City Attorney Sanchez mentioned that a private firm will be responsible for doing CEQA along Winton Parkway to allow for further development.

CITIZEN COMMENTS

Mayor Espinoza opened Citizen Comments at 7:25 p.m.

Luis Flores, 707 Almondwood Drive, asked if the City can widen the road on the bridge on Winton Parkway to allow for an additional lane. This additional lane would alleviate congestion and prevent traffic from backing-up into the intersection south of the overpass.

City Engineer Gouveia replied that Caltrans may support widening the road at this location, but it may require the City to pay for the project.

Katherine Schell-Rodriguez, P.O. Box 163, announced that the contract for the Public Works Director was cancelled in July. She asked if there are any advertisements for the position and if there have been any other staffing changes in this department. She also asked if the budget can be posted on the City’s website and if there will be a General Plan Update soon.

Mayor Espinoza mentioned that the City is interested in updating the General Plan, but may not have the funds to do so.

Interim City Manager Ortiz replied that updating the General Plan costs approximately five-hundred thousand dollars. In regards to the Public Works Department, personnel changes should not be discussed at this moment. Moreover, the City’s budget may be posted on the City’s website by mid-September.

Mayor Espinoza closed Citizen Comments at 7:40 p.m., as there were no further comments from the public.

CONSENT CALENDAR

1. Resolution No. 2015-47 Adopting Merced County Multi-Jurisdictional Local Hazard Mitigation.

2. Council Authorize Staff to Purchase Portable Radios and Accessories Utilizing 2015 State Homeland Security Grant Program.

3. Proclamation – Childhood Cancer Awareness Month – September 2015.

4. Approval of Warrant Register Dated August 12, 2015.

Motion: M/S Samra/Sicairos to approve the Consent Calendar. The motion carried 5-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Sicairos, McCabe, Soria, Samra, Espinoza

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: None

DISCUSSION AND POTENTIAL ACTION ITEMS

5. Downtown Beautification Project/Street Improvements.

City Engineer Gouveia introduced this item. He discussed several aspects of this project such as, sidewalk repairs, installing mid-block crosswalks, creating angled parking/parallel parking spaces, stamped concrete, a roundabout, new drought tolerant trees, accent lighting, and resurfacing the roads.

Council Member McCabe announced that there are organizations that could provide the City with full grown trees.

Council Member Soria asked about the start date and completion date for this project.

City Engineer Gouveia replied that construction may start around November or December and the project should be completed within three months.

Mayor Espinoza opened Public Comments at 8:15 p.m.

Luis Flores, 707 Almondwood Drive, asked if bike lanes could be added to the road.

City Engineer Gouveia replied that there is not enough space on Main Street for bike lanes.

Katherine Schell-Rodriguez, P.O. Box 163, asked if there will be a net gain or net loss on public parking spaces in the downtown and if businesses will be notified prior to construction. She also asked if the project will interfere with the City’s annual Christmas Parade.

City Engineer Gouveia replied that more parking spaces will be added to Main Street and that the City’s Christmas Parade can still happen, but will require barricades along the construction site. Downtown merchants will be notified prior to construction.

David Blevins, 1109 Fourth Street, asked if action will be taken on this item without a public hearing.

City Attorney Sanchez replied that tonight’s meeting could serve as an un-noticed public hearing.

Mayor Espinoza closed Public Comments at 8:34 p.m., as there were no further comments from the public.

Council Member McCabe suggested having a public forum for downtown businesses before moving forward with the downtown improvement plans.

Council Member Soria mentioned that this item could be tabled to the next City Council meeting after downtown businesses have been notified.

Motion: M/S Soria/McCabe to table this item until the next regularly scheduled City Council meeting and have staff notify businesses along the project area. The motion carried 5-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Sicairos, McCabe, Soria, Samra, Espinoza

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: None

6. Discussion and Possible Direction Regarding Calls for Police Services outside the City Limits.

Mayor Espinoza introduced this item.

Police Chief Chavez discussed some of the challenges of expanding police services to County jurisdictions. Those challenges include scarcity of resources and added liability.

Council Member Soria announced that City police already assist the County during violent crimes.

Mayor Espinoza opened Public Comments at 9:00 p.m.

Katherine Schell-Rodriguez, P.O. Box 163, announced that there may be issues with County residents calling the City’s Police Department for non-emergencies.

Mayor Espinoza closed Public Comments at 9:12 p.m., as there were no further comments from the public.

Mayor Pro-Tem Samra announced that the City’s insurance may not cover police officers beyond the City limits.

No direction was given by the City Council.

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 9:19 p.m.

_______________________________

City Clerk of the City of Livingston

APPROVED: October 20, 2015

____________________________

Mayor or Mayor ProTempore

The written meeting minutes reflect a summary of specific actions taken by the City Council. They do not necessarily reflect all of the comments or dialogue leading up to the action. All meetings are digitally recorded and are an official record of the meeting’s proceedings. Digitally recorded verbatim minutes are available, upon request, and may be obtained at Livingston City Hall.