2 Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on April 05, 2016.

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Meeting Date; May 17, 2016




APRIL 5, 2016

A Regular Meeting of the Livingston City Council was held on April 5, 2016, in the City Council Chambers with Mayor Pro-Tem. Gurpal Samra presiding.


Mayor Pro-Tem. Samra called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.


The pledge of allegiance to the flag was recited.


Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza (Excused)

Mayor Pro-Tem Gurpal Samra

Council Member Jim Soria

Council Member Arturo Sicairos (Excused)

Council Member Alex McCabe


· Tabled Item 15 to a future meeting.

· Moved Item 16 before Consent Calendar.


1. Slide Show Presentation by Representatives of the Modesto Chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby in Favor of the Passage of the Revenue-Neutral Carbon Fee and Dividend Legislation.

Jody Strait, Joseph Straut, Jerry Jackman, Alexandra Valicco, and other representatives of the Modesto Chapter of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby spoke in favor of a Revenue-Neutral Carbon Fee and Dividend legislation. This fee increases the cost of fossil fuels, but then returns the fee to American households as a dividend and, therefore, favors a national shift to non-greenhouse gas emitting renewable energy sources.

On February 2, 2016, the City of Modesto passed a Resolution in favor of this legislation and they request the City of Livingston also pass a Resolution. The Resolution will be asking Representative Jim Costa to work with Representative Jeff Denham to pass this legislation on a National level.

The slide show presentation conveyed the following:

· Climate changes are increasingly evident.

· Global temperature is rising. Extreme weather events are more common.

· Climate changing doesn’t allow wild species to adapt.

· Oceans are becoming more acidic as they absorb CO2. This harms shellfish and the food chain.

· Snowpack is disappearing.

· Climate change also has negative effects on farming, especially water availability.

· Water holding facilities that will replace our frozen Sierra reservoir are prohibitively expensive.

· The Central Valley has some of the worse air quality in the Nation.

Mayor Pro-Tem. Samra said he recognizes something is going on with the climate, but he has always been leery of people offering “shiny beads”. When they say citizens will be getting checks in the mail in the form of a rebate that cost is being passed onto the consumer. California is already doing the carbon trade. If the Revenue-Neutral Carbon fee goes through, it would add to what California is already doing. He cannot see where the fair share is. Inevitably, it is going to affect the poor people more than the rich. There are going to be some families that will not be able to afford it.

A representative of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby said they are only asking Council to support the principle and not to be responsible for what Congress does. He added they use the REMI group, Regional Economic Modeling, Inc., which is a premier modeling, non-partisan. It is not going to cost more for working people because they will get a monthly check of $300. It is true that they will be paying more in commodities if it’s based on fossil fuels – maybe about $200 a month. The $300 monthly rebate check minus the $200 is $100 extra cash in their pocket book for those that are lower income (approximately 80%). This is good for the economy because they are spending that money locally, so this will be a win-win situation if enacted as stated.

Jody Strait explained the reason it benefits poor people more is because 2/3 of the choices anyone makes for the climate are actually in the products that they buy. It is implied that people who make less generally consume less. They do account for the fact that it will be passed onto the consumer, but because poor people consume less, their check proportionally is more compared to what they are spending.

Mayor Pro-Tem. Samra opened for public comment at 7:33 p.m.

Katherine Schell Rodriguez, P.O. Box 163, Livingston

· She is a sub-teacher by trade and she has been to campuses where the entire student population was on the free or reduced lunch program due to the low income levels of the population around the school. With that in mind, if you look around the room, you see the results of a multitude of products that are petroleum or carbon based. All of these products will go up, which means a poor person will pay more on a monthly basis than the $300 a month check they are going to get.

· Asked if this $300 a month check is per person or per family.

· Asked if people will have to apply for it or how will people get their name on the list.

· Asked how much of these fees they are collecting is going to go towards administering the program.

· Asked if there are income guidelines to see how much of a rebate a person qualifies for.

Citizens’ Climate Lobby Representative said there will be no means test. Every adult will be counted as one in the household and each child as one-half, up to two children. That is the basis of the roughly $300. It is true that many of the products we buy are petroleum based. The point is that as the carbon fee is increased progressively, that will shift the incentives away from buying petroleum based products.

It will take less than ½% in administrative costs. It is a simple quest of an electronic cash transfer. If a person is receiving social security or is already on public assistance, the records are already there, so it will be relatively easy. This would be every month and for every family.

Jody Strait added that REMI accounts for the fact that in everything we buy, fossil fuels is currently playing some kind of role.

Mayor Pro-Tem. Samra stated Council will direct Interim City Manager Ortiz to put this item on the Agenda for further discussion at a future Council meetings.

2. Presentation: Members of the 4th of July Committee – Update on Current Plans for 4th of July 2016 Celebration.

Chairman Julio Valadez and Treasurer Maria Baptista introduced the Livingston 4th of July Committee members and stated that Council Member Alex McCabe is the Committee’s Council Liaison.

Chairman Valadez gave Council and update on all their fundraisers, 2015 event/proceeds, and 2016 plans.

Past Fundraisers:

· Fill the Hat

· Downtown Market

· Loteria, Ticket Sales

· Car Raffle

· Casino Trips

· Cinco de Mayo Event

· 5k Zombie Run

· 4th of July Festival

Upcoming Fundraisers:

· Cinco de Mayo Car Parade/Show and Concert on Sunday, May 8, 2016.

2015 Event/Proceeds:

Total proceeds were $16,000 of which $10,000 was donated to the Central Valley Honor Flight and the balance of $6,000 will be used for this year’s event.

Plans for the 2016 July Festival and Fireworks Show:

· Entertainment (various groups) $60,000

· Fireworks Show $25,000

· Fencing, Security, etc. $20,000

This year the 4th of July Committee partnered with the Carlos Vieira Foundation. The Carlos Vieira Foundation is an organization that really gives back to the community. They will fund most of the event and provide staff support prior to and at the event. Most of the 2016 proceeds will benefit the Carlos Vieira Foundation. The Committee will also donate to the Livingston-Delhi VFW and will contribute towards permanent fencing at the Max Foster Sports Complex.


Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements and Reports


City Staff Announcements and Reports

City Engineer Mario Gouveia

· Announced that the water conservation results for March 2016 came in. The City reached a 36% savings. The goal was 32%.

· The discharge station is out to bid. Bids open Thursday, April 14, 2016.

· A stop sign has been installed at Emerald Drive at Council’s request.

Chief of Police Ruben Chavez

· Commended Katherine Schell-Rodriguez for her outstanding information blog, “Thegardeningsnail” which was recently recognized by “The Examiner” as an excellent source of information. The excerpt states, “…Independent source of information about City Hall is Katherine Schell, editor of “Thegardeningsnail Weblog.” Schell has spent an enormous amount of time building archives of City actions and offers what she refers to as “Rants and Observations about Current Events in Livingston.” She represents City journalism at its finest and you will find tremendous amount of information on her website.”

He thanked Ms. Schell-Rodriguez for her hard work and dedication in providing information out for the citizens of Livingston.

· Provided the Burglary Action Plan Status Report for 2015/2016 Statistics.

· Presented the Animal Control Status Report for March 2016. A total of 10 animals were taken in and one citation was issued.

· Presented the Gang Enforcement Status Report. There were two gang/probation sweeps; 10 gang related field interviews; and 5 gang related arrests. Sergeant Ramirez has done a great job.

· Police Explorers have been very active. They helped out with the Kite Festival and the cadets for the Middle School. They were also involved in an Explorer competition and they took top honors in range firearms. They took a total of four second places and four third places. This was a regional competition with over five explorer posts participating. They have also participated in away events in Laguna Seca and Pebble Beach.

There is a lot of work that goes into this program in an effort to provide Explorers with some internship and some training and skills that they can use as they go into law enforcement and pursue a career in public safety. It helps them out as developing young adults and also helps the community with them as a resource alleviating a lot time associated with the sponsoring of large events.

· The Police Department got the James P. Wilson Award. This is a very large award on the statewide scale. They competed with cities throughout California for its Mental Health Police and Schools (MHPS) program. They partnered with the School District and the Merced County Office of Mental Health. Officer Seuss Valdevia is the School Resource Officer (SRO) and he is part of the work they did.

· Displayed pictures of his trip to India. There he met the Chief of Police, the Inspector General, and other individuals involved in public safety. This was his first time to the State of Punjab. He was impressed with its people and its culture.

Baraka Carter, Battalion Chief

· Provided an update on Fire Department calls for the month of March 2016

Over the month of March, they ran 108 calls, 63 calls for services in the City of Livingston and 39 calls in the surrounding areas in the County which Livingston covers.

· They are transitioning for the fire season. They are starting to get more activity with their nuisance fires so the station person will be out doing weed abatement within the City and educating the public on maintaining the proper clearances around their facilities and their homes.

· Invited Council to join them on April 13th for their 2016 Fire Fighter of the Year Award. Mr. David Bates will be receiving the Fire Fighter of the Year Award for the City of Livingston. Invitations were sent out to City Council.

· Fire Engineer Kris Bernal who was in Livingston for the last two years transferred to Madera County and Engineer Dana McCarrell is filling in behind him.

· They should be receiving their new fire engine. Hopefully they can do their dedication the night of the Fire Fighter of the Year Award and put it in service the following Monday.

City Manager Announcements and Reports

· Staff is continuing to work on the City’s 2016/2017 Budget. They will be conducting some department meetings by the end of April.

· Staff is currently reviewing IT Services Proposals. The City received three proposals. He will have a recommendation to the Council hopefully by the next Council meeting.

· Staff will also be evaluating the Planning Services Proposals. Four proposals were collected by the deadline.

· The City has the tire collection event on Saturday, April 9th, between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 Noon, at the Public Works yard. Residents are allowed to drop off up to nine tires at no cost. This is an annual event funded through Merced County.

City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports

Council Member Soria

· Thanked the Police Department and Fire Department for keeping the City safe and providing good safety services. On April 4th the school had a lock down and both the Fire Department and Police Department responded.

Mayor Pro-Tem Samra

· Thanked the Police Department and Public Works Department for helping out with the Sikh Parade and the Kite Festival.

Council Member McCabe



Katherine Schell Rodriguez, P.O. Box 163, Livingston

· In reference to the 2016 General Election, she asked the City Attorney if a person can run for two different offices at the same time.

City Attorney Sanchez said it completely depends on what offices they are running for. For example, a person running for Supervisor and City Council cannot be running at the same time; however, with the Supervisor seat, it depends on whether it goes past the Primary election or not.

· She read in the staff report that Well 14 had to be taken offline because of high TCP levels. She asked what the City is hoping to do long term to deal with that well.

City Engineer Mario Gouveia said it is a recommendation and not a requirement that Well 14 be taken offline. The State Division of Drinking Water recommends that once a well reaches what is called “a response level” that it be taken out of service as much as possible. Therefore, Well 14, being at the end, was taken out and then there were some issues with pressure in that area, so that is why they are looking at installing Variable Frequency Drives (VFD’s) on Well 16, which is close to Well 14, and Well 8 which is by Foster Farms. With the VFD’s the well will respond a lot faster and it will take care of the pressures that were dropping.

Interim City Manager Ortiz said they are looking at blending Well 14 with Well 16, so they will be analyzing that cost. Hopefully they can put it on the budget for next fiscal year.

City Engineer Gouveia said long term solutions will depend on when the State comes out with the MCL for TCP which is probably in a year or so. They are looking at the options now. Once the MCL comes out, there will be a certain amount of time to comply which will be several years.

· She saw a presentation schedule on a prior City Council Agenda for the proposed one-half sales tax measure, but that did not happen. She asked when the presentation will be coming before Council.

Interim City Manager Ortiz said MCAG will bring the sales tax initiative measure back to the Council on April 19, 2016.

16. Resolution Approving a Six (6) Month Professional Services Agreement with James Fructuoso and Authorizing the Interim City Manager to Execute the Agreement.

Interim City Manager Ortiz presented the staff report. He stated that due to the transitioning in management positions, Staff has a need for support. Mr. Fructuoso has relevant experience with budgets and also financial reviews and general accounting functions which meets the City’s immediate needs. Right now Staff needs help with the current budget projects for the next Fiscal Year. We need to get ready for year end and also for the new fiscal year, as well as preparing the records for the annual audit. Mr. Fructuoso will also assist Staff with special projects which may include reviewing and updating current City policies. Staff is anticipating a six month cost of $55,000 with an average of $9,166 per month at an hourly rate of $75.

Mr. James Fructuoso was present to answer questions.

Mr. Fructuoso said he has worked for various cities over the last 16 years and has extensive experience in budget preparation, financial statement review, and management of the Finance Department.

Mayor Pro-Tem Samra opened public comment at 8:15 p.m. and closed immediately thereafter as there were no comments.

Motion: M/S McCabe/Soria Approving Resolution 2016-09 Approving and Authorizing the Interim City Manager to Execute a Six (6) Month Professional Services Agreement between the City of Livingston and James Fructuoso. The motion carried 3-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: McCabe, Soria, Samra

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: Sicairos, Espinoza


3. Waive the Second Reading and Adopt Ordinance No. 627, of the City Council of the City of

Livingston, Amending Title 5, Chapters 3, 6 and 7 of the Livingston Municipal Code Relating to Housing.

4. Resolution 2016-10 Awarding Bid for the City of Livingston LED Street Lights Retrofit Project – Phase I.

5. Resolution 2016-11 Awarding Bid for the Replacement of Playground Equipment at Don Meyer Park.

6. Resolution 2016-12 Awarding Bid to Rolfe Construction Company for the Livingston Downtown Street Improvements.

7. Resolution 2016-13 Awarding the Replacement of GAC Media at Well #8.

8. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on January 5, 2016.

9. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on February 2, 2016.

10. Approval of Minutes of Joint Meeting Held on February 23, 2016.

11. Approval of Warrant Register Dated March 11, 2016.

12. Approval of Warrant Register Dated March 31, 2016.

Mayor Pro-Tem. Samra opened public comment at 8:24 p.m.

Katherine Schell Rodriguez, P.O. Box 163, Livingston

· Regarding Consent Item 3 which has to do with housing, she asked if nursing home facilities such as Grace Nursing Home qualify as supportive housing, transitional housing, or temporary housing under these guidelines.

Contract City Planner Hatch said the definitions of supportive housing, transitional housing, charter population and so forth is included in the material for Council’s consideration. Primarily the target populations are for individuals with low incomes that have one or more disabilities. It is an individualized categorization. What this does is that it basically says that it is City policy that individuals who meet the requirements for disability or in need of this will not be denied housing.

· If she read the staff report correctly for Consent Item 4 having to do with the light retrofit, the Engineer’s estimate was a big number and the low bid turned out to be less than half of that. Normally the Engineer’s estimate and the bids are close, but there seems to be such a big difference for this project. She asked if there were any specific details that made that difference.

City Engineer Gouveia explained they got six bids ranging from $15,000 to almost $135,000. It is a huge range. This project is to only replace the lights. It is kind of hard to estimate. Some bidders are anticipating a lot of cost, but the low bidder prepared exactly what the City wanted.

Interim City Manager Ortiz said the City received an estimate from the company that sold them the materials. They estimated about $30,000 for the installation. He added that Siemens Industry, Inc., the company they are proposing, currently maintains the traffic signals and maybe that is why they gave the City good pricing.

Motion: M/S McCabe/Soria to approve the Consent Calendar. The motion carried 3-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: McCabe, Soria, Samra

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: Sicairos, Espinoza


13. Appointment of City Council Member to a Four-Year Term on the Merced County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo).

Interim City Manager Ortiz presented the staff report. He explained that Council is only making a recommendation to the City Selection Committee in the County. The City Selection Committee will make the final selection of members. Livingston’s member will serve a four-year term on the Commission commencing on July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2020. Mayor Espinoza is currently the City’s Alternate Member on the Commission.

Mayor Pro-Tem. Samra opened public comment at 8:24 p.m.

Katherine Schell Rodriguez, P.O. Box 163, Livingston

· Given that this is an election year, she asked what happens if Council recommends a member whose term ends this year and that person gets selected by the City Selection Committee, but does not get re-elected.

Interim City Manager Ortiz replied they would have to bring it back to Council at that point.

Mayor Pro-Tem. Samra closed public comment at 8:25 p.m.

Motion: M/S Samra/Soria to adopt Resolution 2016-14 Appointing Alex McCabe to a Four-Year Term on the Merced County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo). The motion carried 3-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: McCabe, Soria, Samra

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: Sicairos, Espinoza

14. Resolution Declaring that One Council Office Subject to Election at the November 2016 General Election Shall Only Serve a Two Year Term in Order to Evenly Stagger City Council Seats Subject to Election in the Future (California Government Code Section 34906).

City Attorney Jose Sanchez presented the staff report.

He explained that normally when there is a directly elected Mayor, usually there are two Council Members up for election and the Mayor at every election. When there is no directly elected Mayor then in one election there are three members and in the following election there will be two members, trying to be evenly staggered as much as possible to avoid the big changes in Council.

This year four out of the five members of the City Council seats will be on the November ballot, the Mayor and three Council Members. In 2018, only one Council Member and the Mayor will be up for reelection. This type of “staggering” for purposes of elections is not normal and creates the potential of instability for the City.

He explained how this unevenly staggered situation came about and offered a solution to achieve the desired result of having two Council seats on the ballot at every regular municipal election along with the Mayoral seat.

Under Government Code section 34906, the City Council can either designate one of the three seats that are up to only serve a two-year term or declare that of the City Council Member seats appearing on the November 8, 2016 general municipal ballot, other than the office of the Mayor, the one which receives the least votes of those elected (or if there is a tie for such a position, as decided by lot) shall serve a two-year term. That Council seat would then revert back to a four-year term at the 2018 election.

Mayor Pro-Tem. Samra opened and closed public comment at 8:30 p.m. there being no public comment.

Council Member Soria believes the proposed resolution will solve the staggering issue that currently exists.

Motion: M/S Soria/McCabe to adopt Resolution 2016-15 Declaring, Pursuant to California Government Code Section 34906, that One Council Office Subject to Election at the November 2016 General Municipal Election Shall Serve a Two-Year Term in Order to Evenly Stagger City Council Seats Subject to Election in the Future. The motion carried 3-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: McCabe, Soria, Samra

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: Sicairos, Espinoza

15. Resolution Approving the Purchase and Installation of Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) at Wells No. 8 and 16.

This item was tabled to a future meeting.

17. Resolution Approving a One (1) Year Professional Services Agreement with WGR Southwest, Inc. and Authorizing the Interim City Manager to Execute Agreement.

Interim City Manager Ortiz presented staff report.

He explained this is to continue the City’s efforts in complying with the Phase II Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit Program which became effective in 2013. MS4 Permit Program regulates storm water discharges from municipalities that serve populations of less than 100,000 persons. It is a 5-year permit term and each year during the permit new requirements kick in. The City is a little behind in complying with year 2 and year 3 tasks. This year the City of Livingston is joining efforts with various cities. WGR supports those cities along with 30 other communities throughout California. They have a lot of templates that the City can benefit from if it joins the effort. They will be sharing the resources and the costs associated with the program and they will be providing the City more technical support, as well.

John Teravskis, WGR Operations Manager, provided a PowerPoint presentation and explained that WGR is working with City of Merced, City of Atwater, Merced County, UC Merced, and about 30 other municipalities mostly within the Central Valley. That enables them to share costs. Many of the plans and tasks that need to be developed are 80% – 90%, similar to any municipality in the Central Valley; it only needs about 10% – 20% customization, so they can then develop a template document at 1/20th of the cost, which is a significant cost savings.

He explained this permit has significant requirements that are impacting every municipality in California. It became effective in 2013. It’s a 5-year permit term and we are 2/3 of the way through year 3. There are State Water Board and Clean Water Board fines assessed for noncompliance, in addition to risks of potential third party litigation.

Mr. Teravskis outlined the program elements and added that every department in the City is affected by this Program one way or another. On an average, it takes equivalent to one full time person just to manage the overall implementation of the permit, in addition to the various hours spent by City departments to help comply with this permit.

Mayor Pro-Tem. Samra opened public comment at 8:40 p.m.

Katherine Schell Rodriguez, P.O. Box 163, Livingston

· Asked how much is he going to help take care of and how much will still fall on the City.

Mr. Teravskis replied their contract is mostly with the management of the program and training City staff with the tasks they need to complete. They will be providing tools, guidance documents, procedures, and some of the compliance plans that are required by this permit.

· Thinking forward to how every year the regulations get tighter, she asked how far in the future it may be when we have a storm and we have to start sending people out to test the storm water to pull samples.

Mr. Teravskis responded that this permit does have some monitoring requirements for municipalities in terms of sending people out to monitor. However, the Water Board has delayed on the implementation of that. They estimate that the earliest they may have to go get samples will be the next winter season.

He added the sampling under this permit is not very onerous, but there are regulations and permits that the Water Board is considering in the future that are going to be tedious and are very alarming.

Mayor Pro-Tem. Samra closed the comment period at 8:43 p.m.

Council Member Soria asked if water quality monitoring samples get sent to the State.

Mr. Teravskis responded that is provided to the State in the form of a report.

Motion: M/S McCabe/Soria to adopt Resolution 2016-16 Approving a One (1) Year Professional Services Agreement with WGR Southwest, Inc. and Authorizing the Interim City Manager to Execute Agreement. The motion carried 3-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: McCabe, Soria, Samra

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: Sicairos, Espinoza


The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 8:43 p.m.


City Clerk of the City of Livingston

APPROVED: May 17, 2016


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.