APRIL 17, 2007

MEETING MINUTES

CLOSED SESSION/REGULAR MEETING

LIVINGSTON CITY COUNCIL

APRIL 17, 2007

A Closed Session/Regular Meeting of the Livingston City Council was held in the City Council Chambers on April 17, 2007, with Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram presiding in the absence of Mayor Samra.

CLOSED SESSION

Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram opened the meeting at 5:04 p.m.

ROLL CALL

    Mayor Gurpal Samra (Absent)

    Mayor Pro-Tem William Ingram

    Council Member Frank Vierra

    Council Member Rodrigo Espinoza

    Council Member Roy Soria

The Council went into Closed Session at 5:05 p.m. to discuss the following matters:          

1.      Conference with Legal Counsel: Existing Litigation—Government Code Section 54956.9(a).  Foster Poultry Farms, Inc. v. City of Livingston, Merced County Superior Case No. 149443.

      2.   Conference with Legal Counsel: Existing Litigation—Government Code Section 54956.9(a).  City of Livingston v. Foster Poultry Farms, Inc., Merced County Superior Court Case No. 149647.

3.      Conference with Legal Counsel: Existing Litigation—Government Code Section 54956.9(a).  Foster Poultry Farms, Inc. v. Richard Warne & Paul Creighton, United States District Court, Eastern District Court of California: 1:06-CV-00931-OWW-DLB.

4.   Conference with Legal Counsel—Anticipated Litigation.  Significant Exposure to Litigation.  Government Code 54956.9(b).  3 Cases.

5.      Conference with Real Property Negotiator—Government Code Section 54956.8.

Property:  Parcel 024-114-003.

Agency Negotiator:  City Manager Richard N. Warne and City Attorney Tom Hallinan.

The Closed Session ended at 6:57 p.m.

OPEN SESSION 

The Council came out of Closed Session and into Open Session at 6:58 p.m.

REGULAR MEETING 

CALL TO ORDER   

Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram opened the meeting at 7:10 p.m.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE  

The pledge of allegiance was recited.

ROLL CALL

    Mayor Gurpal Samra (Absent)

    Mayor Pro-Tem William Ingram

    Council Member Frank Vierra

    Council Member Rodrigo Espinoza

    Council Member Roy Soria                                                      

CLOSED SESSION ANNOUNCEMENTS  

The Council gave direction to staff that the Industrial Wastewater Treatment Plant Project be put out to bid. 

CHANGES TO THE AGENDA  

None. 

AWARDS, PRESENTATIONS, APPOINTMENTS AND PROCLAMATIONS  

1.   Nellie McGarry, representing the office of State Senator Jeff Denham gave an update on AB 151 and distributed a copy of the Bill to the Council..  

Ms. McGarry also gave an update on the following Bills: SB 170, Inter District Transfers: Sunset Extension which passed on April 16th, SB 287, Gold Star Family License Plate,  and SB 424, Flood Protection Bond Act of 2006 Flood Protection Project.    

2.      Valley Atwater Schelby School Mitigated Negative Declaration  

Lee Andersen, Superintendent of the Merced County Office of Education (MCOE), shared information regarding concerns with building a continuation school on Shelby School property.  Eric Dean, representing the MCOE, was also present to answer questions. 

Mr. Andersen stated that the Valley Community Continuation School has been in existence for many years and has served at risk youth at St. Jude’s School grounds.  He noted the school also serves about 60 independent studies students who come on campus once a week.  Mr. Andersen commented the MCOE has been looking for land for a campus and has been unsuccessful; therefore, they need to expand on existing property.   

Mr. Andersen stated that neighbors have strong concerns regarding the proposed project and MCOE has received petitions and it is clear that people are not happy.  Other concerns, he noted, are related to the students who will attend.     

Mr. Andersen spoke about the security fence.  He explained that there will be a fence between the existing and proposed parts of the project.  Mr. Andersen made it clear there will be a large ratio of staff to students and that the students will be bused on and off campus.   

Mr. Andersen stated that his job as Superintendent is to ensure that every student has the opportunity to receive an education.  He pointed out that the students who will be attending the continuation school will be residents of Livingston, Delhi and Ballico. 

Michael Rench, MCOE Environmental Consultant, gave a power point presentation and showed an aerial view of the school.  He also showed pictures of what the proposed school will look like.  In response to concerns raised about security, Mr. Ranch said there will be a six foot chain link fence around the school. 

Derrick Dean, Principal, spoke of the students who attend Valley Community Continuation School.  He commented that many students who attend this school are students who are low on credits or students who are in foster homes that are good kids, but for some reason have fallen behind on credits.   

Mr. Dean continued by adding that in Los Banos there are houses surrounding the school and they have had no problems.  He noted the proposed facility would be available for evening classes.  Mr. Dean said these students will have an opportunity to learn some skills and get a GED so when they are out of school they can earn a decent wage. 

Council Member Vierra asked if the MCOE has considered police services. He felt that the County Sheriff’s Department would be slow to respond, therefore, the Livingston Police Department would have to answer the call. 

Police Chief Eldridge pointed out that he is not against this project, but is concerned with the rural location.  He commented the project will be built between Winton and Livingston where there are two rival gangs.  Chief Eldridge also shared issues that will arise by having the project in a rural area where emergency services are limited.  

Council Member Espinoza commented that students from Livingston will be attending the school as will students from Atwater and Winton who are affiliated with two different gangs. 

Council Member Vierra had concerns with the safety of existing students.  He also had a problem with the name Atwater Valley School and pointed out that if the school is going to have a Livingston address why is it called Atwater Valley School. 

Mr. Andersen replied that MCOE will be sensitive to the community and not name the school “Atwater”. 

Police Chief Eldridge asked if the gangs will be segregated.  He pointed that the majority of Atwater and Winton gangs wear blue. 

Council Member Espinoza stated he was not in favor of the project because of the location and the safety of existing students. 

Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram shared the same concerns of other Council Members and the Police Chief.  He commented that he was concerned for the safety of the children at Schelby School and said he would never forgive himself if any of them were harmed. 

Council Member Soria commented that the Schelby site is not a good location for the project and MCOE should be looking into building at a location in town.  

Carol Alvernaz, who resides on Sultana Drive, commented that the Shelby School property was donated by the late Dr. James Wallohan many years ago. She said that because it’s a school, farmers are required to give a report on what sprays and equipment would be used on their property.  Mrs. Alvernaz said they could only spray when school is not in session.  She noted that people who don’t live in the area don’t have to accommodate the school and farmers, she noted, are impacted by the schools. 

Mrs. Alvernaz  further commented on the high nitrate levels they currently have due to the school’s septic system. 

Pamela Tamez, 1440 Main Street, asked if there would be security on site to protect the handicapped children. 

Mr. Andersen replied there will be staff monitoring the students. 

Mrs. Tamez commented that she has a grandchild that attends Schelby School and would be devastated if anything harmful were to happen.  She asked how many new students are considered violent. 

Denis Wells, 1159 Second Street, said he has observed truant students at other school sites and was concerned about the future project students. 

Peggy Gipson, 2265 Johannisburg Drive, asked if this project was moving forward for certain.  She suggested that this project be located at the former Castle AFB.  

Mrs. Gipson further asked if security personnel would be specifically trained to handle gang issues.  She commented she was not in favor of this project being built at the proposed location as there will be an issue with gangs. 

Bob Laverne shared trespassing concerns about the school being built next to his property. 

Joe Enos stated he didn’t understand why anyone would want to build this project out in the middle of nowhere.  He said he was out there today and no one even noticed he was there.   

Mr. Gettingburg expressed concern about his daughter attending Schelby School with the new project being built. 

Kay Kirihara commented that she is a former Special Ed teacher and this is the wrong location to build the school. 

Mr. Andersen commented that he knows that the Council is very supportive of education and would take tonight’s comments under advisement. 

Council Member Vierra commented that the Council was not aware that the continuation school at St. Jude’s was closing down. 

Mr. Andersen commented that he would be sharing comments presented with Henry Escobar and Dr. Robert Fore. 

City Manager Warne asked what the deadline was for this project. 

Mike Ranch replied that the deadline is May 7th.

                                                

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REPORTS  

            Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements and Reports. 

            Nick Dawidczick, Assistant to Supervisor Pedrozo, reported on the following: 

·         Announced the Spring Fair in Los Banos will run from May 2-4, 2007.

·         Reported that Denis Wells was given recognition by the Board of Supervisors for his volunteer work in the community. 

City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports. 

Council Member Vierra  

·         Announced that the M.U.H.S.D. Board meeting will be held April 18th at Livingston High School. 

Council Member Espinoza  

·         No reports. 

Council Member Soria  

·         No reports.           

 

Mayor Pro-Tem Announcements and Reports. 

·         No reports.  

CITIZEN COMMENTS  

Warren Urnberg, 1331 Eighth Street, thanked the Public Works Department for the paint and reflectors they installed on the Winton Parkway median in front of Travel Centers of America.  He also suggested the City watering restrictions be reinstated due to the possible water shortage.

 

Denis Wells, on behalf of the VFW and Ladies Auxiliary, invited the Council to attend an awards dinner at the Veterans Hall on April 28th at 6:00 p.m. 

Peggy Gipson had complaints about some of the activities of Council Members Samra, Ingram and Espinoza, both unethical and illegal.  She specifically mentioned Council Member Espinoza voting on issues that affected his properties including a property purchase made within the Redevelopment Agency boundaries which is illegal. 

Mrs. Gipson also questioned the dismissal of the City Building Inspector.  She commented that Travis Wyatt was a very good employee, therefore, wanted to know the reason for his dismissal.  Mrs. Gipson implied that Mr. Wyatt was let go because he didn’t speak the Spanish or Punjabi languages.  She reminded the Council why they serve in their positions.  Mrs. Gipson further asked why Mayor Samra was not present; pointing out there should be no reason for his absence.   

Gilbert Reyes complained that Council Member Espinoza was not using complaint forms like other citizens are.  He felt the Council Member should go through the proper channels rather than call Public Works for special favors.  He also questioned why Council Member Espinoza’s tow truck was parked in front of his residence since this practice is not allowed under the City’s Municipal Code. 

Mohani Thiara said she supports Peggy Gipson and Gilbert Reyes’ comments and felt that the Council in their capacity should be serving the residents and not for personal gain. 

Mrs. Thiara commented on signs that are posted throughout the City and stated that Mayor Samra is taking credit for work he did not do. 

Mr. Singh complained he still has brown water. 

City Manager Richard Warne explained the pipeline replacement was delayed because the Council changed the scope of the project and the project has to be rebid. 

Kaye Greeley, 1571 Monte Cristo Way, stated she was aware of Council Members trying to micro manage City employees and said managing personnel was the City Manager’s job and not theirs.  She also commented that she was very disturbed about the dismissal of the City Building Inspector.  

Mr. Bassi felt the Council should not have removed the Hunter Overpass from the Circulation Master Plan to benefit one person. 

Mike Torres, 1616 Eighth Street, stated that Rosemary Saldana’s home is on Olive Avenue and Half of the road is the City’s responsibility and is full of potholes that need to be repaired. 

Mr. Torres wants the City to replace the outdated Community Access Cable Channel equipment. 

Mohani Thiara thanked Richard Warne, Vickie Lewis and Donna Kenney for their outstanding job performance.   

Peggy Gipson asked about the polo shirts the Council has been wearing which have a City logo on them.  She questioned who paid for the shirts. 

City Manger Warne responded that the City paid for them. 

CONSENT CALENDAR  

      Motion:  M/S Vierra/Soria to approve the Consent Calendar with the exception of Warrant

      No. 62392 which was pulled and amendments to the Minutes.  The motion carried 4-0-1.  

3.   Approval of Minutes of City Council Meeting Held on April 3, 2007, as amended. 

4.      Approval of Warrant Register Dated April 10, 2007. 

5.      Waive the Second Reading and Adopt Ordinance No. 558, an Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Livingston Approving Annexation and Prezone 2005-04 for the Blueberry Crossing Commercial Project (APN# 047-200-004/027/030).  

6.      Denial of Claim from Enrique & Sofia Sanchez.  

7.      Bid Award to Fill Retention Pond at Little Guys and Gals Park (Resolution 2007-18).  

8.      Lease Agreement for Store Front at 420 Main Streetfor Senior Citizens’ Center and Authorization to Move Senior Citizens’ Program to New Location. 

 

Regarding the City polo shirts, Council Member Vierra felt the Council should pay for their own shirts. 

Motion:  Espinoza/Soria to approve Warrant No. 62392 for the purchase of polo shirts. The motion carried 3-1-1, with Council Member Vierra voting no. 

DISCUSSION AND POTENTIAL ACTION ITEMS  

      9.   Livingston Sports Complex Master Plan Approval. 

      City Manager Warne presented the agenda item.  

      Kaye Greeley commented that this is a great plan and hopes it will be approved. 

Council Member Soria commented that he feels the Council is doing a good job of moving forward on City parks.  He noted there are other projects in progress such as the Memorial Park improvements and the modular for the After School Program that are for the betterment of the community.  He wanted to let the public know how he stands. 

Council Member Vierra commented that he has sat in many CAC and Recreation meetings and is in support of this project. 

Motion:  M/S Ingram/Espinoza to approve the Livingston Sports Complex Master Plan.  The motion carried 4-0-1. 

Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram commented that he would like to have a Town Hall meeting with community residents, so that the Council may have the opportunity to reply to some of their concerns. 

      Gilbert Reyes asked Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram if he was renting or buying his home.     

      Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram replied that he was leasing his home. 

Mr. Reyes asked why Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram was voting on McRoy-Wilbur projects, which is a conflict of interest, if he leases from them and they landscape his yard. 

Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram replied that his landlord is maintaining the property and he sees no conflict of interest. 

9.      City Manager Announcements and Reports. 

No announcements or reports. 

ADJOURNMENT  

The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 9:33 p.m.

                                                                                    _______________________________

 City Clerk of the City of Livingston

 

APPROVED:  May 1, 2007  

_________________________

 Mayor or Mayor ProTempore

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One thought on “APRIL 17, 2007

  1. Well….. that was quite a meeting wasn’t it? Did we really get anything accomplished with the exception of removing the Mayor & pro tem in the next election? I guess that was SOMETHING EH?

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