JULY 17, 2007

MEETING MINUTES

CLOSED SESSION/REGULAR MEETING

LIVINGSTON CITY COUNCIL

JULY 17, 2007

A Closed Session/Regular Meeting of the Livingston City Council was held on July 17, 2007, in the City Council Chambers with Mayor Samra presiding.

CLOSED SESSION

Mayor Samra called the meeting to order at 5:37 p.m.

ROLL CALL

    Mayor Gurpal Samra

    Mayor Pro-Tem William Ingram

    Council Member Frank Vierra

    Council Member Rodrigo Espinoza

    Council Member Roy Soria (Excused)

Also present were City Manager Warne, City Attorney Hallinan and Assistant City Manager/Finance Director Lewis who left the meeting at 5:55 p.m.  Public Works Director Creighton joined the meeting at approximately 6:35 p.m.

The Council/Staff went into Closed Session at 5:38 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 Real Property Negotiator—Government Code Section 54956.8.

Property:  Parcel Numbers DD000803-01-01, DD000804-01-01, DD000805-01-01,

DD000806-01-01, DD000807-01-01, DD000808-01-01, DD000809-01-01.

            Negotiating Parties:  City Manager Richard N. Warne and City Attorney Tom Hallinan.

      5.   Conference with Labor Negotiator—Government Code Section 54957.6.

            Agency Negotiator:  City Manager Richard N. Warne.

            Employee Organization:  Livingston Police Officers’ Association.

      6.   Conference with Labor Negotiator—Government Code Section 54957.6.

Agency Negotiator:  City Manager Richard N. Warne.

Employee Organization:  Supervisory Employees Bargaining Association.

7.      Conference with Labor Negotiator—Government Code Section 54957.6.

Agency Negotiator:  City Manager Richard N. Warne.

Employee Organization:  Police Management Employees Association.

8.      Conference with Labor Negotiator—Government Code Section 54957.6.

Agency Negotiator:  City Manager Richard N. Warne.

Employee Organization:  Management/Confidential Employees Association.

9.      Conference with Labor Negotiator—Government Code Section 54957.6.

Agency Negotiator:  City Manager Richard N. Warne.

Employee Organization:  Clerical Employees Bargaining Association.

10.  Conference with Labor Negotiator—Government Code Section 54957.6.

Agency Negotiator:  City Manager Richard N. Warne.

Employee Organization:  Public Works/Parks Bargaining Association.

11.  Conference with Labor Negotiator—Government Code Section 54957.6.

Agency Negotiator:  Mayor & City Council.

Unrepresented Employee:  City Manager.

12.  Conference with Labor Negotiator—Government Code Section 54957.6.

Agency Negotiator:  City Manager Richard N. Warne.

Unrepresented Employees:  Contract Employees.

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

The Closed Session ended at 6:55 p.m.

OPEN SESSION

The Council/Staff came out of Closed Session and into Open Session at 6:56 p.m.

REGULAR MEETING

CALL TO ORDER

Mayor Samra called the meeting to order at 7:03 p.m.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

The pledge of allegiance was recited.

ROLL CALL

    Mayor Gurpal Samra

    Mayor Pro-Tem William Ingram

    Council Member Frank Vierra

    Council Member Rodrigo Espinoza

    Council Member Roy Soria (Excused)

CLOSED SESSION ANNOUNCEMENTS

The Council directed staff to continue negotiations with the City’s bargaining groups.

CHANGES TO THE AGENDA

None. .

AWARDS, PRESENTATIONS, APPOINTMENTS AND PROCLAMATIONS

1.      Presentation of Life Saving Awards – Police Chief Bill Eldridge.   

Corporal Mike Baker and Officer Jose Silva were awarded life saving medals for their valiant effort in saving a small child from drowning.

Commander Dan Shambaugh was presented with a bronze buffalo statue for his 30 plus years of service to the City of Livingston and its citizens.

Mayor Samra received a bottle of wine from Rick Amerson and read a letter of thanks he received for his support of the girls’ softball team championship.

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REPORTS

      Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements and Reports.

·         Introduced his new assistant, John Bang.

·         Reported on the San Joaquin Rail.  There will be a public hearing on high speed rail funding, etc. on August 30th, 4:00 p.m., at the Board Chambers in Merced. 

·         Reported that he attended and enjoyed the Merced County Fair.

            City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports.

Council Member Vierra

·         Asked Public Works Director Creighton about amending street signs to add block numbers to them.

·         Asked if Council can get a report from the Animal Control person.  He would like some data on how the position has improved animal control issues in the community.

·         Asked that staff check on houses that are abandoned with yards that are full of weeds.

Director Creighton replied that Public Works and the Fire Department are actively working to abate those properties and letters were sent to property owners.

      Council Member Espinoza

·         Congratulated Rick Amerson for a good job in coaching the girls’ softball team championship.

·         Asked if the City could waive fees for the girls’ celebratory pool party.  It’s a consistence.  They all agreed.

·         Reported the adult championship baseball game is over.  He would like to ask Recreation Superintendent Benoit if in the future games could be played in Alvernaz Field instead of the Little Guys and Gals Field.

      Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram

·         Agrees with Council Member Vierra’s comment regarding abandoned houses.  He noted the City needs a blight ordinance.

·         Congratulated the softball team on their championship.

·         Thanked Commander Shambaugh for his years of service. 

      Mayor Samra

·         Nothing to report.

Citizens’ Advisory Committee (CAC)

Peggy Gipson, Secretary, presented a subcommittee report on the position of Code Enforcement Officer.  She reported they met with Merced and Turlock’s Code Enforcement Officers and received some good ideas they hope the Council will implement. 

CITIZEN COMMENTS  

Rick Amerson, 3349 Lincoln Blvd.thanked the Council for their support and said he realized the championship game was a lot of work for the Recreation Department.  He had a comment about Erika Arias, who also plays on a World Series team that will be playing in Stockton.  His daughter Gloria and another young lady also play on this team.  They are getting Livingston’s name out and promoting the City in a positive manner.

Denis Wells, 1159 Second Street, commented on water line installation work being done on First Street and said he  spoke with Paul Creighton about his concern that there is water being wasted; there is water dripping out ever since they started working on the project.  He said he talked to Mr. Creighton, but feels the Council needs to know what is going on.  Mr. Wells also spoke about trench holes on Hammatt Avenue and further asked for an update on the boarded up house on Second Street.

Peggy Gipson, 2265 Johannisburg Drive, commented on the number of vendors seen selling ice cream, cotton candy and pork rinds and asked if they all have permits.  She said she noticed several carts that did not have permits posted.  Ms. Gipson added that she has seen trucks dropping off vendors and their carts.

Mayor Samra agreed this is a matter that should be investigated.  He asked City Manager Warne to find out if all vendors have a permit and also check with the County for health permit requirements.

Ramon Avila, 1021 Patzer Street, agreed with the comments made by Rick Amerson and said his daughter also plays on this team.  On behalf of the parents of the team members, he thanked City Manager Warne.  He commented that he also plays on the adult softball team and was surprised that they didn’t play in Alvernaz Field. 

Mike Torres, 1616 Eighth Street, asked what is being done about weed abatement.  He also asked if the Peach and Eighth Street water line has been replaced yet.  Mr. Torres also asked what the Joint Meeting with the Planning Commission and the City Council was all about.

City Manager Warne commented the joint meeting involved a number of issues and will be held on August 7th at 6:00 p.m., with a location yet to be determined.  He said notices about the meeting will be mailed out with the monthly utility bills.

Denis Wells volunteered the Veterans’ Hall as a meeting location.

Jean Okuye, 10029 W. Olive Avenue, read a letter from Diana Westmoreland Pedrozo concerning water resources.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

2.      Public Hearing before the Livingston City Council to Report to the Public Livingston’s Progress on all Community Development Block Grant Program Activities, Discuss the City’s Fiscal Year 2007-2008 CDBG Programs and Solicit Citizen Input.

Kenyieh Vendi, representing RM Associates of Fresno, read a progress report on the City’s progress on all Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Programs and the City’s Fiscal Year 2007-2008 CDBG Programs.

Mayor Samra opened the Public Hearing at 8:07 p.m.

Rick Amerson and Peggy Gipson each asked for a copy of the CDBG Progress Report.

Toni Pacheco, a resident of Olive Avenue, asked what kind of businesses will benefit by opening in Livingston.  She also asked if housing was included  

Ms. Vendi commented that it all depends on a number of factors.               .

Jean Okuye commented that this grant will be a wonderful opportunity for Livingston.

Mike Torres stated his only concern is that the same thing will happen that happened when Rite-Aide came in.  He added that the wires were supposed to be underground, but the street lights weren’t and the work was not completed. It was a downtown project, he noted.  Mr. Torres was worried that the City doesn’t follow through.  He asked if this grant will go back and cover the Rite-Aide under grounding.

            Lengthy discussion followed.

            City Manager Warne clarified Mr. Torres’ question regarding this issue. 

            Mayor Samra commented on the process for this grant.

Rick Amerson said that when he was a business owner on B Street, he suggested connecting Joseph Gallo Drive to Main to take traffic away from “B” Street.  He noted that one of the reasons why he is no longer in business is that there is no traffic coming from the Highway to the downtown.  Mr. Amerson questioned if any of this grant money could be used to put out signs letting people know about businesses in the downtown.

Toni Pacheco agreed with Mr. Amerson.  She works at Star Buck’s and said they do get people that ask how to get to the downtown.                       

        Denis Wells asked what the deadline for submitting this application is.

            Ms. Vendi said that RM Associates will be informed at the end of July.

Mayor Samra closed the Public Hearing at 8:22 p.m., there being no further comments from the public.

Council Member Vierra commented that CDBG grants have been good for the City.   He also agreed that there has to be another way to get downtown.

Council Member Espinoza commented that whatever money the City could get to help improve the downtown will be great. 

Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram also agreed that something needs to happen to improve the downtown.  He commented that the Council has spent many study hours on downtown revitalization, however, the matter was dropped, but the Council is trying to bring it back. Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram noted that anytime the City gets an opportunity to apply for CDBG grants, the City should take advantage of it as grant monies are very beneficial to the community.

            Mayor Samra commented that he agrees with everything the Council commented on.

            This item required no action by the Council.

      3.   Resolution Approving the Revised Storm Drainage Master Plan.

            Community Development Director Kenney provided background for the item and said this will be an approval of the plan not an adoption.  She added an adoption requires a complete environmental document.

            Mayor Samra opened the Public Hearing at 8:29 p.m.

            Jim Nelson, the Storm Water Master Plan Consultant, was present to answer questions.

            Colette Alvernaz asked that the City Council not approve the Storm Drainage Master Plan and read a letter to Council regarding her concerns.  She asked that they not approve the plan until the Ranchwood sewer pipe is removed from the ground. 

            Ms. Alvernaz was reminded that this is the Storm Water Master Plan not the Sewer Plan.

            Mayor Samra asked Director Kenney when the document would be made available to the public.

          Director Kenney stated that a copy of the Plan was made and has been on the front counter of City Hall for public review for a week.

            Mayor Samra asked City Manager Warne if the Council should move forward and if there is any legal reason to postpone a vote.

            Mayor Samra clarified to the public that the Public Hearing was just to approve the Plan.

            Mayor Samra asked all Council Members present if they should proceed at this time.

            All Council Members agreed.

            Ms. Alvernaz said she did not want the Storm Water Master Plan to be approved.

            City Manager Warne said Ms. Alvernaz’s allegations that staff denied her request for copies was not true.

Mayor Samra closed the Public Hearing at 8:49 p.m., as there were no further public comments.

Council Member Vierra asked Jim Nelson questions regarding a line being moved.  He also noted drainage ponds from the Merced River to Magnolia (Section D).  Council Member Vierra further asked if there was no need for one between Flint and Magnolia.  He also asked if everything in Section K would drain down to Magnolia.

            Mr. Nelson answered his questions.              

Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram wanted to make sure that these basins will be functional for recreation and not just mud holes.                   .

Motion:  M/S Ingram/Espinoza to adopt Resolution No.2007-31, approving the Revised Storm Drainage Master Plan.  The motion carried 4-0-1 by the following vote:

            AYES:                  Council Members:       Espinoza, Ingram, Samra, Vierra

            NOES:                  Council Members:       None

            ABSENT:       Council Members:       Soria               

CONSENT CALENDAR

      Motion:  M/S Vierra/Ingram to approve the following Consent Calendar items:

4.   Approval of Minutes of City Council Meeting Held on July 3, 2007.

5. Approval of Minutes of City Council Meeting Held on July 9, 2007.

6. Approval of Warrant Register Dated July 10, 2007.

7.   Resolution No. 2007-32, approving the Annual Local Transportation (LTF) Claim to be filed with the Merced County Association of Governments (MCAG) for Fiscal Year 2007-2008.

8. Resolution No. 2007-33. Authorizing the City Manager to File Regional Surface Transportation Program (RSTP) Exchange Funds Claim for Fiscal Year 2006-2007.

The motion carried 4-0-1, with Council Member Soria absent.

DISCUSSION AND POTENTIAL ACTION ITEMS

      9.   City Manager Announcements and Reports.

            No announcements or reports.

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 9:00 p.m.

                                                                                   ______________________________

City Clerk of the City of Livingston

APPROVED:  August 7, 2007

___________________________

 Mayor or Mayor ProTempore

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