February 5, 2008


The following is transcriptions of documents on file. My apologies for any errors or “typos”.





FEBRUARY 5, 2008



A closed Session/regular Meeting of the Livingston city Council was held on February 5, 2008, in the Veterans’ Memorial Building with Mayor Samra presiding.




Mayor Samra opened the meeting at 5:31 p.m.




Mayor Gurpal Samra

Mayor Pro-Tem William Ingram

Council Member Frank Vierra

Council Member Rodrigo Espinoza

Council Member Roy Soria


The council went into closed Session to discuss the following matters:

(Also in attendance were City Manager Warne, Assistant City Manager Finance Director Lewis, and City Attorney Subramanian. City Engineer Gottiparthy and Public Works Director Creighton joined the meeting at 6:03 p.m.)


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

Property: APN #024-135-005

Negotiating Parties: City Manager Richard N. Warne.

Under Negotiation: Price, Terms of Payment.


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

Property: APN #024-134-006

Negotiating Parties: City Manager Richard N. Warne.

Under Negotiation: Price, Terms of Payment.


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

Property: APN #024-134-007

Negotiating Parties: City Manager Richard N. Warne.

Under Negotiation: Price, Terms of Payment.


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

Property: Director’s Deed # 00801-01-01, # 00802-01-01 (4 parcels)

Negotiating Parties: City Manager Richard N. Warne.

Under Negotiation: Price, Terms of Payment.


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

Property: APN #023-091-002

Negotiating Parties: City Manager Richard N. Warne.

Under Negotiation: Price, Terms of Payment.


6.     Conference with Legal Counsel—Anticipated Litigation. Significant Exposure to Litigation. Government Code 54956.9(b). 2 Cases.




The Council came out of Closed Session and into Open Session at 6:25 p.m.






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




The pledge of allegiance to the flag was recited.




Mayor Gurpal Samra

Mayor Pro-Tem William Ingram

Council Member Frank Vierra

Council Member Rodrigo Espinoza

Council Member Roy Soria




There was no reportable action. The Council gave direction to staff.




City Manager Warne asked that Agenda Item #4 be removed from the agenda and tabled to a future meeting. The agenda item pertains to the continued Public Hearing establishing charges and fees for water services.




1.     Presentation of $800,000 Check for First-time Homebuyers Program and Housing Rehabilitation for Low and Moderate Income Residents.


City manager Warne announced that the City of Livingston is the recipient of an $800,000 grant to be used for the First-Time Homebuyers Program and Housing Rehabilitation for Low and Moderate Income Residents. He thanked Jasmin Bains, the City’s Senior Accountant for being instrumental in obtaining the grant.


2.     Presentation and Adoption of Resolution in Recognition of the 70th anniversary of Saint Jude Thaddeus Roman Catholic Church.


At the request of Mayor Samra, Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram read a Council Resolution honoring Saint Jude Thaddeus Roman Catholic Church on the occasion of its 70th anniversary.


Mayor Samra presented Father Harvey Fonseca with a plaque also commemorating the 70th anniversary of the church.


Motion: M/S Ingram/Soria to adopt Resolution No. 2008-04, acknowledging the 70th anniversary of Saint Jude Thaddeus Roman Catholic Church. The motion carried 5-0.


Father Fonseca invited the Council and the community to a celebration at the church on February 15, 2008, in observance of the church’s 70th anniversary and the blessing of the new church pavilio0n by His Excellency, Bishop John Steinbeck from the Fresno Diocese.




Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements and Reports.


·        The board of Supervisors did not meet this week.

·        He will be attending Intercity Rail Day in Sacramento on February 21st and will be advocating the transit system.

·        Attended a Stockton CEQA seminar.

·        Attended a Council of Governments meeting on the monorail on February 1st: Pacheco Pass vs. Altamont Pass location.

·        Gave a recap and thanked everyone who attended the Town Hall meeting in Livingston; there was not a strong turn-out.

·        Requested and received a date for the Court Theater Wine and Cheese Affair: April 20, 2008.


City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports.


Council Member Vierra


·        Reported that the “Magnificent Seven” LHS girls’ basketball team is currently tied for first in league play. He invited the community to attend and support the players at home games.

·        Requested an update from Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram on monies for the Recreation school Program. He recalled that Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram was going to meet with LUSD Superintendent Henry Escobar regarding this program.

Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram replied that he met with Mr. Escobar, but he was supposed to meet with him again.


Council Member Espinoza


·        Asked staff for a progress report on the new Council Chambers. He also asked about parking and if staff has received permission from County Bank to use their parking lot for council meetings.


Council Member Soria


·        No reports.


Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram


·        Reported on his attendance at the LAFCO meeting. He said Livingston staff recently presented an update on the General Plan. He also reported that several people from the Livingston area were present with complaints. They were told to “go back and talk to the City.”


Mayor’s Announcements and Reports.


·        No announcements or reports


Mayor Samra


·        No announcements or reports




3.     Continued Public Hearing: Consider Introducing and Waiving the First Reading of an Ordinance Establishing Charges and Fees for Water Services in the City of Livingston, and Whether to Phase the Rate Increase in Immediately or Over a Three Year or Five Year Period.


City Manager Warne recommended that this item be continued to the Council meeting of March 4, 2008, for further analysis of the water rates and citizen comments.


City manager Warne noted that the last rate increase was in July 1995 and as of June 30, 2007; the water fund had an accumulative negative balance of $878,502.00. He noted that Livingston’s water rates are about 50% lower than the next lowest city in the valley, Visalia.


City Manager Warne further elaborated on past and future capital improvements to improve the quality of City water.


Representatives from Carollo Engineers gave a slide presentation on the City’s water supply. The available water vs. demand and the master plan projects.


Mayor Samra opened the meeting for public comments at 7:35 p.m.


Trish Backers, 931 Hilltop Avenue, asked what the cost is to address the red water.


Consultant Dan Bergman replied about $2 million.


Katherine Schell Rodriguez, 1149 Ninth Street, asked what amount of money is for existing homes and what money is for future homes.


Mr. Bergman replied that all of the $2 million is for the existing system and the money is going towards existing houses. He also pointed out that population numbers and the way rates are allocated are approximate figures.


Colette Alvernaz, P.O. Box 255, asked if additional houses will exacerbate the problems.


City Engineer Gottiparthy replied no.


Mrs. Alvernaz then asked if there was a CEQUA violation. Again, the answer was no.


Mike Torres, 1616 Eighth Street, asked when water quality will improve.


City Manager Warne replied that as the City spends the Prop 13 money, the water is always getting better.


Mayor Pro-Tem stepped out of the building at 7:45 p.m.


Colette Alvernaz asked for clarification on what was just said. Does that mean that new development has exasperated and master sized the problem?


Mr. Bergman stated “This is all about the old system; the developers will cover the new areas, but not the old system.”


Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram returned to the meeting at 7:48 p.m., and excused himself from the meeting due to a family emergency.


City Engineer Gottiparthy clarified some of the concerns and questions raised by Mrs. Alvernaz.


City manager Warne commented that the City has tried to insure that growth payf for itself. He noted that the issues that are being presented tonight are not related to what she is bringing up tonight.


Mr. Torres asked what the city pays for bottled water. He also questioned why the council doesn’t pay for their own water. Mr. Torres feels it is not appropriate for the residents to pay for council and staff bottled water when the City plans to raise the water rates.


Fernando Cortes, 2114 Cardella court, suggested that the City look at water restrictions because people who do not use the 35,000 gallon of water should be rewarded.


The Public comment period was closed by mayor Samra at 8:02 p.m.


Motion: MS Soria/Espinoza to continue the Public Hearing to the march 4, 2008, regular Council meeting. The motion carried 4-0-1.


Introduce and Waive the first Reading of an Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Livingston Repealing Section 8-1-1 of the Livingston municipal Code Entitled “Nuisances; abatement” and Adding a New Section Entitled “Property, “Maintenance nuisances.”


Tabled to a future meeting.




Ralph Calderon, principal of Livingston High School, commended two city staff members: Police Chief Eldridge, who he has had the privilege to work with on various school related issues, and Public works Director Paul Creighton, who recently worked on a school sewer problem.


Mayor Samra said he wants to speak with Mr. Calderon regarding a request from some residents that the tennis courts be named in honor of the late Don Meyers.


Mr. Calderon told Mayor Samra to stop by and he will direct him through the proper channels for this type of request.


Dwight Benafield, 1330 Queen Way, stated he thinks that the council violated the City Code in regards to the super majority needed to remove the City Manager. He commented that he has a problem that it violated the provisions of Rule #47 of the Roberts Rules of Order which should be a no vote.


Colette Alvernaz read her concerns about the 42″ sewer line.


Mrs. Alvernaz pointed out that the minutes from the last meeting are incorrect. Her concerns were not noted, and Brandon Friesen who spoke regarding discussion on the City Manager’s contract was not recognized. She asked that the minutes be corrected,


Mrs. Alvernaz gave the City Clerk a copy of what she read along with her comments and concerns about the January 15th Council meeting, and a letter form Brandon Friesen.


Katherine Schell Rodriguez would like to thank the Chief of Police. The thought of him retiring brings tears to her eyes and she is sure that most of the citizens in the community feel the same way. She added that it seems that common sense is lacking in the council regarding the tow truck ordinance. Chief Eldridge is not a political person and he wouldn’t have presented this to the Council just for one person. It is sad to see that this item was voted down because the Council could not come to a consensus on this item.


Dr. Manjit Nagi, who has been involved with the City for a long time, congratulated the Council on hiring Mala Subramanian and Nanda Gottiparthy, both very intelligent, Indian People.




The following items were presented for the Council’s consideration under the Consent Calendar:


     5. Resolution No. 2008-5 Rejecting All Bids for the Vintage West Basin Backfill Project.


6. Waive the Second Reading and Adopt Ordinance no. 564 Authorizing the Amendment to the contract Between the city of Livingston and the Board of Administration of the California Public Employees’ retirement System.


7.  Denial of Claim for Damages from Anali Mendoza.


8.     Denial of Claim Relating to Edna Affholter, et. al. vs. Merced Irrigation District.


9.     Approval of Warrant Register Dated January 30, 2008.


10. Approval of Minutes of City Council Meeting Held on January 15, 2008.


Motion: M/S Samra/Soria to approve the Consent Calendar items as presented. The motion carried 4-0-1.




11.  City Council Guidance on City code Enforcement Officer.


Continued to the next regular meeting at the request of Mayor Pro-tem Ingram.


12.  Resolution rescinding Resolution 2006-01 and amending the Parks and Recreation Fee Policy to Reflect memorial Park Kitchen Rental Fees and Permit Staff approval for Park Rentals for More than 200 People.


City Manager Warne presented the agenda item.


Mayor Samra opened the item to the public at 8:30 p.m.


Trisha Backers suggested the city ensure they charge an adequate fee for rental of the park. She noted that a lot of money has been spent on the Memorial Park picnic area and it is important to charge people to use the park and give them a sense of pride in its upkeep.


Daniel Valera, 252, Maple Avenue, recommended the City charge a hefty deposit to endure the facility is left is good condition.


Colette Alvernaz suggested a check list be used to determine the condition of the facility after its use.


The public comment period was closed by Mayor Samra at 8:35 p.m.


Council member Espinoza said he doesn’t disagree with the rental fees; however, as liaison the parks and Recreation commission, he requested the commission consider the fees before the Council takes action.


Council Members Soria and Vierra did not object sending this item to the Parks and Recreation commission for review.


Mayor Gurpal Samra requested a change on page 4 of the Parks and Recreation Fee Policy to read “religious organizations.”


Motion: MS Soria/Espinoza to submit this item for Parks and Recreation commission review and recommendation. The motion carried 4-0-1.



13. City Council Guidance on appointment of Parks and Recreation Commissioner.


City Manager Warne asked for Council direction on how they wanted to proceed regarding appointment of a new Parks and Recreation member.


Kateherine Schell Rodriguez asked the Council to define the criteria for appointment to the Commission. She continued by reading a written copy of her qualifications.


The council did not respond to her question.


It was subsequently the consensus of the Council to re-advertise the position for a possible appointment at the March 4, 2008, meeting.



14. City manager Announcements and Reports.


·        No announcements or reports




The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 8:45 p.m.


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