JUNE 16, 2009

CLOSED SESSION/REGULAR MEETING

LIVINGSTON CITY COUNCIL

JUNE 16, 2009

 

A Regular Meeting/Closed Session of the Livingston City Council was held on June 16, 2009, in the City Council Chambers with Mayor Varela presiding.

CLOSED SESSION

 

Mayor Varela opened the meeting at 5:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL

 

Mayor Daniel Varela, Sr.

Mayor Pro-Tem Rodrigo Espinoza

Council Member Frank Vierra

Council Member Margarita Aguilar

Council Member Martha Nateras

 

The City Council went into Closed Session to discuss the following matters:

 

1. Public Employee Discipline/Dismissal/Release.

Government Code Section 54957.

Title: City Attorney.

 

2. Public Employment Appointment.

Government Code Section 54957.

Title: City Attorney.

 

3. Conference with Labor Negotiator.

Government Code Section 54957.6.

Agency Negotiators: City Manager Richard N. Warne and Assistant City Manager Vickie Lewis.

Employee Organization: Clerical Employees Association.

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4. Conference with Labor Negotiator.

Government Code Section 54957.6.

Agency Negotiators: City Manager Richard N. Warne and Assistant City Manager Vickie Lewis.

Employee Organization: Management/Confidential Employees Association.

 

5. Conference with Labor Negotiator.

Government Code Section 54957.6.

Agency Negotiator: City Manager Richard N. Warne and Assistant City Manager Vickie Lewis.

Employee Organization: Livingston Police Officers’ Association

 

6. Conference with Labor Negotiator.

Government Code Section 54957.6.

Agency Negotiators: City Manager Richard N. Warne and Assistant City Manager Vickie Lewis.

Employee Organization: Public Works/Parks Employees Unit.

 

7. Conference with Labor Negotiator.

Government Code Section 54957.6.

Agency Negotiators: City Manager Richard N. Warne and Assistant City Manager Vickie Lewis.

Employee Organization: Supervisory Employees Association.

 

8. Conference with Labor Negotiator.

Government Code Section 54957.6.

Agency Negotiators: City Manager Richard N. Warne and Assistant City Manager Vickie Lewis.

Employee Organization: Unrepresented Employees.

9. Public Employee Performance Evaluation.

Government Code Section 54957.

Title: City Manager.

10. Conference with Legal Counsel—Significant Exposure to Litigation.

Government Code Section 54956.9(b).

Significant Exposure to Litigation (3 Cases).

OPEN SESSION

The City Council came out of Closed Session and into Open Session.

REGULAR MEETING

CALL TO ORDER

Mayor Varela called the meeting to order at 7:10 p.m.

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PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

The pledge of allegiance to the flag was recited.

ROLL CALL

Mayor Daniel Varela, Sr.

Mayor Pro-Tem Rodrigo Espinoza

Council Member Frank Vierra

Council Member Margarita Aguilar

Council Member Martha Nateras

CLOSED SESSION ANNOUNCEMENTS

Mayor Varela asked Interim City Attorney Jonathan Hobbs to make the closed session announcements. Interim City Attorney Jonathan Hobbs reported that the City Council took the following actions during Closed Session:

1. City Council voted 3-2 to terminate the services of Best Best and Krieger and Malathy Subramanian as City Attorney. Council Members Aguilar and Espinoza voted no.

2. City Council voted 3-2 to appoint Jonathan P. Hobbs from the law firm of Kronick,Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard as the Interim City Attorney. Council Members Aguilarand Espinoza voted no.

CHANGES TO THE AGENDA

URGENCY ITEM

City Manger Richard Warne requested the City Council add an urgency item to the agenda. The City received an e-mail today from the League of California Cities asking the Livingston City Council to adopt a resolution opposing the taking of the City’s gas tax revenues by the State Legislature to help close the state budget deficit. He requested adding this resolution as Item No. 19 to the agenda. He said that this request requires a two-thirds vote by the City Council to be added to the agenda. The City Attorney concurred with the City Manager that this item came to the attention of the City after the agenda was posted and that action of the City Council by twothirds vote was needed to add this item to the agenda.

Motion: M/S Vierra/Espinoza to add the resolution as Item #19 on the agenda. The motion carried 5-0.

Mr. Hobbs recommended that the City Council continue Items #14 and #15 to the meeting of July 7, 2009. These are the ordinances that pertain to the water service fees and sewer service fees. The proposal is to continue these items to that meeting where staff will bring back two resolutions for City Council consideration. The resolutions will be to update the water and sewer service fees pursuant to the Revenue Bond Law of 1941 and City police powers in the City’s municipal code. These resolutions are subject to approval by the majority of the City Council. A public hearing will be held on those resolutions under the Revenue Bond Law of 1941 to allow

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people to express their opinion on those resolutions, including whether the rates are discriminatory and in compliance under the Revenue Bond Law of 1941.

This public hearing is separate and apart from the Proposition 218 public hearing. The Proposition 218 public hearing has been concluded and the City will be receiving no new protests under the Proposition 218 process. At the conclusion of that hearing, the City Council will have the option to approve or not to approve the new rates. If there is a desire to accept this recommendation, the City Council should make an appropriate motion.

Motion: M/S Vierra/Nateras to continue Items #14 and #15 to the regular City Council meeting

of July 7, 2009, as the City Attorney has suggested. The motion carried 3-2 with Council Members Aguilar and Espinoza voting no.

Council Member Rodrigo Espinoza stated the City Council will be voting on water rates at the next meeting. He said the City Council will be voting to approve the rates by resolution and will only need three votes to pass the water rates, and not the four votes. The new City Attorney’s opinion is that the City Council does not need to have a 4/5 vote or super majority to raise the water rates. The City Council will be able to pass a resolution with a majority vote of three of the five City Council members, and the rates will go which ever way the City Council decides.

AWARDS, PRESENTATIONS, APPOINTMENTS AND PROCLAMATIONS

1. Special Recognition – Police Officers Alan Cadiente and Daine Villarreal.

Police Chief Bill Eldridge presented Certificates of Recognition to Police Officers Alan Cadiente and Daine Villarreal for their valiant efforts in saving the life of an elderly mann having a heart attack on May 30. Police Chief Eldridge recounted the incident and commended the officers for their quick reaction that resulted in saving the man’s life. He said that he was proud of both of them.

Mayor Varela commended the officers said that this is the kind of people we have working in Livingston.

2. Presentation – Club Live of Livingston.

Mayor Varela introduced Mr. Jensen from Club Live of Livingston. Several students from Club Live of Livingston read statements on smoking to the City Council.

Mayor Varela asked the students to keep in contact with the City Council.

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REPORTS

Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements and Reports.

Juan Corona, Administrative Assistant, reported that Supervisor Pedrozo was at the RCRC Board meeting tonight and he could not attend the City Council meeting. Mr. Corona stated that he and Supervisor Pedrozo wanted to thank City Manager Warne and Assistant City Manger Vickie Lewis for working with them the past year to be sure that Mr. Corona had a place to meet County residents during his weekly visits to Livingston. He thanked those who

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come to him with their issues and City Manager Warne and Assistant City Manger Vickie Lewis for scheduling a time for him to be at City Hall. Mr. Corona commented that due to budget constraints the County is cutting back on services and they would no longer be doing weekly visits; but Supervisor Pedrozo and he are still available to help anyone with any County issues.

City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports.

Mayor Daniel Varela

• Commented that Bob Thompson, a member of the community, passed away this week. His services are set for June 23 at 11:00 a.m. at the United Methodist Church.

• Asked Public Works Supervisors Kathryn Reyes and Jim Rightsell to speak about the special work they did for the late Carlos Aguilar, a City employee who recently passed away. Ms. Reyes gave a report on the car wash and barbecue chicken dinner held in honor of Mr. Aguilar. The whole community came together and bought tickets for the barbecue. The Public Works Department cooked the dinner and many people in the community donated food and other items for the barbecue. She thanked the entire community who came together to benefit Mr. Aguilar’s young daughter. A total of $9,088 was raised and will be set up in a trust fund for her.

Mayor Varela thanked the entire community for their support of the Carlos Aguilar family.

Mayor Pro Tem Frank Vierra

• Thanked staff and everyone in the community who helped and attended the barbecue dinner for Carlos Aguilar. He said it was unbelievable to see the whole City come together to support this worthwhile cause. He said he attended the church services and then went to the cemetery. There were still cars coming in as the priest started the graveside service.

• Stated that he attended the Court Theater Committee meeting last night and said things are still moving along. The committee talked about funding and how they are going to continue to seek funding for the theater renovation.

• Stated that he attended the Central Valley Division of the League of California Cities meeting. He said that a State Legislator and the State Controller spoke and made it very clear that they were not in favor of taking money from the cities to solve the State’s financial problems. He said that the State Legislator said that they needed 41 votes in the State Legislature to protect City funds.

• Advised Mrs. Madeline Xavier that the City is working on the mistletoe problem on her street.

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Council Member Martha Nateras

• Thanked everyone for being here tonight. She said that her entire family was present at the meeting for the first time.

• Commented that Mr. Thompson, who recently passed away, was a good friend and fellow Rotarian. He was very active in the community. He will be missed.

• Congratulated all of the Livingston Middle School and Livingston High School graduates.

• Stated that she attended the June 9 meeting of the Planning Commission. Verizon Wireless applied for a site plan/design review to install a new antenna at their existing tower near the Public Works yard. A new developer is interested in purchasing the vacant lots in the Kishi (Country Lane) Subdivision. The subdivision was originally built by Matthews Homes. She commended and thanked City Manager Warne for negotiating with the developer a very good financial package for the City. She thought that the total financial benefit to the City was approximately $1.5 million.

• Attended the Central Valley Division, League of California Cities dinner meeting in Lodi with Mayor Varela and Mayor Pro Tem Vierra. One of the speakers was John Chang, State Controller, who provided information regarding the State budget situation. The City is going to have the honor of hosting a League meeting for the first time in September. She wanted to challenge the citizens to have pride in our community. She said we are going to have many city officials from other cities that belong to the League. Ms. Nateras said if someone sees something in the City that needs to be taken care of, please stop by City Hall and let staff know.

Council Member Rodrigo Espinoza

• Thanked Marge McFadden, the City’s representative on the Merced County Mosquito Abatement District Board for arranging to have the District Director speak at a recent City Council meeting about the mosquito problem in town. He said that since then, he has seen fewer mosquitoes in his neighborhood.

• Stated that Item Number 18 is a bill for his tow truck company. He said that he requested a new policy from the Police Chief and City Manager that the Police Department not call him directly, so it does not appear that he is personally benefiting from towing vehicles in the City.

Council Member Margarita Aguilar

• Commented that she also attended some of the school graduations, including Livingston

High School and Livingston Middle School. It was nice to see so many students graduating. There were 283 graduates this year from the Livingston Middle School and it was nice to see so many attending. The Livingston Community Network honored 32 students with scholarships. On Saturday they had a special dinner for the parents. They

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are the first teachers so they were honored with a special dinner. Over 100 guests attended, including some of her former students. She thanked the parents for their hard work and dedication. She added that school is out and there are a lot of kids out there, so please be careful.

• Noted that the City Manager got a developer to come in and give the City $100,000 that can be used towards the construction of a skateboard park. She thanked City Manager Warne for his efforts. She said the skateboard park is a mission of the City Council to help get the kids off the streets.

• Commented on Item #3 on the consent calendar pertaining to the sports complex project. She stated that she is learning and the City Council is learning as we go along and sometimes things are misinterpreted such as questioning a department head. She apologized to Community Development Director Donna Kenney if Ms. Kenney felt she was personally attacking her. Ms. Aguilar said she asked a simple question and she apologized if Ms. Kenney or any other person thought she was attacking Ms. Kenney. Council Member Aguilar apologized again to Community Development Director Kenney.

Mayor’s Announcements and Reports.

Mayor Varela made his comments earlier in the meeting.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

There were no scheduled public hearings.

CITIZEN COMMENTS

Mike Torres, 1616 Eighth Street, stated he did not know if the Council took the public’s concerns seriously, but this was the second time he was asking the Council to mak accommodations for the public who attend Council meetings that have to wait outside before the regular meeting begins. He suggested getting some benches. Mayor Varela apologized and said the City Council will address this situation.

Mr. Torres asked if the City was going to have fireworks this year. City Manager Warne saidyes.

Angelina Torres, P.O. Box 381, stated that it seems like it is politics as usual. She said the new City Council came in. They now have a new City Attorney and the old City Attorney is fired. She said the City Council is going to consider a resolution next month on the water rates, and they are going to have a 3-2 vote. The City Council is going to affect everyone in this room. The City Council is doing a resolution because they were blocked. The Council has two members that did not want the rate increase and three that did. She stated that she thought that next month the Council is going to vote for a water rate increase and it will be a 3-2 vote.

City Attorney Hobbs stated that this item is on a future agenda.

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Gilbert Reyes, 1325 Emerald Drive, said he is sick and tired of people not wanting to raise the water rates. He asked people to ask themselves what you are going to give up if this water rate increase does not pass. Mr. Reyes asked if the citizens are willing to give up police protection and the Fire Department. He said if the Fire Department does not have any money, Council Member Aguilar’s sons do not work. He said we are not going have recreation. He thinks the City Council should approve the water rate increase because it is will be good for the City. It is time to move forward.

Angelina Torres said that the Fire Department is not even paid for by the City. It is paid for by CalFire and Merced County. City Manager Warne commented that this is not entirely true. The City provides funding for the Fire Department through the General Fund. The volunteer firefighter wages are paid by CalFire, but the City appropriates funds annually for the Fire Department. So what Ms. Torres says is true and what Mr. Reyes says is true. The Fire Department is in the General Fund and it can be affected by cuts to the General Fund.

Council Member Aguilar informed Mr. Reyes that her sons do have jobs. They only get $10 per call. The County pays them. One son works in the Bay Area and he has been seasoned for three years for CalFire. Her oldest son is just now getting a job, thank God for that. Ms. Aguilar commended Mr. Reyes for bringing this up, but for his information her sons do have jobs.

Warren Urnberg, 1331 Eighth Street, commented that several years ago the City had to get a loan for the domestic wastewater treatment plant. He asked what the rate was at that time and has the City thought about refinancing the treatment plant loan since the loan rates are going down. Mr. Urnberg further asked how many law suits are against the City at this point. He said he saw that the City made the paper again and it was nothing good. He asked when and how did the City get a new City Attorney and why? He said it seems that when things are not going good for the City, it gets a new City Attorney. Mr. Urnberg asked when the water meters were installed, were they calibrated? He said his water usage goes up and down and the amount of water usage does not seem right.

Water Supervisor Kathryn Reyes explained that the water meters are calibrated and tested by the company that builds the meter, and then they are under warranty for a certain amount of time. So if they find there is a problem they can pull that meter out and send it out for repair. She said if someone is consistently having a problem, Public Works Department personnel will go out and do a test on site. She said another thing that could impact his water usage is the time of the month that the meter reading occurs. If the meter is read on the 15th and then the next month it is read on the 17th, there are a couple of days there that could potentially impact his water usage by several thousand gallons. So they try to stay consistent by reading the meters in the same three or four days every month, but sometimes, due to the work load, they get behind, so this could impact his water usage. However, if there is a constant problem then he should start with utility billing and then if the billing person sees any inconsistencies she will refer it to Public Works Department and they will do an investigation.

Mr. Urnberg asked about the information he received on water testing. He asked if there is any way that this can be written so that a normal person can read it. Ms. Reyes said if he was talking about the annual Consumer Confidence Report, the state requires the City to send it to each water user. She said that the State has a particular format and that certain language is required to

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be put on the report. She knows it can be confusing, but if Mr. Urnberg has any questions regarding the report, that he should call her or Public Works Department or stop by the office. She can give him a better explanation on what the City is sampling for. Mayor Varela encouraged anyone to come to City Hall and talk to staff. This way the public does not have to wait until a City Council meeting to ask questions.

Fernando Cortez, 2114 Cardella Court, said, “Congratulations, you guys are going to approve one of the three scenarios, which is probably #2.” He noted that he had an experience that when his meter was read they were adding one number. He asked how we are going to know if there are inconsistencies. Mr. Cortez said he heard the City was going to be charging for a person to read meters. He said if the water meter does not work, you are going to be paying more money. He is against the water rate increase.

City Attorney Hobbs asked Mr. Cortez if he could limit his comments to the next meeting where there will be a public hearing. Mr. Cortez added that the Council went about the rate increases the wrong way and he was opposed to the increases.

Luis Flores, 707 Almondwood, stated that Council Member Nateras challenged the community to get ready for the League of California Cities meeting, but he would like to challenge her to establish a Citizens’ Advisory Committee. He said six months have gone by and critical things have happened. He told Ms. Nateras if you are going to challenge us, he has brought this matter up many times, so why isn’t there a Citizens’ Advisory Committee?

Mayor Varela spoke up in defense of Council Member Nateras. He said the Council was trying to do the best to get young people to get involved. Other than just complaining about it and this is the third time Mr. Flores has made this comment to Ms. Nateras, he said the Council is working on this issue on top of everything else. It is trying to establish the right program for the community.

Council Member Nateras said there are eleven positions open on the Citizens’ Advisory Committee. She wondered if Mr. Flores knew how hard it is to recruit members, and asked if he has applied. She would like to recruit from the high school right after graduation. Ms. Nateras said she is looking forward to working with the Citizens’ Advisory Committee, so thank you Mr. Flores.

Kathryn Schell Rodriquez, P.O. Box 163, commented that some times, she thought that Noah could have done a better job of controlling which critters got on to the boat. Personally, she could do without certain slithering, stinging, burrowing and bloodsucking creatures like snakes, scorpions, gophers and mosquitoes. Then there are the slithering, stinging, burrowing and bloodsucking creatures of the political kind. Like the “Molehillus Mountainus” who digs for dirt just for the sheer joy of digging. The “Warbling Mud-Flicker,” and the “Gerrymander.” She said a complete political taxonomy is way too much to cover in a mere three minutes so she guessed she had to settle with telling the Council about only two: the Tyrant-a-saurus Vex and the E-Raf. The Tyrant-a-saurus Vex , a member of the Shriek-a-saurus family, can be found in all levels of government, from the halls of Congress, to local City Halls. There have been several reported sighting of one in Washington D. C. in the speaker’s chambers. One of the characteristics of the Tyrant-a-saurus Vex is its firm belief that mere election to office gives it

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the right to bluff, badger, and otherwise treat staff and underlings like lesser evolved animals. Its loud roar, foot stomping, and caterwauling, can send staffers racing for exits faster than rats abandoning a sinking ship. In the unhappy occasions that a “Tyrant-a-saurus Vex” happens to mate with a “Molehillus Mountainus” the resulting offspring can be guaranteed to grind government operations to a complete halt. Next, the E-Raf The ERAF. The E-Raf, a multitentacled version of the “Bugetarious Manipulus” family, makes its home in the State of California. While the Tyrant-a-saurus Vex attempts to accomplish its goals through bluff andagitation, the E-Raf accomplishes its goals through cunning, guile, and financial “slight of hand.” Usually found around groups of a sub-species known as the “Double Tongued Lilly Guilder” the E-Raf is adept in convincing the unwary that it is able to magically turn thousands of dollars into millions of dollars through the use of a magic ritual strongly reminiscent of a Carnival “Shell Game.” The “mark” (Usually from the genus “Sheeple)” is convinced to place several thousand of its hard earned dollars under one of several cups, which are labeled “Budgetary Money Multipliers.” The E-Raf rapidly swishes the cups around while chanting the magic phrase, “Money, Money, Show, me the Money,” then lifts the cups, one by one, revealing small piles of coins. The “Sheeple” is always dismayed at this ”return” of only pennies on the dollar, but has yet to figure out it needs to stop playing the game. She stated that in the future, she would like to talk about other interesting creatures like the “North American Ney Ney Bird,” and the “Bile Throated Blame Thrower,” but she thought her time is about up.

CONSENT CALENDAR

City Manager Warne presented the following consent calendar items for the consideration of the

City Council. Council Member Aguilar requested that Item #3 be pulled for discussion. Council Member Espinoza pulled Item #11 for clarification.

3. Waive the Second Reading and Adopt Ordinance No. 581, an Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Livingston Rezoning APN 023-006-008 from M-1 (Limited Industrial) to P/OS (Park/Open Space) for the Livingston Sports Complex Project.

Council Member Aguilar asked that this item be pulled for discussion from the Consent Calendar. She asked that Pastor Bill Ruth be allowed to speak.

Pastor Bill Ruth stated that it seems he was misrepresented at the City Planning Commission meeting. He would like the opportunity to address the City Planning Commission to explain to them exactly what his intent was regarding the community garden. He said he would like the Planning Commission to understand what is to come. He is also willing to negotiate and go through an appeal process. He does not want this important issue pushed aside without any recourse on him. Pastor Ruth commented that he just wanted to be able to explain to the Commission exactly what the Hunger Task Force is planning to do and to show that they are willing to negotiate to move this project forward. He understands the timelines and he would like to know what the timeline is for the sports complex to be built. He asked what he needs to do to get on the agenda for the Planning Commission meeting.

City Manager Warne said Pastor Ruth was welcome to address the Planning Commission and he could talk to Donna Kenney so she could schedule him on the agenda. Pastor Ruth thanked Mr. Warne for his willingness to work with him. He really appreciates this.

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Mike Torres, 1616 Eighth Street, said he knew the buildings that are at the sports complex property are under a Conditional Use Permit (CUP). City Manager Warne commented that he did not know under what kind of conditions the Child Development Center was approved. He said without staff going back through the records, it is impossible for us to say at this time. The Child Development Center could have been built 10 years ago.

Mr. Torres said that the property is going from medium industrial zoning to park/open space zoning. City Manager Warne noted that the area where the Child Development Center is located is zoned open space. He said it is only the area being considered tonight is where the grass ends.

Mr. Torres asked if the whole area is dedicated to the sports complex.

Donna Kenney said the Planning Commission did approve a Conditional Use Permit for public buildings and underground utilities on the 12.6 acre piece being considered tonight.

Mayor Varela noted that Mr. Torres was talking about the Child Development Center.

Ms. Kenney said it has been so long that she would have to do some research on it.

Mr. Torres asked how long the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) would be good for. Community Development Director Kenny said that there is no time limit placed on it.

Mayor Varela stated that the Child Development Center is part of everything that is going to be built on that property.

Mr. Torres said that when the project started it was zoned medium industrial, and now the sports complex is going to be zoned open space. He asked if there is anything else that is going to be allowed that does not pertain to the sports complex?

Ms. Kenney said the zoning allows public buildings with a use permit. She would have to look in the records to see if the Child Development Center has a use permit and when it was granted.

Mr. Torres commented that the City started off with a community center on Prusso Street and now it is a child development center.

Mayor Varela said the City has a plan for a sports complex.

Mr. Torres noted that the building now belongs to the elementary school district. He asked why is there no time on the conditional use permit.

Ms. Kenny said the use permit is for public facility and not for a commercial or industrial facility.

He thought it was supposed to be used for a sports complex.

Mayor Varela asked Ms. Kenney if she could schedule an appointment so that Mr. Torres could come in and talk to her about this matter. Ms. Kenney said yes.

Mr. Torres said this is a dual use, but what the Council is voting on is keeping it open space. He did not see how the sports complex can be used as a dual use.

Mayor Varela said Mr. Torres could meet with Ms. Kenney to have his questions answered. He saidthere are several parks in the community that have dual uses.

Mr. Torres said he understood, but the Council isn’t voting on this tomorrow, it is voting on this tonight.

Council Member Espinoza asked Pastor Ruth if he wanted to appeal the decision of the Planning Commission. He felt that Pastor Ruth would need to come to the City Council if he wants to appeal the decision of the Planning Commission and negotiate with the City Council.

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City Attorney Hobbs commented that he understood that Pastor Ruth had some concerns about the community garden. The issue before the City Council this evening is only the rezoning of the property. There is not an appeal process for the rezoning in place right now, because it is already at the Council level.

Council Member Espinoza said he wanted to see if Pastor Ruth wanted to appeal the community garden to the Planning Commission.

Ms. Kenney said the10-day appeal process has past for bringing the community garden Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to the City Council. She has already had discussions with the Assistant City Attorney on whether or not there was new information that would permit staff to bring this issue back to the Planning Commission. She has given Pastor Ruth her phone number and asked him to call her so that they could work together on this issue.

Pastor Ruth stated that he was not present at the Planning Commission meeting and he thought everything that he did before the City Council was transmitted to the Planning Commission. His point tonight is to see if there is anyway to keep the matter on the table. The Planning Commission has the power to say yes or no on the community garden and that is why he wanted to talk to the Planning Commission.

Council Member Espinoza asked if the City Attorney could look into this issue.

City Attorney Hobbs stated that he would talk to planning staff and find out the details of the project.

Katherine Schell Rodriguez said she was at the City Council meeting when the item was first discussed and at the Planning Commission meeting when the vote was taken. She has been paying attention to talk on the street and reading the newspaper. She thinks that one of the fears and rumors is that the City is going to give the sports complex land to Wal-Mart to discharge their storm water. This is totally different than what she heard at the Planning Commission meeting. She understands that the property can be graded so that the storm water runoff can be accommodated from Wal-Mart while still permitting a baseball complex.

Angelina Torres said she was also at the Planning Commission meeting. She stated that the community garden was misrepresented at the Planning Commission meeting. It was suggested that there was going to be fruit trees there. When the Planning Commission voted on this they excluded the whole garden. The Planning Commission misrepresented what Pastor Ruth was trying to show as a community garden. Pastor Ruth was not even there to answer questions. Donna Kenney was there to answer questions. She said that the Planning Commission knew they were going to vote on the community garden issue and that they should have invited Pastor Ruth. He could have answered any questions they might have had. She said all the Planning Commission heard was fruit trees. She added that the Planning Commission had options and they to voted on the garden and the fruit trees.

Council Member Nateras said there was so much confusion. She asked if the item could be brought back or does the City Council have to vote on this tonight.

City Manager Warne said the only thing that the Council is doing tonight is rezoning the property so it is consistent with the City General Plan. The zoning will go from industrial to park/open space. The community garden is a whole separate issue.

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Council Member Nateras asked if the rezoning would preclude this item from going back to the Planning Commission for further consideration.

Community Development Director Donna Kenny said that the industrial zoning does not permit community gardens.

City Manager Warne stated that the proposed action tonight is nothing more than a “pure vanilla” rezoning and nothing more than that.

Motion: M/S Vierra/Nateras to Waive the Second Reading and Adopt Ordinance No.

581, an Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Livingston Rezoning APN 023-006-

008 from M-1 (Limited Industrial) to P/OS (Park/Open Space) for the Livingston Sports

Complex Project. The motion carried 4-1 by the following votes:

AYES: Council Members: Espinoza, Nateras, Varela, Vierra

NOES: Council Members: Aguilar

ABSENT: Council Members: None

4. Resolution Authorizing the City Manager to File Regional Surface Transportation

Program (RSTP) Funds Claim Form for Fiscal Year 2008/2009. (Resolution No. 2009- 23.)

5. A Resolution of the City Council of the City of Livingston Approving an Extension of the Current Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Livingston and the City of Livingston Clerical Employees Association. (Resolution No. 2009-24.)

6. A Resolution of the City Council of the City of Livingston Approving an Extension of the Current Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Livingston and the City of Livingston Management and Confidential Employees Association. (Resolution No. 2009-25.)

 

7. A Resolution of the City Council of the City of Livingston Approving an Extension of the Current Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Livingston and the City of Livingston Police Officers’ Association. (Resolution No. 2009-26.)

8. A Resolution of the City Council of the City of Livingston Approving an Extension of the Current Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Livingston and the City of Livingston Public Works and Parks Employees Unit. (Resolution No. 2009-27.)

9. A Resolution of the City Council of the City of Livingston Approving an Extension of the Current Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Livingston and the City of Livingston Supervisory Employees Association. (Resolution No. 2009-28.)

10. Resolution Approving an Extension of the Current Understandings between the City of Livingston and the City of Livingston Unrepresented Employees not Associated with Any City Bargaining Union. (Resolution No. 2009-29.)

11. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on May 5, 2009.

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Council Member Espinoza asked if Former City Attorney Malathy Subramanian had made some comments prior to consideration of the water and sewer rates. City Manager Warne said that the staff can double check the tape.

Motion: M/S Espinoza/Nateras to bring the Minutes back at the next meeting for clarification and approval. The motion carried 5-0.

12. Approval of Warrant Register Dated June 11, 2009.

Motion: M/S Vierra/Aguilar to approve Items # 4, 5,6,7,8,9,10, and12 on the consentcalendar. The motion carried 5-0.

DISCUSSION AND POTENTIAL ACTION ITEMS

13. City Council Guidance Regarding California Department of Public Health Enforcement Letter for Failure to Comply with Secondary Drinking Water Standard for Manganese for Well #15.

City Manager Warne presented the agenda item. He stated that some action needs to be taken on this item. There currently are no funds in the Water Enterprise Funds to correct this problem. He hoped that everyone would bear with him while he reads the staff report into the record of the City Council meeting. City Manager Warne stated that it is important for the public as well as the City Council to know that something needs to be done in this area to respond to the letter from the Department of Public Health. See attached letter to minutes of meeting.

RECOMMENDATION:

Provide staff with guidance regarding California Department of Public Health enforcement letter for failure to comply with secondary drinking water standard for manganese for Well #15. Staff needs City Council’s guidance to respond to the California Department of Public Health’s enforcement letter because there are no funds available in the Water Enterprise Fund to either (1) go through the process to apply for a nine-year waiver in accordance with Section 64449.2, Title 22, California Code of Regulations; or (2) install a well-head treatment system for removal of the manganese from the water produced by Well #15. The City Engineer’s preliminary estimate for a treatment system for Well #15 is $1 million.

BACKGROUND:

City staff received a letter, attached hereto, from the California Department of Public Health (“DPH”), dated May 28, 2009, notifying the City that the DPH completed a review of manganese monitoring results conducted by the City for the City’s Well #15 and found that manganese concentrations in Well #15 exceeded the aesthetic, not health related, secondary drinking water standard for manganese. The letter went on to detail the options available to the City, to either apply for a waiver which would allow the City to continue using the well as an active source of water supply, or to install a treatment system for removal of the manganese. The letter concluded by stating that the City had

Page 15 of 25

until June 19, 2009 to submit a written response to the letter and provide a plan and timeline for addressing the secondary drinking water standard exceedance. Failure to comply with the letter’s directives could result in administrative penalties. The letter states that failure to comply with its directives will result in the issuance of a citation for noncompliance, which could include administrative penalties. The administrative penalty for violation of a secondary drinking water standard is a civil penalty not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each day that the violation continues beyond the date specified for correction in the citation. (Health and Safety Code § 116650, subd. (e)(2).) If the City continues to be in violation, the Department of Health Services may issue an order requiring the installation of purification or treatment works. (Health and Safety Code § 116655.) Continued violation may result in penalties including greater fines. (Health and Safety Code § 116725.) It is in the City’s best interest to respond to the DPH’s letter as request

DISCUSSION:

The City has two options with respect to responding to the DPH’s letter: (1) apply for a nine-year waiver in accordance with Section 64449.2, Title 22, California Code of Regulations; or (2) install a treatment system for removal of the manganese from the water produced by Well #15. The City Engineer’s preliminary estimate for the wellhead treatment manganese is $1 million. To apply for a nine year waiver the City must conduct and submit a study to the Department of Health Services within one year of violating the secondary drinking water standard including the following:

• Water system complaint log and other evidence of customer dissatisfaction, such as a log of calls to the county health department;

• Engineering report evaluating the alternatives and costs for bringing the water system into compliance with the secondary drinking water standard, including the option of sequestering the manganese (treating the manganese such that its aesthetic impact is reduced or eliminated), with a recommendation for the most cost effective and feasible approach by the engineer preparing the report;

• Customer survey distributed to all of the water system’s customers including the following:

o Estimated costs to individual customers of the most cost-effective alternatives presented in the engineering report

o The query: “Are you willing to pay for manganese reduction treatment?”

o The query: “Are you willing to pay for manganese sequestering treatment?”

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o The query: “Do you prefer to avoid the cost of treatment and live with the current water quality situation?”

o The statement: “If you do not respond to this survey, the City of Livingston will assume that you are in support of the reduction treatment recommended by the engineering report.”

• A brief report (agenda, list of attendees, transcript) of a public meeting held

by the City to which customers were invited, and at which both the tabulated

results of the customer survey and the engineering report were presented with a

request for input from the public.

At least 50% or more of the billed customers must respond to the survey or else the survey must be conducted again within 3 months. The City must achieve a 50% response rate on the survey to be eligible for the waiver.

If the customer survey indicates that the percentage of billed customers that voted for manganese reduction treatment and manganese sequestering treatment exceeds the percentage of billed customers that voted for avoiding the cost of treatment, the City shall implement the reduction treatment or the sequestering treatment depending on which received a higher percentage of votes.

If a waiver is applied for, 50% or more of the customers respond to the survey as required above, and the majority of customers vote to avoid the cost of treatment and live with the current water quality situation, the waiver stands without issue.

However, if 50% or more of the customers respond, and the majority of the votes are for either a manganese reduction or sequestering treatment, an issue arises as the customers would then be charged by the City for the cost of such treatment as an increase to their water bill. For this increase to be adopted, the City would have to provide notice to the customers of the increase, conduct a public hearing, and not receive written protests from over 50% of the property owners.

There are several problems with this approach. First, we are unsure whether 50% or more of the customers would respond. Second, any rate increase would be subject to Proposition 218.

As stated above, there are two options that the City can take in response to the DPH’s letter. It can choose not to apply for a waiver and simply install the treatment system for the removal of manganese. Alternatively, the City may apply for a waiver, in which case the customers may choose to have a treatment system be installed and bear such costs which, again, would be subject to Proposition 218, or to continue to receive the water that exceeds the secondary drinking water standard for manganese.

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FISCAL IMPACT:

The City Engineer’s preliminary estimate for manganese well-head treatment at Well #15 is approximately $1 million. The costs for applying for completing an engineer’s report and going through the waiver process are unknown at this time.

City Manager Warne commented that he wanted the public to know that higher concentrations of manganese is an aesthetic problem that has to do with odor and color as opposed to a public health issue. The water is drinkable, even with the higher concentrations of manganese.

City Manager Warne apologized for reading the entire staff report into the record, but the City has an issue here, and there is no money in the Water Enterprise Fund to solve this problem. Staff needs City Council guidance as to what they would like them to do. He stated that staff did have a phone conversation with the Department of Public Health today and they indicated that they would allow the City to extend the deadline for a response from June 19, 2009, to July 7, 2009. This means that the City Council has one meeting to decide what it is going to do. If the City Council decides to attempt to get a waiver they will have to have 50% or more of the water customers to actually vote for the waiver. In other words the water customers would have to vote to have higher levels of manganese in the water than the state water drinking standard or you have to do treatment. The preliminary cost of treatment is $1 million. There is no money in the Water Enterprise Fund to do this. So he is getting the word out to the public and letting the Council know about this issue because he knows that water rates are an issue, but the City must simply be able to maintain its water system and it must have sufficient funds to do so.

City Manager Warne commented that one of the questions that the state regulators asked was what are the current water rates? We told them they are $9.90 for 35,000 gallons. Their comment was that this low rate was absolutely ridiculous. That is the comment from the state, so no action needs to be taken tonight, but it will be on the City Council agenda for July 7. A decision needs to be made by the City Council to (1) ask the voters to vote for high levels of manganese in the water or (2) move forward with a plan and treatment options. That is the end of my report, he said.

Council Member Nateras said the Council was presented with this in closed session. She said so this is what we are dealing with and it is not an easy decision. City Manager Warne stated the letter from the Department of Health Services was sent on May 28. The City Council has been aware of this issue for a couple of weeks, but the item is being put on the public agenda so the City Council and the public is aware of it. He said that there is no money in the Water Enterprise Fund to do well-head treatment or go through the process to get a waiver.

Mike Torres asked how the City was going to get 50 percent participation in a waiver vote.

City Manager Warne explained it depends on if the Council wants to go in that direction. If the City Council chooses to go in that direction we would have to sit down with the state and discuss with them how they want that vote to be taken. However, if you have less than 50% of the water users participating in the vote, then the City cannot have a waiver and it must automatically go to treatment.

Page 18 of 25

Mr. Torres asked if the well was in use right now.

Mr. Warne replied yes.

Mr. Torres asked why the City can’t take the well out of service.

Kathryn Reyes explained that the City currently has 8 wells that have active permits from the state. The only well we have off line right now is well #16, which has an arsenic removal system. She said it is very expensive to operate Well #16. Each well pumps about 1,000 gallons a minute. Well #15 is located on Joseph Gallo Drivenear Starbucks.

Mr. Torres suggested that the City shut down Well #15 until it is fixed. He commented that the deadline is pretty close and he knows the City would lose water pressure. He asked what the affect would be to shut down the well.

Ms. Reyes explained that if the City takes Well #15 offline, the pressure across the City will be reduced. By state law, the City is required to provide 20 pounds of pressure–and anyone who has had 20 pounds of pressure knows it is not adequate. Second, she said the City provides water to Foster Farms and they need a certain amount of pressure to operate their plant. So we have to have every well on to provide and meet the demands of the City. If we turn Well #15 off we would not be able to provide enough water to keep everyone satisfied with the water pressure. Ms. Reyes said we could turn on Well #16, but it is more expensive to operate. We are going to be rapidly using our arsenic absorbent media, increasing operating costs. Also Well #16 has higher laboratory sampling costs because the City has to make sure it is removing the arsenic. The well must be sampled daily and then sampled by a certified laboratory weekly. Bacteria samples must be taken before and after the filters. This is in addition to all general laboratory sampling that is required for all wells.

Mr. Torres asked how long before they found out if Well #15 was bad? Ms. Reyes commented that normally the City samples for manganese once every three years by state regulation. If it has normal levels of manganese, then one sample every three years is sufficient. She stated that in April of last year the City exceeded the maximum contaminated level for manganese for the first time. The City was then required to sample the well every quarter for the next four quarters. The results are averaged out by the state. When the one-year average exceeded the state maximum contaminate level, the Department of Public Health sent the City the letter in May. She said the Department of Health Services wants to make sure you don’t have a testing fluke. It was consistently high for a year.

Mr. Torres commented that the City has other wells. He knows the City is low on money. He said if the City knew it was going to be so high, the City should have done something earlier. It is too late now. He hoped we learned a lesson.

Mayor Varela stated that this is something that he talked about a couple of weeks ago. The state is going to put out mandates, and the City is going to have to act because the City has no choice. The City needs to raise its rates to take care of these issues. Just like the gentleman from the state said, our rates are unbelievably low. We could take care of these issues if our water rates were high enough. It is a work in progress. As Ms. Reyes has stated, we take these samples and now the samples say that the City must do something about this problem.

Page 19 of 25

City Manager Warne said the state did tell him that if the City Council could not act on July 7, they will issue a compliance order. He recommended that the City Council act to provide appropriated funds.

Council Member Nateras told Mr. Torres she wanted to thank him as his questions were very good. She added that if anyone has any suggestions, the City Council would consider their ideas.

The agenda item was continued to the regular meeting of July 7, 2009.

14. Introduce and Waive the First Reading of One of the Three Ordinances Relating to Establishing Rates for Water Service Fees.

Subitem A–An Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Livingston Establishing

Rates for Water Service Fees–Scenario 1.

Subitem B–An Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Livingston Establishing Rates for Water Service Fees–Scenario 2.

Subitem C–An Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Livingston Establishing Rates for Water Service Fees–Scenario 3.

The item was continued to the regular City Council meeting of July 7, 2009.

15. Introduce and Waive the First Reading of One of the Three Ordinances Relating to Establishing Rates for Domestic Wastewater Service Fees.

Subitem A–Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Livingston Establishing Rates for Domestic Wastewater Service Fees–Scenario 1.

Subitem B–Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Livingston Establishing Rates for Domestic Wastewater Service Fees–Scenario 2.

Subitem C–Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Livingston Establishing Rates for Domestic Wastewater Service Fees–Scenario 3.

The item was continued to the regular meeting of July 7, 2009.

16. Consideration of Response to Grand Jury Postscript to FY 2007-2008 Grand Jury Report and City’s Investigation Reports and Conflict of Interest Analysis and Resolution Reaffirming LMC 1-6-4.

Mayor Varela presented the agenda item. He asked City Manager Warne if he had any comments. He said that the staff report was prepared by the former City Attorney and so he had nothing to say. Mayor Pro Tem Vierra said that the City Attorney has five issues and recommendations. He would like to vote on all five separately.

Page 20 of 25

Gilbert Reyes, 1325 Emerald Court, passed out a handout. He called attention to the front page of the handout and said it was dated July 15 of last year. He stated that the City changed all the City ordinances to allow Mr. Espinoza to park his tow truck in two locations with the understanding that he was going to pay for the installation of the signs. He still has not paid for the signs.

Council Member Espinoza stated that Mr. Reyes’ comment was incorrect. He said he paid for the signs a long time ago. He asked Community Development Director Donna Kenney to comment.

Ms. Kenney apologized, but said she is not the person who received the payment. She said she has no information to comment on this matter.

Mr. Reyes said he wanted to see proof of payment. Mr. Reyes stated that it is not the City’s responsibility to warn Mr. Espinoza to pay his bills. He said Mr. Espinoza knew that he had accrued expenses. He noted that City employees were used to install Mr. Espinoza’s signs. If an employee was injured he would be getting workers’ compensation, costing the City more money. Mr. Reyes commented that if he had not brought this up it would have gotten swept under the carpet and Mr. Espinoza would have gotten away with it. He said it is kind of strange that the other crooked politicians are not here. He referred to former Mayor Samra and said the City used its employees and equipment to clean-up that mess at 2721 Colleen Court. At 2005 Park Street, he noted, Mr. Espinoza gave that person a permit to build a porch up to the cobble stones. He stated that during school time the children have to get off the sidewalk and walk down the street. Mr. Reyes stated that he has asked Mr. Espinoza to resign numerous times and he is asking him again to be a man about this and think about this and about the future of the City.

Council Member Espinoza said that Mr. Reyes was one of the political hound dogs of the community that is out to get him. The rubbish and vehicles at 2721 Colleen Courthad been an issue 7-8 years before he was elected to the City Council. The Police Chief can address this issue. He said that the only thing he requested of the City Manager was that the owner be given another 30 days to clean up the property. He said that someone called him on the problem at 2005 Park Street. He said that he did not know the person. He raised this issue with the City Manager and thought the City Manager went out there with him. The house was old and the porch was old and did not meet City requirements. He said that the City Manager said not to worry about it and that he would take care of it. He said that he was only trying to help a citizen. His neighbor was the one that called him. He said that he did not speak to the Community Development Director on this issue. There is an issue on air conditioners. The City Manager is trying to tie my hands. I cannot help anyone any more. When the Grand Jury came up, they did not like it and asked the investigator to find something criminal. He said that he was elected twice and got a lot of votes. This Grand Jury report is political. I am not going to resign.

Mr. Reyes said Mr. Espinoza got caught doing wrong on the first grand jury report.

Page 21 of 25

City Attorney Hobbs advised Mr. Reyes that he had used up his three minutes for comments.

Elias Maldonado stood up and started to speak on the water rates. He said that the new rates will affect lower-income families. No information was published in Spanish.

City Attorney Hobbs stated that this was not the subject of this agenda item and the City Council could not receive comment.

He said that he had a right to speak on the water rates.

City Attorney Hobbs said that he did have the right to speak on the Grand Jury issue, but he did not have the right to speak on the water rate issue because the agenda item being considered was the Grand Jury Report.

Mayor Varela asked if Mayor Pro Tem Vierra wanted to address former City Attorney Malathy Subramanian’s Grand Jury Report recommendations separately.

Mayor Pro Tem Vierra said that he did.

The Mayor asked for a motion.

Motion: M/S Vierra/Varela to address issues 1-5 separately. The motion carried 4-1 with Council Member Espinoza voting no.

Motion: M/S Vierra/Varela to authorize the Mayor to execute the response prepared by former City Attorney Malathy Subramanian to the Grand Jury Postscript on behalf of the City Council as the City Council’s formal response to the Grand Jury Postscript. The motion carried 4-1 with Council Member Espinoza voting no.

Mayor Varela stated he thinks that sometimes people try to do good things in trying to help a friend or someone in need. If he found himself in that position he would suggest going to the City and see what can be done. He said he is very disappointed that they only person implicated in the Grand Jury Report is Council Member Espinoza. He thinks there were other individuals that were more involved, but they are not here.

Motion: M/S Vierra/ Nateras not to adopt the City’s investigative reports dated April 2, 2009, and May 15, 2009, and not to concur with the findings and conclusions of the reports. The motion passed 5-0.

Motion: M/S Vierra/Nateras to adopt the recommendations listed in the operational inquiry report and direct Council Member Espinoza and City Manager Warne accordingly. The motion carried 4-1 with Council Member Espinoza voting no.

Motion: M/S Vierra/Nateras not to adopt former City Attorney Malathy Subramanian’s memorandum dated June 9, 2009, and not concur with the findings and conclusions of the memorandum. The motion passed 5-0.

Motion: M/S Vierra/Varela to approve Resolution 2009-31of the City Council of the City of Livingston Reaffirming Section 1-6-4 of the Livingston Municipal Code. The motion passed 3-2 with Council Member Aguilar and Council Member Espinoza voting no.

Page 22 of 25

Mayor Pro Tem Vierra said the reason he voted no on former City Attorney Subramanian’s memo is because it is flawed in many situations. Mr. Espinoza should not take the brunt of this when there were others involved.

Council Member Espinoza said that he did not do anything wrong. He was trying to help the community.

17. Consideration of Hiring a Facilitator for City Council Goal Setting and City Manager

Performance Evaluation.

Council Member Aguilar commented that during closed session and open session the City Council has talked about an evaluation of the City Manager. She said she had passed out a pamphlet that talked about the whole process and feels this evaluation will help to bring everything together. She left a copy with the City Council Minute Taker, Danna Rasmussen, but she was not sure if most of those at the meeting had asked for a copy. She hoped they would get a better understanding of what she is asking for. Ms. Aguilar noted the City Council had a closed session and she did mention a couple of items. She thought the Council was going to decide whether to have an evaluation or not, which is required under the City Manager’s contract. She said he has been with the City for three years, and he has not had an evaluation. Being a new Council Member, she felt that this was a way to try and come together as a group. Ms. Aguilar commented that it ended up kind of like three Council Members saying everything good and it was like an oral evaluation. She was not sure if at the moment they were having an evaluation.

Council Member Aguilar stated that the facilitator is part of the whole package. This is the issue at hand. Ms. Aguilar commented that former City Attorney Subramanian was supposed to bring costs, but she is not here. After speaking with former City Attorney Subramanian, she thought the cost would be between $6,000 and $8,000 in critiquing the City Manager and the City Council. The Council would have two individual sessions then sessions as a group. There would be an additional two sessions on the City’s capital improvement projects. She noted that currently the City has spent $7,200 when the Grand Jury investigation is final. The matter was brought back to the table and that is why she is speaking about it. She is hoping to hear from some of the audience. She needs some kind of guidance and she knows the City Council is going to vote on this and right off the bat it is not going to happen.

Gilbert Reyes commented that the City Council, City Manager and Assistant City Manager have received an award for the budget and he thinks they are doing a wonderful job. He didn’t know what prompted hiring a facilitator which is going to cost the taxpayers money when we cannot even pass the water rate increase. Mr. Reyes said we have a problem with one of the City wells. He did not think the City Council needs to bring in a facilitator and spend $7,000 on this person. He asked if the facilitator is going to evaluate the City Council. He said that it is a waste of money.

Council Member Espinoza stated that Mr. Reyes’ main concern is about water rates. Mr. Reyes’ wife works in the Public Works Department and so the water rate increase is a big issue for him.

Page 23 of 25

Angelina Torres stated she has an evaluation at her job every year. She sits down with her supervisors and has no problem with an evaluation because she has nothing to hide. There is a problem with the City Council and they need someone to come in and show the City Council how to work together. She said that it is not going to happen unless the City gets someone to come in from the outside. She said that the City just spent $7,000 to hire an attorney for the Grand Jury investigation. Nothing was found the first time, and so the City had more investigation work done.

Mayor Varela asked Ms. Torres to tone it down a bit. He said there is so much animosity, anger and disrespect here. These are just decisions that need to be made and she did not have to be offensive. He said let us be adult about this.

Gilbert Reyes said he has refrained from coming to the City Council because the last time he spoke, his wife was attacked at a well site by former Mayor Gurpal Samra. He said the issue he brought up was with the Council and had nothing to do with the former Mayor. Now, he said, he comes up and he has the right as a citizen of this town and a resident to voice his opinion and Mr. Espinoza has no right to bring his wife into the picture. Mr. Reyes said he does not want to pay more for water, but he knows that it has to be done. Mr. Espinoza is against a water rate increase, but he is not prepared to cut the Police Department or anything else. He just says no to everything. He thought Council Member Espinoza was very unprofessional to suggest that he wants a rate increase because his wife works for the City. He added that this is why he is asking again for Mr. Espinoza to step down. He said he told Mr. Espinoza that former Mayor Samra picked on his wife. He said the reason he has not said anything at City Council meetings is because of retaliation.

Fernando Cortez commented that he works for an organization where there are a lot more managers than there are here. He said the company requires them to go to training. All the rules change. He said the City staff has received awards for a job well done. He said, whether you are the best there is, there is always room for improvement. Mr. Cortezmadded that, as individuals and as a group, the City Council needs to learn more. Maybe $8,000 is a lot of money for some people. Maybe the Council needs to do some research and can find someone cheaper. He said the City of Turlock used to have a lot of problems and now they are working together. You can be better individuals. Spend a little money. We need you to get better.

Bill Ruth,1518 Nut Tree, stated he wanted to speak in favor of this motion. He said evaluations are important and a facilitator is important. Maybe someone from the outside can bring solidarity and unity to the City Council. We need a unified Council for all the citizens. He said this will stop the divisions. He has seen where an outside person canmbring unity. He is praying for this City Council. We need to evaluate and get a solid mission and vision that everyone can agree upon, and move this City forward.

Warren Urnberg said he is in favor of hiring a facilitator. He noted that if the Council turns this down, it just goes to show that there is a problem.

Page 24 of 25

Mike Torres commented that he agreed with Mr. Urnberg. He said that all this is, is a check and balance. The Council cannot take care of everything in one day. He is not saying that there is anything right or wrong. It just would not hurt a thing.

Council Member Aguilar pointed out that the cost of a facilitator varies. She said that she has numbers of between $5,000 and $10,000. She said the City Council can take a little longer looking for someone. Ms. Aguilar stated that the City Manager prepares a written report. She said the evaluation of the City Manager takes place in closed session. The facilitator is there to guide us. She said the City Council needs to make some kind of change. Money is tight, but it is for a good use of the money. It is not good for us to be attacking each other. Attacking each other is expensive.

Council Member Espinoza recommended the Council move forward with hiring a facilitator to try to work together. He thinks the City Council is tired of fighting with each other. He made a motion that the City Attorney move forward with hiring a facilitator.

City Attorney Hobbs said that he is glad to do this, but this is not traditionally a function of the City Attorney. Typically, this is done by human resources or personnel department. You can make a motion to have staff research a facilitator with a not-to exceed (an) amount and come back to the City Council.

Council Member Aguilar stated that the League of California Cities has facilitators.

Motion: M/S Espinoza/Aguilar to direct staff to come back to Council with approximate

costs for a facilitator. The motion carried 5-0.

Council Member Nateras said that she appreciated the comments. She said that most of this is common sense. We have nothing to hide nor does the City Manager have anything to hide. When I found out that Margarita decided to run, I helped her fill out her paper work. She said that she would have never thought that she would be here discussing this issue. If the facilitator will help us to work together, she is for it.

18. Approval of Warrant No. 68128 to Direct Towing for $80.00.

Council Member Espinoza declared a conflict of interest and left the Council Chambers during consideration of this item.

Motion: M/S Vierra/Varela to approve Warrant No. 68128 for $80.00 to Direct Towing.

The motion carried 4-1, with Council Member Espinoza abstaining.

19. City Manager Announcements and Reports.

City Manager Warne stated that there are proposals being circulated in the State Legislature to take city gasoline taxes to help balance the state budget. The League of California Cites is asking cities to pass a resolution authorizing the City Attorney to cooperate with the League and other cities and counties to challenge the constitutionality of taking City gasoline tax funds. He said that staff recommends the City Council adopt the proposed resolution.

Page 25 of 25

Motion: M/S Vierra/Espinoza to approve Resolution 2009-30 of the City Council of the City of Livingston Authorizing the City Attorney to Cooperate with the League of California Cities, Other Cities and Counties in Litigation Challenging the Constitutionality of any Seizure by State Government of the City’s Street Maintenance Funds.

The motion passed 5-0

City Manager Warne stated he had nothing else to report.

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 9:39 p.m.

______________________________

City Clerk of the City of Livingston

APPROVED: August 18, 2009

_____________________________

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.

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3 thoughts on “JUNE 16, 2009

  1. Pingback: AUGUST 18, 2009 City Council Agenda Alert « Thegardeningsnail’s Weblog

  2. Pingback: A Soldier in Need, a Notice of Intent, and a Presidential Turkey « Thegardeningsnail's Weblog (because not every critter is hiding under a rock…)

  3. Pingback: Salmonella, Arsenic, TCP and Manganese, A Timeline About Water Issues, and a City Council Agenda | Thegardeningsnail's Weblog (because not every critter is hiding under a rock...)

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