CLOSED SESSION/REGULAR MEETING
LIVINGSTON CITY COUNCIL
AUGUST 17, 2010
A Closed Session/Regular Meeting of the Livingston City Council was held on August 17, 2010, in the City Council Chambers with Mayor Varela presiding.
Mayor Varela opened the meeting.
Mayor Daniel Varela, Sr.
Mayor Pro-Tem Frank Vierra
Council Member Rodrigo Espinoza
Council Member Margarita Aguilar
Also present were City Manager Richard Warne, Assistant City Manager/Finance Director Vickie Lewis, and City Attorney Jonathan Hobbs.
The City Council went into Closed Session to discuss the following matter:
1. Foster Poultry Farms, Inc. v. City of Livingston, et al, California Superior Court, County of Merced, Case No. CV000752.
“Due to his employment with Foster Poultry Farms, Mayor Daniel Varela did not participate in closed discussions in the above-referenced case in which Foster Poultry Farms is a party, and, to date, has not participated in any such closed session discussions.”
(Note from TheGardeningSnail. The Text in Bold Above was removed from the official record on January 18, 2011 because Mayor Espinoza said it should be removed because no one said those words. OK…so no one said those words. But the question is: Do those words reflect what happened? My Opinion: If Daniel Varela did NOT participate in the discussion of Foster Farms Litigation then remove the quotation marks and emphasis in bold and it would look much like any other notification of a Council Member’s non participation due to a conflict of interest.
But if you want the record to look like Daniel Varela was in on the discussion then removing that text in total makes perfect sense to me. But Hey. I’m just a blogger/pseudo-historian. What do I know…..
For more on this, you can read the Staff Report)
The Council came out of Closed Session and into Open Session.
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Varela called the meeting to order at 7:03 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
The pledge of allegiance to the flag was recited.
CLOSED SESSION ANNOUNCEMENTS
There were no announcements from Closed Session.
CHANGES TO THE AGENDA
AWARDS, PRESENTATIONS, APPOINTMENTS AND PROCLAMATIONS
1. Presentation of Rebate Checks from Merced Irrigation District (MID) to the City of Livingston.
Kyle Port, Business Development Representative for Merced Irrigation District (MID), presented a $12,500 rebate check to Mayor Varela on behalf of the City of Livingston for work that was done by the City. The City replaced motors with high efficiency motors in a couple of their aging domestic water wells. In addition to earning the rebate, the replaced motors will also save the City approximately $9,750 a year in electric costs plus moving an estimated 56 tons of carbon dioxide per year that is equivalent to planting 281 trees.
2. Report on Citizens’ Service Committee Appointments.
Council Member Nateras noted that Luis Flores has asked about this Committee numerous times and he is not here tonight. She said the City has received eight applications and they are from students only, so she would like to extend the deadline for another 30 days in the hopes that adults also apply.
Motion: M/S Varela/Nateras to extend the deadline for applications for an additional 30 days. The motion carried 5-0.
ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REPORTS
Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements and Reports.
Supervisor Pedrozo was absent.
City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports.
Council Member Margarita Aguilar
· Commented that Mr. Flores was here the last time this item was on the agenda and Ms. Nateras was not here because of a family matter. She said hopefully Mr. Flores will know that there are 30 additional days for residents to apply.
· Reported that this past Saturday the City of Chowchilla had a special service for the Moving Wall. She attended on behalf of her family and was astonished with the turnout. Council Member Aguilar said they had 52,000 plus names on the wall and it is traveling throughout the County. She also met Senator Jeff Denham who was there representing California.
· Reported that school is back in session. She said they have been busy trying to keep the kids on track. Council Member Aguilar asked parents dropping off students to be careful and pay attention to where the drop zones are to prevent any accidents.
· Addressed the Parks and Recreation Commission. She said since she has been on the Council we have had applicants, so she has asked the City Manager to open up a recruitment for applications. Council Member Aguilar said perhaps Jacquie Benoit can put some information together to let the Council know the duties and responsibilities of the Commissioners. She would like this information to be televised so that residents are also informed. In addition she also wants this information posted in the Livingston Chronicle and on Channel 2. Council Member Aguilar said it would be great to reactivate the Commission and she encouraged citizens to apply and become involved in the community.
Council Member Rodrigo Espinoza
· Stated that on August 31, the date of the recall election, the citizens will be faced with making a hard decision as to whether or not to pass the recall. He thinks the citizens have the right to recall whoever they want. Council Member Espinoza commented that he doesn’t think it is right when elected officials run ads on the public channel using City services. He noted the citizens gathered the signatures to do what they wanted because of the decisions of their elected officials. He feels they have that right and that nowadays people are more informed than ever. If they decide to vote against the recall, then that is their right. Council Member Espinoza noted that some say that $50,000 is a lot to spend on a recall, yet the City Attorney makes $60,000 to $100,000 a month, and to him that’s a waste of money especially when we are fighting one of the biggest employers in the City. He added that we turned down Wal-Mart, we pushed Wal-Mart away and he doesn’t think that’s right. Council Member Espinoza said we are pushing businesses away and this is not the way to bring the City forward into the future.
Council Member Martha Nateras
· Commented that she would like to express her most sincere gratitude on behalf of her family for everyone’s everlasting prayers. She said her family has had a lot of support during the loss of her father. Council Member Nateras said thanked everyone for their thoughtfulness, their generosity support; it is greatly appreciated.
Mayor Pro-Tem Frank Vierra
· Noted that if anyone has been out at B and Winton Parkway, the street has been paved, and a sidewalk is going in from Briarwood. It looks like it is almost going all the way to Robin Avenue. He was very surprised when he saw that.
· Commented that there was a lot of complaining when we let the past attorney go, but Best Best and Krieger, the law firm that was previously our City Attorney is also the law firm representing the City of Bell. He noted the City of Bell is where Council Members were receiving $100,000 a month, the City Manager $746,000 a month plus benefits and that comes to $1.5 million a month.
Mayor’s Announcements and Reports.
· Addressed the subject of all the traffic that’s going in Livingston and all the caution. The streets are being repaired, the sidewalks are being replaced. He said it’s really exciting that in times as difficult as they are for other communities, here in Livingston we don’t have those kinds of things and he appreciates our staff members like Kathryn Reyes and Jim Rightsell for applying for the MID rebates. Mayor Varela noted that school just started yesterday and he wanted to congratulate Ms. Aguilar, Ms. Nateras and Mayor Pro-Tem Vierra, for another successful year in our schools, whether it’s elementary or the high school level. He said just a reminder when driving, be careful of the children walking. He added that the Police Department is doing a great job.
· Reported that last week we had a meeting with a firm from Hercules, CA. They came down and gave a presentation on renewable energy solutions, and he thinks it is to our benefit that we look for grants, but that we also look for those solutions orientated systems that are out there so that we can draw them here to Livingston.
· Stated that he wanted to make a comment on what Council Member Espinoza said that we pushed Wal-Mart away – that is not true. They left on their own accord. We were shocked. He now knows what it feels like or make the comparison of the groom left standing at the altar. So he wishes that Council Member Espinoza would not say that because that is erroneous, that’s false and those are the little innuendos that they keep throwing out there and do not benefit our community. He added that in the end, it doesn’t look good. However, we are a community in transition and we appreciate every member of our community even though they might be voting yes on the recall. It is okay. We appreciate you because you are a part of this town.
Mayor Varela said he needed to clarify something that slipped his mind during his reports. He commented that the Mayor’s Leadership Forum is not a place where we talk about the dealings of our community; it is a place where we talk with future leaders or leaders in our community. He has interviewed the CEO for Livingston Medical Group and three members of the Livingston Community Network, highlighting the future projects that they have and what they do and what the organization does. It helps kids and encourages them to continue school, promotes higher education and gives scholarships to young men and women. He interviewed Mr. Calderon, the Livingston High School Principal. He emphasized that at no time did the issue of the recall ever come into play.
Mike Torres, 1616 Eighth Street, interrupted saying that the Mayor had to follow the point of order and had an agenda to follow.
Mayor Varela said he understood that and he appreciated Mr. Torres for bringing it to his attention, but he needed to clarify something that was brought up. He added that there is also an order in making sure that the truth is known and that’s very important.
Mayor Varela concluded saying that he is also going to be interviewing the new Livingston Union School District Superintendent, Mr. Zamora next week. He reiterated that at no time were political issues ever discussed. These were just opportunities to talk about the good things in our community.
Kathryn Schell Rodriguez, P.O. Box 163, Livingston, stated, “There is an old saying if the shoe fits, wear it. If it don’t apply pass it on by. At our last meeting, I talked a little about voices and how there is not just one. Tonight I am going to focus on what seems to me the desire of some people that tell other people that their voices don’t count. And if it is they and only they who have the right to speak for the people. If you grab a bunch of column inches in the Sun Star during the year that run up to the recall, you speak for the people. If you demand yourself during the final weeks, you are on a media prowl. If you sign the recall petition, you’re speaking for the people. If you didn’t sign the recall petition, you either work for the City or have family working for the City or are surely missing a few brain cells. If you hold a sign saying some of the Council members are the three stooges, you’re speaking for the people. If you disagree on who the real three stooges are, you are being abusive. If you believe having a recall election 77 days before the general election is an example of this full responsibility, you’re speaking for the people. If you believe having a recall election 77 days before the general election is nutty as a fruitcake, you can just take your opinion and shove it into the deepest, darkest dungeons of dantes inferno. Personally, I am just a tad tired of some of those who have ranted, raved, protested, and longed for the Sun Star for nearly a year and now have their boxers end up in a bunch and their thongs in a twist because the other side is now speaking up and speaking often. There is a word for that, it starts with an “H” and it’s not hippopotamus.”
Mike Torres, 1616 Eighth Street, stated, “Good evening. Back to my point of order. That was directed by the Chief of Police over here, wait until Citizen Comments. Mr. Mayor, you have an agenda to follow. When we speak up here, we only have three minutes and that’s it. When you speak, you can speak anytime you want and as long as you want. I was just trying to correct you. If you forget something, that is your problem, that is your fault. If I forget something and I go sit down, I can’t talk anymore. All I’m saying is you’re out of order. When you’re following an agenda and its citizen’s comments, it’s not the Mayor’s anymore. It is due process. That is all I am waiting on, so if you follow your agenda a little bit more and give everybody else the right they have, that is alright, but when you tell me wait I am trying to explain something, I say that from here, you say I’m out of order, I can’t talk anymore. You were out of order. Your time was done, because when the attorney tells me that my three minutes are up, I am done. I cannot come back with any response to what you say. If that is proper for me then it should be proper for you. That is what I was trying to tell you, when you tell me I am done, I am done. I would appreciate it if you do the same thing. Thank you very much.”
Colette Alvernaz, P.O. 255, Livingston, commented she does believe that we need to follow the agenda. She has been coming to Council meetings since 2007, but at times the agenda does get out of order and it is hard for people sitting in the audience, so she would appreciate your consideration and stay in order.
Ms. Alvernaz noted that at the domestic wastewater treatment plant she sees some kind of cement or gravel work being done and asked what is going on there. City Manager Warne said the City has leased a portion of the plant for a batch plant, for $1,000 a month? Ms. Alvernaz asked for an explanation of what a batch plant is? Mayor Varela said it is a place where they mix cement.
Council Member Aguilar said she would like to know what a batch plant is, and when it was leased or allowed as she did not know about this. She suggested that something be placed on the agenda about the batch plant.
Council Member Espinoza said he recalls that the Council did approve the batch plant. City Manager Warne said the batch plant was approved and it is being leased for $1,000 a month. The funds are being deposited into the domestic wastewater treatment plant fund.
Celeste Herrera, 1234 A Street, said she is appalled at the present division on the Council and is voting no on the recall and is encouraging all citizens to do the same. Ms. Herrera said she has been observing Mr. Espinoza for some time and his character is questionable. He has replaced dialogue in the agenda and has not acted in a professional manner. She is worried about what may happen to our City if Mr. Espinoza should ever become Mayor. She stated that may she remind everyone that whatever is popular is not always right and what is right is not always popular. Ms. Herrera thanked the Mayor and Council Member Nateras for their service to the City and wished them luck in the August 31 recall election.
Nancy Lampman, 1509 Queen Way, acknowledged the fire department volunteers for assisting one of her neighbors recently. She said the volunteers responded immediately and there have been other occasions where they had to come out and she wanted to say that she appreciates them. In addition, she thanked Kristen Lucas, the City’s Animal Control Officer, for her assistance during a recent incident where she had a dog that she could not keep and Ms. Lucas helped her find a home for the animal.
Mario Mendoza, no address given, stated, “ Mr. Warne, Mr. Varela, Mr. Vierra in the Sun Star you guys are like Fox News, all full of you know what. What I am trying to say is that you guys are biased especially the Sun Star. And Mr. Vierra you say that all these people that go after Foster Farms. Aren’t those people some of your friends?”
Julio Valadez, no address given, asked what is the Citizens’ Service Committee? Council Member Nateras explained the present and future goals of the Committee to assist with City and other community functions and work towards the betterment of the community.
Mr. Valadez asked what the Recreation Committee is. Council Member Aguilar explained the Commission has a lot to do with sports, coaches, teams, schedules and recreation facilities. She noted there has not been a Parks and Recreation Commission since she has been on the Council, but she is hoping the Commission can be reactivated.
Mr. Valadez asked about the batch plant. Mayor Varela explained this project was approved by the Council. City Manager Warne said if Mr. Valadez could come to City Hall, staff would provide him with information on the plant.
Mr. Valadez told Mayor Varela that the reason why he is leaning towards the recall and why we are having the recall is because we do not get answers to our questions and the Mayor does not return our calls. Mr. Valadez added that the majority of the Council do not answer even simple questions. He asked if past City Council meetings could be played on Channel 2. Mayor Varela said it would be hard to know which DVD to show. Mr. Valadez said just show the last meeting from the prior month. He noted we are playing things over and over and he wants to know what is happening currently and does not want to pick-up DVD’s all the time.
Luis Flores, 707 Almondwood Drive, reported that August 29 is the date for the Livingston Community Network Multicultural Festival at Memorial Park from 12:00 noon to 9:00 p.m. He said this is the sixth annual event and the majority of the money raised will go towards awarding scholarships. He added, “And then two days later, yes on the recall on August 31.”
Debra Lopez 1543 Monte Cristo Way made the following statement, “I would like to say that I believe that the City of Livingston has been good to Foster Farms and they have been good to us.
They have been here for a long, long time. And I would like to say that they use a heck of a lot of water everyday and since we are working to have our sewers and our pipes and everything else that goes on in the City up to speed Foster Farms needs to pay just like we do. Times are tougher and we have been spoiled by having low water rates. I know they are high, but we always need to conserve the water of the country not just the City of Livingston. There are droughts and we always need to learn how to conserve, plant different things in our yard that don’t require a lot of water. We need our water for our agriculture and our businesses. Yes and as citizens we can do things to cut that water down whether it is spend on striping our yards. We need to conserve our water. I have heard comments more than once about our City Manager that he is not earning his salary. Our budget at the last meeting explained how much money and he has worked hard to get those grants and have the staff cut their health benefits, or to have them pay their share on their health benefits, but they have not replaced those jobs and they are not paying those benefits. also, so it is working the way it is. Mr. Espinoza you made a comment on how we pushed Wal-Mart out, and I have yet to hear how that occurred. You have made comments on how it was pushed out. I got a notice from MID asking if we wanted Wal-Mart and I had no idea what the survey entailed or what the results were. Unless every citizen sends it back to MID saying no, I have no clue. I was reading there was a grand jury hearing several years ago when you were a Council Member and you never responded. That is a grand jury for you.”
Mohani Thiara, 2747 Clarot Circle, thanked the Chief and said he is the first Chief who has taken an interest in the Sikh community. She presented a plaque to the Chief and said she wanted to have the whole community involved in the presentation, but she was hospitalized and didn’t get a chance to give him the plaque before.
Ms. Thiara made the following statement, “Mr. Espinoza when you were talking making your comments you said people had the right to make their decisions. I am here to let you know yes they have the right to make their decisions, but they also have the right to know the facts and I know the no on the recall committee gets the facts. My question to Mr. Samra. When he was calling one of my best friends saying yes on recall and he says that he is going to lower their water rates, so please vote yes on the recall is that a fact? Mr. Espinoza people have the right to know the facts. And another thing I heard you said City Attorney was here and they and other Mayors and Mr. Gurpal were here why all of a sudden City Attorney costs is being so expensive? The City needs an attorney no matter what. With the recall election right around the corner it is costing the City money, so people have the right. I urge the people to vote no. Please tell them the facts – water bills will not be lowered, so please tell the facts.”
Estella Martinez, P.O. Box 281, Livingston, stated, “What a shame to see the division in our community. What a shame that you are not providing us with the facts. There were surveys done for the water which were approved by all five of you. It is very upsetting that you say Mr. Espinoza that Wal-Mart was pushed out by the rest who want to control power. I am asking you who has the power? Is it you? In April someone came to my house for a signature for the recall. At that time he mentioned to me that Wal-Mart was not coming in. How did he know? For years we did not get them up – water rates. Why didn’t you tell the City we lost a big grant because the City wasn’t charging enough back in the day that is the past that is the truth? You won’t be doing changes from one day to another and you know that and you speak for us out there.”
Estella Martinez (in Spanish) stated, “For those that speak Spanish, please get informed. Know the facts. I was told by Mr. Samra since last April that Wal-Mart was not coming. How did he know in April that Wal-Mart was not coming? I asked Mr. Espinoza who wants to have the power here, others or you? Give us the facts. Why don’t you tell us that the City lost a large sum of money that the State did not give us because the City was not charging enough for the City services? Why don’t you tell the community that even if you get to be the Mayor, you are not going to be able to lower the water rates immediately because there is a limitation? There is a time limit for all that. You are lying to our people by telling them, “We are going to lower the water rates.” Tell us the truth and don’t think we are ignorant.”
Doug Wells, 16508 W. River Road, stated, “I hear a lot of pain here tonight, a division in this community. Well, let me tell you when the citizens of the country came to this community to discuss and argue with you, try to give their input on the sewer project. Now you know how we felt. We were outsiders. We were outcasts by this community. The people say you know you are not part of this community, you should not have a say. I am not here to say how it feels because it is ironic that I hear people come to this Council for information and see that plant out there. BEI Bristol Enterprises Incorporated the owner has been there for some time. He has a facility to crush cement. He is in the community, the county and I see he moved in. Questions that should be asked is if the sewer farm is zoned for that? I go back to 1980 when they started the first plant. There was no industrial uses out there in my time. I was born and raised in Livingston. I look around. There are just a few old timers here and we have some history trust me. Us in the country when we go through town we see changes. We get our information in the country; I guess you get yours on the street here.”
Theresa Land, 995 Hilltop, made the following statement, “I would like to clear up some misinformation that some no on the recall folks are doing to residents. Some are telling residents that if they vote yes on the recall they better hope that their house does not catch fire because the fire department might not be able to come and put it out. This is flat out not true is it Mr. Vierra? The City has a volunteer fire chief and 16 volunteer firefighters. The City’s fire department is an administration of the Merced County Fire Department, Merced County CDF to provide fire protection to the citizens of the county and the City of Livingston. The City provides a fire station and a fire captain for Livingston. This City provides a fire station for Merced County and CDF provides fire protection in return for the City’s fire department, so whether or not the recall goes through has no bearing on the fire department coming out to your house in case there was a fire. Those are the facts. Also I would like to clarify on why the recall came about with the November election just a few months away. The three Council people were chosen to be recalled because they chose to pass the absorbent increase of water, sewer and garbage rates. These three chose not to listen to citizens’ pleas to not pass such high increases. There has been talk that this was a waste of money since there is another election not so far away. Why not wait. Here is why not. In November’s election, yes Mr. Varela’s seat is going to be open and therefore we will be able to vote for a new Mayor if we want. And also Mr. Espinoza’s seat. Ms. Nateras and Mr. Vierra’s seats were not going to be voted upon in November. That is why the recall election information is getting out regarding the Livingston Fire Department. The City provides a fire station for the county, so whether or not the recall goes through has no bearing on the fire department. I would like to verify that the three people chose not to listen to the citizens. There has been talk that this is a waste of money for a recall election and then spend more money on the November election. Also Ms. Nateras and Mr. Vierra’s seat would not be available on the November election ballot. Remember there are three more increases left to come, thanks to Mr. Varela, Mr. Vierra, and Ms. Nateras. You can thank them for having us vote for a recall.”
Myra Bettencourt, 1584 Duke Drive, said the citizens of Livingston have been very fortunate. They haven’t had a water increase for 15 years, so they should feel very fortunate they got by for 15 years. Ms. Bettencourt said she doesn’t know what people’s complaints are about the water bill. They have saved all this money all these years, so she recommends that they vote no on the recall.
Manuel Mercado, no address given, commented that when this entire thing started, none of you respected the people. He asked where they were when this was all coming down. The water rates were not increased in 1995, so why didn’t they raise them back them. He noted that Mr. Wells made a good point. We elected you to the City Council. We expected some kind of change. The people put you in power, but the people have to stand up for their rights.
Council Member Nateras said she thinks for herself and the decision on the increase in utility rates was not easy, but she had to look out for all the residents despite the complaints. She asked Theresa Land and Rodrigo Espinoza how they are going to take care of this problem.
Council Member Espinoza commented that Estella Martinez asked what are we going to do for the citizens of Livingston, but some Council Members said they were gong to try and kick-out Wal-Mart and a few businesses in town..
Gurpal Samra, 1034 J Street, mentioned a comment a citizen made while he was soliciting signatures for the recall election about Wal-Mart coming to Livingston. He said the elected officials were already talking about Wal-Mart coming in, so that is how he came to find out about it.
A discussion subsequently ensued between Mayor Varela and Mr. Samra regarding the use of the Mayor’s City cell phone number and email address for campaign purposes.
The following consent calendar items were presented for the Council’s approval:
Council Member Espinoza asked that Warrant No. 70856, part of Item No. 6, be pulled for a separate vote.
Motion: M/S Vierra/Aguilar to approve the consent calendar items with the exception of Warrant No. 70856 for attorney fees. The motion carried 5-0.
Motion: M/S Vierra/Nateras to approve the payment of Warrant No. 70856. The motion carried 4-1, with Council Member Espinoza voting no.
2. Resolution No. 2010-45, Approving the Updated Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Between the City of Livingston and Merced County Department of Work Force Investment Board for Enterprise Zone Marketing and Program Management Services.
3. Resolution No.2010-46, Amending the City of Livingston Conflict of Interest Code.
4. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on May 12, 2010.
5. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on June 1, 2010.
6. Approval of Warrant Register Dated August 12, 2010.
DISCUSSION AND POTENTIAL ACTION ITEMS
8. Resolution Adopting the Initial Study and Negative Declaration and Approving Site Plan / Design Review 2006-01 for the Foster Farms Rendering Plant Project.
Mayor Varela excused himself and left the Council Chambers due to a conflict of interest. He is an employee of Foster Farms.
City Attorney Hobbs commented that a public hearing on this item was held at the last meeting.
Jim Marnatti, Director of Environmental Affairs for Foster Farms, presented an in-depth overview of the rendering plant project.
Brandon Friesen, 929 Opal Court, said he was here representing a local business and supports the project. In summary he commented that past differences between the City and Foster Farms be left in the past and that Council move forward and approve this project.
Gurpal Samra, 1034 J Street, stated we need to mark this day in history when former Mayor Friesen is in agreement with something. Mr. Samra said he has reviewed the project details and everything seems to be in order. He said what is good for Foster Farms is good for the City, so let’s move forward with the project.
Julio Valadez, no address given, said he supports the project and urged the Council to make the right decision.
Luis Flores, 707 Almondwood Drive, supports the project. He said the item came before the Planning Commission and it is a good project.
Mike Torres, 1616 Eighth Street, said he supports the project. He added that Foster Farms has helped all the businesses in the City and they spend their money here and God forbid if Foster Farms were to ever leave the City.
Council Member Espinoza said that Foster Farms provides a lot of jobs and construction in the City and he is happy that Foster Farms is expanding the rendering plant.
Council Member Aguilar commented that Foster Farms has met all the requirements that were based on the zoning code and they are able to keep the air clean with the new facility. She feels that with all the jobs they provide in the community that we need to move forward and give them the opportunity to do what they have to do.
In response to a concern expressed by Council Member Nateras, Mr. Marnatti said that six full-time permanent positions will be hired.
Council Member Nateras commented she was concerned about the smell, but in talking to family members she was Foster Farms is getting the top of the line in equipment to alleviate the odor problem. Council Member Nateras said she is supportive of Foster Farms and concurs with former Mayor Friesen that any past or future disputes between the two parties will be settled amicably.
Mayor Pro-Tem Vierra stated this town likes to point fingers no matter if the Council votes one way or another. He asked if there is any recourse if for some reason the odor problem gets worse. He said we have a school right across the street and the smell goes southeasterly; however, he will vote on the item tonight, but he didn’t want to hear sometime down the road that he voted this way or that way.
Motion: M/S Nateras/Espinoza to adopt Resolution No. 2010-47, Adopting the Initial Study and Negative Declaration and Approving Site Plan / Design Review 2006-01 for the Foster Farms Rendering Plant Project. The motion carried 4-0 by the following roll call vote:
AYES: Council Members: Aguilar, Espinoza, Nateras, Vierra
NOES: Council Members: None
ABSENT: Council Members: None
ABSTAIN: Council Members: Varela
Mayor Varela returned to the dais for the remainder of the meeting.
9. (1) Presentation of the City of Livingston Domestic Wastewater Treatment Plant Percolation Ponds Reconfiguration Basis of Design Report, (2) Authorization to Relocate Evaporation Ponds so that Nearest Pond is Over 500 Feet from Merced River, (3) Abandon Approximately 2,000 feet of Poor Quality Pond Levees Along the Merced River, (4) Convert Approximately 19 Acres of Ponds #1 to #6 to a Recreation and Riparian Habitat Area, (5) Authorize the Construction of a new Pond #10 and #3R from Approximately Eight Acres of Ponds #1 to #3, Deepening Them to the Study Layer and the Same Level as Pond #7 and Pond #8 and (6) Authorize Design Phase of the Pond Reconfiguration.
City Manager Warne presented the agenda item on the above-noted items regarding the City’s domestic wastewater treatment plant.
Tom Greci from Carollo Engineers gave a detailed, in-depth presentation on the work to be done.
Extensive discussion was held on this item. Questions were asked or comments were made by Council Members, City Manager Warne, Colette Alvernaz, Doug Wells, Julio Valadez, Mike Torres, Celeste Herrera, Jean Okuye, Gurpal Samra, and Amanda Cahill, representing the Merced County Farm Bureau.
It was the consensus of the Council that this item be continued to the next regular meeting for further discussion and possible action.
10. Resolution of the City Council of the City of Livingston Approving the City of Livingston Budget for Fiscal Year 2010/2011.
City Manager Warne presented the City of Livingston Budget for Fiscal Year 2010/2011. Extensive discussion and a question and answer period followed.
Motion: M/S Vierra/Nateras to adopt Resolution No. 2010-48, approving the City of Livingston Budget for the Fiscal Year 2010/2011. The motion carried 3-2 by the following roll call vote:
AYES: Council Members: Nateras, Varela, Vierra
NOES: Council Members: Aguilar, Espinoza
ABSENT: Council Members: None
11. Designate Voting Delegates and Alternates for the League of California Cities Annual Conference.
Motion: M/S Varela/Vierra to appoint Council Member Nateras as the voting delegate and Council Member Espinoza as the alternate for the League of California Cities Annual Conference in San Diego.
12. City Manager Announcements and Reports.
Noted that if you drive around town you will see many sidewalks being installed. He said $871,000 in grant funds were being used for this work.
The meeting was adjourned by consensus.
City Clerk of the City of Livingston
APPROVED: December 7, 2010
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.