NOVEMBER 16, 2010 Draft Minutes

CLOSED SESSION/REGULAR MEETING

LIVINGSTON CITY COUNCIL

NOVEMBER 16, 2010

A Closed Session/Regular Meeting of the Livingston City Council was held in the City Council Chambers with Mayor Espinoza presiding.

CLOSED SESSION

Mayor Espinoza opened the meeting at 6:01 p.m.

ROLL CALL

Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza

Mayor Pro-Tem Margarita Aguilar

Council Member Frank Vierra (Absent)

Council Member Theresa Land

Council Member Warren Urnberg

Mayor Espinoza presented the Closed Session agenda and opened the item for public comment before adjourning into Closed Session.

No public comments were received on the Closed Session item.

The meeting was adjourned to the City Hall Conference Room for Closed Session.

The Council went into Closed Session to discuss the following matter.

1. Public Employee Discipline/Dismissal/Release/Retirement.

Pursuant to Government Code Section 54957.

One Employee.

OPEN SESSION

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

REGULAR MEETING

CALL TO ORDER

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

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

The pledge of allegiance to the flag was recited.

ROLL CALL

Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza

Mayor Pro-Tem Margarita Aguilar

Council Member Frank Vierra (Absent)

Council Member Theresa Land

Council Member Warren Urnberg

CLOSED SESSION ANNOUNCEMENTS

Motion by Council Member Land, seconded by Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar to adopt Resolution  No. 2010-60, a Resolution of the City Council of the City of Livingston Granting Industrial Disability Retirement to Police Officer Brian Raymond. The motion carried 4-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Aguilar, Espinoza, Land, Urnberg

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: Vierra

Mayor Espinoza announced that the employee was approved for Industrial Disability Retirement. The decision was set forth in Resolution No. 2010-60.

CHANGES TO THE AGENDA

Interim City Attorney Sanchez commented that the presentation by the City auditors would be moved towards the end of the regular meeting. He noted that the meeting of the Livingston Redevelopment Agency would resume at the end of the regular meeting.

DEVIATION FROM AGENDA

Monsignor Harvey Fonseca from Saint Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church and a representative from the Sikh Temple each prayed for the success of the new Council.

CONFIRMATION OF CANVASS OF MUNICIPAL ELECTION

  1. Resolution of the City Council of the City of Livingston Confirming the Canvass by the Merced County Clerk of the Results of the General Municipal Election of November 2, 2010, Held in and for the City of Livingston and Declaring the Results of Said Election.

Mayor Espinoza presented the agenda item.

Acting City Manager Lewis presented a summary of the votes cast and the offices voted for in the November 2, 2010, General Municipal Election, read the resolution and named those that were duly elected to office.

Interim City Attorney Sanchez made a clerical change to the resolution. Mr. Sanchez recommended striking out Section 22023 of language included in the resolution so the resolution would read California Elections Code only.

Motion: M/S Land/Aguilar to adopt Resolution No. 2010-61, as amended, Resolution of the City Council of the City of Livingston Confirming the Canvass by the Merced County Clerk of the Results of the General Municipal Election of November 2, 2010, Held in and for the City of Livingston and Declaring the Results of Said Election. The motion carried 4-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Aguilar, Espinoza, Land, Urnberg

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: Vierra

OATHS OF OFFICE

2. City Clerk will Administer the Oaths of Office to Mayor-elect Rodrigo Espinoza and Council Member-elect Gurpal Samra.

City Clerk Donna Barnes administered the Oaths of Office to Mayor-elect Rodrigo Espinoza and Council Member-elect Gurpal Samra.

Mayor Espinoza presented a certificate of appreciation to Warren Urnberg for his service as Interim City Council Member.

AWARDS, PRESENTATIONS, APPOINTMENTS AND PROCLAMATIONS

3. Presentation of Five-Year Service Pin to Adabel Pirita, Office Assistant.

Adabel Pirita was not present to receive her service pin.

4. Presentation of City of Livingston – Independent Auditor’s Report and Financial Statements June 30, 2010, and City of Livingston Local Transportation Act Fund – Independent Auditor’s Report and Financial Statements June 30, 2010.

Mayor Espinoza stated that this item would be continued to the end of the meeting.

MEETING RECESS

The Council took a recess at 7:20 p.m. The meeting resumed at 7:28 p.m.

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REPORTS

Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements and Reports.

Administrative Assistant Juan Corona commented on the following:

· Reported a Town Hall meeting would be held in Livingston in January 2011.

· Presented an update on the high-speed rail system.

City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports.

Council Member Gurpal Samra

· Thanked everyone who voted in the November election. He stated that Livingston is one City and if a person’s candidate didn’t win, that person should not feel left out. Mr. Samra said the City needs everyone to be involved in City issues.

· Stated that he would like the Council to consider hiring a firm to bring businesses to Livingston. He noted that with the current economy the Council needed to start work on a plan to recruit new businesses to boost the City’s economy and generate new revenue.

· Commented that throughout the recall process he had the opportunity to talk to many citizens and he repeatedly heard about the issue of water quality and that paying $58.50 per month was not going to fix the water issue. Mr. Samra noted that he asked his fellow Council Members to make the water situation the Council’s number one commitment to the community. He commented that the Council needed to ensure that they and the community were united and that the Council could not go back to the issues that occurred prior to August 31.

· Requested that starting in December the Council receive a monthly activity report from all City department heads.

Council Member Theresa Land

· Thanked Warren Urnberg for his service on the Council and congratulated Mayor Espinoza and Council Member Samra for their victories in the November election.

· Commented that she attended the last skate park meeting and was disappointed with the low turnout. She noted the next skate park meeting would be held on December 8 in the City Council Chambers from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

· Wished everyone a happy Thanksgiving.

Mayor Pro-Tem Margarita Aguilar

· Congratulated Gurpal Samra and Rodrigo Espinoza for their election wins. She stated that as the Council they represent the citizens and want them to keep that in mind when they attend meetings. Ms. Aguilar thanked the citizens for their blessings and noted that prayer was a way to get through the conflicts that took place in the past.

· Referenced a newspaper article in which one of the Planning Commissioners spoke against Council matters. She addressed the newspaper correspondent regarding the article he had written and the comments that were made which she felt were one sided. Ms. Aguilar noted there was currently two openings on the Planning Commission. She further elaborated on the need for citizens to come to meetings with new ideas and not come in with their own personal agendas.

· Commented that she also attended the last skate park meeting and noted that there was a website where three designs for skate parks could be viewed. She added that the City would be posting the designs on its website soon.

Community Development Director Kenney noted that the website link was www.sitedesigngroup.com – Login: Livingston: Password: skate. Future dates for the next workshop were discussed.

· Wished everyone a happy Thanksgiving. She noted that the schools will be out for Christmas recess the week of December 22.

Mayor’s Announcements and Reports.

Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza

· Thanked the community for re-electing him as Mayor. He repeated his comment in Spanish.

· Requested that an item relating to Requests for Proposals (RFP) for a new City Manager be placed on the next agenda followed by an RFP for the water rate analysis. He said the Council wanted to ensure that things do not fall behind and that the infrastructure in the community was taken care of.

· Wished everyone a happy Thanksgiving.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

None.

CITIZEN COMMENTS

Katherine Schell Rodriguez, P.O. Box 163, Livingston commented that from the present date through December 10, the American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes had teamed up to send holiday gifts to the nation’s soldiers in a program called Soldiers’ Angels.

Warren Urnberg, 1331 Eighth Street thanked the Council for selecting him to serve on the Council for two months. He also thanked City staff, especially Vickie Lewis for their assistance. Mr. Urnberg urged the citizens to support the Council and said it was sad that one Council Member was not present and performing the job that the people elected him to do. He said he knew the Council wanted to move forward and he agreed with what they were doing and wished them well.

Myra Bettencourt, 1584 Duke Drive commented on Mayor Espinoza speaking in Spanish and recalled that hiring an interpreter was discussed in the past. Mayor Espinoza replied that he didn’t think anyone was ready to hire an interpreter at this time.

Ms. Bettencourt commented that some Council Members had criticized the Merced Sun-Star reporter who she felt had been very supportive and fair in covering City matters.

Luis Flores, 707 Almondwood congratulated the new members of the Council. He asked what the status of the Citizens’ Service Committee was. Mayor Espinoza commented that the Council would be reviewing the Committee’s duties and responsibilities as some people did not agree with the current verbiage.

CONSENT CALENDAR

Mayor Espinoza presented the consent calendar items for consideration and approval.

Council Member Samra requested a separate vote on Items 8 and 9 as he was not a member of the Council at the time of these meetings.

5. Resolution No. 2010-62, Designating Certain Signatures for City Bank Accounts.

6. Resolution No. 2010-63,Accepting the Improvements at the Parkside Ponding Basin and Well #13 by K. Hovnanian Forecast Homes, Inc. as Part of the Subdivision Improvements for Parkside Estates, Authorizing the Acting City Manager to Release the Performance Bonds and Authorizing the City Clerk to File the Notice of Completion with the Merced County Recorder’s Office.

7. Denial of Claim for Damages from Jessica Billingsley.

8. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on August 3, 2010.

9. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on September 7, 2010.

10. Approval of Warrant Register Dated November 9, 2010.

Motion: M/S Samra/Land to approve Items 5, 6, 7 and 10. The motion carried 4-0.

Motion: M/S Aguilar/Land to approve Items 8 and 9. The motion carried 3-1 with Council Member Samra abstaining.

DISCUSSION AND POTENTIAL ACTION ITEMS

11. Resolution of the City Council of the City of Livingston Establishing a Voluntary Policy Regarding Attendance at City Council Meetings by Members of the City Council.

Motion: M/S Samra/Espinoza to continue this item. The motion carried 4-0.

12. Resolution of the City Council of the City of Livingston Authorizing Direction for Outside Watering Restrictions Per Title 9, Chapter 5, Section 72 of the City of Livingston Municipal Code.

The agenda item was presented by Acting City Manager Lewis.

Council Member Urnberg commented that he wanted this item placed on the agenda even though we will be going back to water meters and getting charged. He said that even when there were restricted watering days, the lawns did not die, but the Council received some complaints and then allowed people to water whenever they wanted to. Mr. Urnberg noted that now is the time to bring up restricted watering days before summer and spring come around and people begin outside watering.

Interim City Attorney Sanchez explained that the reason this was a resolution was because the regulations had already been adopted by ordinance. He gave an explanation on the ordinance section.

Mayor Espinoza agreed that restricted watering days was a better way to conserve water and he didn’t foresee a problem going back to the previous watering regulations.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar was in agreement. She said the resolution was the first step as a Council to move forward. Ms. Aguilar read the resolution restricting watering days. She asked that the resolution be placed on Channel 2 and in the newspaper to reach citizens so that they know what the Council was proposing.

Council Member Samra felt the effective date was too soon and suggested making the effective date January 1, 2011, to give the citizens time to get used to the change.

Katherine Schell Rodriguez, P.O. Box 163, Livingston was in favor of conservation, but felt there were things that needed to be considered first. She suggested educating the residents and placing a notice on Channel 2. Ms. Schell Rodriguez said another consideration would be the punishment for violations. Would the person be cited or fined. She said everyone would have to work together to make the program work, the citizens, public works and the police. She questioned who would be responsible for citations and who was going to track the violations.

Member Samra said the watering restrictions were modified in 1997 or 1998 and he thought that the original ordinance contained the same rules.

Interim City Attorney Sanchez noted there was a section in the ordinance that gave an explanation on enforcement and general penalties.

Mayor Espinoza felt the Council should further review the ordinance unless the Council wanted to make a motion or ask for a continuance of the item. Council Member Samra suggested the Council review the ordinance first.

Mr. Sanchez explained the direction would be to continue this item and if there was going to be a public hearing there were deadlines to meet if the Council wanted to get a notice in the newspaper. He suggested preparing a detailed staff report with the ordinance and the penalty section of the ordinance as attachments for the next meeting.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar stated this was a perfect time to mention the need to have the municipal code on the City website. She said it would save the Council time as well as for those people who have to come to City Hall to review the code book.

Council Member Samra said he wanted to add information on the City website on employee salaries, not by name, but by class. Mayor Espinoza noted this was a separate action.

Council Member Samra recommended that the entire City Council agenda be placed on the City website so that the citizens would know what is forthcoming and they could attend meetings and have the same information as the Council had.

Motion: M/S Espinoza/Samra to continue this item to the next meeting as a public hearing. The motion carried 4-0.

13. Termination of Agreement for Inspection Services – Bureau Veritas.

Acting City Manager Lewis presented the agenda item.

Interim City Attorney Sanchez commented that staff was just asking for direction at this time. Once the Acting City Manager revisits this and negotiates with the consultants, amendments to the agreement would be brought back to the Council for approval.

Further discussion was held on the agreement and the need for the positions and services.

Motion: M/S Samra/Aguilar to direct staff to come back to the Council at a later date for finalization of the contact. The motion carried 4-0.

4. Presentation of City of Livingston – Independent Auditor’s Report and Financial Statements June 30, 2010, and City of Livingston Local Transportation Act Fund – Independent Auditor’s Report and Financial Statements June 30, 2010.

Mayor Espinoza presented the agenda item.

Bryant Jolley, the City’s Auditor, said he was pleased to present the year end review and audited financial statements for the City of Livingston. He said these were comprehensive financial statements which include the Redevelopment Agency within them. Mr. Bryant gave an overview of the City’s financial statements for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010. He highlighted the following:

· Explained the only way the Redevelopment Agency could get funds is through debt.

· Talked about two small areas: Police evidence fund not having good accounting. Evidence monies cannot be kept by the Police Department. The Accounting Department should be keeping monies and maintaining the fund.

· The City had not established a large number of accounts with past due balances. The auditors recommended that staff bring this information to the Council to approve the write-off of these adjustments.

Mr. Bryant thanked Vickie Lewis and Jasmin Bains for their work and assistance. He said they were two extremely capable people that made the audit go very smoothly. Mr. Bryant noted that usually a city will end up with quite a few journal entries and in the City of Livingston if there was a need for journal entries they were taken care of quickly.

Mr. Bryant gave an update on GASB34 and an explanation of GASB45, Post Employment Health Benefit Plan. He explained how the City was going to have to fund this and then show it on the books now as a liability.

Kathryn Schell Rodriguez, P.O. Box 163, Livingston asked 1) What was the effect of 1995 water rates on the City to particularly get grant money for infrastructure, 2) What was the effect of the 1995 water rates on the City’s finances as a whole particularly its impact on the general fund, 3) What would be or could be the effect of having rolled back the rates to 1995 levels on the City’s finances moving forward, and 4) How realistic was it to think the State will give the City more grant money now that the rates have been rolled back to 1995 levels?

Mr. Jolley responded to Ms. Schell Rodriguez’s questions: 1) No any impact right now, compared to other cities, 2) At some point rates do have to go up. He said there were a lot of things he noted when he looked at these statements. The City had a lot of litigation expenses and even though a lot of revenue was coming in, a lot of litigation expenses were going out. Mr. Jolley said it was hard to get one’s hands around the situation to say what would have happened in the future, 3&4) The City would have to reduce expenditures or not allocate as much expenditure to the water and sewer departments.

Rick Soria, 1626 Main Street asked if the water rates had not been rolled back what would be the increase in the amount of money the City would have received. Ms. Lewis said she did not have this information prepared for tonight, but would have an answer at the next meeting.

Council Member Samra stated he wanted the people to understand what the auditor said that the City is financially sound.

Mayor Espinoza asked Mr. Bryant if he had any comment on rumors about the City going bankrupt.

Mr. Jolley replied that with a general fund surplus of $3 million and for a city of Livingston’s size this was a very healthy surplus and he did not foresee the City going bankrupt.

Motion: M/S Samra/Espinoza to approve the City of Livingston’s Independent Auditor’s Report and Financial Statements for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010, and the City of Livingston’s Local Transportation Act Fund Independent Auditor’s Report and Financial Statements for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010. The motion carried 4-0.

Mayor Espinoza asked if the Redevelopment Agency meeting should be resumed. Ms. Lewis said the information provided to Council at the end of the auditor’s report did not include the Redevelopment Agency report.

ADJOURNMENT

The regular meeting was adjourned by consensus at 8:50 p.m.

REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY MEETING

Mayor Espinoza stepped out of the Council Chambers for this meeting.

Redevelopment Agency Co-Chairperson Aguilar opened the meeting at 8:51 p.m.

ROLL CALL

Present were Agency Members Aguilar, Land and Samra.

Co-Chairperson Aguilar requested that the Minutes reflect that Board Member Espinoza had

removed himself from participation for this meeting.

PRESENTATIONS

1. City of Livingston Redevelopment Agency – Independent Auditor’s Report and Financial

Statements June 30, 2010.

Interim City Attorney Sanchez noted that the auditor’s report that was presented within the City’s financial statements did cover the Redevelopment Agency unless the Council had other questions.

Motion: M/S Samra/Land to approve the City of Livingston Redevelopment Agency Independent Auditor’s Report and Financial Statements for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010. The motion carried 3-0.

CONSENT CALENDAR

2. Approval of Minutes of Regular Meeting of August 3, 2010.

Motion: M/S Samra/Aguilar to approve the Minutes of the Regular Meeting of August 3, 2010. The motion carried 3-0.

It was noted that Agency Board Member Samra voted for approval of the Minutes as a

personal and needs only preference.

ADJOURNMENT

The Redevelopment Agency meeting was adjourned by consensus at 8:58 p.m.

______________________________

City Clerk of the City of Livingston

APPROVED: January 18, 2011

_____________________________

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.

One thought on “NOVEMBER 16, 2010 Draft Minutes

  1. Pingback: “Palm Trees”, Planning Commission, a City Council Agenda, and Politics as Usual? « Thegardeningsnail's Weblog (because not every critter is hiding under a rock…)

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