AUGUST 02, 2011 Draft Minutes

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MEETING MINUTES

SPECIAL MEETING/CLOSED SESSION/REGULAR MEETING

LIVINGSTON CITY COUNCIL

AUGUST 2, 2011

A Special Meeting/Closed Session/Regular Meeting of the Livingston City Council was held on August 2, 2011, in the City Council Chambers with Mayor Espinoza presiding.

SPECIAL MEETING

CALL TO ORDER

Mayor Espinoza opened the Special Meeting at 5:31 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

Council Member Theresa Land

Council Member Gurpal Samra

DISCUSSION AND POTENTIAL ACTION ITEMS

City Attorney Jose Sanchez stated that the item brought forward tonight needed to go into Closed Session as it had previously been reported out of Closed Session. City Attorney Sanchez stated that Vickie Lewis had agreed to stay on with the City through the transition of a new City Manager. This item was to ensure that an agreement was being formalized and was moving forward. City Attorney Sanchez noted that the law required the appointment of a labor negotiator in open session.

Motion: M/S Samra/Land to appoint Jose M. Sanchez as labor negotiator relating to the employment agreement with Unrepresented Employee: Assistant City Manager/Finance Director. The motion carried 5-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Espinoza, Aguilar, Land, Samra, Vierra

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: None

CLOSED SESSION

Mayor Espinoza opened the meeting for public comments. There were no public comments.

The City Council subsequently adjourned to the City Hall Conference Room for Closed Session to discuss the following matters.

1. Conference with Labor Negotiator: Jose M. Sanchez, City Attorney

Pursuant to Government Code Section 54957.6

Unrepresented Employee: Assistant City Manager/Finance Director

2. Conference with Legal Counsel—Potential Litigation

Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9

One Case

OPEN SESSION

The City Council came out of Closed Session and adjourned to the City Council Chambers for the Regular Meeting.

REGULAR MEETING

CALL TO ORDER

Mayor Espinoza opened the meeting at 7:02 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

Council Member Theresa Land

Council Member Gurpal Samra

CLOSED SESSION ANNOUNCEMENTS

City Attorney Sanchez reported that the City Attorney’s office, along with the City Manager’s office, received direction from the majority of the City Council that Vickie Lewis would be staying on with the City until October 31, 2011, as the Assistant City Manager/Finance Director. City Attorney Sanchez also reported that the City Council had discussed an item regarding Conference with Legal Counsel – Potential Litigation that dealt with redevelopment. He noted that the Mayor was not a part of the Redevelopment Agency Board and, therefore, was not in the room and did not participate in discussions regarding the RDA.

CHANGES TO THE AGENDA

Council Member Vierra stated that he would like to pull items No. 5 and No. 6 on the consent agenda for discussion.

AWARDS, PRESENTATIONS, APPOINTMENTS AND PROCLAMATIONS

1. Presentation by John Cadrett, San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.
John Cadrett presented information and an introduction to air pollution control. Mr. Cadrett addressed air pollution problems within Merced County and spoke about solutions to them.

A brief discussion followed with questions and comments.

2. Presentation by Chuck Baucom EMS Administrator/EP Coordinator, Merced County Department of Public Health.

Chuck Baucom presented information on the ground ambulance Requests for Proposals (RFPs) and the process, timeline, and activities in which the Health Department will participate.

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REPORTS

Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements and Reports.

Supervisor John Pedrozo welcomed new City Manager Jose Antonio Ramirez. He commented that he was looking forward to meeting with Mr. Ramirez and that Mr. Ramirez came very highly recommended by a friend of his. Supervisor Pedrozo commented on the redistricting maps and noted that at the last Board of Supervisors meeting, Map E was supported instead of Map F. He said the Board of Supervisors has a final vote next Tuesday to submit Map E to the federal government to see if they will accept that redistricting map.

Supervisor Pedrozo informed Council Member Vierra that he still had jurisdiction of Supervisorial District 1, including all of Le Grand and Planada. He also commented on the high-speed rail and said two weeks ago, Senator Sal Cannella held agriculture hearings at the Board Chambers regarding transportation. This meeting was to reach out to those in agriculture and it was a good meeting. He believed this is where previous high-speed rail failed – by not meeting with farmers and ranchers first.

Supervisor Pedrozo further commented on the jails. He said his office was working hard on whether or not to close the main jail. He noted that presently the main jail is still open and the newspaper indicated that bookings would be made at the Sandy Mush facility. Supervisor Pedrozo stated this was all due to budget constraints and his office was trying to make the process as easy as possible.

Mayor Espinoza thanked Supervisor Pedrozo for the redistricting and for keeping all of Livingston in District 1.

City Staff Announcements and Reports.

Interim Chief of Police Chris Soria stated that the start of school was fast approaching on August 15, 2011. He asked that residents please be aware and careful while driving for the safety of all children. He added that due to the construction on Peach Avenue he has asked for parents not to be dropping off their children on the street as this is very dangerous. He added that students please use the crosswalks and lights when crossing. Interim Chief Soria issued a reminder that the school zone is 25 miles per hour and children need to wear their helmets to and from school while riding their bikes. The police department will be out in full force in the first week of school.

Community Development Director Donna Kenney stated planning staff was asked to report on actions at the last Planning Commission meeting. She said that on July 12 the Planning Commission reviewed the Housing Element zoning ordinance amendments and voted to recommend approval by a 3-0 vote. Director Kenney noted the Commission also discussed an ordinance concerning Planning Commission Resolutions of Intent and the Commission also voted 3-0 to recommend approval to the City Council. Director Kenney added that signage was discussed; specifically staff will bring back mural language, which was located at the suggestion of the Planning Commission Chair. She commented that at the August 9 meeting, the Commission would be reviewing the Conditional Use Permit for the “monopine” antenna proposed for the high school at Park Street and would also be swearing in a new planning commissioner.

City Manager Announcements and Reports.

City Manager Jose Ramirez commented on the redevelopment agency and noted the City Council would be holding a special meeting sometime next week.

City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports.

Council Member Vierra apologized for not attending the swearing-in for the new City Manager due to work constraints. He added that the high school roundup started next Monday through Wednesday and school would start on August 15 and he cautioned residents to watch out for the youth.

Council Member Land commented that she would like to thank Vickie Lewis for juggling three jobs and although there were a few bumps along the way, thanked her. She also welcomed new City Manager Jose Ramirez from Firebaugh and said she was looking forward to working with him. Council Member Land added that a citizen had asked her what was the timeframe for the completion of the construction at the Walnut Sports Complex and if the City Council could be updated on the Livingston Recreation Facebook page.

Recreation Superintendent Jacquie Benoit stated that City Engineer Nanda Gottiparthy would be able to answer her question regarding the sports complex and she believed he had spoken to someone about it today. She commented that Livingston Recreation was very excited about improving its technology and has started a Facebook page. Superintendent Benoit noted that within an hour, the department had almost several hundred people join as friends. She added that Recreation staff is trying to put something out daily about new programs or just a notice that baseball games are today. Superintendent Benoit stated the department was trying Facebook as a different avenue and especially reach out to teenagers who seem to be responding.

City Engineer Gottiparthy commented on the construction at the sports complex and noted that the work should be completed by the middle of next week.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar also reminded parents to take time and be respectful in dropping off children at school. She suggested getting up early the first two weeks which will be hectic. Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar also welcomed new City Manager Jose Ramirez and invited the public to come in and talk to him. She issued a reminder that we need to continue to keep working together as a community.

Mayor’s Announcements and Reports.

Mayor Espinoza thanked Interim Police Chief Soria for mentioning the use of safety precautions on the first day of school. He also asked Recreation Superintendent Benoit if banners for the street fair were available yet.

Recreation Superintendent Benoit commented that the banners were up as of today and she would be delivering the large banner to Public Works tomorrow to install across Main Street.

Mayor Espinoza asked City Engineer Gottiparthy if the sidewalks were finished at the Seventh Street apartments.

City Engineer Gottiparthy stated staff was still working on a punch list with the contractors and Seventh Street was one of the repair items still on the list.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

3. Introduce and Waive the First Reading of Ordinance No. 593, an Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Livingston Amending Livingston Municipal Code Section 5-6-2(B) Concerning Amendments and Rezonings.

Community Development Director Donna Kenney presented the item.

Mayor Espinoza opened the hearing for public comment at 8:01 p.m. and subsequently closed the hearing at 8:01 p.m. as there were no comments from the public.

Motion: M/S Aguilar/Vierra to introduce and waive the first reading of Ordinance No. 593, an Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Livingston Amending Livingston Municipal Code Section 5-6-2(B) Concerning Amendments and Rezonings. The motion carried 5-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Espinoza, Aguilar, Land, Samra, Vierra

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: None

4. Introduce and Waive the First Reading of an Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Livingston to Modify Livingston Municipal Code (LMC) Section 5-3, Amendments Necessary to Implement Programs in the 2009-2014 Housing Element.

Community Development Director Donna Kenney presented the agenda item.

Mayor Espinoza opened the hearing for public comment at 8:05 p.m. and subsequently closed the hearing at 8:05 p.m. there being no comments from the public.

Mayor Espinoza asked City Attorney Sanchez if the City had to meet certain state guidelines regarding the housing element.

City Attorney Sanchez stated that everything seemed to satisfy programs 12, 27, and 28 which are being added per the City’s Housing Element to open up additional zoning districts to farm labor, transitional, and emergency housing. So HCD should be fine with these changes which seem to be consistent.

Motion: M/S Samra/Land to introduce and waive the first reading of Ordinance No. 594 of the City Council of the City of Livingston to Modify Livingston Municipal Code (LMC) Section 5-3, Amendments Necessary to Implement Programs in the 2009-2014 Housing Element. The motion carried 5-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Espinoza, Aguilar, Land, Samra, Vierra

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: None

CITIZEN COMMENTS

Myra Bettencourt, 1584 Duke Drive welcomed the new City Manager and stated that he wouldn’t be hearing from her unless there was something that she doesn’t approve of. She also asked when Peach Avenue would be open to traffic.

Mayor Espinoza replied that the road would be opening in a day or two.

Myra Bettencourt also asked if there had been any meetings of the Utility Stakeholders Committee as she hadn’t seen any meeting notices.

Mayor Espinoza commented that the Committee has not met yet.

Barbara Ratzlaff, 1458 Main Street stated that she was present tonight as the president of the Livingston Historical Museum and wanted to invite the new City Manager to take a tour of the facility. She also thanked Vickie Lewis for all of her support the last few months.

Daniel Varela, 752 Maple Avenue congratulated the City Council on selecting Mr. Ramirez as the City Manager and wished Mr. Ramirez well on his new endeavors. He added he wanted to let the City Council know about the National Health Assembly which is having an employee appreciation barbeque on Friday, August 12, 2011. He invited the City Manager, Mayor and City Council to attend. The location is the Livingston Medical Group site. He noted that as a board member of Livingston Medical Group, he was inviting people to take a tour of the facility and meet the CEO.

Mike Torres, 1616 Eighth Street asked if Item No. 5 on the consent calendar could be pulled for public comment.

Warren Urnberg, 1331 Eighth Street stated that he would like to thank Vickie Lewis for her open door policy for the last nine months. He reported that he had a rooster problem and said this was a problem throughout the City. He added he does not live on a farm and doesn’t appreciate being awoken at 5:00 a.m. each morning and asked that City staff be directed to investigate this problem.

CONSENT CALENDAR

5. Resolution No. 2011-52, Accepting the Road Widening and Associated Improvements on Peach Avenue Adjacent to Livingston High School Completed by Merced Union High School District and Authorizing the City Clerk to Record a Notice of Completion with Merced County.

6. Resolution No. 2011-53, Awarding a Professional Engineering Services Contract for Water Treatment at the City Water Supply Well No. 8 to AECOM, Fresno, California, and Authorizing the City Manager to Execute the Agreement.

7. Waive the Second Readings and Adopt Ordinance Nos. 591 and 592 of the City Council of the City of Livingston Amending Livingston Municipal Code (LMC) Title 5, Chapter 5, Table 12, Permit Requirements for Wireless Communication Facilities; and LMC Title 5, Section 5-6-9, Subsection F, and LMC Title 5, Section 5-6-10, Subsection D, Relating to Appeal Hearings for Conditional Use Permits and Variances.

8. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on July 19, 2011.

9. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on July 27, 2011.

9. Warrant Register Dated July 28, 2011.

Council Member Vierra pulled Items Nos. 5 and 6 for further discussion.

Motion: M/S Aguilar/Vierra to approve consent agenda Items 7, 8, 9, and 10. The motion carried 5-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Espinoza, Aguilar, Land, Samra, Vierra

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: None

Council Member Vierra commented that there seemed to be a lot of concern about the markings on Lincoln and Peach that are double marked lines that you are not supposed to cross over. He added that the land/store owner was concerned about this as well. Council Member Vierra questioned if this had been looked into.

City Engineer Gottiparthy stated that the item tonight was to accept Peach Avenue only. He added that the staff report states that staff will bring back Lincoln Boulevard improvements; there is just a minor punch list regarding Lincoln Boulevard, and, therefore, the item tonight did not include Lincoln Boulevard.

Council Member Vierra asked when Mr. Gottiparthy mentioned Peach, did he mean stopping at Main Street.

City Engineer Gottiparthy replied that this was correct. Mr. Gottiparthy added that he had met with the property owners at the store and he had confirmed with the Police Chief that with the lines that are drawn on the roadway, you are still legal to cross over into private driveways. Therefore, what is out there is legal, but they could do some minor striping modifications to clear up the confusion.

Brief discussion followed about the legalities of striping of roadways.

Mike Torres, 1616 Eighth Street commented that his concern was the off-street loading and unloading of the students. He said most of the other schools have their loading and unloading on school property and that on Peach, it is on a public street.

City Engineer Gottiparthy stated that he has contacted the school district regarding this issue and he has yet to get an answer.

Mr. Torres expressed discouragement that the City did not have a completed diagram showing what the final project would look like.

Mayor Espinoza added that a diagram was available at the school board meetings.

Barbara Ratzlaff, 1458 Main Street commented that she has lived across from the high school for 48 years and encouraged everyone to avoid the area between 7:45 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. and then again in the afternoon from 2:30 p.m. until 3:15 p.m.

City Attorney Sanchez added that it was the school’s decision on where the buses would pick up and drop off.

Lengthy discussion followed on private versus public property for loading and unloading of students.

Motion: M/S Vierra/Espinoza to approve consent agenda item No. 5. The motion carried 5-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Espinoza, Aguilar, Land, Samra, Vierra

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: None

Council Member Vierra commented on item No. 6 of the consent calendar stating that there was such a big discrepancy between the two bids.

City Engineer Gottiparthy stated that there were significant differences and he did contact the consultant as to why the bids were so far off of his estimate. He explained that what happened was that they assumed a lot more preliminary work and research than they had to do. Mr. Gottiparthy noted that they included in their proposal a lot more time on some of the items that they were not too comfortable with. Not that many consultants have worked with TCP, although both the consultants that have proposed have experiences with the treatment processes. Brief discussion followed regarding the background of the consultants.

Council Member Vierra added that TCP is a chemical that needs to be cleaned out of the wells and did Mr. Gottiparthy feel that AECOM was going to do a good job.

City Engineer Gottiparthy stated yes.

City Manager Ramirez asked about what terms as to notification to the public and what methods has the City used to send information to the public.

Public Works Superintendent Kathryn Reyes stated that she mailed out the notices on July 1, 2011. She commented that when they started monitoring the wells in 2004 for this contamination, when City Council was notified of it, then every year after that the public was notified, is all in a Consumers Report. She added that health language was included in those notices.

City Manager Ramirez asked do you see anything actually happening on the horizon

Superintendent Reyes noted that at this time, there is a public health goal which is .7 parts per trillion which the City exceeds in every well. Also there is no maximum contamination level yet, but the state anticipates having one fairly soon which according to state terms could mean anywhere from 1-10 years. She added that unfortunately the City water system could be impacted.

City Manager Ramirez commented that AECOM is a very big company that has acquired a lot of smaller engineering companies, so they have the expertise.

Council Member Samra commented that one of the first steps was to deal with the many water issues and this firm is reputable. Therefore, he suggested that the City move forward so that the citizens could see that the City was going to clean up their water quality.

Motion: M/S Samra/Vierra to approve consent agenda item No. 6. The motion carried 5-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Espinoza, Aguilar, Land, Samra, Vierra

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: None

DISCUSSION AND POTENTIAL ACTION ITEMS

11. Approve Resolution 2011-___, a Resolution Approving Amendment 1 to the Livingston Senior Citizens Center Lease at 420 Main Street and Authorizing the City Manager to Execute the Amendment.

Assistant City Manager/Finance Director Vickie Lewis presented the agenda item.

Mayor Espinoza added that he would like to thank the family for working with the City and for repairing the roof at the Senior Citizens Center.

Assistant City Manager/Finance Director Lewis added that they were a great family to work with, and that they took out the paragraph in the agreement relating to the CPI which would have increased the rent and tied it to the CPI on an annual basis.

Council Member Vierra commented that this was a good contract since the City was not getting any help from its Supervisor who indicated two years ago that he was going to help pay the rent. He added that the family fixing the roof and not passing the expense onto the City, putting the contract on a month to month basis so that the City was not locked into a specific timeframe, and again also helping with 50% of maintenance costs was good.

Motion: M/S Land/Aguilar to approve Resolution 2011-54, approving the Amendment 1 to the Livingston Senior Citizens Center Lease at 420 Main Street and authorizing the City Manger to execute the amendment. The motion carried 5-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Aguilar, Samra, Vierra, Espinoza, Land

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: None

12. Designate Voting Delegate and/or Alternates for the Annual League of California Cities Conference.

Assistant City Manager/Finance Director Vickie Lewis presented the agenda item.

Council Member Samra stated that he would like to appoint Council Member Land as the voting delegate.

Brief discussion was held regarding voting rights.

Motion: M/S Samra/Vierra to appoint Theresa Land as the voting delegate for the annual League of California Cities Conference. The motion carried 4-1 by the following roll call vote:

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

NOES: Council Members: Land

ABSENT: Council Members: None

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 9:05 p.m.

_______________________________

City Clerk of the City of Livingston

APPROVED: August 16, 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.

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