Minutes of Meeting Held on December 6, 2011

{Note from TheGardeningSnail: I’ve tweaked the font sizes and colors a bit to highlight a few things for Informational Purposes and Future Reference.}

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MEETING MINUTES

CLOSED SESSION/REGULAR MEETING

LIVINGSTON CITY COUNCIL

DECEMBER 6, 2011

A Closed Session/Regular Meeting of the Livingston City Council was held on December 6, 2011 in the City Council Chambers with Mayor Espinoza presiding.

CLOSED SESSION

CALL TO ORDER

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

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

The pledge of allegiance to the flag was recited.

ROLL CALL

Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza

Mayor Pro-Tem Margarita Aguilar (Excused Absence).

Council Member Frank Vierra

Council Member Theresa Land

Council Member Gurpal Samra

Mayor Espinoza opened the meeting for public comments. There were no comments from the public. The Council subsequently adjourned to the City Hall Conference Room to discuss the following matters in Closed Session:

1. Conference with Legal Counsel—Potential Litigation

[(Government Code Section 54956.9(b)(1)]

Number of Cases: 3

2. Public Employee Appointment

(Government Code Section 54957)

Title: Chief of Police

3. Conference with Labor Negotiator

(Government Code Section 54957.6)

Agency Negotiator: City Manager Jose Antonio Ramirez

Employee Organizations: All Represented and Unrepresented City Employees.

OPEN SESSION

The Council came out of Closed Session into Open Session at 7:02 p.m. and returned to the City Council Chambers for the Regular Meeting.

REGULAR MEETING

CALL TO ORDER

Mayor Espinoza called the meeting to order at 7:11 p.m.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

The pledge of allegiance to the flag was recited.

ROLL CALL

Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza

Mayor Pro-Tem Margarita Aguilar (Excused Absence)

Council Member Frank Vierra

Council Member Theresa Land

Council Member Gurpal Samra

CLOSED SESSION ANNOUCEMENTS

There were no Closed Session announcements.

CHANGES TO THE AGENDA

Councilmember Vierra requested that agenda items Numbers 4, 5 and 7 from the consent calendar be pulled for discussion.

Mayor Espinoza stated that he was going to pull agenda item Number 7 for continuance.

AWARDS, PRESENTATIONS, APPOINTMENTS AND PROCLAMATIONS

1. Presentation of Ten-Year Service Pin to Recreation Superintendent Jacquie Benoit.

Mayor Espinoza presented Ms. Benoit with a 10-year service pin.

GRANT ANNOUNCEMENTS

None.

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REPORTS

Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements and Reports.

Supervisor Pedrozo was absent.

City Staff Announcements and Reports.

City Engineer Nanda Gottiparthy announced that the City has applied for CMAC grant funding for 2012 and the Merced County Association of Governments (MCAG) is recommending the City’s application for grant funding. He commented the City has applied for two projects: one, replacement of a backhoe for a value of $125,000 and sidewalks for a value of $675,000. Mr. Gottiparthy gave an update on the picnic shelter improvements that are progressing well, undergrounding is completed as well as concrete foundation work. He noted the structure should start going up in a couple of weeks. Mr. Gottiparthy also commented that he met with Ralph Calderon, Livingston High School principal and Michael Belluomini, Director of Facilities Planning for the Merced Union High School District this afternoon and discussed the potential of relocating the bus stop. Mr. Gottiparthy noted that traffic circulation has improved since Peach Avenue opened up, but there is some congestion in front of the high school so there is discussion about possibly eliminating a crosswalk to open up the flow of traffic during drop-off and pick-up times.

Recreation Superintendent Jacquie Benoit announced that there is still a need for basketball coaches for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade boys and girls. Superintendent Benoit said to please check out the Recreation Department page on Facebook for pictures of the Christmas parade and Channel 2 as well. She also shared that Santa will be at the fire department on December 16th from 6:00–9:00 p.m. and will be assisted by the Volunteer Fire Department.

Council Member Land asked who the winners in the Christmas parade were.

Superintendent Benoit responded that she didn’t have her list, but she could share who won. Public Works received best of show, Knights of Columbus won, Relay for Life, LHS Band, Shelby Head Start, and City Hall.

Council Member Land gave praise to Superintendent Benoit for a job well done and congratulated her on the award of her ten-year service pin,

Police Sergeant Jose Silva gave a report on residential burglaries.

City Manager Announcements and Reports

City Manager Jose Ramirez commented that he had an opportunity to meet with PG&E. The City is currently working very close with them and they have been looking at their Franchise Fees and the Broughton Act. He is also looking into the Rural 20A projects and the downtown corridor to see how the City can partner up with them. City Manager Ramirez added that on the other side of Highway 99 towards the Blueberry Hill Café area the City continues to work in that direction. Some of the lots are being sold individually, staff saw some signs going up so he is checking into that. He is also working with staff to provide the Council with some language on code enforcement and being able to go onto private property. City Manager Ramirez noted that staff is finalizing the Request for Proposals (RFP) for fuel and had just completed the solid waste RFP.

City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports.

Council Member Vierra shared with City Engineer Gottiparthy that the school district hired a company to complete the sidewalks and they are all in, so now you can walk all the way down. He noted that on December 17th the Key Club will conduct a candy cane drive for toys for tots in front of the Court Theater building and Sam’s Food City from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. He noted that last year they collected $1,500.

Council Member Land commented that last night a joint Council-Planning Commission meeting was held and it was very successful and she enjoyed herself. She said it was nice to see people from the community, college and school districts coming together and sharing their visions for Livingston. She also announced that Kops for Kids will take place on December 20th in the City Council Chambers. Council Member Land welcomed aboard Richard Macchia as the City’s new School Resource Officer. She commented that school will be out soon – Livingston Union School District December 19th through January 6th, and Merced Union High School District December 16th through January 3rd. Council Member Land also relayed that there will be a Christmas senior citizen luncheon on December 19th, 12:00 noon at St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church. She gave a shout out to her son Justin who just turned 22.

Council Member Samra asked if the Council is having another meeting in December. He said that perhaps in January he would bring forward a proposal to the Council to place a ballot on the June primary election to determine if citizens would like to consider a four-year term for mayor. Also he would like to see if they could come-up with modified zoning for the truck parking. Council Member Samra mentioned that he had a great time at the Christmas parade, it was a lot of fun and he commended Jacquie Benoit for a job well done. He also mentioned that these types of events really make recreation shine and kudos to the whole department. He wished everyone a Merry Christmas.

Mayor’s Announcements and Reports

Mayor Espinoza announced that Public Works had a part-time employee leave to join another agency for a full-time position, therefore the City is advertising for a par-time position in the Public Works Department. The deadline for applications is December 12th at 5:00 pm. He hoped that one of the locals will get this position. Mayor Espinoza thanked the Public Works Department for doing a great job picking up tree limb prunings. He noted this is the first year for this program and it has been a lot of work for the employees and equipment. Mayor Espinoza said he personally liked that you had two weekends to haul your trimmings and then it was all done and the streets looked a lot cleaner that way.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

None.

CITIZENS COMMENTS

Katherine Schell Rodriquez, P.O. Box 163 stated that in March of this year the Council voted 4-1 to hire Bartels to provide water, wastewater and solid waste rate studies, community outreach and Proposition 218 balloting services. She added that also in April of this year the Council voted 5-0 to appoint five members to a utility rate stakeholders committee and in May the Council appointed one more person. Ms. Schell Rodriguez added that since then a binder of information about the condition of the wells and infrastructure has been prepared and made available to the public on the counter at City Hall and on the City’s website. Since then the City has received a $9 million dollar settlement for TCP contamination in the water. It’s been about nine months since the consultant was chosen, about eight months since the Council picked a committee and according to the project schedule and timeline provided by the consultant we should have had public meetings on this already. She stated that now it’s as if the whole thing has slid down a deep black hole. She asked did you fire the consultant. Did you decide to wait until after the 2012 election to do anything; did someone decide to cancel the whole darn thing without putting it on the agenda and what is coming next.

City Manager Ramirez responded that he came on board August 1 of this year and there have been three different meetings with the consultants. He said as they met there was some information that staff was not comfortable with and they felt it was prudent for us to end the contract. Mr. Ramirez added that staff recently sent out an RFP and that will come to Council with a recommendation of a new rate consultant and in addition the $9 million dollars that the City received is being analyzed. He noted that as soon as there is a new consultant on board the stakeholders meetings will resume so that we can have solid information and we are expecting to move quickly.

Warren Urnberg, 1331 Eighth Street commented on truck parking. He noted that in the past trucks were allowing to park on Industrial Drive and that was stopped because of the nuisance to adjacent business owners with trash, among other things, being dropped along the street. Mr. Urnberg believes it is not a good idea to go back to that again. He thanked public works on what they have been doing; picking up tree limbs and setting up the Christmas decorations. Mr. Urnberg would like to see the vacuum truck go around and pick up some of the leaves. He added that Fresenius had a professional group come in and trim their trees so why would the City be picking up those prunings.

CONSENT CALENDAR

2. Resolution No. 2011-75 Approving 2011/2012 Application for Funding and the Execution of a Grant Agreement and any Amendments Thereto from the California Department of Water Resources (DWR)- Proposition 84, Local Levee Assistance Program (LLAP) and Authorizing the City Manager to Act on Behalf of the City of Livingston.

3. Resolution No. 2011-76 Awarding Construction Contract to Tri-Phase Electric, Inc., Merced, California for Cal Fire Station #96 Vertical Air Flow Exhaust Removal System, Approving Expenditure of Funds, and Authorizing the City Manager to Execute a Construction Contract and any Change Orders Thereto with Tri-Phase Electric, Inc.

4. Resolution No. 2011-77 Approving Enhancement of Springbrook Accounting System by Adding Web Utility Billing Payment Option with the City to Absorb the Related Transaction Fees and Authorizing the City Manager to Execute all Related Forms and Agreements.

5. Resolution 2011-78 Approving Migration (Upgrades) to Springbrook Accounting System from Version 6.02 to 7.XX, Addition of the Fixed Asset Module and Authorizing the City Manager to Execute the Agreement with Springbrook Software, Inc.

6. Approve Application of $400,000 Grant to U.S. EPA Brownfields to Inventory, Assess and Prepare Remediation Plans for Parcels with Potential Hazardous Substance and/or Petroleum Pollution.

7. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on October 4, 2011 (Re-Approval As Amended).

Pulled and continued.

8. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on November 1, 2011.

9. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on November 15, 2011.

10. Approval of Warrant Register Dated December 1, 2011.

Mayor Espinoza noted that Council Member Vierra pulled items Numbers 4, 5 and 7 for discussion.

Motion: M/S Land/Vierra to approve consent agenda items Numbers 2, 3, 6, 8, 9 and 10. The motion carried 4-0 by the following roll call vote:

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

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: Aguilar

Council Member Vierra asked Assistant City Manager Odie Ortiz to give an explanation of items 4 and 5 and asked if there is a cost involved and if so, will the costs continue.

Assistant City Manager Ortiz gives a brief explanation on the Springbrook accounting items.

Council Member Vierra clarified that the customer has choices by paying by telephone, credit card or in person.

Assistant City Manager Ortiz responded that this is correct.

City Manager Ramirez added that the City has not had an upgrade on the accounting software since 2002.

Mayor Espinoza further added that the upgrade was needed since one hasn’t been done since 2002 and City Hall staff is accustomed to the software.

Assistant City Manager Ortiz noted that this would be a cost savings to the City because it would reduce the workload.

Council Member Vierra added that the software would then help the employees and give customers options and there would be no cost to those who continue to pay by cash or check.

Senior Accountant Jasmin Bains added clarification to the agenda items.

Brief discussion followed.

Council Member Vierra noted on item No. 7 he just wanted clarification on the roll call stating that Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar was in attendance and then left early, but voted on one item.

Motion: M/S Espinoza/Samra to approve consent agenda items Numbers 4 and 5 and continuing item No. 7 until the next meeting. The motion carried 4-0 by the following roll call vote:

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

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: Aguilar

DISCUSSION AND POTENTIAL ACTION ITEMS

11. Adopt Resolution of the City Council of the City of Livingston Restoring its Revenue Sharing Agreement with Merced County for the Gallo Project Exclusively and Directing Staff to Process the General Plan Amendment, Annexation, and Prezone Under the 1999 General Plan.

Community Development Director Kenney noted that some changes were made to the title of the resolution that didn’t carry over to the staff report itself. She said that what the Council is considering tonight is the intent to consider restoring the revenue sharing agreement with Merced County and directing staff to process it. Director Kenney added that the Council is not voting on the attached current agreement, what they are saying is that they want staff to begin work on the revenue sharing agreement for the Gallo Project exclusively and that we should move forward to process the application under the 1999 General Plan. She then gave background on the item.

City Attorney Sanchez made additional changes to the resolution title so that it would read as follows: A Resolution of the City Council of City of Livingston regarding its intent to consider negotiating a revenue sharing agreement with Merced County for the City’s sphere of influence and directing staff to process the Gallo general plan amendment, Gallo annexation and Gallo rezone applications under the 1999 general plan. Also on the eighth recital there would be an amendment to read Whereas the City Council desires to consider negotiating a revenue sharing agreement with the Merced County for the City’s sphere of influence and a further change to the Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved that the City Council directs staff to process the Gallo project applications and intent to consider negotiating a revenue sharing agreement with Merced County for the City’s sphere of influence.

Council Member Samra asked if this would stall the Gallo project.

City Attorney Sanchez responded that the whole intent of the resolution is to get direction to further this project along.

Council Member Samra noted that subsequently staff can come back again for Citywide for the 1999 general plan.

Brief discussion followed.

Katherine Schell Rodriquez, P.O. Box 163 asked if she was understanding correctly, the resolution that the City Council will be adopting is the intent to reopen negotiations with the County to reestablish the tax sharing agreement on the entire 1999 general plan area which would mean that once the 2025 general plan update is adopted there would have to be a separate tax sharing agreement negotiated on any additional lands that would be coming in under the 2025 general plan update.

City Attorney Sanchez stated that is correct.

Further discussion on the projects ensued.

Motion: M/S Espinoza/Samra to adopt Resolution No.2011-79, a Resolution of the City Council of the City of Livingston Restoring its Revenue Sharing Agreement with Merced County for the Gallo Project Exclusively and Directing Staff to Process the General Plan Amendment, Annexation, and Prezone Under the 1999 General Plan. The motion carried 4-0 by the following roll call vote:

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

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: Aguilar

12. Provide Staff Direction Concerning Adoption of the Regional Transportation Impact Fee (RTIF).

Community Development Director Kenney presents the agenda item. She noted that on Page 2, Table 4 which shows how the calculations were made and two paragraphs down there is a typo in the example. It says $398,000 and should read $39,800.

Mayor Espinoza commented that he put this item on the agenda a few months ago so that the new Council Members would have the information on the RTIF. He gave an explanation of the projects that go through the County and how they are prioritized.

Council Member Samra stated that when the City used to ask the Merced County Association of Governments (MCAG) Board for something for Livingston projects they would say why should we. He added that yes sometimes money will go out of the community, but eventually it will come back. He believes that the City does not collect enough fees no matter what it charges for the local contribution just to expand it. Council Member Samra commented that if the City were to collect locally it couldn’t do it and noted that how do we go to the MCAG Board and say we want regional money to come in, but we are not going to contribute. Council Member Samra commented that he asked about this a long time ago and assumed that Livingston really wasn’t ready, but we need to move forward now. He suggested that the City set a date to start talking about this.

Council Member Vierra commented that it was listed that money was supposed to be going towards the Los Banos bypass and in the newspaper recently the MCAG Board decided that the money needs to go to the Atwater-Merced area for the realignment of Bellevue Road.

Council Member Samra noted that it was with Los Banos’ consent.

Council Member Vierra responded with that we are back again with Merced getting the road that is going out toward UC Merced. He commented that Merced seems to be getting the bulk of this money and Council Member Samra keeps saying that we need to contribute.

Council Member Samra commented that just between Atwater and Livingston there are two interchanges that got put up at the same time also.

Mayor Espinoza added that six lanes were constructed as well.

Council Member Vierra thought that Caltrans did those.

Council Member Samra responded no, it is not all state funds, you still have to be part of the regional improvement plan.

Council Member Vierra noted again that MCAG has not been beating down our doors for several years and now it would add on another bundle of money to the person wishing to open a business here.

Lengthy Discussion followed.

Council Member Samra asked to see this brought forward for further discussion.

Council Member Land agreed to move forward.

City Attorney Sanchez noted that the consensus is to move forward with the notice or bring Jesse Brown here and get more information from MCAG

.

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 8:40 p.m.

______________________________

City Clerk of the City of Livingston

APPROVED: January 3, 2012

_____________________________

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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