JUNE 07, 2011 Draft Minutes

MEETING MINUTES

CLOSED SESSION/REGULAR MEETING

LIVINGSTON CITY COUNCIL

JUNE 7, 2011

A Closed Session/Regular Meeting of the Livingston City Council was held on June 7, 2011, in the City Council Chambers with Mayor Espinoza presiding.

CLOSED SESSION

CALL TO ORDER

Mayor Espinoza opened the meeting at 6:00 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

Council Member Theresa Land

Council Member Gurpal Samra

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

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

1. Public Employee Appointment

(Government Code Section 54957)

Title: City Manager

2. Conference with Legal Counsel – Potential Litigation

(Government Code Section 54956.9)

Number of Cases: One

OPEN SESSION

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

REGULAR MEETING

CALL TO ORDER

Mayor Espinoza called the meeting to order at 7:04 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

There were no Closed Session announcements.

CHANGES TO THE AGENDA

City Attorney Jose Sanchez asked that Item No. 5 of the Consent Calendar be continued to the next regular meeting to allow staff time to provide further information. In addition, it was noted that Mayor Espinoza was not eligible to vote on Item No.13 of the consent calendar due to a conflict of interest and Mr. Sanchez recommended a separate vote for that item.

Motion: M/S Samra/Aguilar to move Item No. 5 to the next meeting and to pull Item No. 13 for a separate vote. The motion carried 5-0.

AWARDS, PRESENTATIONS, APPOINTMENTS AND PROCLAMATIONS

1. Presentation on Supervisorial Redistricting by Jim Brown, Assistant Chief Executive Officer for Merced County.

Jim Brown Assistant Chief Executive Officer for Merced County presented three Draft Redistricting plans. Mr. Brown discussed how the three maps were developed. He stated the County was seeking community input. Mr. Brown noted that he was sharing the presentation throughout the county with all City Councils. In addition, he noted information was also available on the County website. The first public hearing with the County Board of Supervisors would be held at the regular Board of Supervisors meeting on July 12, 2011, at 2222 M Street, Merced.

Council Member Vierra spoke in favor of Plan B. Mayor Espinoza agreed with Mr. Vierra.

Council Member Samra was also in agreement and in favor of Plan B.

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REPORTS

Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements and Reports.

Brenda Valenzuela, Administrative Assistant to Supervisor Pedrozo was in attendance and stated that she had nothing new to report on behalf of Supervisor Pedrozo, but noted that she was available for input and questions.

City Staff Announcements and Reports.

Donna Kenney, Community Development Director reported that the second Citywide yard sale would take place on the weekend of June 11th and 12th. She noted the map would be posted on the City website by June 9th and hard copies would be available at Sam’s Food City and True Value Hardware.

Jacquie Benoit, Recreation Superintendent reported the swimming pool opened June 6th and would remain open through the end of August. She also reported that the Recreation Department was starting a new co-ed kickball league. There would be a league for teenagers and one for adults. In addition the Department would be starting a youth volleyball league for girls in grades 4th-9th. Mayor Espinoza thanked Jacquie Benoit, Toni Marquez and Patricia Marshall for attending Sober Grad and their involvement with the youth.

Interim Police Chief, Chris Soria, reported there would be a Bike Rodeo held at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 11th at the Livingston Middle School. He also noted that the Neighborhood Visits would begin June 29th. Council Member Samra requested a list of all dates for Neighborhood Visits.

Interim City Manager Announcements and Reports.

There were no reports from the Interim City Manager.

City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports.

Council Member Frank Vierra expressed concern that the Utility Stakeholders Committee meeting was not posted, nor were the remaining Council Members notified. Council Member Samra stated the meeting was just for distribution of materials to the members and that future meetings would be posted. Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar reiterated that the meeting was only to provide materials to Committee members.

Council Member Theresa Land reported that Livingston Middle School Graduation ceremonies would be held at 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, June 8th at Livingston High School. Ms. Land thanked all the donors for their contributions to the Sober Grad event and read off a list of the donors’ names. Ms. Land reported that she will not be in attendance at the next regular City Council meeting as she would be on vacation.

Council Member Samra reported that the initial meeting of the Utility Stakeholders Committee was held. Mr. Samra noted the meeting was solely for the purpose of distributing materials and there was no consultant or City Manager present.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar reported that the 4th of July Committee was now meeting each Monday at Geneo’s at 7:00 p.m. Ms. Aguilar noted that the site plan was being sent to the Planning Commission and all input was appreciated. Ms. Aguilar also thanked all the donors. She reported that the McSparkle Night fundraiser was a success and thanked everyone for attending. Lastly, Ms. Aguilar thanked Council Member Land for attending the Parks and Recreation Commission meeting on her behalf.
Mayor’s Announcements and Reports.

Mayor Espinoza thanked the Livingston Community Network for the donations to the kids for college scholarships. Mayor Espinoza presented community member Timmy Morris with an autographed baseball signed by all City Council Members. He purchased the baseball to benefit the 4th of July Committee and requested to have it presented at the City Council meeting.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

2. Introduce and Waive the First Reading of Ordinance ______of the City Council of the City of Livingston Amending Livingston Municipal Code (LMC) 5-6-5 (C), Nonconforming Uses of Land.

Community Development Director Donna Kenney provided an overview and presented the amended code.

Mayor Espinoza opened the hearing at 7:51 p.m. for public comments and subsequently closed the hearing at 7:51 p.m. as there were no comments from the public.

Council Member Vierra expressed concern about the use of chemicals, well water and dust. He suggested that the City Council consider only allowing organic farming in these areas.

City Attorney Sanchez clarified that the ordinance was not specific to any particular property, but would have a Citywide impact. He also noted that currently there are only two properties that would actually be affected.

Mayor Espinoza agreed with Council Member Vierra’s concern, however, he was in favor of farming as it is a much needed industry for this area.

Council Member Land asked about a discussion that was held at the Planning Commission meeting regarding the possibility of proposing additional fees for these Conditional Use Permits. Ms. Kenney responded that there was a discussion; however, the Commission voted 3-2 to not recommend this.

Council Member Samra stated that he was in favor of the two year limit being proposed and of allowing limited use.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar agreed with both statements made by Council Member Vierra and Council Member Samra and felt that the City Council needed to move forward with caution.

Council Member Samra commented that additional conditions could be added to include no disking during high winds and no noise at night. Also, he wanted to ensure that the ordinance included only crops on the land and no livestock. Mr. Samra also suggested the possibility of the City offering incentives for organic farming.

City Attorney Sanchez clarified that the proposal did include conditional use and further added that the City Council could add the other conditions noted by Council Member Samra as a separate list or include them in the ordinance.

Donna Kenney noted that staff could prepare a set of conditions that would always be applied. Ms. Kenney reported that staff was working on revising the municipal code section dealing with the appeals process.

There was lengthy discussion on impact of the appeal process.

Motion: M/S Espinoza/Samra to Introduce and Waive the First Reading of Ordinance No. 590 of the City Council of the City of Livingston Amending Livingston Municipal Code (LMC) 5-6-5 (C), Nonconforming Uses of Land. The motion carried 4-1 by the following roll call vote:

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

NOES: Council Members: Vierra

ABSENT: Council Members: None

CITIZEN COMMENTS

Katherine Schell Rodriquez, P.O. Box 163 stated there were issues raised at the last City Council meeting in regard to staff support to the Court Theater Committee. Ms. Schell Rodriguez pointed out that City staff supported a variety of community organizations and committees in an effort to provide services and events to the community. She also expressed concern that the Utility Stakeholders Committee meeting was not posted and information made available to the public.

Myra Bettencourt, no address given, reported there was a travel trailer parked on Emerald Drive and had been there for quite some time. She believed there were actually people living in the trailer. Interim Police Chief Chris Soria stated he would follow up on this matter.

Arnold Valencia interpreter for Jose (no last name provided) spoke in regards to an issue about a notice he received referencing signage for his business being too large. Mayor Espinoza stated this item was to be addressed at the next Planning Commission meeting. Donna Kenney stated the Planning Commission would be reviewing the sign code at its meeting of June 14th. She said that notices had been sent to businesses and a public hearing notice was posted inviting everyone to attend for input.

CONSENT CALENDAR

3. Initiating Proceedings Under the Landscape and Lighting Act of 1972, Division 15, Part 2 of the California Streets and Highways Code, et. seq., Declaring the City’s Intention to Levy and Collect Assessments Within the City’s Landscape and Lighting Maintenance Assessment District for Fiscal Year 2011/2012, Approval of the Annual Engineer’s Report and Setting a Time and Place for a Public Hearing (Resolution No. 2011-38).

4. Initiating Proceedings Under the Benefit Assessment Act of 1982, Government Code Section 54717, et. seq., Declaring the City’s Intention to Levy and Collect Assessments Within the City’s Benefit Assessment Districts for Fiscal Year 2011/2012, Approval of the Engineer’s Report and Setting a Time and Place for a Public Hearing (Resolution No. 2011-39).

5. Resolution Awarding Construction Contract to Shannon Pump Company, Merced, California, Approving the Expenditure of Construction Funds for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) – Replacement of Motors at Water Wells 8,9,11 and 13 – Grant No. CBG-

09-093 and Authorizing the Interim City Manager to Execute a Construction Contract and Any Change Orders Thereto with Shannon Pump Company.

This item was continued to the next regular meeting.

6. Adopt Resolution Approving Amendment 2 to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Between the City of Livingston and Merced County Workforce Investment Board of Enterprise Zone Marketing and Program Management Services.

This item was pulled for discussion.

7. Approve Resolution of Intent No. 2011-40 to Amend, Repeal, or Replace Sections to Clarify Livingston Municipal Code (LMC) 5-6-2 Concerning Amendments and Rezonings.

8. Denial of Claim for Damages from Maria Chavez.

9. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on May 16, 2011.

10. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on May 17, 2011.

11. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on May 18, 2011.

12. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on May 25, 2011.

13. Approval of Warrant Registers (2) Dated June 1, 2011.

Motion: M/S Samra/Aguilar to approve items 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 on the consent calendar. The motion carried 5-0.

Council Member Vierra asked what benefit the City had received as being part of the Enterprise Zone. Donna Kenney noted that she did have a report, but some of the data was confidential in nature. Mr. Vierra also asked if the Enterprise Zones was abolished what would happen to the money that the cities are paying. Ms. Kenney stated she did not have an answer, but would research this.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar noted that she was in agreement with Council Member Vierra.

Council Member Vierra asked that a report be provided to the City Council on the benefits of the Enterprise Zone. Ms. Kenney noted that she did have a report and would place copies in the City Council Members mail boxes.

Council Member Samra noted that jobs in the county are a benefit to the City. He explained that the Enterprise Zone provided incentives to all the communities; in turn revenues come back to the community.

Motion: M/S Aguilar/Samra to continue Item 6 to the next regular meeting. The motion carried 5-0.

Motion: M/S Vierra/Land to approve Item 13 on the consent calendar. The motion carried 4-1. Mayor Espinoza recused himself due to a conflict of interest.

DISCUSSION AND POTENTIAL ACTION ITEMS

14. City Council to Provide Staff Direction for Appointment to the Planning Commission.
Interim City Manager Vickie Lewis provided an overview of the item and reported that one application had been received. Ms. Lewis noted that staff was asking for direction on how to proceed.

Council Member Vierra asked where the vacancies were being advertised. Mr. Vierra stated he didn’t feel the advertising was adequate. It was noted that vacancies were run in the newspaper as a news item and posted on Channel 2, the City website and the City Hall bulletin board.

Motion: M/S Samra/Land to adopt Resolution 2011-41 appointing Francisco Castellanos to the Planning Commission. The motion carried 4-1 by the following roll call vote:

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

NOES: Council Members: Vierra

ABSENT: Council Members: None

15. City Council to Provide Staff Direction for Vacancy on the Parks and Recreation Commission.

Interim City Manager Vickie Lewis provided an overview of the item and reported that Oscar Jimenez Trejo submitted his resignation from the Parks and Recreation Commission. Ms. Lewis noted that staff was asking for direction on how to proceed.

Council Member Samra recommended adding information with the utility bills regarding recruitment.

Mayor Espinoza opened the meeting for public comment at 8:53 p.m.

Diann Benafield, no address given, recommended use of the marquee at the Court Theater to advertise. Interim City Manager Lewis stated that the City often used the marquee to advertise recreation programs and if it was available it could be used.

Mayor Espinoza closed the public comment period at 8:54 p.m.

Council Member Vierra asked about the wording of the resignation. Jacquie Benoit clarified that Mr. Trejo was very busy and had conflicts in scheduling and was not able to attend meetings often.

The City Council directed staff to process the standard recruitment notice for thirty days.

16. City Council Designation of Equipment/Property as Surplus and Authorize Staff to Dispose of Property Appropriately.

Interim Police Chief Soria directed the City Council’s attention to the attachments in the agenda packet listing equipment to be surplused. Council Member Samra asked about the fire truck shown on the Fire Department list of items. Battalion Chief Armando Rios clarified that it was a large truck that had not been used for a long time.

Mayor Espinoza opened the meeting for public comment at 8:59 p.m. There was no public comment and the Mayor closed the public comment period at 8:59 p.m.

Council Member Vierra requested that a report be provided to the City Council once the items were sold. Ms. Lewis stated she would have a report generated and noted that the money would be put into the General Fund when received.

Motion: M/S Samra/Vierra to approve designation of equipment/property as surplus and authorize staff to dispose of the property appropriately. The motion carried 5-0.

17. City Council Guidance on Extending the October Street Fair and the Addition of Produce Sales.

Recreation Superintendent Jacquie Benoit reported that she had been asked to research the possibility of extending the Street Fair to two months and the possibility of including a Farmers Market. Ms. Benoit stated that she spoke to the Department of Agriculture and the Health Department and discovered that creating a Farmers Market was a bigger process than could be handled by the City. She noted, however, that the sale of produce at the Street Fair was possible. Ms. Benoit explained that a vendor could obtain a health permit for produce that is purchased from an approved source. She stated there would be a fiscal impact to the City to increase the length of the Street Fair because additional staff time would be needed as well as increased insurance costs.

Mayor Espinoza spoke in favor of moving forward with the changes and extending the Street Fair.

Mayor Espinoza opened the meeting for public comment at 9:07 p.m. and subsequently closed the public comment period at 9:07 p.m. as there was no public comment.

Council Member Samra spoke in favor of the extending the Street Fair.

Council Member Vierra asked about the stipulation of using an approved source in regard to selling produce. Ms. Benoit explained that the Department of Agriculture certifies the approved sources. Mr. Vierra suggested that the City obtain a list of those farmers so that they could be invited to participate.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar noted that she felt the additional insurance costs could be recouped through vendor fees. Ms. Aguilar also supported extending the Street Fair and suggested that staffing could possibly be accomplished by seeking community volunteers.

The Council directed staff to proceed with extending the Street Fair for one additional month.

ADJOURNMENT

The City Council meeting was adjourned by consensus at 9:14 p.m.

______________________________

City Clerk of the City of Livingston

APPROVED: June 21, 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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