JUNE 21, 2011 Draft Minutes





JUNE 21, 2011



A Closed Session/Regular Meeting of the Livingston City Council was held on June 21, 2011, in the City Council Chambers with Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar presiding.





Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar opened the meeting at 7:00 p.m.



The pledge of allegiance to the flag was recited.



Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza (excused)

Mayor Pro-Tem Margarita Aguilar

Council Member Frank Vierra

Council Member Theresa Land (excused)

Council Member Gurpal Samra



There were no announcements.


Changes to the Agenda

City Attorney Jose Sanchez asked that Item Number 1 on the consent calendar be continued to the next meeting. Mr. Sanchez also noted that Item Number 2 on the consent calendar needed to be moved from the agenda as City Council Member Samra had a conflict and would not be able to vote on the item so there would not be a quorum. Mr. Sanchez stated that a special meeting would need to be held to comply with the timeline of this item.

City Council Member Vierra requested that Item Number 1 be placed on the regular agenda and not the consent agenda. Additionally, Council Member Vierra confirmed the special meeting would be held on Thursday, June 23rd at 4:00 p.m.






Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements and Reports.

There was no one in attendance to report on behalf of Supervisor Pedrozo.

City Staff Announcements and Reports.

Interim Police Chief Chris Soria reported that the Police Department had conducted a bike rodeo on June 18th, that he deemed a big success. He thanked everyone who participated. Interim Chief Soria reported that Mayor Espinoza helped with the raffle. He thanked City Council Member Vierra for his help and the assistance of the Livingston High School Key Club.

Interim Chief Soria also reported that on June 7th there were major arrests made in Merced and Madera Counties. There were six search warrants served in Livingston. Eight gang members were arrested, three stolen hand guns were recovered and drugs were seized. Interim Chief Soria commended Officer Mike Baker, who was asked by Merced County to serve on the Narcotics Task Force. During the newscast reporting the events, Officer Baker was recognized for his efforts. City Council Member Samra thanked Interim Chief Soria for the update and commended Officer Baker as well. Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar also expressed her gratitude to the Police Department. She stated that she hoped these arrests would send a clear message to gang members.

Community Development Department Director Donna Kenney reported that Friday, June 24th, would be the last day to register for the July Citywide yard sale. She also reported that the Planning Commission approved the temporary Conditional Use Permit for the 4th of July carnival.

Interim City Manager Announcements and Reports.


City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports.

City Council Member Samra stated he wanted to recognize Dan Folkner and said it was good to see him out and about and he looked forward to Mr. Folkner returning to work. He also stated that he was happy to report the July 4th tradition would be returning this year.

City Council Member Vierra asked about the vacancy on the Parks and Recreation Commission and if the recruitment information was put in the newspaper. Recreation Superintendent Jacquie Benoit noted that the information was also going to be included in the utility bills. Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar mentioned that Interim City Manager Vickie Lewis was working with staff on this matter. City Council Member Vierra also asked about the City’s contract with Gilton Solid Waste Management. City Attorney Sanchez stated that the Interim City Manager was working on this. City Council Member Vierra expressed concern about the way the Utility Stakeholders Committee was referred to. He noted that unless the word “Utility” was used that most people would not know what “Stakeholders” means. In addition, he asked that the meetings be open to the public.

City Council Member Samra addressed the concerns regarding the committee and stated that meetings would be open to the public and that the information provided to committee members was available at City Hall and on the City website.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar thanked City Council Member Vierra for his concerns and noted the meetings would be posted publicly.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar reported that she and Recreation Superintendent Jacquie Benoit had met to discuss decorations for the July 4th event. She noted that the 4th of July Committee was accepting donations and Committee meetings would be held on Monday and Wednesday, June 27th and 29th. Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar commented that the Committee was still seeking vendors. A list of sponsors and Committee members was listed on the 4th of July website. She thanked Luis Flores and Julio Valadez as well as the Planning Commission for getting approval for the event. Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar noted that the weather had been extremely warm and urged everyone to drink plenty of water and stay indoors.

Community Development Director Donna Kenney spoke for City Council Member Theresa Land in her absence. She noted that the Planning Commission had been discussing signage at the last three meetings. During the last meeting there were some used car lot owners present. After the meeting there was additional discussion and they visited some of the industrial areas to get input from the businesses. At the next Planning Commission meeting staff would be talking about murals and sign dancers. Ms. Kenney noted that City Council Member Land hoped that those impacted by the sign regulations would attend the July 12th Planning Commission meeting and provide their input.

Interim Police Chief Soria issued a warning to the community to exercise fireworks safety and only use approved fireworks, stay away from M80 fire crackers, and only use fireworks with adult supervision. He also reminded children not to play with matches.

Mayor’s Announcements and Reports.







Katherine Schell Rodriquez P.O. Box 163 inquired about something she recently read in the Merced Sun-Star. The person quoted stated that they were sure the Government Code required translation of any meetings or documents into any language. Ms. Schell Rodriquez directed her question to the City Attorney and asked if this was correct. Ms. Schell Rodriquez also asked what requirements the Government Code placed on the City to translate documents.

City Attorney Sanchez stated he did not have an answer at the time, but would research and report back.

Warren Urnberg, 1331 Eighth Street asked why the Livingston Chronicle was now being delivered on Saturdays and there were no longer grocery advertisements in the newspaper. Katherine Schell Rodriguez noted that she read in an article on line that this was a decision that was made by the newspaper itself and one could still receive advertisements that were sent out in a separate mailer.


Debra Lopez, 1543 Monte Cristo Way stated that she really liked the City’s web page, noting it was easy to refer back to meeting minutes. She stated that she noticed that Shannon Pump got the bid to repair the water wells and expressed that she was glad the wells were getting fixed with grant money. Ms. Lopez stated that she was disappointed that Ms. Lewis was not in attendance as she wanted to know when the community might expect a balanced budget. She commented that she agreed with City Council Member Vierra in regard to the naming of the Utility Rate Stakeholders Committee. Ms. Lopez also expressed concern that the Enterprise Fund was in trouble and it didn’t makes sense to have this Committee moving forward.


City Attorney Sanchez addressed Ms. Lopez’s statement regarding the contract with Shannon Pump and noted the item was continued to a future meeting. Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar offered for Ms. Lopez to meet with Interim City Manager Lewis on any question she had regarding the budget.

Myra Bettencourt, 1584 Duke Drive stated that she was also in agreement with City Council Member Vierra and Ms. Lopez. She felt the reference to the Stakeholders Committee was confusing. Ms. Bettencourt asked about the first meeting of the Stakeholders Committee and if it was not a meeting why where the members called to pick up binders. She further asked where the money was coming from to pay for City staff to work at the July 4th event and if the City was paying for staff time.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar responded to Ms. Bettencourt’s question regarding the July 4th event. Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar noted that the City was paying for staff’s labor and the 4th of July Committee was paying for everything else.

Debra Lopez expressed her gratitude to the Interim Police Chief for the recent arrests as well as the removal of the travel trailer that was parked on Emerald Drive.




1. Waive the Second Reading and Adopt 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, Concerning Nonconforming Agriculture Uses.

Continued to next Regular Meeting.

2. Resolution Approving Submittal of a Grant Application to the State of California Department of Parks and Recreation Office of Grants and Local Services (OGALS) for a Prop 84/Statewide Park Development and Community Revitalization Grant to Support Recreational Additions to Arakelian Park.

Pulled from agenda.

3. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on June 7, 2011.

4. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on June 10, 2011.

5. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on June 15, 2011.

6. Warrant Register Dated June 15, 2011.

7. Warrant Register Dated June 15, 2011 (Direct Towing).


City Council Member Vierra asked to have Check Number 72830 on Item Number 6 pulled for discussion. City Council Member Vierra asked about the repair of the Police Department gate. He stated the Department seems to keep having problems with the gate and it’s not getting repaired. Interim Chief Soria replied that this was the first time he had dealt with the problem. The gate was broken and he called someone to take care of it. It was fixed and the repairman assured him that it was in good working order. City Council Member Vierra stated that he recalled having seen the gate broken in the past. Interim Chief Soria stated that he would follow up to see what the issues were in the past.

Motion: M/S Samra/Vierra to approve the Consent Agenda Items 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. The motion carried 3-0.




8. Approve Resolution of Intent to Amend, Repeal or Replace Sections of Livingston Municipal Code (LMC) 5-3 and 5-7 that are Necessary to Implement Programs in the 2009-2014 Housing Element.

Community Development Director Donna Kenney presented the agenda item. She indicated if approved by City Council the item would go before the Planning Commission.

City Council Member Vierra asked once the item goes to the Planning Commission, and if it was approved, would it come back before, the City Council. Ms. Kenney noted that the item would come back before City Council for final approval.

Motion: M/S Samra/Vierra to approve Resolution 2011-42, Resolution of Intent to Amend, Repeal or Replace Sections of Livingston Municipal Code (LMC) 5-3 and 5-7 that are Necessary to Implement Programs in the 2009-2014 Housing Element.

The motion carried 3-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Aguilar, Samra, Vierra

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: Espinoza, Land


The City Council meeting was adjourned by consensus at 7:43 p.m.


City Clerk of the City of Livingston

APPROVED: July 5, 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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