MAY 17, 2011 Draft Minutes

MEETING MINUTES

 

CLOSED SESSION/REGULAR MEETING

LIVINGSTON CITY COUNCIL

MAY 17, 2011

 

 

A Closed Session/Regular Meeting of the Livingston City Council was held on May 17, 2011, in the City Council Chambers with Mayor Espinoza presiding.

CLOSED SESSION

 

CALL TO ORDER

 

Mayor Espinoza opened the meeting at 5:33 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 matter:

 

1. City of Livingston v. The Dow Chemical Company, et al.

San Francisco Superior Court, Case No.CGC-05-442837

San Bernardino Superior Court, Case No. SVCSS 120627

Judicial Council Coordination Proceeding No. 4435

 

 

 

OPEN SESSION

 

The Council came out of Closed Session and 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

Interim City Manager Vickie Lewis asked that Item 9 be moved to the next agenda to allow staff time to gather additional information.

Motion: M/S Samra/Vierra to move Item 9 to the next meeting. The motion carried 5-0 by the following roll call vote:

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

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: None

AWARDS, PRESENTATIONS, APPOINTMENTS AND PROCLAMATIONS

1. Presentation of Proclamation to Merced Irrigation District Designating May as Water and Canal Safety Month.

Mayor Espinoza read the proclamation into the record.

2. Presentation of 10-Year Service Pin to Deanna Soria, Director of Professional Services, Livingston Police Department.

Mayor Espinoza presented Deanna Soria with her 10-Year Service Pin.

3. Departmental Presentation by Armando Rios, Battalion Chief, CalFire/Merced County

Fire Department.

Mayor Espinoza introduced Armando Rios, Battalion Chief Cal/Fire Merced County Fire Department. Chief Rios gave an overview of his career and background with the Department. He also gave a power-point presentation on types of calls, equipment used and types of programs run through the Department.

Mayor Espinoza thanked Chief Rios and Cal/Fire as well as the volunteers for taking care of the City.

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REPORTS

 

Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements and Reports.

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

Interim City Manager Announcements and Reports.

There were no announcements or reports.

City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports.

Council Member Vierra had nothing to report.

Council Member Land reported the following:

– Livingston Middle School open house will be held on May 18th at 6:00 p.m..

– Sober Grad Night meeting May 30th at 6:00 p.m. at Geneo’s.

– Events Calendar on City website is available for events in the City, fundraising, etc. Contact Donna Barnes to add items to the calendar. Use of calendar will prevent scheduling of conflicting events.

Council Member Samra had nothing to report.

Mayor Pro Tem Aguilar reported the following:

– Thanked the community for attending the recent firefighters pancake breakfast. She also thanked the Fire Department for the presentation and service to the community.

– The next 4th of July Committee meeting will be Monday, May 23rd at Geneo’s. The meetings well be held each Monday at 7:00 p.m. through the end of June, except for May 30th.

– McSparkle Night will be held at McDonalds on May 24th from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. McSparkle Night is a fundraiser for the 4th of July Committee.

Mayor’s Announcements and Reports.

Mayor Espinoza reported the following:

– The Merced Union High School District is fixing the corner of Peach and Main and it is looking very nice. Mayor Espinoza inquired about the side entrance to the house and if the School District was paying for that? There was a brief discussion and it was confirmed by Nanda Gottiparthy, City Engineer that the School District was paying for the relocation of the driveway.

City Staff Announcements and Reports.

None.

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

None.

 

CITIZEN COMMENTS

Gurleen Chahal, no address given, stated that she recently competed and placed in the top three which qualified her for the national wrestling competition. She noted she will be traveling to Fargo, North Dakota. The cost is $1,110. Ms. Chahal was seeking donations and noted that anything monetary was appreciated. She thanked Council Member Land for her support. Mayor Espinoza stated that if anyone wished to donate to leave their name and phone number with Council Member Land and she would coordinate the donations. Additionally he stated that Ms. Chahal was a great young lady and any donation would be a great investment.

Katherine Schell Rodriquez, P.O. Box 163 reported that last night there was a special meeting for interviews for City Manager. Ms. Schell Rodriquez stated that she had noticed the change in the public comment section of the agenda for special meetings and commented that this seemed to change with who was on the Council.

City Attorney Jose Sanchez addressed Ms. Schell Rodriquez’s concerns and stated the agenda followed the Brown Act.

Mike Torres, 1616 Eighth Street stated that he would like to have public comment on Item 6 of the consent calendar. Mr. Torres commented on the issue of the driveway on Peach Avenue. He stated the driveway was a half circle and had been in existence for a long time. He also noted that the movement of the driveway was a necessity and should be allowed to be put back the way it was.

Julio Valadez, P.O. Box 701 stated he hoped that the Council was looking at Vickie Lewis as a potential candidate for City Manager. He stated that she would be perfect for the job. Mr. Valadez encouraged everyone to come out to McSparkle Night at McDonalds to raise money for the 4th of July event. He noted that the event would not have the regular carnival, but there would be kiddie rides during the day of the event. The band Los Amigos would be performing. He stated the committee was still seeking vendors and entertainment and anyone interested should contact David Blevins.

David Blevins, P.O. Box 76 reported the 4th of July Committee was still seeking vendors. The deadline for food booths was June 13th. Mr. Blevins reported that the committee went through the City to obtain proper insurance. Mr. Valadez added that if a vendor cannot get insurance on their own they can pay $30 through the committee.

CONSENT CALENDAR

 

4. Resolution No. 2011-33, Authorizing the Submission of the 2011 Secure Our Schools Grant Application to the United States Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services and Authorizing the Interim City Manager to Enter into a Related Agreement with the Merced Union High School District.

5. Resolution No. 2011-34, Authorizing the Submission of the 2011 COPS Hiring Grant Program Application to the United States Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.

6. Resolution No. 2011-35, of the City Council of the City of Livingston in Support of the Court Theater Renovation Project.

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

8. Approval of Warrant Register Dated May 11, 2011.

Interim City Manager Vickie Lewis pointed out several typographical errors in the minutes of May 3, 2011; she noted that the corrections would be made to the minutes on record.

Motion: M/S Samra/Aguilar to approve Items 4, 5, 7 and 8, with the corrections to item 7. The motion carried 5-0 by the following roll call vote:

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

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: None

Mayor Espinoza opened Item #6 for public comment at 8:13 p.m.

Mike Torres, 1616 EighthStreet asked for a balance of funds in the Court Theater Committee bank account.

Diann Benafield, 1330 Queen Way stated that the committee meets each month and a Treasurer’s report was given at each meeting. She stated she was not sure of the exact amount in the account currently, but believed the balance was approximately $23,000.

Mike Torres commented that there should be regular reports from the committee given at regular Council Meetings.

Diann Benafield clarified that this was a City owned building and the committee took direction from the Council.

There was lengthy discussion on the grants already received for projects related to the theater, cost of clean up, cost of demolition, etc.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar thanked the two members from the Court Theater Committee that were in attendance. She asked for clarification on what the resolution was being requested for. Ms. Benafield stated that the committee did not feel that they had the Council’s support for the project when they went out to do fundraisers. She commented the committee just wanted to know if this project was something the Council wished to continue.

Several of the Council Members expressed concerns over the cost of maintaining the building in its current condition. Also, concerns were expressed about the support to the committee with staff time.

Council Member Vierra stated this committee was appointed by the Council and had been advised they were bound by the Brown Act to conduct meetings according to previous legal counsel. Mr. Vierra stated that clarification needed to be made.

City Attorney Sanchez stated that he had not yet given a legal opinion on the status of the committee. He said there were still a lot of unanswered questions as to the origination of the committee and documentation as to such.

Interim City Manager Lewis stated that staff pulled documents and tried to determine if this committee was actually ever formed. She indicated the best that could be determined was that the Council did meet on the matter; however it was never brought back to the Council for action. Although the City Manager at the time, Mark Melville sent out letters to the committee notifying them that they were a City committee, there were steps that were omitted and there was nothing ever put into the municipal code.

Council Member Land stated that she would like nothing more than to see this project materialize; however, it did not seem feasible at this time. When asked if Ms. Land was in support of suspending the project, she replied yes, suspend or stop it indefinitely.

Katherine Schell Rodriguez, P.O. Box 163 stated that the Council needed to decide what to do with the building. She noted that no matter what the Council decided to do with the committee, the City still owned the building and a decision would need to be made.

Mike Torres, 1616 Eighth Street commented on the issue with the on-going use of City staff and money for the project. He asked if anyone knew the total needed to complete the project. Mayor Espinoza indicated it would take approximately $7,000,000 to complete. Mr. Torres pointed out that it was possible the City would be responsible to pay back grants if the project was not completed, in addition to the clean-up costs.

Council Member Samra stated the intent of this resolution was to give moral support. In addition, Mr. Samra stated that the Council needed to make a decision on what to do with the project and not place the blame on the committee. He suggested that if the Council’s desire was to eliminate the project, then they should deny the resolution and bring back the project for a decision on what to do with the building.

Motion: M/S Land/Aguilar to deny approval of a Resolution of the City Council of the City of Livingston in Support of the Court Theater Renovation Project. The motion failed 2-3 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Aguilar, Land

NOES: Council Members: Espinoza, Samra, Vierra

ABSENT: Council Members: None

Motion: M/S Samra/Vierra to approve Resolution No. 2011-35, a Resolution of the City Council of the City of Livingston in Support of the Court Theater Renovation Project. The motion carried 3-2 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Espinoza, Samra, Vierra

NOES: Council Members: Aguilar, Land

ABSENT: Council Members: None

 

DISCUSSION AND POTENTIAL ACTION ITEMS

 

9. 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 pulled from the agenda and continued to the next regular meeting.

10. Resolution of Intent to Amend Livingston Municipal Code (LMC) 5-2-3-29 Vehicle Sales, LMC 5-3-14 Vehicle Sales Overlay District (VEH) Table 3 – Land Use – Commercial Zoning, Vehicles Sales, Footnote D and LMC 5-6-2 Amendments and Rezoning (and the numbering of subsequent lines).

Donna Kenney, Community Development Director presented the agenda item. She provided an overview of the code as it is written, including proposed amendments. Ms. Kenney noted that some sections of the code need clarification.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar asked why this item was being brought forward. Ms. Kenney stated she was directed to place this item on the agenda by Interim City Manager Lewis who was directed by the Mayor. 

Mayor Espinoza noted his concern that the only area for these types of businesses was currently in an area that is outside of the City limits. He stated that it would be beneficial if the City were to allow more businesses in various areas in order to generate more sales tax.

Donna Kenney noted if that the City decided to move forward with this, going from prohibited use to conditional use, it may require CEQA compliance and there would be costs involved.

Council Member Vierra asked what the effect on the General Plan, if any, would occur if the Council went ahead and added more car lots. Donna Kenney stated that staff would need to analyze that.

Council Member Vierra noted that because of the way the City Code is written and if the code were to change it may require costs for engineering, attorneys fees, staff time, and if there was CEQA required that would also cost.

Mayor Espinoza opened the item for public comment at 9:19 p.m.

David Blevins P.O. Box 76 stated that he thought there was a moratorium on the number of used car lots allowed within the City. Donna Kenney stated that she believed there had been a moratorium at one time, but it had since expired.

Motion: M/S Samra/no second to the motion to approve a Resolution of Intent to Amend Livingston Municipal Code (LMC) 5-2-3-29 Vehicle Sales, LMC 5-3-14 Vehicle Sales Overlay District (VEH) Table 3 – Land Use – Commercial Zoning, Vehicles Sales, Footnote D and LMC 5-6-2 Amendments and Rezoning (and the numbering of subsequent lines). The motion failed for lack of a second.

 

City Attorney Sanchez noted that part of the Resolution of Intent also addressed the flow of resolutions to change the code. It was noted that Council might want to streamline the process and a Resolution of Intent might be able to accomplish that.

Motion: M/S Vierra/Aguilar to deny the Resolution of Intent to Amend Livingston Municipal Code (LMC) 5-2-3-29 Vehicle Sales, LMC 5-3-14 Vehicle Sales Overlay District (VEH) Table 3 – Land Use – Commercial Zoning, Vehicles Sales, Footnote D and LMC 5-6-2 Amendments and Rezoning (and the numbering of subsequent lines) and asking the City Attorney to make changes and bring the item back. The motion carried 4-1 by the following roll call vote:

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

NOES: Council Members: Espinoza

ABSENT: Council Members: None

11. Provide Staff Direction – Adoption of a Resolution Authorizing the Interim City Manager to Enter into an Agreement for Contract Staff Support Services with West Coast Code Consultants (“WC³”) or Interwest Consulting Group (“Interwest”).

Community Development Director Donna Kenney provided an overview of the agenda item. She noted that ten Requests for Proposals were sent out to various vendors for building services. Ms. Kenney reported that two responses were received. She noted the primary differences between the two proposals.

Mayor Espinoza expressed concern that the Requests for Proposals included a statement stating that those willing to retain current employees would be given priority. Mr. Espinoza suggested that this may have prevented some companies from applying. In addition, Mayor Espinoza noted that he would like to be sure there was flexibility in hours since he didn’t feel there was full time work for both employees currently.

Donna Kenney noted that both of the current employees had been contacted by the company and interviewed. In addition, Ms. Kenney stated that she attempted to contact those companies that were sent the RFP. Only one of those that responded indicated that retaining the current staff would be an issue.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar also noted that she was concerned about the statement in the RFP regarding retaining current staff. In addition, Ms. Aguilar indicated that staff was not directed to add this to the RFP.

Council Member Vierra pointed out that the community expected someone to be present during all working hours and he had concerns about reducing the hours.

There was continued discussion about where advertising was done and how many hours each company was willing to supply staff.

Mayor Espinoza closed public comments at 9:43 p.m.

Interim City Manager Lewis asked the Council to enter into a short term contract with one of the two companies and direct staff to do exactly what was required for the RFP process.

Council Member Land questioned if the two companies would be willing to enter into a short term contract.

City Attorney Sanchez recommended that if the Council wished to enter into a short term contact, that the agreement be amended to reflect month to month..

Motion: M/S Aguilar/Samra to adopt Resolution No. 2011-36, Authorizing the Interim City Manager to Enter into an Agreement for Contract Staff Support Services with West Coast Code Consultants (“WC³”) or Interwest Consulting Group (“Interwest”) amending the to term of the contract to month to month and direct staff to resubmit the RFP for thirty days. 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

 

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 9:50 p.m.

______________________________

City Clerk of the City of Livingston

APPROVED: June 7, 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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