LIVINGSTON CITY COUNCIL
MAY 25, 2011
A Special Meeting of the Livingston City Council was held on May 25, 2011, in the City Council Chambers with Mayor Espinoza presiding.
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Espinoza opened the meeting at 6:02 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
The pledge of allegiance to the flag was recited.
Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza
Council Member Frank Vierra (late 6:20 – excused)
Council Member Theresa Land
Council Member Gurpal Samra
CHANGES TO THE AGENDA
There were no changes to the agenda.
Katherine Schell Rodriquez, P.O.163 expressed her concern about a replacement for Vickie Lewis when she retired. Ms. Schell Rodriguez stated that Ms. Lewis had a full workload and asked the Council what the plan was going to be for her replacement.
DISCUSSION AND POTENTIAL ACTION ITEMS
1. Resolution of the City Council of the City of Livingston Approving the Form of and Authorizing the Execution of a Memorandum of Understanding and Authorizing Participation in the Special District Risk Management Authority’s Medical Benefits Program.
Interim City Manager Lewis presented the item. Ms. Lewis wanted to point out this proposal was strictly for consideration and had nothing to do with labor negotiations. She reported the City has been concerned with the rising costs of insurance and felt this option would help in reducing costs to the City. Ms. Lewis reported that Council Member Samra recommended the City become involved in the Joint Powers Authority (JPA). She explained how the JPA worked. In addition
Mayor Espinoza supported this effort. It was the goal of the City to have the brokers get innovative and come back with cost saving recommendations. The brokers brought back a recommendation that would be a significant savings to the City. The savings is projected to be 17% -26% to the City.
Chuck Trogdon and Jon Renberg provided a presentation of the proposed insurance plan. They explained how the plan works and how rates were calculated. In addition they provided an explanation of the program and savings through the Health Reimbursement Agreement.
Mayor Espinoza noted it was anticipated the City would save a lot of money if the Council were to accept the plan.
Council Member Samra stated he wanted to give “kudos” to the staff that worked on this proposal. They have been working very hard and he wanted to thank them for all they do.
Council Member Samra asked Interim City Manager Lewis how the employees felt about the change. Ms. Lewis reported the feedback seemed positive and that most employees seemed to understand the economical situation and the efforts to maintain jobs and benefits for the future.
There was lengthy discussion about the rates, deductibles, prescription coverage, co-pays, and the current costs. In addition, Mr. Trogdon explained how the debit card would work and how employees can file for reimbursement for certain out of pocket expenses.
Council Member Vierra pointed out that many cities in the surrounding area are laying off or furloughing staff, and if this is a step the City can take to save jobs he was in favor of it. Mayor Espinoza also supported this to maintain the financial stability of the City.
Council Member Land noted she understood that the bottom line with employees is how much it will cost each employee. Interim City Manager Lewis reported the actual costs to employees were not discussed with bargaining units because staff could not speculate what the Council would approve. She also noted that if the resolution was passed, Mr. Trogdon and Mr. Renberg would be able to answer any specific questions that staff may have. Ms. Lewis addressed the concern that staff had regarding the short turn around time to change the plan. She explained how the City has been working with the brokers to find the best available options and the City wanted to be sure to make necessary changes prior to the deadline.
City Attorney Jose Sanchez asked how many cities in the area are participating. He also asked if the costs were actual or estimated and once actual costs were realized would there be an addendum brought back to the Council.
Interim City Manager Lewis stated the costs were estimates and because the City was in the middle of an insurance year, staff would not know actual costs until later and the Council would be updated next January.
Danna Rasmussen reported that she has been working on this and understands the plan well. She feels that approval of the plan would be a win-win situation, benefiting both the City and the employees.
Mr. Renberg noted that there are both cities and counties in the JPA program. He listed Lake County, Calaveras County, Merced County, Tehama County, Santa Barbara County, as well as the cities of Chico, Huntington Beach, Santa Rosa, Yuba City, Irvine, Oceanside, Merced, and Visalia. In addition there are a couple of special districts.
Motion: M/S Samra/Vierra to adopt Resolution 2011- 37, a Resolution of the City Council of the City of Livingston Approving the Form of and Authorizing the Execution of a Memorandum of Understanding and Authorizing Participation in the Special District Risk Management Authority’s Medical Benefits Program. The motion carried 4-0 by the following roll call vote:
AYES: Council Members: Espinoza, Land, Samra, Vierra
NOES: Council Members: None
ABSENT: Council Members: Aguilar
Interim City Manager Lewis expressed her thanks to the Council as a whole for seeing the need and being willing to work with staff on this matter. She noted the support that both Mayor Espinoza and Council Member Samra provided while working with the JPA.
Mayor Espinoza thanked both Interim City Manager Lewis and Danna Rasmussen for working so hard on this proposal.
The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 6:58 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.