October 18, 2011 Draft Minutes





OCTOBER 18, 2011

A Closed Session/Regular Meeting of the Livingston City Council was held on October 18, 2011, in the City Council Chambers with Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar presiding.


The scheduled Closed Session was cancelled.



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 Absence)

Mayor Pro-Tem Margarita Aguilar

Council Member Frank Vierra

Council Member Theresa Land

Council Member Gurpal Samra


Council Member Vierra asked that Item No. 3 on the consent agenda be pulled for a separate vote.


1. City of Livingston – Independent Auditor’s Report and Financial Statements June 30, 2011 and City of Livingston Local Transportation Development Act Fund – Independent Auditor’s Report and Financial Statements June 30, 2011.

Independent Auditor Bryant Jolley presented the Auditor’s Report and Financial Statements for the period ending June 30, 2011.

City Manager Jose Ramirez asked Mr. Jolley to elaborate more on the negative cash flow in the industrial wastewater fund and noted that the fund had been closed.

Mr. Jolley stated that the City will have to do something with the negative balance such as rolling it into the domestic sewer fund. He gave a brief explanation on how to handle the deficit.

Council Member Samra stated that it would be inappropriate to merge industrial into domestic; the residents should not have to pay for industrial. He also noted that professional services are starting to decrease.

Mr. Jolley agreed, but stated that merging the two would be a legal issue.

Katherine Schell Rodriquez, P.O. Box 163 asked about the $1.2 million deficit in the industrial wastewater treatment fund, this was the plant the City operated on behalf of Foster Farms. She asked was Foster Farms the only user of that facility and if the general fund takes the hit for that will this then be a scenario of the citizens paying the costs that weren’t received by the City through added water rates for Foster Farms.

Assistant City Manager/Finance Director Vickie Lewis stated that the actual decommissioning of that plant is ongoing and for 3-5 years there will continue to be costs. Those costs currently are only direct costs to Foster Farms. She added that there are a number of solutions to the debt issue such as the potential of taking property tax from the new plant and applying it to the debt for the industrial plant. This would not impact the actual users.

Brief discussion followed.

Motion: M/S Samra/Land to approve and accept the Independent Auditor’s Report and Financial

Statements for the period ending June 30, 2011. The motion carried 4-0 by the following roll call vote:

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

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: Espinoza




Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements and Reports.

Supervisor Pedrozo was absent.

City Staff Announcements and Reports.

Public Works Superintendent Kathryn Reyes reminded everyone to adjust their sprinklers. She reported that Public Works will be striping streets in the community for the next couple of weeks.

Superintendent Reyes announced that mosquito abatement is provided by Merced County and to please call 722-1527 if you need them to come out and spray. She added that Gilton Solid Waste is providing bulky item pick-up twice a year and to please watch for the flier on the new green waste program in the next utility billing.

Council Member Land commented on the new recycling bins at the Little Guys and Gals Park and noted that they are not secured. She suggested possibly pulling them into the restrooms at night.

Superintendent Reyes stated that she did consider securing the cans, but it was her feeling that there was a need for the cans for people collecting the cans and she didn’t care if the cans were taken as long as they did not end up in the landfill.

Council Member Land thanked Superintendent Reyes and Jim Rightsell for taking care of a water issue for a resident quickly.

Recreation Superintendent Jacquie Benoit reported that at this week’s street fair different types of entertainment will be provided; the Livingston High School band, color guard and karate demonstrations. Activities will start at approximately 7:00 p.m. and continue for about an hour.

She reported that it will be Kids’ Day at the October 27th street fair and asked that participants come dressed in their Halloween costumes. There will be a parade and the hip hop dance instructor will be teaching how to perform the Thriller dance. Also October 27th will be the first day for basketball registrations at City Hall from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. She reminded everyone that the Parks and Recreation Commission is selling tickets for a drive-through tri-tip dinner on October 28th to benefit the Little Guys and Gals Park. The Key Club will be helping with this event and the Recreation Department is very grateful for their help.

City Manager Announcements and Reports.

City Manager Ramirez gave an update on the Court Theater. He has been talking to several development groups to bring the idea of turning the theater into a multicultural facility to fruition. He noted City Staff has tentatively scheduled a small business development workshop for November 7th and will be sending invitations to business owners and church groups in the hopes of starting a Chamber of Commerce or a business association of some type. City Manager Ramirez also noted that the City is submitting a proposal with three different components to the Wells Fargo Community Development Foundation to hopefully get some nice canopies for next year’s street fair or downtown market. He said next would be job growth, job training and work force development and lastly the community garden.

City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports.

Mayor Espinoza joined the meeting at 7:38 p.m.

Council Member Land announced that next week is Red Ribbon week, October 24th through the 28th. There will be no parade this year, but they will be decorating the City. Wednesday there will be a candlelight vigil on Main Street in front of City Hall at 6:00 p.m.

Council Member Samra commented that this will be the Council’s last meeting with Vickie Lewis and he wanted to publicly thank her for her years of service and hard work. When he first started talking to her regarding ledgers he could barely understand and she has helped him a lot over the years. She didn’t help him make up his mind on anything, but helped him to understand. He thanked her for being a good teacher, a good employee and friend.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar stated in Spanish, “We are talking about watching our water use during the winter months. Two to three days per week is all the watering a lawn needs during the winter months. Also, I want you to call this phone number (209) 722-1527 when there are a lot of mosquitoes around. It is the number for the agency that comes to town and sprays for mosquitoes. They normally spray at night, so they ask that when they come out to spray, people stay indoors. It’s very important.

Something else I want to share is, if you have noticed, there are certain large items such as mattresses, bed frames, etc. that people cannot dispose of in the garbage containers because they are too big. In your water bill, there is a phone number listed for Gilton Garbage Disposal (the garbage company). You can call that number and schedule an appointment for them to come out and pick up those large items from your curbside. If you cannot find the 800 number, you can call City Hall so they can give it to you. This is a service that you pay for through your water bill.

Also, the City is going to start a service where residents can trim their trees in the winter time and they can call the City to schedule a pick up and the City will pick up their tree trimmings from the front of their house.

It is very important to help each other and spread the word about these services.”

Mayor’s Announcements and Reports.

Mayor Espinoza stated that the mosquitoes are really bad and he has not seen anyone spraying. When they were spraying the ponds that seemed to help. He reminded everyone that their standing water should be dumped because that will help with mosquitoes also.

He stated in Spanish, “For those of you listening at home, if you have any standing water such as old tires and pools, please empty them because standing water creates more mosquitoes. You have the phone number that Mayor Pro-Tem. Aguilar gave you so please call if you see a lot of mosquitoes.”

He commented that he wanted to reiterate what Council Member Samra said about Vickie Lewis. He thanked her very much for all the years of service to the City and wanted to mention that this was her time to rest. He also apologized to Donna Kenney for his comments at the last meeting. Mayor Espinoza added that he shouldn’t have made the comments, he should have gone to the City Manager and requested that those items be placed on the agenda. He again apologized for his outburst.




Donna Kenney, 6530 East Avenue, Turlock, Livingston Rotary President, wanted to remind everyone that we are just a few short weeks away from the Rotary Crab Feed on November 12th at 6:00 pm. Tickets can be purchased from any Rotarian or at True Value Hardware.

Katherine Schell Rodriquez, P.O. Box 163 stated she noticed that the closed session was cancelled again and wanted to know if that meant that negotiations for the employee bargaining units are still dragging on. Also, she stated that looking back on the July 6th draft minutes the Assistant City Manager Vickie Lewis was a part of those discussions, however, she also noticed that there is no mention of the Assistant City Manager being in on those discussions currently. She also asked if it will be November before there will be an adopted budget. Ms. Schell Rodriguez further asked if Foster Farms can still re-file a lawsuit that was dismissed without prejudice, and can city managers, assistant city managers, and department heads moonlight. Additionally, she asked when the public can expect to have a utility rate stakeholders meeting.

Julio Valadez, P.O. 701 stated that on behalf of the 4th of July Committee he wanted to thank Vickie Lewis for all of her support. He noted that he resides on Sixth Street and he expressed concern that from F Street he sees people crossing the road and not using the crosswalk. He asked if the City could install a crosswalk there. Mr. Valadez reminded everyone that there will be a 4th of July Committee Meeting on October 24th at City Hall at 6:00 p.m. He added that the Knights of Columbus will be getting together this weekend from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and will be singing of religious themes and there will be free food. He thanked Katherine Reyes for donating toys again this year for the kids.

Mayor Pro Tem Aguilar stated that regarding the safety of the children crossing the streets, at the high school on Peach Avenue the students are crossing the street instead of using the light. She asked if Interim Police Chief Soria could get in touch with the high school to help out with keeping the students inside of the crosswalk.

Council Member Land noted that at the last meeting Katherine Schell Rodriquez had asked a couple of questions and she wondered if we had the answers to her questions.

City Attorney Jose Sanchez stated that Foster Farms cannot bring a claim back based upon the conduct alleged with a complaint. There is a certain statute of limitations involved and of course the City could be open to other lawsuits. It would have to be for another set of circumstances. Regarding the second issue which was department heads holding a second job, he knows that within the personnel rules and regulations it states that the employee must receive permission from the city manager in writing. Regarding contract employees he did not have the contracts at hand to reference, but he did quickly look at the personnel the rules and regulations.


2. Waive the Second Reading and Adopt Ordinance No. 596 of the City Council of the City of Livingston Amending Livingston Municipal Code (LMC) Title 4, Chapter 2, Relating to Signage.

3. Waive the Second Reading and Adopt Ordinance No. 597 of the City Council of the City of Livingston Amending Livingston Municipal Code (LMC) 5-3-16-1 (A)(1) Setback Exceptions Concerning Small Doorway Covers.

4. Resolution No. 2011-67 Supporting the California Air Resources Board’s Leadership in Promoting Clean and Efficient Motor Vehicles, Energy Independence, Zero Emission Technologies and Improved Quality of Life in California.

5. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on October 4, 2011.

6. Approval of Warrant Register Dated October 12, 2011.

Council Member Vierra noted that on Item No. 5 it did not indicate what time Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar left the meeting.

Councilmember Land noted that on Item No. 5, page 3 of 10 her comment that the letters C and E were missing was incorrect and her comment should have read the letters S and E.

Motion: M/S Espinoza/Land to approve consent agenda Items Nos. 3, 4, and 6 and to bring back Item No. 5 to the next regularly scheduled meeting. The motion carried 5-0 by the following roll call vote:

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

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: None

Councilmember Vierra pulled Item No. 3 for a separate vote. Brief discussion followed.

Motion: M/S Espinoza/Land to approve consent agenda Item No. 3. The motion carried 4-1 by the following roll call vote:

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

NOES: Council Members: Vierra

ABSENT: Council Members: None


7. Resolution Approving Submittal of a Grant Application to the Department of Transportation TIGER 3 Discretionary Grants.

Councilmember Land recued herself because she lives near the project site.

City Engineer Nanda Gottiparthy presented the agenda item.

Council Member Samra asked how much the total project would cost.

City Engineer Gottiparthy responded that the amount would be based on the total project.

Council Member Samra asked suppose the City receives $2 million, are we getting the full amount or no amount and how do they come up with the amount.

City Engineer Gottiparthy stated that they generally try to fund the full application and he was not aware of partial funding.

Council Member Samra noted that he was not familiar with the TIGER grant and asked is that state or federal?

City Manager Ramirez stated a federal grant.

Council Member Samra commented that was his main concern. If you apply for a grant and you don’t go through with it, it makes it more difficult for future grants.

City Manager Ramirez noted that before you accept a grant, you are in communication with the funding agency and they communicate to you that you must go through the review process, and they will ask if you can still make this project work. He further explained the process.

Council Member Samra added that this is a good project if we can get funded.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar added that a great number of residents have been waiting for the Winton Parkway to continue through. She believed this would be helpful for the trucks as well.

Motion: M/S Vierra/Aguilar to adopt Resolution No. 2011-68 Approving Submittal of a Grant Application to the Department of Transportation TIGER 3 Discretionary Grants. The motion carried 4-0 by the following roll call vote:

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

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSTAIN: Council Members: Land

ABSENT: Council Members: None


The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 8:24 p.m.


City Clerk of the City of Livingston

ADOPTED: November 1, 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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