SEPTEMBER 6, 2011 Draft Minutes

(Note: this document was produced by taking a PDF Image File and bouncing it through a program that converts image to text. So..if there are any “textual gremlins” that happened to sneak in, sorry bout that. I also did a little “bolding” here and there for emphasis sake)

MEETING MINUTES

CLOSED SESSION/REGULAR MEETING
LIVINGSTON CITY COUNCIL

SEPTEMBER 6, 2011

A Closed Session/Regular Meeting of the Livingston City Council was held on September 6, 2011 in the City Council Chambers with Mayor Espinoza presiding.

CLOSED SESSION

CALL TO ORDER

Mayor Espinoza opened the meeting at 6:30 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

The pledge of allegiance to the flag was recited.
ROLL CALL

® Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza

® Mayor Pro-Tern Margarita Aguilar
® Council Member Frank Vierra
® Council Member Theresa Land
® Council Member Gurpal Samra

Mayor Espinoza presented item number 1.

1. Appointment of Labor Negotiator: Jose Antonio Ramirez, City Manager, Relating to Labor

Negotiations with Employee Organization Operating Engineers Local Union No. 3, Representing the Livingston Police Officers’ Association.

City Attorney Jose Sanchez explained that the Brown Act provision 549.59.6A states that

"However, prior to the closed session the legislative body of the local agency shall hold an open and public session in which it identifies its designated representatives." He added that this is how the representatives are designated.

Motion: M/S Samra/Land to appoint Labor Negotiator Jose Antonio Ramirez, City Manager relating to labor negotiations with Employee Organization Operating Engineers Local Union No. 3, representing the Livingston Police Officers’ Association. The motion carried 5-0 by the
following roll call vote:

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

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: None

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

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

Conference with Labor Negotiator

(Government Code Section 54957.6)

Agency Negotiator: City Manager Jose Antonio Ramirez

Employee Organization: Operating Engineers Local Union No. 3 (OE3) Representing the Livingston Police Officers’ Association (LPOA)

OPEN SESSION

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

REGULAR MEETING
CALL TO ORDER

Mayor Espinoza opened the meeting at 7:13 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

The pledge of allegiance to the flag was recited.
ROLL CALL

® Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza

® Mayor Pro-Tern Margarita Aguilar
® Council Member Frank Vierra
® Council Member Theresa Land
® Council Member Gurpal Samra

CLOSED SESSION ANNOUNCEMENTS

Mayor Espinoza commented there was nothing to report at this time.

CHANGES TO THE AGENDA

Mayor Espinoza stated he would like to pull item 3 for discussion.

AWARDS, PRESENTATIONS, APPOINTMENTS AND PROCLAMATIONS

1. Presentation by Elizabeth Jonasson, Clean Air Coalition – California Clean Cars Campaign.

Elizabeth Jonasson, representing the Clean Air Coalition, gave a presentation on the California Clean Cars Campaign. Brief discussion and a question and answer period followed.

2. Presentation by Travis Kirk, Capital Facilities Project Manager, Merced Union High School —
Livingston High School Improvements from Measure M.

Ralph Calderon, Livingston High School (LHS) principal stated that in November 2008 he addressed the City Council to seek their support for Measure M, and Livingston overwhelming supported Measure M at a rate of 72%. He wanted to officially thank the City for that investment in the community and he introduced Travis Kirk, who was present tonight to give an overview of the project.

Travis Kirk, Capital Facilities Project Manager for the Merced Union High School District (MUHSD) gave a presentation on the MUHSD/LHS Improvement Project.

City Manager Jose Ramirez asked if any of this money was matched by the state.

Travis Kirk replied that there was a $7,000,000 match from the state.

City Manger Ramirez added that he is looking forward to more joint use opportunities.

Mayor Espinoza stated that he thinks the project looks great. He thanked the MUHSD Board Trustees for all of the improvements, especially the sidewalks. He further thanked Mr. Calderon and school district staff for all the improvements and noted they have really changed the community.

Councilmember Samra stated that the project looks beautiful.

Mayor Pro-TemAguilar expressed her appreciation for the improvements and said she especially loves the light on Peach Avenue that is mostly green. She commented that the students have so much access to parking and everything seems to be moving so smoothly.

Council Member Land commented that the facilities are beautiful and during back to school night motor traffic and foot traffic went smoothly. She noted that the project has improved the community so much and the wait was really worth it. Council Member Land asked if LHS would consider renting out the facilities.

Ralph Calderon stated yes, but he wanted the grass to take root first, and he would like his girl’s athletics to take the field first.

Council Member Land noted that there were no locker rooms in the gym. Ralph Calderon gave a brief explanation as to why.

Council Member Vierra commented that he was at LHS when the old gym was built in 1954, and to see the construction of the new gym was really something.

Luis Flores, 707 Almondwood Drive commented that he is a huge tennis fan so maybe in the next phase the school district could improve the tennis courts.

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REPORTS

Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements and Reports. Supervisor Pedrozo was absent.

City Staff Announcements and Reports.

Interim Police Chief Chris Soria stated the last neighborhood visit would be held on September 14th, and that on September 21st at 10:00 a.m. at Court House Park in Merced, Crime Stoppers is going to have a kick-off and receive checks from the local Rotary Clubs. He also gave an update on the dispatch center located in the police department and noted that it should be completed at the end of the week.

Recreation Superintendent Jacquie Benoit announced that tennis kicked off today. She said that on Wednesday volleyball league starts and then on Friday the softball league starts. Superintendent Benoit added that Thursday, September 8th the street fair begins. She has 23 vendors and every Thursday through October there will be a different group performing.

Brief discussion was held on certified and non-certified farmers. City Manager Announcements and Report.

City Manager Ramirez stated that staff is working on several different grants. One example is an EPA Brownfield’s Grant for about $400,000. He stated that he has a lot of experience in getting these grants; therefore, success is very favorable for the City and that will be coming to the City Council at its next meeting. City Manager Ramirez noted another grant that the City is pursuing is a FEMA grant to buy Fire Department apparatuses. Also staff is putting together some very competitive proposals for the next round of Tiger funding which funds traffic and transportation projects. City Manager Ramirez commented that he helped push the Department of Transportation to put aside some funding for rural communities so that they can better compete for this funding. He explained that staff has three major projects that they feel are suitable for the grant; therefore staff is going to put together the best proposals possible where the City can be successful in getting this money. City Manager Ramirez added that he wanted to promote low market tax credits and gave a brief explanation on its working components.

City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports.

Council Member Vierra asked if the City has an emergency evacuation plan in effect.

Public Works Superintendent Kathryn Reyes responded that Interim Police Chief Soria recently distributed a draft plan to all the department heads for review and comments.

Council Member Land commented that she would like to acknowledge Kathryn Reyes and her department. She commented that she was walking one day and noticed a leak at the park. Her intention was to report the problem, but she forgot and when she traveled past the park again, Public Works was already hard at work on the problem.

Council Member Samra commented that he had received several calls regarding the Court Theater marquee announcing a "Tea Party" fundraiser. He wanted to make sure that everyone knew the City was not involved with a "Tea Party" political event and that Livingston does not support one party or another. Council Member Samra commented that the "Tea Party" advertised on the marquee was a Court Theater Committee fundraiser and is now "Garden Tea."

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar stated that she wanted to apologize to the Parks and Recreation Commission for missing the last meeting. She stated that the United Farm Workers were marching through town and she participated. Mayor Pro-Tern Aguilar gave a brief update on their march. She reminded everyone to support their local farmers and to think of them each time they take a bite of their salad.

Mayor’s Announcements and Reports.

Mayor Espinoza stated that over the last couple of years he hasn’t seen too much flushing of the fire hydrants. He talked to the City Manager regarding this and noted that thanks to him the City is getting back to a regular schedule of flushing hydrants.

Public Works Superintendent Kathryn Reyes added that she would like to know when anyone has a problem with their water and for them to please call the public works corporation yard regarding any dirty or smelly water issues and someone will go out and flush those hydrants to try and clear the problems.

Mayor Espinoza added that he has noticed employees trimming trees.over the sidewalks.

Superintendent Reyes noted that a crew has started to trim trees and have started in the Olds Avenue area and then moving to the downtown area. Brief discussion followed.

Mayor Espinoza reported that Marge McFadden, a Lions Club member wanted to donate a redwood tree to the City.

PUBLIC HEARINGS
None.

CITIZEN COMMENTS

Katherine Schell Rodriquez, P.O. Box 163 asked when the public will hear more about the budget.

City Manager Ramirez commented that the City’s Finance Director is diligently working on the budget and the document will hopefully be presented to the City Council on September 20th.

Rosa Gomez, 2321 Burgundy Drive stated that she was the president of the Livingston Community Network and wanted to thank the community for supporting the recent Multicultural event. She added that Livingston Youth Football practices every year at the high school and Arakelian Park and said it would be greatly appreciated if their fees could be reduced. Ms. Gomez noted that she is also a board member for the Merced County Community Action Agency and that they will be painting bowls for the seniors’ Meals on Wheels program and proceeds will go to that program.

Donna Kenney, 6530 East Avenue, Turlock asked the community to save the date of November l2th for the 28th Annual Rotary Crab feed. She invited everyone to attend.

Luis Flores, 707 Almondwood Drive stated that Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar wanted him to thank the community for showing their support for the United Farm Workers marchers. He added that the Multicultural Festival was a great event this year too. Mr. Flores commented that on September 15t’ the Livingston Community Garden group is meeting in the Council Chambers at 6:00 p.m. He thanked City staff for including their flyers in the utility bills. Mr. Flores also announced that a July 4"’ Committee meeting will be held on September l2th at 7:00 p.m. at Geneo’s Pizza. He also commented that a year ago on August 31 we had a successful recall and once again extended congratulations to the successful candidates.

CONSENT CALENDAR

3. Resolution Awarding Construction Contract to Harris Builders Inc, Turlock, California for the Picnic Areas and Restroom Facilities at the Walnut Sports Complex Project 06-01680, the Appropriation and Expenditure of Funds, and Authorizing the City Manager to Execute a Construction Contract and Any Change Orders Thereto with Harris Builders Inc.

Pulled for discussion.

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

5. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on August 16, 2011.

6. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on August 23, 2011.

7. Approval of Warrant Register Dated August 31, 2011.

Motion: M/S Aguilar/Land to approve consent agenda items 4, 5, 6, and 7. The motion carried 5-0 by the following roll call vote:

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

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: None

Mayor Espinoza stated that he pulled item 3 for public information.

City Engineer Nanda Gottiparthy stated that the City applied for this grant several years ago. He said the grant was in the amount of $160,500 and City matching funds in an equal amount were approved. City Engineer Gottiparthy noted that the project for which grants funds will be used will consist of a covered picnic area and restrooms. He added that the project is enhanced with walkways connecting the restrooms and picnic areas.

Mayor Espinoza stated the news was too good not to share with the community.

Motion: M/S Samra/Aguilar to approve consent agenda item No. 3, a Resolution Awarding Construction Contract to Harris Builders Inc, Turlock, California for the Picnic Areas and Restroom Facilities at the Walnut Sports Complex Project 06-01680, the Appropriation and Expenditure of Funds, and Authorizing the City Manager to Execute a Construction Contract and Any Change Orders Thereto with Harris Builders Inc. The motion carried 5-0 by the following vote:

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

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: None

DISCUSSION AND POTENTIAL ACTION ITEMS

9. Resolution Approving the Expansion of the Merced County Regional Enterprise Zone Boundaries within Merced County. Community Development Director Donna Kenney presented the item and introduced David
Heyer.

David Heyer with Workforce Investment, Merced Regional Enterprise Zone gave a presentation on the expansion of the Enterprise Zone boundaries.

A brief discussion and question and answer period followed.

Motion: M/S Land/Espinoza to adopt Resolution No. 2011-5.8 approving the expansion of the Merced County Regional Enterprise Zone Boundaries within Merced County. The motion carried 5-0 by the following roll call vote:

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

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: None

10. Resolution Approving Submittal of a Grant Application to the Department of Homeland Security for the 2011 Assistance to Firefighters Grant to Assist in the Purchase of New Equipment and Training for the Livingston Fire Department.

Senior Accountant Jasmin Bains presented the agenda. item.

Council Member Samra stated the staff report indicates the City could have used these funds to purchase vehicles and asked why staff didn’t attempt to purchase a new squad or fire truck.

Senior Accountant Bains responded that she believed the discussion did come up during the meeting and according to the information received from the Fire Department, the fire trucks that they currently use have an acceptable number of miles on them so the need for a new truck is not critical. She noted that the equipment being requested is in critical need by the Department.

Motion: M/S Aguilar/Espinoza to adopt Resolution No. 2011-59 approving submittal of a grant application to the Department of Homeland Security for the 2011 Assistance to Firefighters Grant to assist in the purchase of new equipment and training for the Livingston Fire Department.
The motion carried 5-0 by the following roll call vote:

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

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: None

11. Proposal to Rename Livingston-Cressey Road as North Main Street.

Mayor Espinoza presented the agenda item.

Mayor Espinoza asked Director Kenney if staff had sent out notices for this meeting.

Director Kenney stated staff compiled a list of the addresses on Livingston-Cressey Road, which includes addresses within 300 feet of the road, and mailed them. She added that staff received one comment back and the writer states she was not in favor of the name change because of the personalized check and stationary issue. Director Kenney noted that at the last City Council meeting, the issue of the cost of having new checks and stationary made was discussed and that those affected would have 9 months to a year to reorder with the new address.

Juan Hernandez, 920 Livingston-Cressey Road stated that every time he fills out an application, the street name is always too long for the allotted space. That is why he was present to say that he is in favor of the change.

Mayor Espinoza added that at the last meeting there were a lot of positives expressed and he hasn’t heard any negative comments as of yet. Mayor Espinoza believes that the name change will be very positive for the community and he wishes that more residents had attended tonight’s meeting to comment.

Council Member Vierra stated that when the City Council discussed the name change, he thought they were going to address the southern part of Main Street, Lincoln Blvd. as well.

Mayor Espinoza added that staff would need to check with the County to see if we could go all the way to Westside Boulevard.

Council Member Samra added that the City Council needs to move forward with the process. Councilmember Samra asked if south of Peach would be South Main.

Councilmember Vierra then asked why the City Council doesn’t just leave it Main Street all the way. He asked staff to get input from the post office.

Motion: M/S Espinoza/Land to place this item on:the next agenda as a public hearing. The motion carried 5-0 by the following roll call vote:

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

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: None

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 9:20 p.m.

City Clerk of the City of Livingston

APPROVED: September 20, 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 he obtained at Livingston City Hall.

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