SEPTEMBER 20, 2011 Draft Minutes

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MEETING MINUTES

CLOSED SESSION/REGULAR MEETING

LIVINGSTON CITY COUNCIL

SEPTEMBER 20, 2011

A Closed Session/Regular Meeting of the Livingston City Council was held on September 20, 2011 in the City Council Chambers with Mayor Espinoza presiding.

CLOSED SESSION

The Closed Session was cancelled.

REGULAR MEETING

CALL TO ORDER

Mayor Espinoza opened the meeting 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 (Excused Absence)

Council Member Theresa Land

Council Member Gurpal Samra

CHANGES TO THE AGENDA

There were no changes to the agenda.

CITIZEN COMMENTS

Katherine Schell Rodriquez, P.O. Box 163 stated that she saw that the draft budget was online on the City’s website and people should not be afraid of such a large document, it is a PDF file and you can just put in a word to search and the computer does the rest for you. She added that you can find a lot of information in the footnotes. Ms. Schell Rodriguez thanked the Finance Director for completing the draft budget. She noted that she saw that City Council guidance for hiring a new police chief is on the agenda, but she didn’t see anything about Vickie Lewis’ position and asked how the City Council planned to fill that position.

JoAnne Mires, Court Theater Committee Chair gave an update on the garden tea party at which $1,500 was raised. Also a $500 donation was made by Brenda Herrington. Ms. Mires noted that they had a few people from Merced that did a lot of public relations work during the tea party and the event was very successful. She thanked the City Council for their support and for the use of the theater marquee. Ms. Mires noted that the next fundraiser will be a Bunko Bash on February 12, 2012. She stated that everyone is welcome to attend their meetings which are held on the third Monday of each month starting at 5:00 p.m.

AWARDS, PRESENTATIONS, APPOINTMENTS AND PROCLAMATIONS

1. Jeremy Hofer, Fresno Community Development Financial Institution, Opportunities for Small Business Financing.

City Manager Jose Ramirez introduced Jeremy Hofer with the Fresno Community Development Financial Institution.

Jeremy Hofer gave a presentation on Small Business Financing which serves a nine county region and provided an explanation of the services offered by the agency.

2. Guadalupe Valdes, Area Specialist, Rural Development, USDA, Single Family Housing Repair Loans/Grants.

City Manager Ramirez introduced Guadalupe Valdes, Area Specialist for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Rural Development Agency.

Guadalupe Valdes gave a presentation on the different agencies within the USDA and the variety of programs offered under USDA rural development. Mr. Valdez provided a brief explanation on the Rehab Program which includes the repair of roofs, plumbing and other essential housing improvements. He said perhaps someone who is disabled that needs some handicapped accessibility could be eligible for a loan of up to $20,000 and a grant of up to $7,500 and the two can be combined. Mr. Valdes added that to be eligible you must live in your home for three years and the money is forgiven after that period. He noted that the loan is a 1% interest fixed rate and must be used for essential repairs.

Council Member Samra referred to the addition of a bedroom and asked if you knock down three walls can you put up seven.

Mr. Valdes stated that yes you can do that. He gave a brief explanation.

Katherine Schell Rodriquez P.O. Box 163 asked about repairing a well, would that be included if they needed to replace a motor on a well.

Ms. Valdes answered yes it would be included.

3. Bryce Dias, Project Associate, Great Valley Center, Livingston’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory of Local Government Operations.

Bryce Dias gave a presentation on greenhouse gas emissions. He commented that they focus on 18 counties throughout the valley. This is provided through PG&E and the reason the program exists is because of AB32.

Brief discussion was held on the next steps in the process. .

GRANT ANNOUNCEMENTS

4. 2011 COPS Secure Our Schools Grant Award.

City Manager Ramirez announced the COPS Secure our Schools grant award to the City of Livingston of $130,920.00.

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REPORTS

Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements and Reports.

Supervisor Pedrozo was absent.

City Staff Announcements and Reports.

There were no City Staff Announcements or Reports.

City Manager Announcements and Reports.

City Manager Ramirez reported that staff did some follow up work with Gallo and their project is being synchronized with the general plan’s completion. He said staff is also working in conjunction to make sure that everything falls into place with the rezoning and annexation. City Manager Ramirez added that he met with the Community Action Agency and he is investigating to see how their department works within Merced County. He is looking at their organization’s program and all of the other programs that they provide to Livingston residents. City Manager Ramirez commented on the Assistant City Manager/Finance Director position. He noted that when he first came on board he was given direction to move forward with the recruitment and the City received five applications and he will be making a job offer before the current Finance Director leaves.

City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports.

Council Member Land stated that she would like to thank those who volunteered their time at Challenge Day at Livingston Middle School on September 14 and 15. She thanked Mayor Espinoza, Interim Police Chief Chris Soria, Sergeant Ray Fong, Parks and Recreation Commissioners Julio Valdez and Joylynn Peterson and Rosa Gomez. Council Member Land also thanked Jacquie Benoit for doing a great job with the street fair and showcasing a different group each week. She noted that Red Ribbon week is coming up on October 24-28 and on October 29 there will be a parade.

Council Member Samra stated that the street fair is doing great and is a lot of fun. He questioned what we can do about getting more vendors and do we feel that the fee is too much.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar commented that there was a great crowd at the street fair and the entertainment was awesome. She added that she will be meeting with the City Manager to discuss the July 4th event, and what about that event went well and what can be improved for this year’s event. She said the next committee meeting will be held on October 4th for those that still want to be part of the committee.

Mayor’s Announcements and Reports.

Mayor Espinoza commented that he and the City Manager will be attending the League of California Cities Conference and will be gone for three days, September 21-23. He noted that hopefully for next year’s street fair the farmers can get certified. Mayor Espinoza added that a light is going out at the street light by Yamato Colony, #A44 on Livingston-Cressey Road. He asked that perhaps the police officers can write down pole numbers when they notice a street light out while they are out on patrol after dark.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

4. Resolution Approving the Proposed Street Name Changes to Livingston-Cressey Road and Lincoln Boulevard and Authorizing the City Engineer to File a Notice of Correction of the Final Maps with the Merced County Recorder’s Office.

Community Development Director Donna Kenney presented the agenda item.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar asked if the Livingston postmaster was invited to tonight’s meeting.

Director Kenney replied yes. She invited him personally, but he chose to send a letter instead of attending the meeting. She received a phone call from Council Member Vierra earlier in the day and he stated he was against the change.

Mayor Espinoza commented that most of the feedback received has been positive. He pointed out that he lives on the corner of Livingston-Cressey and Swan, but he does not own the home so he has no interest in the street name change.

Mayor Espinoza opened the public hearing at 8:07 p.m.

Sabin Escobedo, 242 Livingston-Cressey Road stated that he is in favor of the name change and he also went around and talked to other business owners regarding the change. He said he had 11 signatures mostly from businesses that were in favor of the name change. Mr. Escobedo added that he talked to Mr. Andres Zamora at the elementary school district and he stated that he also had no problem with the name change.

David Blevins, Manager of Sam’s Food City stated that they are not in favor of the name change. He said it seems to be more of a hassle in addition to purchasing new stationary they have 15 different suppliers that will have to be notified.

Luis Flores, 707 Almondwood Drive stated that he echoed Mr. Escobedo and noted that he knows of someone who lives on Peach Avenue and that he was mentioning if we were to go South or North what would the gang repercussions be? This person was against the name change.

Juan Hernandez, 920 Livingston-Cressey Road stated that regarding the duplicate addresses he believes we already have those and he is in favor of the change.

Rick Soria, 1526 Main Street stated that a while back their street was Third Street and then changed to Main Street. There were some problems with getting mail, but it just takes time to get used to. He said at the present he was against the name change.

Mayor Espinoza closed the hearing at 8:16 p.m. as there were no further comments from the public.

Mayor Espinoza added maybe a six month time period to change over checks and stationary would be better.

Senior Administrative Analyst Danna Rasmussen read into the record the names on the petition which was presented by Sabin Escobedo.

Council Member Land asked if the planning and building departments could change the number addresses.

Community Development Director Donna Kenney explained yes they could and described how the process would work.

Council Member Land asked if the two or three individuals who were against the name change were present tonight.

Director Kenney responded no.

Council Member Samra stated that he understood the post office’s concerns, but they have people moving to different addresses and cities every day. He commented that he lives at 1034 J Street and he gets mail from 1034 I Street. Council Member Samra said he understands their concerns, but he doesn’t see a problem moving forward and believes the change is a boost for businesses.

Mayor Espinoza added that we could just call the South side Main Street.

City Attorney Sanchez commented that the resolution actually has Lincoln Boulevard to just Main Street. He noted the current resolution doesn’t have the effective date so he proposed some language changes.

Council Member Samra stated he didn’t have a problem with moving forward.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar commented that she believed the gang issue would be a big one, but the City has a great gang task force, therefore the officers would take care of the problem and if the post office has a problem with the change they would have been here tonight.

Motion: M/S Espinoza/Land to approve Resolution No. 2011-61 approving the Proposed Street Name Changes to Livingston-Cressey Road and Lincoln Boulevard and authorizing the City Engineer to File a Notice of Correction of the Final Maps with the Merced County Recorder’s Office and making the change effective on June 20, 2012. The motion carried 4-0 by the following roll call vote:

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

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: Vierra

CONSENT CALENDAR

6. Resolution No. 2011-62 Awarding Construction Contract to Lawrence Backhoe Service, Atwater, CA, for the Replacement of Water Valves on Peach Avenue and Authorizing the City Manager to Execute a Construction Contract and Any Change Orders Thereto with Lawrence Backhoe Service.

7. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on September 6, 2011.

8. Approval of Warrant Register Dated September 14, 2011.

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

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

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: Vierra

DISCUSSION AND POTENTIAL ACTION ITEMS

9. Resolution Approving Providing Workers’ Compensation Coverage for Certain City Volunteers.

Senior Administrative Analyst Danna Rasmussen presented the agenda item.

City Attorney Sanchez commented that this is common practice with the Risk Management Authority and other cities within the Risk Management Authority have adopted a resolution as noted by Ms. Rasmussen. He said the issue is if you have volunteers doing some activities for the City, you want them covered and the City protected if they get hurt. City Attorney Sanchez noted that it is always a good idea if your Risk Management Authority offers coverage to go ahead and accept that coverage. Also the City has waivers that people would have to sign to be a volunteer and it is a nice thing for the City to have a waiver in case claims do arise.

Lengthy discussion followed.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar moved not to approve providing workers’ compensation coverage for certain City volunteers. There was no second to the motion, therefore, the resolution failed to pass.

10. Resolution Amending Livingston Park and Field Rules Concerning Dogs in City Parks.

Public Works Superintendent Kathryn Reyes presented the agenda item.

Katherine Schell Rodriquez, P.O. Box 163 asked if you adopt the ordinance as stated would there be an exception for seeing eye dogs and service animals.

City Attorney Sanchez stated yes when there is an event.

Motion: M/S Aguilar/Land to adopt Resolution No. 2011-63 Amending Livingston Park and Field Rules Concerning Dogs in City Parks. The motion carried 4-0 by the following roll call vote:

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

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: Vierra

11. Resolution Approving a Conceptual Park Design for the Little Guys and Gals Field and Authorizing the Parks and Recreation Commission to Begin Fundraising Activities.

Recreation Superintendent Jacquie Benoit presented the agenda item.

Mayor Espinoza expressed his appreciation and noted the project has been a long time coming and he wanted the audience to know a little bit about the area. He said the area used to be a storm drain basin back when Council Members Samra and Vierra were first here and they had even asked for the development to be pushed back. They believed this was going to be a park, and then the developer said he had the rights to it, so the City had no choice but to pay the developer $275,000 for these lots. So now we have a park and the Parks and Recreation Commission and Superintendent Benoit have done a great job promoting this park.

Rosa Gomez, no address given, added that she has been helping coach recreation softball and baseball and this is one of the things that they have been pushing for a very long time. She pointed out that the parking lot is a very dangerous place for children and the dirt mound is the only place for them to play. Ms. Gomez thanked the Parks and Recreation Commission and Recreation Department for putting this park concept together.

Parks and Recreation Commissioner Joylynn Peterson added that the Commission and recreation staff would like to start fundraising once the park design is approved. She noted that two car washes are planned: one on September 24th and another on October 5th. The funds will help with a tri tip dinner fundraiser on October 28th and then those funds will go towards pavers for the park.

City Manager Ramirez stated that he looked forward to working with Superintendent Benoit and the Parks and Recreation Commission on this project. He noted that First Five has funding in Merced County so staff will approach them and see how staff can incorporate this as well.

Katherine Schell Rodriquez, P.O. Box 163 added that the park plan is in stages and stage 2 will be the playground equipment. She said she has attended a couple of Parks and Recreation Commission meetings and the 2-3 year olds are a priority; develop appropriate equipment for preschool age children to use.

Council Member Land stated that she has sat in on a couple of Parks and Recreation meetings and that this was a good group. They seem motivated and excited about this project.

Council Member Samra added that he definitely sees the enthusiasm, therefore he supports the project.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar stated that she knows the City Manager has said that we could look into the funding for the 2-3 year olds and maybe some of the local clubs could help out. She is in support of the project and, this is a great group. She added that she commended recreation staff and the Commission for bringing this project forward and she will be very happy when the project commences.

Motion: M/S Land/Aguilar to adopt Resolution No. 2011-54 approving a Conceptual Park Design for the Little Guys and Gals Field and Authorizing the Parks and Recreation Commission to begin fundraising activities. The motion carried 4-0 by the following roll call vote:

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

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: Vierra

12. Provide Staff Direction on the Recruitment of a Police Chief.

City Manager Ramirez presented the agenda item.

Mayor Espinoza stated that he believed that the City’s Interim Chief does not want the position so we went ahead and added the item to the agenda.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar stated that she felt the City Council should move forward. She also felt that we asked the Interim Chief to fill some big shoes and she commended him for his hard work.

Council Member Land stated that it has been awhile and it is now time to move on unless Interim Chief Soria wanted to change his mind. She has faith in the City Manager that he will find the right candidate.

Council Member Samra stated that he has the upmost confidence in Interim Chief Soria and he has asked him multiple times to please accept the position. He asked if there was a timeline for this position (Interim Chief) and what it would be.

City Attorney Sanchez commented that there was no timeline for the Interim Chief position.

Council Member Samra understands that Interim Chief Soria is hesitant and that he should put that fear aside because he knows that Mr. Soria would do a good job.

Mayor Espinoza stated that even if Interim Chief Soria changes his mind and the City goes out for recruitment, he can still change his mind and apply.

City Manager Ramirez added that this is a very important position and he would like feedback and then move forward to make the right choice.

Motion: M/S Espinoza/Aguilar to authorize staff to start the recruitment process for Chief of Police. The motion carried 4-0 by the following roll call vote:

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

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: Vierra

13. Shortel Telecommunication Service Contract with KTS Services of Northern California, Inc.

Mayor Espinoza announced that this was tabled until the next meeting.

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 9:15 p.m.

_______________________________

City Clerk of the City of Livingston

APPROVED: October 4, 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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