APRIL 17, 2012 Draft Minutes





APRIL 17, 2012

A Closed Session/Regular Meeting of the Livingston City Council was held on April 17, 2012, in the City Council Chambers with Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar presiding.


Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar called the meeting to order at 5:39 p.m.


Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza

Mayor Pro-Tem Margarita Aguilar

Council Member Frank Vierra

Council Member Theresa Land

Council Member Gurpal Samra

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar opened the meeting for public comments. There were no comments from the public. The Council subsequently adjourned to Closed Session at 5:40 p.m. to discuss the following matters:

1. Public Employee Performance Evaluation

(Government Code Section 54957)

Title: City Attorney

2. Public Employee Performance Evaluation

(Government Code Section 54957

Title: City Manager

3. Conference with Legal Counsel—Potential Litigation

[(Government Code Section 54956.9(b)(1)]

Number of Cases: 1

4. Conference with Labor Negotiator

(Government Code Section 54957.6)

Agency Negotiator: City Manager Jose Antonio Ramirez

Employee Organizations: All Represented City Employees


he Council came out of Closed Session to begin the Regular Meeting.



Mayor Espinoza called the meeting to order at 7:06 p.m.


The pledge of allegiance to the flag was recited.


Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza

Mayor Pro-Tem Margarita Aguilar

Council Member Frank Vierra (Excused)

Council Member Theresa Land

Council Member Gurpal Samra


City Attorney Sanchez reported that Items 3 and 4 were continued to the next meeting.


Council Member Samra pulled Item 3 from the consent agenda for discussion.


1. Presentation by Justin Surratt, Schneider Electric Company, “Energy Saving Partnership.”Justin Surratt presented the item.

Katherine Schell Rodriquez, P.O. Box 163 asked for more details about the investment grade audit and how many hours of work it actually takes to put one of these together.

Brief discussion followed.

2. Presentation by Ritem Sandhu, Outreach Specialist, California Health Collaborative, Merced County Tobacco Control Program, “Tobacco Sales to Minors in Efforts for the City of Livingston to adopt a Tobacco Retail Licensing Policy.”

Ritem Sandhu presented the item.

Mario Mendoza, 1421 Brandy Court was in support of the tobacco control program. His nephew bought tobacco from a local store and it really bothered him that this could happen.

Evi Hernandez, California Health Collaborative stated that his colleagues have talked to them about the retail licensing policy.

City Manager Ramirez added that this particular initiative is not difficult to implement, the dollar amount is minimal and it is here to protect our young folks. Once they become adults, what they do is their choice.

Katherine Schell Rodriquez, P.O. Box 163 added a little bit of devils advocate and noted that a growing trend among business is to be against additional fees and taxes. She can remember when cigarettes went from a slightly taxed item to a highly taxed item. In June we have Proposition 98 that could increase the state tax up to a dollar per pack in addition to the federal tax. Part of these fees go for enforcement to restrict the sale to minors, so we already have a mechanism on the books. Before we start imposing more fees on our local businesses, we should ask if we really have to burden them.

Mike Sperry, 1328 First Street asked for feed back from store owners.

City Manager Ramirez responded that we are going to go out and talk to those that carry tobacco products.

Lengthy discussion ensued.

David Blevins, 1019 Fourth Street stated that he doesn’t smoke and he does work for a retailer in town. The state already lays down so many laws and we have plenty of signage, and this is just another layer of bureaucracy that we don’t need.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar thanked Ms. Sandhu and her staff for the presentation. We have heard some comments about the 2% tax coming up and we have to keep kids of any age in mind and if anything like this could stop one kid from getting addicted to tobacco, it will save a life. We are the model for our youth. We have an event coming up this weekend, Relay for Life that has a lot to do with smoking as cancer is a number one killer. We advocate being the role models and making the right judgment, we need to keep that in mind. Anyone that does sell tobacco products, if you are not doing what you shouldn’t be doing, she commends you for making the effort.




Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements and Reports.

Supervisor Pedrozo gave an update on the high- speed rail.

City Staff Announcements and Reports.

Recreation Superintendent Benoit commented on the kite festival which she deemed a success. She also thanked Julio Valadez for all the hard work he put into the festival. She thanked Council Member Samra for getting tables and helping them judge and Mayor Espinoza for judging as well. The Recreation Commissioners were all happy with the way the event turned out. She has been to six schools and made over 500 kites. On Thursday Recreation staff will be at McDonalds for McSports Night, a percentage of what is taken in between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. will go towards replacing sports equipment.

Council Member Samra added that is was a perfect day for the kite festival. He also thanked Julio Valadez and made a suggestion that next year use blueberry pie.

City Manager Ramirez thanked all the recreation staff, Julio Valadez and the Knights of Columbus for all their time and help.

Police Chief Chavez noted that it was a great event and a lot of work. He announced that the City has received the new Hondas that were purchased through the grant recently received. He noted that with the enforcement campaign going on, the Police Department issued 11 warnings, 29 citations and 4 vehicles were impounded. Last week was public safety dispatcher week and they took all the dispatchers to lunch and expressed their gratitude for the work that they do. Gave an update on the VIPS program; Volunteer Pearly Merchant has been wonderful, but the department would like to add a few more people. Applications can be picked up at City Hall and the Police Department.

Mayor Espinoza noted he has received some calls regarding officers at the schools; the Chief is pushing safety for all, especially the kids.

Chief Chavez added that it is safety for the students and any time you have a collision and it involves students, the department wants to be more aware. He gave a reminder about the safety fair, May 12th at the sports complex.

Nemesio Alacazar Jr., 1450 Second Street asked what the Hybrid cars were for. He was driving down B Street and noticed a lot of kids riding their skateboards in the street.

Council Member Land said she does the street crossing at Livingston Middle School and calls out to the kids by name to tell them to get out of the street. The kids are in the street a lot and parents are driving too fast by the school. When the radar trailer is out it seems to slow parents down, and when it is not out, parents drive faster.

Chief Chavez added that is one of the violations they focus on, especially the speed which is 25 mph by the schools.

Julio Valadez, P.O. Box 701 commented that there are two places needing crosswalks, Dwight and Walnut and Hammatt and F Street. For those that cross by the clinic he asked what can be done to start looking at that area and putting in crosswalks there.

Chief Chavez said there has to be three “E’s” when addressing traffic issues, education, engineering and enforcement. He noted that based on the comments, the department would be happy to look into that.

City Manager Ramirez noted as far as the streets, City Engineer Gottiparthy and staff is looking at identifying funding to implement lighted crosswalks.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar thanked Chief Chavez for his assistance on Caesar Chavez Day and for planting the flowers and bringing in the officers. One of the things that needs to be remembered is that when kids see officers, it is not that someone is getting into trouble or being arrested, but it is positive as well.

Chief Chavez noted it was a pleasure and honor to be there.

Assistant City Manager/Finance Director Ortiz commented that he is working on budget projections and hopes to have those figures in late May.

City Engineer Gottiparthy noted that they have completed the bidding process for the next phase of the water line. Ten bids were received, the lowest bidder is from Dublin. He is in the process of reviewing their bid. His office is also looking at the crosswalks as part of the funding, some locations where lighted crosswalks could go. There has been a lot of improvements in the technology of this, additional lights and ways to attract the attention of the drivers is forthcoming. He announced that City staff has applied for a Cycle 10 Safe Routes to School grant.

Fire Captain Josh Randall announced that the squad returned to service today, and the Volunteer Fire Company is holding a pancake breakfast fundraiser on May 5th at the Fire Department from 6 a.m. to 12:00 noon.

City Manager Announcements and Reports

City Manager Ramirez is looking at how to service our residents. He noted that we have been able to have three Mexican consulate days in Livingston and have made contact with the consulate in India. They have responded that they would come out and they will be sending a letter and working with the high school to provide the services to the Sikh community as well.

He announced that out at the shooting range there are possibilities of partnering up and doing major improvements. He is currently looking into an animal control manual and vaccination clinics. He wanted to share as part of the Merced County Board of Supervisors, the appointment of Supervisor John Pedrozo to the Livingston Oversight Board, former redevelopment agency. Also Senator Boxer’s state director in Fresno has asked to have a few hours to spend in Livingston for the business people or farmers. No date or time has been set as yet. Regarding the San Joaquin Valley blueprint integration project, there was some funding that was awarded to eight different counties and there is a group of professional planners that will be working with the cities.

He also shared with Council the green waste compost regulatory changes that have created some emotion within the County of Merced because they don’t know what direction they are going as far as the bidding process. It is unknown if they are bidding it out or staying in house. Also the tipping fee can be increased. We are looking at an increase of somewhere between $10 to $36.

City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports.

Council Member Land stated that Sunday was perfect, great weather, great activities, and a 5k walk run which was well organized thanks to David Meyers. She noted that the Public Works and Police Departments including the Chief were there and there was a great Explorer event. Council Member Land commented on the kite festival and said Julio Valadez had done an awesome job. She thanked Jacquie Benoit and the Knights of Columbus for their assistance. She also thanked Chief for coming to the school yesterday for the Explorers; a lot of kids filled out applications. A happy early birthday to her husband Kevin.

Council Member Land read a letter into the record written by a four year old Lovejo.

Council Member Samra commented that we do need to forward this on to the elementary and high school boards so they are aware of this letter. He would like to see a letter drafted to the individual. He also thanked Julio Valadez, the Knights of Columbus, Recreation Superintendent Benoit, and the Public Works and Police Departments for a great event. He agreed with Council Member Land that it was unfortunate that it wasn’t a little more breezy for the kite festival.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar reminded everyone that Relay for Life at Livingston High School starts at 8 a.m. and continues for a 24-hour period. Teams will be setting up at 6 a.m. Any money raised per team goes back to the American Cancer Society. She suggested to the tobacco control program representatives that they go over and promote what is coming to our City. She also praised all the activities going on in our City; so many places to be and as an educator she had to choose which event to attend and ended up taking the students to the Grizzlies game.

Mayor’s Announcements and Reports.

Mayor Espinoza thanked Julio Valadez for all his work with the kite festival and also to all those who volunteered.



Katherine Schell Rodriquez, P.O. Box 163 commented on the type of coverage the kite festival received. She looked in the Merced Sun Star and read the article after the event and she noted that a lot of people made the comment that they wished they knew about the festival beforehand. And she noticed a whole spread in the Kansas City Star; there is a great deal of potential to turn this event into a world wide event.

Nemesio Alcazar, Jr. 1450 Second Street commended everyone involved for doing a good job with the kite festival. He had a question regarding the apartments coming to town. He has a lot of friends looking for a place to live and they want to stay in town, but there is not much available. He asked if the apartments were close to coming in. Also, this is an election year and he asked who is running this year.

Mayor Espinoza stated that all seats are up except for Council Member Samra’s.

City Manager Ramirez gave a status update on the Livingston Family Apartments.

Julio Valadez, P.O. Box 701 thanked everyone that helped with the kite festival; everyone from Modesto to Merced pitched in with money. From the vendors to Supervisor Pedrozo, Dora’s Fashions and Father Harvey Fonseca let them use the freezer. Also the Recreation Department and Fire Department for coming out and helping as well. He mentioned that Chief Chavez didn’t know that they were going to have a session for him and he stepped right in. He also thanked Council Members Land and Samra and the Mayor for serving as judges and to the City Manager for bringing his family to the event.

Mayor Espinoza asked for an update on the 4th of July activities.

Mr. Valadez noted that they do not have the money that they had last year. They are having a golf tournament and hoping to make some money there. It will be on held on May 12th which will be a busy day.

Joylynn Peterson, 2858 Evergreen Court gave an update on the May 12th golf tournament and said they are looking for sponsors for holes. They currently have three sponsors and they need 18 at $100 per hole.

Council Member Samra stated he will sponsor one hole.

City Attorney Sanchez asked to get a flier.

Ms. Peterson commented that she will have a flier and it will be on the City website as well. She further addressed the golf tournament and how it is going to work.


3. Resolution No. 2012-30 Awarding a Professional Services Contract to Provide Water, Wastewater and Solid Waste Utility Rate Studies, Community Outreach and Proposition 218 Balloting Services to Hansford Economic Consulting (HEC) Truckee, California and Authorizing the City Manager to Execute the Agreement.

Pulled for discussion.

4. Resolution No. 2012-31 Ratifying Appointments by the Mayor to the Oversight Board for the Former Livingston Redevelopment Agency.

5. Resolution No. 2012-32 Approving the Designation of the Official Representative and Alternate Representative to the PACE JPA Board of Directors.

6. Resolution No. 2012-33 Supporting Camp Green Meadows Outdoor School’s Summer Camp.

7. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on March 6, 2012.

8. Approval of Warrant Register Dated April 12, 2012.

Councilmember Samra stated that Item 3 should not read as utility rate stakeholder’s committee, it should be stakeholders committee; therefore, please correct that for the future. He then asked for clarification on the recommendation.

City Engineer Gottiparthy stated that in regards to the additional insurance purchase it can be addressed in the agreement. He is not sure if it is in the proposal, so they will bring that back to the City Council.

Council Member Samra asked if the City can insert that at the time of adoption of the resolution or the agreement.

City Engineer Gottiparthy responded that it can go into the agreement because it will address the insurance requirements .

Council Member Samra wanted to make sure that the clause was included in the agreement.

City Attorney Sanchez stated he had some corrections to Item 4; the resolution itself doesn’t have the names of the appointments and he wanted to fill in those names. #1) Jose Antonio Ramirez and #2) Jasmin Bains, and item 5 should show the name of Odi Ortiz on the resolution.

Motion: M/S Espinoza/Aguilar to approve the consent agenda items with corrections. The motion carried 4-0 by the following roll call vote:

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

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: Vierra


9. Continuation of Closed Session if Necessary.

A continued Closed Session was not needed.

ADJOURNMENT The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 9:04 p.m.


City Clerk of the City of Livingston

APPROVED: June 19, 2012


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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