February 21, 2012 Draft Minutes

Meeting Date: March 20, 2012

Agenda Item #8. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on February 21, 2012.

 

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MEETING MINUTES

 

CLOSED SESSION/REGULAR MEETING

LIVINGSTON CITY COUNCIL

FEBRUARY 21, 2012

A Closed Session/Regular Meeting of the Livingston City Council was held on February 21, 2012, in the City Council Chambers with Mayor Espinoza presiding.

CLOSED SESSIONCALL TO ORDER

Mayor Espinoza called the meeting to order at 5:33 p.m.

ROLL CALL

 

Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza

Mayor Pro-Tem Margarita Aguilar (Excused Absence)

Council Member Frank Vierra

Council Member Theresa Land

Council Member Gurpal Samra

Mayor Espinoza opened the meeting for public comments. There were no comments from the public. The Council subsequently adjourned to Closed Session at 5:34 p.m. to discuss the following matters:

1. Conference with Legal Counsel—Potential Litigation

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

Number of Cases: 3

2. Conference with Labor Negotiator

(Government Code Section 54957.6)

Agency Negotiator: City Manager Jose Antonio Ramirez

Employee Organizations: All Represented City Employees

OPEN SESSION

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

REGULAR MEETING

CALL TO ORDER

Mayor Espinoza called the meeting to order at 7:09 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

Council Member Theresa Land

Council Member Gurpal Samra

CLOSED SESSION ANNOUNCEMENTS

No announcements were made.

CHANGES TO THE AGENDA

Mayor Espinoza added to the agenda a presentation by Julio Valadez regarding the Kite Festival.

Council Member Vierra pulled item 5 from the consent agenda for further discussion.

AWARDS, PRESENTATIONS, APPOINTMENTS AND PROCLAMATIONS

1a. Presentation – Julio Valadez, Chairperson for Kite Festival.

Julio Valadez gave a brief presentation on the Kite Festival which will be held on April 15, 2012 at the Livingston Middle School. He is currently looking for sponsors for the event. This will be the first annual Kite Festival for Livingston.

1. Presentation – Lori Flanders, Public Information Officer, Merced County Association of Governments (MCAG) – One Voice Program.

Lori Flanders with MCAG gave an overview of the One Voice Program.

2 Presentation – Livingston Family Apartments. The Pacific Companies has applied for Site Plan/Design Review, a Conditional Use Permit and a Development Agreement for 49 affordable apartment units and a community center to be located on a 4 acre parcel (APN: 047-310-028) just south of Peach Avenue and the canal on the west side of Main Street.

Mike Kelley with The Pacific Companies gave a presentation on the Livingston Family Apartments.

Ken Koss with The Pacific Companies added information on the project.

Council Member Samra asked what type of fencing would go around the perimeter.

Mr. Koss responded a masonry wall and wrought iron fencing.

Council Member Vierra asked how many total people would be living in the complex .

Mr. Koss asked if his question was how many people in each unit.

Council Member Vierra responded no, his question was the total population added to our community.

Mr. Kelley answered approximately 200.

Council Member Vierra commented then that would add 200 to our population.

Council Member Land noted that some of those people could be coming from other apartment complexes in town.

Council Member Vierra commented that he understood that, but for every 1,200 people we have to add a police officer, therefore you are talking about ¼ of a policeman to be added. He noted that they are assuming if they are in town and they move, nobody will move into the place that they moved out of. Council Member Vierra added that our population doesn’t seem to be going down and we have to look at that and that is what the City is as a whole. If we add people we have to add police coverage. He also asked about one of the pages that mentions an issue with the canal; but, they said no to our skate park fee, that it doesn’t exist. And it won’t exist until the money is collected from all new building that comes into town. Council Member Vierra commented that we need this skate park because the kids today are skating at the high school and leaving their marks there.

Mr. Kelley commented that any fees that they pay have to be related to the project and the skate park is not related. Investors will not provide them the equity to pay for a skate park fee.

Council Member Vierra then asked why other developers give us money, they wouldn’t be the first.

Mr. Kelley responded that they cannot do that, they are offering a viable project and the financing sources that were described which are federal and state tax equity. They will not draw equity for a skate park.

Council Member Vierra noted that they are bringing in a lot more children.

Mr. Kelley reiterated that they will not pay a skate park fee.

Council Member Vierra commented on the public improvements to take place when financing becomes available and prior to a certificate of occupancy. He asked do we have to wait until they are ready to put people in before they pay these fees.

Mr. Koss responded that the public improvements will start the day after a building permit is pulled.

Council Member Vierra responded that this is not what the report says. He noted that the list last time had three problem items and then we heard it was five, and now today it has six. The list keeps growing.

Discussion followed on item #2 from the list regarding improvements.

Mr. Koss commented that previously in the agreement they were required to put in all the public improvements before they could get a building permit. He said this is standard with single family residential because they have their construction loan when they start the public improvements. Multi-family construction has a different financing structure, they get their financing dollars and then they build the public improvements. He said it is standard that you put up a bond and you bond for those things at the time you start the improvements. In order for them to get their first construction draw, the public improvements have to be well underway or they would not get a draw. Therefore, the Council can rest assured through the bond and when they get the construction draw, the improvements will be done long before the certificate of occupancy.

Council Member Samra added that the City will hold the bond and if it doesn’t get done we would call in the bond and do it ourselves.

City Attorney Sanchez clarified that there was a change before in the bond where the developer will be entitled and shall not be required to post bonds; so his question was would the developer be in agreement to get the bond. He questioned some of the changes regarding the bond. Discussion followed.

Mr. Koss added that about 90% of the time when you pull the building permit, you would get the bond at that time. The bond offsets the funding for improvements before the certificate of occupancy if you don’t have the public improvements done by that time. He added that the City wouldn’t offer a certificate of occupancy if the public improvements are not done, so the City holds the hammer.

City Attorney Sanchez added that if a bond is not in place, they can’t get building permits. He said if they don’t get a bond and they start building and then they walk away, why would the City offer a certificate of occupancy if they walked away. He noted that in many communities you see a lot of half built homes that create a public nuisance and he believed this was the concern.

Council Member Vierra added that we are here talking about this without our City Engineer present as well as our Community Development Director. He also had concerns with the removal of the canal impact fee. You have children in that area and that is the reason for undergrounding these canals.

Mr. Kelley stated that they are undergrounding the canal.

Council Member Vierra added that with the legal fees, they agree to pay $10,000. Does that mean if the total is $16,000, you still only intend to pay $10,000 and then the City eats the balance?

Mr. Kelley responded yes.

Council Member Vierra stated that he needed to study the impact fees further and would like to talk to staff before the Council says yes or no to that one, “Impact fees should be paid at building permit 50% and certificate of occupancy at 50%”. He asked for an explanation on this.

City Attorney Sanchez responded that development impact fees can be deferred to the occupancy permit instead of the building permit. He said it is a financing issue and it does happen in a lot of cities. There have been a lot of deferral arrangements that agencies have entered into with the economy the way it is today. He felt the City should not do this.

Council Member Vierra commented that he was aware that some of our neighboring cities have been caught with their pants down and we haven’t because we haven’t had these types of things put into place. Again he would like to study this before they have a vote.

Mr. Koss noted that if they do not pay the balance and the 15%, the City would not issue the certificate of occupancy. They have 48 units to rent and he stated that no one is going to walk away from that.

Council Member Vierra stated that we have two similar facilities in town; one is very strict and has asked families to move when there is a problem and the other one kind of looks the other way. He asked where they stand if a family is using drugs or something of that sort in their facility, what happens?

Mr. Kelley acknowledged that this is unacceptable; they have a lot of facilities and their share of problems. They have a 24-hour manager and would not tolerate that at all.

Council Member Vierra stated that Madera and Riverbank have huge shopping centers and those make ours look like peanuts. He said their tax base is a lot bigger than ours so to compare Livingston to those two cities in your presentation, we don’t have the revenue that those two cities have.

Mr. Kelley added that Riverbank does have a lot of constraints and it is not easy to get equity these days.

Council Member Samra commented that when we look at these we just look at the total sum at the end of the project. If the money comes in 100% at the beginning or part of it at the end of the project, the goal is the City gets the total fees at the end of the project. Money is tight this day and age and banks don’t want to give out loans so money management is difficult. Even if they paid the impact fees 50% at the building permit and 50% at occupancy we are talking about how long to build the project?

Mr. Koss responded nine months.

Council Member Samra asked let’s suppose the project doesn’t happen, then what? Sometimes we have to be realistic. The investors don’t want to pay fees, but they don’t have problems paying certain fees to cut costs. If this is the case, then can the skate park fees be worked into the impact fees, maybe based on a percentage? Then they can be worked into the impact fees to where they are not looking at a contribution towards the skate park, but towards some sort of impact fee and that won’t go towards their investors.

Mr. Kelley said he could have a conversation with the attorney and work with the City on that. Also since these projects are competitive, the way they score these projects is an odd ratio – a project cost over soft money, meaning money from the City, redevelopment funds, USDA funds, all of that. So as many of you know we don’t have much in the way of soft money on this project. We had $3 million at one point and that is gone. We don’t have redevelopment funds any more and we only had $1 million in USDA so this project as it stands now is not a normally competitive project. Any additional expenses on this project burdens the project in a way that it might not be financially feasible and will not be competitive. He has USDA calling wanting their money back and they have this year to make this project happen or give it back.

Council Member Samra asked the City Manager as far as the fees for the skate park, do we have a set amount on how the fees are determined.

City Manager Ramirez commented that we do not have a fee for skate parks by ordinance, because all fees have to be set by the Council. Management in the past would ask developers if they would like to donate.

Council Member Samra noted then it is pretty much negotiable. It can be looked into as far as going back and forth negotiating.

Mr. Kelley said that they could work with that.

Council Member Samra added that as far as the CFD’s percentage, maybe if they are willing, we could collect money up front and then say what the cost is to us and what does the City want to invest that money into and what is the return. We want to make the project work so the City doesn’t lose it. There are some creative things that the City can do.

City Manager Ramirez gave an overview of affordable housing.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar stated that the information we have is a draft, and it doesn’t show the original amount that they had agreed to for the skate park. She was disappointed to see that, because on the original they had agreed to pay $200,000 for the skate park even though we are talking about that there isn’t a set fee. She noted that they had said they were giving $5,000 to the recreation programs, and asked if that was totally out also.

Mr. Kelley responded regarding the skate park and the youth programs. The first DA was never executed. There were many items included that they did not agree to. The problem with the skate park and youth programs is that they can’t get equity dollars for that, so the only way to address it is to massage the numbers a little. If you want to use some of those funds and put them into some type of an agreement that is financially feasible and still makes the project competitive and if you want some for the skate park and some for the youth programs that is up to you.

Mayor Espinoza stated again that this is just for information and we are giving direction to staff.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar added that on number 5 on the list they wanted to address the CDF’s; we have a group of residents who came forward and asked the City Manager and staff to take a look at that. She definitely has a few questions that need to be addressed before moving forward. She agreed with Mr. Vierra regarding the legal fees and was very disappointed with the developer wanting to pay only $10,000. This is affordable housing, but we still don’t want to cut corners.

Mr. Kelley added that that was more of an offer and not a short cut anywhere.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar asked if we had any past due fees that were not paid yet.

Mr. Kelley responded as far as legal fees, they have not paid any yet.

City Attorney Sanchez gave an explanation on the timeline and the requirements regarding the timeline.

Mayor Espinoza added that when they go to the League Conferences they even have discussions for council members and mayors that when developers pay some of their fees and in the end they are able to build. He believes these fees should be negotiated. There is no upkeep with existing apartments. Public safety is always an issue with new homes coming in, and the main issue is the management. He believes there is 24-hour onsite management, not every manager is the same and we have had some issues with bad managers. He does see a lot of positives and believes this is a lot better than some of the apartments that we have.

Council Member Vierra added that he is concerned when the City Attorney says to draw upon the general fund. He asked where do we find this money and noted that he is still waiting for a mid year budget.

Irfran Choodhry, 938 Chestnut Court commented that his concern is safety and safety for the children. He sees that the 49 apartments will have 49 kitchens. Therefore, the fire department will have security hazards. If you build 49 houses on the ground, then this is spread over 4-5 acres. Then the issue of police, he wants protection for his kids and the management, you want to have good relations with the security. You find all kinds of gangs in this community and almost everyone knows everyone and if there is a problem you have a neighborhood watch.

Mayor Espinoza asked if the apartments will have sprinkler systems for fire.

Julio Valadez, P.O. Box 701 asked that with the fees that are charged for construction is there anything in there about getting more money. Are there any additional fees in there for the skate park or to build more parks? He also asked if the location is a set location. He was thinking why we don’t fill up the other developed areas that previous developers left behind. Mr. Valadez further asked if new businesses usually pay the legal fees.

Mayor Espinoza responded that usually the business will pick that up.

Mr. Valadez stated for example 444 Main Street. He noticed a warrant and payment to the attorney for legal fees.

Mayor Espinoza responded that we got stuck with that.

City Attorney Sanchez stated to Luis Flores before he began speaking, that this project may be coming to him at the Planning Commission for recommendation.

Mr. Flores answered that he knew that.

Luis Flores 707 Almondwood Drive noted that he was not in agreement with this project. He has a lot of concerns about how this project will be funded. He works for the office of grants and this project is really depending on grant funding to support development. It is a bad planning decision and he would ask that the Council look at Gustine. They wanted to go into Gustine and Gustine said no thank you, and they are much smaller than us.

City Manager Ramirez added that the City does a full analysis and within the development impact fees, we have storm drain fees, public safety, administrative, water and sewer. There are different types of impact fees. The current development impact fees are just those. They do not include the skate park. There are communities that make requests to developers as to who they would like to donate. They cannot be forced to pay and it should not jeopardize the project for that one issue.

Kathryn Schell Rodriquez, P.O. Box 163 commented on the development impact fees and skate park fees and stated that at one time, you had a developer that had a development agreement with the City, but because of either finances or something, that developer was unable to break ground. Another developer wanted to buy that subdivision with an extension of the development agreement so that they could break ground at a later date. During the course of the negotiations in order to sweeten the pot and induce the City Council to grant the extension of the development agreement, that developer agreed upon closing the deal to donate $200,000 to be used for a skate park. It was kind of one of those one time deals when there was a lot of interest in building the skate park and looking at ways to engineer the skate park and it happened right about that same time when we had a developer come in. She added that the next time we want to have a big box store come in, it would help not to have people come to the podium and complain that the City was giving in to a box store like Wal-Mart. It was that kind of talk that led Wal-Mart to go with Atwater instead of Livingston as they were pursuing both at about the same time.

City Attorney Sanchez stated that going off the public comments and the City Manager’s comments earlier on the skate park fee, it would make sense that that money would be offered to the City in order to extend a DA at one point. The DA is entering into an agreement where the developer sets the fees and the timing of the development impact fees to that level just in case they go up or down. Some projects require some certainty as far as this is what we are going to pay. He noted that the City Manager is correct, there is no ordinance, there is no agreement to pay that money, the developer basically volunteers to give it and with affordable housing you do have issues with financing. Basically they ask you to show them everything. City Attorney Sanchez reminded the Council that all we are looking for today is direction.

Council Member Land stated that she took a trip to Riverbank and looked at their project and it is a very nice facility. She noted that this project would be an asset to Livingston.

Council Member Samra agreed with Council Member Land. He stated we have nice projects here and here there is potential. Some people cannot afford to live in homes here. He wants to do what we can as long as the net cost equals zero and as long as it is collected before the occupancy permit. He asked them to work something out and then come back to Council.

Mayor Espinoza added that it sounded good and this was the majority consensus.

Council Member Vierra asked to have more time than just Saturday and Sunday to look over the agenda on a project like this.

2. Presentation – City Manager Jose Antonio Ramirez – Itinerary, Capitol Hill Meetings – Infrastructure Needs, Digital Literacy and Economic Development for the City of Livingston – February 27 through March 1, 2012.

City Manager Ramirez presented the item and shared the itinerary on the Washington, DC trip.

Mayor Espinoza noted that we got three vehicles and then four more cars for the police department, so every county is going out for every dollar that they can get. Also we were denied funding on the extension of Winton Parkway so we are not going to stop there, it is very important.

City Manager Ramirez added that we were not successful with the Tiger Grant, so he wants to meet with those representatives and ask how we can better our applications and how we can improve. He said that some of these people are the actual raters of the applications and on the next round we have a little bit of positiveness.

Council Member Land commented that this a valuable trip for the City and she does take issue that the City is sending and the people are paying to send three people to Washington, DC and she thinks that we can still accomplish everything that we need to with two people going rather than three. She pointed out that it is going to cost at least a minimum of $3,000 to send everyone there and then she heard tonight that Mr. Samra might be going to DC in April and she didn’t know who was going to be paying for that trip. Council Member Land stated that was her concern. We hear all the time that we don’t have money for this or that and we don’t and she feels like this is a good thing, but sending three people when we can do the same with two people.

Council Member Vierra asked where is the mid-year budget so they can see where this money is coming from.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar commented that she is very confident that this will be a positive outcome whether there are two or three that go. She spoke to the City Manager and he made sure that we got the cheapest flights and accommodations in one of the lowest, most economical hotels, she believed it was $68 per night. Also in previous years and now during tough times, we have to look at why we are going there and how important it is for Council Members to experience this and come back with the information on how we can improve ourselves. She knows we are in a deficit, but sometimes it is okay to spend a little to bring back a difference, and as a representative of the City and as a Hispanic woman she believes this is a great opportunity for herself to come back and share the information that she personally experienced. Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar noted that it is sad that Council Members are not in agreement, but also they attend other meetings and residents pay for those, $30, $5, they do add up. You have to out weigh who goes where and who decides how many of them go. Again citizens do pay for other things too, so let’s don’t make this a negative because it is a positive and she thanked our City Manager who worked hard to make sure we spend the least amount of the citizens’ money.

GRANT ANNOUNCEMENTS

None.

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REPORTS

Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements and Reports.

None.

City Staff Announcements and Reports.

Public Works Superintendent Kathryn Reyes announced that she met with the president of the Merced College Training Division and Public Works agreed to get training from them at no cost to the City. The first training will be where employees will learn how to operate a programmable logistic controller; these are at the wells. She and several other employees attended tree structure training in Visalia and she gave examples on the structure of a tree and how it betters the community. Superintendent Reyes noted that weed abatement is ongoing throughout the community. She also met with MID to start a project to pull service water out of the canal to water Arakelian Park. This is an incentive program through MID; they will pay for part of that work. She provided an explanation on how this will work. She also gave an update on park signs; $10,000 for the cast signs. She is trying to find costs for other different types of signs.

Mayor Espinoza asked what the cost for the Joseph Gallo sign was.

Superintendent Reyes responded that a developer paid for that sign, so she did not know the cost. She gave a brief update on Well 16.

CDF Fire Apparatus Chief Mario Rivera reported that at the last meeting there was discussion about air fresheners at the high school and he came back with answers for Council Member Vierra. He stated that the air fresheners are perfectly fine for use in single-family residential, but there are different restrictions on them regarding commercial structures.

Council Member Vierra asked so if it wasn’t safe for the school then it’s safe for the house.

Chief Rivera responded that it goes back to the labeling. There are things you can do in the home, but not in an educational setting.

City Manager Ramirez thanked Chief Rivera for meeting with him.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar asked if the regulations were the same for the elementary schools. Chief Rivera responded yes, they should be the same and sometimes it depends on the occupancy.

City Manager Announcements and Reports

City Manager Ramirez announced that Las Casitas del Sol used to provide child care services and they are in need of a facility, so there are about 40 families that are in need of this service. He has been talking to the LUSD Superintendent and the Head Start program staff and they are looking into negotiating with the City for the possibility of renting one room at the child care center on Walnut Avenue.

Mayor Espinoza asked to look over the agreement with the school district because the City is paying a lot of the expenses for the child care center.

City Manager Ramirez responded that he thought this was specifically with the Livingston Union School District and he believed they were bringing in Head Start.

Council Member Vierra thought we only had one contract, so he asked how Head Start got in there.

City Manager Ramirez responded that there is no Head Start, they want to provide child care services for Las Casitas del Sol. He gave a brief overview of who provided child care services for the families. He added that on Thursday at the Merced County Fairgrounds MCEDCO will be holding a workshop on economic development. City Manager Ramirez elaborated more on the Tiger grants and said the next round will be a lot longer. He noted that we have already submitted our pre-application to go after that money again. He met with UC Merced and we asked them to adopt us from a stand point that if they go after grants they would invite us in. They accepted, so they are looking at sharing their programs with us. City Manager Ramirez commented that we also submitted the strategic growth council grant that has to do with downtown items. He had meetings with Mr. Zamora, the police department, and the incoming Chief to talk about the incident that involved a child being hit by a car.

City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports.

Council Member Land commented on the park signs. She knows that we renamed the parks about a year ago and we talked about partnering with Mr. Naldi and seeing about the kids making signs for the parks. She asked if this connection has been made. Council Member Land said she would like to have the signs go in sooner than later, she doesn’t want to wait another year. She agreed that $10,000 per sign is way more than the City can afford, so we need to think about other avenues. Council Member Land said that she received a couple of calls over the weekend about brown water; she noted that maybe some areas needed to be flushed more often than others and asked if this was happening.

City Manager Ramirez said that he had met with Superintendent Reyes to come up with a plan and noted that we have 52 dead ends in town and those areas need to be flushed regularly. Superintendent Reyes will be developing this plan addressing this City-wide wide flushing program to be more proactive then reactive.

Mayor Espinoza added that the public works department was flushing once a month and then it stopped and now it has gotten worse. He stated that we do need to implement a program.

Council Member Land commented on the student that was hit by the car. She said that we all should be really careful about driving around the school area. The speed limit is 25 mph and you could go slower. Kids dart out in front of the cars and she felt this accident could have been avoided. When that sun is rising it can be very bright, so everyone needs to be very careful. She also asked if there were any signs being put up for Rancho San Miguel or Taco Bell.

City Manager Ramirez stated that we asked them to put something up to excite the people.

Mayor Espinoza added that if the police show their presence around the school they would feel a lot safer.

Council Member Samra stated that there have been a lot of animal control complaints, dogs attacking dogs and they have been asking where the animal control officer is. We need some kind of control, this is a bigger concern if a child is bitten, there needs to be a plan.

Mayor Espinoza responded that she is out on medical leave.

Council Member Samra added then we need an alternative plan.

City Manager Ramirez commented that we do have major issues when it comes to animal control. We have put together a comprehensive plan regarding the leash law which the public received in their water bills recently. He said he has approached the public works department and they are picking up dead animals, but they don’t have certain abilities to handle some issues because they are not trained. He said that we need a facility that can contain the animals. City Manager Ramirez stated that an agency is coming in to train our employees and then we are looking at buying a mobile trailer designed to house dogs. A spot has been located at the wastewater treatment plant and staff is looking at the right location so we can have utilities. He also noted that we will have to update our ordinance because one issue that we currently have is that our officers issue a citation then the DA’s office is not following up on those citations. Also, the unions who represent our employees must be addressed. He reminded the public to please understand the situation that we are in.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar reminded the public of the Parks and Recreation meeting on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. and she asked the City Manager to attend. She has a prior commitment with the school, therefore she will be late or possibly will not be able to attend. Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar announced that Relay for Life is having a casino night on St. Patrick’s Day. The bus will be leaving at 6:00 p.m. and returning at 1:00 a.m. This is a fundraiser and it is for a great cause. If anyone needs tickets please contact her. She commented that she was not able to attend the last 4th of July Committee meeting and was hoping that Julio Valadez would be giving an update. She also reminded everyone that the new Chief of Police will be sworn in at 10:00 a.m. on March 6th in the Council Chambers.

Mayor’s Announcements and Reports.

Mayor Espinoza announced that we will be swearing in our new Chief of Police at 10:00 a.m. on March 6th here in the Council Chambers.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

None.

CITIZENS COMMENTS

Mario Mendoza, no address given, commented that he believed we needed an officer at the schools because it is a hassle to drop off children. He sees officers parked on Winton Parkway when they should be parked on Hilltop and F Street and these officers need to be more visible. Also at the high school when driving down Peach there is a light, but the kids start running across at any time. We should have an officer posted there controlling the kids so they don’t run out into the street. Mr. Mendoza asked if we could look into putting lights on the road as he believed they would be an asset. He also asked that citizens’ comments be moved to the beginning of the agenda.

Council Member Vierra added that the high school just announced that the police will issue citations for jay walking.

Mayor Espinoza added that we have addressed the lights; they need to do a survey.

City Manager Ramirez commented that in talking with Mr. Zamora he was going to pay for an individual to walk the children across the road. Also we could make available one of our Geo cars and have our logo on it, so he is looking into how we can leverage our tools and manpower.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar added that she noticed that some of the parents are dropping off their children on the other side of the light and maybe the school needs to send out a letter about where the parents should be dropping off their children.

Julio Valadez, P.O. Box 701 asked if we were looking into any grants to widen F Street. He also gave an update on the 4th of July Committee; they are working hard and things this year will be bigger and better with the help of the City.

Joylynn Peterson, no address given, commented that she lives by Dwight and Walnut and there is not a crosswalk there. She asked if there are any plans for a crosswalk at this location. Ms. Peterson reported that 4th of July fundraisers will be held on March 15th and April 16th at McDonalds. The events will be known as McSparkle Nights. The 4th of July Committee will get a percentage of everything that McDonalds sells between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Also there will be a fill the hat day on March 17th between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. in front of Rite-Aid on B and Main Street and she asked everyone to please come out and support them.

CONSENT CALENDAR

4. Resolution No. 2012-14, Awarding a Professional Engineering Services Contract to Prepare a Feasibility Analysis Report for a Centralized Water Treatment Strategy for the City’s Water Supply to Kennedy/Jenks Consultants, Portland, Oregon and Authorizing the City Manager to Execute the Agreement.

 

5. Approval of Personal Code of Conduct/Ethics for the City of Livingston.

6. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on January 17, 2012.

7. Approval of Warrant Register Dated February 15, 2012.

Motion: M/S Aguilar/Samra to approve consent agenda items 4, 6, and 7. The motion carried

5-0 by the following roll call vote:

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

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: None

Council Member Vierra pulled item 5 for further discussion.

Council Member Vierra had a question regarding page 4 of the document and noted that it didn’t mention Council Members. He also asked who is going to enforce the code and what are the consequences and are Council Members included. Council Member Vierra asked for an explanation on item #17 of page 3 of the code and also noted that item #19 didn’t mention Council Members as well and this should be looked at. He referred to page 1 of the code and asked does this mean that currently we don’t sign the code until November after the elections. Also for City staff and volunteers does that mean when we hire new people or does it apply to current staff. He then asked what the cost to write this document was or did a staff member prepare it.

City Manager Ramirez responded that he developed the code himself and he was trying to make this a useful document and put down his thoughts. This was an ongoing transparency and our volunteers and staff are at the same level, we are all working together to better this community. This document can be modified by our policy makers which are the Council. The effort was to have a template where everyone had the same goals and missions and have it serve as a tool to help us advance in the positiveness.

City Manager Ramirez referred to page 1 of the code and said he would ask that current staff sign and then future employees would sign. He will clean up the document though. He knows that currently the Council goes through ethics training, but it would be good if we all took this training as this will serve as a baseline on moving forward. City Manager Ramirez referred to page 3 of the code and explained that there are different forms of government. He said per the current municipal code our role is based on the Council-Manager structure. He also noted that item #19 could be modified.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar added that some of the words referring to elected officials should be removed since those areas do not apply to them. She asked if the last line on page 4 should be removed.

City Attorney Sanchez gave a brief explanation on that line.

Council Member Vierra again asked who is going to enforce this.

City Manager Ramirez noted as it relates to staff and volunteers he has the protocol.

Lengthy discussion followed and direction was given that staff revise the document and bring it back to the Council for consideration.

DISCUSSION AND POTENTIAL ACTION ITEMS

8 Resolution of the City Council of the City of Livingston Acting in the Capacity as Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency of the City of Livingston, Adopting a Draft Recognized Obligation Payment Schedule (ROPS) Pursuant to Health and Safety Code Section 34177 (1).

City Attorney Sanchez presented the agenda item.

Council Member Vierra stated that he believed we were talking about $9 million, but this lists $1 million in Exhibit A.

City Attorney Sanchez explained that the $9 million was the future value.

Council Member Vierra again asked do we owe $1 million or $9 million.

City Attorney Sanchez added that he believed $9 million is a pass through tax credit; Merced County will pay. He said we will get a certain amount in tax increments and explained further.

Motion: M/S Samra/Aguilar to adopt Resolution No. 2012-15, Resolution of the City Council of the City of Livingston Acting in the Capacity as Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency of the City of Livingston, Adopting a Draft Recognized Obligation Payment Schedule (ROPS) Pursuant to Health and Safety Code Section 34177 (1).

The motion carried 5-0 by the following roll call vote:

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

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: None

ADJOURNMENT The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 10:15 p.m.

______________________________

City Clerk of the City of Livingston

APPROVED: March 20, 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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