JUNE 07, 2012 Draft Minutes





JUNE 7, 2012A Closed Session/Special Meeting of the Livingston City Council was held on June 7, 2012, in the City Council Chambers with Mayor Espinoza presiding.

CLOSED SESSIONCALL TO ORDERMayor Espinoza called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.


Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza

Mayor Pro-Tem Margarita Aguilar

Council Member Frank Vierra

Council Member Theresa Land

Council Member Gurpal Samra (arrived at 6:15 p.m., excused)

Mayor Espinoza opened the meeting for public comments. There were no comments from the public. The Council subsequently adjourned to Closed Session at 6:01 p.m. to discuss the following matters:

1. Public Employee Performance Evaluation

(Government Code Section 54957

Title: City Manager

2. Public Employee Performance Evaluation

(Government Code Section 54957)

Title: City Attorney

3. Conference with Legal Counsel—Potential Litigation

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

Number of Cases: 3

4. Conference with Labor Negotiator

(Government Code Section 54957.6)

Agency Negotiator: City Manager Jose Antonio Ramirez

Employee Organizations: All Represented City Employees

OPEN SESSIONThe Council came out of Closed Session to begin the Special Meeting.


CALL TO ORDERMayor Espinoza called the meeting to order at 7:01 p.m.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCEThe pledge of allegiance to the flag was recited.


Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza

Mayor Pro-Tem Margarita Aguilar

Council Member Frank Vierra

Council Member Theresa Land

Council Member Gurpal Samra

CLOSED SESSION ANNOUNCEMENTSCity Attorney Sanchez announced that the Council would continue the Closed Session after the Special Meeting.



City Staff Announcements and Reports.

Community Development Director Kenney reported that staff met with the engineer for the Livingston Family Apartments project, Merced Irrigation District and the Fire Department. They are working on the civil engineering for the project site plan.

Director Kenney also gave an update on Taco Bell; construction should take approximately 2 ½ months. She is reviewing the submittal of a project called Livingston Senior Apartments. She also gave an update relating to a code enforcement issue with a resident on Prusso Street. The daughter of the deceased owner was in town over the weekend to check on the house and her grandfather is working on the weed problem and a pest control service is coming to trap mice.

She met with Giyan Senaratne from WC3 this afternoon and he has an internet cloud that he is willing to share with the City; they will be able to distribute maps and other documents electronically. Also the developer will be able to go onto that portal to see where his project is at any time.

Acting Police Chief Soria shared that the department has purchased six live animal traps that are placed throughout the City and they are working out well; the feral cat population is decreasing. The department is hosting a Special Olympic run June 13th. It will start in Merced, then come to Atwater, and then to Livingston. Officer Kirk will carry the torch down Bell to Lincoln/Main and end at the police department.

Recreation Superintendent Benoit asked if everyone noticed the new art work made by Yamato Colony School students. She announced the Livingston Union School District will be providing breakfast and lunch beginning on Monday to children under 18 years of age. Meals will be distributed at Campus Park School. Also day camp starts Monday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; open gym for teenagers. Lap swim will be held Monday through Thursday from 4:30 to 5:00 p.m.; a $1.00 fee is being charged. She will present the subject of the fireworks lottery at the next meeting. Discount carnival tickets are available at City Hall for a 50% discount so tickets should be purchased early.

Council Member Land asked when the last day is that tickets can be purchased?. Superintendent Benoit replied July 5th.

City Manager Ramirez added that tickets can also be purchased at the street fair.

City Manager Announcements and Reports

City Manager Ramirez shared that he has been working closely with the 4th of July Committee; they have the music bands ready to go and several food vendors, but space is still available. Also the sweet potato growers have been very supportive. He announced that next week the first budget workshop will be held. He shared what went on at the last stakeholders meeting; they gave a full update on the feasibility study, talked about solid waste and how that is going, and that Gilton be asked to extend service for 90 days so an RFP can be finalized. City Manager Ramirez gave an update on the Phase II water project.

City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports.

Council Member Land asked how many participants were enrolled for day camp.

Recreation Superintendent Benoit responded that 40 were enrolled.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar thanked the officers who were out at the bike rodeo. There were a lot of participants and it was nice to see everyone trying to stay healthy. She gave an update on the Parks and Recreation Commission; Little Guys and Gals Park is progressing and stepping stones are still being sold. They are still waiting for donations to come in and there is a need for volunteers. They are implementing evaluations for coaches which will be evaluated by the parents and they are starting with the soccer coaches. The 4th of July Committee is still looking for volunteers. She shared that Mike Gallo will be donating $2,500.

Mayor’s Announcements and Reports.

Mayor Espinoza shared with those watching at home to come down and take advantage of the street fair until 9:00 pm. He commented on the cable television franchise expiring with Charter.

City Manager Ramirez noted that Ms. Dossetti’s item will be on the next agenda; she has been updating staff on potential grants.

Council Member Vierra asked if the City was getting a new contract with Charter.

Mayor Espinoza noted that the City can’t get a new contract.

City Attorney Sanchez commented that staff will bring this item forward at another meeting. The State now grants the franchises through a state law and a possible city ordinance.

Council Member Vierra stated that the City has a contract with Charter currently and the equipment that we have is inadequate. He asked if we still have to keep the same contract does that mean the equipment doesn’t change.

City Attorney Sanchez added that the contract is no longer active, it is invalid. He also gave an explanation on the new law that was passed in 2006 that allows current franchise agreements to continue. City Attorney Sanchez noted that now that ours has expired there is no longer an agreement, but we will be looking at the ordinance regarding performance.

PUBLIC HEARINGS1. Resolution Conditionally Approving Site Plan/Design Review 2012-01 for the Metro PCS Antenna Project.

Director Kenney presented the item.

Mayor Espinoza opened the hearing for public comments at 7:24 p.m.

Mr. Miller, 985 Moss Wood, Folsom, Agent for Metro PCS stated that he does agree with the staff report, it is a multi user tower, and the public will not notice the change in size of the new antennas. It is a large structure now and overall the look will not change. He requested that his item be approved tonight.

Council Member Samra asked if Metro and Sprint share the same network.

Mr. Miller responded that they are two different networks.

Council Member Samra asked then you don’t share towers.

Mr. Miller responded that they do share towers and explained that they don’t share radio equipment.

Mayor Espinoza closed the hearing at 7:27 p.m. as there were no further comments.

Motion: M/S Samra/Aguilar to approve Resolution No. 2012-41 Conditionally Approving Site Plan/Design Review 2012-01 for the Metro PCS Antenna Project. 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

2. Resolution Conditionally Approving Site Plan/Design Review 2012-02 for the AT&T Antenna Project.

Director Kenney presented the item.

Mayor Espinoza opened the hearing for public comments at 7:29 p.m.

Craig Beardsley with AT&T stated that he has reviewed the conditions from the previous Planning Commission meeting and requested the Council’s approval of the project.

Mayor Espinoza closed the hearing at 7:29 p.m. there being no further comments.

Motion: M/S Aguilar/Land to approve Resolution No. 2012-42 Conditionally Approving Site Plan/Design Review 2012-02 for the AT&T Antenna Project. 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


Katherine Schell Rodriquez, P.O. Box 163 stated that employee negotiations seem to be going on and on since last year. She added that the new fiscal year is almost upon us and is it too much to ask if negotiations are wrapped up before the start of the next fiscal year.

As for the denial of damages which is on the consent calendar she asked if they really thought that Mike Sperry was just going to dry up and blow away after they revoked the modified Conditional Use Permit for 444 Main Street. After all revoking it had more to do with not wanting a club in the downtown commercial district than it did about park in-lieu fees.

It is a matter of public record that four out of the five members of the Council has stated their public opposition to this project and two of the five have stated publicly and on the record that if the Mayor had not appealed the project they would have. So it doesn’t really matter how often Council person Samra may say “no one is saying he can’t have a club at that location.” Those words in and of itself will not change the indisputable legality that a Conditional Use Permit for a bar or club at 444 Main Street will never get a truly unbiased hearing.

No matter what Mr. Sperry or the land owner will do about parking, because it has been made quite clear and it is on the record that the majority of this Council has already made up its collective mind that a bar or club operated by Mr. Sperry will never be allowed to open under any circumstances at 444 Main Street.

John Mucci, 1125 Kensington Drive, Merced, President of the LPOA is here tonight representing their dispatchers. He has concerns about the contract agreement for dispatch services between the City of Gustine and Livingston. He knows that the contract was signed in April and he apologized for not bringing it up sooner, but it was never given to the union to meet and confer and they did not get the chance to express their concerns.

He asked who authored the contract, why the dispatch supervisor was not asked to participate, and for a description of services as part of the contract. He believes that the dispatch supervisor would have been beneficial to both cities to determine what services we were capable of providing to the City of Gustine. Also under section 3 of payment and services rendered it stated that the annual fee will commence on July 1, 2012, however, they began to dispatch for Gustine today and he believes that is a loss of revenue to the total of $4,600.

The union has been in negotiations with the City for almost a year and with the financial problems with the City that has been explained to us, why wouldn’t we charge Gustine for the additional amount for June. He closed by saying that the association is in favor of the contract and applauded those who continue different avenues to gain additional revenue for the City of Livingston. They do not oppose the contract; however they feel that input from the supervisor and the LPOA should have been considered.

Doug Gorman, 4856 N. Cedar Avenue, Fresno, Business Agent for Operating Engineers Local Union No. 3 (OE3), representing the LPOA stated his concern is with the dispatch contract, in that dispatch contract the union has no right to hold the City hostage over who they are to provide service to. But, they do have the rights under the MMBA to negotiate over the effects of that contract and we have not received any response back from the City Manager since April 27th. He made a formal demand on May 1st, and then another on May 16th. He added that today we are dispatching and that is an unfair labor practice.

He said it is not the union’s intention to become adversarial with you, it is not what they want, but they also have an obligation to their membership. The obligation to the membership is that they protect them and their working rights so there is an unfair labor practice that has been caused by this. It could have been easily handled if you had come forth to us when you were talking about this. We want to help you, but now you are putting us on the defense. You are forcing us on the offense.

Also with the negotiations, they have an issue where the sergeants came to a tentative agreement and that was ratified by the City. They were given a huge pay raise that was negotiated on the table and then two months later that pay raise was rescinded from them for no reason. He added that once again Operating Engineers represents those members; the union was never notified of this. This is also a violation of the Police Officers’ Bill of Rights because you cannot take money from a police officer without giving them due process.

Now we are going into fact finding with the negotiations with the LPOA. This seems to be a point where we are going to be spending a lot of money on legal fees when it doesn’t need to be. He appreciates their concerns and hopes that they look into this.

Luis Flores, 707 Almondwood Drive thanked the community and surrounding areas for keeping the local parks alive. They were able to raise funds for year 1 of 3 for Hatfield and McConnell Parks and both for next fiscal year. They need to start fundraising for the next two years so if people are interested in raising funds to help keep the parks open that would be great. He stated it is a great asset to our community to have nature’s beautiful gifts near us and we shouldn’t let them go.

Mike Sperry, 737 Main Street stated that he would love to see the Council settle the nonsense with the LPOA. His legal team has been waiting for negotiations as well and the Council still has not called, but he will press on. He asked when will you get back to John Mucci and has anyone else on Council decided to run in the November election.

Mayor Espinoza stated he is running.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar stated she is still thinking about it.

City Attorney Sanchez stated that the Mayor should let it go because for special meetings, only those items on the agenda may be spoken to.

CONSENT CALENDAR3. Denial of Claim for Damages from Mike Sperry. The Mayor put it back on so it is not pulled.

4. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on April 3, 2012.

5. Approval of Warrant Register Dated June 1, 2012.

Motion: M/S Aguilar/Espinoza to approve the consent agenda calendar. 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

DISCUSSION AND POTENTIAL ACTION ITEMS6. Continuation of Closed Session if Necessary.

The Council went back into Closed Session at 7:45 p.m.

OPEN SESSIONThe Council came out of Closed Session at 9:02 p.m.

Mayor Espinoza stated that they finished the evaluations of the City Manager and the City Attorney and all was very favorable with both of their performances.


The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 9:02 p.m.


Deputy City Clerk of the City of Livingston

APPROVED: August 7, 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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