Approval of Minutes Held on September 4, 2012.

Meeting Date: October 30, 2012

Agenda Item #3. Approval of Minutes Held on September 4, 2012.






A Concurrent Meeting/Closed Session/Regular Meeting of the Livingston City Council was held on September 4, 2012, in the City Council Chambers with Mayor Espinoza presiding.



Mayor Espinoza called the meeting to order at 6:02 p.m.


Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza

Mayor Pro-Tem Margarita Aguilar

Council Member Frank Vierra (Excused Absence)

Council Member Theresa Land

Council Member Gurpal Samra (Excused Absence)

Mayor Espinoza opened the meeting for public comments. There were no comments from the public. The Council subsequently adjourned to Closed Session at 6:03 p.m. to discuss the following matters:

1. Conference with Legal Counsel – Potential Litigation

[(Government Code Section 54956.9(b)(2)]

Number of Cases: 2

2. Public Employee Appointment

(Government Code Section 54957)

Title: Public Works Director

3. Conference with Labor Negotiator

(Government Code Section 54957.6)

Agency Negotiator: City Manager Jose Antonio Ramirez

Employee Organizations: All Represented City Employees


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



Mayor Espinoza called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.


The pledge of allegiance to the flag was recited.


Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza

Mayor Pro-Tem Margarita Aguilar

Council Member Frank Vierra (Excused Absence)

Council Member Theresa Land

Council Member Gurpal Samra


No announcements were made.








Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements and Reports.


City Staff Announcements and Reports.

Police Chief Chavez shared that animal control will be hosting a vaccination clinic on November 4th. He commented that he is proud of the work the Livingston Police Department has been doing. There was a probation compliance check done last week; 33 homes were visited with three arrests and last month there was only one burglary.

Recreation Superintendent Benoit gave an update on the fireworks ordinance that she hopes to bring back at the next Council meeting.

Paul Avila, Battalion Chief, Cal Fire introduced and provided some background on himself. He took over his new position on August 20th replacing former Battalion Chief, Armando Rios.

City Manager Announcements and Reports

City Manager Ramirez shared that he is still waiting on a response from Merced County regarding the Revenue Tax Sharing Agreement. He has been meeting with Mr. Gallo regarding his interest on the back portion of Travel Centers of America. He has also been working with staff regarding the Second Street project and looking for more grant opportunities.

City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar thanked Police Chief Chavez for his visit to Campus Park School. He shared a booklet on bullying and what kids can do about strangers. She stated that these were great books for the kids.

Mayor’s Announcements and Reports.

Mayor Espinoza commented that the live internet streaming is working fine along with the sound and video. He stated that Charter has been working on a box that has been acting up and asked the public to please be patient.

City Council Future Agenda Item Request.





Katherine Schell Rodriquez, P.O. Box 163 stated that she hoped we could get Charter to get the sound problem fixed before the elections. She announced that the Merced Community Action Agency and Merced Rotary are looking for used wheelchairs, walkers and crutches to give to people who are in need of these items, but cannot afford to purchase them. If you have any of these items and do not have a way to get them to the agencies, please call Katie at 209-381-5290. She asked a question on the RMA Investment Pool. In 2010 there was over $1million and at the end of 2012 there is less than $100,000. She wanted to know where that money went.

Also regarding the water capital fund there is about $10 million in that fund, but $9 million is TCP settlement monies so that means it leaves only about $1 million for the pipeline project that is finishing up. She asked if we are going to be able to get that project done without dipping into the TCP money. Also she asked that in May, June, and July of this year the City spent close to $86,000 in attorney’s fees. She stated that if we keep that rate up we will be over $340,000 per fiscal year, more than enough to save one position that has been cut.

City Manager Ramirez responded regarding the water capital fund that the total amount awarded was $1.1 million. The money was budgeted for that particular project, so we do have the money. Regarding the attorney funds there have been some activities that have taken place within the City so we are keeping our eye on all expenses, not just attorney’s fees. In reference to the RMA investment pool, Odi Ortiz will have have to look into that and get back to her with a written response.

Kristen Lucas, representing the Livingston Police Officers’ Association (LPOA) commented that several LPOA members including her spoke out at the last Council meeting against the layoffs of two of their members.

During their meet and confer meeting on August 15th with the City Manager he asked us to come up with other options. At that time she brought up the animal control holding facility project because this is not a shelter and offers no real services to the public and stands no chance of generating any revenue. This will in fact be a money pit. The City has already spent $5,000 on a modular building from Firebaugh and who knows how much it will cost to bring it here. The cost to get this holding facility up and running will be at least an additional $20,000. S

he has been told several times that this money is not coming from the General Fund, but while the City Manager accused her of not mentioning her concerns prior to the August 15th meeting and having to go up the flag pole he still managed to avoid answering the question of what fund the money is coming from. Speaking of the flag pole there was a meeting about animal control on May 21st to discuss this facility. She stressed these exact concerns during that meeting and the entire flag pole was present. Her supervisor, Lt. Soria, Chief Chavez, and Mr. Ramirez all heard her say that this will cost the City more money than what we are spending. You mentioned that we cannot continue to do things the way we are doing them now and mentioned the complaints that you get about animals so how will this holding facility solve this problem.

On August 15th you stated that fees will be increased. If they are licensing fees they are going to have to be raised pretty high to offset the expense of the holding facility. If you are talking about impound fees and penalties then the only time we will collect those fees is if someone claims a pet. How few those will be and the fees will have to be very high. You may not be aware that if someone claims their pet from the shelter we are not charged for that pet, we are only charged for those pets that no one claims. So each of those animals will cost the City twice, first for our facility and then again for the County facility. She sees the facility having no benefit to the City at this time. With the way it is being executed, the City will be better served putting the project on hold and obtaining an employee and revisiting this plan when the City is in a better place financially.

She stated Mrs. Aguilar you said that you were shocked to hear that we were picking on another staff member from our own department and where were our hearts. Our OE3 representative did exactly what he needed to do for our members, protect us and our jobs, no person was ever picked on. One position was suggested as an alternative as it is a non-union position; two, the job duties could be absorbed by others in the department and three, it would save two other positions. As for our hearts they are with our two members and their families during this time. She assures you that when we were in discussions we were far nicer than any of you politicians slinging mud at your opponents during election time.

City Manager Ramirez responded in regards to the animal control department, specifically with the fiscal year ending 2012, your department spent well over $104,000. Therefore, doing nothing is not an option for him. This is a department that we have received several complaints on and he has gone to you and given you all the tools you need, he has asked you what you need and he has provided for those needs. Leaving things as is will cost well over $104,000 this year and he will be more than happy to provide her with information on projected expenses for next year. He stated that she is the expert so with her being the expert he is more than happy to sit down with her. He has never been approached by her to see what he is doing. He would love to go over her ideas to transfer her department, but as it is the City cannot afford it. The amount that was spent on the facility is not $5,000, it was actually $4,500. His employees are supposed to bring to him not just problems, but also solutions to the problems and as the head of the City he will analysis those, and then make a decision and then a recommendation to the City Council.

Rachelle Hodges, a member of the LPOA stated she would like to defer her time to Doug Gorman, OE3 Business Agent.

Mayor Espinoza stated that she could not defer her time.

City Attorney Sanchez gave an explanation on deferral of time.

Doug Gorman, representing the LPOA stated that he stands up there and doesn’t know whether to be mad or sad. We are talking about expensive litigation costs, but in turn the City just laid off two people that have been denied due process. They filed two grievances and they have been denied, and it is outside of the wall. Once again in the State of California when you are a public employee and you have past probationary status you have a property interest in your job. Then to take that from somebody as you are doing in your reorganization you have to afford them due process which you did not.

OE3 is not going to stand by and watch you unlawfully terminate members of this union just so you can save money or retaliate against us. Once again we are going back to spending money that doesn’t need to be spent on litigation fees when you oppose the dispatching duties of our bargaining unit. He asked when is this going to stop. They all understand that the City might be hurting for money and he believes that we are not hurting as bad as we are. But if you continue to go down this road he can guarantee that the fees are going to double.

Nemesio Alcazar, 1450 Second Street asked what the requirements of a treasurer are.

Mayor Espinoza stated the he would get back to him on that.

Mike Sperry, 737 Main Street asked why we are doing yard maintenance for Gallo. The day prior to Taco Bell opening he noticed things being done out there. He asked for a visual presentation on TCP 123 and the effects that it does to human beings. He asked what the budgeted amount for his lawsuit is. He stated to Mayor Espinoza, “Rod you are planning on winning the election as he is too, but the word on the street is that you are planning on moving outside the City limits sometime after the election. Then you will most likely proceed to Gurpal.” He also stated that he heard Odi Ortiz and Jose Ramirez might be leaving us. He asked for the calendar of the City Manager because he would like to know how many hours the City Manager is putting in – he doesn’t care about personal appointments such as when he goes to the dentist. He stated that this is his City.

Mayor Espinoza stated that he is selling his house, but he is not moving out of the City limits.


1. Resolution No. 2012-62 Amending the City of Livingston Conflict of Interest Code and Accepting Biennial Notice.

2. Approval of Warrant Register Dated August 29, 2012.

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

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

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: Vierra


3. Resolution Approving the Fiscal Year 2012-2013 Budget for the Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency of the City of Livingston.

Motion: M/S Samra/Espinoza to adopt Resolution No. 2012-3 approving the Fiscal Year 2012-2013 Budget for the Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency of the City of Livingston.

The motion carried 4-0 by the following roll call vote:

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

NOES: Agency Members: None

ABSENT: Agency Members: Vierra


3. Resolution of the City Council of the City of Livingston Approving the Employment Agreement Between the City of Livingston and Humberto Molina for the Position of Public Works Director.

City Manager Ramirez presented the item.

Humberto Molina provided information on his experience and background.

Katherine Schell Rodriquez, P.O. Box 163 asked to get copies of his certificates.

Mayor Espinoza stated that after approval they will be provided.

Council Member Land asked Mr. Molina if he was versed in TCP.

Mr. Molina responded that as with many issues there are times when we are not well versed, we have to make the best effort to work with our consultants. At this point he could not tell her he was an expert in TCP.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar stated that this is a three year agreement which is okay with her and the City Manager will be giving an annual evaluation. If the evaluation is not up to par then we will be taking a look at his performance at that time. She briefly scanned the agreement and shared it with the citizens.

Mayor Espinoza stated that the main thing is the savings of over $500,000. He mentioned that the City Manager is doing a good job and these are hard times and we are trying to prevent other layoffs.

Motion: M/S Espinoza/Aguilar to adopt Resolution No. 2012-63 approving the Employment Agreement between the City of Livingston and Humberto Molina for the Position of Public Works Director. 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

4. Approval of Investment Grade Audit Contract with Schneider Electric.

Justin Surratt, representing Schneider Electric presented the item.

City Engineer Gottiparthy added a description of the property involved.

Mr. Surratt continued his presentation.

Brief discussion followed.

Motion: M/S Land/Aguilar to approve the Investment Grade Audit Contract with Schneider Electric. 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

5. Provide Staff Direction Concerning Truck Parking Signage on Joseph Gallo Court.

Police Chief Chavez presented the item.

City Manager Ramirez stated that the concerns are coming from the east side.

Mayor Espinoza stated that he expressed his concerns from the beginning; he always stated that they truck drivers should get a 30 minute to 1 hour stop. Therefore, if those drivers are not able to stop to grab a quick bite those vendors are losing business. He is in favor of a 30 minute to 1 hour waiting period and maybe not to park after midnight since businesses are closed.

Katherine Schell Rodriquez, P.O. Box 163 asked if Gallo is in discussion with Travel Centers of America to get them to buy more land for parking. She would hate to think that somehow to sign and prohibit the parking would occur which would cause the vendors to lose business. She was hoping that the Council could do what is best for business people on that side.

Warren Urnberg, 1331 Eighth Street commented that now you have 2 hour parking and then to go down to 30 minutes so what are you going to do when businesses are on both sides of the streets. He is pretty sure those businesses will not want tractor trailers parking in the street.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar stated that most of you spoke on the safety issue, but who is going to be monitoring this? She commented that new businesses when coming into the City need to make sure that the safety is there. Also one individual has written a letter and she does not see him here.

Chief Chavez noted that he did make contact with all the businesses and told them about the meeting.

Council Member Land stated that she is in agreement with Ms. Aguilar; on the original letter it did not state Subway, but on the staff report Subway is mentioned. So is this gentlemen speaking for all businesses or just one, she is not clear on this. It is a little confluent to say from midnight to 5:00 a.m. no parking or stopping and then during working hours 30 minutes to 1 hour. She also believes that what we do on the east side of Gallo we should do on the west side as well. She suggested maybe giving them a formal letter to come to the next meeting.

Council Member Samra stated that he in favor of sending out a formal letter and for tabling this item.

It was the consensus of the Council to table this item to the next meeting.


The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 8:29 p.m.


Deputy City Clerk of the City of Livingston

APPROVED: October 30, 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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