Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on April 2, 2013.

 

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LIVINGSTON CA / May 19, 2013 —

Meeting Date: May 21, 2013

MEETING MINUTES

 

REGULAR MEETING

LIVINGSTON CITY COUNCIL

APRIL 2, 2013

 

A Regular Meeting of the Livingston City Council was held on April 2, 2013, in the City Council Chambers with Mayor Espinoza presiding.

CLOSED SESSION

 

CALL TO ORDER

 

Mayor Espinoza called the meeting to order at 6:04 p.m.

ROLL CALL

 

Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza

Mayor Pro-Tem Gurpal Samra

Council Member Jim Soria

Council Member Arturo Sicairos (Excused)

Council Member David Mendoza

Mayor Espinoza opened the meeting for public comments. There were no comments from the public. The Council subsequently adjourned to Closed Session at 6:06 p.m. to discuss the following matters:

 

1. Conference with Legal Counsel – Potential Litigation

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

Number of Cases: 2

2. Conference with Legal Counsel – Existing Litigation

[(Government Code Section 54956.9(a)] – Michael Sperry vs. City of Livingston, et al, Merced County Superior Court Case No. CV002762

3. Conference with Legal Counsel – Existing Litigation

[(Government Code Section 54956.9(a)] – Dwight L. Larks vs. City of Livingston, et al, Merced County Superior Court Case No. CVMO14537

4.  Conference with Real Property Negotiator

(Government Code Section 54956.8)

APN Numbers 047-140-006 and 047-140-0017

Negotiating Parties: City Manager

5. Conference with Labor Negotiator

(Government Code Section 54957.6)

Labor 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 7:12 p.m.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

The pledge of allegiance to the flag was recited.

ROLL CALL

 

Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza

Mayor Pro-Tem Gurpal Samra

Council Member Jim Soria

Council Member Arturo Sicairos (Excused)

Council Member David Mendoza

CLOSED SESSION ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

None.

CHANGES TO THE AGENDA

 

None.

AWARDS, PRESENTATIONS, APPOINTMENTS AND PROCLAMATIONS

 

None.

 

GRANT ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

None.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REPORTS

 

Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements and Reports.

None.

City Staff Announcements and Reports.

Police Chief Chavez gave an update on the Burglary Action Plan. April 27th is Drug Take Back Day at the Police Department lobby between 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. April is National Distracted Driving Enforcement Campaign month. He also provided updates on school safety; school presentations and field trips to the Police Department; community enhancements and safe environments programs.

Director or Public Works Molina gave a PowerPoint presentation on the past month’s activities of the Public Works Department.

City Manager Announcements and Reports

City Manager Ramirez commented that he reached out to an Atwater based tree foundation. The foundation provided us with some technical assistance training and is giving us some trees. The foundation will also be writing some grants for the City, therefore, we are focusing on a tree inventory. He has been working on the downtown open market and visiting several open markets. Staff is looking at starting the downtown open market towards the end of April and running the event to the end of October.

City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports.

Council Member Soria thanked the Police Department for doing a good job, Public Works for making the City look great and also City staff for being professional.

Mayor Pro-Tem Samra shared that this past weekend the Sikh community held their 5th annual procession; there was great support from the City Police and Public Works Departments. Also the Explorers were out and their support was really appreciated as well.

Mayor’s Announcements and Reports.

Mayor Espinoza thanked the City Manager as well and added that we were talking about having the open market in May and June and then closing in July and August, but if the vendors want to stay open we do not mind. He shared that he did two years of farmers markets and he loved it. Hopefully this year’s open market will be bigger and better. Mayor Espinoza commented that opening ceremonies for baseball is this Friday. He asked Recreation Superintendent Benoit that maybe next year the event should not be planned during spring break because many families leave the area for vacations. He had a complaint about someone selling cars on Walnut and Dwight and asked Chief Chavez to look into this matter.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

1. 2013 CDBG Application.

City Manager Ramirez presented the item.

Mayor Espinoza opened the hearing at 7:47 p.m.

Katherine Schell-Rodriquez, P.O. Box 163 asked if we are using the bulk of this application for Well 17 which is not online. She also asked what was the logical chain of events that led to the selection of Well 17, a well that is offline instead of fixing wells like Well 15 and other wells that are online and have arsenic, TCP or manganese issues. She is curious as to whether there are any future development projects coming in that would require the need to have another well online as soon as possible.

City Manager Ramirez responded that we have chosen this well that has not been constructed because we need the additional capacity. He added that even if we were to have future development and we were to pay for it up front that doesn’t take away from any future developers actually contributing. So rather than waiting for someone to come in we are being proactive and trying to bring another well online.

Collette Alvernaz, P.O. Box 255 made the following statements, “When and how has the citizen participation plan been met? Public hearings are not the same as citizen participation plans. Hearings are simply a component of the plan. She would be interested in being a part of the citizen participation plan. She disagrees with the statement that the Federal Citizen Participation requirement has been met. She has expressed interest in these issues and submitted multiple typed pages on these issues. She has not been approached by the City of Livingston about participating in this plan.

She asked what is the PTA planning and technical assistance housing market study going to do? $46,000 is a lot to spend on a housing market study. She disagrees on spending this money on this study, it does not seem necessary. She feels we should spend the money on an actual project instead of another study. She disagrees with the $112,151 for general administration in this grant application. The money should be put in actual use not administrative fees, Well 17 is not even online. On January 28, 2013, at the Livingston Utility Rate Stakeholders Committee meeting the comment was that staff was going to be directed to see what it will take to bring it online. The City of Livingston needs to know if and what it will take to bring Well 17 online before $1,395,349 of grant money is spent. The City of Livingston needs to determine the feasibility of this project first; otherwise over $1,395,000 might be wasted.

What is the PTA planning and technical assistance urban water management plan going to do? For years she has submitted many comments about her concerns over the inadequate and inconsistent data in the City of Livingston’s water plans. The City of Livingston needs to address those issues. She questioned using over $46,000 of grant money when the City of Livingston continues to inadequately address the public comments. She wants to know when the citizen participation plan meetings have taken place and how can she can participate. She wants to see the agendas, minutes, and the goals of those public citizen meetings. This grant money requires that the Federal NEPA requirements be met. Doesn’t NEPA require some kind of analysis of the projects first. And what about the Clean Air Act and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act? It is premature to apply for this grant money at this time, the accompanying information is only two pages. The City of Livingston needs to provide much more information, like the breakdown cost, details of the projects, are the projects doable for that amount of money and what the citizens will have after the money is spent. For instance, is it guaranteed after over $1,395,000 is spent that Well 17 will be online? The City of Livingston needs to complete the requirements for this grant money and determine if its proposed projects are even feasible”.

City Manager Ramirez responded that Mrs. Alvernaz had some very good points and that is exactly why we have these public hearings. He gave an explanation on the general administration and that this money actually comes to the City. The actual planning and technical assistance, this is a grant that is out there and this is a notice of available funds and we evaluate those before going after those grants. So we pick what is going to be competitive and what our need is, and we came up with a housing market study and an urban water management plan and of course this hearing. He added that if Mrs. Alvernaz had a better suggestion we could look at a better technical assistance grant, but it has to be a planning and technical assistance grant. He subsequently gave an explanation on the urban water management plan. Also regarding the citizen participation plan we are meeting tonight and if the Council would like to incorporate another mechanism of this type of meeting he is open to the suggestion.

Ms. Alvernaz stated that this is required.

Senior Accountant Bains gave an explanation of the public hearing. She stated that this is the second public hearing and the first public hearing was to solicit ideas for this particular grant and there were no ideas submitted by the public. CDBG required that the first public hearing which was noticed in a public newspaper be to solicit ideas for this grant application and during which the public is given an opportunity to express their concerns and to recommend projects. This is the second public hearing to notify the public and to give them another opportunity to inform them, to let them comment on what the City is actually applying for as a result of the first public hearing. CDBG requires the City to notice this public hearing 10 days prior to the meeting.

Susan Adkins, Self-Help Enterprises added that the citizen participation plan is just that, it is a plan that the State requires every grantee to put in place which identifies how they are going to get citizen participation. So in this case the citizen participation plan is that they notice in the newspaper, notice 10 days prior to the meeting and hold two public hearings. There is no committee. It is simply a plan on how the City has to inform the community.

Mayor Espinoza closed the hearing at 8:03 p.m. as there were no further public comments.

Mayor Pro-Tem Samra commented that with Well 17 as a possibility he thinks this is a wise choice, and because of the TCP settlement we can use that money to remove the TCP from current wells. Therefore, this makes perfect sense.

Mayor Espinoza added that we do have a couple of developers knocking on our doors and this would be great.

Motion: M/S Samra/Soria to adopt Resolution No. 2013-13 approving the 2013 CDBG Application. The motion carried 4-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Samra, Soria, Mendoza, Espinoza

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: Sicairos

2. Resolution Approving the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program Income (PI) Reuse Plan.

Senior Accountant Bains presented the item.

Andrea Scarbrough , Self-Help Enterprises provided additional information to the presentation.

Mayor Espinoza opened the hearing at 8:10 pm

Collette Alvernaz, P.O. Box 255 asked if the CDBG Reuse Plan was a State plan.

Senior Accountant Bains responded that it is a federal plan that is funded through HCD which is the State of California Housing and Community Development Department which trickles down to another rollout of funds which the City takes advantage of which are called HOME funds. These are funds used for the City’s housing rehab and first-time homebuyers programs. The second agency that this falls under is CDBG. Those funds can be used for many different purposes such as infrastructure as proposed, housing rehab as it has been used in the past and for first-time homebuyers down payment assistance.

City Manager Ramirez added that it can also be used for business assistance.

Mrs. Alvernaz asked if funds come from the state and federal government? So the last grant we talked about was that a CDBG grant also?

Senior Accountant Bains responded yes. This particular item is linked to CDBG grant funds that have been granted to the City and the proposed use for these funds is to loan them to low to modest income families for the purpose of housing related activities.

Lengthy discussion followed.

Mayor Espinoza closed the hearing at 8:18 p.m. as there were no further comments from the public.

Motion: M/S Soria/Mendoza to adopt Resolution No. 2013-14 approving the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program Income (PI) Reuse Plan. The motion carried 4-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Samra, Soria, Mendoza, and Espinoza

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: Sicairos

3. Introduce and Waive the First Reading of an Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Livingston Amending Title 10, Chapter 3 of the Livingston Municipal Code Titled “Animal Control Regulations”; Resolution Updating Fees Associated with Animal Control Regulations.

Chief Chavez presented the item.

Mayor Espinoza opened the hearing at 8:25 p.m.

Collette Alvernaz, P.O. Box 255 thanked the City Council and Police Department for addressing this issue.

Katherine Schell Rodriquez, P.O. Box 163 asked if it has to be with a fine per day and then a fine per incident. She also asked so if they got a citation then why per day.

City Attorney Sanchez explained the fine per day matter.

Julio Valadez, P.O. Box 701 asked if his dog was to get out of his yard and is not fixed and the City caught it is he going to be charged per day until he has her fixed.

Chief Chavez responded no.

Mayor Espinoza closed the hearing at 8:35 p.m. there being no further public comments.

City Attorney Sanchez further explained how the violations are handled.

Mayor Espinoza thanked the Chief Chavez for reducing the fees for unaltered dogs; this will be better for the community. He said if we need to increase fees this is a good start.

Council Member Soria stated that the fees are more feasible and he would like to see a structure of management of dogs that were picked up, possibly a monthly report would be okay.

Motion: M/S Soria/Samra to Introduce and Waive the First Reading of Ordinance No. 604, an Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Livingston Amending Title 10, Chapter 3 of the Livingston Municipal Code Titled “Animal Control Regulations”; Resolution Updating Fees Associated with Animal Control Regulations. The motion carried 3-1 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Samra, Soria and Espinoza

NOES: Council Members: Mendoza

ABSENT: Council Members: Sicairos

Motion: M/S Soria/Samra to adopt Resolution No. 2013-15 Updating Fees Associated with Animal Control Regulations. The motion carried 3-1 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Samra, Soria, and Espinoza

NOES: Council Members: Mendoza

ABSENT: Council Members: Sicairos

CITIZENS COMMENTS

 

A citizen, no name given, stated that he received a ticket for $20 for parking in the alley and asked Chief Chavez why he doesn’t give those other people a ticket as well.

Chief Chavez responded that he addressed this comment at the last meeting. This is a reoccurring problem. He even took a picture of the vehicle and the department does not make it a common practice to drive down alley ways and this was a specific complaint.

Julio Valadez, P.O. Box 701 stated that he wanted to point out that some citizens did help do the floor in the new senior center. He gave updates on the Kite Festival and 4th of July Celebration.

Mayor Espinoza added that there is a fundraiser at McDonald’s from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. for the Hispanic Kermes, former Multicultural Festival.

 

Collette Alvernaz, P.O. Box 255 asked for the location of the property described in Closed Session Item 6. She asked if it was west of the domestic wastewater treatment plant. She wanted to know the City’s plans and goals for this land. If it is west of the wastewater treatment plant this land is out of the City’s Sphere of Influence and City limits and the proposed 2025 General Plan, the City’s proposed Sphere of Influence and proposed City limits. Mrs. Alvernaz commented that as the captain of their Neighborhood Watch the neighbors want to know what is going on. They request to be kept informed.

City Manager Ramirez responded to her questions. Brief discussion followed.

Katherine Schell-Rodriquez, P.O. Box 163 stated that at the last City Council meeting there were questions by the public wanting to know about a certain number in 2007. She has them in her budget and they are very easy to find. Using the budget as an example you open it up to an enterprise fund, you look at personnel services and you can see the approved for 2010 and the estimated 2009 numbers, actual 2008 numbers and there are actual fiscal years 2007 and 2006 numbers. This information is at your fingertips. Whenever you pass a budget you should be given a copy of it either in print or PDF. She stated that PDF is actually easier. One of her pet peeves is when people on the City Council pass something without reading or understanding it, so her message is when you have the information right in front of you she expects you to read it, digest it, and give it thought to future consequences on what you are voting for.

Eldon Perkins, a member of the Atwater VFW shared some of his life history. He brought the Chief 20 kites to hand out at the kite festival.

 

CONSENT CALENDAR

 

4. Resolution No. 2013-16 Authorizing the Submittal of a Recycling Market Development Zone Renewal Application.

 

5. Resolution No. 2013-17 Supporting Merced Regional Enterprise Zone Expansion #3.

 

6. Approval of Warrant Register Dated March 28, 2013.

 

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

AYES: Council Members: Samra, Soria, Mendoza and Espinoza

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: Sicairos

DISCUSSION AND POTENTIAL ACTION ITEMS

 

7. Resolution Supporting State of California Senate Bill 391, the California Homes and Jobs Act of 2013.

City Manager Ramirez presented the item.

Maya Abood, California Housing Coalition added to the presentation.

Denise Fletcher, Self-Help Enterprises commented on the item as well.

Mayor Espinoza thanked Self-Help Enterprises for coming tonight. He is in support of the program and feels it will do a lot for the Central Valley. He stated our community is low income and that for awhile homes were affordable.

Mayor Pro-Tem Samra stated that their objectives must have been noted and in the meantime he got to meet some great folks from Self-Help. He has heard a lot of programs are successful just with the partnership and the City itself can be a beacon for success. His objection earlier was not that he believed we didn’t need affordable housing, but being from the Central Valley we are not the highest paid earning makers in the State and he was a little upset with what the Governor did with our redevelopment. He believes that if Self-Help had come originally he may have received his answers at that time.

Lengthy discussion followed.

Motion: M/S Espinoza/Soria to adopt Resolution No. 2013-18 Supporting State of California Senate Bill 391, the California Homes and Jobs Act of 2013. The motion carried 4-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Samra, Soria, Mendoza and Espinoza

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: Sicairos

8. Waive the Second Reading and Adopt Ordinance No. 603, an Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Livingston Establishing Rates for Solid Waste Service Fees.

Mayor Espinoza stated that he knows it is going to be hard for some people to pay the increased fees, but it needs to be done.

Council Member Soria stated the today was his garbage day and he noticed a lot of can over flow.

Motion: M/S Soria/Espinoza to Waive the Second Reading and Adopt Ordinance No. 603, an Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Livingston Establishing Rates for Solid Waste Service Fees. The motion carried 4-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Samra, Soria, Mendoza and Espinoza

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: Sicairos

9. Resolution of the City Council Approving an Agreement with Gilton Solid Waste Management, Inc. for Solid Waste Services.

City Manager Ramirez presented the item.

Ricardo Soria, 1526 Main Street asked if the Merced County Community Action Agency raises their rates will Gilton take the hit or will the City.

City Manager Ramirez responded that it is passed through.

Jean Okuye, Olive Avenue added that she has enjoyed dropping off the newspaper, but are they going to be taking glass and plastics as well.

City Manager Ramirez responded yes, they are encouraging recycling.

Motion: M/S Soria/Espinoza to adopt Resolution No. 2013-19 Approving an Agreement with Gilton Solid Waste Management, Inc. for Solid Waste Services. The motion carried 4-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Samra, Soria, Mendoza and Espinoza

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: Sicairos

ADJOURNMENT

 

The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 9:37 p.m.

______________________________

City Clerk of the City of Livingston

APPROVED: May 21, 2013

______________________________

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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