Minutes of Meeting Held on July 02, 2013.

Meeting Date: September 17, 2013

Agenda Item #8. Minutes of Meeting Held on July 02, 2013.





JULY 2, 2013

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


Closed Session was cancelled due to lack of a quorum.


Mayor Espinoza called the meeting to order at 7:03 p.m.


The pledge of allegiance to the flag was recited.


Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza

Mayor Pro-Tem Gurpal Samra

Council Member Jim Soria (Excused Absence)

Council Member Arturo Sicairos (Excused Absence)

Council Member David Mendoza


There was no Closed Session due to lack of quorum.


Mayor Pro-Tem Samra asked that agenda item number 6 be tabled.


1. Presentation by Rich Green, Transit Manager, Merced County Association of Governments (MCAG) on Proposed Bus Stop Services in the City of Livingston.

Mayor Espinoza introduced the item.

Rich Green announced that after thorough analysis, deep consideration, and staff recommendations, MCAG has decided to create two new bus routes in Livingston.

One bus route would connect Livingston to Merced and the other route would connect Livingston to Turlock. Now that the destinations have been determined the next step is to locate potential bus stops in town.

Mr. Green believes that optimal bus stops could be located on Walnut Avenue and Dwight Avenue or Walnut Avenue and Franci Street. Mr. Green believes that the most critical bus stop would be located on Walnut Avenue and Franci Street because this bus stop will be a connection/transfer point for the buses going north to Turlock and south to Merced.

Mr. Green explained that the most space efficient location for a bus stop is at the end of a block because it gives enough space for buses to pull in and out of bus stops with ease. Other potential bus stops include; outside Blueberry Hill Café, Park Street and Seventh Street, Main Street and E Street, and a stop by Winton Parkway and Joseph Gallo Drive where the proposed Rancho San Miguel would be located. The benefit of having a bus stop on Winton Parkway is that the route will serve people living in Delhi and Winton.

City Manager Ramirez added that Rancho San Miguel has already included a bus stop and bus shelter in their proposal.

Mayor Espinoza suggested that a good location for a bus stop would be next to the Livingston Family Apartments. He then asked how much it would cost to use the bus.

Mr. Green replied that it will cost $1.50 to travel within town. Transferring to another bus within town will be free. Traveling to another city will cost $3.00. In addition, bus routes are shown live at “www.thebuslive.com.”

Mayor Espinoza inquired about “The Bus” hours of operation.

Mr. Green replied that the bus will run from approximately 7 a.m. until 9 p.m.

City Manager Ramirez asked Mr. Green if he could give the City some flyers so that the City could advertise any changes made to “The Bus”. Mr. Green complied with the request.

Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements and Reports.


City Staff Announcements and Reports

Police Chief Chavez gave a power point presentation regarding recent police activity. Chief Chavez shared that in the last month there were two burglary incidents, seven gang field interviews, and three gang related arrests. Animal control captured 29 animals and took them to the animal shelter. There was one animal case that made headlines all across the Central Valley; it involved a party that euthanized over 200 cats.

Mayor Pro-Tem Samra shared that post office employees have been inquiring about animal control procedures. He asked Chief Chavez if he could inform the Council about the City’s animal control policy.

City Manager Ramirez added that the next step is to create an animal control citation system.

Chief Chavez replied that a citation plan has been developed and it will be printed and distributed soon. Nevertheless, the Police Department is working very closely with Public Works to create a facility that would house stranded animals. Chief Chavez shared that recently he went to a meeting in Sacramento where he congregated with other Chiefs and discussed the pros and cons of a city having its own animal control facilities

Mayor Espinoza thanked Chief Chavez for his insight. He then asked about the policy on Safe and Sane Fireworks.

Chief Chavez replied that Safe and Sane fireworks stands began selling fireworks on June 28th. One of the biggest issues with these booths is regulating their sales at night. Firecrackers and bottle rockets are not allowed in Livingston.

Mayor Espinoza thanked Chief Chavez for his updates.

Associate Planner Galvez gave a presentation on recent land use activities. Planner Galvez stated that there are currently three pending projects; 1) Livingston Farm Supply has a 5,000 sq. ft. building and wants to expand by about 4,000 sq. ft., 2) Amending a zoning code, addressing second units in the R-1 and R-2 zones, 3) Dollar General is working on their tentative improvements.

In addition, Planner Galvez confirmed that the proposal for Rancho San Miguel does have a turn out and bus shelter. It will be located on the north side of B Street.

Mayor Espinoza asked if Rancho San Miguel has submitted their plans.

Planner Galvez replied that the engineering plans are currently being reviewed.

City Manager Ramirez commented that last week CNU and LCG recommended that Livingston conduct a traffic study to identify what traffic control system could best suit Livingston. He asked Chief Chavez if he knew how much a traffic study would cost.

Mayor Espinoza added that he would like to focus on B Street and Briarwood. He acknowledged that putting a roundabout there would be a long-term solution, but that in the meantime the City should look at putting in a three-way stop sign.

Chief Chavez said he is very familiar with traffic situations similar to the one on B Street and Briarwood. He recommends that instead of putting in a three-way stop sign, the City should consider putting in a roundabout to encourage drivers to slow down. Sometimes stops signs can create more problems than solutions. In addition the City should also consider adding curb extensions and narrowing driving lanes.

City Manager Announcements and Reports.

City Manager Ramirez announced that he is currently conducting an income survey for the entire City. He added that a key element in conducting an income survey is doing it in a way that meets the standards for state and federal grants. The City is currently submitting a pre-application for a state revolving loan that could help fund some projects that would address the City’s potable water issues.

Another grant that the City wants to apply for is the Strategic Growth Grant. CNU and LCG encouraged management to pursue this grant because it would help fund projects that would revitalize the downtown corridor. In addition the City is also partnering with UC Merced/ Merced College to apply for an art grant, SERNA Grant, which could help fund a cultural arts district. In late August, the American Institute of Architects will come to Livingston to conduct a three day charrette and formulate a proposal for a cultural arts district.

City Manager Ramirez added that the City is currently going through negotiations with employee unions. Also, City Staff expects to conduct a budget workshop in the near future.

City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports.

Council Member Mendoza had nothing to report.

Mayor Pro-Tem Samra wished everyone a happy and safe Fourth of July.

Mayor’s Announcements and Reports.

Mayor Espinoza also wished the community a happy Fourth of July. He also congratulated Council Member Sicairos for the birth of his new daughter. On another note, Mayor Espinoza addressed the topic of cooling stations and asked Chief Chavez what he believes would be the best locations for cooling stations.

Chief Chavez replied that he has been getting consultation on this matter and after a thorough investigation he believes that the two best locations for cooling stations are the City Council Chambers and inside the Police Station lobby.

Mayor Espinoza thanked Chief Chavez for his suggestions. In addition he also thanked City Mechanic Dan Faulkner who retired after serving the community for over 25 years, and Betty Cota, Executive Assistant/Deputy City Clerk for serving the City and community for over 40 years and counting.


Julio Valadez, P.O. Box 701 thanked City Staff for supporting the Fourth of July Fireworks Committee. He invited everyone to come to the Fourth of July Festival to be staged at Memorial Park. This three day event will have vendors, entertainment and a carnival. Also, Mr. Valadez announced that he wanted to correct a statement by one of the Council Members who told the media that the Fourth of July Festival attracts over 6,000 visitors. According to Mr. Valadez this event actually draws in about 40,000 visitors.

Mayor Pro-Tem Samra said that the reporter misunderstood his answer and that what should have been reported is that he calculated roughly 6,000 visitors in the baseball field alone. Regardless, he is pleased that the Merced Sun-Star is paying attention to the festival and the festival is gaining a good reputation.

Mr. Valadez thanked Mayor Pro-Tem Samra for giving him access to local media. Mr. Valadez went on to re-promote the 4th of July festival in English and in Spanish. He then proceeded by giving 4th of July

T-shirts to Council Members and City Staff.

Katherine Schell-Rodriguez, P.O. Box 163 announced that she has noticed a lot less animals running loose in town. She stated that in the spring of 2004 the General Plan was being formulated. At this moment the General Plan was predicting that the City would grow to roughly 30,000 residents within the next 20 years. However, by 2007 the population projections changed to over 100,000 residents. In 2008 the Planning Commission voted not to adopt the General Plan because they believed that the population predictions were unrealistic. Later that fall, the City Council voted to adopt the General Plan and soon after it was adopted there was a law suit filed against the City. Mrs. Schell-Rodriguez cautioned that if the City wishes to update the General Plan the City should treat it as document that is realistic and respected by staff/community.

Mayor Espinoza addressed the concerns expressed by Mrs. Schell-Rodriguez by stating that since 2008 a lot of thought and energy has been put into crafting a more realistic General Plan. He added that the City has met with several stakeholders such as; farmers, the Farm Bureau, the Gallo Family and concerned citizens. Together they have devised a plan that gains much more support.


2. City Council Authorization to Purchase Air Conditioner Unit for Police Department Server Room.

3. Approval of Warrant Register Dated June 28, 2013.

Motion: M/S Samra/Mendoza to approve the consent calendar. The motion carried 3-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Mendoza, Samra, Espinoza

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: Soria, Sicairos


4. Resolution Authorizing the City Manager to Continue Making Required Expenditures to Meet Current or Immediate Financial Obligations until the 2013/14 Fiscal Year Budget is Adopted.

Motion: M/S Espinoza/Mendoza to adopt Resolution No. 2013-29. The motion carried 3-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Mendoza, Samra, Espinoza

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: Soria, Sicairos

5. Resolution Ratifying Acceptance of Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Grant through the Grant Assistance Program (GAP).

Police Chief Chavez introduced the item.

Motion: M/S Samra/Mendoza to adopt Resolution No. 2013-30. The motion carried 3-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Mendoza, Samra, Espinoza

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: Soria, Sicairos

6. Discussion – Creation of General Plan Stakeholders’ Committee.

This item was tabled.

7. Discussion – Vacancy on Utility Rates Stakeholders’ Committee.

Mayor Pro-Tem Samra introduced this item. He asked that the City advertise this position via Channel 2, City website, flyers and mailing advertisements with the utility bills.

Mayor Espinoza concurred with Mayor Pro-Tem Samra and added that the City should make a strong effort to advertise this position.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:04 p.m.


Deputy City Clerk of the City of Livingston

APPROVED: September 17, 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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