Meeting Date: September 17, 2013
Agenda Item #9. Minutes of Meeting Held on July 16, 2013.
CLOSED SESSION\REGULAR MEETING
LIVINGSTON CITY COUNCIL
JULY 16, 2013
A Closed Session/Regular Meeting of the Livingston City Council was held on July 16, 2013, in the City Council Chambers with Mayor Espinoza presiding.
The Closed Session was cancelled.
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Espinoza called the meeting to order at 7:17 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
The pledge of allegiance to the flag was recited.
Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza
Mayor Pro-Tem Gurpal Samra
Council Member Arturo Sicairos
Council Member David Mendoza
CLOSED SESSION ANNOUNCEMENTS
CHANGES TO THE AGENDA
City Manager Ramirez pulled item number 1 from the agenda.
ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REPORTS
Supervisor John Pedrozo
Supervisor Pedrozo was not in attendance.
City Staff Announcements and Reports
Police Chief Chavez thanked the 4th of July Committee for putting together a fantastic 4th of July Festival. There was a great turnout and most importantly the event was safe and fun. Another community event coming soon is “National Night Out” on Tuesday August 6th on Main Street. This edition of National Night Out is extra special because it is the 30th anniversary of the event. There will be free food, information booths, and raffles.
Moreover, Chief Chavez wanted to follow up on a question that was presented to him during the previous Council meeting by City Manager Ramirez regarding the cost of a traffic study. Chief Chavez announced that a traffic study on Briarwood and B Street would cost anywhere between $3,000.00 and $5,000.00.
Mayor Espinoza thanked Chief Chavez for his presentation and for following up on the traffic study matter.
Public Works Director Molina gave a power point presentation on his department’s recent activities. Director Molina discussed a patch-up project on Fruitbasket Lane. He also identified possible projects such as valve replacements, water tank repairs, storm drain maintenance, and enforcing the City’s municipal code that requires property owners to be responsible for alley maintenance.
In addition, Director Molina commended his staff for doing an outstanding job cleaning up Memorial Park after the Fourth of July Festival. He also recognized his staff for being proactive during the charrette, which in his opinion was a success.
Mayor Espinoza spoke out during the presentation and announced that he wants to retain a non-active bus stop for shelter purposes.
Mayor Pro-Tem Samra suggested that the City should consider converting the storm basin on Dwight Way into a park, as was done to a storm basin on Peach Avenue.
Mayor Espinoza added that doing so would alleviate the concern that illegal activity is taking place in the storm basins.
Director Molina continued his presentation by adding that one thing that has saved his staff a lot of time is the fact that weed abatement has been contracted out to an independent party. He believes that this was a good move because his staff does not have the certifications required to conduct certain weed abatement procedures. This allows his staff to focus on other projects.
Parks and Recreation Superintendent Benoit gave the Council and the community an update on recreation related activities. She announced that City Hall is currently registering youth for soccer. On another note, Superintend Benoit announced that the Sweet Potato Festival is gaining a lot of momentum as the City has been very committed to finding vendors, entertainment, and a carnival company to participate in the event. The event will take place at the Max Foster Sports Complex on September 20th, 21st and 22nd. The Sweet Potato Festival will be advertised on the City website and on the Recreation Department’s Facebook page.
City Manager Announcements and Reports.
City Manager Ramirez announced that the American Institute of Architects is going to be in town on August 26th, 27th, and 28th. AIA is going to focus on creating a Cultural Arts District in/near Livingston’s Downtown Corridor. In addition, AIA is also interested in speaking with local artists, so if anyone in the community knows of any artist they should contact City Hall so that they may participate in the charrette process.
City Manager Ramirez discussed two issues regarding waste and infrastructure. He announced that the City would like to sustain a high quality of service for waste. To do this they will hold quarterly meetings with the City’s waste service provider, Gilton Solid Waste Management. In addition the City is working with Gilton to create hazardous waste day where garbage trucks will go to homes and pick up hazardous waste on a predetermined date.
City Manager Ramirez added that the City is looking at addressing its water quality issues. Improving water quality is a very expensive process and one thing that the City can do to alleviate this burden to taxpayers is to apply for grants or state revolving loans that could help fund necessary improvements.
City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports.
Council Member Sicairos
Nothing to report.
Council Member Mendoza
Nothing to report
Council Member Soria
Thanked the 4th of July Committee for putting together an outstanding 4th of July Festival. Council Member Soria also acknowledged the Police Department for facilitating a safe event. He also thanked Public Works for doing a great job cleaning up the following day. In addition Council Member Soria announced that he has already started coaching youth football and encouraged parents to put their kids in sports because sports instill beneficial qualities like discipline, punctuality, and the importance of teamwork.
Mayor Pro-Tem Samra thanked everyone who helped make the 4th of July festival a success. In addition he congratulated Council Member Sicairos for adding a new member to his family.
Mayor’s Announcements and Reports
Mayor Espinoza also congratulated Council Member Sicairos for his new addition. He also introduced the subject of implementing restricted watering days to conserve water.
City Manager Ramirez added that the City is working on a resolution that would reintroduce restricted watering days to the community.
Mayor Espinoza suggests that next year the 4th of July Committee should consider having their fireworks show on Saturday. Several vendors believe that doing this would make the event more profitable.
1. Introduce and Waive the First Reading of an Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Livingston Regulating the Cultivation of Marijuana.
This item was pulled from the agenda. City Manager Ramirez announced that further research needs to be conducted before this item is discussed.
Colette Alvernaz, P.O. Box 255 thanked the Livingston Police Department for clearing up Robin Avenue. Mrs. Alvernaz also congratulated Council Member Sicairos for the new addition to his family.
Mrs. Alvernaz shared that Livingston should be cautious about allowing the cultivation of marijuana in town. She shared that the City of Fresno is currently struggling with all of the unfortunate outcomes that have emerged as a result of allowing the cultivation of marijuana. Mrs. Alvernaz shared that the cultivation of marijuana has led to theft and vandalism in many communities. However, if Livingston is seriously considering allowing the cultivation of marijuana they should ensure that the measures don’t compromise the safety of residents. In addition she believes that the cultivation process and quantity of marijuana produced should meet FDA standards and regulations. Mrs. Alvernaz added that marijuana does have a positive influence when it is cultivated correctly and used for medical purposes to treat pain and encourage hunger.
Furthermore, Mrs. Alvernaz said that she heard a rumor that the City is claiming that she is satisfied with the new proposal for the General Plan. She announced that this is false and that the City should not make such claims until they have read her 175 page report and have met all of her demands.
In addition, Mrs. Alvernaz also mentioned that her son is an artist and that he could help contribute to the AIA charrette. His art can be found online at deviantart.com and his pseudonym is Buckaroo Joe. He specializes in sculptural art and has a degree in architecture.
Mayor Espinoza replied that his comments were taken out of context and that what should have been reported is that the City has had dialogue with stakeholders and that they are currently addressing some of the issues that they have with the General Plan.
Mike Sperry, 1328 First Street reported that people have had issues with their water and he was wondering about whom to contact regarding that. In addition, Mr. Sperry said that he supports property owners and their right to customize their property, but he has issues with the cultivation of marijuana because it affects the safety of the neighbors.
Mr. Sperry continued and expressed his interest in purchasing the building next to the City Council Chambers. He stated that he would maintain the property and that the City would benefit by receiving property tax from it.
City Manager Ramirez replied that the property that Mr. Sperry is referring to was discussed when the Congress for New Urbanism came into town. CNU and the guest economist suggested that the City lease out this property to Frutal, a shop in town that primarily sells ice cream and shaved ice. Doing this would draw more people to downtown and create a more active atmosphere.
Luis Flores, 707 Almonwood Drive thanked Associate Planner Galvez for his hard work in Livingston. Mr. Flores recommends that the City deviate from hiring another contract planner and encourages the City Council to budget for a full-time planner. Mr. Flores believes that the City needs a full-time planner to handle the scope of work required to satisfy Livingston’s population.
1. Resolution No. 2013-31, Initiating Proceedings Under the Landscape and Lighting Act of 1972, Division 15, Part 2 of the California Streets and Highways Code, et seq., Declaring the City’s Intention to Levy and Collect Assessments within the City’s Landscape and Lighting Maintenance Assessment District for Fiscal Year 2013/2014, Approval of the Annual Engineer’s Report and Setting a Time and Place for a Public Hearing.
2. Resolution No. 2013-32, Initiating Proceedings Under the Benefit Assessment Act of 1982, Government Code Section 54717, et seq., Declaring the City’s Intention to Levy and Collect Assessments within the City’s Benefit Assessment Districts for Fiscal Year 2013/2014, Approval of the Engineer’s Report and Setting a Time and Place for a Public Hearing.
3. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on June 4, 2013.
4. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on June 11, 2013.
5. Approval of Warrant Register Dated July 11, 2013.
M/S: Samra/Sicairos to approve the consent calendar. The motion carried 4-1 by the following roll call vote:
AYES: Council Members: Sicairos, Soria, Samra, Espinoza
NOES: Council Members: Mendoza
ABSENT: Council Members: None
DISCUSSION AND POTENTIAL ACTION ITEMS
1. Fiscal Year 2013-2014 Budget Workshop #1: General Fund Operations.
The City Council and Staff held a budget workshop for the Fiscal Year 2013-2014.
Assistant City Manager/Finance Director Ortiz presented information and discussed the General Fund, Citywide revenues and expenditures. Mr. Ortiz concluded his presentation by answering questions from the City Council.
No action was taken by the Council.