JUNE 04, 2013 Draft Minutes





JUNE 4, 2013

A Closed Session/Regular Meeting of the Livingston City Council is held on June 4, 2013, in the City Council Chambers with Mayor Espinoza presiding.



The meeting is called to order by Mayor Espinoza at 6:28 p.m.


Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza

Mayor Pro-Tem Gurpal Samra (Excused)

Council Member Jim Soria (Excused)

Council Member Arturo Sicairos

Council Member David Mendoza

Mayor Espinoza opens and closes the meeting for public comments at 6:28 p.m. as there are no comments received. The Council subsequently adjourns to Closed Session immediately after to discuss the following matters:

1. Conference with Real Property Negotiator

(Government Code Section 54956.8)

Property: APN: 047-100-054

Negotiating Parties: Contract Planner

2. Conference with Legal Counsel – Potential Litigation

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

Number of Cases: 2

5. Conference with Labor Negotiator

(Government Code Section 54957.6)

Labor Negotiator: City Manager Jose Antonio Ramirez

Employee Organizations: All City Represented Employees


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



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


The pledge of allegiance to the flag is recited.


Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza

Mayor Pro-Tem Gurpal Samra (Excused)

Council Member Jim Soria (Late)

Council Member Arturo Sicairos

Council Member David Mendoza






1. Oath of Office for Dustin Cunningham, New Public Works Maintenance Worker I.

Public Works Director Molina introduces Dustin Cunningham a part-time Public Works employee. Mr. Cunningham is sworn in as a full-time Public Works Maintenance Worker I by Deputy City Clerk Odi Ortiz.

2. Introduction by Chief Ruben Chavez of Police Volunteers – Volunteers Pearlie Merchant, Mayra Lomeli, George Sifuentez, Santos Moran and Armandeep Kaur, and Volunteer Police Chaplain David Niu.

Police Chief Chavez congratulates Mr. Cunningham on his new position. He went on to introduce current and new volunteers for the Police Department. The Chief expresses gratitude for his volunteers as they provide a much needed service without compensation. He introduces Pearlie Merchant who has been volunteering since 2001 as an Officers’ Cadet for special events. The Chief then introduces Mayra Lomeli and George Sifuentez who have been volunteering for over a year. He also introduces new volunteers and aspiring Police Officers Amandeep Kaur and Santos Moran. Chief Chavez concludes introductions with volunteer Police Chaplin David Niu. He then gives the volunteers the opportunity to speak to the audience.

Mr. Moran thanks his family for supporting him.

Mayor Espinoza adds that Mr. Moran’s mother used to interpret for him as a kid, before he knew English.

Mr. Niue thanks his family and church members for supporting him.

Mayor Espinoza acknowledges the current volunteers for their hard work and welcomed the new . volunteers.

Chief Chavez adds that if Mayor Pro-Tem Samra was here he would also acknowledge the volunteers for their selfless civic duties.

Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements and Reports.

Supervisor Pedrozo was not in attendance.

City Staff Announcements and Reports

Police Chief Chavez gives a power point presentation updating Council and the community on police activities during the month of May. Chief Chavez announced that there were zero burglaries reported for May. He accredits their success to police officers patrolling areas that have had high incident rates in the past. Chief Chavez announced that gang field interviews were reduced to 32, there were 4 probation sweeps, and 4 gang related arrests in May. He spoke about animal control. There were 43 animals taken in by animal control and of those 43 animals, 36 were adopted. The Police Department is going to sponsor a vaccination clinic on June 23rd at 10:00 a.m. The goal of this event is to educate residents on the importance of licensing dogs.

Chief Chavez adds that Livingston is currently studying marijuana ordinance logistics. They have been looking at how several cities from the Central Valley handle this issue. The City of Fresno dictates that medicinal marijuana must be grown indoors. A side benefit to this rule is it would discourage unwanted attention and violence.

City Manager Announcements and Reports.

City Manager Ramirez gives a brief announcement updating the community on recent activities. He announces that the City is currently looking for grant opportunities that will help with COP funding. He encourages residents to pressure their congressional representatives to select Livingston for police funding. Other items include a staffing network production line for Livingston. A workshop will be held in Merced on June 12th between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Also, the California Center for International Development will host a forum between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. for people who are interested in international trade.

On a different topic, Livingston is actively looking for grant opportunities from the National Rural Water Association. Specifically, for grants related to water and waste water. The community should feel free to contact Council if a grant or a revolving loan opportunity becomes available.

Also, the City will be hosting a Sweet Potato Festival September 20-22 at the Max Foster Sports Complex. Vendor applications cost $600.00 to sell for three days. The only condition is that vendors must incorporate sweet potatoes in at least on food item. The City will provide security and entertainment. The goal of this event is to generate enough revenue to make the event self sustaining for the future.

The City is currently working on the Motel 6 item. The City is working closely with engineers to accommodate required changes. If the process goes smoothly this item is expected to be on the Council agenda by June 16th.

Mayor Espinoza asks for an update on Rancho San Miguel.

City Manager Ramirez said that the Civil has been submitted and that the next step is to review drawings. Rancho San Miguel wishes to break ground in 2013, therefore, the City is expecting construction to begin this year around July or August.

He also notes that Dollar General’s plans have been approved. Remodeling should begin soon.

Mayor Espinoza asks if the exterior of the entire strip is going to be upgraded.

Associate Contract Planner Galvez states that improvements will be limited to Dollar General’s façade.

City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports

Council Member Soria:

The Downtown Open Market has been a huge success. It is nice to see community members having a pleasant time in our downtown.

City Manager Ramirez adds that due to demand the Downtown Open Market hours of operation have been extended to 9:30 p.m. He thanks the coordinator of the event, Francisco Mendoza for putting in a great effort and continuing to make the event bigger and better.

Council Member Mendoza

Nothing to report.

Council Member Sicairos

Nothing to report.

Mayor’s Announcements and Reports.

Mayor Espinoza:

The Downtown Open Market continues to improve. Extending the hours from 5:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. is convenient because the weather cools off after 7:00 p.m.


Katherine Schell-Rodriguez P.O. Box 163:

· Announces that the 2011 State Inspection Report showed that Livingston’s water wells have been infiltrated with high concentrations of DBCP, arsenic, and TCP 123. As of 2011 one well will require arsenic removal, another will undoubtedly need arsenic removal soon and a third and fourth well continue to show increasing levels of arsenic.

· Wells need to be tested for DBCP on a quarterly basis. The well near Winton Parkway has been tainted with high levels of manganese.

· Adds that she would like the City Manager to elaborate on some of the items that were discussed during yesterday’s stakeholders’ meeting. Four items in particular; 1) Discuss the non-compliance order issued by the state due to elevated arsenic levels, 2) Explain the possible water conservation ordinance, 3) Explain the DBCP test frequencies, and 4) Discuss the City’s attempt to get a waiver for their treatment strategy on Well #15 (to address manganese), which was initially supported by 2009’s City Council.

· States that as we get closer to Proposition 218 she feels that the City must accept that there are issues with its water quality. We must prepare for the implications of Proposition 218.

Mayor Espinoza:

· Thanks Mrs. Schell-Rodriguez for her concerns and commended her for her stern commitment to inform the community about Livingston’s water issues. However, he adds that Mrs. Schell-Rodriguez makes it seem like Livingston’s water quality is abnormally bad when the reality is that water quality is a common issue for communities throughout the Central Valley and beyond.

City Manager Ramirez:


States that the compliance order came from California’s Department of Public Health. In this order there is a list of 20 items that need to be corrected. However, there are four items that deserve extra attention and that includes; 1) Creating a 5 year capital improvement plan, 2) Enacting a water conservation plan which would require Council passing a resolution and community outreach, 3) Cleaning a tank that has been afflicted by corrosion, and 4) adjusting EPA’s well testing frequencies from every 3 years to every 3 months.

· Moreover, Well #15 is going over the maximum contaminant level by one tenth, thus currently at a state of 9.9. Quoted received for Well #13 indicated that it will cost over $200,000.00 to address the media. These wells are needed for production purposes; it is because of this that the Department of Public Health is willing to work with Livingston. The standard for arsenic levels in 2008 was 15 parts per billion now it has dropped to 10 parts per billion. Because of this Livingston will have to create another well, Well #17 as a back up well. Nevertheless, Well #8 is seeing progress along with Well # 16. The City must take strategic steps to address water quality issues and that includes creating short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals. The City continues looking for resources. In particular the City is currently looking for grant opportunities via the National Rural Association. To make Livingston a more competitive applicant for grants and loans, the City must first address the budget deficit.

Luis Flores, 707 Almondwood Drive:

· Thanks everyone in the community who participated in the Riverdance Festival. University of California Merced was there providing education on water conservation, soil, and environmental protection. He went on to congratulate Livingston’s graduating class of 2012.

· Asks for a status update on the skate park that had been designed for Arakelian Park. He also inquires about Livingston’s new two bin system. Because the added bin will be dedicated to recycled materials, he asks if the City is going to educated residents on how to recycle properly.

City Manager Ramirez:

· States that the Development Agreement (DA) for the Livingston Family Apartments includes a contribution of $50,000.00 for the skate park.

Senior Accountant Jasmin Bains:

· Adds that there is an independent account allocated for the construction of a skate park. To her recollection, roughly $100,000.00 has been spent on design and planning fees. DA’s from construction projects on Olive and Hammatt have contributed over $100,000.00. Nevertheless, there is still a need for funding. The Parks and Recreation Department has made extensive efforts to receive grants. However, Parks and Recreation has not been successful in being awarded grants because it is attempting to design a skate park on an existing park.

Mayor Espinoza:

· Said the Court Theater restoration project is also lacking funding. Because of this the Court Theater must repay its awards.


Mayor Espinoza reads the items.

1. Resolution No. 2013-23 Approving Submittal of a Grant Application to the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) for HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) Funds.

2. Waive the Second Reading and Adopt Ordinance No. 565, an Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Livingston Amending Title 5 Chapter 3, Section 16 of the Livingston Municipal Code Relating to Lot Development Standards: Setbacks, Setback Exceptions, Maximum Site Coverage and Maximum Floor Area Ratio Concerning Rear Yards in the R-1 Zoning District (Low Density Residential).

3. City Council Acceptance of a Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Grant through the Grant Assistance Program (GAP).

4. City Council Authorization to Purchase a 2011 Ford E350 15-Passenger Van.

5. Approval of Warrant Register Dated May 31, 2013.

Motion: M/S Soria/Sicairos to approve the consent agenda. The motion carries 4-1 by the following roll call vote:

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

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: Samra


6. Adopt Resolution Authorizing the City Manager to Execute a Professional Services Agreement with Nelson/Nygaard Consulting Associates in a Form Approved by the City Attorney.

City Manager Ramirez introduces the item.

The item opens and closes to the public at 8:00 p.m.

Mayor Espinoza thinks it is great that Winton Parkway will receive attention from various county agencies.

Motion: M/S Espinoza/Sicairos to Authorize the City Manager to Execute a Professional Services Agreement with Nelson/Nygaard Consulting Associates in a Form Approved by the City Attorney. The motion carries 4-1 by the following roll call vote:

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

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: Samra

7. City Council to Provide Staff Direction for Appointments to the Planning Commission.

Mayor Espinoza introduces the item.

City Manager Ramirez suggests that Council ascend the current alternate to a full-time position and then advertise for an alternate position.

Mayor Espinoza informs the community that the Commissioner that is leaving, Alicia Estrada is vacating her position because she is moving to another city.

Council Member Soria recommends bumping up the current alternate Commissioner and searching for a new alternate.

Mayor Espinoza said that they still need to find an alternate Commissioner.

Council Member Sicairos concurs that they should advertise for the alternate position.

Motion: M/S Sicairos/Soria to advertise for the alternate Commissioner vacancy. The motion carries 4-1 by the following roll call vote:

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

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: Samra

8. Designate Voting Delegate/Alternates for League of California Cities Annual Conference.

City Manager Ramirez introduces the item.

City Manager Ramirez said the League of Cities Conference takes place in Sacramento. He adds that Council needs to designate a voting delegate and select an alternate and second alternate if needed.

Open to public at 8:03 p.m. and closed at 8:06 p.m.

Council Member Soria motions to make Council Member Mendoza the voting delegate, himself an alternate, and Mayor Espinoza as a third alternate for this event. The motion was seconded by Mayor Espinoza and carries 4-1 by the following roll call vote:

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

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: Samra


The meeting is adjourned by consensus at 8:10 p.m.


City Clerk of the City of Livingston

APPROVED: July 16, 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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