Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on November 05, 2013.

LIVINGSTON CALIFORNIA / DECEMBER 14, 2013

Meeting Date: December 17, 2013

Agenda Item #6. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on November 05, 2013.

(In which Mayor Espinoza states that his sacrifice has been long-term and proactive as he has not received or requested a raise {in his Stipend for being on the council}over the past 11 years.)

{Note from TheGardeningSnail: This page may have been produced by using a program that converts Image to Text. My apologies for any textual gremlins that may have crept in. I have taken the liberty of breaking up some of the longer paragraphs – for ease of reading.}

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MEETING MINUTES

CONCURRENT MEETING OF THE CITY COUNCIL

AND SUCCESSOR AGENCY TO THE REDEVELOPMENT

AGENCY OF THE CITY OF LIVINGSTON

NOVEMBER 05, 2013

A Concurrent Meeting of the City Council and the Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency of the City of Livingston was held on November 5, 2013, in the City Council Chambers with Mayor Espinoza presiding.

CLOSED SESSION

CALL TO ORDER

Mayor Espinoza called the meeting to order at 6:08 p.m.

ROLL CALL

Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza

Mayor Pro-Tem Gurpal Samra (Excused Absence)

Council Member Jim Soria

Council Member Arturo Sicairos

Council Member David Mendoza

Mayor Espinoza opened the meeting for public comments at 6:11 p.m. There were no comments from the public. The Council adjourned to Closed Session immediately thereafter to discuss the following matters:

3. Successor Agency

Conference with Legal Counsel – Existing Litigation

[Government Code Section 54956.9(d)(1)]

City of Livingston and Successor Agency to the Livingston Community Redevelopment Agency v. Ana Matosantos, et al Superior Court of the State of California – County of Sacramento

Case No. 34-2013-80001460

4. Conference with Legal Counsel – Potential Litigation

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

Number of Cases: 3

5. Conference with Labor Negotiator

(Government Code Section 54957.6)

Labor Negotiator: City Manager Jose Antonio Ramirez

Employee Organizations: All Represented City Employees

REGULAR MEETING

Mayor Espinoza called the meeting to order at 7:10 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

Council Member David Mendoza

CLOSED SESSION ANNOUNCEMENTS

None.

CHANGES TO THE AGENDA

None.

AWARDS, PRESENTATIONS, APOINTMENTS AND PROCLAMATIONS

1. Presentation by Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza and Planning Commissioner Mario Mendoza: Certificate of Appreciation to Juan Avila and Ben Penfield, McClure Enterprises for their donation of concrete to help raise funds for the Livingston Middle School band and wrestling programs.

Mayor Espinoza and Livingston Middle School Principal William Marroquin thanked McClure Enterprises for providing the materials necessary to raise funds for the school band and wrestling programs. LMS wrestling coach David Mires expressed his gratitude and commented that thanks to McClure Enterprises his young athletes will learn how to wrestle along with many skills that they can take with them to the academic world which include; team work, self determination and punctuality.

2. Presentation by Police Chief Ruben Chavez and Officer Richard Mocchia: Introduction of Police Explorers.

Police Chief Chavez thanked the City Council for helping the Police Explorers program grow to over 70 participants. He discussed their recent activity at Pebble Beach where the Explorers helped with traffic control. Chief Chavez then recognized Officer Richard Mocchia who serves as a Resource Officer for Livingston High School for his involvement in the program which includes program development and recruiting and training students. Officer Mocchia shared that his explorers were recently awarded the 2013 Co-Regional Post of the Year award. In addition, he noted that Livingston High School has recently decided to provide a course titled Public Service Academy for Law Enforcement Officers. This course will compliment the Police Explorers program.

Mayor Espinoza thanked Chief Chavez for fostering the program. Mayor Pro-Tem Samra expressed his excitement about the positive impact that this program will have on the community. Council Member Sicairos shared that he knows the value of the Police Explorers Program because he was once a member. City Manager Ramirez thanked the Council for taking an initiative and investing $5,000 in the program when the program was struggling. Council Member Soria commented that he used to be a police officer and he has seen many Explorers go on and become professionals. Chief Chavez shared that he was also a member of the Police Explorers Program and was thankful to see the growth and strides that the Livingston Explorers Post has made.

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REPORTS

Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements and Reports.

None.

City Staff Announcements and Reports

Recreation Superintendent Benoit announced that the Recreation Department has currently registered over 300 kids for basketball and November 6th will be the final day to register. Also, the Livingston Christmas Parade will be on held on December 6th. The parade starts at 7:30 p.m. and staff is currently looking for a licensed adult to drive the fire truck on the parade route. On a different note, Superintendent Benoit invited the community to join the Livingston Downtown Arts Council.

Finance Director Ortiz reported that the City recently completed an audit and that the process went well. He also shared that staff is working on implementing a purchase order module that will help improve spending practices.

City Engineer Gouveia relayed that his staff is working diligently to gather information on Well #17 to move forward with the CDBG grant.

Well #8 is currently going through the pre-construction process. Also, his staff is working on the early phases of the CMAC grant and their priority is to improve the sidewalks around Swan Street. Moreover, City Engineer Gouveia shared that the Utility Rates Stakeholders Committee would meet next week.

Police Chief Chavez gave a PowerPoint presentation outlining recent police activity. He noted that the department is diligently working to address focus areas like burglaries, animal control and gang enforcement. Chief Chavez presented a chart that compared this year’s crime statistics to the previous year and the results showed that there has been a significant reduction in crime rates all across the board except for simple assaults. In addition, he shared that the department is currently preparing for two areas of concern – the early dismissal of state inmates and the Abandoned Vehicle Abatement (AVA) program.

Mayor Espinosa commented that the AVA program will start by addressing vehicles that are most visible to the community; near Main Street and Park.

Council Member Soria thanked Chief Chavez for his hard work.

City Manager Announcements and Reports.

City Manager Ramirez announced that the City recently received a 1.6 million dollar grant and is currently in the process of applying for two planning related grants.

In regards to sales tax production, HDL has released two preliminary quarterly reports and their findings show that the City is struggling in sales tax production.

Also, this year the City will not be providing a green waste program. If any residents have large quantities of green waste they should feel free to contact City Hall so that staff may refer them to the proper service provider.

On another note, City Manager Ramirez shared that he is currently communicating with Merced County Supervisor John Pedrozo in regards to accessing the underground utility district funds.

Mayor Espinoza asked City Manager Ramirez to elaborate on the process behind the underground facilities funds.

City Manager Ramirez explained that due to the Rural 20A and Rural 20B programs, PG&E will set aside a predetermined amount of money on an annual basis (around $40,000/year) into an account that will be designated to undergrounding utilities like telephone lines.

The County also collects funds to help underground utilities in areas of joint use. An example of where these funds can be used in Livingston would be on B Street adjacent to Selma Herndon Elementary School. These projects usually take 4-5 years so it is important that the City is proactive about asking for the funds.

However, after speaking with the County it seems that the County wants to underground the facilities of other communities first even though Livingston was the first community in the County to inquire about these funds.

In other matters, the City recently received a $3,000 grant from PG&E that could be used to address some aesthetic challenges in the downtown.

City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports

Council Member Sicairos thanked Superintendent Benoit, Chief Chavez, and Engineer Gouveia for their updates and hard work.

Council Member Soria thanked City staff for doing a lot of behind the scenes planning which is often overlooked by the community. He also expressed interest in having a City sponsored Halloween activity next year and would also like it if this year the Christmas lights are extended out to D Street.

Mayor Pro-Tem Samra thanked the Police Department for doing a great job. He also welcomed the new contract engineer and said he looks forward to working with him.

Mayor’s Announcements and Reports.

None.

CITIZENS COMMENTS

Katherine Schell-Rodriguez, P.O. Box 163 shared that she recently read an article about landfill prices being increased. She asked how this will impact the City’s budget. In addition, she asked if during these tough economic times, the Council will sacrifice part of their stipend or if City Department Heads will participate in furlough days or salary reductions.

Mayor Espinoza replied that his sacrifice has been long-term and proactive as he has not received or requested a raise over the past 11 years.

City Manager Ramirez added that similar to other employees, Department Heads will take pay reductions, participate in furlough days, health insurance demands, and that the amount of administrative hours that can be cashed out will be reduced by 40 hours.

He then added that landfill fees have been discussed in the past and this particular service has been incurring substantial deficits during the past few years. City Manager Ramirez then asked MCAG Transit Manager, Rich Green if he could elaborate further on this matter.

Mr. Green shared that there needs to be some clarity to the article that was published. He shared that the supposed proposed fees have been active, however, they were not being enforced. Customers will be charged per pound of waste as opposed to being charged per volume of waste ( i.e., a truck load).

Mayor Espinoza added that he recently attended a meeting in Los Banos and the meeting subject was the County’s landfill. The biggest issue that was discussed was if the landfill needs to collect closing funds.

City Manager Ramirez added that when a landfill closes it needs to have sufficient money to address environmental matters. This is an area that the landfill is weak in, and will have to be addressed in the near future.

Jean Okuye, 10181 Olive Avenue commented that she has been working with both the Livingston Key Club and the Valley Land Alliance to show youth the importance of farmland preservation. In particular, she acknowledged the 26 students, 16 from Livingston and 10 from Palo Alto, who recently cleaned over 16,000 pounds of sweet potatoes. Often times the students from Livingston will visit Stanford during the school year.

Ms. Okuye also shared that the City of Livingston has been really good about participating at IRWMP meetings. The goal of these meetings is to address water quality related challenges. Recently, IRWMP has been looking for endorsements from municipalities throughout the County. In addition Ms. Okuye announced that she recently attended an MID meeting and distributed some notes from the meeting to the Council.

CONSENT CALENDAR

3. Direct Staff to Advertise the Request for Qualifications for Project Engineering Services andthe Request for Proposals for Administrative Grant Services.

4. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on July 23, 2013.

5. Approval of Warrant Register Dated October 10, 2013.

6. Approval of Warrant Register Dated October 30, 2013.

Motion: M/S Samra/ Sicairos to approve the consent calendar. The motion carried 5-0 by the following roll call vote:

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

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: None

DISCUSSION AND POTENTIAL ACTION ITEMS

7. City Council to Give Staff Direction and to Review and Approve Proposed New Bus Stops and the Elimination of Two Parking Stalls to be Used as a Bus Stop on Main Street.

Rich Green, MCAG Transit Manager gave a presentation on the potential changes to the County bus route that would affect Livingston. Mr. Green discussed future stops at Winton Parkway, Livingston Family Apartments, and at the intersection of B Street and Main Street.

He also discussed moving a bus shelter from J Street to Main Street which would be consistent with rerouting the bus so that it does not drive through the stop at Second Street, but rather goes through Main Street. In addition, he proposed that an ideal bus stop would be at the intersection of B Street and Main Street, however, this would require the removal of two parking stalls.

Mayor Espinoza concurred with Mr. Green and stated that it makes sense to reroute the bus so that it does not disrupt Residential Zones. In addition he agreed that the bus shelter from J Street should be moved to Main Street. Mayor Espinoza suggested that this bus shelter be relocated across Memorial Park, so that it is still in close proximity to the Livingston Medical Clinic and Merced County Library.

Mayor Pro-Tem Samra asked if people are allowed to wave down the bus.

Mr. Green replied that the intention was to stop that system. However, MCAG recently had problems getting permits for bus stops which explains why people are still waving down buses.

Mayor Pro-Tem Samra inquired about the specific location of the proposed bus stop on Winton Parkway. He believes that an appropriate location would be along Travels Centers of America, slightly ahead of their driveway.

Council Member Soria asked if these bus stops will have shelters.

Mr. Green replied that installing bus shelters is the second phase of the proposed route modifications.

Mayor Espinoza opened the meeting for public comments at 8:21 p.m.

Katherine Schell-Rodriguez, P.O. Box 163 asked the Council if they have identified how the proposed removal of two parking stalls at the intersection of B Street and Main Street is going to impact the demand for parking.

City Manager Ramirez shared that traffic engineers from the recent Downtown Charrette suggested that the City transform its downtown parking spaces from parallel parking to diagonal parking. Angled parking would give the downtown more parking spaces per linear feet.

Mayor Espinoza added that the need for public transportation would out-weigh the need for two parking spaces.

Ms. Schell-Rodriguez believes that this is an issue that should be explored in depth.

Mayor Espinoza closed public comments at 8:27 p.m.

Motion: M/S Samra/Mendoza to give staff direction and to review and approve proposed new bus stops and the elimination of two parking stalls to be used as a bus stop on Main Street. The motion carried 4-1 by the following roll call vote:

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

NOES: Council Members: Sicairos

ABSENT: Council Members: None

8. Resolution Approving a Utility Bill Auditing Service Agreement and Authorizing the City Manager to Execute the Agreement with Utility Cost Management (UCM) in a Form Approved by the City Attorney.

A representative from Utility Cost Management (UCM) stated that UCM wants to provide a service to the City of conducting an audit reviewing the last 20 years of PG&E bills to ensure that the City was being charged accordingly. If the audit reveals that the City has been charged accordingly over the last 20 years, UCM will not bill for their services. However, if the audit reveals that the City has been overcharged then PG&E could possibly provide a refund. UCM would then receive a portion of that refund.

City Manager Ramirez reminded Council that about a year and half ago his personal research showed that PG&E overcharged the City by $29,000. He believes that if he found those account imbalances he is confident that UCM will be able find more instances whereby PG&E overbilled the City.

Mayor Espinoza opened the meeting for public comments at 8:31 p.m.

Ms. Schell-Rodriguez requested that UCM’s findings be discussed in a Public Hearing and not be agendized on the Consent Calendar.

City Manager Ramirez replied that the City plans to discuss follow-up matters at a future Public Hearing.

Mayor Espinoza closed public comments at 8:35 p.m.

Motion: M/S Sicairos/Samra to adopt Resolution No. 2013-52 approving a Utility Bill Auditing Service Agreement and Authorizing the City Manager to Execute the Agreement with Utility Cost Management (UCM) in a Form Approved by the City Attorney. The motion carried 5-0 by the following roll call vote:

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

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: None

9. Resolution Approving a One (1) Year Memorandum of Understanding and a Side Letter Concessions Agreement between the City of Livingston and the City of Livingston Management and Confidential Employees Association.

City Manager Ramirez commented that the resolution essentially adds a section to the Memorandum of Understanding calling for a $400.00 per month deferred compensation incentive in-lieu of medical coverage to eligible unit members who drop the City’s insurance and participate in their spouse’s health plan. Unit members must provide proof of insurance through another plan to be eligible for the incentive.

Motion: M/S Samra/Mendoza Resolution to adopt Resolution No. 2013-53 Approving a One (1) Year Memorandum of Understanding and a Side Letter Concessions Agreement between the City of Livingston and the City of Livingston Management and Confidential Employees Association. The motion carried 5-0 by the following roll call vote:

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

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: None

ADJOURNMENT

Mayor Espinoza adjourned the meeting at 8:36 p.m.

______________________________

City Clerk of the City of Livingston

APPROVED: December 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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