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Meeting Date: January 21, 2014
Agenda Item #4. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on September 17, 2013.
CLOSED SESSION/REGULAR MEETING
LIVINGSTON CITY COUNCIL
SEPTEMBER 17, 2013
A Closed Session/Regular Meeting of the Livingston City Council was held on September 17, 2013, in the City Council Chambers with Mayor Pro-Tem Samra presiding.
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Pro-Tem Samra called the meeting to order at 6:08 p.m.
Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza (Excused Absence)
Mayor Pro-Tem Gurpal Samra
Council Member Jim Soria
Council Member Arturo Sicairos
Council Member David Mendoza (Late Arrival)
Mayor Pro-Tem Samra 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:
1. Conference with Legal Counsel – Potential Litigation
[(Government Code Section 54956.9(d)(2)]
Number of Cases: 3
2. Conference with Labor Negotiator
(Government Code Section 54957.6)
Labor Negotiator: City Manager Jose Antonio Ramirez
Employee Organizations: All Represented City Employees
Mayor Pro-Tem Samra called the meeting to order at 7:10 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
The pledge of allegiance to the flag was recited.
Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza (Excused Absence)
Mayor Pro-Tem Gurpal Samra
Council Member Arturo Sicairos
Council Member David Mendoza
CLOSED SESSION ANNOUNCEMENTS
CHANGES TO THE AGENDA
AWARDS, PRESENTATIONS, APOINTMENTS AND PROCLAMATIONS
Livingston Police Department Presentations:
1. Invocation by Police Chaplain David Niu.
2. Introduction of New Police Officers Brian Wiley and Jason Barkus.
Police Chief Chavez introduced recently hired Police Officers Brian Wiley and Jason Barkus.
3. Introduction and Swearing-in of New Police Officers Jason Chavez and Marco Lugo.
Chief Chavez introduced new Police Officers Jason Chavez and Marco Lugo. The officers were sworn in by Deputy City Clerk Ortiz. The Council subsequently took a ten minute recess so that the community could take photos with the new officers.
ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REPORTS
Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements and Reports.
Supervisor Pedrozo had nothing to report; however, he shared that Jason Chavez’s father was his seventh grade teacher. He then thanked the police officers for risking their lives to protect the community.
City Staff Announcements and Reports
City Manager Announcements and Reports.
Assistant City Manager/Finance Director Ortiz announced that the Sweet Potato Festival will be held soon and that the community can receive a discount on the carnival’s day pass by purchasing tickets at City Hall. Also, residents may purchase Sweet Potato Festival T-shirts at City Hall.
City Council Announcements and Reports.
Council Member Sicairos invited the community to participate in the Sweet Potato Festival.
Council Member Soria commented that youth football has been going very well. He urged the community to watch their local youth football team play.
Mayor’s Announcements and Reports.
4. Award of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) in the Amount of $1,600.000 for Public Improvements – Water Well #17.
Assistant City Manager/Finance Director Ortiz announced that the City was awarded a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) in the amount of $1,600,000 for public facilities improvements. Of the total amount awarded, $1,400,000 will be budgeted for the construction of Well #17. Other funds will be allocated to cover PTA studies, housing market analysis, water management plan, and administrative costs.
Mayor Pro-Tem Samra opened the public comment section at 7:32 p.m.
Kaye Greeley, 1571 Monte Cristo Way commented that Livingston’s water quality is so poor that it is undrinkable. In addition, she inquired about the $115,000 that is being budgeted for administrative costs. Ms. Greely also asked if the other eight wells in the City are operating and if they are meeting California Department of Public Health standards.
Assistant City Manager/Finance Director Ortiz replied that any excess money budgeted towards administrative costs will go towards construction.
Mayor Pro-Tem Samra noted that the City needs to budget roughly 5 million dollars to install filters.
Ms. Greeley asked if the entire City is metered.
Mayor Pro-Tem Samra replied yes.
Ms. Greeley then asked if watering days are being enforced.
Assistant City Manager/Finance Director Ortiz noted that City Manager Ramirez is working out those details.
Nancy Cartwright, 2940 Franquette Street asked if there is a deadline for spending the CDBG funds.
Assistant City Manager/Finance Director Ortiz replied that a typical deadline for such a grant would be between 2-3 years; however, a deadline has not yet been identified.
Mayor Pro-Tem Samra commented that the City is trying to expedite the grant. Normally, it takes between 3-4 months to receive the grant.
Katherine Schell-Rodriguez, P.O.Box 163 asked if there will be enough funds for engineering, construction, and manganese filtration.
City Engineer Gottiparthy replied that it may cost 1.7 million dollars to treat manganese and TCP.
Mayor Pro-Tem Samra closed the public comment period at 7:42 p.m.
Katherine Schell-Rodriguez, P.O. Box 163 commented that she recently read an article in the Merced Sun-Star regarding water quality concerns. The article hinted that if water becomes an issue, Foster Farms will adjust their usage. She asked if this information is accurate.
In addition, Ms. Shell-Rodriguez relayed that at the last Utility Rates Stakeholder’s Committee meeting she did not notice any representatives from Foster Farms present. She asked the Council if Foster Farms communicated with the City in regards to the findings in the Kennedy-Jenks report. In regards to meeting manganese standards, she asked if the City has received a waiver from the State. She also inquired about watering days.
Mayor Pro-Tem Samra replied that in regards to the article Foster Farms would decrease their production and, thus consumption of water as a worst case scenario. In addition, if the City loses a well, the Council would be more firm about enforcing watering days. He added that he does not recollect Foster Farms making any comments on the Kennedy-Jenks report.
Public Works Director Molina added that in regards to manganese, yesterday the City received the comments from the California Department of Public Health and will continue to move forward with the paperwork.
Assistant City Manager/Finance Director Ortiz noted that he needs to check with the City Manager for an update regarding a resolution pertaining to watering days.
Nancy Cartwright, 2940 Franquette Street asked if the Sweet Potato Festival carnival wristband is valid for one day or for the entire weekend.
Assistant City Manager/Finance Director Ortiz replied that the wrist bands are valid for one day, but they can be purchased at City Hall for a discounted price.
Ms. Cartwright commented that she recently had an analysis conducted on her water and the results Showed high levels of arsenic.
Warren Urnberg, 1331 Eighth Street noted that he recently went to the industrial area and it was brought to his attention that a piece of concrete had been broken and rebar was exposed. He shared this with the Public Works Director and within a few days his crew patched it up. It was also his opinion that the Planning Commission needs only one alternate. Mr. Urnberg added that the City has lost many City employees because of financial reasons and current employees have not received a raise in a very long time. He wants to refute his check and put it back in the General Fund. He told the Council that they should consider doing the same, if they can afford to do so.
Luis Flores, 707 Almondwood Drive said he is not sure if this is a suburban myth, but residents have told him that people are going around town pretending to be representing Child Protective Services and abducting children. He asked Chief Chavez if this is true.
Mr. Flores added that the City of Dos Palos has been shutting down their water between 8-9 a.m. He hopes that Livingston doesn’t have to resort to that.
Chief Chavez replied that this is the first time he has heard of this situation. He stated that any danger directed towards children is his first priority. If residents have any questions they can contact him.
5. San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District Public Benefit Grant Program – New Alternative Fuel Vehicle Purchase (Resolution No. 2013-46).
6. Resolution No. 2013-47 Authorizing the City Manager to Execute the Program Supplement Agreement No. 010-N to Administering Agency – State Agreement No. 10-526R for the Purchase of One (1) New Tier-4 Title 23 Backhoe, Project No. CML-5256 (013) and Authorizing the City Manger to Act on Behalf of the City.
7. Minutes of Meeting Held on June 25, 2013.
8. Minutes of Meeting Held on July 2, 2013.
9. Minutes of Meeting Held on July 16, 2013.
10. Approval of Warrant Register Dated September 11, 2013.
The Consent Calendar was approved by Council consensus.
DISCUSSION AND POTENTIAL ACTION ITEMS
1. 11. Approval of City of Livingston Smoke-Free Parks Policy.
Assistant City Manager/Finance Director Ortiz introduced the item. He shared that the policy was put together by the Livingston Road Map Team which was assisted by Christopher Jensen. The essence of the policy is to discourage residents from smoking in parks.
Mr. Jensen commented that he has been working with the Roadmap Team and they drafted this policy in the hope of addressing some of the tobacco related issues their studies found. His team surveyed three parks in Livingston and found that there was not much compliance with the Tot-Lot Law and since then the Council authorized signage to be posted.
Warren Urnberg, 1331 Eighth Street asked how this policy is going to be implemented when the park hosts community events.
Katherine Schell-Rodriguez, P.O. Box 163 directed her question to the City Attorney. She inquired about clarification regarding the difference between policy and an ordinance.
City Attorney Sanchez replied that the level of enforcement between policy and an ordinance is drastic. He recommends that Council take an in-depth look at the proposed policy and make mindful adjustments, if necessary.
Council Member Soria applauded the students for their hard work. However, he feels that the policy could be refined and, thus would like to table this item.
City Attorney Sanchez clarified that the direction Council is giving is not rejecting the policy, but rather reexamining it so that it is more effective and on par with the goals of the Road Map Team. He also commented that the signs in the park should be carefully evaluated.
Council Member Sicairos believes that there should be a designated smoking area in the park.
Council Member Mendoza concurred with Council Member Sicairos
Mayor Pro-Tem Samra thanked the students who have put in a lot of work. He wants to tweak the policy so that it is more accurate with their vision.
12. City Council to Approve a 12 Month Professional Services Contract with Collins and Schoettler, Planning Consultants and Authorize City Manager to Enter into a Contract in a Form Approved by City Attorney.
Assistant City Manager/Finance Director Ortiz introduced the item. He gave background information regarding the high turnover for this position. He said that Collins and Schoettler have the experience to take on planning responsibilities and can provide the savings that the City is expecting.
Carl Schoettler commented that in his time working with the City his firm has identified how to streamline the planning process
Katherine Schell-Rodriguez, P.O. Box 163 directed her question towards administrative staff. Looking at the staff report, she found a section that reads pay is “not to exceed $7,500.00/month”. At $90.00/hour her calculations show that the allotted funds are sufficient for three days out of the week. She wonders if the City approached the previous Community Development Director and gave her an offer before offering a contract to Collins and Schoettler.
Assistant City Manager/Finance Director Ortiz replied that when they layed off the Community Development Director the budgetary gap was over $900,0000. Now the budget deficit has improved to roughly $100,000.
Ms. Schell-Rodriguez said that during the layoff the City shared that they might consider rehiring the Community Development Director if the finances were favorable.
Mayor Pro-Tem Samra replied that the City does not have to max out in the amount of hours that Collins and Schoettler can work. They will work on an as-needed basis, thus reserving the opportunity to save money.
Motion: M/S: Samra/Sicairos to adopt Resolution No. 2013-48 Approving a 12 Month Professional Services Contract with Collins and Schoettler Planning Consultants and Authorizing the City Manager to Enter into a Contract in a Form Approved by the City Attorney. The motion carried 4-0 by the following roll call vote:
AYES: Council Members: Sicairos, Mendoza, Soria, Samra
NOES: Council Members: None
ABSENT: Council Members: Espinoza