Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on April 01, 2014.

Meeting Date: April 15, 2014

Agenda Item #10. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on April 1, 2014.

Note from TheGardeningSnail: Parts of this page may have been prepared by running a PDF file through a program that converts Image to Print. So there may be a few textual Gremlins that have slipped in. I may also have broken up some of the longer paragraphs, for easier reading.





APRIL 1, 2014

A Regular Meeting/Closed Session of the Livingston City Council was held on April 1, 2014, in the City Council Chambers with Mayor Espinoza presiding.




Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza

Mayor Pro-Tem Gurpal Samra

Council Member Jim Soria (Late Arrival)

Council Member Arturo Sicairos

Council Member David Mendoza

Mayor Espinoza opened the meeting for public comments at 6:03 p.m. There were no comments and the Council went into 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: 2

2. Conference with Labor Negotiator

(Government Code Section 54957.6)

Labor Negotiator: City Manager Jose Antonio Ramirez

Employee Organizations: All Represented City Employees


Mayor Espinoza called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m.


The pledge of allegiance to the flag was recited.


Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza

Mayor Pro-Tem Gurpal Samra

Council Member Jim Soria

Council Member Arturo Sicairos

Council Member David Mendoza


City Attorney Sanchez announced that there was no reportable action.


No changes to the agenda.


1. Simran Kaur, representing the Sikh Coalition, “Sikh Community’s Celebration of Vaisakhi.”

City Council Adoption of Resolution No. 2014-___, honoring the Sikh Community’s celebration of Vaisakhi.

Ms. Simran Kaur, representing the Sikh Coalition in Fresno, gave an informative presentation on the Sikh community, their culture and how they established themselves in Livingston.

Mayor Espinoza opened and closed public comments at 7:06 p.m.

Mayor Pro-Tem Gurpal Samra welcomed Ms. Kaur and the Sikh community and commented on their recent parade and celebration. He said Livingston has done a lot for the Sikh community and thanked the Livingston Police and Public Works Departments for always assisting with the Sikh parade.

Mayor Espinoza thanked Ms. Kaur for the presentation and said Livingston is so diverse with different ethnic groups. He also welcomed the Sikh community.

Council Member Soria said he attended the Sikh festival and thanked them for letting the community celebrate with them.

Motion: M/S Samra/Espinoza to adopt Resolution 2014-17, honoring the Sikh Community’s celebration of Vaisakhi. 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


Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements and Reports.

Supervisor Pedrozo was not present.

City Staff Announcements and Reports.

Recreation Superintendent Jacquelyn Benoit announced that baseball season has started and gave the following information on upcoming events:· April 11, 2014, opening day for baseball.

· Softball season began two weeks ago.

· The Recreation Department will have a swim team, the Waves, in conjunction with the Turlock swim team – $10.00 per lesson ($5.00 when registering and $5.00 when they start).

· April 19, 2014, Easter egg Hunt.

· April 25, 2014, Arbor Day.

· Summer Movie in the Park.Mayor Espinoza asked if the Recreation Department will have a swim team.Superintendent Benoit said yes.Mayor Espinoza said the some people from the community were complaining about the $15.00 increase in the baseball/softball signups.Superintendent Benoit explained this charge was for late fees.Mayor Espinoza asked if this was because of referees’ fees. Mayor Pro-Tem Samra suggested the Recreation Department use the museum wall to see the movie.Superintendent Benoit said they had considered this possibility.Mayor Espinoza said that a little park at the old area of the museum could be used for Movie Night.Police Chief Chavez gave updates on the following:· Burglary Action Plan Status Report

No burglaries in the last 3 months

· Gang Enforcement

· Animal Control Status Report

Animal Control Officer has been in training and activity has been slow.

· Vaccination Clinic was held March 23rd at Memorial Park. He showed pictures taken at the clinic.

· Pet Owner Workshop scheduled for June 7, 2014; some information will be given to pet owners.

· Swat Dope Operation Week will be held May 27-30, 2014.

· National Drug Take Back Day is to take unused medications and flush them.

· Fraud Cases Mayor Espinoza said that fraud suspects usually target the elderly.· The Sikh festival was a success and the Police Explorers helped with the event.Mayor Espinoza asked Chief Chavez if the Department is going have neighborhood visits this summer.Chief Chavez replied they might.Contract Planner Holly Owen said she and her staff attended a Planning Commission Academy in Burlingame for three days.

Mayor Espinoza said he was glad someone attended that training.

Planning Commissioner Mike Silva said it was an opportunity for him to attend the academy. He said different cities attended and different topics were discussed. All the information he gathered from the academy could used it in our City.

Alfonso Manrique, on the behalf of City Engineer Mario Gouveia, reported that the downtown beautification project will move forward. He said the contractor has not been able to start due to the rain. They have ten days to finish the project. Engineer Manrique also said they have talked about the status of the wells and are working on installing the bulbs. They are profiling the wells and it will take three days for the work.

Mayor Espinoza asked if the work is to reduce the arsenic level of the wells.

Engineer Manrique said the arsenic levels are too high.

Mayor Espinoza said hopefully they could reduce the level of the arsenic in the wells.

Engineer Manrique said they needed to identify any layers of arsenic in the wells.

City Manager Announcements and Reports.

Assistant City Manager/ Finance Director Odi Ortiz said the City Manager was not available tonight and he was taking his place.

Mr. Ortiz reported that Rancho San Miguel is breaking ground and the work will probably be done in May, 2014.

City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports.

Council Member Soria said he attended the Woman’s Conference in Los Banos and there was a great turnout. Announced that the Cesar Chavez march is on Saturday.

Mayor Pro-Tem Samra said the Sikh Festival was held over the weekend and the Police and Public Works Departments did a wonderful job of assisting. He also thanked them for their work.

Mayor’s Announcements and Reports.

Mayor Espinoza said the City co-hosted a Covered California event, part of the Obama Health Care Plan on Saturday and they signed-up over 300 people. Merced also had an event, but he did not think they registered as many people as Livingston did.

Mayor Espinoza commented on Rancho San Miguel breaking ground. He and Council Member Mendoza attended a WELL Conference for Latino leaders in Sacramento March 27-28th. He said the conference was not just for Latinos leaders, if you are in a Latino community you are a Latino leader. It benefits our dams especially Lake McClure.

Mayor Espinoza said he attended an MCAG meeting in Los Banos a couple of weeks ago regarding the Highway 152 bypass.


Mayor Espinoza opened Citizen Comments at 7:36 p.m.

Katherine Shell-Rodriguez, P.O. Box 163, Livingston, said now that it’s getting closer and closer to the actual dates of the next Proposition 218 hearing she had couple of questions that do not relate to tonight’s agenda.

· What would happen next? What will be the role of the Utility Rates Stakeholders’ Committee in the following month and will the Committee continue or be disbanded?

· Are you still planning to have the workshops on April 8, 10 and 22 of this month regarding rates?

Mayor Espinoza said the City Manager would know more about the workshops.

Regarding the Stakeholders’ Committee, Mr. Ortiz said he did not know what the results will be and does not foresee any more activities once they close this process.

Mayor Espinoza said the workshop dates will remain the same.

Mayor Pro-Tem Samra noted that once this process concludes, the Council can make a decision at that time.

Mr. Ortiz said the workshops will still be held on April 8, in English; April 10, in Spanish; and April 22, in Punjabi.

Gilbert Reyes, 1325 Emerald Drive, Livingston, asked if the water rates will be adopted by a majority vote.

Mayor Espinoza said it will be the majority vote, 4 Council Members out of 5.

Luis Flores, 707 Almond Drive, Livingston, asked if they could make an announcement for the next Mexican Consulate visit that will be on April 7th from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers.

Mr. Ortiz noted the event will be posted at City Hall and the Council Chambers.

Council Member Sicairos reiterated the event will take place from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Mercedes Milan, no address given, asked the Council for help with some issues that Livingston High School is having. She alleged that some of the students have been sexually abused. Mrs. Milan said she has heard about three different incidents from three different school personnel, a janitor, a teacher and a coach.

Mrs. Milan said she has been to the school district office and spoke with someone that was more concerned from whom she heard the information than doing anything about it. She is seeking help from the City Council because the school should be a safe environment for the students. Mrs. Milan added that some of the parents have been made aware of the incidents.

Mayor Espinoza said this has not been posted in the newspaper and he has family members at Livingston High School.

Mrs. Milan said Livingston High School needs to have some type of sexual harassment classes or posters in the break room. As far as the kids, they need to be tough, to speak out in case someone is sexually harassing them.

Mayor Espinoza said the Council can’t do anything regarding the sexual harassment classes for the reason that the school is a part of the Merced Union School District in Merced. They need to do their own investigations.

Mayor Pro-Tem Samra advised Mrs. Milan to go to a school board meeting.

Mrs. Milan said she has, and there are not enough parents at the school board meetings. She would like to reach out to the community to put a stop to the harassment.

Mayor Espinoza commented that if there is some type of harassment teachers need to go to jail instead of transferring to a different school. He also advised Mrs. Milan to follow up with Chief Chavez for further investigations.

Mayor Espinoza closed Citizen Comments at 7:50 p.m.


2. Waive the Second Reading and Adopt Ordinance No. 612, of the City Council of the City of Livingston, Amending Livingston Municipal Code Section Title 4, Chapter 2, Sign Regulations: Adding new Section 4-2-8 Related to Murals; Adding Definitions to Section 4-2-3, “Definitions” and Making Minor Numbering Changes.

3. Approval of Warrant Register Dated March 27, 2014.

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


4. Receive Direction from the Council to Initiate the Prop 218 Notice Process for the Proposed Water and Wastewater Rate Increases. This is Only Related to the Initiation of the Process, Specifically the Sending Out of the 45-Day Notice Advising Tenants and Property Owners of the Proposed Rate Increases, Protest Procedures and the Date of the Public Hearing. No Rates Will be Imposed or Decided on at this Meeting.

Assistant City Manager/ Finance Director Ortiz said the water study has been completed by Catherine Hansford, Rate Consultant and he is asking the Council for direction to send out the notices advising the tenants and property owners of the proposed rate increases. He said the proposed rates include three scenarios:

1. Addressing the full needs in the water department.

2. Revise CIP, excludes Well 12.

3. Revised CIP, excludes Wells 12 and 15

Mr. Ortiz noted that the proposed rates also include an increase in sewer rates. Rate increases need to bring in revenue for the next five years, which the law allows the City to do to impose Proposition 218.

City Attorney Sanchez commented that staff is seeking direction from the Council to send out notices no later than April 14th, and to hold a Public Hearing at the Council meeting of May 20th. He added that the notice has been prepared by the rate consultant. He needs to take a closer look at the notice and edit it with the idea of full disclosure regarding the actual rates and what will the rates will be.

City Attorney Sanchez said there are three different proposed scenarios for water, which are three different ranges of improvements:

1. Funding the full CIP needed.

2. Certain exclusions.

3. Minimum.

City Attorney Sanchez noted there is only one proposal and also pointed out that the Council did adopt a resolution last year which set out the procedures on how the Proposition 218 process is actually conducted. He said the law gives the ability for the parcel owner and the tenant to protest. If both the parcel owner and tenant submit a protest only one will be counted per parcel.

City Attorney Sanchez said to get a majority protest is 50% of the parcel plus one. If it’s not reached, the City will not be able adopt the rates. The protest needs to be submitted in writing, mailed, hand delivered to City Hall or handed to the clerk at the public hearing. They also need to put down if they are protesting for water, wastewater, or both, and if it does not have anything on the protest it will automatically be counted for both. The City needs to know where to count each protest.

City Attorney Sanchez said the law requires 45 days for the public hearing. It will be done by ordinance and will require a 2/3 or 4/5 yes votes.

Mayor Espinoza asked if the community can start submitting the protests from April 14th to May 20th.

City Attorney Sanchez said the process will start as soon as they get the notice and they could submit the protest until May 20th. Then the protest will be counted to see if there is a majority vote.

Mayor Espinoza translated the notice in Spanish.

Mayor Espinoza opened the item for public comments at 8:00 p.m.

Gilbert Reyes, 1325 Emerald Drive, Livingston, had the following remarks and questions:

· He said the Mayor forgot to let the Spanish community know if they are renters they could not submit a protest.

· He thinks it’s wrong what the Council is doing and believes they need to wait until the meetings are done on April 8th, 10th and 22nd.

· He said there are three scenarios, where is Foster Farms’ scenario.

· Well 8 has not been talked about and it’s the most contaminated well and it’s in front of an elementary school.

· He said they forgot to let the community know that the usage of water will go down to 25,000 gallons and anything over that will cost a dollar.

· He said if there is more than one family in a home they will be going over the 25,000 gallons.

· He asked what they have done about the manganese on Well 15 that supplies all the restaurants in the corner. He said they have not done anything and they have had a letter from the State for over five years.

City Attorney Sanchez advised Mr. Reyes that both renters and parcel owners can submit a protest, but only will be counted for.

Mayor Espinoza asked if anyone had a question they were welcome to contact him on his cell phone and his number is posted on the City website.

Katherine Shell-Rodriguez, P.O. Box 163, Livingston, had the following statements and questions:

· She said she did some combing through old meeting minutes looking for things related to the last time they went through the Proposition 218 hearing process.

· She made a short list of the things where some residents believe they were being paid through the water, garbage and sewer rates:

Things like:

– Police Chief’s salary

– New buildings on Walnut Avenue

– New sidewalks

– New basketball courts

– New tennis courts

In other words, there were residents who believed that water, garbage and sewer rates were used to pay for stuff other than things like:

– Fixing pipes

– Repairing wells

– Replacing wells

– And complying with State Regulations

· They either believed there was no such thing as a deficit, or if there was such a thing as a deficit.

· She said you are going to have to convince residents that there are real problems with the groundwater that need to be addressed.

· She said there are real problems with our water delivery system that need to be fixed.

· She said there is a real need to prepare for increased State regulations and the increased cost that comes with it.

· That the deficits do need to be paid back.

· She also said that there are consequences to failing drinking water standards.

· Her question for the Council is: Do you understand what the issues are?

· Do you really understand what are you setting in motion when you vote to go to hearing?

Mayor Espinoza closed public comments at 8:06 p.m.

Council Member Soria said water has been coming out brown since the 80’s and it’s one of the reasons he ran for Council to make changes. He said he and his family live in the community and it needs to be changed for the community.

Mayor Espinoza stated that he understood that they can’t address all the issues with the wells, but they are trying to do the best they can to fix the issues with the wells.

Mayor Pro-Tem Samra said he understood the issues and knew they have been going on for a very long time. He said regardless of what scenario they pick, it might take four to five years for the process to be completed.

Mayor Pro-Tem Samra added that the community might not like the rate increases, but how can they question how the City came up with the rates due to transparency and the Stakeholders’ Committee. He said if they don’t do this they would have to do something else.

Council Member Sicairos said the issues need to be addressed and understood that a lot of people may not like the rate increases.

Mayor Espinoza said he knew there are a lot of people that might be concerned with the water rates. He also said that in the past the water gallon usage was very low and the community would have to pay high rates for water usage. If the rates would have stayed in effect as in 2009, residents would have to pay $169.00, but with the new plan they would pay less and the usage of water would be 25,000 gallons.

Assistant City Manager/ Finance Director Ortiz agreed with the Mayor.

City Attorney Sanchez said he would like a motion and a second just to have it on record. It’s not required by law to have this meeting, but because of transparency he would like a motion.

Motion: M/S Soria/Mendoza to send out the 45-Day Notice Advising Tenants and Property Owners of the Proposed Rate Increases, Protest Procedures and the Date of the Public Hearing. 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

5. Discussion and Council Direction – Regional Transportation Impact Fee (RTIF).

Mayor Espinoza said he added this item to the agenda and attended the MCAG meeting in Los Banos two weeks ago. Discussion revolved around the Tiger grant with Merced County, the City of Merced and MCAG.

Mayor Espinoza commented that it appeared that Livingston is the only city that has not contributed to the project. The Council tried to pass the RTIF last year, but it did not go through.

The City of Los Banos pulled out of the commercial end and left only homes and was criticized because they wanted to move along with the project, but did not want to contribute. He also thought Atwater pulled out because the city almost went into bankruptcy.

Mayor Espinoza commented that with the economy coming back with homes also retail, and the development agreement with commercial coming in. He said this won’t affect Rancho San Miguel or Motel 6 because they are already approved.

City Attorney Sanchez said they would have the current DA’s development impact fees which are big for commercials and knew it had been awhile since they had this item on the agenda. He said he knew the Mayor was asking for direction and will be working with the MCAG representative.

Mayor Espinoza noted that he is a representative for MCAG and is getting criticized for not adopting the fee and because they have been there for the City and the City is not working with them when they need the help.

Mayor Pro-Tem Samra said as an alternate to the MCAG Board and the main representative throughout the years he has been asked repeatedly why the City of Livingston is not participating. He said at the time there wasn’t a Council that was willing to move forward. He also said he was not aware that Los Banos pulled the commercial out of the project.

Mayor Espinoza said he wasn’t sure if this was true, but he heard they pulled out of the commercial or all of it.

Mayor Pro-Tem Samra asked are we looking at participating. If Los Banos is participating in residential and Atwater might do the same, do we still have the option of participating?

Mayor Espinoza said the City could still participate in both commercial and residential. He said he likes to be open and the City needs to work with the County.

Mayor Pro-Tem Samra said Livingston was the first to get landscaping and the MCAG directors never let him forget it and asked him where is Livingston when we need them.

Mayor Espinoza commented that we can’t go to the County and ask Caltrans or MCAG for money for projects, such as the traffic issue at the entrance to S/B Winton Parkway, if Livingston is not contributing to County projects.

Mayor Espinoza opened and closed public comments at 8:20 p.m.

Motion: M/S Espinoza /Samra to move this item to next meeting and hold the public hearing to adopt the Regional Transportation Impact Fee (RTIF) ordinance. 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 Member: None


The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 8:22 p.m.


City Clerk of the City of Livingston

APPROVED: April 15, 2014


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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