Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on March 4, 2014.

Meeting Date: March 18, 2014

Agenda Item #8. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on March 4, 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.





MARCH 4, 2014

A Regular Meeting/Closed Session of the Livingston City Council was held on March 4, 2014, in the City Council Chambers with Mayor Espinoza presiding.



Mayor Espinoza called the meeting to order at 6:07 p.m.


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 comment at 6:09 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 Employee


Mayor Espinoza called the meeting to order at 7:02pm


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 Jose Sanchez said there was no reportable action; however, he announced that Mayor Pro- Tem Samra excused himself and did not participate in the discussion of one of the potential litigation items due to a conflict of interest.


City Attorney Sanchez said he would like to amend item # 7, page 9 of 10, on the bottom of the second paragraph of the last Minutes to read, “Mayor Pro-Tem Samra left the Closed Session and did not participate in the discussion of one of the potential litigation items due to a conflict of interest.”


1. Presentation: Mr. Tom Skiba, representing My Community Mobile, “Mobile application and how the City of Livingston would benefit from the service.”

City Manager Jose Ramirez announced that Mr. Skiba was ill and this item needed to be tabled to the next Council meeting.


Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements and Reports.

Supervisor Pedrozo was not present.

City Staff Announcements and Reports.

Chief Ruben Chavez reported the following:

– Burglary Action Plan Status Report – Chief Chavez advised there has been a surge in residential burglaries and the Police Department is working to identify the suspects who may have been recently released from prison. Chief Chavez said that after a probation sweep, five people were arrested. Chief Chavez said residential burglaries have declined and that Officers continue to patrol areas that had previously been prone to high incidents of residential burglaries.

– Gang Enforcement Status Report for February, 2014 – There were twelve gang related Field Interviews (FI’s), two gang probation sweeps where seven gang related arrests were made. Chief Chavez said in one of the arrests a gun and $20,000 was seized. Chief Chavez said there were no gang presentations, but there was one gang write up which provides the courts with information on a specific person involved in a crime which may add enhancements if they are involved in gang activity.

– Animal Control statistics: 19 dogs were taken in, 13 were taken to rescue groups, and 2 returned to owners, 1 euthanized and 3 administrative citations were issued. Animal Control tries to utilize the rescue groups to save the City money. 

– After March 1, 2014, dog owners that received citations will have until a certain date to correct the violations or they will be issued another citation.

– Vaccination Clinic will be held on March 23, 2014, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Memorial Park.

– Pet Ownership Workshop will be held sometime in May or June of 2014 to give information on how to keep their dogs confined.

– There is a temporary animal kennel on the back lot of the Police Department used only for animals to be picked up within a day or two.

– Caring Cop MAPS Program was approved by the County Board of Supervisors on February 25, 2014. It’s a 3 year grant and it’s subject to be extended. The grant will fund one School Resource Officer and one Mental Health Counselor for the Livingston Middle School. The officer will get involved with the school youth and their families.

– A new Explorer vehicle was purchased with a San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District grant and will be used for traffic control, parades and festivals. Also a new electric motorcycle for special events was acquired with the same grant.

– A Community Dialogue on mental health will be held on March 8, 2014, at Livingston Middle School from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

– Livingston Police Officers continue to provide community policing at the Livingston Middle School, elementary schools and the Walnut Child Development Center to provide safety training.

City Manager Announcements and Reports.

City Manager Ramirez commented on the following:

· Thanked Paul Avila, Battalion Chief, CAL FIRE, who is working very closely with the City Engineer on implementing a fire hydrant flushing program and exercising of valves. He said they will be assisting the City with fire hydrant flushing throughout the year because the City has been having issues with red water. They have divided the City into quadrants for hydrant flushing due to manpower.

· Announced that a meeting of the Stakeholders’ Committee has been scheduled for March 10, 2014, at the City Hall Conference Room at 5:30 p.m. The Committee will discuss water and sewer rate increases. He would like to host workshops in English, Punjabi and Spanish to educate the community on the proposed rate increases.

· Mayor Espinoza attended the Drought Program at UC, Merced on March 4, 2014. People from different agencies met to try to identify any impacts from the drought and any assistance that can be obtained.

· Ralph Calderon advised that the Livingston High School swimming pool will be closed during the summer for repairs. The estimated cost for repairs will be in the vicinity of $600,000. The school is looking into fundraising and/or how to build a new pool which is estimated to cost approximately $2 million dollars. The pool is used by the City Recreation Department and the community. The City will be assisting the school with fundraising ideas.

· Well 9 has been shut down because it’s pumping sand and the City has been working with Shannon Pump to try to get the well back on line.

City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports.

Council Member Sicairos thanked Recreation Superintendent Jacquie Benoit for coaching basketball this season.

Council Member Sicairos said the Livingston Union School District is planning a budget and criteria for the English Language Learners (ELL) Program. He attended a workshop where they discussed breaching the gap between the students and parents for the ELL. He encouraged parents to see Superintendent Andres Zamora or his secretary at the school district with any ideas they may have.

Council Member Soria attended a Report on Schools event hosted by Dr. Steven Gomes, Superintendent of Merced County Schools on February 27, 2014, in Merced.

Mayor Espinoza thanked Council Member Soria and wished him well as he is running for Merced County Sherriff. Mayor Espinoza said the City along with the County is behind him in his bid for Sheriff.

Council Member Soria acknowledged he is running for Sherriff and said he wasn’t going to make an announcement until the next Council meeting after making sure all his paperwork was in. He thanked everyone for their support.

Mayor’s Announcements and Reports.

Mayor Espinoza attended a MCAG meeting. The City received two grants for CMAQ money. One grant was for three quarters of a million dollars for the roundabout and the second grant was for two quarters of a million dollars for sidewalks. At the meeting he asked if the roundabout could be funded at the end of this year or beginning of next year as it is scheduled for funding in 2017-2018. The City is in the process of doing some of the downtown sidewalks and lighting so hopefully we get that money this year and we can improve the downtown as well.

Mayor Espinoza thanked Dr. Gomes for inviting him to lead the flag salute at the Report on Schools event.


Mayor Espinoza opened Citizen Comments at 7:21 p.m.

Katherine Shell-Rodriguez, P.O. Box 163, Livingston, had a question and concern about the sidewalk construction that is going on around the area of the Catholic Church. She and her husband often walk on that side of town and she would like to show the Council a photo because the construction is something that she is concerned about.

Mrs. Schell-Rodriguez said she is sure there is a clause in the contractor’s contract that that the contractor indemnify the City against any liability. She noted the potential danger is someone is coming down the street on a skateboard or running at night. She said it gets very dark in that area of town, it’s not just the corner of where construction is taking place, but other corners in that area of town by the Catholic Church and it appeared to her that it’s a significant trip and fall hazard.

City Manager Ramirez asked Mrs. Schell-Rodriguez if after her comments she could provide the photo to the City Engineer.

Mayor Espinoza closed the public comment period at 7:23 p.m.


2. Second Reading and Adoption of Ordinance No. 611, an Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Livingston Amending Title 7, Chapter 4 of the Livingston Municipal Code Pertaining to Fireworks and the Issuing of Permits.

3. Resolution No. 2014-9, Amending Conditions of Approval for Site Plan/Design Review 2013-4 for the Proposed Motel 6 Project, a 75-room, 3-story Motel on a 2.43 – acre Parcel Located at 110 N. Del Rio Avenue.

4. Resolution No. 2014-10, Authorizing the City Manager to File a Regional Surface Transportation Program (RSTP) Estimate Exchange Fund Claim Form for Fiscal Year 2012/2013.

5. Resolution No. 2014-11, Approving a Successor Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Livingston and the Livingston Police Officers’ Association (LPOA) OE3 Unit for the Period of July 1, 2013 through December 31, 2014.

Resolution was amended.

6. Resolution No. 2014-12, Approving a Successor Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Livingston and the Livingston Police Supervisors’ OE3 Unit for the Period of July 1, 2013 through December 31, 2014.

Resolution was amended.

7. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on February 18, 2014.

Minutes were amended.

8. Approval of Warrant Register Dated February 27, 2014.

Mayor Espinoza opened the Consent Calendar for public comments at 7:24 p.m.

Katherine Schell-Rodriguez, P.O. Box 163, Livingston, directed the following questions and comments to the City Attorney, City Manager or City Engineer:

Mrs. Schell-Rodriguez commented that at the first reading of the Fireworks Ordinance there was  Quite a bit of discussion during the Council meeting and quite a few changes. She asked if they would explain the language in the Ordinance, particularly if a particular group would be able to have a booth for two or more years in a row.

Mrs. Schell-Rodriguez stated that when she looked at the staff report under the fiscal impact on personal savings it did not have the amount the City would save. She would like to know how much the City is supposed to save in this agreement in dollars. Also, how will this impact our Police Officers and their level of service within the City.

City Attorney Sanchez said there was a lot of discussion regarding changes during that meeting and he believed she was asking specifically about the two non-profits, the two permits issued by the Council not in Lottery form.

Mrs. Shell-Rodriguez was wondering if there is language in the Ordinance that would eliminate the possibility of a group getting a year of Council pick and two years by Lottery because she could see other groups coming in and asking “Hey how come they get to have a booth two years in a row and we don’t?”

City Attorney Sanchez advised Mrs. Schell-Rodriguez that if they got picked for the Lottery they could not get it for next year. He said he would look up the section referring to her question about the Council selection.

Mayor Espinoza commented that he didn’t think the Ordinance addressed the City Council picks, just for the Lottery.

City Attorney Sanchez advised if a group gets a booth through the Lottery system for one year, they are able to reapply.

Mayor Espinoza stated the reason Mrs. Schell-Rodriguez wanted to address this matter is because two meetings ago the Council decided to give one group a booth for two years in a row.

City Attorney Sanchez said it was up to the Council if they wanted to award the same group every year. He said there was nothing prohibiting the Council from doing so, as long as the group meets the requirements.

Mayor Espinoza said the reason the Council would keep the two booths as a discretional pick is if a group has not been awarded a booth it before. In his opinion a future Council could pick whoever they want to pick to make it fair.

City Attorney Sanchez answered Mrs. Shell-Rodriguez’s question and read Section 7-4-4, Subsection F of the Ordinance, “Nothing about the next calendar year being selected by the Council”.

Council Member Soria stated that Mike Coronado, President of the Livingston Youth Football League and a volunteer for 13 years had passed away and one of the things he would have liked to do was to establish funding for the League because the sport is for the kids and for the community.

Mayor Pro-Tem Samra asked the Mayor if he had closed public comments.

Mayor Espinoza asked if there were more comments and then re-opened public comments at 7:37 p.m..

Joey Chavez, 1211 J Street, Livingston, representing the Knights of Columbus, said he read an article in the newspaper that the two groups in Livingston having the right for the booths were Livingston Youth Football and the 4th of July Committee. He did not believe that they should have the rights to automatically have a booth and it should be fair for everyone when doing the drawing and when applying for permits for a non-profit to have a booth. They should be present when the Council draws the names. Mr. Chavez felt it was the fairest way instead of the Council giving them the opportunity for a free booth every year. If the Council is going to do that, then the Knights of Columbus should be in the picture as well.

Mayor Espinoza explained that the 4th of July Committee is not a non-profit and if they want to host the event they should get a non-profit status first before the City continues allowing the Committee to run the fireworks booth because that is what the Ordinance is for.

Mrs. Schell-Rodriguez commented on the item relating to Motel 6. She said the way she understands it, all that future development is only supposed to use about 49EDU’s of water. Now if a house uses 4EDU’s and all that development is going to be about 49EDU’s, then that means the motel and all future development is going to use no more water than twelve houses, correct?

City Manager Ramirez explained to Mrs. Schell-Rodriguez that typically a motel does not waste as much water as an industrial use such as Foster Farms and Fresenius.

Mrs. Schell-Rodriguez said that when she looked at the staff report for the LPOA Memorandum of Understanding, under fiscal impact, it said personnel savings, but it did not show a number. She asked just how much is the City supposed to be saving with the agreement in dollars, and how will this impact our officers and the level of service in the City.

In response to her question, City Manager Ramirez said that the Finance Director would provide certain dollar amounts. As the question relates to the level of service, he explained that the level of service from a Police Officer would not be impacted. All the other bargaining units, including management have taken a five percent salary cut, so everyone is participating in the same concession .

Finance Director Ortiz replied to Mrs. Shell-Rodriguez’s question and stated that the LPOA (Officers and Dispatchers) will result in an actual savings of $53,000 achieved over a two-year period. For this fiscal year the City will save $22,000 and the remaining balance the next fiscal year. With the Supervisors’ group, a savings of $16,000 is expected and again over a two-year period.

City Manager Ramirez noted the fiscal year ends December 31, 2014.

Mayor Espinoza encouraged City employees to work with the City for the reason that in past years, the City has spent about $50,000 with the bargaining units. He added that as soon as the economy improves and the City gets back on its feet, the Council will look at possible pay raises.

Mayor Espinoza again closed Consent Calendar public comments at 7:39 p.m.

Motion: M/S Samra/Sicairos to approve the Consent Calendar with the noted amendments. 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


9. Consulting Services Agreement with Quantum Energy Services & Technologies, Inc. to Investigate Possible Efficiency Measure for Partition in the CalPOP Program at the City’s Wastewater Treatment Facility.

City Manager Ramirez commented that the City has been working has been working very closely with PG&E. CalPOP is a program which is especially geared for wastewater treatment to determine if the City could save money.

City Manager Ramirez commented that Cal POP has made a couple of presentations and City d staff also made a presentation to the Stakeholders’ Committee and the Committee recommended presenting the program to the Council for approval. He noted the City would be able to recuperate the money in about 2.6 years with this program.

City Engineer Gouveia added the program is a PG&E program specifically for wastewater treatment to determine if the City could save power. There was a preliminary assessment done by the South Quantum Energy the assessment was presented to the Council sometime in November, 2013. The company estimated an estimated cost savings of approximately $70,000 annually making improvements. The improvements will cost about $230 thousand dollars on a $0% loan and the City will be making the same payments, if the City decides to participate in the program.

Motion: Samra/Sicairos to adopt Resolution No. 2014-13, approving a Consulting Services Agreement with Quantum Energy Services & Technologies, Inc. to Investigate Possible Efficiency Measures for Partition in the CalPOP Program at the City’s Wastewater Treatment Facility. 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


The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 7:43 p.m.


City Clerk of the City of Livingston

APPROVED: March 18, 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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