Watering Days, Fireworks Booths, Arsenic, Sand and “Broken” Wells: plus a City Council Agenda

LIVINGSTON, CALIFORNIA 02/17/2014

I am going to invoke a little of the Story Teller’s License before discussing my take on Current Events as they relate to Water Related Stuff.

I’ve developed a theory, which started bubbling up in my brain, ever since the Days-of-the-Recall, that there have been, and still are, two quite distinct factions within our Elected and Appointed Officials .

One faction has known all along about the growing problems with our Groundwater and Water System. They have been on the council long enough to have had more than a fair few Staff and Consultant’s Reports in their Agenda Packets: they have no excuse whatsoever in my mind for “not knowing”.

But for Political Reasons they seem to have made it a deliberate practice to ensure that that knowledge and comprehension has not been passed to other Elected/Appointed Officials, and Livingston-Residents-As-A-Whole.

We’ll call them “Political Can Kickers” because they have been Kicking the Political Can about Water System Problems down the road for quite a while.

The other faction of Elected/Appointed Officials, which we will call “Water Truthers”, most likely believed everything that the “Political Can Kickers” said about significant repairs and upgrades to Livingston’s Water System being “Unwarranted” and “Unnecessary”, and that any claims about contamination of the Groundwater and problems with the Water System were either Wild Exaggerations, or Figments of the Imagination.

Which the “Water Truthers” intended to prove once they got into City Hall, “cleaned house” and hired a New City Manager, a New City Attorney, and perhaps a few New Consultants and a few New Engineers, and a New Public Works Director Of-Their-Own-Choosing.

After which, they could Re-Study Everything and therefore be able to discover, then declare the REAL Truth-About-Our-Drinking-Water: that all claims of Groundwater Contamination and System Problems were either patently false, or wildly overstated, and that the City DIDN’T really need all the expensive Wellhead Treatment Systems and System Repairs it said it did.

More on that a little later. But first, lets catch up on couple things…

FERSENIUS WILL BE CLOSING the end of May: which will leave Foster Farms as the only Industrial Water User in the City of Livingston.

FOSTER FARMS REOPENS AFTER A 10 DAY CLOSURE,  According to a report in the Merced SunStar, the Foster Farms Plant in Livingston reopened on January 22, after a 10 day voluntary closure. According to the article,

Bill Mattos, president of the California Poultry Federation in Modesto, said the extended closure, originally planned for a few days, came about because of an abundance of caution while workers cleaned the plant thoroughly. “They wanted to be perfectly sure they had zero tolerance,” he said. “So they did it twice instead of one go-round.”

Most of you reading this are probably well versed in Foster Farms recent struggles with Cockroaches and Salmonella, so I won’t rehash the whole sorry saga here.

Except to point out that Foster Farms uses around 66% of Livingston’s water. And if there isn’t enough water, Foster Farms cannot Clean and Sanitize the plant or process chicken.

With that in mind……

Well 8-9-16ONE OF THE 2 WELLS REPORTED TO BE OFFLINE, at the February 10, 2014 meeting of the Utility Rates Stakeholders Committee is Well #16. This well, which is on the same side of town as Foster Farms, has been shut off since at least 2011 because the Arsenic Filtration Media was used up. The Arsenic concentrations in that well are nearly 3 – 4 TIMES the legal limit, and without the Arsenic Filtration System up and running, the City cannot legally use that well.

(One of things that should be noted at this point of the discussion,  Well #16, was NOT meant to be used on an everyday basis. It was to be used as a BACK UP well. Because of the High Arsenic levels, and the High Cost of filtering out that Arsenic, Well #16 is hugely expensive to run on a regular basis).

In Early, 2011, the Utility Rates Stakeholders Committee was established to “come up with ideas” about how to address Livingston’s water issues, and  “work with” the City and the Engineers and the Consultants who were hired to work on projects like this one, and to “make recommendations” to the City Council.

In October, 2012, the Resolution to Award a Contract to Filtronics, Inc. of Anaheim, California for Goods and Services Provided to Change Out the Arsenic Removal Media for the Well 16 Arsenic Removal Treatment System was approved by the City Council.

By September 03, 2013, most of the work had been completed and the only steps remaining to bring the well back online were stated to be as follows:

  • Final calibration/adjustment process fine tuning:

  • System Disinfection

  • California Department of Public Health (CDPH) field inspection

  • CDPH approval of Operation Plan and Final Permit to Operate

During the September 03, 2013 City Council Meeting, there was an intense discussion about whether or not Well #16 really needed “improvements” like a Variable Frequency Drive or Orifice Plates, etc. before being brought back online.

Flash forward to February 10th, and According to the City’s (New Set Of) Engineers, the only thing really standing in the way of turning that well back on is getting the Well’s new Operations Manual approved by the California Department of Health. However, something DOES really need to be done to slow down the number of gallons the well pumps per minute: especially if the City plans to use the well on More-Than-Just-The-Occasional Basis. A Variable Frequency Drive would be nice: but expensive. Orifice plates would be much less expensive: but wouldn’t work as well.

NOW THE CITY NEEDS TO SKIP THE BIDDING PROCESS for Repairs and Upgrades to Well #16 altogether because, according to the Staff Report, “There is an urgent need to have Well 16 back on-line in the near future to meet the City’s water demands that will likely increase in the Spring and Summer.” Part of the reason this has become So Urgent Urgent Now is because

Well 8-9ALSO ON THE FOSTER FARMS SIDE OF TOWN, and reported to the Utility Rates Stakeholders committee as having been shut down for repairs, is Well #9. This well was taken offline for repairs, after reports by Foster Farms, and testing done by the City, revealed a problem with sand infiltrating the well. 

According to the City Manager and Engineers, it could take anywhere from about a week to a month to “redevelop” the well and bring it back online.

Well 13According to the Findings in the Council Resolution, another reason given fixing up Well #16 is so Urgent is that “There is an urgent need to bring Well 16 in production to enable the City to move forward with the installation of wellhead treatment facilities at Well 13, which will require Well 13 to be off line for some time.”

According to the report by Kennedy Jenks, Well #13 (at Joseph Gallo Park) had been inactive, but was reactivated in early 2013. Which in my mind implies, that Livingston is getting pretty desperate for water.

AND THERE IS ONE MORE WELL ON THE FOSTER FARMS SIDE OF TOWN, that will need to shut off a while for scheduled “upgrades”: Well #8. This is the first well in Livingston scheduled to have a Filtration System for TCP installed. Back in 2004, the City began tracking the levels of TCP in Livingston’s water.

In 2005, the City sued Dow Chemical Corp about the TCP Contamination.

2006 Memorandum Of Understanding Foster Farms and Livingston croppedIn 2006, the City of Livingston and Foster Farms entered into a Memorandum of Understanding in which Foster Farms would lend Livingston the money needed to get the Well #8 TCP Filtration Project moving along. In 2011, the City received a settlement from Dow Chemical: and I guess you could say the City no longer had the need to borrow the money from Foster Farms for that particular project.

In late 2011 the City Council awarded a Professional Engineering Services Contract for Water Treatment at the City Water Supply Well No. 8 (for TCP) to AECOM 

In May, 2013, that contract was amended for Additional Design and Construction Support Services for the 1,2,3 Trichloropropane (TCP) Treatment at the City Water Supply Well No. 8

The City Council also approved a Resolution Authorizing the Purchase of Land Needed for the Installation of Water Treatment Facilities at the City Water Supply Well No. 8, Approval of the Appraisal Report Prepared by The Thomas Wilkins Company and Authorizing the City Manager to execute the Agreement with Foster Farms for the Purchase of the Land. in May, 2013.

In October, 2013 the City Council approved a Resolution Awarding Construction Contract to Conco West, Inc. of Manteca, CA; Approving the Expenditure of Construction Funds for the Well No. 8 Wellhead Treatment System and Authorizing the City Manager to Execute a Construction Contract and Any Change Orders Thereto with Conco West, Inc.

Although Well #8  is currently up and running, it is expected to be shut down sometime from May – July for construction.

Now Livingston is in the position of needing to do repairs and upgrades on multiple wells: the trick being to not to end up with multiple wells down at the same time and/or not have any at all down during the Summer: when water usage is at it’s highest.

Sooooo, let’s meander back to where we started about “Political Can Kickers”, “Water Truthers” and how that relates to the mess the City of Livingston is clearly in now.

And did I mention this is a drought year?

But I digress….

Back in 2007-2008 the Rate Study done by Dan Bergman talked about groundwater contamination, 6 wells needing treatment and the need for more capacity and storage etc.

In 2009 – 2010 a New Rate Study done by Raftelis Financial Consultants talked about: Pipeline Removal and Replacement, Wellhead Filtering at Wells 8, 16, 12, and 14; a New Supply Well #17, etc.

Not to mention the May 2009 Enforcement Letter for Violating the Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level for Manganese at Well #15 (which is by Starbucks) by the California Department of Public Health

But during the Days of the Run Up to the Recall over Water Rates, the Can Kickers and the Water Truthers joined forces and all reasonable discussions about Livingston’s Water System went to Hell in a Hand Basket.

And while the Post Recall Council started “cleaning house” and hiring Staff Of Their Own Choosing, the California Department of Health sent even more documentation which pointed out even more problems.

Like the California Department of Health Sept. 2010 Letter on Water System Funding 

And The California Department of Health: City of Livingston 2011 Water System Inspection Report 

After the General Election of 2012, the “bad news” just kept coming in reports like:

The California Department of Health: City of Livingston 2013 Water System Inspection Report 

Followed by the California Department of Health – Compliance Order For Violation of the Arsenic Maximum Contaminant Level: May 16, 2013

And it wasn’t just the California Department of Health saying there were problems. The New Staff/Consultants the New Council hired were saying pretty much the same thing. For example:

In July, 2013, the  Feasibility Analysis For A Sustainable Water Treatment Strategy–Kennedy Jenks Consultants was released: Which basically stated that, yep, we have problems, big problems, and the longer we go the bigger they get.

So now, I believe the Can Kicking Days are coming to a close, and the painful truth of the matter is, unless the City can pull off some kind of miracle and get the State to bail us out somehow, we are going to end up in a world of hurt.

Now that it is an Election Year, I only hope we end up with a group of Open Minded and Informed Realists on the Council who can guide Livingston through the days to come.

Resolution 2011-32 Includes Complete CommitteeBTW – SINCE WE TOUCHED ON THE SUBJECT OF WELLS ON THE FOSTER FARMS SIDE OF TOWN, something has been puzzling me for quite a while. Way back when the Utility Rates Stakeholders Committee was established, Foster Farms was “given a seat at the table” to represent the Industrial Class of Water Users: you can see for yourself how one of their VP’s was actually named on the Council Resolution.

I’ve been to practically every single meeting since that Committee was set up, and I can tell you that attendance by anyone from Foster Farms has been spotty at best over the last few months.

And I just can’t help but wonder why…I’ve heard there have been some “staffing changes” lately. But so far, no “Official Announcements”.

Watering RestrictionsWATERING DAYS ARE BACK!  At the January 21 City Council Meeting, the Council voted 4-0 to reinstate Mandatory Watering days in Livingston. According to the Municipal Code, the restrictions will be as follows.

9-5-712 (C) Water Restrictions.

  • When directed by the City Council, the following outside watering restrictions apply to residential, commercial and industrial customers of the City of Livingston:

    • 1. All house numbers ending with an even number may water on Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday.

    • 2. All house numbers ending with an odd number may water on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday.

    • 3. No outside watering on Wednesday.

    • 4. The washing of vehicles will be allowed on the designated watering day and on weekends (Saturdays and Sundays), regardless of house numbers, as long as a quick-acting positive shut-off nozzle is used.

  • (D) Enforcement.

    • It shall be the duty of the Police, Fire and all other departments and employees to give vigilant aid to the Public Works Department in the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 576, 12-16-08)

To give Livingston’s residents time to adjust to the newly reestablished watering restrictions, the Council voted to give residents two “warnings”, before imposing fines as follows:

  • $25 (after those first two “reminder” warnings)

  • $50 the next time

  • $100 each time thereafter 

The flier above states that “water conservationists are patrolling the City”, looking for violations of the Watering Restrictions.

Amendments to the Fireworks Ordinance CroppedPUBLIC HEARING ALERT! COUNCIL TO GIVE YOUTH FOOTBAL the right to a Fireworks Booth Permit for (2) years to ….At the 01/21/2014 City Council Meeting, the City Council voted 4/0 to direct staff to bring back an Ordinance which would eliminate the current Booth Permit Rotation list; assign (1) Booth Permit to the City which would be assigned to either the Recreation Department or other City Wide Non-Profit Organization, give the City Council to award  (1) Booth Permit to the Organization of it’s choosing; and assign the remaining (3) Booth Permits by Random Lottery.

Also included in the Directions to Staff was to include language that would allow the City Council the ability to award the “Council’s Choice” to the Livingston Youth Football Organization for (2) consecutive years.

According to Youth Football Coach and City Council member Jim Soria, he had placed the Item on the January 21, City Council Agenda: partly in memory of Mike Coronado.  According to Council Member Soria, the recent death of Mike Coronado created a Special Circumstance which justified giving Youth Football priority other non-profit organizations.

Council Member Soria stated “One of the reasons I put this on is, a few months ago or I’m not sure when it was, we had a few fireworks booths grandfathered in. Youth Football wasn’t selected. I just want, being part coach, I volunteer as a coach and I see that the financial impact – that financial impact that it helps – in helping the Youth football and the kids. That’s what I’m about: about the kids.” 

During that night’s discussion, Mayor Pro-Temp Samra said – …The best thing to do is have everything in front of us. Its nice and clean and everybody knows what we’re talking about and what we’re voting on…you want to vote on that’s fine. I don’t have any objections either way. But I think it would be cleaner if it was like written down so everybody knows what to do. My suggestion is to direct staff to bring to the Council at their earliest convenience as quickly as possible.

Mayor Espinoza stated — “I know that, the High School has had probably the majority of the booths all the time every year. And in memory of Mike Coronado, we think it’s a great thing to do.” and that

“I know we have it tough because if we give you guys priority we’re gonna get ridiculed and criticized by other organizations. But I know the High School has had it for a lot of programs: they had the majority of the years. So, but this is a good memory – of Mike Coronado’s memory – its still for our youth in Livingston so I’m all supportive. Two years – I agree to two years. So hopefully, later on in the future, what ever Council is here, they can decide that. But hopefully, to help out, right now this youth. With the other rotations – we’ll have to deal with that.”

Council Member Sacairos said — Like the Mayor said – we might get criticized. But, you know what, when I was growing up I had to go to Winton to play for the Cowboys because there was no program for here and I wish there was here and it was not cheap. So that’s what I have.

The City Attorney said —It’s just a rotation list. There is nothing currently in our Code that allows for this (grandfathering in any particular organization). The Code needs to be amended… But the direction helps a lot. That way it can be drafted a certain way. Seeing that this is an Ordinance, having the direction to put something General in there as far as the City Council selection helps because then by Resolution or Motion, then you could decide who gets that booth.

If you would like to read the entire discussion that took place that evening: Click Here 

And now on to the..

CONCURRENT MEETING OF THE CITY

COUNCIL AND SUCCESSOR AGENCY TO THE REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY OF THE

CITY OF LIVINGSTON

REGULAR MEETING AGENDA

FEBRUARY 18, 2014

CLOSED SESSION: 6:00 P.M.

OPEN SESSION: 7:00 P.M.

Notice is hereby given that the City Council and Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency of the City of Livingston will hold a Regular Meeting on February 18, 2014, at the City Council Chambers, 1416 C Street, Livingston, California. Persons with disabilities who may need assistance should contact the Deputy City Clerk at least 24 hours prior to this meeting at (209) 394-8041, Ext. 121. Any writings or documents pertaining to an Open Session item provided to a majority of the members of the legislative body less than 72 hours prior to the meeting shall be made available for public inspection at Livingston City Hall, 1416 C Street. The Open Session will begin at 7:00 p.m. The Closed Session will be held in accordance with state law prior to the Open Session beginning at 6:00 p.m. The Closed Session will be held at the City Council Chambers located at 1416 C Street. The agenda shall be as follows:

Closed Session

1. Call to Order.

2. Roll Call

CLOSED SESSION

A “Closed” or “Executive” Session of the City Council or the Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency of the City of Livingston may be held in accordance with state law which may include, but is not limited to, the following types of items: personnel matters, labor negotiations, security matters, providing instructions to real property negotiators, conference with legal counsel regarding pending litigation. The Closed Session will be held in the City Council Chambers located at 1416 C Street, Livingston, California. Any public comment on Closed Session items will be taken before the Closed Session. Any required announcements or discussion of Closed Session items or actions following the Closed Session will be made in the City Council Chambers, 1416 C Street, Livingston, California.

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: 2

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

CALL TO ORDER

Roll Call. Next Resolution No. 2014-4

Next Ordinance No. 611

Pledge of Allegiance. Next Successor Agency

Resolution No. 2014-1

Closed Session Announcements

Changes to the Agenda.

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REPORTS

Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements and Reports.

City Staff Announcements and Reports.

City Manager Announcements and Reports.

City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports.

Mayor’s Announcements and Reports.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

1. Resolution Conditionally Approving Site Plan/Design Review 2013-04 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.

2. 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.

CITIZEN COMMENTS

This section of the agenda allows members of the public to address the City Council on any item NOT otherwise on the agenda. Members of the public, when recognized by the Mayor, should come forward to the lectern, and identify themselves. Comments are normally limited to three (3) minutes. In accordance with State Open Meeting Laws, no action will be taken by the City Council this evening. For items which are on the agenda this evening members of the public will be provided an opportunity to address the City Council as each item is brought up for discussion.

CONSENT CALENDAR

Items on the Consent Calendar are considered routine or non-controversial and will be enacted by one vote, unless separate action is requested by the City Manager or City Council Member. There will be no separate discussion of these items unless members of the City Council or City Manager request that specific items be removed.

3. Resolution Supporting and Implementing AB 1012 “Timely Use of Funding”.

4. Resolution Authorizing Award of Contract/Purchase Order to Sequoia Equipment Co., Inc., Fresno, California for the Purchase of One (1) Tier 4 Title 23 Backhoe Purchase.

5. Resolution Approving Amendment No. 1 to the Contract Agreement Between the City of Livingston and HDL Coren & Cone to Continue Providing Support Services in Property Tax Areas and Authorizing the City Manager to Execute a Three Year Service Contract Extension.

6. Waive the Second Reading and Adopt Ordinance No. 610 of the City Council of the City of Livingston, Amending Livingston Municipal Code Sections 1-18-11 (A), 4-6-3, 4-2-8-2 (A)(3), 4-2-8-2(A)(4), 8-2-1, and Zoning Ordinance Sections 5-3-16 (Table 7), 5-5-8 (E)(Table 12), and 5-4-7 (C).

7. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on February 4, 2014.

8. Approval of Warrant Register Dated February 13, 2014.

“CONSENT CALENDAR – SUCCESSOR AGENCY”

9. Resolution of the Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency of the City of Livingston Approving the Recognized Obligation Payment Schedule (ROPS 14-15A) Pursuant to Health and Safety Code Section 34177 for Period July Through December 31, 2014.

DISCUSSION AND POTENTIAL ACTION ITEMS

10. Resolution Approving an Agreement with Shannon Pump for Sampling and Repairs to Well 16, Making Findings Supporting that Award of Such Agreement is Exempt from Competitive Bidding Requirements and Authorizing the City Manager to Execute the Agreement.

ADJOURNMENT

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Codes of Conduct, Feasibility Consultants, and a City Council Agenda

THERE ARE A COUPLE OF ITEMS OF SPECIAL INTEREST to Council Watchers in this weeks City Council Agenda: some of them “buried” in the Consent Calendar.

One, is a proposed Code of Conduct for Council Members, City Staff, Commissioners, and Volunteers (Volunteers?).

Another has to do with awarding a contract to Kennedy/Jenks for doing a “Feasibility Study” for a Centralized Water Treatment Strategy .

FIRST OFF, WHEN IT COMES TO A CODE OF CONDUCT AND ETHICS. This little nugget caught my attention

Um----- Could we be a little more specific here

Other than being a little queasy about a very vague definition of “abusive conduct” the time the Council (and the public) might have really benefitted from something like this was back-in-the-day prior to those Grand Jury Investigations and the Run Up To The Recall. Things got pretty nasty during Council Meetings and accusations by Certain Council Members about Other Council Members Motives were common.

And I was there, and definitely remember when a Leader of the Recall and (future) Planning Commissioner told some Elderly Ladies of a Different Opinion that their opinions really didn’t matter because they’d be dead soon anyway.

Raking City Staff over the coals, in public, about whether or not they have the authority and discretion to do their own job? Yep. Witnessed that too. On more than one occasion.

How about that Council Member comment about firing all the part-time staff because none of them do any work anyway. I was in the audience for that one too.

But, I am certain that at least a couple of Current Council Members would have throw an absolute hissing fit if adopting a Code of Conduct would have even been floated as a serious proposition at the time.

Take away their opportunity to criticize the City Manager, City Attorney, other Council Members, City Staff, and certain members of “the public” in public?

Does anyone really think the prior City Manager would have had any more than a snowballs chance in hell of getting a Code of Conduct and Ethics passed?

(Now.. when it came to being on the receiving end of criticism. OMG! Some of them couldn’t even handle questions from the Press without crying foul and complaining about being “stalked”! But, still, even then, there wasn’t a real push to get a Code of Conduct & Ethics passed at that time.

Not that I can remember.)

So…..call me cynical, but I can’t help but wonder about the “timing” of this: coupled with it being a Consent Calendar Item as opposed to a Discussion and Potential Action Item.

We are getting ready for a few “Big Ticket Political Items” this year: A Feasibility Study for a Centralized Water Treatment System, A Utility Rate Study, and one Huge Honkin Election Cycle.

There has been talk about making the Mayors position 4 years instead of 2.

And also talk about putting a proposal on the November Ballot about changing the way Benefit Assessment Districts and Livingston As A Whole are taxed for things like Police, Fire, Landscaping and such.

Add it all up and it looks like the making for a  very hot “Political Year” in Livingston.

And now…somebody, seems to want somebody fitted with an “existential muzzle” {cough} Code of Conduct and Ethics: that says everybody has to only say nice things about everybody else.

Even the volunteers.

Or Else..

Interesting…..

ABOUT THE KENNEDY/JENKS CONTRACT

You’ll notice, if you look at the Agenda Packet, that the Kennedy Jenks proposal is the only one included as part of the Back Up Documentation. Yes..I know the Utility Rate Stakeholders Committee recommended Kennedy Jenks. But they did “final” interviews with two consultants: Kennedy Jenks and Carollo.

So now, the Committee has evolved from having the authority to “work with” and “make suggestions to” the Consultants the City Council has chosen to actually choosing which Consultants to work with.

AND DON’T FORGET THOSE MOUNTING ATTORNEY’S FEES

If you look at the Warrant Register, you’ll see close to $24,000 in Attorney’s fees: about $8,000 of that for the (seemingly eternal) General Plan Update. Fees in the Planning Department are also up.

Given the number of Code Updates/Changes the City Council keeps batting back and forth with the Planning Commission, its no wonder that those numbers just keeps growing like the Energizer Bunny keeps going.

AND NOW ON TO THE

CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING AGENDA

FEBRUARY 21, 2012

CLOSED SESSION: 5:30 P.M.

OPEN SESSION: 7:00 P.M.

Notice is hereby given that the City Council will hold a Regular Meeting on February 21, 2012, at the City Council Chambers, 1416 C Street, Livingston, California. Persons with disabilities who may need assistance should contact the Deputy City Clerk at least 24 hours prior to this meeting at (209) 394-8041, Ext. 121. Any writings or documents pertaining to an Open Session item provided to a majority of the members of the legislative body less than 72 hours prior to the meeting shall be made available for public inspection at Livingston City Hall, 1416 C Street. The Open Session will begin at 7:00 p.m. The Closed Session will be held in accordance with state law prior to the Open Session beginning at 5:30 p.m. The Closed Session will be held in the City of Livingston City Hall Conference Room located at 1416 C Street. The agenda shall be as follows:

Closed Session

1. Call to Order.

2. Roll Call.

CLOSED SESSION

A “Closed” or “Executive” Session of the City Council or the Livingston Redevelopment Agency may be held in accordance with state law which may include, but is not limited to, the following types of items: personnel matters, labor negotiations, security matters, providing instructions to real property negotiators, conference with legal counsel regarding pending litigation. The Closed Session will be held in the City Hall Conference Room located at 1416 C Street, Livingston, California. Any public comment on Closed Session items will be taken before the Closed Session. Any required announcements or discussion of Closed Session items or actions following the Closed Session will be made in the City Council Chambers, 1416 C Street, Livingston, California.

3. Conference with Legal Counsel—Potential Litigation

[(Government Code Section 54956.9(b)(1)]Number of Cases: 3

4. Conference with Labor Negotiator

(Government Code Section 54957.6)

Agency Negotiator: City Manager Jose Antonio Ramirez

Employee Organizations: All Represented City Employees

Regular Meeting

CALL TO ORDER

Next Resolution Number: 2012-13

Next Ordinance Number: 598

Pledge of Allegiance.

Roll Call.

Closed Session Announcements.

Changes to the Agenda.

AWARDS, PRESENTATIONS, APPOINTMENTS AND PROCLAMATIONS

1. Presentation – Lori Flanders, Public Information Officer, Merced County Association of Governments – One Voice Program.

2 Presentation – Livingston Family Apartments. The Pacific Companies has applied for Site Plan/Design Review, a Conditional Use Permit and a Development Agreement for 49 affordable apartment units and a community center to be located on a 4 acre parcel (APN: 047-310-028) just south of Peach Avenue and the canal on the west side of Main Street. They will present the item and ask Council for direction on specific Development Agreement items.

3. Presentation – City Manager Jose Antonio Ramirez – Itinerary, Capitol Hill Meetings – Infrastructure Needs, Digital Literacy and Economic Development for the City of Livingston – February 27 through March 1, 2012.

GRANT ANNOUNCEMENTS ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REPORTS

Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements and Reports.

City Staff Announcements and Reports.

City Manager Announcements and Reports.

City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports.

Mayor’s Announcements and Reports.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

CITIZEN COMMENTS

This section of the agenda allows members of the public to address the City Council on any item NOT otherwise on the agenda. Members of the public, when recognized by the Mayor, should come forward to the lectern, and identify themselves. Comments are normally limited to three (3) minutes. In accordance with State Open Meeting Laws, no action will be taken by the City Council this evening. For items which are on the agenda this evening members of the public will be provided an opportunity to address the City Council as each item is brought up for discussion.

CONSENT CALENDAR

Items on the Consent Calendar are considered routine or non-controversial and will be enacted by one vote, unless separate action is requested by the City Manager or City Council Member. There will be no separate discussion of these items unless members of the City Council or City Manager request that specific items be removed.

4. Resolution Awarding a Professional Engineering Services Contract to Prepare a Feasibility Analysis Report for a Centralized Water Treatment Strategy for the City’s Water Supply to Kennedy/Jenks Consultants, Portland, Oregon and Authorizing the City Manager to Execute the Agreement.

5. Approval of Personal Code of Conduct/Ethics for the City of Livingston.

6. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on January 17, 2012.

7. Approval of Warrant Register Dated February 15, 2012.

DISCUSSION AND POTENTIAL ACTION ITEMS

8 Resolution of the City Council of the City of Livingston Acting in the Capacity as Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency of the City of Livingston, Adopting a Draft Recognized Obligation Payment Schedule (ROPS) Pursuant to Health and Safety Code Section 34177 (1).

ADJOURNMENT

And for those of you who want to immerse yourself in even more Livingston’s Political History

A FEW FORM 700’S ABOUT WHO OWNS WHAT AND WHERE IN LIVINGSTON

2012 CITY COUNCIL Agendas and Meeting Minutes If you click on this link, you will be taken to a page where not only can you access the Agenda Packed, but also individual pages on each Agenda Item

2011 CITY COUNCIL Agendas and Meeting Minutes (I’ve got a few more things “linked up” since my last post. Might want to check and see if there is anything in the History that interests you.)

POLICE CHIEF RECRUITMENT CITY OF LIVINGSTON

2012-2012 City of Livingston Draft Budget

The “Mission of the Utility Rate Stakeholders Committee” Series

February 15, 2011 Discussion: Utility Rate Stakeholders Committee In Which the idea was first proposed for a Stakeholders Committee in which members would work with City Staff and Consultants

  • APRIL 05, 2011: DISCUSSION OF UTILITY RATE STAKEHOLDER COMMITTEE MEMBER APPOINTMENTS IN WHICH THE PEOPLE WHO WOULD BE WORKING WITH CITY STAFF AND CONSULTANTS WERE CHOSEN

  • JUNE 07, 2011 DISCUSSION OF UTILITY RATE COMMITTEE MEETING IN WHICH IT WAS REVEALED THAT THE PEOPLE WHO WOULD BE WORKING WITH CITY STAFF AND CONSULTANTS ALREADY HAD THEIR FIRST  “GET TOGETHER”. BUT THE PUBLIC WAS NOT INVITED.

  • DECEMBER 06, 2011 CHANGE OF UTILITY RATE STUDY CONSULTANT DISCUSSION IN WHICH IT WAS REVEALED THE CITY MANAGER ENDED THE CONTRACT WITH THE “COUNCIL APPROVED” CONSULTANT AND SENT OUT A REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL TO LOOK FOR A BRAND NEW ONE.

  • JANUARY 24, 2012 UTILITY RATE STAKEHOLDERS COMMITTEE MEETING – AT WHICH THE COMMITTEE POSTPONED THE SELECTION OF A NEW UTILITY RATE STUDY CONSULTANT.

  • OUT WITH THE “CONSULTANT #3, IN WITH CONSULTANT #4” SERIES

            THE “BRIEF HISTORY OF HOW WE GOT INTO THIS MESS” SERIES

          A FEW LETTERS, SUN-STAR & AND MIKE MCGUIRE ARTICLES ABOUT LIVINGSTON POLITICS (AND A FEW OTHER THINGS WORTHY OF NOTE)(THE LINKS HERE GO ALL THE WAY BACK TO THE 2008 ELECTION CYCLE)

          THE 1995 WATER RATE RESOLUTION(DO YOU SEE ANYTHING IN THERE THAT SAYS “INDUSTRIAL”?)

          CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SEPT. 2010 LETTER ON WATER SYSTEM FUNDING

          WELL #15 ENFORCEMENT LETTER & STAFF REPORT

          WELL #15 MANGANESE ENFORCEMENT LETTER DISCUSSIONS

          HOW THEY VOTED IN 2011 (IT’S STILL A WORK IN PROGRESS. BUT I’M WORKING ON IT!)

          HOW THEY VOTED IN 2010

          HOW THEY VOTED IN 2009

          HOW THEY VOTED IN 2008

          HOW THEY VOTED IN 2007

          HOW THEY VOTED IN 2006.

          CITY COUNCIL DRAFT MEETING MINUTES FOR 2010

          CITY COUNCIL DRAFT MEETING MINUTES FOR 2009

          CITY COUNCIL DRAFT MEETING MINUTES FOR 2008

          CITY COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES FOR 2007

          CITY COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES FOR 2006

          CITY COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES FOR 2005

          CITY COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES FOR 2004

          2010-2011 MERCED COUNTY GRAND JURY FINAL REPORT

          2009-2010 MERCED COUNTY GRAND JURY FINAL REPORT

          2008-2009 INTERIM REPORTS MERCED COUNTY CIVIL GRAND JURY POSTSCRIPT TO FY2007/2008 GRAND JURY’S REPORT ON THE CITY OF LIVINGSTON

          2007 2008 MERCED COUNTY GRAND JURY FINAL REPORT

          2006-2007 MERCED COUNTY GRAND JURY FINAL REPORT

          A Brief History of Utility Rates Part 9: “Feasibility” Moves Forward, Rate Studies get Stalled, and What Ever Happened to Watering Days Anyway?

          The majority of the City water system was constructed in the 1920’s, 1930’s, 1940’s and 1950’s. Water quality problems have developed because the old cast iron pipes are rusting, often leaving an odor and brown residue in the water. These sections of pipe have also been historically prone to leaks and breaks. In addition, system weaknesses have developed due to the rapid growth of the community in recent years. (Source: City of Livingston 2010-2011 Adopted Budget, pgs. 45 & 46)

          ‘’All of the wells have 123 TCP levels substantially above the public health goal and the highest levels of 123 TCP are from wells 8, 14 and 12. Well 15 has Manganese and Arsenic levels above the MCLs. Nitrate levels were above the MCL for wells 8 and 14. DBCP was detected above the reporting limit of 0.01 µg /l in wells 8, 9 and 14 and the remaining wells were non-detect for DBCP.” – RFP – PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERING SERVICES TO PREPARE A FEASIBILITY ANALYSIS REPORT FOR A CENTRALIZED WATER TREATMENT STRATEGY FOR THE CITY WATER SUPPLY

          THE WATER HAS BEEN BROWN TO RED SINCE THE LATE 60′S TO MID 70′S. THE OLD PIPES IN CERTAIN PARTS OF TOWN HAVE NEVER BEEN REPLACED. EVERY NEW CITY MANAGER THAT CAME IN AND LEFT, DID NOTHING TO REMEDY THIS. EXCERPT FROM A COMMENT BY KARMA ON“DIRTY SMELLY WATER ON TAP IN LIVINGSTON” – MERCED SUN STAR(EMPHASIS MINE)

          (The)Public Works Superintendent… commented that when they started monitoring the wells in 2004 for (TCP),…City Council was notified of it, then every year after that the public was notified, is all in a Consumers Report…. health language was included in those notices….there is a public health goal which is .7 parts per trillion which the City exceeds in every well. Also there is no maximum contamination level yet, but the state anticipates having one fairly soon which according to state terms could mean anywhere from 1-10 years… unfortunately the City water system could be impacted.AUGUST 02, 2011 Draft Minutes

           

          Watering Restrictions 1[16]Watering Restrictions 2[13]

          It’s that time of year again and I’ve been bringing up every year about going to watering days… And I think again you need to look real hard to go back to watering days. It didn’t hurt us before and we still had green grass: but it’s not looking good. Excerpted from a Public Comment by Warren Urnberg, January 03 City Council Meeting.

          Watering Days. Like Water Rates, “watering days” has been a topic batted back and forth by the City Council for years without any real resolve.  There would be lots of talk about how necessary they were, but when it came time to finally getting around to really having a “once and for all” vote on the issue, it would just disappear from view.

          Then months, maybe years later, it would rear its head again and the whole process of Acknowledging It’s Importance, Discussing The Details, then Continuing It Into Political Purgatory, would start up all over again.

          Which is why the “Brief History” of it all goes back to 1995: the last time Water Rates were raised.

          In Part one of the “what are we going to do about water rates”  series we looked at some detailed records from 1995 (The last time Water Rates were Raised) through 2002

          Part 2 covered  2003 through 2007 and touches on the deteriorating infrastructure, grants received, and warnings about deficits in the Enterprise Funds.

          Part three covered January 2007 through February 2008 and looked at the “Gilton Mess”, the Rate Study by Dan Bergmann, and the release of the 2025 General Plan Update to the public

          Part 4 covered January 2008 through October 2008 and how Rate Increases were postponed so the Council could Study-The-Issue some more, Foster Farms and the City settled the litigation over BackFlow Devices, and Public Hearings about the 2025 General Plan Update

          Part 5 included October,2008 through June 2009 and A New Council, A New Rate Study by a Brand New Consultant, The High School Expansion, and more on the General Plan Update (among other things)

          Part 6 contained Some Background Information about the Water Delivery System, Stakeholders, the Prop 13 Grant, some Planed Improvements, some Regulatory/Legal History, and a Brief Recap of What Happened Between 1995 and June 2009

          Part 7 includes Some Enterprise Funds Basics and Meeting Highlights: July 7, 2009 through December 01 and notes the rise of the Recall Movement.

          Part 8 picks up some time after the recall and focuses on yet another Change in Utility Rate Consultants

          In Part Nine of this ever growing series, we will look at what came out of the very first meeting of the City Council appointed Utility Rate Stakeholder’s Committee: which took place on Jan. 24, 2012.

          But First, let’s take a peek at what’s going on in Delta Bravo Sierra Land.

          Techlology Strikes Again You Know - I Was Beginning to Wonder About That MyselfDepends on what the meaning of is - is

          There’s strange, than there is “Army Strange” out inDelta Bravo Sierra Land: courtesy of Damon Shackelford: furious scribbler of military cartoons

          Before we get to the Main Event, a few Announcements:

          Building Materials Sale at the Livingston VFW

          The Livingston-Delhi Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8327 will be holding a huge Building Materials Sale at the Veterans Memorial Hall, located at 9799 Stephens Street, Delhi California.

          Wednesday, February 1st through Saturday February 4th. We will open at 9 am and close at 5 pm.

          All new merchandise, priced twenty five cents on the dollar. We have electrical, plumbing, lawn & garden, flooring, windows, doors and many other items, too numerous to mention.

          All Sales are Final with no Warranties. Contractors Welcome—No Credit Cards, cash or checks accepted.

          All proceeds will go to the California Veterans Service Program.

          For a list of the items available, go to www.vfwlivingston.com.

           

          Blood Drive

          Blood Drive At The Livingston VFW

          Community Blood Drive to be held at the Livingston Veterans Memorial Hall,

          1605 7th Street, Livingston, on

          February 9, 2012 from 3-7 pm.

          Donate a pint of blood and receive a coupon meal hosted by the Livingston/Delhi Veterans of Foreign Wars and Ladies Auxiliary and you will also be entered to win 2 FREE Airline tickets to Las Vegas and a $500 Hotel Gift Card.

          For more information call Denis or Sue Wells at 394-2059 or visit our Website at

          www.vfwlivingston.com.

          Walk-ins are always welcome.

           

          lasangna

          Lasagna Dinner at the VFW

          Treat your sweetheart to a Lasagna Dinner on February 11, 2012, at the Veterans Memorial Hall, located at 1605 7th Street in Livingston.

          Eat in or take out from 5-7 pm.

          The dinner will be lasagna, salad vegetable, roll & butter and a Valentine dessert.

          The cost of the meal is $8.00 if you buy your ticket in advance or $10.00 at the door.

          Proceeds go to VFW 8327 for their many programs, and will stay in the community.

          If you need more information or if you need tickets, contact Denis or Sue Wells at (209) 394-2059 or Teresa Ourique at (209) 496-7310.

          clip_image004[5]There’s Still Time to Help Give the Lil Guys and Gals and even better place to play!In 2006 the city purchased the storm drain basin (4 lots) next to the park and filled it in with the intent of making it a park to service the ball park participants and their families. Since then, Lil Guys and Gals field has been a ball park used for many years by the residents of Livingston…

          The Recreation Commission determined in 2011 to take on the park as a project. The commission wanted to involve the community and let them help bring this project to reality. By purchasing a stepping stone the community not only provides the financing for the park, but in turn places a personal monument in the park for years to come.

          Stones will be sold until there are enough sales to cover the completion of the park. The Commission’s goal is Summer of 2012.

          Once you have purchased a stone you will be called by the Recreation Department for an appointment to make/create your stone.

          If you are interested in creating a Memorial Stone and/or participating in one of the many work days that will take place to upgrade the park, call the Recreation Office at 394-8830 for more information.

          On January 24, 2912, the Utility rate Stakeholders Committee met in the City Hall conference room to discuss the following:

            • (A) 5 Proposals received in response to the City’s Request for Proposals (RFP) for a “Feasibility Analysis for a Centralized Treatment Strategy for the City’s Water supply”.

            • (B) 3 Proposals received in response to the city’s request for Proposals (RFP) for “Water. Wastewater. & Solid Waste Rate Studies, community Outreach, and Proposition 218 Balloting Services.

            You can think of the purpose behind Part “A” (Feasibility Analysis) as coming up with answers to questions such as:

              • How much water will the City need to come up with over the next umpteen years or so?

              • Where will the City get the water it will need?

                  • Groundwater only (wells)?

                  • Groundwater (wells) + Surface water (from MID) and if so

                    • How much will come from wells and

                    • How much will come from MID?

                        • If MID water will be used will it be

                            • Fairly “soon”?

                            • Phased in over the next few years or so?

                            • Phased in starting several years from now?

                    • How will the city make sure the water is “clean enough” to meet State and Federal Clean Water Standards?

                        • Will it be through well-head treatment only? (That’s assuming the water would only come from wells)

                        • Will there be some kind of “centralized” treatment?

                            • One for the whole system?

                            • Two? Like maybe one on one side of the highway and another on the other side of the highway?

                            • More than two?

                        • How will the City move the water from “the source” through “the treatment” and finally to “the consumer”

                            • How many pipes does the City have that still need replacing anyway?

                            • How many new pipes would the City have to install to accommodate a “new” Treatment System

                          • What solution would be the most Cost Efficient and how much would it cost?

                            No matter what proposed solution/s come out of a “Feasibility Study”, you can bet implementing the recommendations won’t come cheap, or easy. (Especially if a significant portion of Livingston’s population would expect the City’s General Fund to cover a good portions of the costs involved instead of paying for them through Rate Increases.)

                            So..I guess you could think of the Purpose behind Part “B” (Rate Studies) as – OK…come up with everyone’s “proportional fair share” of the costs involved in implementing “the plan” the “Feasibility Consultants” came up with. And try to make it as “palatable” to the Public as possible.

                            The Utility Rate Consultants Proposals set to be considered by the Committee on the 24th included:

                            The Feasibility Analysis for a Centralized Treatment Strategy for the City’s Water Supply – Consultants Proposals ready for consideration by the Committee that evening included:

                            Although all the Consultants proposals for “The Rate Study” and “The Feasibility Study” were presented to the Committee for consideration that evening, the Committee actually discussed only those Proposals for the “Feasibility Study”.

                            The decision was made to eliminate AECOM, Jacobs, and West Yost, from further consideration and to “call back” Carollo and Kennedy-Jenks for a more detailed presentation and “question and answer” session.

                            There was no discussion of Utility Rate Consultants Proposals. This discussion was postponed for a future meeting.

                            S0….What Are We Going To Do About Watering Days this time around?

                            Once upon a time, back in  December 2, 2008, the following item was on the City Council’s Agenda

                            15. Introduce and Waive First Reading of an Ordinance Amending Title 9, Chapter 5 of the Livingston Municipal Code Relating to Establishing Policies, Rules and Regulations Governing the Provision of Water Services in the City of Livingston.

                            And after some discussion, a decision was made.  It was as follows:

                            Motion: Vierra/Varela to introduce and waive the first reading of Ordinance No. 576, an Ordinance Amending Title 9, Chapter 5 of the Livingston Municipal Code Relating to Establishing Policies, Rules and Regulations Governing the Provision of Water Services in the City of Livingston. The motion carried 5-0 by the following vote:

                            AYES: Council Members: Aguilar, Espinoza, Nateras, Varela, Vierra

                            NOES: Council Members: None

                            ABSENT: Council Members: None

                            (By the way…did you notice who was on the Council at the time? No…not the councilmembers who were recalled later: the ones that are STILL ON THE COUNCIL? Keep that thought in the back of your brains as we continue)

                            Now…if you If you go to Section 9-5-72 WATER RESTRICTIONS of the Municipal Code and look at paragraph (C), you will find the following:

                            Water Restrictions. When directed by the City Council, the following outside watering restrictions apply to residential, commercial and industrial customers of the City of Livingston:

                            1. All house numbers ending with an even number may water on Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday.

                            2. All house numbers ending with an odd number may water on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday.

                            3. No outside watering on Wednesday.

                            4. The washing of vehicles will be allowed on the designated watering day and on weekends (Saturdays and Sundays), regardless of house numbers, as long as a quick-acting positive shut-off nozzle is used.

                            (Did you also notice that ,"When directed by the City Council” part? Tuck that into your brain as well.)

                            Then, on December 16, 2008, the Second Reading of this Ordinance was on the CONSENT CALENDAR

                            8. Waive the Second Reading and Adopt Ordinance No. 576, an Ordinance of the CityCouncil of the City of Livingston Amending Title 9, Chapter 5 of the Livingston Municipal Code Relating to Establishing Policies, Rules and Regulations Governing the Provision of Water Services in the City of Livingston.

                            Which was also passed 5-0 (By Council Members: Aguilar, Espinoza, Nateras, Varela, & Vierra) Right?

                            No yelling, no screaming, no major protests about anything in the Ordinance being “not fair”, or “unjust” or “wrong” or “picking on anyone” or any other major “picking apart/shredding of the Ordinance before the vote was taken.

                            (Otherwise, it would not have been passed with a 5 –0 vote. Right? If there were “issues” with the Ordinance at the time, you would expect it passing with a 3/2 or a 4/1.  Or maybe not even passing at all…..Tuck that into your brain too.)

                            Now…Flash Forward to the NOVEMBER 16, 2010 City Council Meeting,  that Post Recall Period of Time when Warren Urnberg was filling in as a Temporary Council person. On the Agenda was the following

                            12. Resolution of the City Council of the City of Livingston Authorizing Direction for Outside Watering Restrictions Per Title 9, Chapter 5, Section 72 of the City of Livingston Municipal Code.

                            At That Meeting

                            Council Member Urnberg commented that he wanted this item placed on the agenda even though we will be going back to water meters and getting charged. He said that even when there were restricted watering days, the lawns did not die, but the Council received some complaints and then allowed people to water whenever they wanted to. Mr. Urnberg noted that now is the time to bring up restricted watering days before summer and spring come around and people begin outside watering.

                            Mayor Espinoza agreed that restricted watering days was a better way to conserve water and he didn’t foresee a problem going back to the previous watering regulations.

                            Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar was in agreement. She said the resolution was the first step as a Council to move forward. Ms. Aguilar read the resolution restricting watering days. She asked that the resolution be placed on Channel 2 and in the newspaper to reach citizens so that they know what the Council was proposing.

                            Council Member Samra felt the effective date was too soon and suggested making the effective date January 1, 2011, to give the citizens time to get used to the change.

                            Then they started talking about reviewing the Ordinance All-Over-Again. After that it was

                            Motion: M/S Espinoza/Samra to continue this item to the next meeting as a public hearing. The motion carried 4-0

                            At the DECEMBER 7, 2010 City Council Meeting it was again on the Agenda as Item #3

                            3. Resolution of the City Council of the City of Livingston Authorizing Implementation of Outside Watering Restrictions Per Title 9, Chapter 5, Section 72, of the City of Livingston Municipal Code.

                            There was a little discussion about when it should take effect again, and whether or not to lower fines

                            And Again, Mayor Espinoza and Council Member Samra asked that this item be continued….And it was continued into oblivion once more….

                            So, what is the Council going to do about Watering Days this year?

                            Well….what do you think? 

                            And for those of you who want to immerse yourself in even more Livingston’s Political History

                            A FEW FORM 700’S ABOUT WHO OWNS WHAT AND WHERE IN LIVINGSTON

                            2012 CITY COUNCIL Agendas and Meeting Minutes If you click on this link, you will be taken to a page where not only can you access the Agenda Packed, but also individual pages on each Agenda Item

                            2011 CITY COUNCIL Agendas and Meeting Minutes (I’ve got a few more things “linked up” since my last post. Might want to check and see if there is anything in the History that interests you.)

                            POLICE CHIEF RECRUITMENT CITY OF LIVINGSTON

                            2012-2012 City of Livingston Draft Budget

                            The “Mission of the Utility Rate Stakeholders Committee” Series

                            • April 05, 2011: Discussion of Utility Rate Stakeholder Committee Member Appointments In which the people who would be working with City Staff and Consultants were chosen

                            • June 07, 2011 Discussion of Utility Rate Committee Meeting In which it was revealed that the people who would be working with City Staff and Consultants already had their first  “get together”. But the public was not invited.

                            • December 06, 2011 Change of Utility Rate Study Consultant Discussion In which it was revealed the City Manager ended the Contract with the “Council Approved” Consultant and sent out a Request for Proposal to look for a Brand New One.

                            • January 24, 2012 Utility Rate Stakeholders Committee Meeting – At which the Committee postponed the selection of a New Utility Rate Study Consultant.

                            • Out with the “Consultant #3, In with Consultant #4” Series

                              And Don’t Forget There’s a Search on for this Additional Consultant too…

                              The “Brief History of How We Got Into This Mess” Series

                              A FEW LETTERS, SUN-STAR & AND MIKE MCGUIRE ARTICLES ABOUT LIVINGSTON POLITICS (AND A FEW OTHER THINGS WORTHY OF NOTE) (THE LINKS HERE GO ALL THE WAY BACK TO THE 2008 ELECTION CYCLE)

                              The 1995 Water Rate Resolution (Do you see anything in there that says “Industrial”?)

                              California Department of Health Sept. 2010 Letter on Water System Funding

                              Well #15 Enforcement Letter & Staff Report

                              Well #15 Manganese Enforcement Letter Discussions

                              How They Voted in 2011 (It’s still a Work In Progress. But I’m Working on it!)

                              How They Voted in 2010

                              How They Voted in 2009

                              How They Voted in 2008

                              How They Voted in 2007

                              How They Voted in 2006.

                              City Council Draft Meeting Minutes for 2010

                              City Council Draft Meeting Minutes for 2009

                              City Council Draft Meeting Minutes for 2008

                              City Council Meeting Minutes for 2007

                              City Council Meeting Minutes for 2006

                              City Council Meeting Minutes for 2005

                              City Council Meeting Minutes for 2004

                              2010-2011 Merced County Grand Jury Final Report

                              2009-2010 Merced County Grand Jury Final Report

                              2008-2009 Interim Reports Merced County Civil Grand Jury Postscript to FY2007/2008 Grand Jury’s Report On The City of Livingston

                              2007 2008 Merced County Grand Jury Final Report

                              2006-2007 Merced County Grand Jury Final Report