CITY COUNCIL MINUTES
April 28, 2014
1. CALL TO ORDER/PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE The meeting of the City Council was called to order by Mayor John Marchand at 7:07 pm, in the City Council Chambers, 3575 Pacific Avenue, Livermore, California.
1.01 ROLL CALL Present: Mayor John Marchand, Vice Mayor Bob Woerner, and Councilmembers Stewart Gary, Doug Horner, and Laureen Turner.
1.02 PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
1.03 REPORT OF ACTION TAKEN IN CLOSED SESSION
City Attorney Jason Alcala said there was no reportable action.
2. PROCLAMATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS
2.01 Livermore Area Youth Advisory Commission Annual Update.
Livermore Area Youth Advisory Commission member Maggie Rosendin presented the update.
3. CITIZENS FORUM
Jim Schmidt, Livermore, spoke in support of the Bankhead Theater and submitted a petition of signatures requesting the Council support the theater.
Steven Kreek, Livermore, submitted a petition from residents along the Concannon Boulevard corridor expressing concerns regarding sound walls and spillover traffic from the freeways.
Maureen Schults, Livermore, spoke in support of the various programs offered at the theater; she urged the City Council to help keep the theater viable.
Linda Tinney, Livermore, spoke in support of the Bankhead Theater and requested the City Council listen to the citizens and work together to save the theater.
Leo Arrowsmith, Livermore, read a statement on behalf of Linda Ryan regarding the Bothwell Arts Center, saying while the center could be self-supporting, it would be extremely difficult without the support and exposure from the Bankhead Theater. He spoke in support of the Bothwell Arts Center and asked the City Council to help keep the Center open.
Roger Lake, Livermore, spoke regarding collecting signatures in support of the Bankhead Theater and said there was widespread support in the community; he asked the City Council to take a proactive role in saving the theater.
Jay Davis, Livermore, said the City should terminate the Disposition and Development Agreement with the regional theater and release the land for construction of a downtown hotel and parking facility.
Pat Ferguson, Livermore, spoke regarding financial transparency of the Bankhead Theater and the regional theater project; and corrected her statements made at a previous meeting regarding bond debt and payments from the Altamont Landfill fund.
In response to questions by Mayor Marchand, City Attorney Jason Alcala said the non-profit organization related to the regional theater had filed a lawsuit against the Department of Finance and was seeking an appeal; the Livermore Successor Agency was named a real party in interest, but the case was not being prosecuted by the City.
Keith Rothenberg, Livermore, spoke regarding the health of trees at Sycamore Grove Park due to water being shut off by Zone 7; he requested the City Council place the matter on an agenda as a matter of urgency.
Don Meeker, Livermore, spoke regarding Livermore water rates in 1880.
Robbie Kingston, Hoofprints on the Heart, expressed appreciation for the volunteers who assisted at the Hoofprints on the Heart property on Saturday, April 26, 2014.
Mike Rountree, Hoofprints on the Heart, thanked participants for their volunteer service at the Hoofprints on the Heart property at Hagemann Farm; he said the Hoofprints program provided equine therapy to special needs people at a very affordable cost.
John Stein, Livermore, said he supported earlier comments regarding a hotel and parking facility in the Downtown and spoke regarding the recent Downtown parking study and survey findings.
Rachael Snedecor, Livermore Downtown Inc., spoke regarding the Livermore Wine Country Festival on May 3-4, 2014; she said about 150,000 attendees would visit Livermore over the two days and highlighted event sponsors including Livermore Toyota, the Livermore Wine Trolley, and Wiley X.
4. CONSENT CALENDAR
ON THE MOTION OF CM TURNER, SECONDED BY CM GARY, AND CARRIED ON A 5-0 VOTE, THE CITY COUNCIL APPROVED THE CONSENT CALENDAR.
4.01 Approval of minutes - April 14, 2014 regular City Council meeting.
4.02 Resolution 2014-046 amending the Historic Preservation Commission Rules of Procedure to update the meeting start time in addition to Duties and Responsibilities.
4.03 Resolution 2014-047 authorizing execution of the second amendment to the agreement for land surveying services with Mark Thomas & Company, Inc., in the amount of $195,300, to perform additional right of way engineering services for transferring the Isabel Avenue (SR 84) and Airway Boulevard interchange right of way property to the State of California, Project No. 1992-38.
4.04 Resolution 2014-048 authorizing execution of an agreement with the National Nuclear Security Administration for the City to provide sanitary sewer service to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
4.05 Resolution 2014-049 establishing the affordable sales price, rent price, and income limits for the 2014 Below-Market For-Sale and Rental Programs.
5. PUBLIC HEARINGS
5.01 Hearing to receive protests related to the annual fire hazard abatement program and to order abatement of public nuisances.
Recommendation: Staff recommended the City Council consider all protests and adopt a resolution overruling protests and directing staff to proceed with necessary abatement.
Fire Chief Jim Miguel presented the staff report.
Mayor Marchand opened the public hearing.
There were no speakers and the hearing was closed.
ON THE MOTION OF CM HORNER, SECONDED BY CM GARY AND CARRIED ON A 5-0 VOTE, THE CITY COUNCIL ADOPTED THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION:
Resolution 2014-050 overruling protests and directing staff to proceed with necessary abatement.
5.02 Hearing to consider the Fiscal Year 2014-2015 Action Plan for the Community Development Block Grant Program and authorizing its submittal to Alameda County for inclusion with the Alameda County HOME Consortium document to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Recommendation: The Human Services Commission and staff recommended the City Council adopt a resolution approving the Fiscal Year 2014-2015 Action Plan and authorizing its submittal to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Human Services Program Manager Jean Prasher presented the staff report.
Mayor Marchand opened the public hearing.
There were no speakers and the hearing was closed.
ON THE MOTION OF CM TURNER, SECONDED BY VM WOERNER AND CARRIED ON A 5-0 VOTE, THE CITY COUNCIL ADOPTED THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION:
Resolution 2014-051 approving the Fiscal Year 2014-2015 Action Plan and authorizing its submittal to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
6. MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION
6.01 Discussion and direction regarding City Council appointments to Intergovernmental Agencies. None.
6.02 Discussion and direction regarding City Council benefits.
Recommendation: Staff recommended the City Council provide direction.
Administrative Services Director Douglas Alessio presented the staff report.
Mayor Marchand said he brought the issue of Council benefits forward because the Council had asked the Citys bargaining groups to make concessions and he felt it was appropriate for the Council to also make a statement, as there were no other part-time City employees receiving full-time benefits. He said the recommendations would reduce total compensation for Councilmembers by 71% and reduce total compensation for the Mayor by 65%. He said this was a significant commitment, but he believed the Council should lead by example.
VM Woerner said in addition to making the changes by resolution and ordinance, the subcommittee wanted a ballot measure to gain endorsement from the residents to ensure future Councils could not undo these changes. He said it was important to provide enough compensation to defray costs and provide access to medical benefits, but also target and cap the rates permanently.
CM Gary said he supported the research and recommendation from the Subcommittee for the ballot measure. He clarified that a future Council or group of residents could undo the action by ballot measure; however, making the change by ballot measure prevented a whimsical or stealthy change of Council pay and benefits without a community conversation.
In response to questions by CM Turner, City Attorney Jason Alcala said there were a number of statutes that applied to Councilmembers as employees. He said under the current structure, the Council was not looked at as independent contractors; that could not be changed under the current contract with CalPERS and the designation with regards to the opt-out of Social Security. He said in regards to participation in employee benefits, if the Subcommittees recommendation was accepted to allow the Councilmembers to participate, they would be participating in the health and welfare benefits as employees, not as independent contractors.
THE CITY COUNCIL DIRECTED STAFF TO PROCEED WITH THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE SUBCOMMITTEE TO:
ADOPT RESOLUTIONS TO CHANGE THE HEALTH BENEFITS TO VOLUNTARY ENROLLMENT ON A SELF-PAID BASIS WITH NO CITY CONTRIBUTION; DEFINE THE MAYOR AND COUNCILMEMBERS AS PART-TIME EMPLOYEES; ELIMINATE THE $90 PER MONTH CELL PHONE ALLOWANCE AND CONVERT THIS INTO SALARY; AND PURSUE A CONTRACT AMENDMENT WITH CALPERS TO EXCLUDE THE CLASSIFICATIONS OF MAYOR AND COUNCILMEMBER ON A PROSPECTIVE BASIS; AND INTRODUCE AN ORDINANCE SETTING THE CITY COUNCIL SALARY AT $1,070 AND THE MAYORS SALARY AT $1,490 (WHICH INCLUDES THE $90 CELL PHONE ALLOWANCE); DETERMINE THE MAXIMUM INCREASE IN SALARY FOR ANY GIVEN YEAR IS THE LESSER OF 5% OR THE CHANGE IN THE CONSUMER PRICE INDEX FOR SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA WITH NO ACCUMULATED INCREASE TO BE ALLOWED FOR PAST YEARS IN WHICH INCREASES WERE NOT PROVIDED. THE CITY COUNCIL DIRECTED STAFF TO PREPARE BALLOT MEASURES FOR THE NOVEMBER 4, 2014 ELECTION TO SEEK ENDORSEMENT FROM THE RESIDENTS OF LIVERMORE FOR THESE SIGNIFICANT POLICY CHANGES.
6.03 Discussion and direction regarding the 2014 Fourth of July fireworks.
Recommendation: Staff recommended the City Council provide direction
Acting City Manager Troy Brown presented the staff report.
In response to questions by CM Horner, Fire Chief Jim Miguel said during the fireworks display, the fallout area would be secured and everyone except for the pyrotechnics company would be out of the area. He said cars could be in the parking garage other than the top level.
In response to questions by Mayor Marchand, Chief Miguel said the Shea Plaza was outside of the fallout zone, but there would be a significant obstruction by the Bankhead Theater.
CM Gary spoke regarding his research for a site for the smaller show, including discussions with the fireworks vendor and Livermore Downtown Inc., and said the show would be more attractive to corporate sponsors than previous events.
CM Gary said the plaza in front of the Bankhead would not have a viewing angle; there were two prime viewing spots, one being the empty parking lot next to Uncle Yus, and the other being Maple Street. He discussed possibilities for traffic, parking, and neighborhood viewing areas.
Mayor Marchand said the Alameda County Fair would have a 4th of July Fireworks show for the entire region this year.
Chief Jim Miguel said he was confident the event would be safe and believed staff could control the fallout zone. He spoke regarding the lack of combustibles in the area, the historical wind patterns, and said the larger mortars at Las Positas were a much greater risk than the two-inch cake mortars that would be used.
In response to questions by CM Horner, Police Chief Michael Harris said crowd control and parking were his concerns and spoke regarding successful implementation of several other Downtown events. He said it would take some consideration for parking, viewing, roadblocks, traffic flow, and how people would get out after the event, but he thought it could be done.
Mayor Marchand invited public comment.
Rachael Snedecor, Livermore Downtown Inc. (LDI), expressed support for the Downtown 4th of July event and spoke regarding parking, bus routing, support from the restaurants, and bringing the event back to Livermore.
Pat Ferguson, Livermore, said the disadvantage of a Downtown event was everyone would be spread out and asked why Robertson Park could not be used for the event.
In response to questions by Mayor Marchand, Mr. Brown confirmed the Robertson Park site was no longer suitable for a fireworks show due to changes to the south and west parking lots, and said the soccer fields in the fallout zone had been replaced with artificial turf.
In response to questions by Mayor Marchand, Ms. Snedecor said a fundraising committee would be part of the plan; she said for the first year, LDI wanted to feel comfortable that the bills were paid and then could look at funding mechanisms. She said her Board of Directors and membership could discuss using their 501(c)(3) status for fundraising.
Mayor Marchand suggested there could be a citizens committee on fireworks to engage the constituency to fundraise for future events.
THE CITY COUNCIL DIRECTED STAFF TO PROCEED WITH PRELIMINARY PLANNING FOR THE DOWNTOWN FOURTH OF JULY EVENT.
6.04 Implementation of Stage 3 Water Conservation Rates.
Recommendation: Staff recommended the City Council adopt a resolution enacting Stage 3 Water Conservation Rates.
Assistant Public Works Director Darren Greenwood presented the staff report.
In response to questions by VM Woerner, Public Works Director Dan McIntyre said this would be the first situation with water conservation rates in Livermore. He said next year, staff could bring rates to Council before the summer season and build options and alternative pricing arrangements for setting the stages. Mr. Greenwood said the shortage contingency plan had to be updated every five years; 2015 was the next scheduled update so the timing would work well.
In response to questions by VM Woerner, Mr. McIntyre said staff could bring back an option with a rebate or credit for people meeting certain criteria; staff could implement the rates in the meantime and look at a credit, rebate or discount to overlay.
In response to questions by VM Woerner, Mr. Greenwood said in regards to education with local nurseries, staff had worked with Livermore Area Recreation and Park District and would have a community meeting at the library on May 10, 2014 with landscaping professionals available to answer questions; staff currently offered landscaping audits, and could develop tips to cut landscaping water use. He said there was a program available through Zone 7 for large landscapes such as school districts and parks.
Mayor Marchand invited public comment.
Pat Ferguson, Livermore, spoke regarding weather patterns in Livermore and said the City Council should look at historical governmental rainfall data in California. She said this year was no worse and variable rainfall was normal.
In response to questions by Mayor Marchand, Mr. Greenwood said the latest numbers showed rainfall was nowhere near normal, but was 30-40% better than levels in 1977.
Frank Ranier, Livermore, spoke regarding voluntary and mandatory cutbacks and said being realistic would get more cooperation; he said it was important to indicate if cutbacks referred to the past month or the equivalent month a year ago. He said people who tried to save last year would be punished as opposed to someone who hadnt tried.
Frank Vallejo, California Water Service District Manager, said California Water Service fully supported Livermores conservation message and efforts, and would continue working with the City and other local Tri-Valley agencies to get the message out to the entire valley. He spoke regarding California Waters efforts to encourage customers to comply with the Citys water use restrictions.
Mayor Marchand said baseline water usage should be developed below which additional conservation would not be required. He spoke regarding the six fountains in the Downtown and said usage had been cut by forty-three percent; he said he wanted to keep Lizzie Fountain open for the children in Livermore.
In response to questions by Mayor Marchand, Mr. McIntyre said the Council could adjust the Tier 1 rate to a lesser amount or make no change to the Tier 1 rate, but in doing that, would provide a relief from the conservation increase for all the rate payers in the City area.
Mayor Marchand said he wanted a baseline below which there wouldnt be additional conservation requirements; he expressed concerns regarding the people who had already made conservation their lifestyle and unless they conserved another 30%, they would be charged $6.50 a month.
VM Woerner said an alternative would be if the exemption for five units or less per month were automatic; this would not give the price break to the people who used more.
In response to questions by VM Woerner, Mr. Greenwood said staff could prepare a process to identify the lower users at five units or less and had been at that period for some time.
VM Woerner said he would put it at a month-to-month basis and there was no need for people to be persistently at five.
Mr. Greenwood said it would be easier from a staff perspective to look at users who were consistently at that lower level rather than review each bill monthly.
Mr. McIntyre said staff could present options at the June 9, 2014 City Council meeting.
Mayor Marchand said the City could adopt the Tier 2 and Tier 3 rates now, and implement the Tier 1 rate after staff came back with a couple of ideas; and clarified that he was referring to the residential tiers.
In response to questions by CM Gary, Mr. Alcala said staff would look at how the rate structure had been adopted and implemented; he said the Council could adopt eighty percent of the rates today, and staff would look at what to do with the other twenty percent.
VM Woerner said he was fine with adopting all three rates, if the exemption that currently had to be applied for could be automatic.
Mr. McIntyre said staff could develop a recommended program that would be administratively implemented under the ordinance; the Council could confirm the recommended program at the June 9, 2014 City Council meeting.
Mayor Marchand said the main point was to not penalize people who had made conservation a lifestyle; if staff could make it work administratively, he would move that the Council adopt all three tiers.
ON THE MOTION OF MAYOR MARCHAND, SECONDED BY VM WOERNER AND CARRIED ON A 5-0 VOTE, THE CITY COUNCIL ADOPTED THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION AND DIRECTED STAFF TO RETURN WITH A POLICY ADDRESSING LOW-VOLUME USERS (LESS THAN FIVE UNITS).
Resolution 2014-052 Enacting Stage 3 Water Conservation Rates.
6.05 Update on the City Council Priorities for Fiscal Years 2012-2014.
Recommendation: The report was for information only.
Acting City Manager Troy Brown presented the staff report.
Mayor Marchand invited public comment.
John Stein, Livermore, spoke regarding the Citys Goals and Priorities including industrial and commercial property, property values in Livermore as a quality of life indicator, the importance of supporting neighborhoods, and development of a sports park.
THE CITY COUNCIL RECEIVED THE REPORT; NO ACTION WAS TAKEN.
6.06 Discussion and direction regarding pending State or Federal legislation. None.
7. COUNCIL COMMITTEE REPORTS AND MATTERS INITIATED BY CITY MANAGER, CITY ATTORNEY, STAFF AND COUNCILMEMBERS
7.01 Council Committee Reports and Matters Initiated by City Manager, City Attorney, Staff, and Councilmembers.
Acting City Manager Troy Brown provided an update to concerns raised during Citizens Forum regarding trees in Sycamore Grove Park; he said Livermore Area Recreation and Park District was unable to support the trees, and Zone 7 would not release water through the arroyo.
Livermore Amador Valley Water Management Authority (LAVWMA) CM Horner said on April 16, 2014 he attended the meeting where the new General Manager was welcomed and the annual budget was adopted.
The City Council directed staff to prepare a presentation for June 9, 2014 City Council meeting providing the background of conditions associated with the development of the Bankhead Theater.
The City Council directed staff to prepare an update on the Disposition and Development Agreement (DDA) for the regional theater.
Stopwaste.org CM Turner said on April 23, 2014 she attended the meeting; she said the Household Hazardous Waste fee would be reconsidered at the next meeting due to the large number of protest votes.
Livermore Downtown Inc. (LDI) CM Gary said on April 15, 2014 he attended the meeting; he said LDI was important to the success of the Downtown.
CM Gary requested staff prepare a memorandum on the issue raised during Citizens Forum regarding sound walls at Concannon; and prepare a comprehensive discussion on south side cut-through traffic with collective strategies.
Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA) VM Woerner said on April 22, 2014 he attended the finance subcommittee meeting.
VM Woerner requested an update on the issue of providing screening in front of the delivery trucks by Lizzie Fountain and requested screening behind the Livermorium Park area by the Blue Bar.
Livermorium Day Mayor Marchand said the event would be held May 30, 2014 at the Livermorium Plaza.
Livermore Amador Valley Water Management Authority (LAVWMA) Mayor Marchand said on April 16, 2014 he attended the meeting with CM Horner.
Chamber of Commerce Mayor Marchand said on April 23, 2014 he attended the meeting where there was a presentation on Measure G and Measure BB; he said both measures were supported by the Chamber.
Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC) Mayor Marchand said on April 23, 2014 he attended the meeting where there was an update on the Transit Expenditure Plan (TEP).
Bocce Tournament Mayor Marchand said on April 24, 2014 he attended the League of California Cities event where Livermore won the first place championship trophy.
East Bay Regional Communications System Authority (EBRCSA) Mayor Marchand said on April 25, 2014 he attended the meeting where there was an update on Oakland coming into the system.
Livermore Community Service Day Mayor Marchand said on April 26, 2014 he attended the event with over 100 people volunteering throughout Livermore cleaning graffiti, planting, and more.
Amgen Tour of California Mayor Marchand said the Tour would pass through Livermore on May 13, 2014.
8. ADJOURNMENT at 10:16 pm to a regular City Council meeting on Monday, May 12, 2014 at 7:00 pm, Council Chambers, 3575 Pacific Avenue, Livermore.
JOHN P. MARCHAND, MAYOR
SUSAN NEER, CITY CLERK
SARAH BUNTING, ADMIN TECHNICIAN