MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
ALAMEDA COUNTY FLOOD CONTROL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT
January 20, 2016
The following were present:
DIRECTORS: JOHN GRECI
ANGELA RAMIREZ HOLMES
DIRECTORS ABSENT: SANDS FIGUERS
ZONE 7 STAFF: JILL DUERIG, GENERAL MANAGER
KURT ARENDS, ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER, ENGINEERING
OSBORN SOLITEI, ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER, FINANCE
CAROL MAHONEY, MANAGER, INTEGRATED WATER RESOURCES
LINDA VAN BUSKIRK, BOARD SECRETARY
COUNSEL: DAVID ALADJEM, DOWNEY BRAND
Item 1 - Closed Session
Item 2 - Open Session and Report Out of Closed Session
The Board came out of Closed Session at 6:53 p.m. and President Palmer said that no reportable actions had been taken in Closed Session.
Item 3 - CALL TO ORDER / PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
President Palmer called the regular meeting to order at 7:01 p.m.
Item 4 - Pledge of Allegiance
President Palmer led a salute to the flag.
Item 5 - CITIZENS FORUM
Alfred Exner, 266 Sanderling Way in Pleasanton, asked the board to consider reinstating the Monthly Budget Report by staff as opposed to quarterly reports.
Item 6 - MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETINGS
a. Minutes of the Regular Meeting of October 21, 2015: Director Quigley moved that the minutes be accepted as redlined, and Director Greci seconded the motion. The motion passed by a vote of 5-0, with Directors Figuers and McGrail absent.
b. Minutes of the Regular Meeting of December 16, 2015: Director Ramirez Holmes requested a correction to the minutes at page 4 stating that the name of the Pleasanton resident who spoke was Al Lombardo. Director Quigley moved that the minutes be accepted as corrected, and Director Greci seconded the motion. The motion passed by a vote of 5-0, with Directors Figuers and McGrail absent.
Item 7 - CONSENT CALENDAR
Director Ramirez Holmes asked that Items 7(b) and (d) be pulled for discussion.
Director Ramirez Holmes moved to approve Consent Items 7(a) and (c) and Director Stevens seconded the motion. The items were passed by a roll call vote of 5-0 with Directors Figuers and McGrail absent.
Resolution No. 16-110 Declared the week of March 14-20, 2016 to be Fix a Leak Week (Item 7a)
Resolution No. 16-112 Authorized and requested the Board of Supervisors to call an election
for the election of three members of the Zone 7 Board of Directors in the District Primary Election to be held on June 7, 2016. (Item 7c)
Item 7b: Project Management Support Contract with PMA Consultants
Director Ramirez Holmes stated that although she is neither doubting nor discounting Mr. Mahoneys abilities, she expressed concern with the cost of the 6-month contract at up to $175,000.
In response to her questions about whether there is a standard that is applied to come up with the amount based on timing and if the scope is the same as another contract currently underway, Carol Mahoney responded this project has a different scope. Ms. Mahoney discussed the staff report outlining the challenges raised by undertaking the task of updating the 2006 Stream Management Master Plan (SMMP) and the benefits of utilizing a strategic consultant that is already familiar with the challenges presented and is able to help continue guiding and mentoring staff in this major effort. The agencys real property manager has retired, and Mr. Mahoney has experience with the Zone 7 service area and has already negotiated similar agreements on the agencys behalf.
A discussion ensued regarding legislation coming up in June that may affect the way flood control is funded in the future.
Ms. Duerig stated that the agency does not want to lose momentum on its SMMP update efforts which have been very successful over the last year. The SMMP is moving at a fast pace and the agency will need to dedicate somebody to it in the short term. Instead of adding staff, the cost of hiring a consultant is very reasonable for the level of effort that is being requested.
Director Stevens stated that Mr. Mahoneys hourly rate of $240 for this contract is a reasonable rate for a consultant of his caliber.
Mr. Arends spoke about Mr. Mahoneys effectiveness in completing prior drought emergency projects quickly and economically. He was able to manage the projects, staff and budget very efficiently for us, and the agency probably saved money on the project by having Mr. Mahoneys skills and familiarity with the agency on board. Ms. Duerig clarified that PMA itself had access to a lot of templates and experience with design/build that Zone 7 would not have otherwise been able to access. She stated there is absolutely no way that the agency could have gotten those drought emergency projects done in that time period without PMAs involvement in the process.
President Palmer added that although the agency has cut back on consultants over the last few years to bring things in-house, this project sounds like one that would benefit from consultant support. She said that this rate is within reason in terms of the level of contracting needed, and that it ultimately could save the agency money. She stated she is in favor of authorizing this contract. President Palmer thanked Director Ramirez Holmes for bringing up these points because it allowed a deeper explanation of the issues here.
Director Quigley thanked Ms. Mahoney for her explanation and said it was well done. He stated the SMMP project was the reason he decided to get involved with Zone 7 over 12 years ago. He is very familiar with it and knows that Mr. Mahoneys expertise with legislative and general election issues is paramount. He expressed his support of this item.
Director Greci said he has known John Mahoney for many years and thoroughly understands the background and history that he has with Zone 7. He stated the agency is not going to find that in any other consultant. The amount of work that Mr. Mahoney accomplished on the previous contract was immense. We were under the gun and he got it done. Director Greci agreed with Director Stevens regarding the consulting fees. Having dealt with a lot of consultants, the agency will get the best bang for the buck by contracting for Mr. Mahoneys services. Mr. Mahoney has proven to be a good source for the agency. Director Greci expressed his support of this item.
President Palmer asked for any public comments on the issue. None were received.
Director Stevens move to approved Consent Item 7b and Director Quigley seconded the motion. The item was passed by a roll call vote of 4-1, with Director Ramirez Holmes voting no, and Directors Figuers and McGrail absent.
Resolution No. 16-111 Authorized a contract with PMA Consultants to provide project management support services (Item 7b)
Item 7(d): Request for Out-of-State Travel to Attend Upcoming ACWA DC Conference
Director Ramirez Holmes asked to discuss the value of the cost of sending the same board member to attend this national conference every year and suggested rotating members in future years. Director Stevens stated that this year is probably more important than previous years because of the California Water Fix and the decisions being made around that. He does not have the time to go, but said it is very important that somebody from Zone 7 attends this conference. He asked Director Ramirez Holmes if she wanted to attend and she answered that she is not available to go this year.
President Palmer agreed that this year in particular is very important to have somebody from Zone 7 attend, especially to provide input to some of our representatives and lobbyists. That can be valuable. She is in support of Director Quigley going this year, especially as he is very involved with ACWA and knows the ropes. She added that she had attended one year and acknowledged the value of the conference.
Ms. Duerig noted that as a member of the ACWA Region 5 Board, ACWA strongly encouraged him to attend as an ACWA representative. She also pointed out that the agency has not had a lot of board members requesting to go to Washington D.C. because of the time commitment.
Director Quigley added that one of the values of attending this conference is the ability to have one-on-one meetings with our congressmen. Director Quigley continued that having a one-on-one with your congressmen such as Eric Swalwell, and formerly Jerry McNerney, is a big deal. He added that he will share information with the board through his written reports when he returns.
Director Greci said that Director Quigley has been representing Zone 7 very well through ACWA and agreed that with the Delta issues it is imperative that the agency has representation at the ACWA conference. He commended Director Quigley on his ability to socialize well with the people there and to get the word out on behalf of the agency.
President Palmer asked if there was any comment from the public. There was none.
Director Greci moved to approve Consent Item 7d and President Palmer seconded the motion. The item was passed by a roll call vote of 4-0-1, with Director Ramirez Holmes abstaining, and Directors Figuers and McGrail absent.
Resolution No. 16-113 Authorized Director Quigleys attendance at ACWAs Annual DC Conference (Item 7d)
Item 8 - STAFFING UPDATE
Ms. Duerig announced that the November Employee of the Month was Josh Chapman who is a Water Treatment Plant Operator III. He transfers between the various treatment plants and the well fields. He is commended for being one of the first operators to successfully learn to operate Zone 7s new centrifuge system at the Del Valle Water Treatment Plant. He is credited for having a can do attitude when approaching issues and works cooperatively with others to come up with solutions. He is articulate at explaining problems encountered and how the problem is effectively being handled. His communication style and professionalism are very much appreciated. The Board applauded Josh in absentia for his accomplishments.
Item 9 - COMMITTEES
Water Resources Committee - January 12, 2016 - notes
President Palmer reported that the Water Resources Committee enjoyed excellent presentations by Amparo Flores and Brad Ledesma which clarified important mandates in the Urban Water Management Plan that are important for the agency to follow. She said it was a fruitful meeting.
Finance Committee - January 19, 2016 - notes pending
Director Stevens gave a brief summary of the Finance Committee meeting. The committee discussed the financial aspects of the Water Shortage Contingency Plan required by the UMWP. The four new stages proposed consist of 1) minimal shortage with demand reduction targets up to 15% (voluntary); 2) moderate shortage with demand reduction targets up to 25% (voluntary/mandatory); 3) severe shortage with demand reduction targets up to 35% (mandatory); and 4) critical shortage with demand reduction targets >35% (mandatory). This is being worked out with retailers. There will be an increase in rates during drought emergencies so the agency doesnt get caught trying to play catch up a year or two later. The Finance Committee heard the proposal and agreed that this is a good concept.
Director Ramirez Holmes added that discussions with the retailers are continuing. She said the committee expressed some concern regarding the automatic triggers of a surcharge, whether the amounts are appropriate, and having that as a separate resolution.
Director Quigley summarized that the Finance Committee applauded staffs work with the retailers. He agreed that some numbers are still a little fuzzy but are being worked out from lessons learned from the last several years of drought, and literally using up our reserves, and seeing how we might work with the retailers to replenish and move forward all together in agreement. He and the Finance Committee were pleased with the proposal. Stay tuned - more to come.
Item 10 - REPORTS-DIRECTORS
a. Verbal comments by President
b. Verbal reports
President Palmer commended Linda Van Buskirk, Board Secretary, for personally taking on the responsibility of ensuring that the board agenda packages were delivered to the board on time.
Director Ramirez Holmes commented that she attended a public tour of the DSRSDs Water Treatment Plant and was quite surprised at how many people were there on a rainy day and was impressed with how interested and inquisitive they were. Two waste water treatment operators led the tour and did a great job. She added that this is the kind of public activity outreach that we are going to need to do as we start to further the conversation regarding recycling water and availability.
Both President Palmer and Director Quigley also shared stories of taking science class students through the DSRSD and City of Livermores waste water treatment facility tours. Ms. Duerig pointed out that Zone 7 conducts tours of its treatment plants for school groups and other members of the public.
Item 11 - ITEMS FOR FUTURE AGENDA - Directors
Director Ramirez Holmes asked for an update on her October request for implementation of the Zone 7 email to Board of Directors to enhance timely communication with the public. She suggested a deadline be established to resolve this prior to soliciting public comment on the upcoming Urban Water Management Plan. Mr. Solitei said that an address had been created and could be linked as soon as responses from all board members were received giving staff the direction to either initiate the current proposal or come up with a Plan B. He continued that the reason staff has been waiting on board members is due to their privacy concerns of giving out and having access to private email accounts. A discussion ensued and consensus was reached that it is more desirable to establish a Zone 7 email for each of the board members that will not link to their personal email account. President Palmer agreed that a Zone 7 email to the board members that is open to the public would be a very good step in the right direction and she is eager to see it go forward.
Item 12 - STAFF REPORTS (Information items. No action will be taken.)
a. General Managers Report
b. Drought Update
c. Water Inventory
d. Legislative Update
e. Outreach Activities
f. Update on Records Retention
g. Verbal Reports
Director Ramirez Holmes expressed her appreciation for the detailed Update on Records Retention. In response to her questions on retention of the video recordings of the agencys televised meetings, Ms. Duerig said a link to the CTV30 site will be added to the Zone 7 website. She reiterated that the Records Retention is a nascent program and as the program is implemented, discussions about amending will include developing an appropriate retention approach and schedule for video recordings. President Palmer concluded that the video will be available on the TV30 website and TV30 will provide Zone 7 a copy on DVD. She shared with the public that the agency is conducting a semi-dry run this evening for the first time, so this is developing as we go.
There were no further comments.
Item 13 - ADJOURNMENT
President Palmer thanked everyone and adjourned the meeting at 7:42 p.m.