Kevin Jameson, a Livermore resident in the Kristopher Ranch neighborhood, spoke regarding the need for clarification regarding CEMEX and their proposed expansion of Lake A, which is bordered by Vallecitos Road and Vineyard Avenue. He stressed that this is an issue dealing with public health and public safety and he and many of his neighbors need straight answers.
Ms. Duerig advised that Zone 7 is not the permitting agency and Zone 7 has not entered into any specific agreement with CEMEX. There is a lake use plan, the policy adopted by the board a couple of years ago. Permits have been issued by Alameda County (not by Zone 7) as to the kind of quarrying that can be and is allowed. There are also contractual obligations over when the property will be turned over to Zone 7 that date back to the 1980's.
David Aladjem, Counsel, advised the Board that members of the public are entitled and in fact encouraged under the Brown Act to state their concerns regarding items not on the agenda and to give that over to the Board for its future consideration. However, the Brown Act is clear that it also discourages a lot of back and forthing between members of the public and the board on a non-agenda item. This is clearly an important issue that should be put on a future agenda, but until then, it is not appropriate to get into any sort of detailed discussion.
President Quigley thanked Mr. Jameson for addressing the Board and added that he along with some staff members had attended the July 21st meeting that CEMEX conducted at Granada High School. His written comments about that meeting are included in the Board's agenda packet.
President Quigley asked if there were any further public comments. There were none.
Item 6 -
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF JULY 20, 2016
Director Stevens moved that the minutes of July 20, 2016 be accepted and approved, and Director Palmer seconded the motion. The minutes were approved by a voice vote of 6-0, with Director Ramirez Holmes absent.
Item 7 - Consent Calendar: None.
STAFFING UPDATE -
[NOTE: Director Figuers left the meeting at 7:16 p.m.]
a. June Employee of the Month Recognition - Colleen Winey
Ms. Duerig introduced Colleen Winey, Assistant Engineer/Geologist in the Groundwater section. Colleen joined Zone 7 in 2001 and serves as the agency's internal coordinator and external liaison for the Chain of Lakes. The board congratulated Ms. Winey in absentia for her accomplishments.
b. Congratulations to Retiree - Jaime Rios
Ms. Duerig extended congratulations to Jaime Rios, Associate Civil Engineer, who retired from Zone 7 after 31 years of service. The Board recognized and applauded Mr. Rios in absentia.
Director Palmer moved for approval of the resolution of appreciation and Director Greci seconded the motion, which was approved unanimously.
Resolution No. 16-156 Congratulations to Retiree Jaime Rios
[NOTE: Director Figuers returned to the meeting at 7:21 p.m.]
PROFESSIONAL SERVICES CONTRACT WITH ESA FOR AS-NEEDED ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING AND STEWARDSHIP SUPPORT
Ms. Duerig introduced Elke Rank, Associate Water Resources Planner in the Integrated Planning section, who gave a presentation entitled "As-Needed Environmental Planning and Stewardship Services" Ms. Rank's presentation highlighted Zone 7's ongoing need for on-call environmental planning and stewardship support services, including specialized support on tasks beyond staff expertise, and support on large projects for which there are insufficient staff resources to meet project deadlines or seasonal needs.
These tasks include:
. CEQA compliance and documentation
. Environmental permitting and regulations
. Ecological studies and planning
. Geomorphology and hydrology/hydraulic studies
. Mitigation monitoring and reporting
. Restoration and mitigation planning/banking
. Programmatic stream maintenance program permits
Based on satisfactory work on past contracts, broad technical expertise, and significant local experience, the staff review team recommends ESA.
Director Palmer asked how much the agency has paid annually for this type of work. She stated that cooperation with the City of Livermore on contracts like this saves money and effort on everybody's part. Staff responded that over the last two years, the annual cost has been approximately $250,000. Collaborative meetings with the City of Livermore have proven to save duplication of staff effort and are a great idea.
In response to Director McGrail's question about the costs charged by the other companies, Horizon Water and Environment, Michael Baker International and Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting and how that played into the selection process, Ms. Ranke responded that the rates charged by the consultants were not part of the selection process. This process was based on qualifications and local experience. A set list of how a consultant could earn points was utilized by the review team who then determined that ESA was the top consultant across the board.
Director Stevens explained that this process is typically used by every city and agency regarding consultant or professional service selection. Yes, the cost is involved, usually at the end of the process during contract negotiations, after the most qualified is selected. At that point you can negotiate a fee.
Director Figuers added that he is familiar with many of the firms shown on the eligibility list and ESA is a local firm who he has worked with and has always found them to be very responsive and very good.
President Quigley asked for public comment. None was received.
Director Palmer moved to approve Item 9 and Director Stevens seconded the motion. The item was passed by a roll call vote of 6-0, with Director Ramirez Holmes absent.
Resolution No. 16-157 Authorized a professional services contract with ESA for as-needed environmental planning and stewardship services.
Item 10 - Committees: None.
REPORTS - DIRECTORS
a. Verbal comments by President
b. Written report by President Quigley
c. Verbal reports
President Quigley announced that there will be no changes in the board committee assignments at this time from last year.
Director Palmer reported that she and Colleen Winey had attended the July 21st neighborhood meeting set up by CEMEX which was very interesting. Another meeting is scheduled for August 23rd. Director Figuers asked staff to send a notice to the Board with the scheduling details of those upcoming meetings. Director Stevens stressed the importance of having a representative from Zone 7 attend those meetings to ensure that the information disseminated there is accurate and/or to speak up when misinformation is presented. Ms. Duerig added that a Water Resources Committee meeting will be arranged in the near future to agendize an update on Lake A. Ms. Mahoney confirmed that meetings with the County are being set up as well.
ITEMS FOR FUTURE AGENDA-DIRECTORS
Director Stevens thanked Ms. Duerig for her recent status report. He was shocked to learn that Zone 7 received an invoice from the Registrar of Voters for its share of the June election costs. The price tag for Zone 7 was $504,433, at a cost of $4.24 per registered voter (118,970 registered voters in Zone 7's service area). Director Stevens suggested that staff look into the possibility of moving its election to the general election instead of the primaries in an effort to save thousands of dollars. Ms. Duerig responded that staff would look into that and will relay the information to the Board.
David Aladjem advised that the act that gives this board its authority independent of the Board of Supervisors specifically states that elections will be held during the primary election, not the general election, on every even-numbered year. The statute would need to be changed in order to move to the general election.
STAFF REPORTS (Information items. No action will be taken.)
a. General Manager's Report
b. Water Inventory and Demand Update (July 2016)
c. Legislative Update
d. Outreach Activities
e. Capital Project Status
f. Verbal Reports
Ms. Duerig reported on one of the agency's accomplishments over the last year which was the continued development of a succession plan. She stated that due to concerns about the upcoming "silver tsunami" as the Baby Boomers approach retirement age, staff has been collecting data about necessary functions and will work with a consultant to help identify a succession plan for the future that meets the fiscal needs of the agency. One of the active programs is Baywork, a collaboration between most of the Bay Area water and wastewater agencies to educate and encourage people to look at these industries as likely career paths. Zone 7 has also been participating in outreach via high school job fairs and so forth. We also participate in a consortium of Bay Area community colleges, encouraging them to provide programs that train in specific areas such as plant operators and instrument technicians that will be needed in the near future. Zone 7 has been investigating the possibility of an operator intern program. These are some of the ways the agency can encourage new people to consider the industry, and also to provide opportunities for those who are already aware of the industry.
Director Palmer discussed an interesting NPR forum she had listened to. Some State Water Board representatives were on the air when a very upset woman called in to express her disagreement that the Santa Clara Water District was spending money on containment ponds. The person on the air explained that containment ponds were not only there for providing water and drinking water, but also for the purpose of flood control. Director Palmer mentioned that this is a very good point that should be kept in the minds and hearts of our constituency as well.
President Quigley added that he had sent a very interesting video link to Ms. Duerig highlighting a story about our friends to the east, the Byron-Bethany Irrigation District.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:42 p.m.