Zone 7 Meeting - December 21, 2022
MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
ALAMEDA COUNTY FLOOD CONTROL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT
December 21, 2022
The following were present:
DIRECTORS PRESENT: DAWN BENSON
ANGELA RAMIREZ HOLMES
DIRECTORS ABSENT: NONE
STAFF PRESENT: VALERIE PRYOR, GENERAL MANAGER
HEATH MCMAHON, ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER - ENGINEERING
OSBORN SOLITEI, TREASURER/ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER - FINANCE
AMPARO FLORES, INTEGRATED PLANNING MANAGER
TERI YASUDA, ACCOUNTING MANAGER
LILLIAN XIE, ASSOCIATE ENGINEER
DONNA FABIAN, EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT
GENERAL COUNSEL: REBECCA SMITH, DOWNEY BRAND
Item 1 - Call Zone 7 Water Agency Meeting to Order
President Palmer called the Regular Meeting of the Board of Directors to order at 7:04 p.m.
Item 2 - Closed Session
The Board went into Closed Session at 5:39 p.m. Director Figuers arrived at 5:46 p.m. The Board came out of Closed Session at 6:46 p.m.
Item 3 -
There was nothing to report out of Closed Session.
Item 4 -
President Palmer led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Item 5 -
All Directors were present.
Item 6 -
There was no public comment.
Item 7 -
Director Green pulled Item 7h. Director Ramirez Holmes moved to approve Items 7a, 7b, 7c, 7d, 7e, 7f, 7g and 7i and Director Gambs seconded the motion. The items were approved by a roll call vote of 7-0.
Director Green asked to go on record as not being in support of Item 7h.
Director Ramirez Holmes moved to approve Item 7h and Director Gambs seconded the motion. Item 7h was approved by a roll call vote of 6-1 with Director Green opposed.
Item 8 -
Director Ramirez Holmes moved to approve the Regular Board Meeting Minutes of November 16, 2022, and Director Green seconded the motion. The minutes were approved by a roll call vote of 7-0.
Item 9 -
On November 30, 2022, Director Sanwong submitted her letter of resignation terminating her position on the Zone 7 Board of Directors effective December 31, 2022. Valerie Pryor, General Manager, summarized the process of filling the position. She stated that Government Code requires that the position be filled within 60 days of the effective date; and if the Board of Directors does not act to fill the vacancy during that time, the Board of Supervisors of Alameda County will be able to fill the vacancy. In either case, the individual appointed to fill the vacancy will only serve until the next general district election, which is in June 2024. Then the individual elected at that election would serve for two years until the completion of Director Sanwong's original term in 2026.
The Board discussed the interview schedule and decided upon the following schedule:
December 22 Soft opening
January 3 Hard opening
January 25 Applications due
February 1 - Special Board Meeting Review candidate applications and select finalists for interviews
February 2 - Special Board Meeting Interview finalists and make final selection
February 15 - Regular Board Meeting Swear in candidate
Director Ramirez Holmes suggested limiting question four of the List of Questions for Candidate Interviews to no more than three issues.
The Statement of Interest and Qualifications was limited to 300 words.
Director Ramirez Holmes moved to approve the item with the agreed upon changes to the interview schedule, question four of the interview questions, and word limit to the statement.
Director Benson seconded the motion. The item was approved by a roll call vote of 7-0.
Item 10 -
President Palmer read the commendation for Director Sanwong. The Directors thanked Director Sanwong for her service.
Director Sanwong read a poem she wrote about Zone 7.
The item was approved by a roll call vote of 7-0.
Item 11 -
Vanessa Burke, partner with the Pun Group, gave a presentation on the findings of their audit of the Annual Comprehensive Financial Report. She stated that they did not identify any unposted entries as a result of their auditing process. There were no consultations with other accountants; and there were no significant difficulties or disagreements with management to report. Their firm has issued an unmodified opinion or clean opinion of the agency's financial statements, meaning that the financial statements are fairly presented in all material respects, and they did not find material errors due to accounting errors or fraud. They did not find any significant weakness or deficiency or material weakness. Ms. Burke complimented Zone 7 management on doing a good job on internal controls.
Director Ramirez Holmes made a motion to approve this item and Director Figuers seconded the motion. The motion passed with a roll call vote of 7-0.
Item 12 -
Lillian Xie, Associate Engineer, gave a presentation on the Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion Multi-Party Agreement Amendment No. 4. She stated that Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion (LVE) is the proposed expansion of the existing reservoir and construction of the Transfer Bethany Pipeline. The expanded reservoir would provide Zone 7 with local water storage up to 10,000 acre feet and the Transfer Bethany Pipeline would provide Zone 7 with alternative conveyance.
She explained that Zone 7's commitment to the project to date is approximately $2.2 million dollars. The next phase of this project will be funded with MPA Amendment 4, which covers through June 30, 2023. The cost to Zone 7 will be just under $1.1 million dollars and the funding for Amendment 4 is available in the fiscal year 2023 adopted budget. Work under Amendment 4 includes development of service agreements and other agreements, refinements to the operations model, advancement of permit applications, additional topographic surveys, and updated cost estimates.
Ms. Xie added that Zone 7's estimated share of the capital cost for LVE is $48 million dollars. Zone 7's estimated annual cost, once the project is fully operational, is $4.5 million dollars. The estimated unit cost is $3,200 per acre foot. Although the MPA costs are equally shared with the partners, the costs will be trued up in the future when Zone 7's participation amount is finalized and Zone 7's cost will be based off of the proportional share of the Agency's participation in the project. Given LVE'S potential benefits to Zone 7, staff is recommending continued participation in the project through the MPA Amendment 4.
Director Ramirez Holmes moved to approve the item and Director Figuers seconded the motion. The motion passed with a roll call vote of 7-0.
The Board took a brief recess.
Item 13 -
Rebecca Smith, General Counsel, updated the Board on the Brown Act. She reviewed the rules of pre-pandemic remote meetings. She explained how AB 361 streamlined Brown Act participation during the pandemic. Now, the state of emergency that the Agency is currently operating under is scheduled to end at the end of February 2023.
Ms. Smith went on to explain that the Legislature, recognizing that AB 361 was a temporary fix, enacted AB 2449, which allows for emergency circumstances and just cause. Under AB 2449, a quorum of the Board must meet in person within the Agency's jurisdiction. Remote members must participate with both audio and visual technology and must identify anybody who is over the age of 18 that is in the room and disclose the general nature of their relationship with that person. This law will take effect in January 2023. These rules don't pertain to staff or consultants calling in remotely or public participating remotely.
Ms. Smith said that under AB 2449, Board members can participate remotely for just cause. Just cause is defined only as childcare or caregiving needs, contagious illness, needs related to physical or mental disabilities, and travel while on official business for a legislative body or another state or local agency. The other alternative is emergency circumstances, which is defined as physical or family medical emergencies that prevents a Board member from attending in person. Ms. Smith finished the presentation by explaining the different rules and limitations of just cause and emergency circumstances.
Item 14 -
No comments were received from the Board.
Item 15 -
[See "Minutes of the Board of Directors, Livermore Valley Water Financing Authority, Regular Meeting, December 21, 2022"]
Item 21 -
Item 22 -
President Palmer noted that several Board members attended the ACWA Fall Conference in Indian Wells. She emphasized the importance of agriculture in California.
Director Gambs reported that he attended the ACWA Fall Conference in Indian Wells. He also noted that he was the ACWA JPIA representative and that insurance rates are going up on property and liability insurance, 20% and 10%, respectively.
Director Ramirez Holmes reported that she also attended the ACWA Conference in Indian Wells.
Item 23 -
President Palmer asked for an update on PFAS treatment at the Chain of Lakes.
Item 24 -
Valerie Pryor stated that on December 5, Zone 7 got its initial State Water Project allocation for 2023 and it is once again 5%. She reminded everyone that we are still in a drought and need to conserve water. In November, the water efficient lawn rebate program was made easier for people to understand and process applications. This will, hopefully, encourage more people to keep replacing their lawns to help save water.
Item 25 -
President Palmer adjourned the meeting at 9:24 p.m.