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RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL
JULY 1, 2003
The meeting was called to order at 6:00 P.M. by Mayor Stern at Fred Hesse Community Park, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard, and was immediately recessed to a closed session per the Brown Act Checklist. At 7:07 P.M., the meeting was reconvened.
Roll call was answered as follows:
PRESENT: Clark, Ferraro, Gardiner, McTaggart, and Mayor Stern
Also present were City Manager Les Evans; Assistant City Manager Petru; City Attorney Carol Lynch; Director of Finance Dennis McLean; Director of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement Joel Rojas; Director of Public Works Dean Allison; City Clerk/Administrative Services Director Jo Purcell; and Recording Secretary Bothe.
The flag salute was led by Councilman Clark.
Mayor Stern announced that the City’s email address for the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council is now firstname.lastname@example.org; and noted that those who wish to contact individual members of the City Council may do so by going to the City’s website at www.palosverdes.com/rpv.
Mayor Stern announced that there was no winner for this month. He encouraged everyone to recycle.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Mayor Stern requested that Agenda Item No. 15, (Response to Wolowicz Recommendations), be moved up earlier in the meeting following the Consent Calendar.
Councilmember Gardiner requested that Agenda Item No. 12,(Via Rivera Pilot Program Final Report), be moved up earlier in the meeting following the Consent Calendar to accommodate the large number of audience members who are present for this issue.
Councilmember Clark moved to consider the Via Rivera matter immediately following the Consent Calendar followed by the Wolowicz Recommendations item.
Councilman McTaggart moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, to approve the Agenda as amended. Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered.
APPROVAL OF CONSENT CALENDAR
Councilman McTaggart corrected the June 3, 2003, Minutes to reflect "Loreto," Mexico; and asked that the South Bay Governments Council be included as well in his statements regarding the MTA meeting.
Councilman Clark requested that Agenda Item No. 5 (Loan Agreement between the City and RDA), be pulled from the Consent Calendar.
Councilman McTaggart moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, to approve the Consent Calendar as amended
Motion to Waive Full Reading.
Adopted a motion to waive reading in full of all ordinances presented at this meeting with consent of the waiver of reading deemed to be given by all Councilmembers after the reading of the title.
Minutes: June 3, 2003. (301)
Approved the minutes as amended.
Resol. No. 2003-54: Budget Adjustment for Student and the Law. (602 x 1705)
ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2003-54, AMENDING RESOLUTION NO. 2003-42 FOR A BUDGET ADJUSTMENT TO THE GENERAL FUND TO FUND STUDENT AND THE LAW DURING THE 2003-2004 SCHOOL YEAR.
May 2003 Treasurer’s Report. (602)
Ordered received and filed.
Award of Contract for the FY 2002-2003/FY 2003-2004 Sidewalk Repair Program. (1405)
1) Awarded a construction contract to Damon Construction in the amount of $87,922, for the FY 02-03/FY 03-04, Sidewalk Repair Program, and authorized staff to spend up to an additional $9,078 for possible extra work, for a total authorization of $97,000; 2) Authorized the Mayor and City Clerk to execute a contract with Damon Construction; and, 3) Authorized the Mayor and City Clerk to execute an addendum to an existing Professional Services Agreement with SA Associates in the amount of $9,000 for inspection services and contract administration services.
Resol. No. 2003-55: Register of Demands.
ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2003-55, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES ALLOWING CERTAIN CLAIMS AND DEMANDS AND SPECIFYING FUNDS FROM WHICH THE SAME ARE TO BE PAID.
The motion to approve the Consent Calendar carried as follows:
AYES: Clark, Ferraro, Gardiner, McTaggart and Mayor Stern
# # # # # # # # # # # #
Via Rivera Pilot Program Final Report. (1502)
Senior Engineer Jules presented staff report and the recommendation to 1) Receive and file Via Rivera Pilot Program Final Report; 2) Approve the installation of speed humps along Via Rivera between Rue de la Pierre and Via Del Mar in accordance with the City’s Traffic Calming Program; and, 3) Bring a project for the final engineering and construction back to the City Council when a funding source other than the general fund is identified.
Councilman Gardiner expressed his opinion that more strict enforcement should have been undertaken and that a larger number of citations could have been given according to the data.
Sheriff’s Lieutenant Herrera explained that the Department takes a reasonable approach in citing those who exceed the speed limit, starting with 10 miles per hour over the posted speed limit; and explained that the Department usually wins most of those cases that fight tickets given for exceeding the speed limit 10 miles per hour and faster. He stated that the peak hours to witness motorists exceeding the speed limit are between the hours of 4:00 P.M. and 7:00 P.M.
Lieutenant Herrera stated that $1,705 in revenues would be forwarded to the City for these enforcement activities and that the cost of this enforcement activity cost approximately $20,000. He pointed out that the City receives less enforcement and police service if the traffic officer needs to show up for court on these citations.
Councilman Gardiner pointed out the Fire Department’s opposition to speed humps/bumps; noted that 240 of the area residents are not in favor of this proposal; and he requested that a proper enforcement study be conducted to determine if the enforcement activities can be a cost-effective alternative to speed humps.
Mayor Stern expressed his belief that police presence will slow the traffic down, but noted his concern that implementing this activity on a continual basis would be too costly for the City at this time. He expressed his belief that in order for police presence to be effective, it needs to be done on a continual and random basis – pointing out that once the officer is removed, the data shows that the speed increases; and he noted that the statistics do reflect that permanent speed humps do slow down the traffic.
Councilman Clark stated that other jurisdictions have been successful in slowing down the speed of traffic with the use of speed humps; and stated that each situation needs to be considered on a case-by-case basis for implementing a traffic calming program, noting that there are certain arterials that trigger conditions that allow for drivers to speed.
Councilman Gardiner expressed his belief that random and proactive enforcement can work throughout the entire City and stated that he would not like to see speed humps erected throughout the City.
James Sweeney, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that speed humps have been very successful in slowing down traffic in other areas; and urged the City Council to support the request for speed humps on this street.
Bill Gravlin, Rancho Palos Verdes, expressed his belief that public safety and rapid emergency response time is critical and that the speed humps will delay the emergency response time; and he noted his opposition to placing speed humps on this street. He noted his support for alternative traffic calming methods, such as increased enforcement activities.
Bruce Stanton, Rancho Palos Verdes, noted his support for implementing continuous and random traffic enforcement and permanent speed display boards; and addressed his concern with delayed emergency services. He pointed out that the increased revenues from traffic citations could help to fund the speed display boards.
Mary Gravlin, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that she is very concerned with the safety of the children and the residents but noted that she is opposed to the speed humps.
Frank Glaser, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that he is opposed to the speed humps; pointed out that speeding problems exist all over the City; and noted that he would not like to see speed humps placed on numerous streets throughout the City. He highlighted the Fire Department’s opposition to the speed humps; and stated that if these speed humps are erected, numerous requests will start coming in for other areas of the City.
Ann Shaw, Rancho Palos Verdes, noted her opposition to speed humps, stating that vehicles can be damaged if going any faster than 15 miles an hour over these humps; highlighted the Fire Department’s opposition to the speed humps for residential areas larger than 75 homes – pointing out that this street serves approximately 400 homes. She urged the City to continue to address other alternatives for traffic calming.
Brent Goodrich, Rancho Palos Verdes, highlighted the Fire Department’s opposition to speed humps; stated that the speeding problem should be addressed throughout the entire City; pointed out that there are more people in opposition to the speed humps than those who support them; and expressed his belief that adequate enforcement has not been given a fair chance to work year round. He stated that he is in favor of a random enforcement policy.
Councilman Gardiner pointed out that this is a policy decision that will affect the entire City, not just Via Rivera.
RECESS AND RECONVENE
Mayor Stern recessed the meeting at 8:30 P.M. and reconvened the meeting at 8:43 P.M.
Scott Poster, Battalion Fire Chief, County Los Angeles Fire Department, explained that the Fire Department has taken a firm stance on providing public safety service in a quick and expedient way – pointing out that delays are not acceptable; and confirmed that the Fire Department is adamantly opposed to anything which impedes a rapid response time, such as speed humps.
Questioning whether the Fire Department has witnessed an increase in the use of speed humps, Fire Chief Poster noted for Councilman Clark that yes, speed humps are becoming more prevalent in attempting to deal with traffic calming. He pointed out that these speed humps damage the emergency vehicles, injure fire fighters, and delay response times; and advised that the Fire Department has been successful in getting some speed humps/bumps removed.
Sharon Goodrich, Rancho Palos Verdes, questioned how many speed humps are being proposed.
Senior Engineer Jules noted that a total of 5 speed humps are being proposed and highlighted on the map where the locations for the speed humps; and she indicated that an advisory sign for the speed humps would be posted for 15 miles per hour.
Ms. Goodrich stated that the speed limit for all schools should be lowered to 15 miles per hour; expressed her belief that random enforcement should take place 24 hours a day throughout the City; and addressed her concern with emergency response issues.
Beverly Dunn, Rancho Palos Verdes, noted her opposition to speed humps; and stated that the speed humps on Basswood have slowed down the traffic, but asked that other alternatives be considered for this street.
Elizabeth Aubrey, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that she is on RPV’s Traffic Committee and that she is not in favor of speed humps; and urged the City to look at other alternatives, such as turnabouts. She expressed her belief that a ripple effect will happen if these speed humps are placed on Via Rivera.
Karen Jaconi, principal at Point Vicente School, highlighted the on-going problem with speeding vehicles in this area; and expressed her belief that the permanent speed humps are a cost-effective means to slowing down the traffic. Ms. Jaconi expressed her belief that every possible solution to the speeding vehicles has been thoroughly researched; and stated that she would support any alternative that makes this a safer area for the children and residents. She expressed her belief that random police enforcement will not solve the problem.
Greg Reinhardt, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that there is a serious problem with speeding vehicles in this area; pointed out that there are other streets the residents can enter and exit into this neighborhood/area if they choose not to go over these speed humps; and advised that the people who signed the petition in support of the speed humps are those that are most impacted by the speeding vehicles.
Bill Schurmer, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that he is a member of the RPV Traffic Committee; pointed out that not everyone on the Traffic Committee agrees with the placement of speed humps; confirmed that there is a speeding problem in this area; mentioned that there has been no documented damage to emergency vehicles with the implementation of speed humps in Rancho Palos Verdes; and noted his support for the placement of the speed humps in this area. He thanked and commended Senior Engineer Jules and other staff members for their assistance with this issue.
On behalf of the City Council, Mayor Stern thanked the Traffic Committee for its diligent work on this issue.
Barry Hildebrand, Rancho Palos Verdes, Chairman of the Traffic Committee, stated that the only proposal that will work on this street appears to be the speed humps; and explained that various alternatives were researched and found not to be satisfactory options to place on this particular street. He pointed out that the police enforcement only works as long as the police are present; and noted his support for the speed humps at this location, believing that this is the best solution for slowing the traffic down on this street.
Ms. Aubrey stated that the Traffic Committee did not have adequate opportunity to fully research the use of turnabouts – noting that turnabouts would be less expensive than speed humps.
Bud Franklin, Rancho Palos Verdes, former member on the Traffic Committee, stated that this City needs traffic calming programs due to the excessive speed on some of the City’s major roadways; and expressed his belief that enforcement alone is not effective.
Councilman Clark pointed out that the people who would be affected by these speed humps would not just be the residents on Via Rivera, but all of those who use Via Rivera. Councilman Clark stated that one of the Contract Cities seminar presentations was about speeding, signalization, stop signs, and traffic calming; noted that the speaker indicated that studies show that speed humps do not deter speeding but divert speeding; and advised that there have been jurisdictions that have taken speed humps out because they don’t serve the intended purpose and that they have created a negative impact. He highlighted his concern for public safety and noted his appreciation for the time and effort the Traffic Committee has put into finding an appropriate solution to this serious issue. He briefly noted several ideas that have been presented this evening for other alternatives; and stated that he is not convinced at this point that speed humps are an appropriate solution for this location.
Councilman McTaggart stated that the Contract Cities seminar speaker who gave the presentation is an attorney; and noted that this attorney addressed the liability issues these humps can create for cities. He stated that speed humps are not the only solution to traffic calming; questioned whether the City could have the traffic fines increased for those who speed in residential and school areas – suggesting that the speed zone violation be clearly posted; and suggested increasing the school zone to FROM500 feet.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro explained that the speed humps on Basswood were placed due to the high school drivers speeding and expressed her belief that this is a different situation in this area; expressed her appreciation for the work of the Traffic Committee; and stated that other alternatives should be further addressed for this area. She stated that the increased enforcement only works temporarily and that it should be done on a more random basis, such as 2 hours in the morning and back again in the afternoon. Mayor pro tem Ferraro stated that she would support increasing the traffic fines for the school and residential areas; and that she would support stringent, random enforcement. She highlighted the large number of residents who are opposed to the speed humps and the Fire Department’s opposition to speed humps.
Councilman Gardiner stated that he believes proactive, random and routine enforcement can work, not only on this street but throughout the entire City.
Mayor Stern thanked everyone for their comments; addressed the speeding problem in this area; and commented on the recent enforcement activities and the return to the speeding problem once the officers are not on site – stating that he would support a level degree of enforcement that would create sufficient deterrents so that it modifies the behavior of speeding drivers and produces the desired result. He expressed his belief that the City at this time cannot afford that level of enforcement. Mayor Stern noted that the data proves the speed humps do slow down speeding drivers and stated that the humps do achieve the goal – questioning whether the other alternatives achieve this same goal; and he mentioned the delayed emergency response times for public services. Because of the large number of residents who are opposed to these speed humps, he commented on the possibility that a less effective approach may have to be selected.
Councilman McTaggart expressed his belief that public safety would be compromised if speed humps are installed on this street; noted that he concurs with the position of the Fire Department; and he stated that he is not opposed to speed humps but that he would agree to install them as a last resort.
Councilman Gardiner stated that proactive and random enforcement activity should be closely monitored to obtain the data that can reflect the effectiveness of the enforcement activities.
Councilman Clark addressed the various concerns that had been discussed this evening with the placement of speed humps in this area, especially that of delayed emergency service; stated that he would support proactive, random enforcement; stated that the City should pursue the ability to increase the level of traffic fines in school and residential areas; and requested that patrol officers focus some of their workdays to citing speeders in the problem areas. He stated that he is not ready to support the placement of speed humps in this area; requested that proactive and random enforcement continue; and that data continue to be collected with the traffic strips so that over time, the City can track the effectiveness of this enforcement.
Lieutenant Herrera noted for Mayor Stern that if requested to do so, the traffic officers could cite speeding drivers exceeding the posted speed limit by 5 miles per hour.
Councilman McTaggart highlighted several of the areas in the City such as Abbottswood, General, and Trudy known for speeding vehicles; and stated that the random enforcement should be done throughout the City at different hours of the day.
Councilman Gardiner suggested the placement of traffic signs that discourage speeding, signs that would raise the level of awareness in Rancho Palos Verdes.
Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to direct the continuance of a random and proactive enforcement program; that staff investigate with the Sheriff’s Department ways to minimize the direct cost of that program; that the City continue to gather data with the use of the traffic strips on Via Rivera so that the City can collect more data over time in order to pursue the authority to increase the traffic fines in residential and school areas.
Lieutenant Herrera mentioned that a citation for 10 miles over the speed limit usually costs $90 to $125.
Councilman Gardiner requested a friendly amendment to the motion, requesting that the Traffic Committee and/or staff come back with a proposal for a systematic effort to identify the speeding hotspots Citywide, to break down the speed in the City, and to provide information on the cost and effectiveness of this program.
Councilman Clark stated that he would accept that amendment to the motion.
Mayor Stern requested that the threshold be lowered for citing of speeding motorists in this particular area, enforcing the speed limit at 5 miles above the posted speed limit.
Councilman Clark concurred with Mayor Stern’s request.
Lieutenant Herrera noted that the placement of numerous motorcycle officers to enforce speed in one area is difficult unless it is done on an emergency basis, stating that it is difficult to get the extra help; and mentioned that 20 reserve officers work out of the Lomita station, working one shift per month.
Councilman McTaggart asked that staff look into the possibility of utilizing this reserve force for traffic enforcement purposes.
Lieutenant Herrera noted for Councilman Gardiner that the CORE deputies can enforce traffic.
Councilman Clark requested that staff pursue these last two suggestions.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro suggested that the City adopt a slogan, such as "Don’t Speed in RPV."
There being no objection, Mayor Stern so ordered the approval of the motion.
RECESS AND RECONVENE
Mayor Stern recessed the meeting at 10:16 P.M. and reconvened the meeting at 10:27 P.M.
CITY COUNCIL ORAL REPORTS
Mayor Stern stated that he attended the L.A. County City Selection Committee meeting on June 26th; and highlighted the dysfunctional system for selecting an Air Quality Management District representative for the Western Region. He noted that a bill has been written that proposes to remedy this voting system by allowing smaller cities in this group to have a representative, but stated that if passed, it would not become effective this year.
McTaggart stated that he attended the COG Livable Communities Subcommittee meeting on June 18th in Torrance; and he stated that discussion ensued with regard to the South Bay Needs Assessment Study. He noted that he attended the Contract Cities Association meeting at the library in Norwalk on June 18th; and stated that the new president, Cheri Kelley, did a wonderful job of running the meeting.
Councilman McTaggart stated that on June 19th, he attended the Integrated Solid Waste Task Force meeting at the County office in Alhambra; and that discussion ensued with regard to the bills that are being proposed for solid waste. He stated that the Task Force comments would be forwarded to the authors of these bills. Councilman McTaggart highlighted the new website for the Task Force, wwwlacountyiswtf.org; and stated that a report was given on the progress of AB939.
Councilman McTaggart noted that on June 26th, he attended the COG Taste of Jazz event that was sponsored by the Sunset Rotary and CAP; and stated that the music was outstanding.
Councilman McTaggart stated that on June 30th, he and City Manager Evans attended a Homeland Security briefing at Los Alamitos Training Base; and noted that the information obtained will be useful for RPV.
Councilman Clark stated that on June 23rd, he, Directors Allison and McLean and members of their staff attended a meeting of interested homeowners of the Grand View and Sea View neighborhoods to discuss the associations’ interest in undergrounding its utilities; and stated that City staff did an excellent job in its presentation and that the information was well received by the homeowners. He requested that copies of the presentation materials be provided to the City Councilmembers; and noted his interest in this body discussing the undergrounding of utilities for the rest of this City.
Councilman Clark stated that on June 26th, he attended the League of California Cities Revenue and Taxation Policy Committee meeting; and noted that discussion ensued with regard to the State budget crisis, its status, and its likely impacts upon cities.
Councilman Clark stated that he attended the South Bay Council of Governments meeting, wherein discussion ensued with regard to signal synchronization as a form of dealing with the increasing traffic congestion/delays in the South Bay. He stated that this information would be provided to the City Councilmembers and indicated that pilot studies have been completed in regard to this matter. He noted that John Parsons, from Redondo Beach was selected as the new COG chair; and that a fond farewell was given to outgoing president Ken Blackwood from Lomita, stating that he did an excellent job this past year.
Lois Larue, Rancho Palos Verdes, advised that the upper Abalone Cove area has already undergrounded its utilities; and urged the City to complete in a timely manner the landslide work on Palos Verdes Drive South. She noted that various members of City staff and City Council were pictured in the Peninsula People publication.
Response to Wolowicz Recommendations. (602)
City Manager Evans presented staff report and the recommendation to consider the following responses to Mr. Stefan Wolowicz’s recommendations regarding budget issues.
Councilman Clark mentioned that the adopted budget for this year is based on two CORE deputies – highlighting this body’s thorough consideration in adopting the budget; commented on the built-up reserves from the grant funds that other cities have for the CORE deputy program and this City’s partial funding of this program with the aid of General Fund monies. He addressed his concern with adjusting the budget in this rough period of time and dipping more into a negative balance. He commented on this City Council’s consideration that, at least for the short term, the CORE deputy program would be decreased to 2 deputies instead of 3 as part of the budget baseline consideration.
City Manager Evans noted for Mayor pro tem Ferraro that the Sheriff’s Department has slightly reduced the cost of the CORE deputies.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro questioned if one of the CORE deputies could be used for additional traffic enforcement.
Captain Zuanich explained that it is the decision of the City as to how the CORE deputies will be assigned; address the suggestion to utilize a CORE deputy for the Student in the Law program and explained that it would be done if requested, but explained that this would create a certain amount of rigidity into the activities of the 3 police officers assigned to this CORE program at the station. He explained that the CORE deputies deal with disaster preparedness, school activities, neighborhood watch groups, etc., which all have to be responded to when the call comes in; and explained that a certain amount of flexibility is needed to efficiently and effectively operate the CORE deputy program. Captain Zuanich stated that these officers do some traffic work; and advised that each of the CORE deputies puts in more than 40 hours per week and stated that they are very dedicated to their jobs. He explained that with the reduction of one CORE deputy, the hours have been reduced from 120 to 80 per week; and highlighted the fact that RPV receives 60 percent of those hours for all of these activities, which now may include Via Rivera traffic enforcement – noting that it will become necessary to discuss with the City Manager rescheduling the program priorities. Captain Zuanich commended the CORE deputy program for its proactive activities within the community, noting that the program solves various issues before they become major problems.
Councilman McTaggart noted his support for Councilman Gardiner’s suggestion to sell some of the CDBG funds to help pay for this program.
City Manager Evans noted for Councilman Gardiner that the 3rd CORE deputy costs this City $67,000 more per year.
Councilman Gardiner suggested that the 3rd CORE deputy’s time be split between the existing program and traffic enforcement.
Councilman Clark stated that while he is supportive of the CORE deputy program, he is not in support of adding a 3rd CORE deputy to the program during this fiscally restrained period; noted his support for revisiting this proposal should the City generate additional funding or revisit this during the next budget cycle; and pointed out that the process of adopting the budget was not an easy task – pointing out that a number of programs had to be cut.
Councilman Gardiner questioned whether it would cost the same amount of money to put in place a part-time traffic enforcement officer.
Councilman Clark asked that staff work with the Sheriff’s Department to get the best complement of service for the price the City is paying for this program.
Councilman McTaggart commented on each city paying for its fair share of this program; suggested the possibility of reducing some City meetings for various bodies that might not need to meet each month and to reduce the number of staff that participate in these meetings – pointing out that more time between some meetings may be advantageous.
Stefan Wolowicz, stated that he is not here representing the Finance Advisory Committee; expressed his belief that the CORE deputy program is the only real proactive law enforcement program that the City has, noting his support of the 3rd CORE deputy; and suggested that the participating cities might want to increase their support for this program during this shortfall period. He suggested that the City could save money by reducing the number of staff that attend meetings, volunteers to take minutes, or local businesses to fund the taking of minutes. Mr. Wolowicz encouraged a letter writing campaign to state legislators highlighting opposition to reducing revenues to cities. He suggested that staff investigate the use of other funding sources to cover the CORE deputy program, such as the Department of Justice Juvenile Accountable Incentive Block Grant Program – noting that he will forward information to the City Manager on this program.
Councilman Clark reiterated the suggestion to investigate whether the other participating cities in the CORE deputy program would like to help fund the additional deputy for one year.
Mayor Stern thanked Mr. Wolowicz for raising these issues and suggestions for cutting costs.
RECESS AND RECONVENE
Mayor Stern recessed the meeting at 11:19 P.M. and reconvened the meeting at 11:25 P.M.
Gail Lorenzen, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that she is the Volunteer Coordinator for the Neighborhood Watch program; that she has been doing this work for the last 11 years; advised that she is a member of the California Crime Prevention Officers Association and the Law Enforcement Partnership Program with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department; and explained that she works closely with other law enforcement programs throughout the city, county and state. Ms. Lorenzen expressed her belief that currently, this City is receiving the highest quality law enforcement she has seen since she has been in this program, despite the fact that this community has no crime prevention programs or community relations officer – pointing out that this City is doing all of this work with two individuals, herself and Deputy John Despot. She commented on the work of numerous block captains throughout the City and their help in working on quality of life crimes throughout the City and with school safety.
Ms. Lorenzen stated that there is wide concern with the City Council’s decision to reduce the number of deputies in the CORE deputy program; explained that it takes a specially trained individual to do this type of work and see it through to completion; addressed the importance of having easy access to a police officer for these activities when necessary; and she stated that while she has been doing this work for the past 11 years, she is no longer able to do it herself. She commended the work and effort of Officer John Despot, stating that he gets into the community and solves many problems before they become huge issues. She questioned what the City has planned as an alternative to helping out with these activities. She pointed out that other cities have more staff to deal with these problems and that this City is doing it with one volunteer and one CORE deputy. She stated that while the Neighborhood Watch program is a volunteer program, it still needs the assistance of someone from a law enforcement agency to complete this program and make it effective.
On behalf of the City Council, Mayor Stern expressed his appreciation of Ms. Lorenzen’s hard work and dedication to this program.
City Manager Evans noted for Councilman Gardiner that the City Managers and Captain Zuanich assign the workload of the CORE deputy program.
Mayor Stern commented on the difficulty with cutting various programs from the City’s budget; and stated that the City Council is attempting to figure out some way to additionally fund the CORE deputy program, but noted his recognition of the fiscal restraints that exist.
Councilman Clark questioned if the 3rd CORE deputy also provides neighborhood watch services in other cities.
Responding to Councilman Clark’s inquiry, Captain Zuanich stated that the 3rd CORE deputy is assigned to work with this City; and mentioned that the other participating cities are not as involved in the Neighborhood Watch program as this City. He stated that a Neighborhood Watch program similar to RPV’s will be provided to these participating cities as a good example of how to operate this program. Captain Zuanich expressed his belief that it takes 3 CORE deputies to fully and effectively run this program; and reiterated the fact that these deputies are highly motivated and dedicated to this program.
Councilman McTaggart questioned if enough money could be saved and used for this program by having fewer City meetings and reducing staff that attend the meetings
City Manager Evans stated that the cost savings would be minimal and would not cover the amount necessary to fund the 3rd CORE deputy position.
Mayor Stern suggested that consideration be given to funding the 3rd CORE deputy position with the use of the reserves.
Councilman McTaggart stated that it is logical to fund this position with the use of reserve money and noted that he would like to see unanimous approval to dip into the reserve funds.
Councilman McTaggart moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, that the 3rd CORE deputy be funded through the reserve account.
Councilman Clark suggested that a decision on this matter be delayed until a determination is made with the state budget before dipping into the reserves.
City Manager Evans explained that the trigger had been pulled that will require, after September 30, 2003, all registered automobiles to be charged the full VLF; and that in the interim, it is anticipated that the cities may receive the backfill.
Councilman Gardiner questioned what it would cost and whether the 3rd CORE deputy could be funded on a month-to-month basis for the next couple of months until the state budget is settled.
Captain Zuanich noted for Councilman Gardiner that he does not believe the contract allows a month-to-month component, but stated that he would investigate the matter and provide an answer to City Council at a later time.
Councilman Clark urged the City Council to be consistent in its budget principles and reiterated his interest in postponing a decision to dip into the reserves until the City knows what impact the state budget will have upon the City.
While recognizing this state of flux, Councilman Gardiner explained that these are unusual times and expressed his preference for sufficient flexibility to explore other alternatives that aren’t traditionally undertaken.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro expressed her belief that this type of information should have come forward during the budget deliberations, noting that this body may have made a different decision with this program; and stated that she would support funding the 3rd CORE deputy if the City could incorporate using, to some extent, the CORE deputy for traffic enforcement activities.
Mayor Stern stated that he would be willing to fund this position with the reserves because of the likelihood that the City will receive the backfill.
Councilman Gardiner noted his concern that this may start a ripple effect; requested that staff look at how the funds and assignments are allocated throughout this program; and requested a quantitative analysis to indicate how many Sheriff hours are available for RPV if there are 2 versus 3 CORE deputies and then what are the demands for these Sheriff hours.
Responding to Councilman Clark’s inquiry regarding the Emergency Preparedness Task Force’s work on emergency preparedness, City Manager Evans explained that the Emergency Preparedness Committee Task Force provided its recommendation that the Neighborhood Watch organizations integrate its work/effort with the Committee; and he indicated that Ms. Lorenzen is currently working on this activity and that staff is beginning to see the work she is putting into this process.
Councilman McTaggart stated that while he would like the motion to be unanimous, he would accept a passing vote on this motion. The motion to approve the funding of the 3rd CORE deputy through the reserve fund carried as follows:
AYES: Clark, Ferraro, Gardiner, McTaggart and Mayor Stern
Loan Agreement Between the City and RDA. (1900 x 602)
The recommendation is to authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to execute the attached Loan Agreement between the City and the Rancho Palos Verdes Redevelopment Agency.
City Manager Evans explained for City Council that for many years, the City’s General Fund has been loaning the Redevelopment Agency (RDA) funds to primarily do projects in the redevelopment areas; stated that these updated loan agreements are brought before City Council each year to adopt – pointing out that this activity helps the City to keep careful track of how much money has been loaned by the City to the RDA.
Mayor Stern expressed his belief that this loaned money is not likely to be paid back to the City; and requested that for the benefit of this body, it would be helpful to footnote the likelihood of what funds will be recovered.
City Manager Evans pointed out that the City is not proposing to loan any more money at this time; and stated that for the benefit of the newer members of this body, staff will run through the history of these loans at a future meeting.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman McTaggart, to authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to execute the attached Loan Agreement between the City and the Rancho Palos Verdes Redevelopment Agency. Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered.
ORDINANCE NO. 394:AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND STATE MANDATED DENSITY BONUS PROVISIONS/CITYWIDE.
Recommendation to INTRODUCE ORDINANCE NO. 394, AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTERS 17.11 AND 17.96 OF THE CITY’S MUNICIPAL CODE AS THEY PERTAIN TO AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND STATE MANDATED DENSITY BONUS PROVISIONS CITYWIDE.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman McTaggart, to waive staff report.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to approve staff’s recommendation. This motion carried as follows:
AYES: Clark, Ferraro, Gardiner, McTaggart and Mayor Stern
ORDINANCE NO. 395U: RELATING TO THE CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF COASTAL SAGE SCRUB HABITAT AND THE RELATED EXTENSION OF URGENCY ORDINANCE NO. 391U. (1203 x 1405)
Recommendation to ADOPT URGENCY ORDINANCE NO. 395U, EXTENDING URGENCY ORDINANCE NO. 391U FOR 10 MONTHS AND 15 DAYS FROM JULY 1, 2003. (Urgency Ordinance 391U, which would be extended by this urgency ordinance, was introduced and adopted at the May 20, 2003, City Council meeting.)
Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, to waive staff report.
City Clerk Purcell stated that the City Council and staff were provided copies of the Long Point letter (of record) which was received on July 1, 2003.
City Attorney Lynch explained that staff does not anticipate using the full 10 months and 15 days; noted that this moratorium cannot be extended repeatedly and rather than having this come back for further consideration, staff simply applied the maximum extension in this ordinance. She noted her expectation that this will all be taken care of within the next month or two.
Councilman McTaggart moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, to concur with staff’s recommendation. This motion carried as follows:
AYES: Clark, Ferraro, Gardiner, McTaggart and Mayor Stern
Citywide Landscaping and Lighting Maintenance District. (901)
Director Allison presented staff report and the recommendation to 1) Conduct a public hearing on the proposed levy and collection of assessments within the Citywide Landscaping and Lighting Maintenance District for fiscal year 2003-04 and the Engineer’s Report prepared in connection therewith; and, 2) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2003- 56, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES APPROVING THE AMENDED ENGINEER’S REPORT AND CONFIRMING A DIAGRAM AND ASSESSMENT FOR THE 2003-04 FISCAL YEAR IN CONNECTION WITH THE CITYWIDE LANDSCAPING AND LIGHTING MAINTENANCE DISTRICT PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF PART 2 OF DIVISION 15 OF THE CALIFORNIA STREETS AND HIGHWAYS CODE.
Director Allison explained that staff has consumed its share of reserve funding with this round of assessments; and commented on the use of General Fund monies to supplement these activities.
City Attorney Lynch explained that when some of these assessment districts were transferred from the County to the City, there was a surplus of add-on taxes that the County had accrued; and that even though it’s called "reserves," it’s not the same thing as General Fund reserves, that these are reserves received from the County. She noted for Mayor Stern that this was basically over-funded by the County.
City Manager Evans noted for Mayor Stern that in order to increase the assessment district, it would take a mail-in ballot initiative.
Director Allison noted for Mayor pro tem Ferraro that this does include every single-family parcel in the City.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman McTaggart, to approve staff’s recommendation. Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered.
ORDINANCE NO. 390: REVISING SECTION 8.24.060 (PROPERTY MAINTENANCE STANDARDS) TO INCLUDE RV PARKING AND STORAGE RESTRICTIONS ON PRIVATE PROPERTY. (1801)
Director Rojas presented staff report and the recommendation to RE-INTRODUCE ORDINANCE NO. 390, AS AMENDED, TO ENACT AMENDMENTS TO SECTION 8.24.060 (PROPERTY MAINTENANCE STANDARDS) OF TITLE 8 OF THE CITY’S MUNICIPAL CODE WITH RESPECT TO THE PARKING AND STORAGE OF RECREATIONAL AND OTHER VEHICLES ON PRIVATE PROPERTY. (This ordinance was first RE-INTRODUCED at the June 3, 2003 City Council meeting.)
Councilman McTaggart asked for clarification on what type of vehicles would be permitted.
Responding to Councilman McTaggart’s inquiry, City Attorney Lynch stated that as presently written, it would be defined as any motorized vehicle.
Councilman McTaggart suggested that a weight limit be applied to the code.
City Attorney Lynch pointed out that as long as a vehicle is not overhanging onto the public right-of-way, it is allowed to be parked on the driveway.
Ralph Ortolano noted his recall from the last meeting that the City Council had decided to permit family members to park a vehicle on a contiguous lot; and asked that a towed vehicle, such as a 5th wheeled trailer, be permitted to be stored on these lots.
Councilman Gardiner stated that he would support the use of the lot by a closely immediate family member.
City Attorney Lynch stated that she had originally drafted the ordinance as follows: "That the vehicle shall be parked overnight or stored on a contiguous parcel if it is owned by someone who resides on the developed property."
Mayor Stern, echoed by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, noted his support for the originally drafted wording of the ordinance.
Ernie Giannioses, Rancho Palos Verdes, urged the City to resolve this issue this evening; noted his support for the storage of a towed vehicle, such as a 5th wheeled trailer, in addition to the towing vehicle; and stated that he would support the use of the lot by a family member.
Councilman McTaggart stated that a trailer connected to another vehicle should constitute one vehicle.
Mr. Ortolano asked that two vehicles be permitted to be stored, such as in the case of a 5th wheeled trailer and the vehicle from which it is towed. He stated that due to the configuration of his lot, these attached vehicles would only fit if they were parked side by side on the lot, requesting that this also be permitted.
RECESS AND RECONVENE
Mayor Stern recessed the meeting at 12:35 A.M. and reconvened the meeting at 12:39 A.M.
City Attorney Lynch proposed the new language in Paragraph A as follows: "Any vehicle shall be parked overnight or stored only on a developed lot or parcel ("lot). In addition, the owner(s) or resident of a developed lot may park overnight or store one vehicle on a contiguous undeveloped lot that is owned by the same person or entity. For purposes of this paragraph, vehicle includes a motorized vehicle and an attached trailer or other non-motorized vehicle. The vehicle must be owned by a member of the property owner’s immediate family, which includes spouse, children, stepchildren, parents or grandparents." She indicated that staff would bring this ordinance back for a second reading.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman McTaggart, to adopt the amended language in this first reading of the ordinance. This motion carried as follows:
AYES: Clark, Ferraro, Gardiner, McTaggart and Mayor Stern
Cox Communications Franchise Concerns. (605)
Councilman Gardiner suggested continuing this matter to another City Council meeting; stated that the reason for it being on the Agenda was to address an immediate problem and to address a longer-term issue that may need some input by Council. He stated that the short-term problem has been satisfactorily resolved at this time; that for the longer-term issue, he would anticipate lengthy discussion; and that given this late hour, he would request that it be continued.
Mayor Stern moved to continue this matter.
Highlighting the fact that Mr. Yoon has patiently sat through the past 5 ½ hours of this evening’s meeting in anticipation of speaking on this matter, Mayor pro tem Ferraro stated that the audience member should be allowed to provide some input.
Councilman Gardiner noted his concern that if this gentleman is allowed to provide input, that it will start a long discussion at this late hour.
Councilman Gardiner seconded the motion for a continuance of this matter.
Councilman Clark requested that this item be considered early in the next meeting.
Mr. Art Yoon urged the City Council to allow him to speak, believing that what he has to say may alleviate the need to return this matter to a future Agenda.
Mayor Stern allowed Mr. Yoon to briefly address this item.
Art Yoon, Manager of Government Affairs for Cox Communications, explained that there have been some misunderstandings with respect to this issue; stated that his staff has worked fast and hard to resolve the misunderstanding once it became evident; and noted that Cox Communications would be present to work on the 4th of July celebrations, filming the entire program. He apologized for any misunderstandings.
Councilman Gardiner stated that the immediate issue has been resolved, but he noted the need for the Subcommittee to share some information with City Council.
Without exception, Mayor Stern ordered this item to be brought back on a future Agenda.
Councilman McTaggart requested that this item be placed towards the beginning of the Agenda.
Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered the early placement of this Agenda item for the next meeting.
Review of the proposed View Restoration and Preservation Guideline Revisions. (1806)
Recommendation to approve the draft View Restoration and Preservation Guidelines conceptually approved at the February 8, 2003 City Council/Planning Commission joint workshop, as recommended by the Planning Commission at its meeting of May 27, 2003.
Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, to waive staff report.
Councilman Gardiner questioned the decision-making process for leaving stumps in various conditions.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro explained that the root systems help to anchor some hillsides.
Councilman Clark stated that he is not sure if the language properly deals with the distinction between root system and above-ground stump conditions.
Councilman McTaggart added that it is sometimes difficult to get large/heavy equipment on hillsides.
Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, to approve staff’s recommendation. Without exception, Mayor Stern so ordered.
Border Issues Status Report. (310)
Director Rojas reviewed the current status of border issues and provided direction to the City Council and Staff.
Councilman McTaggart commented on the fuzzy condition of the maps and the difficulty in reading them; and commented on the need to improve the inadequate water pressure on parts of the hill, requesting that staff contact West Basin to address this problem.
AB 496 (Correa) Santa Ana River Conservancy and Proposal to Divert Proposition 42 Transportation Funds. (306)
Recommendation to consider legislative issues as requested to be placed on the agenda by Councilmember McTaggart.
Councilman McTaggart stated that Contract Cities has not taken a formal position on this bill, but he indicated that its executive board has; and noted that the League of California Cities is opposed to this bill because it would divert Prop 42 funds.
Mayor Stern moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, to continue this matter. Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered.
Regional Water Quality Board. (1402)
Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to add this issue to the Agenda. This motion carried as follows:
AYES: Clark, Ferraro, Gardiner, McTaggart and Mayor Stern
Brief discussion ensued with regard to the prohibition of swimming and any other type of recreational use in the flood control channel and the need to clearly classify this basin as such.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman McTaggart, to send a letter to the Regional Water Quality Board to address this situation. Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered.
CLOSED SESSION REPORT:
With regard to the Monks litigation, City Attorney Lynch advised that the City Council unanimously voted to deny/reject the settlement offer that was put forth by the plaintiffs, 5-0 vote.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved to adjourn at 1:02 A.M.
W:\2003 City Council Minutes\07012003 Draft cc mins.doc
RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL
JUNE 17, 2003
The meeting was called to order at 7:03 p.m. by Mayor Stern at Fred Hesse Community Park 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard, Rancho Palos Verdes.
Roll call was answered as follows:
PRESENT: Clark, Gardiner, McTaggart, Ferraro, and Mayor Stern
Also present were City Manager Les Evans; Assistant City Manager Carolynn Petru; City Attorney Carol Lynch; Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement Joel Rojas; Director of Public Works Dean Allison; Director of Finance Dennis McLean; Director of Recreation and Parks Ron Rosenfeld; Administrative Analyst Matt Waters; Project Coordinator Trayci Nelson; and Minutes Secretary Debra Presutti.
Boy Scout Travis Shannon led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mayor Stern informed the Council of the approval by the California Coastal Commission of the conditions opening of Long Point Resort Hotel at the Coastal Commission meeting of June 11, 2003. He stated that some details still remain to be worked out which will be brought before the Council for further determination. He also mentioned the annual 4th of July celebration at City Hall and urged residents to attend.
Jeannie Molls was selected as recycler of the month. Mayor Stern stressed the importance of recycling and thanked everyone who participates in the program.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA:
Mayor pro tem Ferraro and Councilman Gardiner requested that Item No. 17 be moved to the beginning of Regular Business.
Councilman Clark requested to move Item No. 22 (term limits) in front of Item No. 14.
Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, to approve the Agenda
as amended. The motion to approve the Agenda carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Clark, Ferraro, Gardiner, McTaggart, and Mayor Stern
APPROVAL OF CONSENT CALENDAR:
Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to approve the Consent Calendar as follows:
Motion to waive full reading.
Adopted a motion to waive reading in full of all ordinances presented at this meeting with consent of the waiver of reading deemed to be given by all council members after the reading of the title.
Approved the minutes of May 20th and the June 3rd Adjourned Regular Meeting as amended.
Ordinance Nos. 392 and 393: Zone Text Amendment for 6100 Palos Verdes Drive South. (701 x 1802)
(1) ADOPTED ORDINANCE NO. 392 APPROVING THE ZONE TEXT AMENDMENT, AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES AMENDING TITLE 17 (ZONING) OF THE RANCHO PALOS VERDES MUNICIPAL CODE TO REQUIRE PROPERTIES TO COMPLY WITH PARKING REGULATIONS UPON THE CHANGE IN ZONING; and, (2) ADOPTED ORDINANCE NO. 393 APPROVING THE ZONE CHANGE, AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES REZONING PROPERTY LOCATED AT 6100 PALOS VERDES DRIVE SOUTH FROM COMMERCIAL PROFESSIONAL (CP) TO SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENTIAL (RS-4). (Both ordinances were INTRODUCED at the June 3rd meeting.)
Notice Of Completion – Vallon Drive Traffic Signal Installation. (1204 x 1503)
(1) Accepted the work as complete; (2) Authorized the City Clerk to record the Notice Of Completion with the County Recorders Office and, if no claims are filed 35 days after recordation, to notify the surety company to exonerate the Payment and Performance Bond with Steiny and Company, Inc.; and, (3) Authorized the Director of Public Works to release the 10% retention payment to Steiny and Company, Inc. 35 days after recordation of the Notice of Completion contingent upon no claims being filed against the contractor.
Notice Of Completion – San Ramon Drainage And Landslide Stabilization Project. (1204 x 604)
(1) Accepted the work as complete; (2) Authorized the City Clerk to record the Notice of Completion with the County Recorders Office and, if no claims are filed 35 days after recordation, notify the surety company to exonerate the Payment and Performance Bond with Colich & Sons, Inc.; and, (3) Authorized the Director of Public Works to release the 5% retention payment to Colich & Sons, Inc. 35 days after recordation of the Notice of Completion contingent upon no claims being filed against the contractor.
Notice Of Completion – 25th Street Rehabilitation Project. (1204)
(1) Accepted the work as complete; (2) Authorized the City Clerk to record the Notice of Completion with the County Recorders Office and, if no claims are filed 35 days after recordation, notify the surety company to exonerate the Payment and Performance Bond with Colich & Sons, Inc.; and, (3) Authorized the Director of Public Works to release the 10% retention payment to Colich & Sons, Inc. 35 days after recordation of the Notice of Completion contingent upon no claims being filed against the contractor.
Resol. No. 47: Annual Appropriation Limit for FY 2003-2004. (602)
ADOPTED RESOL. NO. 2003–47, ESTABLISHING THE CITY’S APPROPRIATION LIMIT FOR FY 2003-2004.
Resol. No. 48: Establishing the Emergency Preparedness Committee. (401)
ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2003-48, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL ESTABLISHING THE EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS COMMITTEE WITH EIGHT MEMBERS, PURSUANT TO THE CITY COUNCIL’S ACTION ON JUNE 3, 2003, AND RESCINDING RESOLUTION NOS. 2002-11 AND 2002-29.
Tract 46628 – Quit Claim Deed For Drainage Easement. (450 x 604 x 1204 x 1411)
Authorized the Mayor and the City Clerk to sign and execute the Quit Claim Deeds, which transfers ownership of certain Storm Drain Easement in Tract 46628 to the Los Angeles County Flood Control District.
Palos Verdes Drive East And Mustang Road Storm Drain Repair Project – Agreement Execution. (1204 x 1405)
(1) Authorized the Director of Public Works to execute an Agreement for the purposes of Ingress and Egress between the City and the property owners of 1 Mustang Road and 9 Rockinghorse Road, for a project to repair an existing storm drain on Palos Verdes Drive East and Mustang Road; and, (2) Authorized the Director of Public Works to acquire and execute an easement for storm drain maintenance purposes from the property owners of 1 Mustang Road and 9 Rockinghorse Road.
Extension of NCCP Lobbyist Consultant Agreement. (1203)
Extended the contract with Conservation Strategy Group, LLC (Joseph Caves), a professional lobbyist assisting the City/Conservancy in its efforts to secure state bond monies for funding the Portuguese Bend acquisition transaction, through December 2003.
Resol. No. 2003-49: Register of Demands.
ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2003-49, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES ALLOWING CERTAIN CLAIMS AND DEMANDS AND SPECIFYING FUNDS FROM WHICH THE SAME ARE TO BE PAID.
The motion to approve the consent calendar carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Clark, Ferraro, Gardiner, McTaggart
ABSTAIN: Mayor Stern on the minutes of May 20th because he was absent from that meeting.
# # # # # # # # # # # #
Student and the Law. (1206 x 1705)
Mayor pro tem Ferraro requested clarification of her understanding that the CORE deputies are not allowed to teach the Student and the Law classes.
Kelly Johnson, Principal at Peninsula High School, responded that they are not and that an additional $20,406 would be needed to keep the program as currently programmed in place.
Councilman Clark queried why the CORE deputies couldn’t teach the course.
Principal Johnson replied that, unlike the CORE deputies, Officer Del Pinto is a college graduate and holds the necessary teaching credentials.
Councilman Clark further queried whether special provisions for certification could be garnered from the district or the State since the class is in a specialized field in which the deputies are professionals.
Principal Johnson responded that neither the district nor the State would qualify them to teach the class, adding that the reality of the situation is that two sessions would have to be canceled if Officer Del Pinto is unavailable to teach them.
Councilman Gardiner asked why at Rancho Del Mar the CORE deputies are allowed to teach the class in conjunction with a certified instructor already on staff serving as the teacher of record.
Principal Johnson explained that the teacher of record at Rancho Del Mar in this instance is actually the principal and the population constraints at Peninsula High with 3,000 students compared with 60 at Rancho Del Mar make it impractical if not impossible to assign an administrator to sit in the class during instruction.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro mentioned that Rolling Hills and Rolling Hills Estates both participate in the funding of the program, noting that it is scheduled on their agendas for approval.
Assistant Manager Petru stated that funds for the program had been included in the budget that Rolling Hills Estates recently adopted and that the budget for Rolling Hills was scheduled for adoption on June 23.
Councilman McTaggart and Mayor pro tem Ferraro pointed out that the rapport between the officers and the students is tremendous and has been responsible for alleviating some of the juvenile problems in the community.
Principal Johnson commented that he believes the program has had a direct impact on the quality of life in the community as a whole not just on campus.
Councilman McTaggart questioned the level of funding in the State budget for CORE deputies.
City Manager Evans stated that the State pays each of the three regional cities $100,000 per year for the deputies.
Principal Johnson thanked the Council for their continued support of the school community.
Councilman Clark questioned whether the continuation of the program is reliant solely on Officer Del Pinto or if the sheriff’s department is staffed with other officers that would be qualified and available to teach the course.
Captain Jay Zuanich, Lomita Sheriff’s Station, responded that the program currently in place is dependent on Officer Del Pinto’s teaching the class.
Matt Countryman, Rancho Palos Verdes, explained the value of the relationship he and many of his peers share with Officer Del Pinto and described him as not only a friend but also a figurehead at the high school. He stressed that, indeed, one man can make a difference in the lives of others and reiterated what a tremendous asset he is to the community.
Mayor Stern suggested the State legislators might be approached to seek out a special provision that would enable the deputies, given their specialized knowledge, to teach these types of classes without the need for their having a full teaching credential.
Councilman McTaggart reiterated his opinion that the Student and the Law Program is one of the best values for the money in the budget.
Councilman Clark offered his compliments to not only Officer Del Pinto but also the entire Lomita Sheriff’s Department and requested that Captain Zuanich be on the lookout for back-ups to assist Officer Del Pinto with the Student and the Law Program.
Councilman McTaggart moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, to support the recommendation to fund the Student and the Law program as part of Public Safety Special Programs in the City Budget carried on the following roll call vote:
The motion carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Gardiner, Clark, McTaggart, Ferraro, and Mayor Stern
Resol. Nos. 2003-50, 51, 52, and 53: Term Limits Ordinance. (501)
City Attorney Lynch addressed the Council with a summary of the memorandum of June 17, 2003, requesting Council to also consider the following two policy issues: (1) the definition of the word "term," which she defined as any period of time exceeding two years, adding it becomes important if an individual is appointed to fill an unexpired portion of another Council member’s term; and, (2) the hiatus or time period required to make it nonconsecutive.
Mayor Stern, addressing the issue of the "hiatus" between terms, noted that twenty-three months is likely to be the norm but suggested reducing that number to six months, saying that there might be instances where someone who has not been reelected as an incumbent wants to run in a special election or the Council wishes to appoint someone who previously held office and the twenty-three month limitation would preclude their consideration.
Councilman Clark indicated that the only time an incumbent would be precluded would be if they had already completed two consecutive terms. He opined that the proposition of a six-month waiting period really defeats the idea that they should sit out one period before the next general election. He stated the basic premise of the ordinance states no more than two consecutive terms and that he would like to see added no lifetime ban, adding that in the 30-year history of the City there has only been one circumstance wherein someone has filled in for a portion of any term. He noted that if the majority thought six months were appropriate, he would follow suit.
Councilman Gardiner questioned how to ensure that citizen opinion is included in the submitted arguments and/or rebuttals.
City Attorney Lynch explained that one or more Council members could be designated to write a 300-word argument in favor or against. She stated that if, for example, Councilman Clark were chosen to write an argument in favor he could join with any other person who also chose to do so. The only things precluded would be the writing of more arguments on one side than the other.
Mayor Stern commented that Councilman Clark, since he brought the matter before the Council, should have the responsibility of writing the argument in favor, adding that anyone from the public wishing to collaborate should contact the Mayor’s office to sign on as co-author(s).
Mayor pro tem Ferraro inquired about the writing of rebuttals.
City Attorney Lynch replied that if the last resolution, No. 4, is adopted and Section 3 of the prior resolution is deleted, rebuttal arguments would be allowed.
Councilman Clark motionedmoved, seconded by Mayor Stern, to adopt the staff recommendation with the following amendments: (1) Subparagraph C be revised to read that the hiatus between terms be six months rather than twenty-three; (2) the words "no lifetime ban" be added where appropriate; (3) Councilman Clark be designated to write the argument in favor and Mayor pro tem Ferraro and Councilman McTaggart to write the argument against; and, (4) rebuttals written by the same parties be allowed.
Councilman McTaggart expressed his reluctance to vote on the four resolutions as a package, adding that he agrees with Nos. 3 and 4.
In response City Attorney Lynch advised voting on each resolution separately.
Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Mayor Stern, to ADOPT RESOL. NO. 2003-50 AS AMENDED, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES ORDERING THAT A PROPOSITION RELATED TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A LIMIT ON THE NUMBER OF CONSECUTIVE TERMS THAT A PERSON MAY SERVE AS A MEMBER OF THE CITY COUNCIL BE SUBMITTED TO THE VOTERS AT THE REGULAR MUNICIPAL ELECTION ON NOVEMBER 4, 2003. The motion carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Gardiner, Clark, and Mayor Stern
NOES: McTaggart and Mayor pro tem Ferraro
Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Mayor Stern to ADOPT RESOL. NO. 2003-51 AS AMENDED, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CALIFORNIA, REQUESTING THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES TO CONSOLIDATE A GENERAL MUNICIPAL ELECTION OF SAID CITY TO BE HELD ON NOVEMBER 4, 2003, WITH THE SCHOOL DISTRICT ELECTION TO BE HELD ON SAID DATE PURSUANT TO SECTION 10403 OF THE ELECTIONS CODE. The motion carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Gardiner, Clark, and Mayor Stern
NOES: McTaggart and Mayor pro tem Ferraro
Councilman McTaggart expressed his rationale for voting against these resolutions, saying that it is very difficult for someone to step in and adequately represent a city with term limits in place because it takes time to become familiar with the myriad intricacies of local government. He noted that his opposition to term limits is quite clear, saying they are an artificial means by which to change the ability of the electoral to select their representatives. He concluded by saying that he is, however, prepared to support the wording of the next two resolutions.
Mayor Stern commented that he hoped arguments both for and against would get a complete airing in the local newspaper.
Councilman McTaggart stated that he had not seen a clear message on the Internet when the question of term limits was asked, adding that the fact that the cost would be less did not change his opinion.
Councilman Clark voiced his rationale for voting in favor by saying that many residents in the community have indicated to him that they would like to see the process of running for elected office in the City opened up. He stated that this is a major public policy issue that needs to be decided by the residents and considers this to be a mechanism of partnering with the community in terms of bringing them into the decision-making process.
Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilman ________ to adopt RESOL. NO. 2003-52, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES SETTING PRIORITIES FOR FILING WRITTEN ARGUMENTS REGARDING A CITY MEASURE AND DIRECTING THE CITY ATTORNEY TO PREPARE AN IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS. The motion carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: McTaggart, Gardiner, Clark, Mayor pro tem Ferraro and, Mayor
Councilman __________ moved, seconded by ___________- to ADOPT RESOL. NO. 2003-53, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES PROVIDING FOR THE FILING OF REBUTTAL ARGUMENTS REGARDING THE CITY MEASURE TO BE SUBMITTED TO THE VOTERS AT THE NOVEMBER 4, 2003 GENERAL MUNICIPAL ELECTION. The motion carried on the
following roll call vote:
AYES: Clark, Gardiner, McTaggart, Ferraro, and Mayor Stern
Councilman McTaggart commended Councilman Clark for adhering to his commitments.
ZON2003-00235 CODE AMENDMENT AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND STATE MANDATED DENSITY BONUS PROVISIONS. (701 x 1203)
Continued this item to the City Council meeting of July 1, 2003.
Approval of the Global Needs Assessment Survey. (1201)
Director Ron Rosenfeld presented the memorandum of June 17, 2003, recommending approval of the Global Needs Assessment Survey and requesting Council to authorize the public opinion firm of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, and Associates to conduct the survey. They introduced Richard Maullin to answer any questions Council may have regarding this matter.
Councilman Gardiner questioned whether the $28,000 included the collection and the analysis of the data. He also questioned to what degree the surveyors are confident that the 500 households surveyed in the random sample would be truly representative of the community.
Mr. Maullin responded that a sample is prepared from a list of random digit numbers, including all the listed and unlisted residential phone numbers in the city. He stressed that the technique of random-digit dialing is used effectively throughout the world for sampling populations in specific geographic areas. He also mentioned that the language and structure of the questionnaire allows individuals to evaluate items and give responsive, common sense answers.
Councilman Clark commented that after seeing a draft of the actual questionnaire, he is uncomfortable with the inclusion of "nice-to-have" services with necessary services. He stated that by asking residents to prioritize the importance of absolute essentials such as public safety, roads, storm drains, and sewers against things that make for an enjoyable place to live confusion may be created for the respondents, and he strongly advocated eliminating some of the infrastructure items from the questionnaire.
Mayor Stern expressed a slightly different opinion, commenting that he felt it was meaningful to see what the residents actually value as important, including their opinions on various infrastructure concerns. He stated that people recognize what things are necessary and did not think that concept would be misinterpreted.
Councilman McTaggart wanted to know what hours the survey would be conducted, stating that people generally don’t want to answer the phone after a long day at the office or when sitting down to dinner. He also wondered how tele-zappers and similar technologies used to screen phone calls would impact the survey.
Mr. Maullin replied that the survey would begin in the late afternoon and end by 9:00 p.m. He stated that tele-zappers and such are used to screen computer-generated calls, adding that they are not universal enough to have impacted the opinion research industry. He commented that in his experience people are more likely to be responsive to these types of surveys since they address issues that are important to the local community. He also mentioned that the interviewers are well trained in the "art" of inducing respondents to participate, adding that he expected a successful investigation of the participants’ attitudes on the subjects addressed.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro queried how many calls had to be made to gain the 500 responses, asking also where the calls were being placed from. She mentioned that she agreed with Mayor Stern that nothing should be omitted from the current questionnaire.
Mr. Maullin answered that the connection/participation ratio is approximately 15 to 1. He stated that the surveys would be conducted from within California by one of their prequalified subcontractors.
Councilman Gardiner stressed that since this survey will be instrumental in providing decision-making data to the Council, it is imperative that the information collected is reliable and representative of the community.
Mr. Maullin responded that before completion of the interviewing process a population model based on the last census, providing age and gender distribution as well as other key factors such as education, would be compared with the database to verify accurate population representation.
Councilman Clark reiterated his concern about the commingling of infrastructure with quality of life items, adding that people generally don’t have a real sensitivity for the City’s drain system until their toilets start plugging up.
City Manager Evans stated that some very specific questions related to infrastructure had already been removed, leaving only more general ones.
Mayor Stern asked how difficult it would be to develop a more geographically defined database since there are very distinct areas within the city. He commented that it may be determined that it is homogenous, but he predicted that there would be geographic differences.
Mr. Maullin answered that a question could be added enabling them to identify a major intersection to which the respondent was closest, allowing them to geo-code the responses. Using this mechanism, they are able to put a pin in a map and make geographic determinations based on their configurations.
Councilman Clark requested clarification regarding the retention of a financial consultant to advise staff on an infrastructure survey.
Director McLean responded that since infrastructure financing is very complex, there might be a need to question residents further on their opinions regarding this topic once the information has been gathered. He added that this is the reason that several detailed questions regarding that subject had been removed from the survey.
Bud Franklin, Rancho Palos Verdes, a 29-year resident of the city, agreed with the idea of a survey but stated he is astonished that it will be a telephone survey since many people might presume telemarketers are calling. He suggested the Council consider using the mail or some other mechanism, saying that otherwise the results would likely be biased.
Ken Dyda, Rancho Palos Verdes, queried how the issue of caller ID would be handled, stating that if he gets calls from an unrecognized number he doesn’t even answer them. He suggested advertising the survey so residents would be prepared for it and thereby increases the probability of their participation.
Council members voiced unanimous agreement with this idea.
Mr. Maullin responded that mail surveys are very unreliable, stating that it takes an affirmative action by the receiving party to read, respond, and return it. He added that it creates an enormous distortion in the random sample.
Councilman Clark suggested the formation of an ad hoc subcommittee that would include Councilman Gardiner to with staff and the consultant as the process evolves.
Recess and Reconvene: Mayor Stern recessed the meeting at 8:50 p.m. and reconvened the meeting at 9:00 p.m.
Steve Wolowicz, Rancho Palos Verdes, Chairman of the Finance Advisory Committee, stated that the Committee has been very concerned about taking a complicated topic such as infrastructure financing and trying to properly phrase questions that will elicit effective responses. He stated that he and his colleagues are not quite sure what the proper vehicle should be to garner this information and welcomed the idea of doing a series of preliminary surveys. He commented that everyone’s interest would be piqued when the issue of actual expenditures for these items is raised, adding that more specific questions could be posed at that time.
Marv Lubovsky, Rancho Palos Verdes, reiterated Mr. Dyda’s comments and concerns about caller ID.
Councilman Gardiner suggested the possibility of employing call forwarding and using a number such as City Hall as the origin of the call.
Councilman McTaggart commented this would allow people to recognize a local number and may change the odds quite a bit as far as how many calls would need to be placed to get a response.
Mr. Maullin was unsure if the idea would be feasible.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman McTaggart, to approve the staff recommendation with the addition of two things: (1) adding a geographic component; and, (2) making sure the survey is well advertised in the community.
Councilman Clark offered to amend the motion to include the concept of the call forwarding suggested by Councilman Gardiner.
Mr. Maullin responded that call forwarding through the City office rather than calls coming from an independent research firm would introduce a significant bias in the way people respond, adding that he would recommend against it.
Councilman Clark commented that city demographics show a high propensity for educated, successful, intelligent residents who would most likely inquire as to the sponsor of the survey.
Mr. Maullin stated that the interviewers do not respond to the question of who is sponsoring the survey, adding that the less people know about the origin and reason for it, the more likely to obtain reliable results.
Councilman McTaggart commented that if the survey were advertised, it would be important to inform people that the City is funding it but that all responses are anonymous.
Mayor Stern said that he would prefer to rely on the professional advice of the consultants rather than to try to micromanage things. He agreed that bias might be introduced by channeling the calls through the City Hall. He added that this is one technique by which the City can gather information, recognizing that perfect results are rarely possible.
The previous motion of Councilman Clark amending the staff recommendation to include the utilization of a call forwarding system to channel the survey failed on the following roll call vote:
NOES: McTaggart, Gardiner, Ferraro, Mayor Stern
Mayor pro tem Ferraro renewed her motion, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to approve the staff recommendation with the addition of a geographic intersection component and advertisement of the survey.
The motion carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Gardiner, Clark, McTaggart, Ferraro, and Mayor Stern
Councilman Gardiner motionedmoved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to have the results of the pilot test of the survey forwarded to Council for review.
The motion carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Gardiner, Clark, McTaggart, Ferraro, and Mayor Stern
CITY COUNCIL ORAL REPORTS:
Mayor pro tem Ferraro mentioned that she attended the Ride to Fly barbecue at the Baras’ home in Portuguese Bend on Saturday, June 14, saying that is was a beautiful courtyard event which she enjoyed very much.
Councilman Gardiner said that he was invited to attend some government classes at Peninsula High. He stated that the students were very perceptive and asked great questions and that it was a delightful experience. He said the Cable Committee is in the midst of some interesting discussions with COX Communications that will produce some requests for decisions by Council in the near future.
Mayor Stern commented that he attended the dedication of the Forrestal Preserve in honor of the Ginsburgs with Councilman Clark and Mayor pro tem Ferraro on June 4. He reminded everyone of the very generous half a million dollars donation that the Ginsburgs made for the maintenance of some of the city’s open space. He encouraged other residents interested in making similar donations, adding they are always greatly appreciated. He also spoke about attending the League meeting on June 5, saying that new mandates have been placed on them insofar as local agency formation so the City of RPV will be cooperating with them. He attended the Coastal Commission meeting with staff on June 11, where the Long Point Resort Hotel project was approved. In conclusion he spoke of his pleasure in attending the docent luncheon on June 14, where the new docents were recognized for their various research projects and other accomplishments.
Councilman McTaggart attended the Liability Trust Fund meeting in Norwalk on June 2. He also attended the COXG Steering Committee meeting that same day and reported that there is a problem with some conclusions in a consultant-developed document that would probably be the subject of a future meeting. On June 9 he attended the Inland Empire Composting and Authority meeting held at the L.A. County offices, where officers were elected for the coming year, the budget was approved, and an extensive report on the progress of their innovative engineering design was presented. He also attended the Coastal Commission hearing on Long Point on June 11. He and Councilman Gardiner met with Bob Lowe on June 12 to discuss future plans for the hotel.
Councilman McTaggart also attended the SCAG Water Policy Task Force meeting as a member on June 12, stating that he would provide some materials from this meeting to the Finance Advisory Committee. He mentioned these materials promote alternative ways to provide funding for storm water regulation problems and maintenance of storm sewers, and suggest the idea of using a storm water utility as a cost effective way to deal with the infrastructure that carries storm water. He added that he had requested Director Allison to forward copies to Council. On June 13 he attended the MTA South Bay Governments Sector Governance Council in Carson, where service changes to augment the existing municipal bus line system were discussed. He mentioned that the budget is currently very tight for transportation, adding that a $2 million shortfall has put approved projects for street and road improvements on hold. In conclusion he mentioned that on June 16 Josh Cohen interviewed him and Directors Allison and McLean about sewers and storm drains for a City Talk production that he felt turned out very well.
Councilman Clark mentioned attending the Ginsburg dedication ceremony and complimented various staff members for their attendance. He also commended Bill Ailor of the PV Land Conservancy, saying that the introductory comments he and the Mayor made really set the tone of the event which he found significant in terms of gifting to a very important cause – the acquisition and maintenance of open space on the peninsula. He also extended hearty kudos to the Ginsburgs for setting the current standard. On June 6 he had a one-on-one meeting with John Russo, the president of the League of California Cities, adding that despite media presentation there is a movement afoot behind the scenes to bring the disparate sides of the aisle together in terms of a budget plan for the future. In conclusion he mentioned a vacation that he and his wife took up the California coast to Half Moon Bay and encouraged anyone wishing to take a pause to visit the tremendous asset of our beautiful coastline.
Toni Lubofsky, Rancho Palos Verdes, spoke to the issue of funding for the CORE deputies. She read excerpts from a letter to Lieutenant Herrera from Gail Lorenzen, discussing the reduction of one CORE deputy and how it would greatly impact their ability to attend important functions and meetings such as Neighborhood Watch and the newly formed Emergency Preparedness Committee. She mentioned that their presence at these meetings to answer questions is invaluable and appreciated. She commented that they not only handle things like graffiti, quality of life issues, and juvenile crime before things get out of hand but also that they make the people in the community feel safe and protected. Ms. Lubofsky added that the city also benefits tremendously from the tireless volunteer work of Ms. Lorenzen and her husband Andy.
Mayor Stern commented that everyone’s work is appreciated and that the City is certainly aware of and grateful for the dedicated efforts of Gail Lorenzen.
Steve Wolowicz, Rancho Palos Verdes, echoed the sentiments expressed in relation to the retention of the CORE deputies. He spoke of their ability to resolve public safety and quality of life issues not readily addressed by traditional law enforcement methods. He provided statistics on the effectiveness of the program since its inception six years ago, adding that he is particularly impressed by its proactive approach. He mentioned that CORE has been awarded recognition as one of the top 50 programs of the U.S. Justice Department in 2002. He suggested the following four proposals to provide a possible funding mechanism for the program: (1) postpone any cuts to the program for one year; (2) approach Rolling Hills and Rolling Hills Estates to increase their contributions since they have already expressed interest in its continuation; (3) re-assess the use of city staff and contract labor at Committee and Commission meetings as a means to further reduce overhead costs; and, (4) initiate a citizens’ letter-writing campaign to the State to address the issue of funding.
Councilman McTaggart suggested that if the VLF is not taken a number of programs that have been cut could be restored. He asked that this item be added to the next meeting agenda for discussion.
Councilman Gardiner mentioned that he had received several calls in support of a particular deputy and asked Captain Zuanich if the number was cut from three to two if that deputy would be unemployed or reallocated.
Captain Zuanich responded that the deputy would be reallocated within the department and would be available to resume his CORE position if funding permits. He reiterated statistics showing that juvenile crime has been reduced from 149 in 1997 to 36 in 2002, adding that illustrates a 74 percent reduction with no other change in the city’s general services.
Tim Just, Rancho Palos Verdes, general manager of the Avenue of the Peninsula shopping center, stated that he is unbelievably lucky to live in this area and manage a center where the level of crime is almost unprecedented in the industry. He credited this low occurrence of criminal activity to the Sheriff’s Department and their sensitivity to the needs of the center and the community at large. He mentioned his use of two off-duty Lomita officers on Friday nights when a large number of juveniles tend to frequent the center and commented that there is a mutual respect between them, which has promoted a safe and comfortable place for everyone to visit.
Lois Larue, Rancho Palos Verdes, advised that the new traffic signals on Vallon Drive are in place and working fine. She mentioned that Ken Dyda should be recognized for the tremendous things he is doing in the city and as president of the Seniors’ Association, suggesting the City honor him in the near future. She also wanted to inform Council that despite seeing signs along PV Drive South to alert drivers that landslide repair work is being done, she has not seen any evidence of it.
Tom Redfield, Rancho Palos Verdes, as spokesperson for the Revival and Renaissance Coalition, addressed a few concerns that had been voiced by various Council members regarding that organization. He discussed some of the history and activities of the coalition as they related to previous elections and the current members of the City Council. He commended members of the Council for the work they have done during their tenure in office, adding that the Revival and Renaissance Coalition is a group of interested citizens who would like to build onto what the City Council has created in the last couple of years.
Proposed Workshop Regarding Infrastructure Financing. (602)
Director McLean presented a condensed version of the June 17th staff report and recommended the following: (1) setting a future date of perhaps December 2003 to conduct the first of several workshops in conjunction with the FAC to discuss infrastructure financing; and, (2) Authorize staff to retain a financial consultant to assist in the preparation of an informational workshop about infrastructure financing alternatives followed by at least one more workshop that would culminate in the presentation of a recommendation of an infrastructure-financing plan.
He suggested the December date would allow enough time for the gathering of sufficient information for the first workshop. He recommended that staff be authorized to retain a financial consultant to assist in the preparation of the necessary information.
Councilman Clark queried if the reason for waiting until December is to provide ample time for the financial consultant to work comprehensively with staff to facilitate compiling the necessary information. He also asked if there were any mitigating or exigent issues that would require shortening that period.
Director McLean responded in the affirmative to the first question, and City Manager Evans responded that he did not believe there is anything that requires attention before the December time frame.
Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman McTaggart, to approve the staff recommendation with the inclusion of a date some time in December 2003 for the first meeting to be further determined at a subsequent meeting of the Council. Motion carried.
Expenditure Plan for the Community Development Block Grant Program. (601 x 2000)
Director Allison made a brief presentation of the staff memorandum of June 17, 2003, and recommended that Council (1) approve an expenditure plan for the Block Grant Funds; (2) authorize construction of the dewatering wells at Abalone Cove; (3) authorize a ground water investigation of the area; and, (4) explore the possibility of selling the remaining balance of $600,000 of CDBG funds at the going rate of $0.50 to $0.60 on the dollar.
Mayor Stern questioned the viability of using the money as a trade or loan in which they could be transferred to another city with an immediate use for them to be repaid later dollar for dollar.
Director Allison replied that staff had asked this question of the County and was told absolutely not.
Mayor Stern mentioned the possibility of deferring some of the money for projects slated for future action.
City Attorney Lynch admonished that any deviation from the norm in dealing with the bureaucratic processing of CDBG funds could waylay the entire endeavor, noting that her experience in dealing with them in the past is that they are very rigid. She explained that a county agency is administering a federal program where not much latitude is given for making discretionary decisions. She outlined as an example a cap on programs like Reach where only a certain amount of funds can be applied regardless of the need for such a program in a given community. She added that oftentimes many of the restrictions make no sense but the rules are in place and must be adhered to.
Councilman Gardiner responding that allocating funds across competing interests is different from employing poorly designed policies and restrictions.
Councilman Clark queried whether the funds could be used for a portion rather than the entirety of a qualifying project such as the Senior Center.
City Manager Evans stated this could be done, adding that using one penny of federal money would necessitate the entire project be done under federal guidelines, thereby increasing the cost significantly.
Councilman McTaggart expressed concern about the role inflation might play in devaluing the repayment of any money sold. He also pointed out that the longer the City waits to sell these dollars the less they might be worth because, as the deadline approaches, other cities will most likely be in a similar position further devaluing their worth.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro suggested that getting $0.50 or $0.60 on the dollar now which could be placed in the General Fund would allow the City to complete some important projects that do not qualify for grant funds such as the rest rooms at Del Cerro Park and Ocean Front Estates, adding that at least some high priority projects of interest in the community could be done.
Councilman Clark expressed interest in this suggestion and inquired if an immediate decision had to be made.
Mayor Stern commented that he also agreed with Councilwoman Ferraro but found it mind boggling that the sale of these dollars would be allowed on such a contingent basis only.
City Manager Evans advised that the clock is ticking. He noted that because of the time constraints and stringency of the process as a whole the risk of losing even more money is a distinct possibility unless Council has a current project within the dedicated time frame to devote these funds to. He urged a timely decision.
Councilman Clark suggested canvassing staff members of the League of Cities to see if any unique transactional arrangements had been made between other cities and reiterated his position that he would like to wait a short time to see if any other possibilities come to light.
City Attorney Lynch responded that she is pretty convinced of the answers but is happy to ask the question of her partners as well as League members.
Councilman Gardiner agreed that appropriate inquiries should be made before Council reaches a final decision, adding that, if the answer is that there are no other viable possibilities, a consent item could be presented to Council at the following meeting.
Mayor Stern suggested agendizing the item for the next meeting. He inquired about the possibility of the money being further devalued if action is not taken for two weeks to a month.
City Attorney Lynch answered that, not knowing the current market, she is unable to answer the question.
City Manager Evans agreed to canvass the cities but said the likelihood of finding another city that could meet the necessary criteria is probably very small.
Director Allison recommended Council adopt the first three recommendations so they could move forward on those items. He added that staff would investigate other possibilities in regard to the sale of the remaining funds.
Councilman McTaggart motionedmoved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to adopt the first three recommendations listed in the staff memorandum.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro asked why the motion was excluding the fourth recommendation when staff was still being requested to investigate the potential sale.
Mayor Stern motionedmoved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to adopt the fourth staff recommendation with the modification that it be a sale or other transaction.
The motion carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: McTaggart, Clark, Gardiner, Ferraro and Mayor Stern
Councilman Gardiner motionedmoved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro and Councilman McTaggart, to propose an amendment to sell the full $610,000 and use the proceeds to put a rest room at Del Cerro Park and hire the third CORE deputy back.
Mayor Stern agreed with the motion to sell the $610,000 but requested the allocation of those funds be addressed separately.
Councilman Gardiner’s accepted Mayor Stern’s amendment to the motion and agreed to drop any reference about how to use the proceeds, and the amended motion carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Ferraro, McTaggart and Gardiner
NOES: Clark and Mayor Stern
Councilman Clark explained his vote by saying the exploration of an alternative approach might yield more funds for the future, thereby making it worthy to be patient for a week or two. Mayor Stern concurred with this rationale.
Recess and Reconvene: Mayor Stern recessed the meeting briefly at 11:17 p.m. and reconvened the meeting at 11:23.
Review of the proposed View Restoration and Preservation Guideline revisions. (1806)
Councilman Gardiner motionedmoved, seconded by Councilman McTaggart, without objection to waive the staff report.
Mayor Stern mentioned his understanding that there were some corrections to the wording of the staff report.
Miss Nelson responded that Council had been given a copy of five pages of corrections that addressed that matter.
Ken Dyda, Rancho Palos Verdes, brought attention to some elements in the guidelines he believes to be contentious such as the word "significant," which he described as lacking definition and open to gross misinterpretation; and, the specificity of exactly 16 feet, which he felt leaves no room for judgment and could lead to arguments over interpretations of the ordinance’s intent. He suggested that rather than allowing staff to unilaterally incur costs that may be excessive to an applicant, said applicant should be allowed to make the decision, realizing that by choosing to incur the cost, the process continues and, if not, the application is automatically denied. He mentioned privacy, saying care should be taken in this regard and it should not be an issue if there is no privacy from public access or a neighbor’s house. He also addressed the language that requires leaving the stump of a removed tree, suggesting that the owner be allowed to grind the stump, thereby retaining the root structure for stability but providing better esthetics. In conclusion he suggested instituting a timetable for refunding unused deposited funds to applicants and recommended 30 days after all conditions had been met.
Councilmen Gardiner and Clark requested tabling the matter and bringing it back to Council with all loose ends integrated into one document since there are a quite a number of things to consider.
It was the consensus to continue the matter to the July 1 meeting.
Cost reduction proposals for View Restoration Services. (1806)
The staff memorandum of June 17 recommended the following: (1) Develop a new fee structure to better cover the costs of view restoration services as part of the City permit fee study currently underway; (2) Develop penalties to deter noncompliance with the City’s foliage maintenance directives; and, (3) Initiate a Code amendment to streamline the City Tree Review Permit process contained in Development Code Section 17.6.100.
Councilman Gardiner motionedmoved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, to waive the staff report. Motion carried.
Councilman Gardiner motionedmoved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, to move the staff recommendation. Motion carried.
View Restoration Permit No. 118 - A request by the applicant to have the City enforce a private agreement (Foliage Owner: Ms. Lynn Doran; Applicant: Mr. and Mrs. James Beck.) (1806)
Continued this matter to the July 1, 2003 City Council meeting.
Director Rojas stated that neither party was in attendance and both had requested continuance of the matter to July 1st.
Mayor Stern admonished that it is not the procedure of Council to deviate from standard policy and carve out special rules for different individuals.
Councilman McTaggart motionedmoved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to continue the matter to July 1.
ADJOURNMENT: Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved to adjourn the meeting. Meeting adjourned at 11:44 p.m.
M I N U T E S
RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL
COMMUNITY LEADERS' BREAKFAST
BUDGET WORK SESSION
SATURDAY, MAY 10, 2003
The meeting was called to order at 9:20 A.M. by Mayor Douglas Stern at the Fred Hesse Community Park, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard, notice having been given with affidavit thereto on file.
Present: Clark, Ferraro, Gardiner, McTaggart and Mayor Stern.
Also present were State Senator Betty Karnette, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher City Manager Les Evans, Assistant City Manager Carolynn Petru, Administrative Services Director/City Clerk Jo Purcell, Recreation & Parks Director Ron Rosenfeld, Public Works Director Dean Allison, Finance and IT Director Dennis McLean, and Director of Planning, Building & Code Enforcement Joel Rojas.
After welcoming remarks by Mayor Stern, self-introductions followed.
State Senator Betty Karnette gave an overview of the economy and the budget cuts that may be necessary to balance state’s budget.
Representing the League of California Cities was Ann Marie Wallace who explained the grass roots efforts being conducted by the League to protect cities’ revenue and break the cycle of the state appropriating it every time there is a downturn in the economy.
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher then summarized his involvement in national issues such as homeland security matters, the rebuilding of the Space Shuttle Columbia, and legislation promoting student loans for those interested in pursuing graduate and doctorate degrees in scientific fields.
City Manager Evans then gave an overview of the City’s budget explaining that the City is in a more much different situation than it has been in for approximately the last ten years due to the struggling economy, the lower State funding and less assistance from the State and other financial considerations. He explained that the City receives 18 percent of its General Fund revenues from Vehicle License Fees (VLF’s), which is approximately $2.4 million this year; that since the State had reduced the City’s VLF’s by 2/3rds, the State had been backfilling these funds to the cities rather than the cities not receiving these revenues; however, with the State budget crisis and with the Governor’s proposed plan, City Manager Evans stated that this backfill to the cities would disappear and cities would bear the brunt of the State reducing the VLF’s by 2/3rds.
City Manager Evans explained that because of this uncertainty, staff has prepared a scenario that would reflect the VLF backfill portion as not available in next year’s budget and would propose to City Council a baseline budget. He stated that the City is currently in fiscal year 2002-03, starting the year with a balanced budget; and explained that during this fiscal year, staff has added in some new programs that were funded out of the City’s General Fund reserve. He explained that at the beginning of the year, staff projected $13.3 million in revenues and proposed $13.3 million in expenditures; and stated that the VLF backfill is approximately $1.6 million this year and that the net figure of $11.7 million is what staff believes it will have to work with next year until staff knows what will happen with the VLF.
RECESS AND RECONVENE: The meeting recessed at 10:30 A.M. and reconvened at 11:00A.M.
Budget Policy Issues for FY 03-04 and FY 04-05. (602)
Staff recommended that the Council discuss the budget policy issues and provide staff with direction regarding the inclusion of these items or others identified by Council in the proposed Baseline Budget for FY 03-04 and FY 04-05.
CORE Deputy & Additional Traffic Enforcement: Reduced to two deputies; consider having CORE deputy instruct Student and the Law Program
City Manager Evans explained that this is the third in a proposed series of four budget workshops. He presented Council with a narrative of the budget items that had been discussed over recent months, a menu of budget policy issues with their associated costs, a five-year financial model, and a draft budget.
He stated that he would like to begin the meeting by discussing the budget items related to the Sheriff’s Department, since there were representatives in the audience who needed to leave to attend another function. He noted that the items related to this issue were as follows: (1) additional traffic enforcement; (2) Student and the Law classes; and, (3) the CORE Deputy services.
Captain Jay Zuanich explained that CORE Deputy means Community Resource Deputy and that they deal with a myriad of quality of life issues, including the schools, disputes between neighbors, and other kinds of situations that regular patrol deputies are unable to handle.
Mayor Stern questioned how to quantify the impact of two deputies versus three.
Captain Zuanich responded that it was very difficult to quantify but that the deputies work extremely hard. He added that they spend more hours than they are being paid for serving as community liaisons and assisting patrol officers in their duties. He commented that despite the deputies each having a liaison city, their areas do overlap and they essentially go wherever the need is.
Councilman McTaggart queried how the other cities on the peninsula contribute to the CORE program and what would happen if one of those cities failed to participate. He mentioned that RPV is leading the way as far as providing funding for community activities beneficial to the entire peninsula. He expressed support for the many values of the program, adding that his only concern is having to wrestle with the numbers.
Captain Zuanich explained that the issue basically came down to dollars. He stated that it is well known that the City of Rancho Palos Verdes has the major interest financially in all the programs on the hill.
Councilman Clark also wondered if the level of support for the CORE program should be predicated on participation from the other cities.
City Manager Evans stated that RPV pays approximately 60 percent of the cost and opined that if RPV funding stopped the other cities would most likely follow.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro, in an attempt to determine if two deputies would be able to cover the responsibilities of three, questioned how their schedules were organized.
Deputy Brandon Epp explained that the deputies are divided into three regions, reiterating that their areas overlap as needed. He stated that their schedules are constantly flexing to allow them to attend various meetings in the community. He said that the bulk of their responsibility during the school year is focused on juveniles, noting that juvenile crime makes up approximately 90 percent of the crime on the peninsula. He added that since the inception of the program this has been drastically reduced. He illustrated this by pointing out that there were 149 reports of juvenile-related crime in 1997 compared to 36 in the year 2002, which he attributed 100 percent to the involvement of CORE deputies with the kids in the community.
Councilman Gardiner questioned whether by reducing the number of deputies the City would save money but whether there would be an increase in law enforcement expenses as a direct result of that cut. He further wondered if the City’s budget for police services has increased at a lower rate or decreased as a function of having CORE and the subsequent reduction in crime.
City Manager Evans admitted that he couldn't answer that question, commenting that the overall cost of sheriff's services to the City stayed at the same level over the past few years.
Councilman Clark commented that there was no statistical correlation between the CORE program and the reduction in juvenile crimes, stating that other elements may have effectuated the reduction.
Mayor Stern added that as a general proposition there was a reduction in crime during that overall period, wondering how that effect could be filtered out.
Councilman Gardner suggested comparing some similar data in Torrance and other neighboring cities.
City Manager Evans noted that violent crimes, burglary, larceny, and grand theft auto statistically hit bottom in 1999 and since then have been trending up; however, the juvenile crimes are continuing to trend down.
Councilman Gardner questioned whether the school district with a budget far greater than that of the City and clearly reaping the benefit of the classroom part of the program contributes anything for the deputies.
Mayor Stern responded that the school district basically regards it as a municipality function and, therefore, it is not their responsibility.
Councilman Clark commented that everyone agrees that the CORE program does have some incremental value to the safety of the community. He suggested that in these lean times the City revert to one deputy for the year, determine the effect of that reduction and, if an increase in juvenile crime is presumed to be attributable to that reduction, increase the level. He requested verification that the cost of one CORE deputy is zero.
Assistant Manager Petru responded that the cost for each CORE deputy position is approximately $100,000 a year, adding that the City only pays 60 percent of that. She noted that one position is funded completely with grant money; $100,000 a year from the State and $15,000 in federal funds. She added that the federal funds have been decreasing in recent years.
Councilman Clark noted that since the City pays nothing for the first deputy and the cost for the second deputy is between $5,000 and $30,000, it would make sense to keep the number at two.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro stated that she is not in favor of sacrificing public safety and that in her opinion funding should be found for two deputies because she believes it has made a significant difference in the community.
All Council members agreed with these comments and asked Assistant Manager Petru to double-check the figures.
Councilman Clark questioned why the CORE deputies were teaching Student and the Law classes, yet the City was paying an additional amount to fund that program.
Assistant Manager Petru responded that until last semester the classes were being taught by one traffic deputy. When a third class was added in the Spring semester, he was unable to work the additional class into his schedule and the CORE deputies were called in to assist. She commented that the School District was requesting two classes per semester during the 2003-2004 school year.
Deputy Epp stated that the class taught at Rancho del Mar during the Spring semester was overtime for the CORE deputies.
Councilman Gardiner commented that it would be more financially sound to allocate specific time within their regularly scheduled hours for the deputies to teach the class rather than pay for an additional officer or overtime.
Mayor Stern queried whether that would be permitted under the grant funding or whether it would be considered improper.
Deputy Epp mentioned that another asset provided by the CORE team is the bonus of having two to three additional cars on the streets to respond to in-progress crimes. He stated that since they do not segregate themselves from the routine patrol deputy's job, if an emergency comes up, they are available to respond.
Lieutenant John Hererra reiterated the importance of having the CORE deputies available not only to act as community liaisons but also to assist the patrol force as needed. In response to a question by Councilman McTaggart, he stated that an additional 40-hour patrol car, under the City’s current contract, would cost approximately $113,000 the first fiscal year and rise to $180,000 after that.
Councilman McTaggart stressed the importance of the CORE team in relation to crime deterrence and the overall safety of the community. He opined that it would be well worth the extra expenditure to have this adjunct to the sheriff’s department and would be far less costly than an additional patrol unit.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro agreed that it would be a wise use of the money.
Assistant Manager Petru calculated that the cost of a CORE deputy is $115,821 of which the City pays 60 percent or roughly $70,000 per deputy. She added that, assuming the same level of grant funding of $115,00, if the City funded one grant deputy there would be a balance of approximately $45,500 and, if the City funded two CORE deputies out of the General Fund, the cost to the General fund would be approximately $24,000.
Council agreed to fund two CORE deputies and have them take the responsibility for teaching the Student and the Law classes as part of their regular duties.
Residential Overlay and Slurry Seal Program: Agreed to fund at the requested $550,000 level.
Councilman Gardiner inquired about the actual cost of the overlay and slurry program since the amount requested was the biggest discretionary item on the budget.
City Manager Evans responded that the amount needed was actually $1.3 million, but the Public Works Department came up with the reduced amount of $550,000 for the short term but certainly not for the next ten years.
In response to Councilman Clark’s request for a brief summary of how that figure was derived, Director Allison responded that the current slurry and overlay program has been in place for about seven or eight years. Each year the City goes into a single neighborhood and either overlays or slurry fills the streets, explaining that the streets that are in relatively good condition are slurry sealed whereas the streets that have decayed to a certain degree are overlaid.
City Manager Evans clarified the distinction between the overlay and the slurry seal, explaining that the slurry is a relatively inexpensive thin coat of oil and sand that places a new surface on the street and turns it black again and the overlay is about an inch of new pavement.
Director Allison further explained that the slurry is considered a preservative and the overlay is an improvement, adding that the overlay cost is approximately five to six times more. He went on to say that the current program is geographically based so that every seven years each street in a particular neighborhood is assessed and repaired as appropriate. He stated that approximately two thirds of the streets are slurried and one third receive an overlay, adding that the streets improve over time with the regular application of the slurry seal. He also mentioned that the City was already a year behind in its application of this program because, although it had been budgeted for FY 02-03, Council later deferred it when they realized the potential to lose VLF Backfill funds. He commented that his dilemma now is whether to do a fraction of the streets scheduled or to reduce the standards of their repair by slurry sealing streets that really need an overlay. He recommended maintaining the current standards but doing half the number of streets instead.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro mentioned that several years ago a pavement management study had been conducted to rate the level of deterioration of all the streets in the City. It was her understanding that as a result of this study there was an ordered application of the program under which the streets in greatest need of repair at that time were done first.
City Manager Evans explained that at one time the streets of the entire City were evaluated and a program was implemented based on a formula rating the expected deterioration of those streets. He stated that each area receives a visual inspection before any work is scheduled. He assured Council that areas were not repaired needlessly, adding that every street in the quadrant to be worked on was in need of at least a slurry seal to rejuvenate the pavement.
Councilman Gardiner questioned if the $2 million in the Building Replacement Fund was considered a separate fund from which money could be taken now for the road improvements and be replenished at a later time.
City Manager Evans responded that it is a separate fund to be used specifically for projects that "extend the life," of City buildings adding that these funds had previously been used for reproofing City buildings and could certainly be used for the necessary road repairs/improvements.
Mayor Stern mentioned that these funds could be returned to the General Fund if Council wished, saying they had been earmarked and set aside but that they were available if necessary. He added that he thought it was exceedingly prudent to make sure that funds were appropriated in this manner to ensure proper maintenance of the City’s capital assets.
Councilman McTaggart commented that a number of years ago a utility user’s tax was instituted for the purpose of maintaining the City’s infrastructure and that this money should be used for exactly that. He recommended that a portion of the work be deferred temporarily rather that the standards being reduced, adding that, when more money comes into the system, the situation be attacked more aggressively.
Councilman Clark noted that the orderly program used by the City to maintain its roads is a model for the South Bay. He noted that he would be comfortable with the proposed $550,000 figure and, if staff assessed a greater financial need, utilizing part of the reserve in the Building Replacement Fund to maintain the current standards.
Mayor Stern added that he believed staff had taken the correct philosophical view in maintaining the City’s standards by doing fewer roads at the moment.
Recess and Reconvene: Mayor Stern recessed the meeting at 12:30 p.m. and reconvened the meeting at 12:45 p.m.
Potential Additional Litigation: Funded at $25,000.
City Manager Evans advised Council that the proposed $25,000 added to the baseline budget would cover basic legal services, special services, and litigation for the next year.
Emergency Preparedness Task Force Recommendations: Funded at $25,000
City Manager Evans explained that the additional $25,000 would merely allow for some educational materials, upgrading the website links, providing handbooks, some minor consulting services, and a few conferences.
Mayor Stern stated he felt funding at this level is prudent.
Councilman McTaggart suggested the possibility of federal funding assistance to which City Manager Evans responded that, although certainly a possibility, federal funds in this area are generally geared more towards first responders, such as equipment purchases and providing communications facilities.
Employee Compensation/Merit Pool: Funded at $77,500.
City Manager Evans briefly summarized the City’s merit pool, employee bonus, and tuition reimbursement programs. He stated that the current payroll figure is approximately $2.6 million and that the merit pool is essentially employee raises, adding that the latest Los Angeles-Long Beach cost of living index is up 3.5 percent over this time last year. He explained that, although this is not necessarily the way the City gives raises, $50,000 would accommodate this 3.5 percent salary increase for each employee. He noted that over the past eight years bonus and tuition reimbursement programs have been in place, both equal to 1.5 percent of the payroll. He stated that the bonuses are distributed throughout the year to employees who display some form of meritorious job performance. He explained that approximately $5,000 of this amount is set aside for tuition reimbursement for employees wishing to further their education, adding that this number has actually decreased in the past few years since many employees have already taken advantage of the program and gone on to obtain their degrees. He proposed reducing the merit pool amount to 1 percent of payroll or about $26,000 and leaving $1,000 in the tuition reimbursement program.
Councilman Clark requested clarification of employee increases not being automatically distributed, but rather being issued as rewards to staff for their unique and meritorious performance or ideas.
Councilman Gardiner commented that given the Federal and State numbers, the 3.5 percent figure essentially zeroed out any merit increases by just allowing City employees to keep up with inflation and the cost of living.
City Manager Evans reiterated that in the past no cost of living increases have been automatically distributed, saying the salary compensation program maintains the flexibility to reward an outstanding employee with a 5 percent raise by not allocating a 3.5 percent cost of living increase across the board.
Traffic Signal Installation: Provided no funding.
City Grants: Budgeted $30,000.
Councilman Gardiner noted that he would fund organizations that assist people before non-humans (animals) and organizations in which the bulk, if not all, of their support be is directed to the benefit of RPV residents.
Councilman Clark agreed, reiterating that funding should be prioritized for organizations that provide something for the betterment of people. He noted that although he is not against the arts, in austere times such as these, grant money should be allocated specifically to things that touch human lives. He added that Council should not increase the amount for any grants this year. He and Councilman Gardiner suggested that staff put together an ordered list of recipients and how they serve the community to be used for further allocation guidance.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro agreed that the number one priority should be programs that benefit the residents of RPV and that there should be no new granting and proportional reductions in those who already receive grants from the City.
Mayor Stern added that the difficult decision remains as to specifically who to fund and in what amount.
It was the consensus that staff should develop a list of grantees using $30,000 as budget limit with the following provisions: (1) no new organizations to be added; (2) prioritize reductions, giving preference to people versus arts and animals; (3) add a column showing the number of RPV people served. Mayor pro tem Ferraro is to work with staff on developing this list.
Conferences & Meetings: Budgeted $50,000.
City Manager Evans briefly summarized the category, stating that it basically covers the cost of travel and conference fees for City staff, Council, and some committee members. He added that the number had been neither reduced nor increased from last year with the exception of the Planning Department’s number that reflected a decrease in the number of Planning Commissioners to be sent to the League of California Cities Planner’s Institute.
Mayor Stern agreed that it is financially imprudent to send all members of the Planning Commission to the Planner’s Institute in Monterey, suggesting that those members attending could return with ideas and literature to share with their colleagues.
Councilman Clark agreed that it was not necessary to send all of the Planning Commissioners but felt that funding should be set aside for the Planning Department’s newest members in the areas of planning and zoning.
Portable Generator and Electrical Modifications at Park Sites: Provided no funding.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro inquired whether the City could get along another year without this item.
Mayor Stern asked what role City government would play in the event of a calamity that knocked out power at City Hall.
City Manager Evans responded that in the event power went out at City Hall, the current backup generating system would kick in. He stated that the area of concern would occur in the event of an incident such as a fire or an earthquake that rendered the building unsafe, thereby necessitating a relocation. This would be problematic because the City’s other facilities are not currently equipped with a back up power source.
Councilman Clark described this as a hypothetical risk assessment issue that in these austere times he did not find appropriate to budget for.
Councilman McTaggart wondered if one of the main reasons for this backup power requirement would be to provide shelter at the facility in the event of an emergency situation.
City Manager Evans explained that if needed the emergency shelter would probably be set up at the high school.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro agreed not to budget for this item, adding that it should be reconsidered as financial times improve.
Geographic Information System: Budget $27,000, but eliminate if from the Menu Selection.
Financing Alternatives Consultant: Budgeted $30,000.
Mayor Stern recommended funding at some level, saying the City needs to get a handle on infrastructure needs and understand the alternatives available.
City Manager Evans explained that part of the funding could probably be incorporated into a bond issue or other similar funding mechanism.
Memberships and Dues: Budgeted $44,466.
Traffic Signal Battery Backup System: No funding provided.
Document Imaging System: Budgeted $9,000.
City Manager Evans explained the requested amount was to initiate a system focusing on the City Clerk’s office.
City Clerk Purcell stated that the proposed funding would provide a "start-up kit" to begin addressing the City’s need for a document imaging program and would give staff some experience with implementing such a system in other departments. She cited the tremendous amount of space at City offices that are devoted to records storage and file cabinets.
Electrical Filter Devices: Budgeted $60,000 from the Building Replacement fund.
Director McLean explained that the City Hall was built in the 1950’s with an infrastructure that never anticipated the electronics network now in place. He stated that the breaker boxes are currently full and that network outage problems are being caused by wiring interferences. He determined in meetings with the City’s electrical contractor, Public Works Director, and IT advisor that the only solution is to create and install dedicated circuits in both buildings at a combined cost of $60,000. He stated that the Planning Building is worse than the Administration Building and warned that without implementing the suggested changes the outages will continue to occur, damaging equipment and possibly losing data in the process.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro suggested taking the additional $30,000 needed out of the Building Replacement Fund.
Councilman Clark advised leaving the $30,000 in the year’s General Fund and taking the entire amount out of the Building Replacement Fund to which everyone agreed.
Councilman Gardiner recommended using the best and latest technology, suggesting the possible use of fiber optic cable.
Director McLean stated that fiber optics would probably cost an additional $10,000 to $15,000.
City Manager Evans noted that the whole issue would be brought before Council with a firmer number before a final decision is made on whether to take the entire amount from the Building Replacement Fund.
NCCP Lobbyist: Budgeted $30,000.
Mayor Stern stated this item is critical to the completion of the City’s Natural Communities Conservation Planning program and suggested maintaining the proposed funding level.
Pt. Vicente Trail Handrail: No funding provided.
Councilman Clark suggested generating some interest among the parents of children attending the school to put together a self-help type project where over a couple of weekends some of the parents could replenish and repair the rail themselves.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro commented that the Rotary had been looking for projects they could participate in where the outcome of their efforts could actually be seen.
Mayor Stern suggested that any viewers who were interested in volunteering assistance for the project were encouraged to contact the City.
Annual Abalone Cover Sewer System Subsidy: Reduced to $15,000 in FY 03-04 and eliminate any subsidy for FY 04-05.
City Manager Evans explained that two years ago the sewer system was completed and a maintenance district was created. At that time the City decided to share some of the costs of maintenance so the citizens would be assessed half the cost rather than the full amount. He suggested lowering the subsidized amount to $30,000 this year and then reducing it in increments of $5,000 each subsequent year until it reaches zero.
Mayor Stern opined that the subsidy should be reduced much faster than being suggested, stating that it is unfair to the other residents in the City to subsidize this system. He suggested an immediate cut to $15,000 or less with no subsidy at all in FY 2004-05.
Councilman Gardiner inquired what the average household cost is now and how that would change if the subsidy were zeroed out. He also asked what rule permitted the City to subsidize this maintenance district.
Director Allison responded that each household is paying an average $150 assessment.
City Manager Evans replied that the average cost would double. He explained that when the system was built and the district created, the City informed the residents that the maintenance cost would be a certain amount. The cost turned out to be higher and, in response to residents’ complaints, the City agreed to subsidize.
Councilman McTaggart questioned the actual amount of the maintenance cost.
Director Allison responded that there had been a few one-time costs such as the purchase of a generator, but on an ongoing basis he estimated the cost at approximately $50,000 a year, adding that the subsidy is structured so that the City picked up a little more than half the first couple of years.
Councilman Clark expressed concern that the entire community has been subsidizing something that benefits only a small portion of the residents.
Mayor Stern concurred and reiterated that the subsidy should drop to $15,000 in FY 03-04 and be zeroed out the following fiscal year.
Term Limits Ballot Initiative: Tentatively budgeted $4,000 as a placeholder.
Mayor Stern requested leaving the item as a placeholder since it may or may not be required.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro disagreed, saying the City needed all the money it could find right now.
Council members Clark and Gardiner agreed with Mayor Stern that it is prudent to leave it as a placeholder and make the determination of using it at a later date.
Computer Network Services: Budgeted $20,000
Construction of a Trail Link between PVIC and Ocean Front Estates: Request the developer to fund.
Recess and Reconvene: Mayor Stern recessed the meeting at 1:35 p.m. and reconvened the meeting at 1:45 p.m.
Interior Painting at Hesse Park: Budgeted $1,000 to paint multipurpose room only.
Shade Structure at Eastview Park: No funding budgeted.
Expansion of the Catch Basin Insert Program: No funding budgeted.
Reader Board/Educational Access Channel: Combined the $12,000 from the Reader Board and the $10,000 from the Educational Access Channel for a total of $22,000.
Councilman Clark questioned the marginal value of the reader board, stating that the quarterly newsletter and the interactive website are far more useful as informational tools. He added that over 95 percent of the homes on the peninsula are equipped with computers.
Councilman Gardiner stated that part of the reader board funding was to provide resources for the new cable channel that would display an enhanced reader board that would be more informative and would serve as more of an online newsletter than the current format. He also suggested renaming the educational access channel RPV TV channel 33 because of its broader governmental and community access roles.
Councilman McTaggart stated that he would like to see the funding moved to the City channel and produce a streaming line at the bottom of the screen similar to that of many of the news channels. He suggested this could be used to list dates and times of events scheduled in the City and could be featured during low programming times rather than all the time.
City Newsletter: Budgeted $9,675.
Video Streaming of the City Website: Budgeted $7,800.
Canopy at City Hall Community Room Entrance: No funding budgeted.
Washington D.C. Lobbyist: No funding budgeted.
City Logo: Reduced funding to $2,500.
City Manager Evans briefly explained that the City logo funds are spent for things such as lapel pins, business cards, etc.
City Clerk Purcell noted that part of the expenditure has also gone towards the newsletter design and the redesign of City Hall stationery and design of the lettering for the doors at City Hall.
City Website Upgrades: Budgeted $4,800.
City Manager Evans explained that the current City website does not include a search feature.
Mayor Stern noted that this would truly enhance the ability of people to locate the information they are interested in on the City’s web site.
Everyone agreed it is an important item and supported its funding.
Door Replacement at City Hall Maintenance Building: Budgeted $1,500.
Sewer Investigation Program: No funding budgeted.
Major Repairs to Storm Drains: Budgeted $75,000.
Councilman McTaggart requested that a matrix of all the categories and figures be
e-mailed to Council as an Excel file.
It was the consensus of Council to place an item on the June Council agenda regarding setting up a public workshop to discuss financing infrastructure.
Council cancelled May 19th budget work session.
Adjournment: At 2:30 P.M. Councilman Clark moved to adjourn the meeting.