RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL
JUNE 6, 2006
The meeting was called to order at 7:18 P.M. by Mayor Wolowicz at Fred Hesse Community Park, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard.
Roll call was answered as follows:
PRESENT: Clark, Gardiner, Long, Stern, Mayor Wolowicz
Also present were City Manager Les Evans; Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Carolynn Petru; City Attorney Carol Lynch; Interim Director of Public Works Ray Holland; Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement Joel Rojas; Director of Finance Dennis McLean; Finance Manager Katherine Downs; Associate Planner Kit Fox; Associate Planner Tracy Dudman; Senior Administrative Analyst Lauren Ramezani.
The Flag Salute was led by Lois Knight Larue.
Proclamation for Lois Knight Larue
Barbara Ferraro, former Rancho Palos Verdes Councilwoman/Mayor, thanked Lois Knight Larue for her many years of hard work, attention and dedication to community issues and for her tireless efforts as a regular audience member at the City Council meetings; and she presented Lois Knight Larue with a bouquet of flowers, stating that she is an icon in the community.
Barbara Dye, Rancho Palos Verdes, Executive Director of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, stated that she feels honored to have Lois Knight Larue as her neighbor; noted that for a long time, Ms. Larue would place on her doorstep every other Friday a copy of the City Council agenda and staff reports of the issues Ms. Larue felt she should know about as someone who is active in the community; stated that Ms. Larue has been a valuable and engaged citizen who routinely participates in the public process in the City; and she expressed her gratitude to Ms. Larue for what she has done for this community throughout the many years she has been a concerned and involved resident. She presented Lois Larue with a pictorial plaque of the Peninsula in appreciation of her extraordinary efforts on behalf of the community.
Maureen Griffin, Rancho Palos Verdes, expressed her pleasure in seeing the City honor Ms. Larue for her many years of hard work in this community.
Bill Tolliffe, Rancho Palos Verdes, reminisced about the homeowner association meetings Lois Larue used to sponsor in her home during the 1960’s and her work with the Abalone Cove Shore Club; and he thanked her for her service to the community.
Barbara Gleghorn, Rancho Palos Verdes, thanked Lois Larue for keeping everyone on his or her toes in the community.
Councilman Stern pointed out that Lois Larue understands the role the public must play in City government, stating that she exemplifies what it is to be an interested and active public citizen that gets involved in community issues; and he expressed his desire to see more people get involved in this community as she has done.
Mayor pro tem Long commended Lois Larue on her many contributions to the community.
Councilman Clark recounted how he first met Lois Larue in 1989-1990 when Proposition M was on the local ballot, putting in place view restoration and preservation and creating a new View Restoration Commission within the City; noted that he was the first chair when this Commission was formed and wherein he met Ms. Larue, who made her presence known during those meetings; and he commended Ms. Larue for her persistent interest and commitment to the City and the surrounding communities, pointing out that she not only attended City Council meetings, but that she attended other Commission/board meetings. He related that when he was sworn into public office for City Council, he was delighted to see Lois Larue in the audience wearing a badge of support for his position.
Councilman Gardiner stated that he first met Lois Larue when he was campaigning for the Palos Verdes School Board; congratulated and commended her for her tireless efforts in a variety of ways in this community; and suggested that one of the front row audience chairs be reserved with a name plaque in her honor.
Mayor Wolowicz presented a City proclamation to Lois Knight Larue, noting on behalf of the entire community that he took great pleasure in honoring her for her community spirit and citizenship, her love of this community, her dedication to preserving its unique coastal environment and her interest in the local government meetings and democratic process. He thanked Ms. Larue for her many years of participation in the community.
Presentation from the Lomita Sheriff’s Station on fireworks enforcement during the July 4th holiday season
Sheriff’s Captain Jay Zuanich, Lomita Station, took the opportunity to mention that he knew Lois Larue in 1975 when she worked as a secretary in the Public Defender’s Office at the San Pedro Courthouse.
Councilman Gardiner thanked Captain Zuanich and the Sheriff’s Department for their efforts with the recent local bank robbery.
Captain Zuanich advised that one suspect had been apprehended and that the Department is continuing to work on catching the other suspect. Captain Zuanich reminded the public that the 4th of July is quickly approaching; stated that fireworks are illegal in this City; and that the Sheriff’s Department will have zero tolerance towards anyone possessing fireworks on the Peninsula. He added that this year, there again would be extra patrol cars in the City and elsewhere on the Peninsula enforcing fireworks abatement.
Sheriff’s Deputy John Despot provided a summary of last year’s results of the two-officer enforcement program; reported that the evenings were very busy responding, to radio calls all night and observing a lot of violations; he stated the deputies were busy from 8:30 P.M. to 1:00 A.M.; and mentioned that the back seat of his patrol car was filled with illegal fireworks by the end of the night. He stated the patrols will be out in the community in full force this year and that there will be zero tolerance with fireworks.
Councilman Clark stated that Officer Chris Knox is responsible for changing the behavior pattern of driver safety in this community; pointed out that Council Members see Officer Knox all over the City enforcing traffic speed and safety codes; that the word has gotten out that enforcement is active and that people are slowing down their driving; and he complimented Officer Knox, stating the slower traffic is directly attributable to his proactive efforts.
Captain Zuanich echoed Councilman Clark’s commendations for both Officer Chris Knox and Officer John Despot, stating these two officers work very hard for the community.
Mayor Wolowicz stated that he is grateful for the officers’ dedication.
Captain Zuanich urged the public to obey the law and not use fireworks in the City.
Presentation from the Los Angeles County Fire Department on fire protection services in the City
Los Angeles County Fire Department Chief P. Michael Freeman introduced some of his staff who are present this evening: Central Bureau Chief Glen Massey, Assistant Chief Mike Morgan, Chief of Planning Division Debbie Aguirre, and Loretta Bagwell. With the aid of a slide presentation, he reported that the Department covers the entire County of Los Angeles, 4,400 square miles; and that it covers all of the unincorporated territory of the County and also provide services to 57 incorporated cities within the County and one city in Orange County, La Habra. He indicated that his slide presentation is intended to answer questions that were previously posed and that the presentation will cover an evaluation of existing service levels from the fire stations serving the City, an analysis of revenue versus costs, evaluation of the emergency medical services – specifically the paramedic service levels, replacement schedule of equipment assigned to the City, the resources serving the City; and response times.
Chief Freeman explained that when someone dials 911, the Fire Department sends the same number of personnel and resources to that call site across its entire jurisdictional area; noted that there are two fire stations physically located within the City, Fire Station 53 and Fire Station 83; advised that Fire Station 53 has 3 fire fighters staffed 24/7; and that Fire Station 83 has 4 fire fighters staffed 24/7 – 3 on the engine and 1 on patrol. He mentioned that service delivery has to do with the additional jurisdictional stations that are not within the City but provide service to the City; noted that the first responders involve 11 units coming from 6 stations staffed with 29 fire fighters, stated that these resources are sufficient for a first-alarm structure fire. He added that Fire Station Nos. 2, 56, and 106 also serve the City. He stated that all units are dispatched through one central dispatch center when someone dials 911; and stated that this call goes to the Sheriff’s Lomita Station and is processed and passed off to the dispatch center and then the appropriate and closest units are sent to that call site. With the aid of a map, he illustrated how this service is distributed throughout the City and the Peninsula.
Chief Freeman commented on a basic type of call being for medical assistance; reiterated that with all calls, the most appropriate and closest units are sent to the call site, which is normally an engine company or a pumper and a paramedics squad; and stated that a computer assisted dispatch system determines which units to send that are the closest. He noted that another type of emergency call would be the report of a structure fire or smoke in a structure; reported that the level of response sent in Rancho Palos Verdes would include a ladder truck or the quint, 4 engine companies or pumpers, a paramedics squad and a battalion chief. He added that from experience, it’s better to get the personnel and units responding in a standard first-alarm response for a single-family dwelling; and that if the first unit on scene determines the rest of the units en route aren’t needed, then by radio those other units would be cancelled. He stated that with a commercial fire on first alarm/report, they will send the quint, 5 engine companies, a paramedic’s squad and 2 battalion chiefs because these calls are usually more complicated.
Chief Freeman reported that in 2005, the total number of emergency calls and non-emergency calls from Rancho Palos Verdes was 2,234; and explained that the response time is a function of driving time and dispatch. He stated that the property tax revenue the Fire Department receives from the City is approximately $12.4 million a year; explained that the L.A. County Fire Department receives its revenue from property taxes, a special tax, and other contractual revenue they may have with other entities; and noted that the Fire Department receives 17 cents on the dollar of the 1 percent property tax rate. He stated that the only tax revenue the Fire Department receives is from property tax; advised that the special tax, voted in 1997, is based on the use and/or size of a structure on improved property; explained that the special tax would be the same in any property tax city the Fire Department serves, which is currently around $50 a year for each improved parcel with a structure on it. He pointed out, though, that with commercial property, the special tax is based on the use and size of the property. He stated the total revenue for Rancho Palos Verdes is $13,275,000 a year; that the total cost of the two fire stations in the City is $3.3 million a year, plus the overhead and direct costs of approximately $4.39 million; that the total in terms of service delivery in Rancho Palos Verdes is approximately $18.4 million; and stated that the revenue which comes to the Fire District goes into their operational fund, whether it be from property tax or special tax; that the Fire Department then establish the service level across the District; that they then use this revenue of property tax and special tax and other contractual arrangements to fund that level of service. He reiterated that this service is provided at an equal level regardless of the city boundaries or other jurisdictional boundaries of that area.
Chief Freeman commented on the various additional services provided, such as life guards, hazmat, swift water rescue, urban search and rescue, terrorism preparedness response, air operations, brush and wild land fire fighting. He highlighted the two key terms of emergency medical service: one being basic life support, which is the ability, the training, the tools and equipment for the first responders to maintain breathing, a clear airway and, if necessary, CPR, pending arrival of the paramedics; and the other being advanced life support services, which includes the ability to start I.V.’s and to provide other medications. He stated that on all reported medical calls in the City, a minimum of 2 units are sent -- the engine company and the paramedics squad --dispatched at the same time with red lights and sirens to arrive on scene as quickly as possible; and explained that generally, the engine company will arrive first; that the fire fighters are trained at an emergency technician level and equipped with an external automatic defibulator. He noted that the engine company’s responsibility is to evaluate and to treat traumatic and medical conditions to control bleeding, to splint injured extremities, to open the airway and breathe for the patient, if necessary, care for burns and, if appropriate, to use the automatic external defibulator. He mentioned that the defibulator will evaluate the heart rhythm and will give the fire fighter/EMT’s instructions; that if the machine detects the patient heart rate is such that it needs to be shocked, the machine will deliver what many times is a life-saving shock to the patient. He pointed out that there is an automatic external defibulator on all of the fire units.
Chief Freeman explained that paramedic squads are located at Station 106, near the Peninsula Shopping Center; that the next paramedic’s squad serving the City is at Station 2 in Palos Verdes Estates; and that the third paramedic’s squad is at Station 6 in Lomita. He reiterated that every fire station in the County is staffed with EMT’s on all fire units. He advised that the emergency medical incidents for Rancho Palos Verdes in 2005 were 1,650 calls, 666 of that requiring ambulance transportation to a hospital with a paramedic accompanying the patient. He noted that one of the medics may ride in the ambulance with a patient; that one unit will follow and be in contact with the hospital; and that in extreme emergencies, it’s possible for two medics or possibly a medic and EMT from the fire company to ride with the patient if the nature of the injury requires that level of care. He mentioned that sometimes the ambulance will pull to the side of the road in order to deliver further treatment if necessary.
Chief Freeman advised that the average response time for emergency medical incidents in Rancho Palos Verdes is 5 minutes, 57 seconds; that the first arriving paramedic squad is 8 minutes, 18 seconds, pointing out these are averages. He added that they are taking a closer look at the response time for the paramedic squad, noting that they would like to see at least 90 percent of the calls for the paramedic service less than 8 minutes. He reported that the Fire Department completed an analysis and concluded that because 40 percent of the paramedics calls are more than 8 minutes, there is the need to put a paramedic assessment unit at Station 83; he explained that one of the fire fighter positions on that engine company would become a paramedic position, which means 1 of the 4 fire fighters at that station would be a licensed paramedic and on duty 24/7; that this unit would also carry the basic equipment and supplies for that paramedic to provide advanced life support services, believing this should improve the response times. He explained that they did look carefully at the area around Station 53; that given the frequency of calls in that area, it was their recommendation to put the assessment unit at Station 83; and stated that what they plan to monitor the response times and effectiveness of that program once it’s in place in conjunction with the City. He noted their interest in keeping up with the resort hotel project at the former Marineland site and to continue to dialogue with the City regarding its service level response times once the hotel is in operation. He mentioned the Fire Department has a 15-year equipment replacement policy, noting that over the next three years, they anticipate receiving 72 new fire pumpers.
Mayor Wolowicz thanked Chief Freeman for his thorough presentation.
Councilman Clark thanked Chief Freeman for his presentation; and on behalf of the community, he complimented him and his entire force for their efforts in July 2005 in saving over 300 homes and many lives in the largest fire in the City’s history.
Councilman Clark questioned what determining weight was given in the initial assessment of establishing a paramedic at one of the two stations the City, Station 83 versus 53; questioned if the Fire Department intended to look at the possibility that another fire station will be needed in the future to handle the increased population on the south side of the City created by the Trump National and Terranea projects, as well as other residential subdivisions; and he questioned if Chief Freeman is aware of fire access/road concerns surrounding the Terranea Resort.
With regard to the placing a paramedic at Station 83 versus Station 53, Chief Freeman explained that the demand for paramedic service is twice that at Station 83 as it is at Station 53; that with regard to consideration of a new fire station near the former Marineland site, he indicated they have not looked at that possible future need, but would be taking a proactive look at that in conjunction with the City. With regard to the Terranea project, he explained that every project must go through a routine plan check process for review and approval and that all requirements for access and roads must be met, stating this is standard Fire Department procedure.
Councilman Gardiner thanked Chief Freeman for coming to the meeting, for providing the presentation, and for sending an advanced copy of his presentation to the Council. With regard to revenues and expenses for Station Nos. 2 and 106, he questioned if the chart included the revenues received from those other Peninsula cities.
Chief Freeman stated the revenue stated was only for Rancho Palos Verdes; that the other figures are the direct costs of the service coming from those stations; and that the figures did not include all the revenue from the other cities.
Councilman Stern also expressed his appreciation in obtaining an advanced copy of the slide presentation.
Mayor pro tem Long thanked Chief Freeman for coming and presenting the slide show and for providing an advanced copy of this presentation. He questioned if the costs shown for Fire Station Nos. 2, 6, 56, and 106 are all of the costs for each of those stations and what portion of the $18 million serves the City.
Chief Freeman stated that those are the direct costs; that they do not allocate costs in the manner in which Mayor pro tem Long posed the question; and mentioned that the Department is currently working with a consultant to help answer those type questions. He added that a consultant might be able to give the Department some assistance in terms of cost allocations. He stated that the Department tires to keep the service level equal across the District; and pointed out that the presentation in no way was trying to demonstrate whether or not the revenue received from Rancho Palos Verdes was sufficient or insufficient; that it was to demonstrate the District’s concept of service is that essentially, any county fire station, any personnel or equipment belongs to each city, depending on its need for service.
Mayor Wolowicz highlighted the City’s recent growth and noted his desire to see these new developments factored into the analyses so that the Fire Department is providing adequate fire and emergency services to the increasing population.
With respect to Station 56 in the City of Rolling Hills, Councilman Clark noted that this County fire station is in a guard-gated city and has limited access to Rancho Palos Verdes and asked if, in the case of a catastrophic emergency or an emergency that would require movement through that city, he questioned if Chief Freeman is aware of any plans in which Rolling Hills’ arterials would be opened up for the evacuation or movement of Rancho Palos Verdes’ residents and other Peninsula residents as directed by the Fire Department.
Fire Department Chief Freeman indicated he is not aware of any such plans.
Councilman Clark stated that because there is limited access to Rancho Palos Verdes and because there is a County fire station in the City of Rolling Hills, he requested that Chief Freeman’s staff follow up and provide Council with an answer to that question.
Councilman Clark highlighted the growing popularity of a public beach adjacent to Trump National Golf Course; a portion of the City that was not previously accessible; and asked what mechanism is used to determine the need for lifeguard for this site.
Chief Freeman expressed his belief that the lifeguard division of the Fire Department is monitoring that site to determine whether lifeguard services are necessary; and stated that his staff will provide an answer to Council.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Mayor pro tem Long noted for the record that approval of the Agenda is being made at 8:40 P.M.
Mayor pro tem Long moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to approve the Agenda as submitted. Without objection, Mayor Wolowicz so ordered.
RECESS AND RECONVENE:
Mayor Wolowicz recessed the meeting at 8:41 P.M. and reconvened the meeting at 8:51 P.M.
Sunshine, Rancho Palos Verdes, thanked Council and staff for the recognition of Ms. Lois Larue; and stated that she will be taking her place at the City Council meetings.
CITY COUNCIL ORAL REPORTS:
Mayor pro tem Long moved, seconded by Councilman Stern, to continue City Council Oral Reports to the next meeting.
Mayor Wolowicz stated that he would like to report on one item.
Councilman Gardiner thanked Cox Cable for responding so quickly with only 3 days notice to videotape Congressman Dana Rohrabacher’s seminar on pandemics, stating that the cable operator did a remarkable job on very short notice.
Mayor Wolowicz also credited Councilman Gardiner and RPV Channel 33 Station Manager Gabriella Holt for their assistance in that effort.
Mayor Wolowicz stated that on Wednesday, May 17, 2006, Los Angeles County sponsored an Older Americans luncheon at the Beverly Hilton, noting that it was his first time attending that event. He indicated that this year’s honoree representing Rancho Palos Verdes was former Councilman and Mayor, John McTaggert, and reported that Mr. McTaggert continues to be involved in the community. He also highlighted the Memorial Day Observation at Green Hills Memorial Park, pointing out that there were a number of dignitaries present at this annual event; and he commended Ray Frew for once again going above and beyond in hosting this event.
Councilman Clark stated that he previously had the honor of attending the Los Angeles County Older Americans recognition event; and noted that last year, he had the honor of nominating and participating in the same ceremony for former Councilmember and Mayor Ann Shaw; and that Council Members Gardiner and Stern attended previous luncheons honoring former Mayor Ken Dyda and City founder Barbara Gleghorn.
CITY MANAGER REPORT:
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru reminded the public that items previously discussed and continued to a future Council meeting can reviewed the City’s website at www.palosverdes.com/rpv.
APPROVAL OF CONSENT CALENDAR:
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru stated that she distributed late correspondence to Council this evening for Consent Calendar Item Nos. 9 (Award of Construction Contract for Residential Street Overlay and Slurry Seal Project (Area 2), 10 (City Maintenance Contract Extensions), and 12 (Claim against the City by Carole Roberts and Elba Guenther), noting that she has one speaker card for Item No. 12.
Councilman Stern asked that Agenda Item No. 12 be pulled to allow the audience member to speak on this item.
Mayor pro tem Long moved to approve the amended Consent Calendar, removing Item No. 12.
Mayor Wolowicz asked to pull Consent Calendar Item No. 4 (Border Issues Status Report).
Pontevedra Emergency Storm Drain Repairs
Reviewed and reconfirmed by a four/fifths (4/5) vote the Council’s previous action on December 6, 2005, to authorize staff to conduct an informal bid process to repair the Pontevedra storm drain line.
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.
Approval of the Minutes
Approved the Minutes of November 15, 2005 and May 13, 2006.
Request for Waiver of the Penalty Fee Related to an After-the-Fact Variance to Legalize a Non-Permitted Detached Garage (Planning Case No. ZON2006-00078)
Granted the requested penalty fee waiver in the amount of $1,482.00.
EIR Preparation Contract Amendment for the Crestridge Estates Senior Housing/Senior Center Project
Authorized the Mayor and the City Clerk to sign an amendment to the professional services agreement with RBF Consulting in an amount not to exceed $35,337.50 to complete the preparation of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Crestridge Estates Senior Housing/Senior Center Project on property located at the northwest corner of Crestridge Road and Crenshaw Boulevard.
REACH Replacement Vehicles
1) Authorized the Recreation & Parks Department to purchase two new replacement vehicles; funding for this purchase is available in the adopted FY 05-06 Budget; 2) Authorized the Director of Recreation & Parks to act as a City representative in entering into a purchase agreement with Don Kott Auto Center, in the amount of $21,633.30 for a 12-passenger van; and, 3) Authorized the Director of Recreation & Parks to act as a City representative in entering into a purchase agreement with Creative Bus Sales in the amount of $53,031.51 for a Type II medium bus.
Award Contract for Landscape Maintenance of Parks
1) Approved the Plans and Specifications for the Landscape Maintenance of Ocean Front Estates (Sub-region One), Point Vicente Interpretive Center and the Fishing Access parking areas; 2) Awarded a Contract to Bennett Landscape in the amount of $57,036 for the Landscape Maintenance Contract for Parks Projects; and 3) Authorized the Mayor and City Clerk to execute a construction contract with Bennett Landscape for park maintenance services.
Award of Construction Contract for Residential Street Overlay and Slurry Seal Project (Area 2)
1) Approved the construction plans; 2) Awarded a contract for the construction of the Residential Street Overlay and Slurry Seal Project to Sequel Contractor, Inc., for the contract bid amount of $2,126,226.60, and authorized staff to spend up to an additional $180,910.40 for possible extra work or unforeseen conditions, for a total authorization of $2,307,137; 3) Authorized the Mayor and City Clerk to execute a contract with Sequel Contractors, Inc.; 4) Approved project Change Order No. 1 to Sequel Contractor, Inc., to reduce the scope of work by the amount of $319,607 to $1,806,619.60, see attachment; 5) Awarded a contract to CBM Consulting for the Contract Management and Inspection services in an amount not to exceed $100,000; 6) Authorized the Mayor and City Clerk to execute a contract with CBM Consulting; 7) ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2006-37, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, AMENDING RESOLUTION NO. 2005-53, THE BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR FISCAL YEAR 2005-2006, FOR A BUDGET ADJUSTMENT TO THE STREET MAINTENANCE AND CIP FUND; and 8) ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2006-38, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, AMENDING RESOLUTION NO. 2005-53, THE BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 2005-2006, FOR A BUDGET ADJUSTMENT TO THE CITY’S TRANSPORTATION DEVELOPMENT ACT (BIKEWAYS) FUND AND CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS FUND.
City Maintenance Contract Extensions
Approved a one-year extension for FY 2006-2007 to Nationwide Environmental Services, Inc., for street sweeping services; TruGreen Landcare for Park and Trail maintenance; TruGreen Landcare for Roadside maintenance; Republic Electric for Traffic Signal maintenance; and Hardy and Harper for Roadway maintenance.
Gifts for Parks
Accepted the Gifts for Parks donations and direct staff to prepare letters for the Mayor’s signature expressing the Council’s thanks and appreciation.
Annual Appropriation Limit for FY 06-07
ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2006-39, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES ESTABLISHING THE CITY'S APPROPRIATION LIMIT FOR FY 06-07.
April 2006 Treasurer’s Report
Received and filed the April 2006 Treasurer’s Report for the City of Rancho Palos Verdes.
Register of Demands
ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2006-40, 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.
Mayor pro tem Long moved, seconded by Councilman Stern, to approve the amended Consent Calendar, excluding Item Nos. 4 and 12.
Roll call vote carried as follows:
AYES: Clark, Gardiner, Long, Stern and Mayor Wolowicz
ITEMS PULLED FROM THE CONSENT CALENDAR
Border Issues Status Report
Staff report of June 6, 2006 recommended City Council review and file the current status of border issues.
Mayor Wolowicz explained that he pulled this item from the Consent Calendar because he had been called on two issues relating to the proposed take-over of LAUSD by the City of Los Angeles, that he had been contacted by the Los Angeles Times and has participated in a radio interview on this topic. He indicated that someone had heard the radio interview and asked him whether his comments were the City’s official position; and that he told both the Los Angeles Times and the radio interviewer that any comments made by him or a single Council Member is not an official position. He further explained that Council Members could only act officially in that regard as a body during meetings.
Mayor Wolowicz noted that he stated to the Los Angeles Times and the radio interviewer that there is a section of the City that is not currently part of the Palos Verdes Unified School District (PVPUSD); and that it is the expressed interest of Council to have that portion of the City included within PVUSD. He indicated that the second point he made was his opinion that City Council members volunteer for and are selected for municipal government, not for school government; and that issues relating to school districts and the running of school districts are best left to those people who are qualified, are familiar with the issues and have won election to the school board. He stated that he has no personal interest in participating in the proposed committee consisting of a group of 20-plus mayors to oversee the operation of the Los Angeles Unified School District, particularly based on the way this proposed group is structured, either in the original proposal or the revision, because Rancho Palos Verdes would have no real influence in participating in such a board; and he mentioned that the cumulative weight of 25 cities represented by some 20 mayors is not fully understood by him at this point in time.
Councilman Clark noted his appreciation of the Mayor’s comments with respect to this continuing initiative. He reported on, as previously authorized by Council, his interaction with City of Los Angeles Councilwoman Janice Hahn on this topic and her support for the City’s position. He stated that he is looking forward to the Council subcommittee bringing back positive reports on the interaction the City has requested from the PVPUSD elected officials and administrative staff in order to move this issue forward in a proactive way. He asked to see an item on an upcoming agenda regarding where the City stands on this matter.
Highlighting Page 3, Mayor pro tem Long thanked Associate Planner Kit Fox and Palos Verdes Land Conservancy Director Barbara Dye for their support and assistance in attending a meeting of the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission and reported that the Commission directed its consultant to contact him because the Commission is attempting to find people in the South Bay area to work on the South Bay’s Watershed Coordination and Outreach Project. He indicated that the staff report on Page 3 describes the first meeting of this group and the results of that meeting; and mentioned that many representatives from other cities showed up at this meeting with long lists of expensive projects they will be vigorously campaigning for. He expressed his belief the City’s team did a good job in presenting proposals for projects which he hopes will be considered; stated that he does not yet fully understand where the money will come from, what criteria are used and what degree of control the Commission can exercise; and explained that when those issues are more clear, staff might be able to better match the City proposals with the available funding sources. He stated that other cities seemed to believe that there was funding for infrastructure projects related to water quality; that many city representatives at this meeting had large lists of those types of proposed projects; and stated that he hopes this City’s Public Works staff will have time to take a look at those issues.
Mayor pro tem Long mentioned that he emphasized to the Commission that Rancho Palos Verdes does not have a lot of resources, both in terms of staff and funding, for these types of projects and that the City will need the Commission’s help to identify projects that the City might be interested in. He added that Sea Lab indicated that it was interested in re-introducing abalone to the Abalone Cove area; and that he pointed out to the Commission that Rancho Palos Verdes has the second longest coastline in this water shed, but that past history reveals that all the money usually goes to the Cities of Malibu, Santa Monica and Los Angeles. He indicated that he sincerely hoped that this would change in the future.
Mayor Wolowicz moved, seconded by Councilman Stern, to receive and file the Border Issues Report. Hearing no objection, Mayor Wolowicz so ordered.
Claim Against the City by Carole Roberts and Elba Guenther
The staff report of June 6, 2006 recommended that Council reject the claim and direct staff to notify the claimant.
Tim Roberts, Costa Mesa, part owner of the Miraleste Deli, stated that this deli has been in his family since the early 1950’s and that up until now, there have never been any issues with the City; explained that their business suffered damages from the rain storm on January 2, 2006, wherein a City owned drain had blocked up behind the deli and backed water into their 3 lower units; and advised that there was $1,100 in damage to the 3 lower units. He stated they submitted a claim to the City’s adjuster, Carl Warren Company; and expressed his belief the Carl Warren Company has not done its due diligence, noting that no one from the adjuster’s office visited the site. He added that his claim was denied; stated this is not about the money but about what he considers to be a poor response by the adjuster’s office. He stated the Carl Warren Company urged the owners to pursue another governmental entity, the Miraleste Park and Recreation District, which had some water flow off its property and thereby blocked the drain in question. He mentioned that City staff visited the site and saw the blocked drain in the alley; and that additional City staff was sent out to the site to handle the blockage. He reiterated that after approximately 6 months since making this claim, they just now received the decline from the Carl Warren Company, noting again that they did not speak to anyone from that company. He asked what steps he needs to take to get this matter handled differently/correctly.
Councilman Stern indicated that Council has been given a copy of an April 20th letter from the Carl Warren Company to Mr. Brad Allison advising him that it is the view of that City’s adjuster that the problem was attributable to the Miraleste Park and Recreation District activities, not the City.
Mr. Roberts stated he agrees this was the adjuster’s finding, but noted that the actual reason the water backed up was due to a City drain. He reiterated his concern that the Carl Warren Company never visited the site; and indicated that he is pursuing a claim with the Miraleste Park and Recreation District, which has not yet responded.
Mayor Wolowicz noted his understanding that the Miraleste Park and Recreation District is a separate district from the City and mentioned that Council has no authority over that entity. Mayor Wolowicz asked that a follow-up report be provided as a result of this speaker’s input.
Councilman Gardiner thanked Mr. Roberts for coming to this meeting to indicate his concern; expressed his support for the concern that no one visited the site to assess the damage; and asked staff to explain the claim process.
City Manager Evans reported that he or other City staff members always investigate each claim; that in this case, the Public Works Department did the investigation and reports the information to the City’s adjuster; and explained that the Carl Warren Company rarely sends someone out to a site to investigate a minor claim, pointing out that the company will do a site visit if the claim involves a large amount. He indicated that Carl Warren Company reviews the City’s investigation information and makes a decision based on that input. In this case, he advised that the Public Works Department was convinced the reason that pipe backed up was because the Miraleste Park and Recreation District had performed some grading work that plugged and damaged one of the City’s drains; that when it rained, this drain did back up, which was reported to the Carl Warren Company; and that the Carl Warren Company agreed with the Public Works Department’s investigation and denied the claim.
Councilman Gardiner asked if anyone talked to the people involved.
City Manager Evans indicated that staff did talk to the parties involved, noting that he and Assistant to the City Manager Park both personally talked with Brad Allison.
Mr. Roberts stated that Brad Allison is his representative, who recommended that he come to this evening’s meeting and explain the lack of visitation from the Carl Warren Company.
Councilman Gardiner reiterated that the City Manager indicated that it is rare for the Carl Warren Company to visit the site; and that the City staff personally talks with those involved in the claim.
City Manager Evans stated that over half the time, if the City indicated this it is the responsible party in a claim, then the Carl Warren Company does get personally involved.
City Attorney Lynch pointed out that although the letter states: “deny the claim,” this does not mean that the claim will absolutely not be paid at the end of the process.
Mayor pro tem Long questioned if the City could ask the Carl Warren Company to tender the claim for the claimants to the Miraleste Park and Recreation District.
City Manager Evans explained the City does not have the authority to do so, and mentioned Mr. Roberts statement that he has already tendered his claim to that entity.
Mayor pro tem Long stated that it is his understanding that based on the magnitude/ complexity of a claim, the Carl Warren Company gets personally involved on site on a case-by-case basis.
City Manager Evans reiterated if the claim is minor, the Carl Warren Company does not conduct the site visit.
Mayor pro tem Long moved, seconded by Councilman Stern, to reject the claim and direct staff to notify the claimant.
Mayor pro tem Long pointed out that in this case staff’s conclusion is that another governmental entity is responsible and that his motion is to reject the claim on that ground with the hope, of course, that the other governmental entity will acknowledge its responsibility and pay the claim.
Without objection, Mayor Wolowicz so ordered.
Adoption of the City Budget and Employee Salary Ranges for Fiscal Year 2006-2007
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru reported that late correspondence was distributed to Council on this item.
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru presented the staff report and the recommendation to 1) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2006-41, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES APPROVING THE CITY BUDGET FOR FISCAL YEAR 2005-2006; and 2) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2006-42, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES ESTABLISHING SALARY AND HOURLY RANGES FOR COMPETITIVE AND MANAGEMENT EMPLOYEE JOB CLASSIFICATIONS.
Finance Director McLean indicated that Mayor Wolowicz had raised several questions regarding the resolution as well as the attached schedule on Page 9 of the report; that in response staff provided as late correspondence a schedule fund summary which enabled Mayor Wolowicz to trace the proposed revenues, transfers in, the proposed expenditures, and proposed transfers out of all the funds of the City; stated this enables Council to literally trace the activities as shown on Page 9 as well as the fund summary schedule provided to each as late correspondence to the budget resolution for next year’s budget; and pointed out that it reflects all of the decisions and the directions provided to staff at the budget policy workshop conducted on April 29, 2006. He mentioned that there have been no other revisions to the budget document.
Mayor Wolowicz noted his appreciation of the efforts by Finance Director McLean, Deputy Finance Director Downs and Assistant City Manager Petru in helping to prepare this worksheet that Council had talked about in terms of its discretionary influence, recognizing that this as a major part of the budget; and he noted his understanding that the document reflects exactly what Council had previously agreed to and that it is helpful in understanding the decisions made by Council, as well as the relationship between the original budget and the final budget.
Mayor Wolowicz opened the public hearing. There being no requests to speak on this item, Mayor Wolowicz closed the public hearing.
Councilman Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to concur with the staff recommendation.
Mayor pro tem Long stated that he is reluctantly in support of the motion, noting that the City’s financial necessity requires Council to adopt a $1.9 million deficit budget.
Roll call vote carried as follows:
AYES: Clark, Gardiner, Long, Stern and Mayor Wolowicz
Appeal of View Preservation Permit No. 78 -- Appellants: Mr. and Mrs. Shelby Jordan, 29208 Posey Way -- Applicants: Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Park, 6755 El Rodeo Road
Mayor Wolowicz advised he had visited each property and spoke with both property owners.
Associate Planner Dudman presented the staff report and the recommendation to deny the appeal, thereby upholding the Planning Commission’s decision to affirm the Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement’s approval of View Preservation Permit No. 78, which would require the trimming of certain foliage located at 29208 Posey Way that is significantly impairing the view from 7655 El Rodeo Road.
Councilman Clark complimented Associate Planner Dudman on her clear presentation; and questioned if the root ball of the Brazilian Pepper tree is on the applicant’s property.
Associate Planner Dudman explained that the applicant’s fence is located at the rear of their deck, that there is a small space along the chain link fence which demarcates the rear yard of the appellant’s property; and that the trunk of the Brazilian Pepper tree is located between the deck and the fence and that the roots extend underneath.
Councilman Clark questioned if it is staff’s conclusion that the Brazilian Pepper tree is actually located on the applicant’s property.
Associate Planner Dudman indicated that is staff’s belief.
Councilman Clark asked as a consequence of that determination, unless it’s challenged, would the applicant be the one to deal with the view impairment caused by this particular tree.
Associate Planner Dudman indicated that would be correct.
Councilman Stern noted his assumption that the appellants do not dispute the fact that the Brazilian Pepper tree does not belong to them and is therefore no longer an issue. He stated that the appellants have indicated they planted the ficus hedge in 1992, essentially conceding that whatever view blockage has resulted from that action occurred after the establishment of the ordinance. He asked, given that that the appellants acknowledge that the ficus hedge did not exist in 1989 and that they say they planted it in 1992, if it is staff’s view that an admission of that sort has no weight and Council stills need photographic evidence in order to make its determination.
Director Rojas explained that the ordinance guidelines require that some kind of documentation be provided and that staff is following the established guidelines.
Associate Planner Dudman pointed out there is other foliage besides the ficus hedge that is impairing the applicant’s view and expressed her belief the photos are a good aid to have in the file.
Councilman Stern asked that, even if the foliage pre-existed the ordinance and there was no photographic evidence, would the residents be entitled to get their views back.
Director Rojas indicated that those residents would have that right through the View Restoration Permit process.
Mayor pro tem Long stated that he carefully read through the 6 pages of materials submitted by the appellant; that so far he has found very little that is pertinent to the issues at hand in the appeal; and pointed out what is pertinent is whether the judgment that the foliage significantly impaired the view is correct or not. He observed that the appellant’s issue regarding the defined viewing area is pertinent because, in his opinion, the proposed viewing area is not the correct viewing area; and that it might be that this foliage does not significantly impair the view from the proper viewing area, which would be the only issue he has identified. He encouraged both parties to either speak to that issue or to speak to other pertinent issues to the appeal not included in the distributed materials.
Mayor Wolowicz stated that he has known the Jordan family for many years and stated that he would recuse himself from this matter if the Parks believe his relationship with the Jordans would influence his decision. He noted his understanding the Parks want their view back and that the Jordans want their privacy retained; and mentioned that the Parks have agreed to remove the lights that are currently blocked by the hedge.
Mayor Wolowicz opened the public hearing.
Donzella Jordan, appellant, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that she understand the importance of view preservation; explained that in their case, the mediation has not been broad enough in reviewing what foliage is impacting the total view; and that their primary concern is that they believe they have been singled out as the only property owners included in this application when there are clearly two other homeowners whose foliage is impacting the applicant’s view, which should be included in the analysis to provide a fair and balanced perspective. She stated that the review process in this case has been somewhat slanted because it is obvious even with the pepper tree, had there been more careful evaluation by the Planning Department, when the applicant came in to make a declaration who they believe was the point of origin for this foliage, the burden to help give technical recommendations for direction should have been the City’s burden so that the applicant is accurate; and she stated this City is in a position to do that. She stated that if the City goes to such great lengths to make the rules, then it should be very thorough when people apply, and make sure their assertions are clear, concise and complete.
Shelby Jordan, appellant, Rancho Palos Verdes, requested that the matter be returned to the Planning Department for a more thorough assessment of view-impacting foliage located on four other properties adjacent to the applicant’s address; expressed his belief that a thorough assessment has not yet taken place, as evidenced by more than a 35-minute discussion on this matter by the Planning Commission when staff could not verify whether the pepper tree was on his property or someone else’s property; and stated that a simple site assessment by staff or anyone else could have confirmed the answer to that question. Because the City’s ordinance places importance on the best and most important viewing area, he contends that the applicant’s best viewing area is not achieved when the height of his ficus hedge is lowered to the deck railing because that view looks over the roofline of his home and into the second story of a home located directly across the street from his home. He stated that the home across the street has pine trees adjacent to it that tower above that home’s roofline.
Mr. Jordan stated that he moved into this home in May 1984; that within the first two years of moving into this home, his family began to experience multiple nuisances originating from the applicant’s property, involving a series of issues involving his family’s privacy, which includes loud barking dogs at all hours, men standing on the deck railing talking loudly and drinking between 1:00 A.M. and 5:00 A.M., with the noise and the smell of smoking awaking his family. He stated that he has attempted to reason with these residents, asking for their cooperation to be good neighbors, but indicated that his efforts failed and has had to make multiple calls to the City and Sheriff’s Department to complain of the loud noise and other nuisances from this property. Because of his activity with the Los Angeles Raiders and the publication of his schedule away from home, he expressed his concern for the safety/security of his family while he was out of town with the team. He stated that when the hedge was planted in 1994, it was with the intent stated in the documents he submitted to Council; and that when he sat down with the City’s mediator, it was clear to him that a thorough assessment had not been done; that he had questioned in those meetings why the City had not encouraged the applicant to also contact the other property owners whose foliage was shown in the panoramic pictures of the applicant’s view as having a greater impact on the view than his own foliage; and indicated that he was simply told by Senior Planner Alvarez that the applicant did not include these other properties in their application. He expressed his belief that the staff report has multiple flaws; that the foliage on his property does not constitute an impacting obstruction of view; that the best viewing areas on the applicant’s property are over the properties adjacent to his own property; and reiterated his request that this issue be returned to the Planning Commission and/or Planning Department for a more thorough assessment of all facts contributing to this problem.
Councilman Stern stated that he appreciates Mr. Jordan’s concern that other properties may be impacting the applicant’s view, but at least from the City’s perspective, he pointed out that the City always encourages private parties to resolve those issues between themselves and avoid the need to engage in the City’s view restoration permit process, noting that it is usually to their own advantage to reach a mutual agreement, even if it involves the City’s mediator; and he asked why, if the applicant feels he either has or can resolve those issues with the other neighbors, why should the City, in essence, embroil people in a dispute that doesn’t appear to exist between them.
Mr. Jordan stated that the nuisances created by the applicant’s are well documented with the Sheriff’s Department, Animal Control and the City; and that after attempting to reason with the homeowners, it became clear by their response they were not interested in a resolution and living peacefully and in a neighborly manner. He added that the residents were also hitting golf balls off their deck, which hit his house and damaged the roof shingles, as well as sending golf balls into neighboring properties.
Mayor pro tem Long asked when the Park family moved into their residence.
Mr. Jordan indicated that he does not know when this particular family moved into the residence, noting that the family living there has always created a nuisance for his family and neighbors. He suggested that staff would know when this family moved into the residence.
Joseph Park, applicant, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that his family moved into their house in 1992; that they have hosted a couple parties that might have created some noise for the neighbors; that he has attempted to speak with Mr. Jordan concerning the view issues but that there has been no response, which is why he felt it necessary to file his application with the City. He confirmed his agreement to remove the lights on the deck and to keep his dog inside from 12:00 midnight to 5:00 A.M.
Councilman Gardiner questioned if golf balls are being hit off his deck.
Mr. Park stated he has not been shooting golf balls from his deck, but added that on occasion his son’s play balls have entered the neighboring yards by accident.
Councilman Stern pointed out that Council is charged with considering the view preservation appeal; that he believes there is no valid issue raised in the appeal and that the Council should deny the appeal because the evidence shows that the applicant is entitled to a preserved view under the ordinance; and he urged these neighbors to work together to resolve the remaining issues of concern. He added that barking dogs should be placed inside so as not to disturb the neighbors and that no one should be hitting golf balls in a neighborhood; and he reiterated his support for the Planning Commission’s prior decision in this case.
Councilman Clark stated that the view preservation ordinance determines the best and more important views and asked what is staff’s determination on the best and most important view from the applicant’s property.
Associate Planner Dudman indicated that the best and most important view is the location immediately outside of the applicant’s sliding glass doors to their living room.
Councilman Clark asked if that is because of the way this subdivision and homes are laid out, with the best and more important view looking over the property adjacent and behind it.
Associate Planner Dudman stated that the views of the ocean, Catalina Island and Santa Monica Bay are taken from the back of the house.
Councilman Clark noted his appreciation of Mr. Jordan’s request, but stated that Council is required to follow the ordinance which was adopted by the voters in 1989; and that in terms of determining view preservation, the best and most important view has to be analyzed and that is where the foliage impairment comes into play. He pointed out that as already stated in the testimony, the applicant did not apply for view preservation on adjacent properties, so that is not in play with this application; and echoed a desire for the neighbors to work out the other problems that are not in the purview of this body. In consideration of his neighbors, Councilman Clark stated that he keeps his own dogs inside during the evening and early morning hours, and stated that this is also for the safety of his pets; and he encouraged the parties to develop a neighborly existence from this point forward.
Mayor pro tem Long stated that this appeal is plagued by references to other issues, and permeated by a number of irrelevances to this matter at hand, such as the barking dogs and lighting. He stated that the City must decide whether the view being impaired is the most significant view, and fundamentally at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whether there are also other foliage owners who are significantly impairing the view and not pertinent to the response to this particular application; and that the appeal did not persuade him that Council should change the Planning Commission’s decision.
Mayor Wolowicz expressed his opinion that the two queen palm trees are not major contributors to the view impairment and that he would prefer to see those trimmed to the extent it would be safe for the palms; but indicated his support to limit the height of the ficus hedge.
Associate Planner Dudman stated that at their current height, the crown of the palm trees are directly in the middle of the view and that removing the foliage in any fashion might kill the palm trees; and that if the palms were taller, staff’s recommendation would be different.
Mayor Wolowicz questioned if the palm trees can be allowed to get tall enough to not be an issue and if Council could use its discretion to resolve that issue. He asked how long it would take for those palm trees to grow out of the line of sight and reiterated his preference that the palm trees not be damaged/destroyed.
Director Rojas explained that the City does spare some palm trees when it’s possible; but stated that in this case, it has been determined these palms are in the middle of the view; and added that if Council desires, the decision can be modified to only trim the palms as much as safely possible.
Councilman Clark asked if this was a case of view restoration or view preservation, pointing out that there is a distinct differences between the two in the ordinance; and noted the purpose of view preservation was to protect views that existed as of the date of the ordinance and to prevent foliage from growing up and blocking it, which has a different set of conditions than restoring views that existing prior to the ordinance.
City Attorney Lynch stated that Councilman Clark is correct; and added that if the palms had already been there, then the Mayor’s suggestion would have worked, but that the palms are now clearly impacting the view.
Mayor pro tem Long moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to deny the appeal.
Mayor Wolowicz questioned whether a mediation document will be drafted between the two parties highlighting what each will be responsible for and expressed his desire to see something in place that holds each party to their commitments.
City Attorney Lynch stated that the only way for that to happen is for Council to continue this item for another 30 days to allow the parties to attempt to come up with a private mediation agreement; and pointed out that many of the issues raised are not part of the view preservation application.
Mayor Wolowicz, seeing little possibility to continue this matter, encouraged the parties to follow through with their promises and responsibilities to one another.
There being no further input, Mayor Wolowicz closed the public hearing.
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru indicated that there is a draft resolution on Circle Page 8 of staff report and questioned whether the motion included the adoption of that resolution.
Mayor pro tem Long stated that his motion includes the adoption of that resolution. No objection was noted.
A roll call vote carried as follows:
AYES: Clark, Gardiner, Long, Stern and Mayor Wolowicz
Mayor Wolowicz reiterated his dissatisfaction with removing the two Queen palm trees and he encouraged the parties involved to send a commitment letters to each other.
City Attorney Lynch pointed out that the City has a noise ordinance that prevents anyone from causing unreasonable noise that impacts their neighbors; and that a dog barking in the middle of the night routinely is considered unreasonable and excessive noise and that it can give rise to code enforcement action. She pointed out that putting the dog inside for the evening is an appropriate way to solve that problem.
RECESS AND RECONVENE:
Mayor Wolowicz recessed the meeting at 10:37 P.M. and reconvened the meeting at 10:46 P.M.
Residential Solid Waste and Recycling Rate Adjustments for Waste Management of Los Angeles for FY 06-07
Senior Administrative Analyst Ramezani presented the staff report and the recommendation to 1) Approve the maximum rate that Waste Management of Los Angeles can charge single-family customers in FY 06-07; 2) Approve the maximum rate that Waste Management of Los Angeles can charge multi-family customers in FY 06-07; 3) Increase the City’s FY 06-07 Collector Fee by $13,595; 4) Approve Waste Management of Los Angeles’s request for a one-time extraordinary rate increase for fuel in the amount of $0.26 per month per single-family customer, and $0.26 per month per multi-family account; 5) Increase the City’s Collector fee, reflecting the one-time extraordinary rate increase for fuel in the amount of $165; and 6) Approve Universal Waste Systems, Inc.’s (UWS) request to waive their annual rate adjustment; maintain UWS’s FY 06-07 rates for single-family and multi-family and City Collector fee at the same level as in FY 05-06.
Senior Administrative Analyst Ramezani noted for Councilman Gardiner that the proposed rate adjustment would increase resident’s trash bill by approximately $1 a month.
Mayor Wolowicz noted his appreciation for staff’s concise report and for staff’s answers to his previous questions. He questioned whether the computation regarding the general increase is formula driven rather than automatic.
Senior Administrative Analyst Ramezani indicated that it was formula driven.
Mayor Wolowicz asked if this is the first time under Waste Management’s contract they have requested anything of this nature and asked if this increase is only for the remainder of this particular year under which it will be effective, and that it does not automatically carry over to the next year.
Senior Administrative Analyst Ramezani indicated yes to both questions.
Mayor Wolowicz asked if there is any mechanism in place to reduce the fee should oil prices come down significantly in the future.
Senior Administrative Analyst Ramezani explained that the rate increase is retroactive, coving the fuel cost increases that occurred during the period of January 2005 through December 2005.
Mayor Wolowicz opened the public hearing.
Susan Moulton, Director of Public Sector Services with Waste Management, informed Council that the company has taken a lot of time to research the need for this increase; noted that the PPI has gone up 13 percent since the commencement of the contract and that their rates have only gone up 6.32 percent; and explained that due to a landfill component, they are not able to increase their rates because they internalize the waste at their own landfills. She explained that since the commencement of the contract in July 2000, fuel has gone up 58.8 percent over that time period and that they are only asking for one year at the retroactive rate, the net change in cost per gallon being $1.02; and she surmised the fuel prices will not go back to the July 2000 rates.
There being no further input, Mayor Wolowicz closed the public hearing.
Councilman Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to approve staff recommendation. The roll call vote carried as follows:
AYES: Clark, Gardiner, Long, Stern and Mayor Wolowicz
PAUSE TO CONSIDER REMAINDER OF THE AGENDA
It was the consensus of Council to move ahead with the remainder of the agenda.
REGULAR NEW BUSINESS:
Public Use Master Plan (PUMP) Committee
Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Long, to waive staff report. There being no objection, Mayor Wolowicz so ordered.
The staff report recommended that Council approve the selection of the 14 members and 1 Ex Officio advisory member that are being proposed by City and PVPLC staff to make up the Public Use Master Plan (PUMP) Committee that will advise staff on the preparation of the PUMP for the NCCP-created Portuguese Bend Nature Preserve.
Councilman Gardiner, referring to the flow chart of Page 7 of the staff report outlining the approval process, noted that the PUMP is a subset of the Vision Plan and questioned whether the completed plan will come before the City Council for review and approval.
Director Rojas explained that the complete plan includes the PUMP; noted the chart is attempting to reflect that only the PUMP component goes to the PVPLC board for approval; and that this needs to happen before it comes to Council, pointing out that the flow chart will be revised to clarify that point.
City Attorney Lynch stated that the PVPLC board actually approves it because it is undertaking obligations under the PUMP, but its approval does not mean that Council will approve it.
Mayor Wolowicz asked for input on the selection of members, questioning if this was done in concert with the selection committee process.
Director Rojas stated that Executive Director of the Land Conservancy Barbara Dye and he went through the applications looking at the background/experience and putting together a chart (Page 6 of the staff report) that describes the qualifications of the various candidates and put together a recommended list from that information. He noted that Council could change the list if it desired.
Mayor pro tem Long expressed some concern that with 14 voting members and 1 Ex Officio member, he would anticipate some tie votes and he asked why there are so many members.
Director Rojas stated that initially, there was an 11-person board, but because of past experience with alternates, they felt it would be better to increase the number to improve the chances of achieving a quorum, recognizing that during the summer, all members will not be present at the meetings.
Mayor Wolowicz stated that the pool of candidates includes well-qualified people; and noted his preference to see a member of Finance Advisory Committee added to this committee or a member of the community who has a good financial background.
Director Rojas stated that they believe financial oversight is important, but noted that Council has that oversight; and that they believed the recommended group of individuals, with applicable and varying backgrounds, brought a good mix to the body.
Bob Nelson, Rancho Palos Verdes, requested Council consider the appointment of an additional Ex Officio member from the Finance Advisory Committee (FAC); noted his concern that the NCCP applies throughout the City; that the PUMP applies to the NCCP; that the City has dedicated a budget of $100,000 for the maintenance of the NCCP and that part of this maintenance factor will be what comes out of the PUMP. He stated that time and again, concerned citizens have come to the City with budget requests; and the reason he asked that a FAC member be added to the PUMP Committee is that someone with a finance background should be watching/controlling those costs, and expressed his belief it will be greater than $100,000 a year. He mentioned that he is speaking as a resident of the City, but added that he is also the Vice-Chairman of Finance Advisory Committee.
Sunshine, Rancho Palos Verdes, representing Coast Walk, Inc., expressed concern that a the presentation about the California Coastal Trail was not permitted at the Vision Plan workshop because this trail has not been adopted by Council; stated that Coast Walk believes the state of California has something to do with the need for the PUMP and noted it is the California legislature that has mandated the pursuit of a California Coastal Trail; and she pointed out that no one recommended to be on the PUMP committee is a coastal access advocate. Speaking personally, she noted that Council and the public should have some idea of what the cost of staff time might be to complete this project, particularly in relation to the amount of dollars it will take to support the Open Space, Planning, Recreation and Parks Strategic Plan. She stated her objection to appointing a non-resident to the Committee, particularly someone who does not have the time to attend the meetings of the associations, which he is listed as being affiliated.
Councilman Gardiner stated that it was his understanding that Council had stated its preference that all members on the Committees be residents of Rancho Palos Verdes.
Director Rojas that he and Ms. Dye discussed this issue and determined that there are individuals who live outside the City limits that can bring needed expertise to the Committee; and that they believed these individual’s backgrounds were significant enough to warrant their inclusion on the Committee.
Councilman Gardiner stated that he is not opposed to non-residents who have the required expertise to serve as Ex Officio members or providing input to the Committee, but that City residents should be the only ones permitted to vote on the Committees.
Mayor pro tem Long stated that he would support a non-resident being a voting member in this case because the decisions being made are not planning the finances nor making traffic decisions effecting the City. He noted that he had included in his remarks to the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission that the City, by adopting the NCCP, has undertaken an increased amount of responsibility over more than 2 square miles of open space; and that in the course of presiding over that regional responsibility, the City is looking for financial input and assistance that logically requires some guidance and governing input in the form of voting Committee members. He noted his preference to send the message that the City is seeking input from other communities with expertise in this area, stating that management of the NCCP is a regional undertaking; pointed out that the City has already received state grants and other moneys to help with habitat restoration, etc.; stated that this is more than a City park; and consistent with that concept, the City should make it a policy decision to welcome input from others. He stated that generally speaking, he agrees with limiting advisory committees to residents, but in this particular circumstance, an exception should be made.
Councilman Gardiner expressed his preference to distinguish between a Committee member providing input and one who can vote to make a difference in the City. He agreed that the nature preserve is a regional resource and that regional input is welcome, but that after all is said and done, it is located within the City’s boundaries; and pointed out that there is a large pool of talented residents to choose from who have great knowledge in these areas. He stated his agreement to place someone from the Finance Advisory Committee on the PUMP Committee.
Councilman Clark noted that both positions expressed by Mayor Pro Tem Long and Councilman Gardiner are compelling; stated that he agrees philosophically that the nature preserve is a regional asset and that the City needs input beyond its’ borders; and suggested a compromise to not remove the Rolling Hills Estates resident but to give him an Ex Officio position on the Committee. With regard to appointing a member of FAC, he asked for the opinion of Director McLean on that issue.
Director McLean stated that it is a policy decision for Council to decide whether to have a FAC member on this body, noting that he has no strong opinion either way. He did mention, though, that a FAC member could add financial input/oversight and could be of value.
Mayor pro tem Long expressed his belief that having a FAC member on the Committee would be helpful; stated that he is not sure what the purpose of having Ex Officio members is because the PUMP Committee can only make recommendations to Council, noting that Council is seeking input, will listen to it and that the final decision rests with Council. He added that he does not think having a few people who are non-residents on the Committee is going to result in a recommendation that departs from what the City’s residents want, but if it does, he is confident Council will intervene and prevent that decision from being implemented; and, therefore, allowing non-residents and even encouraging non-residents to serve on this Committee, particularly given how large it is, makes it clear to other cities that Rancho Palos Verdes is seeking their input because this is a regional responsibility and that the City is looking to them to join in that responsibility, not as second-class citizens, either by providing input or through financial contributions.
Councilman Stern concurred with Mayor pro tem Long’s comments; noted that the Committee is largely comprised of Rancho Palos Verdes residents and that Council is not handing over control by allowing non-residents to serve on this Committee, and reminded everyone that Council has final approval. He expressed his belief that City staff is far better able than a FAC member to provide input concerning financial matters in the City, noting that the FAC member would need staff’s help in obtaining the City’s financial information to evaluate and come up with numbers; but stated that he would not be opposed to the FAC looking at the costs associated with the Committee’s recommendations; and concluded that he does not believe that including a member of the FAC in this group brings anything extra to the table because in the end, if Council needs to put numbers to it, staff has that expertise and supporting materials/figures.
Councilman Gardiner stated that while City Council has the ultimate approval authority, this is a long process and by the time a document comes before Council, there has to be a lot of issues on the cutting room floor that Council will never see; and the process of developing recommendations and going through and shifting/screening, Council will not see all those options, only the end product. He added that for every non-resident put on the Committee, that means somebody from inside the City will be excluded; stated that the FAC member does not have to be an expert on the City’s budget, but the fact that someone who is mindful of the cost and budget implications associated with the issues would be helpful and he noted his belief someone from FAC should be on this Committee to keep those costs constantly in sight.
Councilman Clark agreed with Councilman Stern that staff is in the best position to oversee the costs; stated that he is not adverse to having the FAC appoint a liaison to the Committee; and that he is not adverse to having a member outside of the City because of the nature preserve is a regional asset.
Mayor Wolowicz asked staff what the logic was for creating an Ex Officio position.
Director Rojas explained that in this case, the Ex Officio member would provide technical expertise; and that they felt that this member could be used on an as-needed basis working with staff, developing some of the ideas, consulting with the group and not being a voting member, while still allowing others to serve on the Committee.
Mayor Wolowicz stated the technical capability and recognized expert is fine for input, but that he would not support the non-resident in a voting position.
Director Rojas mentioned that there are two non-residents proposed to be on the Committee.
Mayor Wolowicz reiterated his belief that a person with a financial background should be on the Committee, whether it a member of the FAC or a member of the community with voting rights, stating that the issues regarding this topic and the amount of resources committed to it are far too important not to include someone with that knowledge; and stated that this appointment should be a voting member. He concurred that Mayor pro tem Long’s comments are compelling, especially given the fact that Rancho Palos Verdes was founded by a number of people living outside the City.
Director Rojas indicated that it was not a problem to make this a 15-member committee; but noted that staff was trying to avoid having representatives from particular groups on the Committee to which that member would be beholden.
Councilman Clark reiterated his support for having a Committee member with a financial background.
Mayor pro tem Long moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to approve the recommended staff appointments to the PUMP Committee, with the addition that the FAC select one of its members to also serve on the Committee, not as a representative of that body, but simply as a voting member with a financial background.
Mayor pro tem Long mentioned that if and when the budget issues go back to the FAC, the Committee participant from the FAC will be someone who will relay to FAC the thoughts of the PUMP Committee.
Councilman Gardiner asked about the replacement mechanism of Committee members and the selection of a chairperson.
Director Rojas stated that if members resign from the Committee, staff will report that to Council and seek direction; and that staff will also report to Council those members who are not regularly attending the meetings; and stated that the Committee will select its own chairperson and that this issue will be discussed at its first meeting.
Councilman Stern asked that staff follow through with advising Council of those Committee members who do not regularly attend the meetings.
The roll call vote carried as follows:
AYES: Clark, Gardiner, Long, Stern and Mayor Wolowicz
Residential and Commercial Solid Waste and Recycling Services Policy Options
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru reported that Council received late correspondence related to this item.
The staff report recommended City Council 1) Discuss the proposed policy options and Request For Proposal (RFP) documents presented by staff; 2) Authorize staff to finalize the RFP documents and circulate a RFP; and, 3) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2006-43, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES AMENDING RESOLUTION 2006-44, THE BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR FY 06-07, FOR A BUDGET ADJUSTMENT TO THE CITY'S WASTE REDUCTION FUND.
Councilman Gardiner noted that because staff report is very thorough, he does not see the necessity for staff presentation this evening, but had a question of staff. He stated that on Page 3, Item 9, he does not see both options listed for pricing, noting that it should be the same way it is done now and that if Council wants to have the option of “pay as you throw,” that they should have both.
Councilman Clark echoed the desire to see both listed as options.
Richard Tagore-Erwin, consultant with R-3 Consulting, specializing in serving governmental agencies, noted for Councilman Gardiner that he would include both items, the flat fee and the “pay as you throw” option.
With regard to Page 2, Item 5, Mayor pro tem Long noted his assumption that the list quoted would be for both twice a week pick up everywhere in the City and once a week everywhere in the City.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin indicated that is correct.
Mayor pro tem Long expressed his belief there might be some areas where one would be using smaller trucks and/or they might need to do twice a week in some areas where there might be a higher demand in certain areas for twice a week and a desire for once a week elsewhere, noting that option does not appear to be listed in the RFP.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin explained that currently, the way the City has divided up the contracts, it’s primarily in the Portuguese Bend area where residents have the option for once-a-week or twice-a-week service and that they exercise that option; noted that what they are trying to do is get the services uniform citywide; and stated that clearly, one size is not going to fit all and that they can attempt to address that throughout the RFP process.
Mayor pro tem Long asked if that is something which can be amended if the City decided to adopt once-a-week service but could that be modified later if the City determines that is not suitable for certain neighborhoods or not desired in certain neighborhoods.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin indicated that it could be modified; and stated also that if one went to a twice-a-week service in some areas and then only wanted once a week, that too could be modified; and reiterated they are attempting to keep the same service schedule citywide.
Councilman Gardiner asked if there is a reason why the green waste collection is on the first trash collection day, believing a lot of residents will need to rearrange their gardening service.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin indicated that there is no standard reason to have the green waste pickup on the first or the second trip; but noted their intent to do them all on the one day; and mentioned that in his experience in this industry, the first collection day is when most people remember to put all containers out to the curb, and as they go later into the week, some people forget to put out their recycling containers.
With regard to Item No. 2, Councilman Gardiner stated that he would prefer the option of 4 commercial haulers; stated that if there is only one with a not-to-exceed rate, he believes it will be at that rate; and that if there are 4 commercial haulers, people may be able to negotiate less than the not-to-exceed rate.
With respect to Page 2 in the matrix, Item 3, Councilman Clark stated that it is his understanding that the length and term of the 7-year contract is typically the amount of time for haulers to depreciate their capital investment to upgrade their equipment.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin indicated that’s correct.
Councilman Clark stated that he does not recall Rolling Hills Estates coming to the City to synchronize its pick up schedule when it entered into a new residential waste hauling contract and new schedule for its community; stated that he does not want to necessarily be tied to the adjacent city’s schedule; that he is not adverse to having option elections that tie to them, but he is not particularly interested in only one option, that is synchronized to Rolling Hills Estates; and noted that he would like to see that portion of the RFP restructured.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin stated that during the last session, there was some comment to possibly tie the term of the contract to Rolling Hills Estates, and he asked Councilman Clark what term option he would prefer to see.
Councilman Clark stated that he is fine with potential options beyond 7 years that would be most likely up to future City Councils, but that he does not necessarily want to have only one option that is tied to Rolling Hills Estates’ expiration date for that synchronization. With regard to Page 3, Item 11, he asked why the senior discount is set at 10 percent.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin indicated that is the level currently in place.
Councilman Clark asked if there are varying levels of discounts to senior citizens in other municipalities.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin indicated that senior citizen discounts range anywhere from zero to 10 percent, 10 percent being the highest he has seen; pointed out that the typical discount is 5 percent; and advised that many communities don’t receive any senior citizen discount.
Councilman Clark questioned the rationale for the suggested 5 percent pre-payment discount on Item 12.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin indicated that is what the City currently provides, that Rancho Palos Verdes is one of the few communities which does that; indicated that there are not a lot of communities throughout the state that allow a one-time annual payment with a pre-payment discount; noted that the 5 percent is predicated on the cost of money, and that the City is basically refunding the hauler for the year.
Councilman Clark noted that the haulers receive that benefit, but asked if there is any sort of financial analysis going forward that would establish this 5 percent, absent the rationality of what the City currently has with its providers, and any calculations predicting this would tie to a percentage going forward.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin expressed his belief the 5 percent today is a reasonable percent going forward, as opposed to 7 percent.
Addressing Item 14, Councilman Clark noted the additional costs for customers seeking backyard collection and asked how that would be handled in terms of what the cost mechanism would be.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin explained that what they laid out in the RFP is that there would be a base rate of X amount of dollars for everybody and those customers who subscribe to the backyard collections would pay the base rate plus the subscription fee for that service.
Councilman Clark asked if this also requires them to explain what they’re putting out, what level they are putting in there, and the basis of that.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin stated that the RFP asks the haulers for the breakdown.
Councilman Clark stated that this is an opportunity for this City, through the market forces of competition with waste hauling enterprises, to significantly upgrade the infrastructure in terms of trucks that are used to pick up the residents’ trash; clarified that what he is talking about is trucks that are not polluting the environment, noting that there is a new generation moving toward more environmentally sound trash trucks; and he questioned what, if anything, has the City done in the draft RFP to either encourage, incentivise or require a move in that direction.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin advised that they require all waste haulers to meet all state, federal and local air quality requirements throughout the term of the contract, even if they become more stringent next year; noted that they have asked the haulers to keep in mind noise, air quality and road impacts within the City; and that those companies will submit what they think is the best available technology for vehicles. He noted that they have kept the type of fuel neutral because it has yet to be specified which fuels are the cleanest and most appropriate, such as CNG, LNG, hydrogen, etc.
Councilman Clark asked if any consideration has been given to, at a minimum, putting in an incentive in terms of a scoring bonus in the RFP for approaches that specifically address those areas.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin stated that this could be done.
Councilman Clark stated that he would like to see that done because that will focus attention on specific advancements in the near term.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin noted that they set the minimum requirement at state law level; that they have asked the haulers to specify exactly what they are doing; noted his understanding that in order to meet the current requirements, most of them are using CNG, LNG, catalytic converters, and other environmentally sound equipment just to meet the state’s minimum requirements.
With regard to the length of the contract, Councilman Stern stated that the one 33- month option is not necessarily the best way to go, but that he does think there is a logic in having the contract, if they extend it, to expire so that if the City can coordinate with Rolling Hills Estates; that the City has the ability to try and synchronize at that point, noting that they are not obligated to, but that it would be nice to try and rationalize how it is handled. He observed that the 5 percent discount on the annual bill, paying all at once, is financial sound for the company because they do not have to handle the money and billing on a monthly basis; and he pointed out that this would probably save the company money if it were handled all at one time.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin stated if that is the direction Council chooses, they could increase it to 7 percent, which is another incentive.
Mayor pro tem Long stated that he agrees with most of what’s been said thus far; noted his understanding that currently, with the 5 percent discount, one has to pay the full year in advance, but if for some reason that resident moves during the year, he asked if the new owner would benefit from that prepayment.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin explained that the way it is currently written, if any ownership changes during that year, if one moves or the service changes, the owner is entitled to a refund of the overpayment.
Addressing Item 14, Mayor pro tem Long stated that he would like to see the backyard pickup extended not to just those who can establish a disability, but also be extended to senior citizens, noting that the larger containers are more difficult to handle. With regard to Item 20, border streets, he addressed his desire that when they come back with their methodology, for example, if it was the current methodology that they will have multiple trucks for every city, that there will be some indication to them they will be scored down for that. With regard to Item Nos. 17 and 18, based on what Council has been told previously by the Public Works Department about what the costs are for the burden upon the streets, he suggested that the figures seem to be too low with the figures previously given for the recent increases in the cost of asphalt. He stated that if the public wants twice-a-week service, and given the City’s current budgetary conditions, the City ought to at least explore the option of having the waste hauling pickup costs completely bear the added street maintenance costs that twice-a-week service creates and maybe bear whatever the cost is that once-a-week service creates as well. He stated that he is not in favor of Item 2, Option No. 2; and that the City not allow 4 different sets of commercial haulers coming through to pick up from one business and another truck for another business on the same street and same day.
Mayor Wolowicz stated that as a business owner, he would take great issue with Mayor pro tem Long’s last suggestion.
Mayor pro tem Long stated that as a resident who lives somewhat close to where some of the businesses are, he believes that the concern regarding neighborhood tranquility outweighs whatever the marginal advantages there might be to the businesses.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin explained that what they were after is somewhat of a compromise taken from a lot of Council’s prior comments; that what they have drafted in the RFP is providing the frequency of residential collection as Option Nos. 1 and 2, once-a-week or twice-a-week service; that they have also drafted for commercial, if there was one citywide hauler, what’s the price, and if it’s one citywide hauler for residential and up to 4 for commercial, what’s that price.
Mayor pro tem Long noted his concern with up to 4 commercial haulers is the impact to the neighboring residents, believing these activities may happen within minutes of each other.
Councilman Gardiner pointed out that the City is going from 14 down to 4 commercial haulers, which is a huge improvement and that he sees no need to go down to 1 hauler; noted that he has not heard any complaints about these activities from residents living near businesses; and stated that as a business owner, he would like the opportunity to negotiate and not simply have only one choice to make. With regard to Item Nos. 11 and 12, he suggested wording in the RFP to reflect how much better can they do than the 10 percent discount and how much better can they do than the 5 percent discount, noting that if the City asks for 5 and 10 percent, that’s all that will be offered. Addressing Page 44, he assumed that the comments Council made would reflect themselves on Lines 457 to 464, which is what will be adjusted as well. He asked that the summary tables include a more full description of the trashcans, noting that he does not see wheels and lids in the description on the summary table.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin indicated that the full specifications are included.
Councilman Clark asked what the age threshold is for senior citizens.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin stated that number is defined in the City’s ordinance.
Senior Administrative Analyst Ramezani indicated that 65 years of age is considered a senior citizen in the City’s ordinance.
Councilman Clark noted that AARP defines seniors at 50 years of age.
Senior Administrative Analyst Ramezani indicated that Council could revise that age limit.
Councilman Clark expressed his belief that the ordinance should be amended to reflect a lower number, noting that in many forums and for many purposes, a senior citizen is considered to be 50 or 55 years of age. He asked what age most cities recognize as a senior citizen for senior discount purposes.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin reiterated that most cities do not provide a senior discount; and that of the ones that do, it is defined by the city’s code and it is usually 65 years of age.
With regard to Page 9 (Collection Services), Councilman Clark highlighted the proposals for collection methods as manual, semi- or fully automated collection; and asked with respect to the RFP, what ties the City into one method as opposed to another and if the City had the flexibility to determine which method it wants.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin explained that the haulers will propose what they think is the best way; that it is Council’s decision on which method it ultimately wants; and that staff will be bringing that issue back to Council on their proposed methods. He explained that this issue is tied to the size (and therefore the weight) of the containers; that if the City selects the smaller container size of 32 gallons, it would basically be selecting manual collection by default; that if the City were to go with the larger container sizes, anything above 32 gallons will have to be an automated collection system. Mr. Tagore-Erwin stated that if a resident chooses an automated system, the resident can pick a 32-, 45-, 64-, or 96-gallon container, it’s their choice; but if they choose a manual system, they would be limited to a 32-gallon container or smaller. He reiterated that the system is predicated on the weight of the containers.
Councilman Gardiner questioned if the City allows the trash haulers to decide that it will be manual pick up, would everybody have to use 32-gallon containers and nothing larger.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin indicated that it correct.
Councilman Gardiner stated that he is not interested in that option and questioned whether Council could just reject that proposal.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin indicated that is correct.
Councilman Gardiner noted his preference for all residents and business owners to have the service they prefer; and that he would also prefer this flexibility.
Mayor Wolowicz stated that the overall package in the RFP process looks fairly comprehensive and asked if it was drafted by the consultant and whether this same document, or variations, had been used in other cities.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin indicated yes.
Mayor Wolowicz asked if Mr. Tagore-Erwin’s company routinely refines these documents when issues arise, stating that he wants to make sure if there are any flaws, those are surfaced early in the process. He asked if any residential building is automatically covered by this contract, and whether all have a choice.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin noted that the way the current services are handled, all residents, whether single- or multifamily dwellings, are part of the residential contract.
Mayor Wolowicz asked what the consultant’s experience has been with other cities, as to whether there is a norm in giving apartment building owners a choice.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin stated that generally speaking, apartment building owners are not usually given a choice; that they receive the same service as the rest of the franchise area, whether it’s one city franchised area or whether it is split up.
Mayor Wolowicz stated that as an apartment owner himself, he finds the difference in prices quoted amongst the companies to be extraordinary and stated that he is always surprised with the price differentials that the companies are willing to offer and disappointed in the fact there is no consistency, but he reminded his colleagues that this is also part of the free market system and he would rather see that offered to them, limiting the number of companies to perhaps four or less, but at least giving them that choice because he has seen these prices widely fluctuate.
Ron Saldana, representing Universal Waste Systems, indicated that a letter had been sent that morning to Council, and stated that he hoped Council has had an opportunity to look at it; and advised they are asking Council to consider a third option, which would be to remove the Portuguese Bend area, which included approximately 500 homes, from the RFP and keeping that area under the existing service that it has now. He pointed out that if one travels this area, there are two things that concern him: No. 1, a safety issue, and No. 2, a service issue. He advised that this area does not fit a one-sizes-fits-all program; stated that there are many narrow streets, a number of narrow streets with backyard service, different pick up schedules along a single street, with all of these different types of things occurring in the same neighborhood. He noted that this particular area has been serviced by Ivy Disposal; that he is concerned these residents will suffer a decrease in service, noting that this specialized service has evolved over the past 40 years that Ivy Disposal has been serving this area and now with Universal Waste; and that they are asking that Council to consider these issues.
With regard to safety issues, Mr. Saldana noted the necessity for the drivers to be familiar with the streets in this area, stating that some of the roads are very narrow, some are one-lane with parking off to one side, and that it can be very tricky and dangerous for drivers that are unfamiliar with this area to maneuver those one-lane streets. He added that there are a couple streets where a trash truck cannot get down the street and that those homes must be serviced on foot. He stated that when it rains, it also can be very dangerous and that the trucks should avoid the area when it rains. He wondered it a hauler that is not familiar with this community would be aware of these conditions; and if not, how will they know and how will a smooth transition take place. Regarding the commercial waste collection in the City, representing the L.A. County Disposal Association, he provided an example of a community that had two companies servicing it; that one of those companies was a large company, which had a rule that said if one calls in for a bin on a particular day, if it was in the afternoon, they could not service that customer until the next day or later; that the other company, a small company, was on their phones most of the time and would do their level best to deliver that bin when requested. He stated that one of the things he has found in the industry association, when a city has multiple haulers competing with one another, that city has better service and usually has lower rates.
Councilman Stern asked why the suggestion is being made to eliminate a separate contract in the Portuguese Bend area.
Senior Administrative Analyst Ramezani stated that the landslide area was serviced by Ivy Disposal and is now serviced by Universal Waste; with regard to the size of the service trucks, she indicated that any hauler could have a truck that is able to safely maneuver on those narrow roads, so it’ is not going to be the large truck serving the whole City; advised that the RFP will be further revised to specify that there are areas in the City where a larger truck cannot maneuver, streets that have to have the containers walked down. She indicated that staff will be giving more specific examples in the draft RFP, pointing out it has been specified in the draft RFP that smaller trucks are necessary to handle certain roads.
Councilman Stern noted that when Ivy Disposal worked this area, it was understood by many that the service level was created for a unique situation that was suited for that area; and questioned if the City will lose that because it has not carved out this unique area; and asked if there is a belief that by keeping it with one contract, the City either gains some other advantage or can replicate some of these unique service characteristics such that it will not matter.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin confirmed that this particular area is a difficult collection area; advised that they have tried to address that by the vehicle sizes, by the topography limitations on what type of trucks can cover the area; noted that where the City gets some potential benefit is in that area, where there are approximately 450 to 500 accounts, not a full route; and noted there are other pockets within the City that have the same type of collection issues, and that there are different contractors footing the bill for one or two trucks. He noted that this is not necessarily the most economical way for them to operate, that there is a larger efficiency that justifies this.
Councilman Clark asked why the City would not want to entertain the possibility of making, for example, the Portuguese Bend area also an option under the RFP so that haulers could bid the entire City or, for example, a company could bid only on the Portuguese Bend area and then the City would have the ability to see what the benefits versus the potential disadvantages would be and either select one residential waste hauler for the entire City or maybe two, one to do the difficult areas that have been discussed, which may not otherwise be attractive to small companies, but that can service those areas better and more cost effectively instead of going after the entire City business. He expressed his belief that this would give additional flexibility if the RFP were structured in that manner.
Mayor Wolowicz indicated that he raised this same issue at the last meeting regarding this unique area and stated that he would echo the desire to see it as a separate bid.
Sunshine, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that the RFP should clarify if a senior citizen discount is based on the oldest member living in a household; noted that a funding mechanism for street maintenance should first be dealt with, noting that there are many private roads in the City that are impacted by the truck traffic; and pointed out that there are also a lot of streets besides the Portuguese Bend area that have very narrow, many private streets, and some where trucks cannot turn around.
Mayor pro tem Long suggested that the infrastructure maintenance charge should only apply to public streets.
City Manager Evans pointed out that trash trucks cannot get to the private streets without traveling over the public streets.
Addressing Page 6 (Schedule), Councilman Clark noted that the second event is a mandatory pre-proposal conference; asked what the intent is there; and questioned if a hauler misses this pre-proposal conference, would they be excluded from responding to the RFP.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin stated that this is how it has been done in the past; pointed out that if a hauler does not show up for the pre-proposal conference, they may not get all information that is distributed; and that staff does not want those individuals complaining about not having received all the necessary information.
Councilman Clark questioned whether the City’s webpage will include an updated version of the RFP with addendums and a list of prospective offers.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin indicated that the City’s webpage will include the RFP and the addendums; stated that he is not sure whether the prospective offers will be included, noting that it depends if the haulers provide information to the City; and added this has not been a problem in the past with other cities.
City Manager Evans stated that because this is a $30 million contract, he believes all interested parties will attend the pre-proposal conference.
Councilman Clark noted that the RFP document was released on June 13, 2006 and that it is his understanding the final RFP is targeted to soon go out.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin indicated that is correct.
Councilman Clark asked that once the final RFP is released, is there a condition in place to prohibit prospective bidders from interacting with, for example, City Council Members.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin indicated yes.
City Manager Evans added that this issue was previously addressed at the meeting held on May 16, 2006.
Interim Director Holland reported that staff is debating over whether to add one other mandatory condition in the landslide area to require potential haulers to actually visit and walk the area.
Councilman Gardiner stated that at the end of the day, nobody should be worse off than they are currently in terms of trash service; noted that he understands there is a price increase, but assuming the price increases are not out of line, he would think everyone should at least be in a better position than they are today; if that requires a particular area be carved out, he stated that he would support what Councilman Clark was saying, that the RFP should be written so that there is a Portuguese Bend RFP option and a citywide option; but that the citywide option should allow the bidder to bid with and without the Portuguese Bend sub-portions. He asked if the City could reserve the right to cancel bid solicitation at any time for any reason.
City Manager Evans stated that language is included.
Councilman Gardiner questioned if the City can reserve the right to amend the RFP; and asked about judging bids as nonresponsive and asked whether the evaluation criteria was already outlined.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin indicated that they did not lay out the weighting of the evaluation criteria; advised that the technical committee will do the technical, raw scoring of the proposals, including the cost proposals; noted that what they suggested is the weighting of the criteria, financial qualifications and technical qualifications, price and so on; that Council sets the weigh; pointed out that they have always tried to dissuade Council from putting the importance of it up front in the proposal because one would end up having the respondents slant their proposals to the specific criteria; and that the most important thing the City is looking for is getting the most responsible bidder at the best price. He added that price is not the most important determination.
Councilman Gardiner expressed his belief that a bidder would find it difficult to bid on the item without having some knowledge of its relative importance with the criteria; and suggested it would be helpful to list, for example, five factors of relative importance.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin stated that this is generally the practice at the Council level; explained that what they have done in the past is a double line evaluation, scoring, set the scoring and applying the math; and stated this is how the ranking will be determined. He pointed out that this takes personal biases out of the equation.
Councilman Gardiner highlighted his understanding that the source selection returns consist of two things: scoring on a yardstick by staff and then determining the relative importance of the yardsticks done by the Council.
Councilman Clark asked at what point does staff propose that Council make that prioritization.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin explained that what has been done in the past is the technical committee will do its scoring, turn those scores in to the City Clerk, signed/sealed – pointing out they do not want to know how it’s weighted; that they then make a presentation to Council on the criteria without anyone knowing what the technical scores are; that Council in turn will provide the weighting criteria; and staff then opens the sealed envelopes and applies the math.
Councilman Gardiner asked if all the measures of effectiveness are quantitative.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin indicated they should be quantitative.
Councilman Gardiner questioned whether there are any subjective scales.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin indicated that there would always be some subjectiveness in the evaluation process, such as overall responsiveness to the RFP, as a criterion.
Councilman Gardiner stated that if there are any subjective scales, then the Council on that subjective scale might react differently than staff.
Mayor pro tem Long asked if Council is being called upon this evening to decide the scoring criteria.
Councilman Gardiner stated that if it is part of the RFP, then Council should discuss it; and if it is not part of the RFP, then Council should not.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin explained that all they have done in the RFP is lay out the evaluation process -- staff will score and Council will weight it; and noted that they have not laid out the mechanics of how that would be done.
Councilman Gardiner explained that he is very sensitive to how the evaluation is done because that will determine how the haulers will craft their response; and stated that if one does not know what they are aiming at, they might have difficulty in writing the proposals.
Councilman Clark noted that his understanding at this point is that in this industry, it is not typical in an RFP to identify the relative weighting of the criteria.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin indicated that this understanding is correct.
Councilman Clark questioned if Council provides the relative weighting in closed or open session.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin stated that it is done in open session; and added that the technical scoring needs to be done first, because, again, they are trying to keep the scoring separate so they are not influencing Council’s decision and Council is not influencing the technical scores.
Councilman Gardiner stated that he would not want to be in the trash hauling business and try to draft the response and have the response in before Council tells him what they really want is service or the cost, noting that he would lose the game because he did not know what the balance was.
Councilman Clark mentioned that as a governmental customer, the City must convey its relative areas of importance and best value so that it isn’t a guessing game up front.
City Manager Evans explained that it won’t be a guessing game because for better or worse, this is the way this industry has worked for 50 years and the companies that will be bidding on this all know and are familiar with this procedure. He stated that he would not like to say that price is the most important criteria and then end up with someone who is not qualified to give the City the low bid.
Councilman Clark stated that best value imputes this is not strictly a price competition.
City Manager Evans stated that is why the City’s consultant is advising that haulers who will be bidding this contract have bid them the same way using basically the same set of specification at other cities for many years and are used to doing it that way; and he stated that if Council wants to change this system, they have that right, but expressed his belief the City would be better off sticking with the way the industry is used to bidding for these contracts.
Councilman Gardiner noted his preference for Option 2 in Section 2, which is to have at least four commercial haulers.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin stated his understanding that Council wants to include in the RFP on the residential side a citywide option and then a citywide with Portuguese Bend area option, and up to four commercial haulers.
Mayor pro tem Long stated that he understood the precise issue of weighting will be dealt with at a later time.
Mayor pro tem Long moved to approve staff recommendation for the finalization and circulation of the RFP; that the finalization should be focused under Item No. 2, Option No. 2, to allow up to four commercial haulers; that Item 9 be changed to provide as an option an addition to variable rates, to provide a flat rate option; that Item Nos. 11 and 12 be rephrased to specify a minimum 10 percent or better senior discount and a minimum 5 percent or better discount for annual prepayment; that Item 14 be revised to specify that there would be no additional cost for backyard pickup for seniors as customers, seniors to continue to be identified here and elsewhere in the RFP as already identified in the existing City ordinance; that staff and consultant re-evaluate and consider specifying infrastructure maintenance fees in both Item Nos. 17 and 18 designed to more accurately capture current estimated costs based upon the advice of the Public Works Department as to what those current estimated costs are going to be; that Item 19, placement of containers, specify that the containers also have wheels and other features which are addressed elsewhere; and to authorize staff to finalize the RFP document with the revisions as articulated to what is already within staff report.
Councilman Gardiner seconded the motion.
Councilman Stern noted that the length of the contract had been discussed, which presently reads one 33-month single option.
Mayor pro tem Long amended his motion to include the revision of Item 3 to specify there be two 1-year renewals and a 9-month renewal following the 7-year renewal.
Mayor Wolowicz asked if the motion should include environmental incentives for fuel or other items.
Councilman Clark noted his suggestion that the RFP include incentives for those haulers proposing specific things, such as modernized trucks that are fuel efficient and clean-running vehicles.
Mayor pro tem Long further modified the motion to include two incentives: one to include a request that bidders include those methods to improve the environmental friendliness of their trucks and at the same time to put in an incentive for them to describe methods of handling the border streets that are more efficient and logical, and to receive scoring incentives in this regard, but not assigning specific weights.
Mayor Wolowicz questioned if the segment of the Portuguese Bend area is part of the motion.
Mayor pro tem Long stated that his motion includes that distinction.
Councilman Clark pointed out that this is one of the largest contracts Councils ever deal with and that its financial significance and demand for detail required the past 2-hour discussion. He asked if the bidders pre-proposal conference surfaces substantive potential changes to the RFP, is it envisioned that these will come back to Council for review.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin indicated yes.
Councilman Gardiner asked if it is the practice in this industry that if one vendor has questions, that they submit those questions to the City and the answers are provided to all of the bidders.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin indicated that there would be a running log of all the questions received and answers given, but that they will not indicate who asked the questions.
Assistant City Manager Petru/City Clerk Petru asked for clarification if the motion included the adoption of the resolution that was part of the staff recommendation regarding the budget appropriation.
Mayor pro tem Long indicated yes.
The roll call vote on the motion carried as follows:
AYES: Clark, Gardiner, Long, Stern and Mayor Wolowicz
Assignment to the Finance Advisory Committee – Analysis of Employee Retirement Plan and Employee Benefit Plans
The staff report recommended City Council 1) Provide Staff with direction regarding the assignment to the Finance Advisory Committee regarding the analysis of the City’s employee retirement plan and employee post-retirement health insurance; and 2) Authorize an additional budget appropriation during FY 05-06 of $25,000 for the retention of pension and benefit consultants to assist staff and the FAC during the preparation of the analysis described in this report and ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2006-45, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES AMENDING RESOLUTION NO. 2005-53, THE BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR FY 05-06.
Mayor Wolowicz noted that although the staff recommendation was for Council to provide staff with direction, he noted that the staff report contained a “proposed scope,” which he assumed could be adopted by Council as its direction to staff.
Director McLean indicated that is correct.
Mayor pro tem Long moved to waive the staff report and adopt staff’s recommendation.
Councilman Stern seconded the motion.
Councilman Gardiner pointed out that staff’s recommendation was for Council to provide direction, but thought that Mayor Wolowicz was suggesting that Council adopt actions that were suggested in the body of the staff report.
Mayor Wolowicz indicated that Council Gardiner was correct.
Mayor pro tem Long amended his motion to assign the matter to the FAC, with the “proposed scope” included in the staff report and to authorize the additional budget appropriation. There was no objection to the amended motion.
Roll call vote reflected approval as follows:
AYES: Clark, Gardiner, Long, Stern, Mayor Wolowicz
City Manager Recruitment
The staff report recommended that Council authorize the City Manager to request proposals from qualified firms to conduct the recruitment for City Manager.
Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Long, to approve the staff recommendation.
Councilman Clark stated that he would support the motion, but that he would also recommend, in light of the fact that Council has a City Manager Succession Planning Ad Hoc Committee, this Committee participate with the recruiter in interviewing the top ten to fifteen candidates. He explained that this would allow the full Council to not only to receive feedback from the recruiter, but from the Council Committee members as well. He stated that having some Council representation determining the top candidates is essential since this is the City’s top administrative position that will interface with Council and noted that what he is suggesting is done in many cities as part of the succession process.
Mayor Wolowicz asked if this would mean the two-person Committee is prepared to commit to these meetings on a timely basis.
Councilman Clark stated that it was implied in his comment.
Mayor Wolowicz stated that he would take dim view if any long delays were that to occur in the process.
Councilman Gardiner noted that Council is slated to interview the top 6 candidates, but indicated that if the list trails off dramatically after the top four, he would not object to meeting with only that four and that the wording should be changed to state “up to six.”
Councilman Clark stated that he would support the above two inclusions in the motion.
City Manager Evans asked if the entire Council wanted to interview each recruiter.
Mayor Wolowicz suggested that the Ad Hoc Committee interview the recruitment firms with the City Manager.
As the maker of the motion, Councilman Gardiner accepted the changes as discussed.
By acclamation, there was unanimous approval of the amended motion.
COUNCIL DISCUSSION OF FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS & SUGGESTION OF FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS:
Mayor pro tem Long stated that staff had been requested to be bring back the issue of trash pick-up in the Westside Pilot Area. He requested that before this item is placed back on the agenda, in light of the survey the City recently got back from the residents in this pilot area and after having received concurrence with Rolling Hills Estates Mayor Zuckerman, that staff arrange for another meeting between the City and the representatives from Rolling Hills Estates. He stated that wants to make another attempt to reach an agreement with Rolling Hills Estates; hoping that based on the results of the survey, the other city may want to reconsider and agree to switch their few dozen residents over to a Tuesday pick up so that Rancho Palos Verdes can designate Tuesday and Friday as its pick up schedule for this area. He noted that those involved did not collectively realize the difficulties that would be encountered in trying to work through this issue.
Councilman Clark stated that he will provide Council with a report at the next meeting concerning the League of California Cities State Board of Directors meeting, which occurred in between the Council’s last two meetings; stated that the Board was encouraging its members to take back a proposed letter to their respective Council’s to send to new technology telecommunications entities to encourage those firms to seek entry into those cities in terms of working out agreements with them. He stated that he is aware that City staff and the City Manager have been in contact with Verizon, but noted that this proposal extends to other telecommunication companies and that he’d like to give this draft sample letter to staff and request it be placed on the next agenda.
CLOSED SESSION REPORT:
City Attorney Lynch stated that with respect to the negotiations regarding the property on Tarragon Road, Council unanimously approved the new appraisal amount; with respect to the Fender litigation, Council unanimously approved the revised stipulated judgment; with respect to the Monk’s case, Council unanimously directed staff to send a letter to the Joint Powers Insurance Authority; and with respect to the properties at 40 and 41 Cherry Hill Lane, she reported that there was no time to discuss this matter and no discussion or action took place.
At 12:54 A.M., Councilman Stern moved, seconded by Mayor Wolowicz, to adjourn the meeting.