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The meeting was called to order at 7:19 p.m. by Mayor Wolowicz at Fred Hesse Community Park, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard, Rancho Palos Verdes.
Roll call was answered as follows:
PRESENT: Gardiner, Clark, Long, Mayor Wolowicz
Also present were City Manager Les Evans; Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Carolynn Petru; City Attorney Carol Lynch; Director of Finance/IT Dennis McLean; Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement Joel Rojas; Interim Director of Public Works Ray Holland; Deputy Planning Director Greg Pfost; Senior Planner Ara Mihranian; Deputy Director of Finance/IT Kathryn Downs; and, Senior Administrative Analyst Gary Gyves.
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Library Board President Bill Lama.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA:
City Manager Evans requested the continuation of Item No. 6, Authorization of Council to Award a Construction Contract for the Relocation of the Storm Drain at 7460 Alida Place, to the next regular meeting.
Mayor Pro Long moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to approve the Agenda, as amended, with Item No. 6 continued.
Mayor Wolowicz presided over a Salute to Service honoring Warrant Officer Carl Luis Gutierrez and presented him with a Blue Star in recognition of his military service.
Library Board of Trustees President Bill Lama awarded a certificate of appreciation to Warrant Officer Carl Luis Gutierrez in recognition of his military service and explained that the Library District supports the military with a program called “Books for Troops” in which they have sent 17,000 books in the last two years to the troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations around the world.
Mayor Wolowicz requested Director McLean to present the Mayor’s Did You Know Facts, which focused on the City’s newly improved website.
Director McLean gave an overview of the City’s recently upgraded website, pointing out some of the enhanced aspects and new features. He encouraged feedback from Council, City staff, and especially Rancho Palos Verdes’s residents, noting past suggestions were instrumental in helping to improve the organization and navigation of the current website.
Councilman Clark complimented everyone who worked on the project, noting the previous website was used as a model by the League of California Cities and the current website was demonstrative of the quality and level of sophistication Rancho Palos Verdes is able to provide its residents and the general public.
Mayor Wolowicz remarked that the improved website was user friendly and brimming with useful information. He commended all those involved on behalf of the entire Council and the residents.
Mayor Wolowicz announced Alfred Osberg and Ron Matsuta as the recyclers of the month and urged everyone to participate in the City’s recycling program.
George Fink, Rancho Palos Verdes, President of the Ladera Linda Homeowners Association, reported that he and his constituents have made a concerted effort to beautify the community and are extremely disappointed and frustrated that a single piece of property in their neighborhood continued to be an eyesore. He stated that he was pleased with the City’s codes, Planning Staff and the permitting process, but there was an apparent lack of surveillance by City staff because the owner has recently invested large sums of money into modifications that are not permitted and have not been approved on the plans.
Carl Mangiameli, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that many individuals from Ladera Linda were instrumental in creating the City of Rancho Palos Verdes and ensuring that it possessed the independent authority the residents desired; much has been accomplished by its residents for the benefit of Rancho Palos Verdes; and, they are requesting assistance from the City and Council to address a problem that exists in their neighborhood. He reported he has lived directly across from the property alluded to by Mr. Fink since 1963, and that for more than three years the site has been in a state of demolition, creating a burdensome situation for neighboring residents. He declared it was imperative to put time constraints in place and he urged Council’s assistance in resolving the situation and bringing the project to completion.
Mayor Pro Tem Long stated that he believed the property referenced by Mr. Fink and Mr. Mangiameli belonged to the Fenders and agreed that a very difficult and unusual situation existed in that neighborhood. He advised that the property was recently the subject of a closed session discussion, saying, while not at liberty to discuss the details because of pending litigation, he could explain the situation as follows: that the City did set deadlines; the deadlines were not adhered to by the property owner; the City subsequently applied for a court order; the City believes that court order was not complied with; and, the City was in the process of returning to court to seek a remedy. He reported that as part of that remedy the City was seeking the appointment of a receiver with the power to restore the property and place a lien against the property to fund the cost of that restoration.
Thomas Smith, Rancho Palos Verdes, echoed the frustration of his Ladera Linda counterparts, saying the problem with the subject property was actually two-fold. He indicated that the City Code Enforcement personnel have allowed the condition of the property to deteriorate over the past three years by what appeared to be a dereliction of their duties; and, the property owners seem to have completely dismissed the permit process by performing illegal grading on the west and north sides of the property and illegal building on the perimeter. He remarked that Councilman Long’s comments sound encouraging and he implored Council to take action so that Code Enforcement personnel can bring a timely resolution to the situation.
Brian Takahashi, Palos Verdes Estates, spoke on behalf of the Sea King Capital Project, and indicated the group was comprised of citizens, parents, and others interested in renovating the Palos Verdes High School (PVHS) pool into a modern facility to be utilized by all. He noted he was a swimmer since childhood, participated in water polo in college, has two children involved in aquatics programs, was a strong supporter of youth recreation and believed everyone should learn how to swim. He reported that 40 years ago there was no high school swimming pool on the Peninsula and a grassroots effort raised money to build a pool at PVHS. He indicated that the pool was in a state of serious disrepair with concrete and fiberglass sloughing off into the water and an inadequate heater. He advised that the current pool was a classic 1960’s configuration that could not accommodate the myriad of uses afforded by a more contemporary design, which makes it necessary for the local water polo teams to play their home games at pools in surrounding communities. He declared that this community deserved a pool that would serve all of its teams, meet CIF regulations, and could be used by young and old, beginners and Olympians, water polo players and recreational swimmers.
Mr. Takahashi reported that the Sea King Capital Campaign Committee has been in existence for three years and raised seed money two years ago to conceptualize a new pool. He advised that aquatics was a booming sport with participation doubling in the last four to five years and he displayed a rendering of the conceptual pool design that would be large enough to accommodate the needs of all. He concluded that the Sea King Capital Project group was soliciting support and financial assistance from Rancho Palos Verdes as well as the citizenry on the Peninsula.
Kate Cocke, Palos Verdes Estates, President of the Sea King Capital Project, reported they are a nonprofit organization of concerned parents attempting to raise funds to build a much needed new community pool at PVHS. She advised that since the original pool was built, in the mid 1960’s, it has been used extensively by high school swim and water polo teams, club teams, and hundreds of community members from Torrance, Palos Verdes Estates, Rolling Hills, Rancho Palos Verdes, and San Pedro for swim lessons and family swim time. She reported that the Sea King Capital Project had contracted with an architectural firm whose concept envisions a 25 by 40 meter pool with 18 lanes, an equipment room, storage areas, changing rooms, restrooms, and an office for the coaches. She noted construction is expected to take five to six months with an estimated cost of $2.5 million. She indicated that $1 million for pool renovations was included in the Palos Verdes Unified School District (PVPUSD) with Bond Measure S which passed successfully in November; Sea King had raised over $600,000, including $100,000 from a major corporate sponsor; and, that groundbreaking could not take place until all the funds were in place. She reported that the goal was to raise the remainder of the money by March 15th and urged Council and anyone interested to consider donating to this very important community project.
Councilman Clark inquired if PVPUSD had the flexibility to direct additional funds to the pool renovation project from the bond money.
Ms. Cocke stated her understanding of the bond measure was there was no flexibility because the bond was structured to designate exactly how much money would be dedicated to specific projects.
Councilman Clark inquired if the Sea King Capital Project was approaching the other cities on the Peninsula with similar outreach presentations. He noted that one of the proposed components of the Conceptual Master Plan for the Rancho Palos Verdes Civic Center was an aquatics center. He inquired if the Sea King group had pursued a partnership or support from other organizations.
Ms. Cocke stated the group would be bringing the presentation to the City of Palos Verdes Estates at their next meeting and noted they had pursued partnerships but had received no major contributions in that area.
Mayor Pro Tem Long presented Ms. Cocke with a donation on behalf of his wife and himself and challenged other Council members to donate. He advised that he had requested this item be on the Council agenda and understood it would appear as an action item on the agenda at the first meeting in March. He indicated he would like to see Council take action at that time to demonstrate Rancho Palos Verdes’s willingness to assist the school district with facilities available for joint use. He noted the dilemma presented by the bond measure was that the funds were specifically designated to rehabilitate rather than restructure the old pool and stated that construction of a pool more suitable for current needs and demands must be funded from private sources and other public agencies.
Jody Rice, Rancho Palos Verdes, advised that he has been an active participant in the fund-raising effort for the pool project. He stated that the original pool has lasted 40 years and it was time for a new pool that would benefit the residents of all of the cities on the Peninsula. He urged Council to do everything in its power to help make this vital community asset a reality and noted that quick action was essential since time constraints were involved.
Mayor Pro Tem Long mentioned that anyone interested in making a donation or gathering more information on the project should visit the website at the following web address: www.seakingcapital.com.
Councilman Clark echoed Mr. Rice’s comment that even though the Peninsula consists of four incorporated cities it is actually one community and that it was crucial to reach out and involve all the jurisdictions in Peninsula-wide issues such as this very worthy cause.
Michael O’Sullivan, Rancho Palos Verdes, reported that he and his wife have resided on Via Cambron for the last 44 years. He advised that he submitted a letter to the Council dated February 8th outlining a number of concerns related to the City’s view restoration procedures and guidelines. He noted one of his concerns was whether it was permissible for City Council members to move for a reconsideration after hearing a case, saying he had received divergent opinions on that from Council members as well as City staff. Additionally, he inquired whether a mechanism existed or might be created to resolve issues such as his before resorting to litigation. He stated his case involved a City resolution created to allow the optional removal of a tree with the stump and root ball, but he has been advised by the City’s view restoration coordinator that the bidding contractor had refused to perform the job if it included removal of the root ball.
Mayor Wolowicz requested a response from the City Attorney.
City Attorney Lynch explained that the City attempted to provide bids in compliance with the resolution; that Mr. O’Sullivan requested guarantees and indemnification regarding the root ball; that the contractor bidding the job was not comfortable with the conditions Mr. O’Sullivan placed on the removal; and, that the contractor subsequently decided not to perform that component of the project. She advised that she would prefer to provide a memo to Council detailing the issues involved.
CITY COUNCIL ORAL REPORTS:
Mayor Pro Tem Long reported that on February 14th he met with Director McLean regarding the consolidated annual financial report (CAFR); with Captain Zuanich to discuss various items including regional law enforcement; and, with the Mayor and Chair of the Traffic Safety Commission to discuss traffic issues on PV Drive East; February 15th he met with Mr. Smith regarding the Fender property; and, February 18th he met with Dr. McFadden for a walking tour of the Marymount campus and a discussion of the proposed project.
Councilman Clark reported that on February 10th and 11th he attended the League of California Cities State Board of Directors meeting, which covered a fairly comprehensive agenda. He proposed compiling a summary of the League’s key areas of focus for the year, including their strategic goals and new telecommunications and technology opportunities that he believed the community and City should consider becoming involved in. He also met with Dana Ireland and Greg Delgado regarding the development project on Nantasket Drive.
Mayor Wolowicz reported that he met with Mr. Ireland and Mr. Delgado regarding the Nantasket Drive project; on February 9th he met with Director McLean regarding the CAFR and the importance of updating financial information related to storm drain issues; February 10th attended a Mayor’s Breakfast with the chairs of the various committees; February 12th attended the Peninsula Seniors 26th Anniversary celebration and the installation of Reverend John Moorhouse at the Pacific Unitarian Church; February 13th attended the Residential Standards Steering Committee Workshop in the Eastview neighborhood; February 14th met with the City Manager and Assistant City Manager to discuss future agendas and attended a special meeting regarding traffic safety on PV Drive East; February 15th attended the Mayors’ Luncheon where Rolling Hills Estates’ expansion plans were discussed; February 16th attended a breakfast presentation by Long Beach Mayor Beverly O’Neill. He noted that Mayor O’Neill serves as President of the National Association of Mayors and reflected that her comments were quite insightful and included the importance of transportation for all municipalities. February 16th he and Councilman Gardiner met as members of the School District Subcommittee to discuss the Eastview school district boundary issue.
CITY MANAGER REPORT:
City Manager Evans reminded the Council members to communicate with Executive Staff Assistant Alberta Gray regarding their attendance at various upcoming events.
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru advised that items previously discussed and continued to a future meeting were available on the City’s website at www.palosverdes.com/Rancho Palos Verdes.
APPROVAL OF CONSENT CALENDAR:
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru noted that Item No. 6 had previously been removed from the consent calendar and late correspondence was distributed on Item No. 9.
Mayor Wolowicz requested that Item No. 9, Notice of Completion for the Storm Drain Rehabilitation Project - Lining Phase 1, be removed from the consent calendar.
Repair of the Tarapaca Storm Drain (604 x 1204)
Reviewed and reconfirmed by a four/fifths (4/5) vote the Council’s previous action on December 21, 2004 to authorize staff to conduct an informal bid process to repair the Tarapaca Storm Drain.
Interim Improvements to Barkentine/Seacove and Other Miscellaneous Drainage Improvements (604 x 1204)
Reviewed and reconfirmed by four/fifths (4/5) vote the Council’s previous action on October 18, 2005 to authorize staff to conduct an informal bid process to construct interim improvements to Barkentine/Sea Cove and other miscellaneous drainage improvements.
Pontevedra Emergency Storm Drain Repairs (604 x 1204)
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 (301)
Approved the minutes of September 10, 2005 and October 22, 2005.
Authorization for Council to Award a Construction Contract for the Relocation of the Storm Drain at 7460 Alida Place to GCI Construction Inc. and Construction Management and Inspection Services to DMc Engineering (1204 x 604)
Continued this item to March 7, 2006.
Acquisition of Two Vehicles for the Department of Public Works and the Department of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement (302 x 1204 x 1203)
1) Authorized the Department of Public Works to purchase two new Toyota Prius vehicles; 2) Authorized the Mayor and City Clerk to enter into a purchase agreement with South Bay Toyota/Scion in the amount of $48,715.20; and, 3) ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2006-10, 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 2005-06 FOR A BUDGET ADJUSTMENT TO THE CITY’S EQUIPMENT REPLACEMENT - VEHICLE FUND.
Cable Television Franchise Productions – 2006 (305 x 605)
1) Approved the proposed list of topics for all City-sponsored Special Event Shoots and Public Service Announcements for 2006; and, 2) Authorized the Manager of Rancho Palos Verdes Cable Television to select the topics, subject to approval by the City Manager or his designee, for the one undesignated Special Event Shoot and one undesignated Public Service Announcement in 2006.
Notice of Completion for the Storm Drain Rehabilitation Project – Lining Phase (1204 x 604)
Removed and discussed immediately following approval of the Consent Calendar.
Register of Demands
ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2006-11, 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 Clark, to approve the Consent Calendar, as amended.
The motion carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Clark, Gardiner, Long, Mayor Wolowicz
ITEMS REMOVED FROM CONSENT CALENDAR:
Notice of Completion for the Storm Drain Rehabilitation Project – Lining Phase 1 (1204 x 604)
Mayor Wolowicz stated he was quite pleased that the job was completed under budget and requested that staff provide a brief summary.
Interim Director Holland reported that the City has lined approximately 4,000 feet of pipe using an innovative approach to deal with serious storm drain deficiencies. He explained that the process involved lining old pipes with a thick plastic-like material expected to last approximately 30 years. He indicated it was probably the most efficient method of repairing deteriorated corrugated metal storm drains and that the project was completed for approximately $175,000 under budget, although there were additional projects planned for the future.
Mayor Wolowicz remarked it was important for everyone to understand the depth of the storm drain problem. He noted that staff originally estimated 150 of the 200 corrugated metal pipes throughout Rancho Palos Verdes would need to be lined at an estimated cost of $4.6 million; video inspections revealed that number to be an underestimation; pipes currently in acceptable condition would deteriorate over the next 30 years and likely require lining; and, the cost estimate had risen to approximately $8 million.
Mayor Pro Tem Long, noting the lining is anticipated to last about 30 years, inquired if the pipes can be lined a second time.
City Manager Evans stated it would be extremely difficult physically to line the pipes a second time, explaining that as pipes were lined they lose some capacity, which would eventually create an undersized pipe.
Mayor Pro Tem Long commented that the lining projects were beneficial to address the immediate problems but, fortuitously, 30 years hence when the user fee lapses, the repairs required would most likely far exceed the cost of relining.
Interim Director Holland agreed with that assessment.
Mayor Wolowicz moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Long, to accept the staff recommendation of the following: 1) Accept the work as complete; 2) Authorize the City Clerk to file a Notice of Completion with the County Recorder if no claims are filed within 35 days after recordation and, upon the contractor posting an acceptable warranty bond, notice the surety company to exonerate the payment and Performance bonds; and, 3) Authorize the Director of Public Works to release the 10 percent retention payment to Sancon Technologies, Inc. 35 days after recordation of the Notice of Completion by the County Recorder contingent upon no claims being filed on the project and the contractor posting an acceptable warranty bond.
Without objection, Mayor Wolowicz so ordered.
Recess and Reconvene:
Mayor Wolowicz recessed the meeting at 8:40 p.m. and reconvened the meeting at 8:50 p.m.
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Master Schedule of Fees and Charges for City Services (602)
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru advised that notice of the hearing was duly published, no written protests were received, late correspondence had been distributed and no requests to speak had been submitted.
Mayor Pro Tem Long moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to waive the staff report.
Councilman Clark requested an update from staff regarding the timing of the recommendations for a fee structure and management of events at Founders Park.
City Manager Evans replied that the matter had been delayed due to last minute discussions with the Trump organization, but that it should be on the next agenda.
Mayor Wolowicz inquired if there had been any change in the 27 percent overall cost recovery staff reported in February 2005.
Director McLean introduced Senior Administrative Analyst Gary Gyves as the project manager and reported that the cost study had not been updated since the previous year, but the comparison between costs and generated fees remained relatively consistent plus the 10 to 15 percent established in early 2005.
Mayor Wolowicz queried if there had been complaints received from staff regarding the raise in fees instituted last year.
Director Rojas replied he had not received any complaints.
Mayor Wolowicz queried if the City’s field rates for youth organizations was comparable to those of other cities on the Peninsula.
Senior Analyst Gyves answered that a survey of field recreation rates determined that Rancho Palos Verdes’s rates are at or below those charged by the other cities.
Mayor Wolowicz requested verification that the decrease in rates for Geologic Investigation, Non-commercial Amateur Antenna, Parking Lot Permit, and Special Construction and the increase in Neighborhood Compatibility Analysis and Special Animal Permit were correct and not misprints.
Senior Analyst Gyves explained the original study reflected that some fees were too high and some too low, stating staff set these fees at roughly 47 to 50 percent of cost recovery, which is the average cost recovery for fees Citywide.
Mayor Wolowicz stated he would be inclined to endorse staff’s recommendation with the exception of maintaining parking lot fees at $5.00 across the board.
Director McLean advised that staff would modify the recommendation and the resolution to include the Mayor’s proposal.
Mayor Pro Tem Long moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2006-12 AS AMENDED, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES ADOPTING A MASTER SCHEDULE OF FEES AND CHARGES FOR CITY SERVICES with the amendment to reduce parking fees to $5.00.
The motion carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Long, Clark, Gardiner, Mayor Wolowicz
REGULAR NEW BUSINESS:
FY04-05 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and Independent Auditors’ Report on Compliance and Internal Control (602)
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru stated there were no requests to speak on the item.
Mayor Pro Tem Long moved to waive the staff report. He queried whether the favorable variance of just over $3 million reflected in the General Fund reserve as of June 30, 2005 was comprised of approximately $1,456,000 in additional tax revenues and $978,000 less in expenditures than anticipated.
Director McLean explained that expenditures were less than expected and that several different categories, especially property taxes, contributed to the favorable revenue variance.
Mayor Wolowicz stated that he wanted to make sure that when Council was reviewing the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) the method of accounting was consistent throughout.
Director McLean replied that the method of accounting was consistent throughout the document.
Mayor Wolowicz noted that the City’s pension expenses had seen significant increases over the last three fiscal years, but the pension expenses appeared to be tapering off. He inquired if projections could be made regarding the amount of the CalPERS unfunded liability.
Director McLean advised that over the last 20 years the City’s pension expenses have predominately remained in the seven to eight percent range, but noted that pensions were tied to the investment market values, which fluctuate dramatically as do contributions and expenses. He indicated he would prefer to defer comments regarding the CalPERS unfunded liability to the budget process for FY06-07 when more information would be available.
Mayor Pro Tem Long moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to 1) Receive and file the FY 04-05 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes and the Independent Auditors’ Report on Compliance and on Internal Control over Financial Reporting; and, 2) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2006-13, 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, TO INCREASE BUDGETED REVENUE IN THE GENERAL FUND.
Councilman Stern joined the meeting at 9:16 p.m.
The motion carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Gardiner, Clark, Long, Mayor Wolowicz
FY05-06 Midyear Financial Report (602)
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru advised that late correspondence had been distributed and that there were no requests to speak on the item.
Mayor Pro Tem Long moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to waive the staff report.
Mayor Pro Tem Long queried why the assumption of the Vehicle License Fee (VLF) revenue would be $375,000, which was similar to that of the previous year’s budget, when in actuality the amount received was $1.1 million.
Director McLean responded that through Proposition 1A a substantial portion of VLF revenue had been shifted and re-characterized as property taxes in lieu of VLF revenue.
Councilman Stern requested clarification of staff’s current projection of the golf tax revenue in light of the fact that of the $195,000 previously budgeted the City realized $26,000, which resulted in a negative variance of $169,000.
Director McLean noted that staff was proposing a budget adjustment which would reduce the golf tax revenue in the 05-06 budget. He explained that when the budget was established it was anticipated that the golf course would be open the entire year, which has not been the case. He stated it was premature to include an amount for golf tax revenue in the FY06-07 budget until staff has had the opportunity to have conversations with the Trump organization regarding their expectations.
Mayor Wolowicz asked for an explanation on the funds received from FEMA.
Director McLean advised that the FEMA reimbursement for the Western Avenue project was accounted for in the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) fund. He noted that a couple of projects, specifically the overlay project and an action taken on PVIC expansion, were used to absorb the reimbursement. He explained the FEMA reimbursement money was deposited in the CIP fund and the General Fund transfers reduced proportionately. Director McLean reminded Council that the goal was to keep the CIP Fund balance near zero.
Mayor Wolowicz asked for an explanation of the Storm Drain Enterprise Fund.
Director McLean explained that there were $3 million appropriated from the Storm Drain User Fee Enterprise Fund for proposed projects. Director McLean noted that the Storm Drain User Fee, if not repealed, would begin to be received in December 2006, which was not reflected in any fund balance as of June 2006.
Mayor Wolowicz noted that absent those funds the City would be operating on general funds, which he referred to as the burn rate. He explained that the good news was the City was making needed storm drain repairs, but the bad news was the cost of the repairs.
Councilman Gardiner asked if the expected rate of expenditures for storm drain repairs in a twelve-month period was $1 or $2 million. He suggested that if we were spending $2 million a year, we should be appropriating $2 million a year, unless there was the anticipation of a large project that would absorb a larger amount.
Director McLean replied that this question would be answered as part of the evolution of the FY06-07 Budget and part of the 5-year CIP plan which fits into the 5-year Model.
City Manager Evans stated that one could get a fairly good idea of the anticipated storm drain repair costs by looking at the spreadsheets, which indicated that the City had spent over $2 million in the last 11 months.
Interim Director Holland stated that the increase in costs have been from the emergency projects that were being discovered which were situations that needed to be rectified immediately.
Mayor Wolowicz stated that he was concerned the emergency expenditures appeared to be increasing at an alarming rate and the more projects the City undertook the more problems it discovered. He indicated that his rough calculations envisioned the reserve increase of FY04-05 evaporating relatively quickly.
Councilman Gardiner recalled that projections were made based on random sampling of the storm drain system. He stated those projections should be valid if the sample was truly random and that the City should be able to extrapolate the entire system from that sampling. He opined the fact that more problems are being discovered than anticipated could mean one of two possibilities: either the sample was not truly random or the areas needing the most attention were found early on and the areas needing less attention remain. He wondered whether some sampling or projection errors had occurred or whether a greater number of trouble spots were appearing now with fewer to be discovered later.
Director McLean stated that there might be some confusion between the sewer and storm drain systems. He explained that the Storm Drain Master Plan was not based upon video inspections, but a random sampling of approximately seven percent of the sewer system was made and extrapolations calculated based on that.
Councilman Stern conjectured that it seemed more likely the City experienced an extraordinarily bad year which changed the dynamics and affected the projections, saying it could well be that the sampling was in fact representative but was skewed because the infrastructure aged considerably as a consequence of recent heavy rains.
Councilman Clark recalled that a storm drain study was performed in the eastern part of the City around Palos Verdes Drive East in the late 1990’s that identified close to 30 projects in that area alone and noted that in 2002 the Council decided to make renewal of the City’s infrastructure and storm drains a high priority and directed staff to update that analysis. He indicated that at the same time, Council had directed staff and the Finance Advisory Committee to examine alternative ways of financing the renewal of the infrastructure.
City Manager Evans confirmed that the first citywide inventory study was performed in 1997; the study helped determine the types and sizes of pipes but did not include a physical field inspection of those pipes; a plan was subsequently developed to address undersized pipes based on that study; and, that a few years later a more extensive study was performed which included a physical inspection of some of the pipes on the east side of Rancho Palos Verdes where many problems had been occurring. He advised that, unlike the sewer system, no sampling techniques were used, but that the engineer attained more of a feeling for the condition of the system from his visual inspections. He commented that Councilman Gardiner could be correct that the “feeling” for the condition of the pipes was not accurate. He indicated that the City has focused its attention on the corrugated metal pipelines that run underneath the arterial streets, because if those fail the City has a very serious problem, so it might be that the City has focused on the worst-case scenarios. He noted that Councilman Stern repeated an earlier comment of his that the recent storm season of 2005 aged the City’s pipes five to ten years in a matter of months and that all of these matters were confusing the issue. He reminded Council that what began as a comprehensive program of videoing the pipelines in order to compile an inspection log of conditions has turned into a situation where often upon inspection the pipes reveal the necessity for immediate repair.
Mayor Pro Tem Long also recalled that representative sampling was not performed but that Council was presented reports to help formulate a financing mechanism to fund repairs; that those reports contained estimates that were not extrapolations but a compilation of all known problems based on inspections; and, that those inspections were incomplete. He indicated that he had felt strongly that the City needed a contingency fund, because as the investigations provided new information the result was going to be the identification of additional problems, which has proven to be the case. He stated that the City was ending up with additional unpleasant knowledge and that no extrapolations were included for unknown problems, saying instead the City had a collection of specifically identified projects which did not include projects such as the repair of Western Avenue, the cost of condemning property to perform other necessary repairs, and the situation at McCarrell Canyon.
Councilman Gardiner stated it would be helpful as the storm drain repairs are made to have a better tracking mechanism, noting he would be interested as things progress in being able to determine whether the same failure rate was being experienced or whether it was diminishing.
City Manager Evans advised that the Public Works Department would be recommending continued inspection and rehabilitation of the corrugated metal pipelines, saying that would provide a better understanding of whether all the pipes are bad or if the worst ones have already been addressed.
Councilman Clark suggested making all pertinent information regarding the City’s infrastructure renewal and storm drains available on the website, saying it would be prudent to apprise the community and make them aware of the escalation and severity of the problems. He remarked that a great deal of misinformation has been circulated to further specific agendas that are contrary to the benefit of the entire community.
Mayor Wolowicz recommended including in the budget the potential unbudgeted costs of acquiring those segments of land necessary to perform repairs, since the City may be forced to spend General Fund money for those acquisitions. He requested clarification of the decrease in the estimated fund balance and whether the land acquisition costs were included.
Director McLean explained that if Council approves staff’s recommendation which includes budget adjustments of approximately $222,000, the estimated fund balance for the end of the current fiscal year would be revised to about $12.5 million which includes the projects that are in progress, but not the potential land acquisition costs.
Mayor Wolowicz queried if the budget was likely to be further impacted by the storm drain repair projects.
Interim Director Holland expressed hope that no additional emergencies would be discovered. He advised that all urgent repairs were represented in the $8 million, noting that number had been extrapolated with limited knowledge of the entire system and that there was the possibility of additional necessary repairs being discovered as the investigation continued.
Mayor Pro Tem Long moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to 1) Receive and file the midyear financial report; and, 2) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2006-14, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES AMENDING RESOLUTION NO. 2005-53, THE BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR FY05-06 TO ADJUST APPROPRIATIONS IN THE GENERAL FUND, STREET MAINTENANCE FUND, PROPOSITION C FUND, PROPOSITION A FUND, CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS FUND, MEASURE A CAPITAL FUND, AND WATER QUALITY FLOOD PROTECTION FUND.
The motion carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Stern, Long, Gardiner, Clark, Mayor Wolowicz
Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Long, to reorder the Agenda, addressing Item No. 16 next.
Councilman Clark asked that Item No. 18 be placed after Item No. 16.
Mayor Wolowicz indicated that there it appeared there were several audience members present to speak on Item No. 14, which was continued from the last meeting.
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru stated that there were three requests to speak on Item No. 14.
Mayor Pro Tem Long moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to reorder the Agenda, addressing Item No. 14 next, followed by Item No. 18 then Item No. 16.
Without objection, Mayor Wolowicz so ordered.
Consideration of an Ordinance Regulating Peddling in the City (202 x 1801)
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru reported that late correspondence had been distributed on the item and that there were three requests to speak.
City Attorney Lynch presented the staff report. She explained that the item came before Council in December 2005, and that staff had proposed this ordinance to require anyone doing business in the City but not tied to a particular business location, whether door-to-door or on the street, to obtain an annual business permit which would essentially allow the City to revoke the permit of any business in non-compliance with City’s provisions. She indicated that in the case of catering trucks, they would have to follow the City’s parking regulations, which state that the truck can be parked for no longer than 10 minutes within any 500-foot area. She explained that if the provisions were not adhered to, the City would have the ability to revoke the permit and the business would not be permitted to do business in the City.
Councilman Stern suggested revising the definition of peddler in 5.28.030(d) rather than essentially repeating the definition in 5.28.030(e). He further suggested adding an exception in 5.28.060(j) allowing the principal of a school to authorize peddling, indicating that such authorization shall be in writing; that a copy shall be filed with the City Clerk or City Manager; and, that a copy shall be maintained by the peddler whenever they are engaged in peddling. He stated that he believed the City Manager should also be authorized to issue a similar type of letter.
Councilman Gardiner inquired what impact the ordinance would have on a student selling Christmas trees or wreaths to their neighbors.
City Attorney Lynch answered that the student engaged in a service project activity not under the scope of an organization such as the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, or the YMCA, would be required to obtain a permit from the City. She explained that if they were acting under the auspices of an organization such as the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, YMCA, et cetera, they would be exempt from the requirements of the chapter.
Councilman Gardiner noted he had not changed his mind since this matter was previously discussed and did not favor using such a broad approach to address what appeared to be a very specific problem. He stated that before resorting to that kind of action he would be interested in finding out how Palos Verdes Estates succeeded in removing peddlers from their city.
City Manager Evans advised that Palos Verdes Estates’s fine structure was actually less severe than Rancho Palos Verdes’s so it was not the dollar amount of their penalties that was the key to their success. He stated his understanding was since they have three times as many police officers as we have Sheriffs, they pursued a very rigorous enforcement program.
Mayor Pro Tem Long noted that activities undertaken for the benefit of schools was generally accomplished by individuals going through neighborhoods taking orders for products without actually carrying inventory with them, whereas a commercial salesperson was generally selling things contemporaneously, making it relatively easy to distinguish between the two.
Councilman Stern responded by suggesting subparagraph (e) be modified to include the word “concurrently.”
City Attorney Lynch advised that under state law the City cannot focus the ordinance solely on catering trucks by taking any action, which would essentially prevent them from peddling within the city.
Mayor Wolowicz stated he would like to make absolutely certain that schools and other legitimate youth organizations were afforded the utmost protection and were not prohibited from engaging in fund-raising activities, such as selling candy bars door-to-door.
City Attorney Lynch stated they would not be prohibited from such activities, but they would be required to obtain a permit.
Councilman Gardiner suggested that, since the majority of catering activity was clustered around the lunch hour, stationing enforcement personnel during that period to essentially write tickets nonstop might be a reasonable and cost effective approach, which would not cause the same types of problems as passing a sweeping ordinance to solve a singular problem.
Councilman Clark reiterated the point that the City cannot focus on a particular group in respect to the ordinance.
Councilman Gardiner agreed with that as it relates to an ordinance, but noted that the City could certainly take action to enforce parking and other regulations during a specified period of time.
City Attorney Lynch commented that the City does have the ability to provide more active enforcement, but her understanding from local residents was that this approach had been unsuccessful in the past.
City Manager Evans stated that a deputy could be stationed from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the specific location and the problem would no longer exist.
Councilman Gardiner noted the City Manager indicated that Palos Verdes Estates dealt with and eliminated the very same problem by employing massive enforcement and he suggested receiving input from the Sheriff’s department personnel in the audience.
Recess and Reconvene:
Mayor Wolowicz recessed the meeting at 10:15 p.m. and reconvened the meeting at 10:21 p.m.
Mayor Wolowicz invited Deputy Despot to the podium.
Deputy John Despot, of the Lomita Sheriff’s Station, reported that the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code 10.04.060(a) has a ten-minute street parking limitation for vendors, with a violation generating a $65 fee; that over 50 citations were written in 2005; and, that he personally wrote 10 citations between December 5th and the 14th. To put it into perspective, he noted that one of the cited vendors remarked to him that he considered the fine the cost of doing business. Deputy Despot stated that he wrote two citations for violations earlier in the day.
Deputy Despot answered that on a good day the catering trucks earn $400 to $500 in that location, stating that he thought doubling the fine at a minimum would be effective.
City Attorney Lynch advised that the City was obliged to charge fines for parking violations that are in accord with other areas of Los Angeles, so doubling the fine was not an option. She added there were no progressive fines to address repeat offenses.
Councilman Gardiner inquired if the fines for littering could be increased.
City Attorney Lynch indicated the littering was actually coming from the patrons rather than the businesses.
Deputy Despot advised that on more than a few occasions he has written a citation one day only to find the vendor in the exact location at the same time the following day, saying the current fine has absolutely no effective.
Councilman Gardiner queried how the proposed ordinance would solve the problem.
City Attorney Lynch explained that the ordinance would provide a mechanism to revoke the business permit of anyone violating the provisions of a City code, meaning they could no longer conduct business anywhere within Rancho Palos Verdes city limits.
Councilman Gardiner inquired what the penalty would be if that revocation were ignored.
City Attorney Lynch indicated it would be a misdemeanor to violate a City code, which carried a $1,000 penalty, which would also apply to any subsequent violation(s).
Councilman Stern, Councilman Clark, and Mayor Pro Tem Long expressed their support of the ordinance.
Councilman Gardiner conceded that he too could support the ordinance if Councilman Stern’s suggestions were incorporated and if activities such as garage sales and youth fund-raising were not unduly constrained.
City Attorney Lynch advised that garage sales would not be covered nor would someone with a lemonade stand at his residence because the selling would take place from one fixed location.
Councilman Gardiner noted that occasionally garage sales are consolidated, saying he would like to make certain they are not covered.
City Attorney Lynch stated that there was one area of concern that Dr. Gardiner had which is the situation where individuals would be fundraising by selling an item such as candy bars and the group would not be pursuant to a 501(c)3. She suggested that in this scenario, the school should apply for a blanket peddling permit to cover all of the individuals participating in the fundraising event.
Mayor Wolowicz called for public comments.
Rose Barlock, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that for over two years the vendor trucks have illegally parked for hours in the 15-minute zone and that a variety of other municipal violations, including loitering, jaywalking, parking in the crosswalk, and littering, have been committed by their patrons. She voiced strong support for the new peddling ordinance and encouraged Council to enact the urgency portion, stating that it would allow the Sheriff to immediately stop the vendors from conducting commercial business on the corner of Monero and Granvia Altamira and restore order to the neighborhood.
Mahima Pal, Rancho Palos Verdes, spoke in support of the ordinance, stating it would strengthen the hands of the Sheriff’s Department by increasing penalties. She indicated that local residents have waited a long time for a resolution to this problem and encouraged Council to adopt the ordinance.
Dawn Golding, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that her school-age children engage in school fundraising activities like those being discussed and that she did not believe the ordinance would adversely impact these activities but would instead put an end to undesirable and unsafe activities such as jaywalking, public urination, and littering. She urged Council to adopt the new peddling ordinance.
Gail Mayer, Rancho Palos Verdes, urged Council to pass the ordinance, stating the situation has had a negative impact on property values and created a number of safety and quality-of-life issues.
Councilman Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, the adoption of the ordinance with the following minor amendments: that the word “concurrently” be added to the last line of 5.28.030(e) so it reads, “... or food and concurrently offering or exposing the same for sale;” revise 5.28.03(d) as previously suggested indicating something to the effect that a peddler is any person who engages in “peddling” as defined herein; that 5.28.060(j) include a provision requiring a copy of whatever written authorization obtained be provided to the City Manager within five days; and, that said written authorization be maintained at all times by the peddler when engaged in the act of peddling so it can be made available to law enforcement officer or other City official.
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru read the titles of the Ordinances as follows:
The motion carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Stern, Gardiner, Clark, Long, Mayor Wolowicz
Mayor Wolowicz congratulated the neighborhood for standing up and taking action to address this matter.
Appointment to City Advisory Boards (106 x 602 x 1203)
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru reminded Council that two applicants withdrew their names from consideration, Becky Clark from the Planning Commission and Barry Yudess from the Finance Advisory Committee.
Councilman Stern thanked all of the applicants, noting the fact that there were many talented and qualified volunteers over the years, which has always made the selection process a particularly difficult task.
The votes were tabulated as follows:
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru reported that the following applicants were appointed to the Finance Advisory Committee with a four-year term of office until February 21, 2010: Becky Clark, William James, Gina McLeod, and William Smith. She reported that Dave Emenhiser was appointed to the Finance Advisory Committee with a two-year term of office until February 21, 2008. She noted that March 7, 2006 had been selected as the date to interview candidates for Commission and Committee Chairs and asked for Council’s authorization to begin recruitment for the vacancy created on the Traffic Committee by Jeffrey Lewis’ appointment to the Planning Commission.
Councilman Stern so moved, seconded by Councilman Clark.
There being no objection, Mayor Wolowicz so ordered.
Mayor Wolowicz congratulated the appointees and urged those individuals not selected to continue to pursue participation in the City’s committees and/or commissions in the future.
Additional Regional Traffic Enforcement (1502)
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru provided a brief staff report, noting representatives from the Sheriff’s Department were present and there were no requests to speak on the item.
Councilman Stern commended the Sheriff’s Department for their impressive job with community law enforcement. He cited statistics for the increased issuance of traffic citations in the past three years and the decrease in Part I crimes occurring in Rancho Palos Verdes over the past five years, noting there had been a 25 percent reduction from the previous year and the largest reduction since he joined the Council in 1999. He expressed gratitude to the Sheriff Department staff and stated he was very appreciative of the efforts they have made to make Rancho Palos Verdes a safer place.
Mayor Pro Tem Long noted while he, too, was pleased with Rancho Palos Verdes’s decreasing crime statistics, he requested that this item be placed on the agenda to focus specifically on traffic enforcement. He indicated that he felt the best alternative was the addition of two regional traffic deputies, which he understands was not a viable option due to budget constraints with the other two cities. He stated that he felt the second best alternative was to have the other two cities join in the retention of the current traffic deputy, compensating them for the loss of the portion of the growth period and having that deputy dedicated to regional traffic enforcement. He maintained that the vast majority of traffic problems on the Peninsula occur on the arterials and that in several neighborhoods on the north side of Rancho Palos Verdes, those arterials are located in another city, often just feet outside of the city limits. Mayor Pro Tem Long opined that the third best option was staff Alternative No. 1, with a modification to have the current City deputy enabled to patrol arterials in Rolling Hills Estates that adjoin Rancho Palos Verdes neighborhoods so that all neighborhoods would receive the full benefit of traffic enforcement paid for by their tax dollars. He indicated that, while this alternative was not optimal, it would certainly be an improvement over the existing approach. He stated the least desirable alternative would be staff’s Alternative No. 2, adding a third traffic deputy to the regional contract and discontinuing the City’s existing dedicated traffic deputy, saying that appears unnecessary and he would prefer to sacrifice on the growth period and retain that deputy. He noted that Council’s action to hire its own deputy to his knowledge was the first departure from the regional contract since its creation, and he continued to favor a regional approach to law enforcement on the Peninsula and, for reasons he did not fully comprehend, that model had been departed from. He stated that he remained hopeful that his colleagues, after having some time to pause and reflect, would be willing to explore the three alternatives outlined by staff along with the modifications he suggested and choose the one most consistent with addressing the City’s problems while returning Rancho Palos Verdes to a firm commitment to a regional approach.
Recess and Reconvene: Mayor Wolowicz recessed the meeting at 11:16 p.m. and reconvened the meeting at 11:20 p.m.
Councilman Gardiner commended the Mayor Pro Tem Long for being consistent and advocating his view so eloquently in spite of his own disagreement with that position. He declared that the numbers speak for themselves, saying the increase in citations proved to him that a city the size of Rancho Palos Verdes certainly needed a dedicated deputy, and he would prefer not to disrupt a successful program. Councilman Gardiner reminded his colleagues that traffic/safety issues have been one of the Council’s primary goals, and stated he was not opposed to adding another deputy to focus on traffic and safety as part of the regional contract, but he was against disturbing the full-time deputy currently in place.
Councilman Stern noted while he understood and appreciated the argument in favor of providing traffic enforcement through the cooperation of the regional contract, he agreed with Councilman Gardiner that having a dedicated deputy had achieved results and he could see no logical reason to deviate from that. He stated that in speaking to his colleagues on the Regional Law Enforcement Committee no one voiced disapproval of Rancho Palos Verdes’s decision to hire its own deputy. He agreed with the recommendation to include an additional deputy through the regional contract, but noted that Rancho Palos Verdes’s dedicated deputy was meeting the community’s needs as well as the goals of Council and he was in favor of retaining that deputy.
Councilman Clark indicated that he was in complete agreement with the positions taken by Council members Gardiner and Stern, saying Rancho Palos Verdes encompasses 13 of the 27 miles and 42,000 of the 72,000 citizens populating the Peninsula, making it by far the largest of the sister cities. He concurred that retaining the current focused traffic/safety enforcement in combination with the regional contract would be the best approach.
Mayor Wolowicz invited Captain Zuanich of the Lomita Sheriff’s Station to address the Council.
Captain Zuanich, Lomita Sheriff’s Station, indicated that the job of the Sheriff’s Department was, as always, to continue to serve. He advised that Lt. Jason Lum recently spoke with the Contract Law Office and was informed that the growth rate would not be extended if the City decided to include their dedicated deputy as part of the regional contract, but it would be extended if that dedicated position were converted to two regional positions. He further advised that if a new deputy were added to the regional contract in addition to the one dedicated to the City, the growth rate on the new deputy would go to June 2008.
Councilman Gardiner thanked Captain Zuanich for the excellent job that Deputy Knox was performing in the City and commented that he was a first-class professional.
Mayor Wolowicz indicated he was heartened by the results accomplished so far and stated Deputy Knox had definitely helped to achieve the desired objectives. He found great merit in Mayor Pro Tem Long’s championing of the regional concept, saying that Mayor Pro Tem Long raised an important issue regarding the convoluted nature of the boundaries existing between Rancho Palos Verdes and Rolling Hills Estates. He asked Captain Zuanich if he could address that issue and whether the boundary issue actually created an impediment to enforcement.
Mayor Pro Tem Long added to that by inquiring whether Rancho Palos Verdes’s dedicated traffic deputy’s focus would be such that he would not be traveling on the arterials in Rolling Hills Estates.
Captain Zuanich answered that he absolutely must travel the arterials, saying he has to traverse through all the cities to access some areas of Rancho Palos Verdes.
Mayor Pro Tem Long inquired if the dedicated deputy would be issuing citations in Rolling Hills Estates.
Captain Zuanich answered he would not.
Mayor Wolowicz inquired if that would include instances where a flagrant violation was observed in one city with the offender traveling between cities.
Captain Zuanich indicated that if a radar violation occurred in Rancho Palos Verdes and the offending vehicle was cited in Rolling Hills Estates, the ticket would be written for Rancho Palos Verdes and the revenue would belong to Rancho Palos Verdes. He advised that the number of citations written by deputies in the other cities has also risen substantially, saying there has been a beneficial effect Peninsula-wide since Rancho Palos Verdes hired its dedicated deputy.
Mayor Pro Tem Long queried if Captain Zuanich was aware of another instance where any of the participating cities hired a deputy outside the regional contract other than Rolling Hills’ hiring in overtime hours.
Captain Zuanich answered that he could not recall another instance.
Mayor Pro Tem Long asked if the other cities were interested in pursing staff’s alternative proposing the addition of two traffic deputies for the region.
Captain Zuanich reported that it was his understanding that Rolling Hills Estates was interested in adding one regional deputy, but he could not speak to the question of adding two.
Councilman Stern concurred, saying he did not sense any interest from Rolling Hills Estates in going beyond the addition of one regional deputy.
Mayor Pro Tem Long stated that if Rolling Hills Estates’s position was not definitive, he moved that Alternative No. 3 be adopted, which was a proposal to the other regional cities that two additional traffic deputies be added to the Regional Contract in FY 06-07, and that the City discontinue their dedicated traffic deputy.
Mayor Wolowicz inquired if Captain Zuanich had additional staff members that were present to speak to Council.
Sergeant Creason, Lomita Sheriff’s Station, agreed with Mayor Pro Tem Long that most of the problems and collisions occurred on the arterials. He advised that the deputies make every attempt to cover those areas and write citations in order to get people to slow down. He reported that many of the requests they receive were for directed patrols in specific neighborhoods and that in the last quarter he had nine requests to patrol neighborhoods adjacent to schools in Rancho Palos Verdes.
Mayor Wolowicz seconded the motion on the floor.
Mayor Pro Tem Long explained the rationale behind his motion by saying the safety of those Rancho Palos Verdes neighborhoods bordered on one or two sides by arterials in Rolling Hills Estates is intimately interlinked with Rolling Hills Estates. He maintained that focusing law enforcement only within Rancho Palos Verdes and stopping at the borders when the borders make no sense would be a great disservice to residents in those areas because their safety is a measure of the law enforcement not only in Rancho Palos Verdes but Rolling Hills Estates as well. He noted the targeted traffic enforcement on Palos Verdes Drive East (PVDE) last summer was understandable because it focused on a recognizable problem, but stated that the data related to area collisions reflected that PVDE was no worse than many other problem areas in the City and certainly no worse than some of the arterials in Rolling Hills Estates which serve many of Rancho Palos Verdes’s residents. He reported that many residents in the northern portion of Rancho Palos Verdes spend only a mile or so on roads actually in Rancho Palos Verdes with the rest of their time on the Peninsula is spent on roads in Rolling Hills Estates. He declared that fact was not being considered when a line was drawn arbitrarily and policies were adopted which were inconsistent with the whole concept of regional law enforcement. Mayor Pro Tem Long urged his colleagues to adopt Alternative No. 3 modified to specify that Rancho Palos Verdes’s dedicated deputy, Deputy Knox, be retained and that one new regional deputy be hired.
Councilman Gardiner suggested addressing Mayor Pro Tem Long’s concerns by adding another traffic enforcement deputy to the regional contract with that deputy’s territory overlapping into the boundary areas. He stated he could find no sound reason to remove Rancho Palos Verdes’s dedicated deputy from the portion of the City where there has been a successful reduction in speeding or to eliminate a program that is working effectively.
Councilman Clark stated he could certainly support continuing the dedicated traffic deputy and augmenting that by adding a regional deputy to benefit not only Rancho Palos Verdes but the other Peninsula cities.
Mayor Pro Tem Long asserted that in spite of where a resident lives, be it the “boundary areas” or other larger areas of Rancho Palos Verdes, he is entitled to equal importance and equal dedication of City resources. He maintained that unless Alternative No. 3 or something similar alternative was adopted, the City would continue to indicate to some of its residents that they were not entitled to the same degree of City resources. He declared that there was no logical reason for this decision and he urged his colleagues to reconsider taking that position.
Councilman Stern noted that equality was an interesting concept, saying he did not believe the term was necessarily self-defining nor dictated how a particular solution was to be achieved. He remained convinced that the addition of one dedicated deputy was a good decision and stated that another deputy to the regional contract would also be a good decision. He reminded that Council has the ability to revisit this decision in the future.
Mayor Wolowicz stated there was merit in having traffic enforcement from one city to another. He remarked that the current program has been very successful and he would be reluctant to disrupt it and would prefer to maintain the officer currently assigned. He agreed that a good balance would be created by maintaining the City’s dedicated deputy and adding one under the regional contract, saying Rancho Palos Verdes would effectively gain 1.2 deputies and, although he liked the concept of Alternative No. 3, the City would then have 1.6 deputies which in his opinion might be a bit much. He indicated he would prefer to revisit the issue if the other cities were willing to participate and concluded that he was in support of Alternative No. 3.
Mayor Pro Tem Long stated that Alternative No. 3 would be his preference as well. He stated that if Council decided not to hire a regional deputy but continued with the one dedicated deputy, he would propose that deputy also patrol arterials in Rolling Hills Estates as a mechanism to more judiciously utilize the City’s resources to benefit all of its residents.
Mayor Wolowicz inquired if it was the Mayor Pro Tem Long's intent to incorporate that into his motion.
Mayor Pro Tem Long answered that his motion remained the adoption of a modified version of the Alternative No. 3.
The motion failed on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Long, Mayor Wolowicz
Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman Stern, to adopt Alternative No. 1, adding an additional regional deputy for traffic enforcement while maintaining the City’s current dedicated traffic deputy.
The motion carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Clark, Gardiner, Stern, Mayor Wolowicz
Mayor Pro Tem Long moved that the Sheriff direct the City’s dedicated traffic deputy to patrol and issue citations on arterials in Rolling Hills Estates that border Rancho Palos Verdes neighborhoods, i.e., the entire length of Hawthorne Boulevard until it departs Rancho Palos Verdes and Silver Spur from Crenshaw to PV Drive North.
Councilman Stern requested Captain Zuanich’s response to that proposal.
Captain Zuanich advised that the revenue for a citation issued on Hawthorne Boulevard in the City of Rolling Hills Estates would go to Rolling Hills Estates.
Mayor Pro Tem Long declared that detail was irrelevant because the point of traffic enforcement was not to collect money but to provide safety.
Councilman Stern stated, while he was sensitive to the issues raised by Mayor Pro Tem Long, he did not believe Rancho Palos Verdes should be directing enforcement into the other cities, noting that there was already Peninsula-wide enforcement.
Councilman Gardiner concurred and stated that another full-time traffic deputy had just been added whose duties would be divided among the cities and should cover Mayor Pro Tem Long’s areas of concern without affecting the City’s dedicated deputy.
Mayor Wolowicz noted that Mayor Pro Tem Long had made a motion. Hearing no second, the motion failed.
Consideration of an Ordinance Regulating Massage Establishments in the City (202 x 1801)
Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Mayor Wolowicz to adopt staff recommendation.
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk reported that there were no requests to speak on the item and READ ORDINANCE NO. 436, AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES REGULATING MASSAGE ESTABLISHMENTS AND AMENDING THE RANCHO PALOS VERDES MUNICIPAL CODE BY TITLE ONLY, WAIVED FURTHER READING AND INTRODUCED THE ORDINANCE.
The motion carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Long, Clark, Gardiner, Stern, Mayor Wolowicz
Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Long, to continue the remainder of the Agenda due to the lateness of the hour and the fact that two Council members needed to depart the meeting.
Traffic Signal Priority List (1503 x 1204)
Continued this item to March 7, 2006.
Budget Meeting Schedule for FY 06-07 (602)
Continued this item to March 7, 2006.
Future Agenda Items (1101)
Continued this item to March 7, 2006.
Added the following item to the City Council Agenda:
REGULAR NEW BUSINESS:
Eastview School Legislation
Continued this item to March 7, 2006.
CLOSED SESSION REPORT:
City Attorney Lynch reported that Council provided further direction to counsel with respect to the possible property purchase on Tarragon Road and that no action was taken regarding the Fender matter.
Mayor Wolowicz adjourned the meeting at 11.58 p.m.