JOINT WORKSHOP MEETING OF THE RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL AND
PALOS VERDES PENINSULA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
JULY 18, 2002
The meeting was called to order at 7:04 P.M. by Mayor McTaggart at Fred Hesse Community Park, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard, notice having been given with affidavit thereto on file.
PRESENT: Clark, Stern, and Mayor McTaggart
ABSENT: Ferraro, Gardiner
Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District:
PRESENT: Auld, Goodhart, Hunter, Lucky, Toibin, and President Perkins
Also present were City Manager Les Evans; Director of Public Works Dean Allison; City Clerk/Administrative Services Director Jo Purcell; City Council Recording Secretary Bothe; and Executive Secretary Jana Beck, Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District:.
The Salute to the Flag was led by Mayor pro tem Stern.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Mayor pro tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to approve the Agenda as submitted. Mayor McTaggart so ordered.
Clerk Lucky moved, seconded by Member Hunter, to approve the Agenda as submitted. President Perkins so ordered.
Palos Verdes Drive South: Operation and Control of the Construction Area
Director Allison advised that construction is currently under way on Palos Verdes Drive South; explained that the new roadway will be more modern, straighter and safer than what currently exists; and noted that the work is being paid for by the developer, not the City. He noted the City’s intent on keeping the traffic flows as smooth as possible during these construction activities, which are anticipated to take 11 months. He explained that the delays will be intermittent and are expected to last anywhere from a couple minutes to five minutes. Director Allison stated that the current work being done is the utility work; that the actual roadway construction will follow the completion of the utility activities, which is expected to commence in 6 to 8 weeks. He advised that the lane closures will start no earlier than 8:00 a.m. and be completed each day by 5:00 p.m. – pointing out that the roadway will never be closed in its entirety, that there will be a lane of traffic open at all times; and stated that two lanes will be open in the evening hours. He advised that a hotline has been established for those interested in checking on the status of traffic delays and other related information concerning the project; and that updated traffic information will also be included on the City’s website.
Clerk Lucky noted that the students attending P.V. High should already be in school before 8:00 a.m.
Mayor McTaggart suggested that the parents of the students be advised of the project and possible impacts on the traffic conditions; and that they be notified of alternate routes that are available.
President Perkins stated that consideration could be given to keeping the library at P.V. High open later; noted that it would be helpful to have the updated traffic information on the School District’s website as well as the City’s website; and suggested that this information also be available at the orientation and registration sessions at P.V. High.
Director Allison noted that a copy of the project schedule is posted on the City’s website; and advised that the information is kept current.
Clerk Lucky suggested that the project information and status reports be included in the PTA newsletters; and noted that if necessary, special bulletins could be circulated.
Vice-President Goodhart mentioned that signs have been posted that indicate the approximate dates of the construction project.
Director Allison stated that the City will actively monitor the start of construction times; and clarified that construction crews may be on site before 8:00 a.m., but that they will not be able to commence operations or close any traffic lanes until 8:00 a.m.
Mayor McTaggart suggested that a link be placed each day on the South Bay Traffic Alert system.
Vice-President Goodhart suggested that other schools in the area be alerted to these traffic delays, such as Miraleste, Point Vicente Elementary and P.V. Intermediate School and that this information also be presented at the orientations and registrations of the area schools.
Playing Fields/Other Facilities: Need for More Fields to Support School Athletic Programs
Superintendent Toibin explained that as the School District experiences growth in its school aged population, its has increased the need for additional facilities and has also had a corresponding impact on youth sports in the community; and stated that with the opening of the second high school, the number of teams utilizing the fields in the community will be doubled. He advised that the School District is conducting an inventory of its available fields; that the School District has approximately 56 fields that it utilizes both during and after school hours. Superintendent Toibin stated that as the School District begins to address the needs of the second high school, the District does not want to adversely affect the youth sports programs that are utilizing the District’s facilities, but explained that it would be less costly to convert an existing little league type field to softball use versus the creation of a brand new field on raw land – questioning whether the District should spend considerably more funds to construct new fields to benefit the District’s students and leave the existing fields as is or should the District take back some of these fields it owns and expect the Little League/AYSO groups to construct new fields. He stated that the anticipated shortfall in the near term is in the area of softball, noting that two softball fields are needed for the P.V. HIGH SCHOOL students; and that one additional hardball field and Lacrosse fields for both Peninsula High School and for P.V. High are needed.
President Perkins requested the City’s collaborative assistance in exploring possible approaches that could be used to solve the increasing need for more fields; and questioned whether the fields at Robert Ryan and Hesse Parks would be available for softball activities.
Councilman Clark advised that the City is embarking on a comprehensive assessment of park utilization and noted that it has established a task force to look at the City’s open space, the entire park facilities, and to assess the future of what the City needs to develop; and he suggested that the School District and the City’s task force integrate their needs assessment studies for recreational facilities.
Mayor pro tem Stern requested that the City’s task force assess the recreational desires of this community.
City Manager Evans advised that the first official meeting for the task force will be in August; explained that these properties owned by the City, approximately 1,000 acres, tend to be passive open space; and stated that the City should be able to accommodate a couple of softball and Lacrosse teams utilizing the fields at Hesse and Robert Ryan Parks and at Ladera Linda Center. City Manager Evans advised that all of the City’s fields are in use throughout the year.
Clerk Lucky advised that the School District does not have ample field capacity on site at its schools; and that students are transported throughout the peninsula both during and after school for various athletic programs. Clerk Lucky stated that the School District has rented fields from RPV in the past; advised that the Lacrosse teams keep getting bumped from field to field; and expressed her belief that this is a community wide challenge that should be addressed by all cities on the peninsula and that a community wide inventory of the available fields needs to be conducted.
Mayor McTaggart suggested that the School District contact the South Coast Botanical Gardens for use of its facilities.
It was the consensus of the City Council that the City should assist the School District in its efforts to address this growing challenge; and that this be addressed by all cities on the peninsula.
Vice-President Goodhart stated that other cities on the peninsula would be invited to address and provide constructive input on this issue.
Superintendent Toibin stated that an inventory of the School District’s facilities will be prepared and shared with the peninsula cities and RPV’s task force; and that each city will be invited to send a representative to a meeting hosted by the School District to address the increasing need for field facilities.
Processing Antenna Permits: Advice for the School District on Entertaining Proposals for Antennas
President Perkins stated that the School District entered into an agreement with Verizon to build an antenna, in the form of a flag pole, at Miraleste Intermediate School; noted the School District’s dissatisfaction with the aesthetics of the flag pole – pointing out that the flag pole doesn’t resemble what was proposed by Verizon; and stated that another proposal for an antenna has been received from Verizon and that the School District has tabled the proposal until it can get a handle on understanding how to better handle these increasing antenna requests.
Mayor McTaggart stated that these antenna proposals, which end up serving neighborhoods, should be placed in public areas versus in front of someone’s house.
City Manager Evans noted the City’s interest that these antennas not negatively impact a resident’s view.
Senior Planner Fox stated that staff suspects that part of the problem with the aesthetics of this flag pole antenna is that the School Board and City staff were not kept in the loop by Verizon as the project changed through the approval process so that by the time the Planning Commission approved it, the District really had no idea what the City was looking at; and that he noted his concurrence that the end result does not even vaguely resemble the photographic simulation of what the Planning Commission saw.
Member Hunter expressed his belief that Verizon had provided all of the information to the School Board, but that the problem is with the drawing, which was not to scale.
Councilman Clark stated that it would be beneficial to develop specific design specifications that future wireless communication applicants have to follow in seeking final approval by the School Board; and that the antenna applicants should be providing more realistic simulations, models or to-scale drawings so that everyone is clear on what is ultimately being approved.
Mayor pro tem Stern noted his support for placing these type antennas on school property and at a greater distance from homes as long as it’s consistent with established objectives; and he noted that placing these facilities on school properties may also assist this City in trying to come up with ways to eliminate people from putting antenna farms on private residences. He noted his support for the City in working with the School District to place these antennas in a manner that does not disrupt the aesthetics of the City.
Clerk Lucky stated that the School District is willing to place these antenna facilities on school properties as long as they are aesthetically pleasing; and she pointed out that the antennas generate additional income for the schools.
Councilman Clark suggested that the School District challenge the antenna providers to show the District some acceptable examples of what other cities are approving in the way of stealth or aesthetically pleasing antennas. He suggested establishing a process for antenna applications, clearly identifying a consistent flow chart for the review and approval process.
Vice-President Goodhart expressed his opinion that the School District would need the assistance of staff who are knowledgeable in setting antenna standards/guidelines; suggested that the School District work collaboratively with other staff members in nearby cities who have the expertise in this area; and expressed his preference that the School District have final approval of an antenna facility.
City Manager Evans expressed staff’s concurrence that the Planning Commission’s approval of such facilities should be contingent upon the final approval of the School District.
Mayor McTaggart suggested that the proposals first be sent to the engineering/planning staffs for review of the plans and noted his concurrence that the Planning Commission’s approval should be contingent upon final approval by the School District.
Clerk Lucky mentioned that there are currently four antenna applications waiting to be processed.
Councilman Clark suggested that both the School District and the City collaborate in laying out a proposed flow chart process with the understanding that the City will be analyzing and approving the antenna applications and that the School Board will have final approval.
Clerk Lucky noted that the term of Verizon’s contract is seven years.
Mayor McTaggart suggested that it might be helpful for the School District to communicate its dissatisfaction with Verizon as to what ultimately was placed at the school.
RECYCLING: CITY REQUIREMENTS AND SCHOOL DISTRICT PROGRAMS
Director Allison briefly highlighted the success of the recycling program; stated that staff was recently advised by Waste Management that two schools in Rancho Palos Verdes currently have no plans for a recycling program; noted that Waste Management will conduct student assemblies to educate the schools on the implementation of the recycling program; stated that Waste Management will provide the recycling bins free of charge; and that Waste Management will pick up the recycled materials. He explained that the School District’s recycling efforts, as well as the efforts of residents and businesses, do help with the City’s efforts to meet the State/Federal mandate to reduce the waste streams.
Vice-President Goodhart stated that it shouldn’t be difficult to get the two remaining schools in RPV to implement the recycling program.
Mayor McTaggart expressed his belief that the people in the business of recycling should be using recycled paper.
Superintendent Toibin noted his belief that the School District does not currently receive any revenue for its recycling activities.
Councilman Clark encouraged the School District to negotiate with Waste Management some type of recycling rebate program.
President Perkins stated that a recycling program should be implemented at all of the schools in the District.
Mayor McTaggart requested that the School District’s contract with Waste Management parallel the contract of RPV so that the City will get the credit for what is being recycled in this City; and stated that the waste hauler should not commingle the recycling credits of other cities.
Superintendent Toibin invited the City to assist in developing appropriate language in its contract with Waste Management to account for the waste that is collected in RPV.
City Manager Evans stated that the City could be of assistance to the School District and provide some suggestions for language that can be put in the contract not only to generate better bids, but also to assist in keeping track of how much the District is collecting and to possibly generate some revenues for the School District from its recycling activities.
Mayor McTaggart suggested that consideration be given to providing the School District with the City’s Beautification Grants for any outstanding job with recycling efforts.
Superintendent Toibin stated that the School Board will get the two remaining schools in RPV involved in the recycling program; and that other schools on the peninsula will be looked at to see if they’re completely involved in the recycling program.
Beautification Grants: How the City Process May be Used by the School District
Director Allison stated that under the terms of the City’s contract with Waste Management, it receives an approximate $200,000 annually for its recycled waste activities; explained that as a result of these annual funds, the City has established a Beautification Grant program with basic grants of up to $3000 and additional opportunity to receive up to $4500 to be awarded for any project that beautifies the neighborhoods; and mentioned that this program extended its outreach to include the beautification of schools and libraries in the City. He advised that the School District program guidelines require that one must beautify the neighborhood in some way; that the funds need to be matched by the School District in equal amounts; and that the schools must have a recycling program in place.
Mayor McTaggart suggested that the City consider providing an additional award for anyone who does an outstanding job with beautification efforts.
Eastview Impacts: Report on the impact of the legislative attendance option
Superintendent Toibin explained that it took special legislation to enable residents of Eastview, which is part of RPV, to have an option as to whether they would choose to either attend school in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) or choose to attend school in the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District. He stated that when the legislation was passed, the P.V. Peninsula Unified School District had no idea how many students would opt to attend P.V. Peninsula Unified School District, noting that there are now approximately 700 to 800 students from Eastview in the P.V. Unified School District who have to travel to attend these schools. He advised that the parents are not permitted to vote for School Board members; that the Eastview residents who attend the P.V. Peninsula Unified School District pay taxes on a bond that LAUSD passed; and that they do not pay taxes on the bond that P.V. Peninsula Unified School District passed, which now is being used to modernize the various schools that Eastview residents attend – pointing out that efforts are under way to try and recover some of these costs. He noted the School District’s intent to assist the Eastview residents who are disenfranchised with this system and who are put at considerable inconvenience to attend the P.V. Peninsula Unified Schools.
In order to recover these costs, Deputy Superintendent Auld advised that a hearing is scheduled for August 29, 2002, in which the P.V. Peninsula Unified School District will argue to recover these costs. He stated that the School Board would have to pass a legal threshold that the State considers this issue as a mandate; and highlighted the School Board’s belief that it can present a solid case to recover various costs. He stated that the School Board will attempt to recover the costs incurred to survey parents as to whether or not they wanted to elect to come into the P.V. Peninsula Unified School District, such as the cost to do a massive mailing, numerous phone calls, and various administrative and secretarial work as a result of the legislation. He noted that an attempt will be made to recover the various costs to prepare Dapplegray School for attendance, for example, and all the other associated costs, such as administrative work to process the purchasing of desks/furniture and to coordinate the reconstruction of the school – pointing out that it cost approximately $1 million to prepare Dapplegray School for the students from Eastview. Deputy Superintendent Auld stated than an attempt will be made to recover costs for recovery of the buildings and the budget; advised that the School Board recently learned that it suffered approximately a half-million-dollar loss in terms of funding P.V. Peninsula Unified School District’s special education students – pointing out that the base funding that is supposed to come with the special education students from the LAUSD has not been coming in; and advised that the School Board will be arguing for those funds, which is an ongoing half-a-million dollars per year that the P.V. Peninsula Unified School District is not getting that it should be receiving. He stated that the P.V. Peninsula Unified School District suffered the loss of lease income when it had to vacate the Dapplegray School for approximately a year prior to the students coming to P.V. Peninsula Unified School District from the Eastview community.
Mayor McTaggart stated that this issue is one the City Council should support; and he suggested that a representative from this City be present to represent the City’s interest in seeking fair treatment for the City’s and the School District’s students.
President Perkins stated that the City Council’s support would be appreciated; stated that when the P.V. Peninsula Unified School District first initiated this legislation, it was a joint effort on behalf of the City and the School District – pointing out that it was strongly believed that the residents of Eastview should have the option to attend the P.V. Peninsula Unified Schools.
President Perkins stated that one of the things the P.V. Peninsula Unified School District has yet to explore is the notion that when the legislation was first introduced, it was going to be an annexation of the territory of Eastview into the P.V. Peninsula Unified School District, with full voting rights and with the ability to participate in any bond measures that the School Board might pass; and stated that as the bill evolved, those rights got taken out because it was seen to be tied to the property that the LAUSD owned. President Perkins stated that what the School Board is now finding as its growth is increasing in the Eastview area, as the Board starts its facilities planning process and the adopted criteria, is the need to look at opening new schools in the eastside area to allow those families to be able to participate in helping the P.V. Peninsula Unified School District should it need to go for a second bond for rehabilitation of a site, such as Miraleste Elementary. President Perkins mentioned that many parents from Eastview are surprised to find out that they have no voting rights even though their children attend the P.V. Peninsula Unified School District.
Mayor McTaggart stated that it would be helpful to start communicating with Senator Vincent in regard to this issue; and noted that he would be willing to meet with President Perkins and Senator Vincent in a joint session to discuss this matter. He suggested that the P.V. Peninsula Unified School District also meet with the Board of Equalization.
Member Hunter pointed out that each of the Eastview students who attend an LAUSD school cost the State approximately $1,000 a year, possibly $500, more than if they switched to a P.V. Peninsula Unified School – noting that the State is coming out ahead and that the P.V. Peninsula Unified School District is losing funds. Member Hunter stated that he is not so much concerned with the million dollars it cost to open Dapplegray School, but that he is more concerned with the half-a-million dollars a year it costs to run the special education program; mentioned that in approximately four or five years, the P.V. Peninsula Unified School District’s two current high schools will be full to capacity; and that more money will be needed with the Eastview students tipping the School District to the point of needing more portable classrooms or having to acquire a third high school. He stated that the P.V. Peninsula Unified School District is only beginning to see the financial implications of this mandate; and expressed his belief that if things don’t change, the financial outlook in the next four to five years will be worse. He added that if there is any further development or any rebuilding in the Eastview area, the developer fees will go to L.A. City schools, not the P.V. Peninsula Unified School District.
Clerk Lucky pointed out that at the time the legislation was passed, it reflected that this was a State mandate cost, which should have opened the door for reimbursement costs.
Superintendent Toibin stated that Senator Karnette told the P.V. Peninsula Unified School District that if the P.V. Peninsula Unified School District loses with the mandate cost claim that special legislation should be the School Board’s next recourse.
Member Hunter stated that what the State is saying in denying the P.V. Peninsula Unified School District is that because it supported the legislation, it can’t be reimbursed; that if the School Board asked for it and the State gives it to the School Board, the School Board can’t bring the State a bill. He clarified that the Board’s position is that it supported one thing and the State passed another thing; and that if the P.V. Peninsula Unified School District had fought this and the State forced it on the Board, then the P.V. Peninsula Unified School District would have no problem today.
Councilman Clark highlighted his understanding that when this City’s annexation went into effect in 1983, the School Board attempted to annex in the same residents into the school district and that that process got convoluted.
There was consensus among the City Council members to support the School Board, be it legislation and/or lobbying.
Bill Schurmer, Chair of the RPV Traffic Committee, commented on the work being considered by the Traffic Committee to address traffic safety around the school areas; and he distributed a list of these issues being discussed, such as the use of camera/video detection and enforcement within school areas, formulation of a school area safety committee, incentive programs, parent meetings, school newsletters, shuttle service, staggered drop-off, pick-up hours, etc. He commented on plans to collaboratively work with school principals/administrators to address possible traffic hazard mitigation measures in school zones; and noted that the members of the Traffic Committee have been assigned to individually work with various schools and those school representatives in formalizing consistent plans to improve traffic safety and parking and to address what kind of things can be done to rectify this problem. He stated that it is essential to get everyone involved, not only the parents and school representatives, but also the students, the City and the Sheriff’s Department.
President Perkins noted the importance of the PTA being involved in these collaborative efforts.
Clerk Lucky suggested that this issue be addressed at the first PTA meeting of the year- pointing out that the number of parents in attendance is always the largest at the first meeting.
Lois Larue, 3136 Barkentine Road, stated that when she utilizes the services of the Crenshaw Boulevard Recycling Center, she routinely lists RPV as the charity to be funded; stated that the longtime service Mayor McTaggart has provided to RPV has been remarkable; expressed her belief that former School Board Member Joan Davidson is doing a good job with leadership in the community, with her work against the proposed golf course; and noted her delight in the beautiful service the Downey School District conducted in honor of her late son. She added that she has been attending the RPV City Council meetings since 1988.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 P.M. to Tuesday, August 6, 2002, 6:00 P.M. on motion of Mayor McTaggart.
/s/ John C. McTaggart
/s/ Jo Purcell