M I N U T E S
RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL
SEPTEMBER 3, 2002
The meeting was called to order at 6:00 P.M. by Mayor McTaggart at Fred Hesse Community Park, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard, and was immediately recessed to a closed session per the Brown Act Checklist. At 7:03 P.M., the meeting was reconvened.
Roll call was answered as follows:
PRESENT: Clark, Ferraro, Gardiner, Stern, and Mayor McTaggart
Also present were City Manager Les Evans; Assistant City Manager Carolynn Petru; City Attorney Carol Lynch; Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement Joel Rojas; Director of Public Works Dean Allison; Director of Finance Dennis McLean; Associate Planner Dave Blumenthal; City Clerk/Administrative Services Director Jo Purcell; and Recording Secretary Bothe.
Mayor McTaggart led the memorial service in memory of all those innocent people who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.
The following individuals participated in a prayer remembrance:
Reverend Esther Smith, representing St. Peter’s by the Sea Presbyterian Church;
Imam Ashraf Carrim, representing the Islamic Center of South Bay;
Rabbi Ronald Schulman, representing Congregation Ner Tamid; and
President Rob Whitesides, representing the Church of the Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
City Manager Evans noted that Sister Julia from St. John Fisher was expected to attend this evening but that she was not in attendance.
Mayor McTaggart thanked those representatives from the various faiths for visiting this evening and sharing their prayers for all of those whose lives were tragically impacted on September 11, 2001.
Mayor pro tem Stern led the Pledge of Allegiance.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Mayor pro tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to approve the Agenda as submitted. Mayor McTaggart so ordered.
The following individuals were awarded a City Tile in recognition of their service as past City Commission/Committee members:
RECESS AND RECONVENE:
The meeting was recessed at 7:35 P.M. and reconvened at 7:43 P.M.
There were no recycle winners. Mayor McTaggart urged residents to recycle.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA:
Mayor pro tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilwoman Ferraro, to approve the Agenda as submitted. No objection was noted.
APPROVAL OF CONSENT CALENDAR:
City Clerk Purcell advised that a copy of the minor revisions to the Minutes had been distributed to the City Councilmembers; that a supplemental staff report handout had been distributed in regard to the Large Domestic Permit No. 005 item; and that additional information had been distributed on the Term Limits item.
Councilman Clark suggested that City Council Oral Reports be heard prior to Public Comments; and requested that the item regarding Health Insurance Contributions be removed from the Consent Calendar for discussion purposes.
Councilwoman Ferraro moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Stern, to approve the Consent Calendar as amended.
Motion to Waive Full Reading
Adopted a motion to waive reading in full of all ordinances presented at this meeting with consent of the waiver of reading deemed to be given by all council members after the reading of the title.
Approved the July 16, 2002, regular meeting Minutes and the August 20, 2002, regular meeting Minutes, as amended.
Approve Grant Agreement with the County of Los Angeles (1204 x 1301)
Authorized the Mayor and the City Clerk to execute a grant agreement with the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works for the Rubberized Asphalt Concrete Incentive Program in the amount of $8,363.75.
2001-2002 Annual Report on the Implementation of the Rancho Palos Verdes General Plan (1203 x 701)
Directed Staff to forward the City’s 2001-2002 Annual Report on the Implementation of the Rancho Palos Verdes General Plan to the State Governor’s Office of Planning and Research and to the Department of Housing and Community Development regarding the current status of the General Plan and the progress on its implementation during the 2001-2002 fiscal year.
Traffic Signal Installation at Hawthorne Boulevard and Vallon Drive - Award of Construction Contract and Inspection Services (1204 x 1503)
(1) Awarded a construction contract for the Hawthorne Boulevard/Vallon Drive traffic signal installation project to Steiny and Company, Inc., for an amount not to exceed $103,710, and authorized staff to spend an additional $10,290 for possible extra work for a total authorization of $114,000. (2) Authorized the Mayor and the City Clerk to execute a contract with Steiny and Company, Inc. (3) Authorized the expenditure of $6,000 for construction inspection and administrative services.
July 2002 Treasurer’s Report (602)
Ordered received and filed the July 2002 Treasurer’s Report for the City of Rancho Palos Verdes.
Resol. Nos. 2002-72 and 2002-73 - Continuing Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2001-2002 (602)
(1) ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2002-72, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES AMENDING RESOLUTION NO. 2002-45, THE BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR FISCAL YEAR 2002-2003, TO CONTINUE CERTAIN EXPENDITURE APPROPRIATIONS FROM FY 2001-2002. (2) ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2002-73, AMENDING RESOLUTION NO. 2001-43, THE BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR FY 2001-2002, TO REDUCE THE BUDGET FOR CONTINUING APPROPRIATIONS THAT WILL BE RE-BUDGETED AND INCLUDED IN THE FY 2002-2003 BUDGET.
Resol. No. 2002-74 - FY 2001-2002 Budget Adjustments (602)
ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2002-74, AMENDING RESOLUTION NO. 2001-43, THE BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR FY 2001-2002, TO INCREASE BUDGETED APPROPRIATIONS IN THE GENERAL FUND, GAS TAX FUND AND EQUIPMENT REPLACEMENT FUND.
Resol. No. 2002-75 - Register of Demands
ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2002-75, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES ALLOWING CERTAIN CLAIMS AND DEMANDS AND SPECIFYING FUNDS FROM WHICH THE SAME ARE TO BE PAID.
The motion to approve the Consent Calendar, as amended, carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Clark, Ferraro, Gardiner, Stern, and Mayor McTaggart
# # # # # # # # # # # #
Removed from the Consent Calendar:
Resol. No. 2002-76 - Health Insurance Contributions (902 x 1202)
Councilman Clark stated that health insurance policies for City staff and City Councilmembers appear to be interchangeable until Section 5 of the proposed resolution that omits reference to City councilmembers.
Following further research on this matter, Assistant City Manager Petru explained that it appears this section relates to a policy decision made by City Council in 1997 to omit the Councilmembers; and that this City Council has the authority to revise Section 5 -- pointing out that there’s nothing in the City’s contract with calPERS that would preclude the City from including City Councilmembers in Section 5 of the Resolution.
In response to Mayor McTaggart’s inquiry regarding the $75-a-month figure reflected in staff report, Assistant City Manager Petru stated that the $75 figure appears to have been half of what the lowest premium amount was in 1997; that because premiums have obviously gone up since that time, a change in the amount is another item at the Council’s discretion that can be increased; and she advised that the least expensive premium as of January 1, 2003, will be $259.
Councilman Clark stated that there should be a consistent policy across the spectrum for both City staff members and City Councilmembers.
Councilman Gardiner noted his preference for a cafeteria style plan, letting the insured select where the money is to be spent and what insurance is to be provided; and explained that he is already covered under a different insurance policy but that his dependent is not; and that there is no provision in the City's current arrangement for him to forego insurance for himself but to take his share and apply it to cover his dependent.
City Manager Evans explained that because of the limited number of employees this City has, the insurance companies are not able to offer a cafeteria type benefit, that it would unbalance the insurance company's actuarial calculations and that the City would not be able to get the same rates as are currently offered. City Manager Evans stated that staff could more thoroughly research the possibility of a cafeteria type plan.
Councilman Clark suggested that this matter be brought back to City Council after staff has had additional time to address his concerns and Councilman Gardiner's concerns.
Assistant City Manager Petru advised that the open enrollment period expires at the end of this month; explained that the City Council would only need to set the amounts that the City will pay prior to Jan 1st but that it would be helpful for open enrollment purposes if the contribution amounts could be resolved before the end of this month so that the employees can make informed decisions regarding their health insurance.
Mayor pro tem Stern stated that the issues raised are valid for discussion but that he is prepared to approve this evening the maximum amount as reflected in staff report.
Councilman Gardiner stated that he would support the aggregate amount this evening, but that he would like to see the distribution practices changed.
Mayor pro tem Stern expressed his belief that approving the maximum contribution this evening does not affect what Councilman Gardiner is requesting.
Councilman Clark reiterated his belief that there are some provisions that need to be fine-tuned, such as on Circle Page 6, Section 6, first and only place of any mention of life insurance and, again, it does not include City Councilmembers; and that because the rates are from 1997, consideration should be given to increasing the coverage in light of today’s economy. He stated that he would support the maximum aggregate benefit amount this evening, but that some of the highlighted provisions mentioned this evening should be fine-tuned by staff and brought back to the City Council for further consideration.
City Manager Evans expressed his belief that the insurance company won't give the City the option of applying unused insurance monies to dependent coverage for City Councilmembers, but reiterated that staff will investigate the option.
Councilman Gardiner noted that his intent is to create a discussion of who is the best decision-maker insofar as choosing how to allocate whatever funds are made available towards whatever benefits are available.
Mayor pro tem Stern suggested that the Councilmembers forward their comments/questions to the City Manager and/or the Assistant City Manager so that these issues can be further addressed.
Mayor pro tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to concur with staff’s recommendation to amend the City’s maximum monthly contribution to the amounts set forth on Circle Page 3 in the staff report.
Councilman Clark offered a friendly amendment to the motion that staff will take input from individual City Councilmembers regarding the provisions of the various health insurance options; and that staff will research these issues and bring this matter back to the City Council with an analysis and some options to consider.
Mayor pro tem Stern accepted the friendly amendment.
Councilman Gardiner stated that he would support the total amount that the City is prepared to put on the table, but urged that the distribution issue be addressed at a later date.
City Manager Evans stated that if at a later date a cafeteria plan becomes available, it can be considered by the City Council.
Mayor pro tem Stern clarified that his motion is to adopt the maximum contributions per month as reflected on Circle Page 5, Sections 1 and 2.
Ms. Petru explained that the maximum contribution per month includes four things for employees: their health, dental and vision insurance, and for full-time employees, mental health insurance; and she added that the purpose of the Resolution is to set the maximum contributions per employee per month.
Councilman Clark stated it was his understanding the motion was to approve the allocations in Sections 1 and 2 in Resolution but to bring back to the City Council, after investigation by staff, potential refinements to Sections 3, 4, 5, and 6.
Ms. Petru advised that Sections 3 and 4 need to follow along with this resolution; and that the refinements would affect Sections 5 and 6.
Mayor pro tem Stern stated that City Council can always amend those two sections of the Resolution when staff brings the issue back.
Councilman Clark supported the motion with the understanding that Section Nos. 5 and 6 are subject to amendment after interaction with staff.
Roll call vote reflected unanimous approval of the motion to adopt Resolution No. 2002-76, as amended, amending the City's maximum monthly contribution amounts for employee health insurance premiums 2003.
Six-month review of Conditional Large Domestic Animal Permit No. 005 (1203 x 1804)
Mayor pro tem Stern announced that his daughter is a member of Pony Club and therefore, he recused himself from consideration of this matter.
Councilman Gardiner moved to waived reading of staff report and moved to concur with staff recommendation. The motion was seconded by Councilwoman Ferraro.
Hearing that three speakers were present to discuss this issue, Councilman Gardiner withdrew this motion.
Gordon Leon, 38 Narcissa Drive, RPV, advised that currently, there are 15 girls who are active members of the Portuguese Bend Pony Club and that there are several others who use the facility; he mentioned that the aesthetics are improving on site; and stated that completion of the new trail for the cross-country course is near -- noting that it will be one of the nicest, most picturesque courses in the South Bay.
Torie Dye and Ashley Mahaffey 29743 Knollview Drive, noted their pleasure in being involved with the Portuguese Bend Pony Club and stated that they are sensitive and responsive to the neighbors’ concerns.
Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilwoman Ferraro, to close the public hearing in regard to this matter. There being no objection, Mayor McTaggart declared the hearing closed.
Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilwoman Ferraro, to concur with staff recommendation to adopt Resolution No. 2002-77, approving a six-month review of Conditional Large Domestic Animal Permit No. 005. There being no objection, Mayor McTaggart so ordered; Mayor pro tem Stern abstained.
City Attorney Lynch stated that the supplemental staff report included the mention of a fee waiver request.
Councilman Gardiner noted that his motion should include the request for the fee waiver.
Roll call vote on the inclusion of the fee waiver request carried as follows:
AYES: Clark, Ferraro, Gardiner, and Mayor McTaggart
CITY COUNCIL ORAL REPORTS
Mayor pro tem Stern stated that he and Councilman Clark, as City Council Subcommittee liaisons, attended the Ocean Trails meeting on Wednesday, August 28 -- pointing out that this was the first meeting since it was publicly announced that Donald Trump was in the process of acquiring the Ocean Trails Golf Course. He added that a representative from the Trump organization (Mr. Vincent Stellio, Executive Vice President Development) was in attendance; that the discussion included not only the routine status report on the landslide repair, the repair on the various public improvements for the City, such as the roadway, but also some discussion with the Trump representative who will be working on this project.
Mayor pro tem Stern advised that the public improvements schedule is progressing nicely; advised that the ownership of Ocean Trails should close sometime in October 2002; and mentioned that he had a five-minute telephone conversation with Mr. Trump in which only pleasantries were exchanged.
Councilman Clark stated that on Wednesday, September 18, the public will be provided with an update on the Ocean Trails project and the impacts of the reconstruction activity on the residents -- noting that the Council of Homeowners Association presidents will be invited, along with the residents from the immediate Ocean Trails area. He suggested that an Ocean Trails update also be provided at the September 17 City Council meeting.
Councilman Clark stated that he and Councilman Gardiner co-chaired the Council of Neighborhoods Compatibility Subcommittee meeting on August 9th; stated that the meeting was very productive; and, that a lot of content had been put together concerning neighborhood compatibility considerations in terms of reflection on code guidelines and improvements. He added that in the near future, he and Councilmember Gardiner will be able to provide to the City Council an overview of this matter and suggested that because of the comprehensive issues being addressed, it may be beneficial to schedule a workshop for City Council.
Councilman Gardiner noted his pleasure in serving on the Council of Neighborhood Compatibility Subcommittee -- pointing out that a lot of weighty matters are being discussed.
Councilman Clark stated that he and City Manager Evans went to Sacramento on Friday, August 16, to present to the League of California Cities Transportation, Communication and Public Works Policy Committee a resolution on undergrounding of utilities; that they interacted with the subcommittee and that they received unanimous endorsement of that resolution from the League of California Cities Transportation, Communication and Public Works Policy Committee. He stated that the resolution would now go before the League of California Cities in October at its annual meeting in Long Beach.
Councilman Clark advised that on Thursday, August 29th, he was in Sacramento representing the City/City Council, along with the representatives from the Palos Verdes Unified School Board Administration, before the Commission on Mandates regarding the School Board's request to recover over a million dollars of costs for the implementation of bringing in voluntary enrollment of Eastview area students from RPV. He stated that although there was a recommendation by the Commission’s staff to reject the request for reimbursement on that mandate, the Commission itself, on a split vote, remanded this issue to staff and that it is now scheduled to be heard by the Commission on Mandates on Thursday, October 24. Councilman Clark noted the School Board’s appreciation that a representative from RPV was present.
Mayor McTaggart stated that a City representative should be present again at the October 24th meeting; and that a letter, signed by the entire City Council, should be sent to the Commission on Mandates prior to that meeting. The City Council concurred.
Councilwoman Ferraro stated that with school back in session, several of the routes for PV Transit have been sold out on their passes; and she noted that it is still possible for the kids to get on the busses on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Mayor McTaggart stated that on August 19th the COG’s Finance Subcommittee addressed the possibility of increasing dues and the justification for such an increase.
Mayor McTaggart stated that on August 20th, he and Lauren Ramezani from the Public Works Department represented the City at the County Board of Supervisors meeting in recognition of its involvement with the Food Finders program; and mentioned that they also visited West Basin's pilot desalination plant.
Mayor McTaggart stated that the Contract Cities had a meeting on August 21st at the Sheriff’s training facility -- noting that it was well attended.
Mayor McTaggart noted that on August 22nd, the South Bay COG and the Aviation Subcommittee met for a presentation that was given by the CEO of the Airport Authority; and explained that because of the lack of involvement on L.A.'s behalf, the Aviation Subcommittee may be going out of business for a while until L.A. resumes its participation. He stated that some pressure needs to be brought on L.A. to deal with this matter.
Mayor McTaggart stated that on August 25th, he and Councilman Clark went to the Crenshaw Extension meeting to meet with the Conservancy and members of the public in regard to the introduction of Portuguese Bend -- noting that this also was well attended.
Mayor McTaggart stated that on August 29th, he attended the Growth Visioning Subcommittee meeting of the Housing Committee of SCAG; advised that SCAG has hired a company to do outreach on the growth visioning issue; and that they are trying to persuade cities to increase densities and other things that will make the State plans work out.
Responding to Councilman Gardiner's inquiry regarding information on the West Nile Virus, Mayor McTaggart mentioned that the L.A. County Vector District has been keeping abreast of the West Nile Virus issue and that the Vector District’s web link is on the City’s website.
Councilman Gardiner suggested that information concerning the West Nile Virus be published in the City’s newsletter and placed on the City’s website.
Mayor McTaggart announced that on Thursday, he will be representing Contract Cities at a hearing on the expansion of Puente Hills, urging them to continue the use of Puente Hills to its planned limit. He stated that if amenable, he would also like to represent the City of RPV at this hearing.
Ken DeLong, 6940 Maycroft Drive, advised that he has been in the telecom consulting business for approximately 20 years; and stated that he had presented each City Councilmember with written correspondence describing his opposition to the City’s plan to replace its telephone system. He noted that he is opposed to seeking only one specific VoIP system -- noting that the applications are limited and that some haven’t even been thoroughly tested. He explained that when taking into consideration the City’s infrastructure, there is nothing in the proposed system that’s going to solve any unique problems that the City has. Mr. DeLong expressed his belief that the first year costs are excessive and that a current generation switch could be obtained for much less. He noted that there’s nothing wrong with the present system except that there’s no longer any support for it from recognized dealers, that the issue is there needs to be something to replace that system; but as far as going to the extent with the design that’s been laid out, in his view, is wrong and unnecessary, and he urged the City Council not to adopt the resolution.
Councilman Gardiner questioned if there is consensus in the industry supporting Mr. DeLong’s opinion.
Mr. DeLong explained that there is a lot of media hype with VoIP and that companies are quickly recognizing the market demand; but that as VoIP is being developed, as people are doing developmental applications, they’re finding that there are a lot of problems with the system, such as LAN configuration at the lower levels, and a number of other issues that need to be worked out prior to investing in a system. Mr. DeLong stated that if the City purchases Cisco Systems, the applications are limited. He explained that it does not restrict the City, but it costs a lot more than necessary to do the same thing that other systems can do. He added that there are operational issues when attempting to use the proposed system on top of a 100 MB-based LANS system that the City has, such as collision issues; and noted that the cost for the gigabit system needs to be included in the first-year costs.
Councilman Clark mentioned that the County Sheriff’s Department has implemented this same sort of VoIP system and that the City would be purchasing technology that has already been embraced by fairly large public entities.
Mr. DeLong expressed his opinion that it is unnecessary for RPV to spend $65,000 on technology that he believes will not benefit the City.
Mayor McTaggart thanked Mr. DeLong for bringing this issue forward; and highlighted the convenience of participating in teleconference meetings in RPV instead of having to travel to the site of the meeting.
Mr. DeLong explained that using LAN-based technologies, one does not need the phone system to be able to participate in off-site conferences.
Director McLean stated that he would meet with Mr. DeLong to discuss his concerns and to address staff's recommendation to upgrade the current network to gigabyte.
Michelle Mellen, 6728 Vallon Drive, RPV, stated that she has been a resident of RPV for 28 years and a volunteer at the Lomita Sheriff’s Station for 18 years. She noted that her 22-year-old son, Neil, attended the local schools; that a week after graduation, he joined the Peace Corps; that he is now working in the Federated States of Micronesia, Ulithi, Yap, a very small island with 500 people. She explained that his job in the Peace Corps is to teach English to the 8th grade students and to establish a library for grades 1 through 8. Because the library currently has no shelves or books, she is seeking help from the City.
Mayor McTaggart suggested that the Library District may be able to forgo some of its revenue from its used books sale or provide some texts and that the City could pay for the shipping.
Councilman Clark suggested that Mrs. Mellen approach the new Borders bookstore -- noting they may be interested in sponsoring some books to be shipped to the island.
Councilwoman Ferraro suggested that there may be some youth service organizations at the local high school levels that may be willing to take this project on; and stated that she would assist Mrs. Mellen in this endeavor with the schools.
Councilman Clark, echoed by the City Council, commended Neil Mellen for his efforts and service in the US Peace Corps.
Albert Roman, resident of Palos Verdes Peninsula, and Amy Lin, resident of RPV, commented on the health and mental benefits of Falun Gong, a form of exercise and meditation. He stated that Falun Gong classes are taught in RPV, Redondo Beach, Torrance and Hermosa Beach; and he encouraged people to try it. He stated that it is not safe to practice Falun Gong in China; that people are tortured for doing so; and he announced that last month, Congresswoman Jane Harman was one of 420 members of Congress who voted for House Congressional Resolution No. 188, condemning China for the persecution of those practicing Falun Gong.
Lois Larue, 3136 Barkentine Road, stated that the City could save money by turning off the two orange lights at the back of City Hall; addressed the City's use of George Bender Plumbing services for City Hall property; and suggested that the City utilize Instant Print King, located in San Pedro, for its copying services -- noting that they're less costly than Kinko's. She added that the owners of Instant Print King live in RPV. Ms. Larue noted her pleasure with the road improvements throughout the City.
City Manager Evans stated that the City receives a discount for the services provided by Kinko’s, but that staff will investigate if these various services can be obtained for less elsewhere.
Director Allison explained that the two orange lights located at the back of City Hall were put in by the cell phone company; advised that these lights are useful to those City Hall employees who work late; and explained that George Bender, who is a resident of RPV, provides a very good service and that he is very familiar with the City's plumbing system.
Request for City Grant for M.A.P. (602 x 1101)
Assistant City Manager Petru presented staff report and the recommendation to award a grant in the amount of $2,500 to M.A.P. (Mothers Advocating Prevention).
Julie Brown, 27503 Eastvale Road, Palos Verdes Peninsula, explained that M.A.P. works under the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children; that the agency trains a number of mothers who have children in the public schools on the Peninsula to bring their safety education program into the classrooms -- pointing out that this is done strictly with volunteers. She stated that this program benefits all students in the district, currently grades K through 7; and that there is the possibility that the organization will be developing a high school program. Ms. Brown advised that the program is scheduled in all three middle schools for the 2002-2003 school year and almost all elementary schools in the area, two of which still need to be placed on the agenda for the program activities. She stated that it is the agency's hope that by the time children are on their own, they will think about actions that have been taught to protect themselves. Ms. Brown advised that later in September, the agency will offer parent education programs; and that an informational townhall meeting will be conducted later this month, noting that all cities on the hill will be encouraged to attend the townhall meeting in Palos Verdes Estates.
Councilman Clark questioned if M.A.P. has approached the school district and other cities on the Peninsula for funding.
Ms. Brown stated that this is the organization’s first attempt to obtain funding, but that once these funds are secured, they will approach the other Peninsula cities for grant assistance.
Responding to Councilman Gardiner's inquiry concerning what the funds will be used for, Ms. Brown advised that all trained volunteers wear special T-shirts while participating in the program; that custom-made puppets are used in the presentations; and that a professional trainer from the National Center charges a fee for the training sessions. She added that the bulk of the money would be used for supplies.
Mayor pro tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilwoman Ferraro, to issue M.A.P. a grant in the amount of $2,500. Motion carried on the following roll call vote:
Ayes: Clark, Gardiner, Ferraro, Stern & Mayor McTaggart
Landslide Moratorium Exception Permit Case No. ZON2002-00170: Location: 4 Thyme Place (1203 x 1801)
Councilman Gardiner requested that this matter be continued to the next City Council meeting.
City Attorney Lynch clarified that this item will be continued to the next City Council meeting; and that in light of another pending litigation matter discussed in closed session that may affect the above-mentioned issue, it would be advisable to continue this to the next meeting.
Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Stern, to continue this matter to the September 17, 2002, City Council meeting. There being no objection, Mayor McTaggart so ordered.
Resol. No. 2002-78 - Neighborhood Beautification Grant Awards. (Cycle 13) (1204 x 1301)
Councilman Gardiner moved to waive staff report.
Mayor pro tem Stern stated that it would be helpful for the public to receive some background information.
Councilman Gardiner withdrew his motion to waive staff report.
Director Allison presented staff report and the recommendation to (1) Award 53 Neighborhood Beautification Grants totaling $191,740, Cycle 13, as shown on Exhibit "A". (2) ADOPT THE PROPOSED RESOLUTION AMENDING RESOLUTION 2002-45, THE BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR FY 02-03, TO INCREASE BUDGETED APPROPRIATIONS IN THE RECYCLING FUND IN THE AMOUNT OF $88,093. (3) Revise the program guidelines for the Neighborhood Beautification Program to allow the aggregate grant amount for matching grants to exceed $30,000.
Councilwoman Ferraro noted her delight in seeing a large number of matching funds.
Councilman Clark concurred with Councilwoman Ferraro's statement; and complimented staff and the Council of Homeowners Association for a successful outreach program.
Mayor pro tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to approve staff recommendation, with the amendment to award a total of 54 beautification grants; that the total amount in Item No. 1 be increased to $196,240, with a budget adjustment of $92,593; and to adopt Resolution No. 2002-78, as amended. The motion carried on the following roll call vote:
Ayes: Clark, Gardiner, Ferraro, Stern & Mayor McTaggart
Councilman Clark pointed out that not only are the homeowner associations benefiting from this program but also four area schools and 11 community groups.
Update on Western Avenue Boundary Issues (310)
Senior Planner Fox presented the staff report and the recommendation to receive and file and provide direction to Staff as deemed appropriate.
Mayor McTaggart questioned what entity receives the Terraces Condominium residents' utility taxes. Mr. Fox stated that staff did not have that information. He noted that 15 of the units are in RPV.
With respect to the Western Plaza Shopping Center, Mayor McTaggart questioned how the electrical permit got processed for a sign that’s in L.A. when the power comes from RPV. Mr. Fox stated that staff did not have that information.
Mayor pro tem Stern stated that this situation needs to be cleared up, but stated that he is not eager to spend a lot of money to redraw the line on a map. He noted some concern that the Terraces Condominiums have been built out and that the City has no permits for it. Assuming the City leaves this situation "as is," he questioned how the City would deal with this situation on a go-forward basis if the City decides to not spend the money to redraw the line.
Councilman Gardiner questioned who would get the bill for false emergency response alarm calls in these areas.
City Manager Evans explained that people who live along Western Avenue or who have businesses along Western Avenue tend to call the Sheriff when they need emergency assistance because of their rapid response time, but that either the Sheriff or LAPD will respond to a call in this area.
Mayor McTaggart expressed his concerns with liability issues and its potential negative impact upon the City's liability trust fund.
Mayor pro tem Stern asked about possible options, what impact this situation will have on the City and its residents if this situation is corrected or left "as is," and whether enough significant implications are present to devote any time/money to correcting this situation.
Councilman Clark expressed his belief that a determination should be made in regard to the Terraces Condominium matter, stating that there are jurisdictional issues for both the residents and the City; and suggested that one of the steps that ought to be taken is to get a sense from the portion of the Terraces Condominium community not within RPV whether they have any interest in being part of the City.
Noting the fact that there are no City permits, Mayor McTaggart questioned what would be done with non-conforming uses that may not meet City codes.
City Attorney Lynch advised that as far as the legal issue is concerned, if the City wants to have a distinct boundary correction, then a LAFCO proceeding is the way to accomplish that goal. She commented on negotiated agreements which have been reached in other jurisdictions; and stated that she would attempt to obtain copies of those agreements and present them to Councilwoman Hahn’s Office and see if the City can get some resolution in that manner -- pointing out that this informal approach might be worth a try as opposed to an expensive LAFCO proceeding.
Mayor pro tem Stern reiterated his opposition to spending a lot of money to redraw the line on a map; stated that he did not believe the City should take any action at this point in time; and that he would ask staff to come up with some suggestions for how to deal with this situation on a go-forward basis.
Mayor McTaggart reiterated his concern with liability issues.
Councilman Clark reiterated that he would like to see the City get a sense of what the residents of this condominium community would like to do.
Councilwoman Ferraro stated the City should be able to deal with signs that are in RPV, that the City should have some control over these signs.
It was the consensus of the City Council that staff bring this issue back to the City Council after having addressed the issues discussed by the Council this evening.
Border Issues Status Report (310)
Senior Planner Fox reviewed the current status of border issues as reflected in the staff report. He also presented an oral summary of the San Pedro Facility Restoration Advisory Board meeting and the recent re-circulation of the Notice of Preparation for the Rolling Hills Covenant Church expansion.
With regard to grading activities throughout the entire peninsula, Mayor McTaggart stated that there ought to be a way for the City to recoup the expense for repairing RPV's roadways.
Mayor pro tem Stern requested that from this point forward, the Border Issues Status Reports reflect the date after the title when it was last updated, when it was last reviewed.
RECESS AND RECONVENE
Mayor McTaggart recessed the meeting at 9:50 P.M. and reconvened the meeting at 10:03 P.M.
Ryan Park Playground Equipment (1204 x 1201)
Councilman Gardiner moved to waive staff report. The recommendation was to (1) authorize the removal and replacement of all existing playground equipment at Ryan Park. (2) Authorize the Director of Public Works to purchase the new playground equipment for an amount not to exceed $67,000, through the California CMAS program in accordance with Section 2.44.050 of the City’s Municipal Code. (3) Award an Engineering Contract to JMC2 Engineering and Management Consultants in the amount of $8,000 to prepare Plans and Specifications for the installation of this play equipment. (4) Authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to execute a contract with JMC2 Engineering and Management Consultants.
It was the Council consensus to view the pictures of the playground equipment.
Councilman Gardiner questioned how long the current playground equipment has been in place and has anyone been hurt on this equipment and sued the City.
Director Allison expressed his belief that the equipment is approximately 30 years old and that to his knowledge, no one has been hurt on this equipment nor has the City been sued as a result of injury.
Councilman Gardiner noted his opposition to removing this equipment if it has been fine for 30 years and no one has been hurt.
Director Allison stated that there are new regulations for safety and ADA accessibility.
City Manager Evans advised that the manufacturers of playground equipment and the State have come up with safety and design standards that were developed approximately 10 years ago and therefore the City must make the effort to meet those new standards. He mentioned that the City's insurance carrier is recommending the conformance to the new standards.
In response to Councilman Gardiner's inquiry concerning the life cycle and safety of the plastic playground equipment, Director Allison advised that the life cycle is approximately 25 to 30 years; and that toxic fumes can be given off from burning plastic.
Councilman Gardiner stated that he would be in favor of continuing this matter to determine if there is any legitimate way to retain the old equipment rather than replacing it with plastic – noting that there had not been any problems with the equipment that has been in place for the last 30 years.
Mayor McTaggart pointed out that the City needs to comply with the new standards and needs to maintain its insurance coverage.
Councilman Clark, echoed by the City Council, noted his support for meeting the ADA requirements.
Mayor pro tem Stern expressed his belief that it would be appropriate to evaluate keeping the existing facilities and supplementing the old with some new equipment for different age groups and children with disabilities.
City Clerk Purcell recalled that there had been an injury at this park approximately 15 years ago, and that a large settlement was paid out for the claim.
City Attorney Lynch noted for Councilman Gardiner that the City would be better protected if conformance of the new safety standards were met.
Director Allison stated that the equipment is better designed for safety and that it needs less maintenance. He added that creating a replica of the old ship will cost several hundred thousand dollars; and that it is imperative to make playground equipment accessible to those with disabilities.
Director Allison noted for Mayor McTaggart that a $50,000 grant will be given by the Waste Management Board for the use of plastic; and that the use of other grant funds will also be utilized.
Mayor McTaggart requested that the residents be advised that part of this equipment is paid for by a $50,000 grant.
Mayor pro tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilmember Clark, to approve staff recommendation. Motion carried as follows:
AYES: Clark, Stern, and Mayor McTaggart
NOES: Ferraro, Gardiner
Mayor McTaggart noted that his grandchildren do enjoy themselves on the new type of playground equipment.
Point Vicente Interpretive Center Construction Project – Award Of Professional Services Agreements (1204 x 1201)
Director Allison presented staff report and the recommendation to (1) Award a Professional Services Agreement with Merit Civil Engineering in the amount of $8,000 for Professional Engineering Services and authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to execute the Agreement; (2) Award a Professional Services Agreement with Harris and Associates for an amount of $5,000 for construction and bidding review of the expansion plans and authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to execute the Agreement; (3) Award a Professional Services Agreement with Ron Yeo Architects, Inc., for an amount of $10,000 for plan revision, plan check and code update and authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to execute the Agreement; (4) Award a Professional Services Agreement with Group Delta Consultants for an amount of $5,000 for geotechnical and geological consulting services and authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to execute the Agreement.
Mayor McTaggart questioned if any of the remediation work will have an effect on reducing construction costs.
Director Allison stated that he does not believe there has been any improvement that the City is going to be able to utilize without some costs associated with reconstruction.
Director Allison noted for Councilman Clark that staff is estimating a 12-month construction schedule, starting March 2003, with completion in approximately March 2004.
Councilwoman Ferraro moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Stern, to concur with staff
recommendation. Motion carried on the following roll call vote:
Ayes: Gardiner, Clark, Ferraro, Stern & Mayor McTaggart
Term Limits Ballot Initiative – Website (501)
City Manager Evans presented the recommended language to place on the City’s website, describing the City’s interest in receiving input from its residents on the term limits suggestion.
City Attorney Lynch recommended that the word "sponsor" be removed from the language on the term limits issue.
City Clerk Purcell explained for Councilman Clark how she arrived at the estimated printing cost of $15,000 to $20,000 for placement on the 2003 ballot, citing the steadily increasing printing costs experienced by the County.
Councilwoman Ferraro stated that because this issue is divided on the City Council, she is opposed to stating that "the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council is considering this issue." She expressed her opinion that past input regarding this matter had been adequate.
Councilman Clark responded that the matter of future term limits for Rancho Palos Verdes City Council members is a significant public policy issue that our community should have voice in and be able to give us their in-put.
Mayor pro tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, that the suggested language, as amended by the City Attorney, be placed on the website.
Councilman Gardiner suggested that it might be appropriate to state that "it has been suggested that the RPV City Council consider placing..."
Mayor pro tem Stern noted his goal to obtain input from the residents on whether this issue should be placed on the 2003 ballot.
Mayor McTaggart stated that he is not opposed to the survey, but that he is opposed to it being worded in a sense that makes it seem that the City Council is united on this issue. He noted his desire that the survey is strictly limited to RPV residents only, and he questioned how to regulate someone from voting more than once. He requested that the residents be informed of the potential costs associated with placing this issue on the ballot.
Councilman Gardiner suggested that the Mayor and Mayor pro tem develop language that will be amenable to all Councilmembers and that the language be presented at the September 17 City Council meeting for consideration.
Councilwoman Ferraro expressed her concern with the possible abuse of anonymity, noting that there is no way to ascertain who has legitimately answered the survey -- pointing out that she does not want the survey to be abused by any one group with one viewpoint.
Councilman Gardiner suggested that the survey respondents be required to identify their names and addresses in their email, that if it is not so reflected, that the respondent's survey will be thrown out.
It was the consensus of the City Council that any suggestions for the proposed language from Councilmembers should be communicated to the City Manager for compilation and that this matter return for consideration at the September 17, 2002, City Council meeting.
Resol. No. 2002-79 - Revision to City Council Rules of Procedure (307 x 1101)
Presentation of the staff report waived.
Staff recommendation was to adopt the proposed Resolution, Approving A Revision To Section 5.1 (Order Of Business) Of The City Council Rules Of Procedure.
Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to approve staff recommendation and ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2002-79, APPROVING A REVISION TO SECTION 5.1 (ORDER OF BUSINESS) OF THE CITY COUNCIL RULES OF PROCEDURE. No objection was noted.
30th Anniversary Celebration (1101 x 305)
Introducing the idea of a 30th RPV City anniversary celebration brought forward to the Council by Councilman Clark, City Manager Evans summarized the idea and requested discussion and direction from the Council.
Mayor pro tem Stern stated that he was impressed with the 25th anniversary celebration; and that if it did not take up a lot of staff time, he would be supportive of a celebration, which he believes will be good for the residents.
Councilman Clark provided his support in celebrating a significant City anniversary, noting that there are a lot of positive things happening in this community.
Various suggestions for the anniversary celebration were briefly addressed, such as a formal dinner, a golf tournament, barbecue weekend celebration with concert band, nature hikes, and bike rides.
Councilman Clark suggested that volunteers from the community could serve on a 30th anniversary planning committee, lessening the workload of staff.
Councilman Gardiner noted his support of an anniversary celebration and the suggestion for a community-based volunteer planning committee; suggested that donations be sought where possible; and he suggested that a weekend barbecue celebration would be something that entire families could participate in rather than a formal dinner event.
Mayor McTaggart suggested the possibility of both an informal barbecue event and a formal dinner event.
City Manager Evans stated that Ocean Trails would have to be reserved as soon as possible for a golf tournament; and stated that staff will provide the City Council with the financial information as soon as it is available.
It was the consensus of the City Council that an article be placed in the City’s newsletter requesting volunteers who are interested in organizing this event -- a weekend barbecue celebration, golf tournament, bike ride, etc. -- and that the residents be able to send their suggestions for the celebration to the City’s website; and that staff advise City Council on how much it will cost to put on various events.
CITY ATTORNEY CLOSED SESSION REPORT:
City Attorney Lynch advised that no action had been taken in closed session.
Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 11:11 P.M. on motion of Mayor Pro Tem Stern.
/s/ John C. McTaggart
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