RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL
FEBRUARY 4, 2003
The meeting was called to order at 6:00 P.M. by Mayor Stern at Fred Hesse Community Park, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard, and was immediately recessed to a closed session per the Brown Act Checklist. At 7:05 P.M., the meeting was reconvened.
Roll call was answered as follows:
PRESENT:Clark, Ferraro, and Mayor Stern
ABSENT:Gardiner and 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; Senior Planner Kit Fox; City Clerk/Administrative Services Director Jo Purcell; and Recording Secretary Bothe.
The flag salute was led by Cub Scouts from Den 4, Pack 970.
Mayor Stern advised the public that the City is closely watching what the State will be doing with the on-going budgetary problems and with the anticipated reduction in Vehicle License Fee revenues to cities.
Mayor Stern requested that this evening’s meeting be adjourned in the memory of the brave astronauts who lost their lives in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.
Mayor Stern announced that Councilman McTaggart’s father passed away this weekend and requested that the meeting also be convened in the memory of Mr. Noble A. McTaggart.
Mayor Stern announced the January recycle winner, Pamela Hunter, who will receive a check for $250, which represents a year of free refuse service. He encouraged everyone to recycle.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA:
Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to approve the Agenda as submitted. Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered.
APPROVAL OF CONSENT CALENDAR:
With regard to Page 3, Paragraph 2, of the December 3, 2002 Minutes, Councilman Clark requested that the paragraph be written as follows: Councilman Clark stated that the only Council policy in place is the written policy that the majority vote of the Council constitutes the policy for selection of Mayor and Mayor pro tem.
With regard to the last paragraph on Page 2, Mayor pro tem Ferraro requested that the following be included in the Minutes: Mayor pro tem Ferraro stated that she had in her possession a copy of the current policy and held it up for the public to see.
Motion to Waive Full Reading
Adopted a motion to waive reading in full of all ordinances presented at this meeting with consent of the waiver of reading deemed to be given by all Councilmembers after the reading of the title.
Minutes of December 3, 2002 Regular Meeting and January 21, 2003 Adjourned Regular Meeting. (301)
Approved the Minutes as amended.
Notice of Completion for the FY 2001-2002 Residential Street Overlay and Slurry Seal Project. (1204 x 1404)
(1) Accepted the work as completed; (2) Authorized the City Clerk to record a Notice of Completion with the County Recorder; and if no claims are filed within 35 days after recordation, and upon the contractor posting an acceptable warranty bond, notify the surety company to exonerate the Payment and Performance bonds; and, (3) Authorized the Director of Public works to release the 10% retention payment, to Excel Paving Company, 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.
Notice of Completion for Ladera Linda Park Playground Improvement Project. (1204 x 1201)
(1) Accepted the work as complete; (2) Authorized the City Clerk to record the notice of completion with County of Recorder: and if no claims are filed 35 days after recordation, notify the surety company to exonerate the Payment and Performance Bond with Ryco Construction Incorporation; and, (3) Authorized the Director of Public Works to release 10% retention payment to Ryco Construction Incorporation 35 days after recordation of the Notice of Completion contingent upon no claims being filed against the contractor.
Roof Repair/Replacement Project. (1204 x 1201)
(1) Accepted work as completed; (2) Authorized the City Clerk to record the Notice of Completion with the County Recorder; and if no claims are filed 35 days after recordation, notify the surety company to exonerate the Payment and Performance Bonds; and, (3) Authorized the Director of Public Works to release the 10% retention payment to Commercial Roofing Systems, Inc., 35 days after recordation of the Notice of Completion by the County Recorder contingent on no claims being filed on the project.
Loan Agreement between the City and RDA. (602 x 1900)
Authorized the Mayor and City Clerk to execute the proposed Loan Agreement between the City and the Rancho Palos Verdes Redevelopment Agency.
December 2002 Treasurer’s Report. (602)
Received and filed the December 2002 Treasurer’s Report for the City of Rancho Palos Verdes.
Resol. No. 2003-05: Register of Demands.
ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2003-05, 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 Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to approve the Consent Calendar as amended. The motion to approve the Consent Calendar carried as follows:
AYES:Clark, Ferraro and Mayor Stern
Short-Term Budget Contingency Plan. (1101)
City Manager Evans explained that currently, the City’s Vehicle License Fee (VLF) revenues make up 18 percent of the City’s General Fund/General Purpose Revenues; that with the current state of California’s budget crisis, these revenues are in jeopardy; and advised that staff has prepared for this evening’s meeting a 10-year review of the City’s revenues and expenditures and has put together a brief outline of what staff believes is the City’s demonstrated fiscal responsibility at the local level and has reflected how serious the impact will be upon the City with the anticipated loss of 2/3rds of the City’s VLF revenues. City Manager Evans stated that staff had prepared a series of recommendations which staff believed at the time of writing should have been implemented as soon as possible due to the understanding that the State would cease the VLF revenues to the City the first of February, but he explained that it now appears very unlikely that the City will be financially affected by the loss of VLF revenues before the end of this fiscal year. He recommended that discussion of this matter be continued to the next meeting in view of the fact that things are rapidly changing at the State level and because two City Councilmembers are not present this evening.
Councilman Clark commended staff for the excellent staff report; stated that he would support continuing this matter to a date wherein all City Councilmembers are present; and suggested that a special workshop be scheduled to devote discussion specifically to this budget issue.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro noted her support to delay discussion until a full City Council is in attendance and to place this issue on the next City Council Agenda; echoed Councilman Clark’s commendation to staff for the comprehensive report; and mentioned that issues involving the State’s budgetary crisis and the VLF’s can be discussed at the budget workshops which will start March 10, 2003.
Mayor Stern noted his concurrence with Mayor pro tem Ferraro’s comments.
City Manager Evans noted for Mayor Stern that all items listed under "Recommendations" in staff report are temporarily on hold until the City Council is able to make some decisions.
Councilman Clark reiterated his interest in scheduling a special workshop to solely address the Short-Term Budget Contingency Plan and the anticipated loss of VLF revenues; and that staff contact each City Councilmember to determine their availability in the next 30 days.
Mayor Stern explained that due to work constraints, he is doubtful that he could commit to additional meetings for this month.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved, seconded by Mayor Stern, to continue this matter to the February 18, 2003, City Council meeting. Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered.
In response to Councilman Clark’s request, City Manager Evans advised that he would contact each City Councilmember to obtain the dates for which they are available to meet for a special workshop within the next 30 days.
Implementation of Strategies for Completion of the Natural Community Conservation Planning (NCCP) Open Space Acquisition Project. (1203)
City Clerk Purcell advised that two written materials had been distributed to the City Council this evening in regard to this matter: one from staff reflecting the history of the NCCP plan for the City and a letter from Angelika Brinkmann-Busi, dated February 3, 2003 (of record).
Director Rojas presented staff report and the recommendation to (1) Consider the implementation strategies proposed by Staff and the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy to complete the City’s NCCP program and related Open Space Acquisition Project; (2) Direct Staff to proceed with submission of the draft NCCP Subarea Plan to the Resource Agencies; and (3) Retain the services of a professional lobbyist through June 30th to assist the City/Conservancy in its efforts to secure state bond monies for funding the conservation transaction.
Barbara Dye, Executive Director of the City Council Ad Hoc Committee on Open Space Acquisition, explained that the plan assures that some work will be done every year. She highlighted the 3 parts to the plan: 5 acres of clearing; 5 acres of vegetation, which will take place on the previous year’s cleared 5 acres; and 5 acres of targeted exotic removal or 20 sites, which means that every spring, a survey will be conducted of all land within the reserve to determine priority areas for activity. She expressed her belief that this plan, with its 3-part component, should be more acceptable and attractive to the resource agencies. She added that the City will have the ability to supplement this funding with various other grants – pointing out that supplemental funding has been done with all the other projects; explained that the strength of this plan is not so much in the size as it is with the fact that every year, there is an ongoing and consistent re-vegetation effort; and added that this is the level the City can commit to without requiring resources that are outside the scale of the land conservancy of the City.
Councilman Clark stated that he would prefer a full City Council be present to provide direction on this matter; and advised that he would support the finalizing of the NCCP based upon what was presented. He expressed his concern with discussing the commitment of $100,000 without having a discussion of the budget implications, both now and in the future, for the maintenance portion of the preservation. He stated that he is in full support of retaining the services of a professional lobbyist, but that this is another decision that should be made with a full Council in attendance.
Director Rojas explained for Mayor Stern that staff is not asking for the approval of the plan this evening, and stated that staff plans on submitting this draft plan to the resource agencies in approximately three weeks. He stated that there is enough time to place this item on the next City Council Agenda, wherein the details of the NCCP Subarea Plan will be presented to the Council.
Councilman Clark noted his support for staff to proceed with submitting the draft NCCP to the resource agencies; and stated that he would support retaining Lobbyist Joseph Caves, but that he would recommend that that decision be made when a full Council is present.
Mayor Stern stated that he would support staff submitting the draft NCCP to the resource agencies, with the understanding that all details of the NCCP Subarea Plan would come back to the City Council for approval.
City Manager Evans stated for Mayor pro tem Ferraro that the funding for Lobbyist Joseph Caves would come from the General Fund reserves; he advised that Mr. Caves works on a monthly retainer basis, $5,000 per month – pointing out that either party can cancel out with a 30-day notice; and explained that he is confident there is enough funding to retain Mr. Caves through June 30, 2003. City Manager Evans explained that depending upon priority, certain projects will have to be delayed.
Jim Knight encouraged the approval of staff’s recommendation and encouraged the City Council to allow staff to place this matter at the top of the priority list. He noted the need to move quickly on this project due to the numerous groups vying for Proposition 50 funding.
Ms. Dye noted her support for retaining the services of Lobbyist Joseph Caves; and briefly commented on the plans to recognize major contributors to the land conservancy efforts. Ms. Dye pointed out that the funding being sought for Land Conservancy will come from the State general fund revenue, monies that had been voted upon and set aside for open space acquisitions.
Charlene O’Neal, 38 Headlaud Drive, stated that at the recent townhall meeting, she discussed with Congressman Rohrabacher his support of Land Conservancy; and stated that he is aware of this issue but that he needs to be kept apprised of the ongoing activities and what funding will be made available, both City funding and private funding.
Responding to Ms. O’Neal’s comment, Mayor Stern stated that staff would keep Congressman Rohrabacher apprised of the City’s efforts in regard to this matter.
Councilman Clark stated that based upon discussion of the Councilmembers present that he felt it was important from an timing standpoint, to start the process to hire Lobbyist Joe Caves to pursue the open space acquisitions.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to concur with staff’s recommendation to (1) Consider the implementation strategies proposed by Staff and the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy to complete the City’s NCCP program and related Open Space Acquisition Project; (2) Direct Staff to proceed with submission of the draft NCCP Subarea Plan to the Resource Agencies; and (3) Retain the services of a professional lobbyist through June 30th to assist the City/Conservancy in its efforts to secure state bond monies for funding the conservation transaction. Motion carried.
Ordinance Prohibiting the Removal of Coastal Sage Scrub Habitat in the Absence of the Issuance of a 4(d) Permit by the City. (1203)
City Manager Evans requested that this matter be pulled from the Agenda and brought back at a later meeting.
Ms. Dye stated that this ordinance will help to keep the City’s habitat in good shape.
Jim Knight stated that he is in support of this ordinance; and suggested that staff investigate various areas in the City wherein other endangered plants need protection.
Resol. No. 2003-06: Adoption of Findings for the First System Performance Audit of 2000 Cable Television Franchise Agreement with Cox Communications. (605)
Assistant City Manager Petru presented staff report and the recommendation to ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2003-06, MAKING FINDINGS REGARDING THE FIRST SCHEDULED SYSTEM PERFORMANCE AUDIT OF THE 2000 CABLE TELEVISION FRANCHISE AGREEMENT.
Assistant City Manager Petru explained for Mayor Stern that language has been included in the franchise agreement that allows the City to do a performance analysis at any time.
Subsequent to raising a concern with adequate customer service from the San Diego facility, Councilman Clark stated that he had occasion to call the San Diego Cox center for some help with his computer and confirmed that their support was very responsive.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved, seconded by Mayor Stern, to concur with staff recommendation to ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2003-06, MAKING FINDINGS REGARDING THE FIRST SCHEDULED SYSTEM PERFORMANCE AUDIT OF THE 2000 CABLE TELEVISION FRANCHISE AGREEMENT. Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered.
Border Issues Status Report. (310)
Senior Planner Fox reviewed the current status of border issues as noted in the staff report.
Councilman Clark urged Staff to keep in contact with City Staff from Rolling Hills Estates in regard to sharing information on border issues of concern to both cities; and requested that City Council be apprised of any new information concerning the County golf course and Rolling Hills Covenant Church projects.
Resol. No. 2003-07: Traffic and Engineering Speed Surveys. (1502 x 1204)
Director Allison presented staff report and the recommendation to ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2003-07, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES ESTABLISHING SPEED LIMITS ON VARIOUS STREETS.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to adopt Resolution No. 2003-07, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES ESTABLISHING SPEED LIMITS ON VARIOUS STREETS. Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered.
Resol. No. 2003-08:Resolution Supporting Restoration of VLF. (1101)
(1) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2003-08, URGING THE CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE TO REJECT THE GOVERNOR’S PROPOSED SHIFT OF LOCAL VLF REVENUES AND TO HONOR THE 1998 COMMITMENT TO RESTORE THE VLF; and, (2) Approve sending a letter to the governor encouraging him to restore the VLF. Letter to be signed by Mayor Stern and sent, along with the Resolution, to all State Senators and Assembly Members, with a copy of all such letters delivered to the Speaker of the Assembly and the President of the Senate.
City Clerk Purcell advised that she distributed to the City Council Councilman McTaggart’s letter to Governor Davis, encouraging him to restore VLF revenues to cities.
City Manager Evans advised that Councilman McTaggart had indicated his desire that, in his absence, the City Council take action on this matter this evening.
City Manager Evans explained that since writing the staff report, things have been rapidly changing at the State level; advised that this past week, both the Assembly and the Senate forwarded legislation to the Governor’s office that would enact approximately $3 billion worth of the Governor’s recommended budget cuts that was tied to the restoration of the VLF; and announced that this afternoon, the Governor issued a press release stating that he intended to veto that legislation and stated that this action would have no financial impact on the City for the current fiscal year. City Manager Evans explained that the League of Cities is recommending that if the City has a resolution in regard to this issue, that it be forwarded to the Governor, with copies to the State Legislators. He explained that staff is recommending the adoption of the proposed resolution this evening, but indicated that the accompanying letter encouraging the Governor to restore the VLF revenues in the coming budget to the City would have to be amended to reflect the recent changes. He suggested that the City Council authorize the Mayor to sign the updated letter and forward it, along with the resolution, to the Governor and legislators.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to concur with staff recommendation; moved that the revised letter be sent to the Governor and the legislators; and to permit Mayor Stern to work with staff in revising and updating the letter. Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered.
Mayor Stern explained for the residents the importance of the VLF revenues.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro explained that the City does everything it can to be financially conservative and stated that this type of budget cut can create a serious situation.
Budget Meeting Schedule for 2003. (1101)
Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to continue this matter to the February 18, 2003 City Council meeting. Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered.
RECESS AND RECONVENE:
Mayor Stern recessed the meeting at 8:23 P.M. and reconvened the meeting at 8:29 P.M.
CITY COUNCIL ORAL REPORTS:
Councilman Clark stated that he and Mayor Stern met last week with Mr. Trump and his representatives to discuss the progress with regard to the proposed Ocean Trails changes that Mr. Trump had conveyed to the public and to address various issues and concerns with how to move forward. He added that the Trump organization has been advised of the necessity to provide the City with a comprehensive package of what they have planned for the Ocean Trials site.
Councilman Clark advised that last Friday he attended the California League of Cities Revenue and Taxation Policy Committee meeting in Ontario, wherein they engaged in a broad range of agenda topics with prioritizing concerns over the State budget for this year, but stated that he would defer the specifics of this report when the full Council is present.
Mayor Stern stated that the Trump organization was apprised of the need to put its plan together for this project and to submit those plans to the City. He stated that he and Councilman Clark met yesterday with the Long Point developers, the Lowes; advised that the Lowes anticipate their appeal to be on the Coastal Commission calendar in March or April 2003; and stated that the Lowes are continuing discussions with Mr. Trump’s organization to try and work out an acceptable arrangement so that the hotel and golf course will work well together. Mayor Stern stated that there is no change in status with the Ocean Trails landslide repair; advised that the roadwork is progressing; and stated that the curbs are being installed.
Lois Larue, 3136 Barkentein Road, noted her delight with the service that the Unocal gas station, located at Hawthorne Boulevard and Palos Verdes Drive South, had recently provided to her; stated that the gas station owners are concerned that the Golden Cove stone wall project will have a negative impact upon their business; and she urged the City to do everything it can so that Unocal is not negatively impacted by the Golden Cove project.
CITY ATTORNEY REPORT:
City Attorney Lynch advised that the City Council had voted to add to the closed session an item regarding potential litigation; stated that a letter had been received from Hugh Hewitt, from Hewitt & O’Neil, dated February 3, 2003, and advised that this letter had been forwarded to the City Clerk. City Attorney Lynch stated that no other action was taken.
At 8:40 P.M., the City Council meeting was adjourned to Saturday, February 8, 2003,
9:00 A.M., at Hesse Park for a Joint Workshop with the Planning Commission.
The meeting was adjourned in the
Memory of Mr. Nobel A. "Mac" McTaggart and the
Space Shuttle Columbia Astronauts
/s/ Douglas W. Stern
/s/ Jo Purcell
W:\2003 City Council Minutes\02042003 cc mins.doc