RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL
JUNE 17, 2003
The meeting was called to order at 7:03 p.m. by Mayor Stern at Fred Hesse Community Park 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard, Rancho Palos Verdes.
Roll call was answered as follows:
PRESENT: Clark, Gardiner, McTaggart, Ferraro, and Mayor Stern
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; Director of Recreation and Parks Ron Rosenfeld; Administrative Analyst Matt Waters; Project Coordinator Trayci Nelson; and Minutes Secretary Debra Presutti.
Boy Scout Travis Shannon led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mayor Stern informed the Council of the approval by the California Coastal Commission of the conditions of Long Point Resort Hotel at the Coastal Commission meeting of June 11, 2003. He stated that some details still remain to be worked out which will be brought before the Council for further determination. He also mentioned the annual 4th of July celebration at City Hall and urged residents to attend.
Jeannie Molls was selected as recycler of the month. Mayor Stern stressed the importance of recycling and thanked everyone who participates in the program.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA:
Mayor pro tem Ferraro and Councilman Gardiner requested that Item No. 17 be moved to the beginning of Regular Business.
Councilman Clark requested to move Item No. 22 (term limits) in front of Item No. 14.
Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, to approve the Agenda
as amended. The motion to approve the Agenda carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Clark, Ferraro, Gardiner, McTaggart, and Mayor Stern
APPROVAL OF CONSENT CALENDAR:
Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to approve the Consent Calendar as follows:
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 minutes of May 20th and the June 3rd Adjourned Regular Meeting as amended.
Ordinance Nos. 392 and 393: Zone Text Amendment for 6100 Palos Verdes Drive South. (701 x 1802)
(1) ADOPTED ORDINANCE NO. 392 APPROVING THE ZONE TEXT AMENDMENT, AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES AMENDING TITLE 17 (ZONING) OF THE RANCHO PALOS VERDES MUNICIPAL CODE TO REQUIRE PROPERTIES TO COMPLY WITH PARKING REGULATIONS UPON THE CHANGE IN ZONING; and, (2) ADOPTED ORDINANCE NO. 393 APPROVING THE ZONE CHANGE, AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES REZONING PROPERTY LOCATED AT 6100 PALOS VERDES DRIVE SOUTH FROM COMMERCIAL PROFESSIONAL (CP) TO SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENTIAL (RS-4). (Both ordinances were INTRODUCED at the June 3rd meeting.)
Notice Of Completion – Vallon Drive Traffic Signal Installation. (1204 x 1503)
(1) Accepted the work as complete; (2) Authorized the City Clerk to record the Notice Of Completion with the County Recorders Office and, if no claims are filed 35 days after recordation, to notify the surety company to exonerate the Payment and Performance Bond with Steiny and Company, Inc.; and, (3) Authorized the Director of Public Works to release the 10% retention payment to Steiny and Company, Inc. 35 days after recordation of the Notice of Completion contingent upon no claims being filed against the contractor.
Notice Of Completion – San Ramon Drainage And Landslide Stabilization Project. (1204 x 604)
(1) Accepted the work as complete; (2) Authorized the City Clerk to record the Notice of Completion with the County Recorders Office and, if no claims are filed 35 days after recordation, notify the surety company to exonerate the Payment and Performance Bond with Colich & Sons, Inc.; and, (3) Authorized the Director of Public Works to release the 5% retention payment to Colich & Sons, Inc. 35 days after recordation of the Notice of Completion contingent upon no claims being filed against the contractor.
Notice Of Completion – 25th Street Rehabilitation Project. (1204)
(1) Accepted the work as complete; (2) Authorized the City Clerk to record the Notice of Completion with the County Recorders Office and, if no claims are filed 35 days after recordation, notify the surety company to exonerate the Payment and Performance Bond with Colich & Sons, Inc.; and, (3) Authorized the Director of Public Works to release the 10% retention payment to Colich & Sons, Inc. 35 days after recordation of the Notice of Completion contingent upon no claims being filed against the contractor.
Resol. No. 47: Annual Appropriation Limit for FY 2003-2004. (602)
ADOPTED RESOL. NO. 2003–47, ESTABLISHING THE CITY’S APPROPRIATION LIMIT FOR FY 2003-2004.
Resol. No. 48: Establishing the Emergency Preparedness Committee. (401)
ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2003-48, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL ESTABLISHING THE EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS COMMITTEE WITH EIGHT MEMBERS, PURSUANT TO THE CITY COUNCIL’S ACTION ON JUNE 3, 2003, AND RESCINDING RESOLUTION NOS. 2002-11 AND 2002-29.
Tract 46628 – Quit Claim Deed For Drainage Easement. (450 x 604 x 1204 x 1411)
Authorized the Mayor and the City Clerk to sign and execute the Quit Claim Deeds, which transfers ownership of certain Storm Drain Easement in Tract 46628 to the Los Angeles County Flood Control District.
Palos Verdes Drive East And Mustang Road Storm Drain Repair Project – Agreement Execution. (1204 x 1405)
(1) Authorized the Director of Public Works to execute an Agreement for the purposes of Ingress and Egress between the City and the property owners of 1 Mustang Road and 9 Rockinghorse Road, for a project to repair an existing storm drain on Palos Verdes Drive East and Mustang Road; and, (2) Authorized the Director of Public Works to acquire and execute an easement for storm drain maintenance purposes from the property owners of 1 Mustang Road and 9 Rockinghorse Road.
Extension of NCCP Lobbyist Consultant Agreement. (1203)
Extended the contract with Conservation Strategy Group, LLC (Joseph Caves), a professional lobbyist assisting the City/Conservancy in its efforts to secure state bond monies for funding the Portuguese Bend acquisition transaction, through December 2003.
Resol. No. 2003-49: Register of Demands.
ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2003-49, 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 carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Clark, Ferraro, Gardiner, McTaggart
ABSTAIN: Mayor Stern on the minutes of May 20th because he was absent from that meeting.
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Student and the Law. (1206 x 1705)
Mayor pro tem Ferraro requested clarification of her understanding that the CORE deputies are not allowed to teach the Student and the Law classes.
Kelly Johnson, Principal at Peninsula High School, responded that they are not and that an additional $20,406 would be needed to keep the program as currently programmed in place.
Councilman Clark queried why the CORE deputies couldn’t teach the course.
Principal Johnson replied that, unlike the CORE deputies, Officer Del Pinto is a college graduate and holds the necessary teaching credentials.
Councilman Clark further queried whether special provisions for certification could be garnered from the district or the State since the class is in a specialized field in which the deputies are professionals.
Principal Johnson responded that neither the district nor the State would qualify them to teach the class, adding that the reality of the situation is that two sessions would have to be canceled if Officer Del Pinto is unavailable to teach them.
Councilman Gardiner asked why at Rancho Del Mar the CORE deputies are allowed to teach the class in conjunction with a certified instructor already on staff serving as the teacher of record.
Principal Johnson explained that the teacher of record at Rancho Del Mar in this instance is actually the principal and the population constraints at Peninsula High with 3,000 students compared with 60 at Rancho Del Mar make it impractical if not impossible to assign an administrator to sit in the class during instruction.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro mentioned that Rolling Hills and Rolling Hills Estates both participate in the funding of the program, noting that it is scheduled on their agendas for approval.
Assistant Manager Petru stated that funds for the program had been included in the budget that Rolling Hills Estates recently adopted and that the budget for Rolling Hills was scheduled for adoption on June 23.
Councilman McTaggart and Mayor pro tem Ferraro pointed out that the rapport between the officers and the students is tremendous and has been responsible for alleviating some of the juvenile problems in the community.
Principal Johnson commented that he believes the program has had a direct impact on the quality of life in the community as a whole not just on campus.
Councilman McTaggart questioned the level of funding in the State budget for CORE deputies.
City Manager Evans stated that the State pays each of the three regional cities $100,000 per year for the deputies.
Principal Johnson thanked the Council for their continued support of the school community.
Councilman Clark questioned whether the continuation of the program is reliant solely on Officer Del Pinto or if the sheriff’s department is staffed with other officers that would be qualified and available to teach the course.
Captain Jay Zuanich, Lomita Sheriff’s Station, responded that the program currently in place is dependent on Officer Del Pinto’s teaching the class.
Matt Countryman, Rancho Palos Verdes, explained the value of the relationship he and many of his peers share with Officer Del Pinto and described him as not only a friend but also a figurehead at the high school. He stressed that, indeed, one man can make a difference in the lives of others and reiterated what a tremendous asset he is to the community.
Mayor Stern suggested the State legislators might be approached to seek out a special provision that would enable the deputies, given their specialized knowledge, to teach these types of classes without the need for their having a full teaching credential.
Councilman McTaggart reiterated his opinion that the Student and the Law Program is one of the best values for the money in the budget.
Councilman Clark offered his compliments to not only Officer Del Pinto but also the entire Lomita Sheriff’s Department and requested that Captain Zuanich be on the lookout for back-ups to assist Officer Del Pinto with the Student and the Law Program.
Councilman McTaggart moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, to support the recommendation to fund the Student and the Law program as part of Public Safety Special Programs in the City Budget carried on the following roll call vote:
The motion carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Gardiner, Clark, McTaggart, Ferraro, and Mayor Stern
Resol. Nos. 2003-50, 51, 52, and 53: Term Limits Ordinance. (501)
City Attorney Lynch addressed the Council with a summary of the memorandum of June 17, 2003, requesting Council to also consider the following two policy issues: (1) the definition of the word "term," which she defined as any period of time exceeding two years, adding it becomes important if an individual is appointed to fill an unexpired portion of another Council member’s term; and, (2) the hiatus or time period required to make it nonconsecutive.
Mayor Stern, addressing the issue of the "hiatus" between terms, noted that twenty-three months is likely to be the norm but suggested reducing that number to six months, saying that there might be instances where someone who has not been reelected as an incumbent wants to run in a special election or the Council wishes to appoint someone who previously held office and the twenty-three month limitation would preclude their consideration.
Councilman Clark indicated that the only time an incumbent would be precluded would be if they had already completed two consecutive terms. He opined that the proposition of a six-month waiting period really defeats the idea that they should sit out one period before the next general election. He stated the basic premise of the ordinance states no more than two consecutive terms and that he would like to see added no lifetime ban, adding that in the 30-year history of the City there has only been one circumstance wherein someone has filled in for a portion of any term. He noted that if the majority thought six months were appropriate, he would follow suit.
Councilman Gardiner questioned how to ensure that citizen opinion is included in the submitted arguments and/or rebuttals.
City Attorney Lynch explained that one or more Council members could be designated to write a 300-word argument in favor or against. She stated that if, for example, Councilman Clark were chosen to write an argument in favor he could join with any other person who also chose to do so. The only things precluded would be the writing of more arguments on one side than the other.
Mayor Stern commented that Councilman Clark, since he brought the matter before the Council, should have the responsibility of writing the argument in favor, adding that anyone from the public wishing to collaborate should contact the Mayor’s office to sign on as co-author(s).
Mayor pro tem Ferraro inquired about the writing of rebuttals.
City Attorney Lynch replied that if the last resolution, No. 4, is adopted and Section 3 of the prior resolution is deleted, rebuttal arguments would be allowed.
Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Mayor Stern, to adopt the staff recommendation with the following amendments: (1) Subparagraph C be revised to read that the hiatus between terms be six months rather than twenty-three; (2) the words "no lifetime ban" be added where appropriate; (3) Councilman Clark be designated to write the argument in favor and Mayor pro tem Ferraro and Councilman McTaggart to write the argument against; and, (4) rebuttals written by the same parties be allowed.
Councilman McTaggart expressed his reluctance to vote on the four resolutions as a package, adding that he agrees with Nos. 3 and 4.
In response City Attorney Lynch advised voting on each resolution separately.
Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Mayor Stern, to ADOPT RESOL. NO. 2003-50 AS AMENDED, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES ORDERING THAT A PROPOSITION RELATED TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A LIMIT ON THE NUMBER OF CONSECUTIVE TERMS THAT A PERSON MAY SERVE AS A MEMBER OF THE CITY COUNCIL BE SUBMITTED TO THE VOTERS AT THE REGULAR MUNICIPAL ELECTION ON NOVEMBER 4, 2003. The motion carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Gardiner, Clark, and Mayor Stern
NOES: McTaggart and Mayor pro tem Ferraro
Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Mayor Stern to ADOPT RESOL. NO. 2003-51 AS AMENDED, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CALIFORNIA, REQUESTING THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES TO CONSOLIDATE A GENERAL MUNICIPAL ELECTION OF SAID CITY TO BE HELD ON NOVEMBER 4, 2003, WITH THE SCHOOL DISTRICT ELECTION TO BE HELD ON SAID DATE PURSUANT TO SECTION 10403 OF THE ELECTIONS CODE. The motion carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Gardiner, Clark, and Mayor Stern
NOES: McTaggart and Mayor pro tem Ferraro
Councilman McTaggart expressed his rationale for voting against these resolutions, saying that it is very difficult for someone to step in and adequately represent a city with term limits in place because it takes time to become familiar with the myriad intricacies of local government. He noted that his opposition to term limits is quite clear, saying they are an artificial means by which to change the ability of the electoral to select their representatives. He concluded by saying that he is, however, prepared to support the wording of the next two resolutions.
Mayor Stern commented that he hoped arguments both for and against would get a complete airing in the local newspaper.
Councilman McTaggart stated that he had not seen a clear message on the Internet when the question of term limits was asked, adding that the fact that the cost would be less did not change his opinion.
Councilman Clark voiced his rationale for voting in favor by saying that many residents in the community have indicated to him that they would like to see the process of running for elected office in the City opened up. He stated that this is a major public policy issue that needs to be decided by the residents and considers this to be a mechanism of partnering with the community in terms of bringing them into the decision-making process.
Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner to adopt RESOL. NO. 2003-52, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES SETTING PRIORITIES FOR FILING WRITTEN ARGUMENTS REGARDING A CITY MEASURE AND DIRECTING THE CITY ATTORNEY TO PREPARE AN IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS. The motion carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: McTaggart, Gardiner, Clark, Mayor pro tem Ferraro and Mayor
Councilman McTaggart moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro to ADOPT RESOL. NO. 2003-53, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES PROVIDING FOR THE FILING OF REBUTTAL ARGUMENTS REGARDING THE CITY MEASURE TO BE SUBMITTED TO THE VOTERS AT THE NOVEMBER 4, 2003 GENERAL MUNICIPAL ELECTION. The motion carried on the
following roll call vote:
AYES: Clark, Gardiner, McTaggart, Ferraro, and Mayor Stern
Councilman McTaggart commended Councilman Clark for adhering to his commitments.
ZON2003-00235 CODE AMENDMENT AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND STATE MANDATED DENSITY BONUS PROVISIONS. (701 x 1203)
Continued this item to the City Council meeting of July 1, 2003.
Approval of the Global Needs Assessment Survey. (1201)
Director Ron Rosenfeld presented the memorandum of June 17, 2003, recommending approval of the Global Needs Assessment Survey and requesting Council to authorize the public opinion firm of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, and Associates to conduct the survey. They introduced Richard Maullin to answer any questions Council may have regarding this matter.
Councilman Gardiner questioned whether the $28,000 included the collection and the analysis of the data. He also questioned to what degree the surveyors are confident that the 500 households surveyed in the random sample would be truly representative of the community.
Mr. Maullin responded that a sample is prepared from a list of random digit numbers, including all the listed and unlisted residential phone numbers in the city. He stressed that the technique of random-digit dialing is used effectively throughout the world for sampling populations in specific geographic areas. He also mentioned that the language and structure of the questionnaire allows individuals to evaluate items and give responsive, common sense answers.
Councilman Clark commented that after seeing a draft of the actual questionnaire, he is uncomfortable with the inclusion of "nice-to-have" services with necessary services. He stated that by asking residents to prioritize the importance of absolute essentials such as public safety, roads, storm drains, and sewers against things that make for an enjoyable place to live confusion may be created for the respondents, and he strongly advocated eliminating some of the infrastructure items from the questionnaire.
Mayor Stern expressed a slightly different opinion, commenting that he felt it was meaningful to see what the residents actually value as important, including their opinions on various infrastructure concerns. He stated that people recognize what things are necessary and did not think that concept would be misinterpreted.
Councilman McTaggart wanted to know what hours the survey would be conducted, stating that people generally don’t want to answer the phone after a long day at the office or when sitting down to dinner. He also wondered how tele-zappers and similar technologies used to screen phone calls would impact the survey.
Mr. Maullin replied that the survey would begin in the late afternoon and end by 9:00 p.m. He stated that tele-zappers and such are used to screen computer-generated calls, adding that they are not universal enough to have impacted the opinion research industry. He commented that in his experience people are more likely to be responsive to these types of surveys since they address issues that are important to the local community. He also mentioned that the interviewers are well trained in the "art" of inducing respondents to participate, adding that he expected a successful investigation of the participants’ attitudes on the subjects addressed.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro queried how many calls had to be made to gain the 500 responses, asking also where the calls were being placed from. She mentioned that she agreed with Mayor Stern that nothing should be omitted from the current questionnaire.
Mr. Maullin answered that the connection/participation ratio is approximately 15 to 1. He stated that the surveys would be conducted from within California by one of their prequalified subcontractors.
Councilman Gardiner stressed that since this survey will be instrumental in providing decision-making data to the Council, it is imperative that the information collected is reliable and representative of the community.
Mr. Maullin responded that before completion of the interviewing process a population model based on the last census, providing age and gender distribution as well as other key factors such as education, would be compared with the database to verify accurate population representation.
Councilman Clark reiterated his concern about the commingling of infrastructure with quality of life items, adding that people generally don’t have a real sensitivity for the City’s drain system until their toilets start plugging up.
City Manager Evans stated that some very specific questions related to infrastructure had already been removed, leaving only more general ones.
Mayor Stern asked how difficult it would be to develop a more geographically defined database since there are very distinct areas within the city. He commented that it may be determined that it is homogenous, but he predicted that there would be geographic differences.
Mr. Maullin answered that a question could be added enabling them to identify a major intersection to which the respondent was closest, allowing them to geo-code the responses. Using this mechanism, they are able to put a pin in a map and make geographic determinations based on their configurations.
Councilman Clark requested clarification regarding the retention of a financial consultant to advise staff on an infrastructure survey.
Director McLean responded that since infrastructure financing is very complex, there might be a need to question residents further on their opinions regarding this topic once the information has been gathered. He added that this is the reason that several detailed questions regarding that subject had been removed from the survey.
Bud Franklin, Rancho Palos Verdes, a 29-year resident of the city, agreed with the idea of a survey but stated he is astonished that it will be a telephone survey since many people might presume telemarketers are calling. He suggested the Council consider using the mail or some other mechanism, saying that otherwise the results would likely be biased.
Ken Dyda, Rancho Palos Verdes, queried how the issue of caller ID would be handled, stating that if he gets calls from an unrecognized number he doesn’t even answer them. He suggested advertising the survey so residents would be prepared for it and thereby increases the probability of their participation.
Council members voiced unanimous agreement with this idea.
Mr. Maullin responded that mail surveys are very unreliable, stating that it takes an affirmative action by the receiving party to read, respond, and return it. He added that it creates an enormous distortion in the random sample.
Councilman Clark suggested the formation of an ad hoc subcommittee that would include Councilman Gardiner to with staff and the consultant as the process evolves.
Recess and Reconvene: Mayor Stern recessed the meeting at 8:50 p.m. and reconvened the meeting at 9:00 p.m.
Steve Wolowicz, Rancho Palos Verdes, Chairman of the Finance Advisory Committee, stated that the Committee has been very concerned about taking a complicated topic such as infrastructure financing and trying to properly phrase questions that will elicit effective responses. He stated that he and his colleagues are not quite sure what the proper vehicle should be to garner this information and welcomed the idea of doing a series of preliminary surveys. He commented that everyone’s interest would be piqued when the issue of actual expenditures for these items is raised, adding that more specific questions could be posed at that time.
Marv Lubovsky, Rancho Palos Verdes, reiterated Mr. Dyda’s comments and concerns about caller ID.
Councilman Gardiner suggested the possibility of employing call forwarding and using a number such as City Hall as the origin of the call.
Councilman McTaggart commented this would allow people to recognize a local number and may change the odds quite a bit as far as how many calls would need to be placed to get a response.
Mr. Maullin was unsure if the idea would be feasible.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman McTaggart, to approve the staff recommendation with the addition of two things: (1) adding a geographic component; and, (2) making sure the survey is well advertised in the community.
Councilman Clark offered to amend the motion to include the concept of the call forwarding suggested by Councilman Gardiner.
Mr. Maullin responded that call forwarding through the City office rather than calls coming from an independent research firm would introduce a significant bias in the way people respond, adding that he would recommend against it.
Councilman Clark commented that city demographics show a high propensity for educated, successful, intelligent residents who would most likely inquire as to the sponsor of the survey.
Mr. Maullin stated that the interviewers do not respond to the question of who is sponsoring the survey, adding that the less people know about the origin and reason for it, the more likely to obtain reliable results.
Councilman McTaggart commented that if the survey were advertised, it would be important to inform people that the City is funding it but that all responses are anonymous.
Mayor Stern said that he would prefer to rely on the professional advice of the consultants rather than to try to micromanage things. He agreed that bias might be introduced by channeling the calls through the City Hall. He added that this is one technique by which the City can gather information, recognizing that perfect results are rarely possible.
The previous motion of Councilman Clark amending the staff recommendation to include the utilization of a call forwarding system to channel the survey failed on the
following roll call vote:
NOES: McTaggart, Gardiner, Ferraro, Mayor Stern
Mayor pro tem Ferraro renewed her motion, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to approve the staff recommendation with the addition of a geographic intersection component and advertisement of the survey.
The motion carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Gardiner, Clark, McTaggart, Ferraro, and Mayor Stern
Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to have the results of the pilot test of the survey forwarded to Council for review.
The motion carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Gardiner, Clark, McTaggart, Ferraro, and Mayor Stern
CITY COUNCIL ORAL REPORTS:
Mayor pro tem Ferraro mentioned that she attended the Ride to Fly barbecue at the Baras’ home in Portuguese Bend on Saturday, June 14, saying that is was a beautiful courtyard event which she enjoyed very much.
Councilman Gardiner said that he was invited to attend some government classes at Peninsula High. He stated that the students were very perceptive and asked great questions and that it was a delightful experience. He said the Cable Committee is in the midst of some interesting discussions with COX Communications that will produce some requests for decisions by Council in the near future.
Mayor Stern commented that he attended the dedication of the Forrestal Preserve in honor of the Ginsburgs with Councilman Clark and Mayor pro tem Ferraro on June 4. He reminded everyone of the very generous half a million dollars donation that the Ginsburgs made for the maintenance of some of the city’s open space. He encouraged other residents interested in making similar donations, adding they are always greatly appreciated. He also spoke about attending the League meeting on June 5, saying that new mandates have been placed on them insofar as local agency formation so the City of RPV will be cooperating with them. He attended the Coastal Commission meeting with staff on June 11, where the Long Point Resort Hotel project was approved. In conclusion he spoke of his pleasure in attending the docent luncheon on June 14, where the new docents were recognized for their various research projects and other accomplishments.
Councilman McTaggart attended the Liability Trust Fund meeting in Norwalk on June 2. He also attended the COG Steering Committee meeting that same day and reported that there is a problem with some conclusions in a consultant-developed document that would probably be the subject of a future meeting. On June 9 he attended the Inland Empire Composting and Authority meeting held at the L.A. County offices, where officers were elected for the coming year, the budget was approved, and an extensive report on the progress of their innovative engineering design was presented. He also attended the Coastal Commission hearing on Long Point on June 11. He and Councilman Gardiner met with Bob Lowe on June 12 to discuss future plans for the hotel.
Councilman McTaggart also attended the SCAG Water Policy Task Force meeting as a member on June 12, stating that he would provide some materials from this meeting to the Finance Advisory Committee. He mentioned these materials promote alternative ways to provide funding for storm water regulation problems and maintenance of storm sewers, and suggest the idea of using a storm water utility as a cost effective way to deal with the infrastructure that carries storm water. He added that he had requested Director Allison to forward copies to Council. On June 13 he attended the MTA South Bay Sector Governance Council in Carson, where service changes to augment the existing municipal bus line system were discussed. He mentioned that the budget is currently very tight for transportation, adding that a $2 million shortfall has put approved projects for street and road improvements on hold. In conclusion he mentioned that on June 16 Josh Cohen interviewed him and Directors Allison and McLean about sewers and storm drains for a City Talk production that he felt turned out very well.
Councilman Clark mentioned attending the Ginsburg dedication ceremony and complimented various staff members for their attendance. He also commended Bill Ailor of the PV Land Conservancy, saying that the introductory comments he and the Mayor made really set the tone of the event which he found significant in terms of gifting to a very important cause – the acquisition and maintenance of open space on the peninsula. He also extended hearty kudos to the Ginsburgs for setting the current standard. On June 6 he had a one-on-one meeting with John Russo, the president of the League of California Cities, adding that despite media presentation there is a movement afoot behind the scenes to bring the disparate sides of the aisle together in terms of a budget plan for the future. In conclusion he mentioned a vacation that he and his wife took up the California coast to Half Moon Bay and encouraged anyone wishing to take a pause to visit the tremendous asset of our beautiful coastline.
Toni Lubofsky, Rancho Palos Verdes, spoke to the issue of funding for the CORE deputies. She read excerpts from a letter to Lieutenant Herrera from Gail Lorenzen, discussing the reduction of one CORE deputy and how it would greatly impact their ability to attend important functions and meetings such as Neighborhood Watch and the newly formed Emergency Preparedness Committee. She mentioned that their presence at these meetings to answer questions is invaluable and appreciated. She commented that they not only handle things like graffiti, quality of life issues, and juvenile crime before things get out of hand but also that they make the people in the community feel safe and protected. Ms. Lubofsky added that the city also benefits tremendously from the tireless volunteer work of Ms. Lorenzen and her husband Andy.
Mayor Stern commented that everyone’s work is appreciated and that the City is certainly aware of and grateful for the dedicated efforts of Gail Lorenzen.
Steve Wolowicz, Rancho Palos Verdes, echoed the sentiments expressed in relation to the retention of the CORE deputies. He spoke of their ability to resolve public safety and quality of life issues not readily addressed by traditional law enforcement methods. He provided statistics on the effectiveness of the program since its inception six years ago, adding that he is particularly impressed by its proactive approach. He mentioned that CORE has been awarded recognition as one of the top 50 programs of the U.S. Justice Department in 2002. He suggested the following four proposals to provide a possible funding mechanism for the program: (1) postpone any cuts to the program for one year; (2) approach Rolling Hills and Rolling Hills Estates to increase their contributions since they have already expressed interest in its continuation; (3) re-assess the use of city staff and contract labor at Committee and Commission meetings as a means to further reduce overhead costs; and, (4) initiate a citizens’ letter-writing campaign to the State to address the issue of funding.
Councilman McTaggart suggested that if the VLF is not taken a number of programs that have been cut could be restored. He asked that this item be added to the next meeting agenda for discussion.
Councilman Gardiner mentioned that he had received several calls in support of a particular deputy and asked Captain Zuanich if the number was cut from three to two if that deputy would be unemployed or reallocated.
Captain Zuanich responded that the deputy would be reallocated within the department and would be available to resume his CORE position if funding permits. He reiterated statistics showing that juvenile crime has been reduced from 149 in 1997 to 36 in 2002, adding that illustrates a 74 percent reduction with no other change in the city’s general services.
Tim Just, Rancho Palos Verdes, general manager of the Avenue of the Peninsula shopping center, stated that he is unbelievably lucky to live in this area and manage a center where the level of crime is almost unprecedented in the industry. He credited this low occurrence of criminal activity to the Sheriff’s Department and their sensitivity to the needs of the center and the community at large. He mentioned his use of two off-duty Lomita officers on Friday nights when a large number of juveniles tend to frequent the center and commented that there is a mutual respect between them, which has promoted a safe and comfortable place for everyone to visit.
Lois Larue, Rancho Palos Verdes, advised that the new traffic signals on Vallon Drive are in place and working fine. She mentioned that Ken Dyda should be recognized for the tremendous things he is doing in the city and as president of the Seniors’ Association, suggesting the City honor him in the near future. She also wanted to inform Council that despite seeing signs along PV Drive South to alert drivers that landslide repair work is being done, she has not seen any evidence of it.
Tom Redfield, Rancho Palos Verdes, as spokesperson for the Revival and Renaissance Coalition, addressed a few concerns that had been voiced by various Council members regarding that organization. He discussed some of the history and activities of the coalition as they related to previous elections and the current members of the City Council. He commended members of the Council for the work they have done during their tenure in office, adding that the Revival and Renaissance Coalition is a group of interested citizens who would like to build onto what the City Council has created in the last couple of years.
Proposed Workshop Regarding Infrastructure Financing. (602)
Director McLean presented a condensed version of the June 17th staff report and recommended the following: (1) setting a future date of perhaps December 2003 to conduct the first of several workshops in conjunction with the FAC to discuss infrastructure financing; and, (2) Authorize staff to retain a financial consultant to assist in the preparation of an informational workshop about infrastructure financing alternatives followed by at least one more workshop that would culminate in the presentation of a recommendation of an infrastructure-financing plan.
He suggested the December date would allow enough time for the gathering of sufficient information for the first workshop. He recommended that staff be authorized to retain a financial consultant to assist in the preparation of the necessary information.
Councilman Clark queried if the reason for waiting until December is to provide ample time for the financial consultant to work comprehensively with staff to facilitate compiling the necessary information. He also asked if there were any mitigating or exigent issues that would require shortening that period.
Director McLean responded in the affirmative to the first question, and City Manager Evans responded that he did not believe there is anything that requires attention before the December time frame.
Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman McTaggart, to approve the staff recommendation with the inclusion of a date some time in December 2003 for the first meeting to be further determined at a subsequent meeting of the Council. Motion carried.
Expenditure Plan for the Community Development Block Grant Program. (601 x 2000)
Director Allison made a brief presentation of the staff memorandum of June 17, 2003, and recommended that Council (1) approve an expenditure plan for the Block Grant Funds; (2) authorize construction of the dewatering wells at Abalone Cove; (3) authorize a ground water investigation of the area; and, (4) explore the possibility of selling the remaining balance of $600,000 of CDBG funds at the going rate of $0.50 to $0.60 on the dollar.
Mayor Stern questioned the viability of using the money as a trade or loan in which they could be transferred to another city with an immediate use for them to be repaid later dollar for dollar.
Director Allison replied that staff had asked this question of the County and was told absolutely not.
Mayor Stern mentioned the possibility of deferring some of the money for projects slated for future action.
City Attorney Lynch admonished that any deviation from the norm in dealing with the bureaucratic processing of CDBG funds could waylay the entire endeavor, noting that her experience in dealing with them in the past is that they are very rigid. She explained that a county agency is administering a federal program where not much latitude is given for making discretionary decisions. She outlined as an example a cap on programs like Reach where only a certain amount of funds can be applied regardless of the need for such a program in a given community. She added that oftentimes many of the restrictions make no sense but the rules are in place and must be adhered to.
Councilman Gardiner responding that allocating funds across competing interests is different from employing poorly designed policies and restrictions.
Councilman Clark queried whether the funds could be used for a portion rather than the entirety of a qualifying project such as the Senior Center.
City Manager Evans stated this could be done, adding that using one penny of federal money would necessitate the entire project be done under federal guidelines, thereby increasing the cost significantly.
Councilman McTaggart expressed concern about the role inflation might play in devaluing the repayment of any money sold. He also pointed out that the longer the City waits to sell these dollars the less they might be worth because, as the deadline approaches, other cities will most likely be in a similar position further devaluing their worth.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro suggested that getting $0.50 or $0.60 on the dollar now which could be placed in the General Fund would allow the City to complete some important projects that do not qualify for grant funds such as the rest rooms at Del Cerro Park and Ocean Front Estates, adding that at least some high priority projects of interest in the community could be done.
Councilman Clark expressed interest in this suggestion and inquired if an immediate decision had to be made.
Mayor Stern commented that he also agreed with Councilwoman Ferraro but found it mind boggling that the sale of these dollars would be allowed on such a contingent basis only.
City Manager Evans advised that the clock is ticking. He noted that because of the time constraints and stringency of the process as a whole the risk of losing even more money is a distinct possibility unless Council has a current project within the dedicated time frame to devote these funds to. He urged a timely decision.
Councilman Clark suggested canvassing staff members of the League of Cities to see if any unique transactional arrangements had been made between other cities and reiterated his position that he would like to wait a short time to see if any other possibilities come to light.
City Attorney Lynch responded that she is pretty convinced of the answers but is happy to ask the question of her partners as well as League members.
Councilman Gardiner agreed that appropriate inquiries should be made before Council reaches a final decision, adding that, if the answer is that there are no other viable possibilities, a consent item could be presented to Council at the following meeting.
Mayor Stern suggested agendizing the item for the next meeting. He inquired about the possibility of the money being further devalued if action is not taken for two weeks to a month.
City Attorney Lynch answered that, not knowing the current market, she is unable to answer the question.
City Manager Evans agreed to canvass the cities but said the likelihood of finding another city that could meet the necessary criteria is probably very small.
Director Allison recommended Council adopt the first three recommendations so they could move forward on those items. He added that staff would investigate other possibilities in regard to the sale of the remaining funds.
Councilman McTaggart moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to adopt the first three recommendations listed in the staff memorandum.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro asked why the motion was excluding the fourth recommendation when staff was still being requested to investigate the potential sale.
Mayor Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to adopt the fourth staff recommendation with the modification that it be a sale or other transaction.
The motion carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: McTaggart, Clark, Gardiner, Ferraro and Mayor Stern
Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro and Councilman McTaggart, to propose an amendment to sell the full $610,000 and use the proceeds to put a rest room at Del Cerro Park and hire the third CORE deputy back.
Mayor Stern agreed with the motion to sell the $610,000 but requested the allocation of those funds be addressed separately.
Councilman Gardiner accepted Mayor Stern’s amendment to the motion and agreed to drop any reference about how to use the proceeds, and the amended motion carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Ferraro, McTaggart and Gardiner
NOES: Clark and Mayor Stern
Councilman Clark explained his vote by saying the exploration of an alternative approach might yield more funds for the future, thereby making it worthy to be patient for a week or two. Mayor Stern concurred with this rationale.
Recess and Reconvene: Mayor Stern recessed the meeting briefly at 11:17 p.m. and reconvened the meeting at 11:23.
Review of the proposed View Restoration and Preservation Guideline revisions. (1806)
Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman McTaggart, without objection to waive the staff report.
Mayor Stern mentioned his understanding that there were some corrections to the wording of the staff report.
Miss Nelson responded that Council had been given a copy of five pages of corrections that addressed that matter.
Ken Dyda, Rancho Palos Verdes, brought attention to some elements in the guidelines he believes to be contentious such as the word "significant," which he described as lacking definition and open to gross misinterpretation; and, the specificity of exactly 16 feet, which he felt leaves no room for judgment and could lead to arguments over interpretations of the ordinance’s intent. He suggested that rather than allowing staff to unilaterally incur costs that may be excessive to an applicant, said applicant should be allowed to make the decision, realizing that by choosing to incur the cost, the process continues and, if not, the application is automatically denied. He mentioned privacy, saying care should be taken in this regard and it should not be an issue if there is no privacy from public access or a neighbor’s house. He also addressed the language that requires leaving the stump of a removed tree, suggesting that the owner be allowed to grind the stump, thereby retaining the root structure for stability but providing better esthetics. In conclusion he suggested instituting a timetable for refunding unused deposited funds to applicants and recommended 30 days after all conditions had been met.
Councilmen Gardiner and Clark requested tabling the matter and bringing it back to Council with all loose ends integrated into one document since there are a quite a number of things to consider.
It was the consensus to continue the matter to the July 1 meeting.
Cost reduction proposals for View Restoration Services. (1806)
The staff memorandum of June 17 recommended the following: (1) Develop a new fee structure to better cover the costs of view restoration services as part of the City permit fee study currently underway; (2) Develop penalties to deter noncompliance with the City’s foliage maintenance directives; and, (3) Initiate a Code amendment to streamline the City Tree Review Permit process contained in Development Code Section 17.6.100.
Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, to waive the staff report. Motion carried.
Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, to move the staff recommendation. Motion carried.
View Restoration Permit No. 118 - A request by the applicant to have the City enforce a private agreement (Foliage Owner: Ms. Lynn Doran; Applicant: Mr. and Mrs. James Beck.) (1806)
Continued this matter to the July 1, 2003 City Council meeting.
Director Rojas stated that neither party was in attendance and both had requested continuance of the matter to July 1st.
Mayor Stern admonished that it is not the procedure of Council to deviate from standard policy and carve out special rules for different individuals.
Councilman McTaggart moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to continue the matter to July 1.
ADJOURNMENT: Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved to adjourn the meeting. Meeting adjourned at 11:44 p.m.
/s/ Douglas W. Stern
/s/ Jo Purcell