RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL
DECEMBER 2, 2003
The meeting was called to order at 7:03 P.M. by Mayor Stern at Fred Hesse Community Park, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard.
Roll call was answered as follows:
PRESENT: Clark, Ferraro, Gardiner, McTaggart, and Mayor Stern
Also present were City Manager Les Evans; Assistant City Manager Petru; City Attorney Carol Lynch; Director of Finance Dennis McLean; Director of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement Joel Rojas; Director of Public Works Dean Allison; Deputy Planning Director Pfost; Senior Planner Kit Fox; Senior Planner Ira Mihranian; Assistant to the City Manager Gina Park; City Clerk/Administrative Services Director Jo Purcell; and Recording Secretary Denise Bothe.
The flag salute was led by Mayor pro tem Ferraro and Councilman McTaggart.
CEREMONIAL ITEMS HONORING MAYOR PRO TEM FERRARO AND COUNCILMAN McTAGGART.
By way of a PowerPoint/slide presentation, Mayor Stern highlighted some of the past events from Councilman McTaggart’s tenure on the City Council—pointing out Councilman McTaggart’s 30 years’ of continuous service to Rancho Palos Verdes. He stated that John McTaggart was on the Planning Commission for the first 10 years of the City’s incorporation and spent the next 20 years serving on the City Council. He noted that Councilman McTaggart holds the record for being elected to the City Council for five terms; that he served as Mayor four times and served as Mayor pro tem five times. He highlighted Councilman McTaggart’s service with various organizations such as Contract Cities, MAX and SBCOG. On behalf of the City Council, Mayor Stern expressed his appreciation of Councilman McTaggart’s dedicated service to the City.
With the aid of a PowerPoint/slide presentation, Councilman Gardiner highlighted some of the events that Mayor Pro Tem Barbara Ferraro participated in the past years – pointing out that she was on the Planning Commission for two years and on the City Council for eight years, from 1995 through 2003. He noted that Mayor Pro Tem Ferraro was Mayor in 1998 and Mayor pro tem in 1997 and again in 2003. He highlighted her work on the City’s 25th anniversary celebration and other events such as the City’s 30th Anniversary. On behalf of the City Council, Councilman Gardiner expressed his appreciation of Mayor Pro Tem Ferraro’s many years of service to the City.
The following individuals representing various agencies honored Councilman McTaggart and Mayor Pro Tem Ferraro for their service to the public:
Representing Supervisor Don Knabe, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, was Field Deputy Mike Gin, who presented Mayor Pro Tem Ferraro and Councilman McTaggart with County plaques recognizing and commending them for their outstanding service to local government and their leadership and high level of commitment to this community. He wished them both well in all their future endeavors.
Representing Assemblyman Alan Lowenthal was Brock Coward who presented both Councilman John McTaggart and Mayor Pro Tem Barbara Ferraro with Certificates of Recognition for their service and achievements in the City of Rancho Palos Verdes.
On behalf of Rolling Hills Estates City Council, Councilwoman Susan Seamans presented Councilman McTaggart and Mayor Pro Tem Ferraro with resolutions commemorating their service to the community. Ms. Seamans briefly highlighted their work on other committees and expressed appreciation and best wishes to both Councilman McTaggart and Mayor Pro Tem Ferraro. .
On behalf of the California League of Cities, Los Angeles County Division, Ken Blackwood, Councilman from Lomita, presented Councilman McTaggart and Mayor Pro Tem Ferraro with Certificates for their outstanding service to the community.
On behalf of State Senator Betty Karnette and State Senator Ed Vincent, Mayor Stern presented Certificates of Recognition to Councilman McTaggart and Mayor Pro Tem Ferraro for their dedicated service.
On behalf of the City of Rolling Hills, Councilman Frank Hill presented Certificates of Appreciation to Councilman McTaggart and Mayor Pro Tem Ferraro for their many years of community service.
On behalf of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, Mayor Stern presented Councilman McTaggart and Mayor Pro Tem Ferraro with a plaque commemorating their service to the community.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro happily announced that she will soon be a grandmother; and expressed her sincere appreciation to the residents of Rancho Palos Verdes for allowing her to serve in this privileged and honored position. She commended the hard work and dedication of staff and stated that she knows that this community will continue to move forward. She thanked everyone for their accolades. Mayor Pro Tem Ferraro expressed her appreciation of Councilman John McTaggart for his guidance when she was newly elected. She congratulated and wished Steve Wolowicz and Tom Long well in their new positions on the City Council. Mayor Pro Tem Ferraro extended her love and appreciation to her husband and her daughter for their support and making it possible for her to do this job all these years.
Councilman McTaggart thanked the public for giving him the opportunity to serve five terms on the City Council. He commended the hard work and dedication of City staff. He wished the new Councilmembers well and he thanked his wife and his family for their love and support.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman McTaggart, to approve the Agenda as submitted. Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered.
Certification of Election Results. (501)
City Clerk Purcell presented staff report and the recommendation to ADOPT RESOL. NO. 2003-98, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES RECITING THE FACTS OF THE GENERAL MUNICIPAL ELECTION HELD IN SAID CITY ON NOVEMBER 4, 2003, DECLARING THE RESULTS THEREOF AND SUCH OTHER MATTERS AS PROVIDED BY LAW.
Councilman McTaggart moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, to ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2003-98 as presented. Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered.
RECESS AND RECONVENE
At 7:55 P.M., Mayor Stern recessed the meeting for refreshments and reconvened the meeting at 8:21 P.M.
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Swearing in of Newly Elected Council Members Long, Stern and Wolowicz.
City Clerk Purcell administered the oath to Councilmembers Long, Stern and Wolowicz.
Remarks by Mayor Stern and Council Members Clark and Gardiner.
Mayor Stern expressed his appreciation in being re-elected to the City Council; stated that he is looking forward to working with each Councilmember; and noted that this body is at its best when each member comes prepared to work on the problems of the public, using each member’s views, life experiences, background, and knowledge.
Councilmember Clark congratulated Mayor Stern on his re-election to City Council, stating that Mayor Stern has had a tremendous impact on this community. He congratulated both Councilmembers Long and Wolowicz on their election to the Council; and noted his appreciation for those who helped to change a major public policy with respect to how this Council in the future will be organized in terms of length of service at one time, believing that term limits was the right decision.
On behalf of City Council and the City, Council member Clark presented Council member Tom Long and Council member Steve Wolowicz with a City Council pin that was designed by former City Mayor and Councilmember Tom Hollingsworth.
To former Council members McTaggart and Ferraro, Council member Gardiner wished fair winds and calm seas; and to the new members of Council, he welcomed them aboard. He stated that he was delighted to be able to continue serving with Mayor Stern.
Remarks by Newly Elected Council Members Long and Wolowicz.
Councilman Wolowicz expressed his appreciation for all the kind comments and expressed his thanks and appreciation to all those in the community who supported him through the campaign process; and expressed special appreciation of his family -- his children Jennifer, Daniel and Karen, and to his wife, MaryJo, for her love and support. He thanked his partners in his firm for their daily help and support. He stated that he was honored and humbled to represent this City by serving on the City Council. He expressed his thanks and appreciation to former Council members Ferraro and McTaggart for their countless hours of service and contributions to the City. Councilman Wolowicz encouraged the public to contact him should they desire and stated that he will work hard to make this the best possible municipal government.
Councilman Long expressed his thanks and appreciation to everyone who supported him throughout the campaign process; expressed special thanks to his wife, Laura Lee, whom he stated made the largest sacrifice. He thanked the departing Council members for their long commitment to the City. Councilman Long urged the public to contact him should they desire and stated that he is looking forward to his tenure on this body.
Background on Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem Selection. (306)
With the aid of a PowerPoint presentation, Mayor Stern provided historical information regarding the former Council members who have served this City, and commented on the various selection rules/policies that have been used in the past to decide who would be the next Mayor. He presented the history of the mayors of RPV since 1979, showing that in each and every case since 1979, every newly elected city council member had served as Mayor during his or her first term in office. He further stated that under a 1983 policy that some advocated be used, Mrs. Ferraro would have been Mayor for the past term, and that under that 1983 policy he would be the incoming Mayor at this point in time, as he began his second term. He noted that this would make him the first person elected to City Council since 1979 who had not served as Mayor during his first term, had that 1983 policy been followed. He also explained that under that 1983 policy Councilman Clark would not have the opportunity to serve as Mayor in his first term, nor would Councilman Long.
Mayor Stern then showed the various policies that the City Council had adopted over the years, commencing with the 1975 policy, followed by the 1979 policy, 1983 policy, 1993 rule, and 2000 rule. He noted that prior Councils had not always followed the then existing policy, as was the case in 1989-90 and 1990-91. He stated that the present Mayor and Mayor pro tem selection policy is set forth in Rules 4.1 and 4.2 of the City Council Rules of Procedure. Rule 4.1 provides that "The Mayor is a member of the City Council and is annually elected by majority vote of the City Council at the first regular meeting in December or, in the case of an election year, upon certification of the election results." He noted that the Mayor pro tem selection rule is Rule 4.2 which states "The Mayor Pro Tem shall be selected by a Council majority vote.
He pointed out that each Council can choose who they wish to serve as Mayor and Mayor pro tem, and that in his view, the policy/rule of the Council did not dictate any particular selection, and that this background was only provided for informational purposes since some in the past couple of years had suggested that the City Council was obligated to select a particular person to serve as Mayor and Mayor pro tem under the policies that had previously been adopted but since superceded.
Council Reorganization. (306)
Mayor Stern presented his December 2nd report and the following recommendation: (1) Select Mayor and Mayor pro tem using Rule Of Procedure 4.1 and 4.2, which state: 4.1 Election of Mayor: The Mayor is a member of the City Council and is annually elected by the majority vote of the City Council at the first regular meeting in December or, in the case of an election year, upon certification of the election results. As a member of the City Council, the Mayor shall have all the powers of a member. 4.2 Mayor Pro Tem: The Mayor Pro Tem shall be selected by a Council majority vote.
Selection of Mayor. (306)
City Clerk asked for nominations from the floor for the selection of Mayor. Mayor Stern nominated Councilman Gardiner to serve as Mayor. Councilman Clark seconded this nomination. There being no objection, City Clerk Purcell so ordered.
Mayor Gardiner took his seat as Mayor.
Selection of Mayor Pro Tem. (306)
Mayor Gardiner asked for nominations from the floor for Mayor pro tem. Councilman Long nominated Councilman Clark to serve as the Mayor pro tem. Councilman Wolowicz seconded this nomination. There being no objection, Mayor Gardiner so ordered.
Mayor pro tem Clark took his seat as the Mayor pro tem of Rancho Palos Verdes.
Remarks by Mayor and Council Members.
On behalf of the City Council, Mayor Gardiner presented Councilman Stern with a gift certificate as a token of their appreciation for his years of service as the Mayor of Rancho Palos Verdes. He commended Councilman Stern for his distinguished service as Mayor.
Councilman Stern noted his pleasure in serving as Mayor.
As the new Mayor of the City Council, Mayor Gardiner expressed his delight and honor in serving as Mayor of this body; and he expressed his plan to conduct the meetings in an efficient and shorter manner and that he would attempt to complete all business by 10:00 P.M. He pointed out that the past City Council meetings were too lengthy. Mayor Gardiner stated that one of the things to consider in shortening the length of the meetings was to limit public comments to 3 minutes and to adhere to the speaker lights. He stated that should a Council member wish to give the speaker additional time, if necessary, they could authorize the speaker more time. He added that following Roberts Rules of Order, it would help to have a motion on the floor before the start of discussion on a particular item – believing that this will help to keep focus on the discussion topic. He noted that there might be an occasion where a large number of people wish to speak before the Council and that it may cause the meetings to go later than 10:00 P.M.
Mayor pro tem Clark congratulated Mayor Gardiner on his position as Mayor; and stated that Mayor Gardiner brings an outstanding intellect to this body. He noted his appreciation of serving as Mayor pro tem and highlighted the great satisfaction he experiences in serving this community. Mayor pro tem Clark stated that the last two years on this body had been a time of tremendous growth for him and has been a tremendous satisfaction in terms of serving this community, both professionally and personally. On behalf of a member in the audience who requested to remain anonymous, and also an elected official on the peninsula, Mayor pro tem Clark distributed various hats to each member of this body and provided Mayor Gardiner with a key to the City.
Remarks by Members of the Audience.
RECESS AND RECONVENE:
Mayor Gardiner recessed the meeting at 9:02 P.M. and reconvened the meeting at 9:15 P.M.
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Mayor Gardiner announced the recycle winners for the first and last City Council meetings in the month of November Jan Withey, Jeffrey Tom, and M. Wesselsburger, each of whom would receive a check for $250, which represented a year of free refuse service. He encouraged everyone to recycle.
APPROVAL OF CONSENT CALENDAR:
City Clerk Purcell advised that she distributed late correspondence, some corrections to the Minutes, and an email from Ms. Bosworth; and announced that staff requested that Agenda Item No. 3, Termination of the Non-Exclusive Commercial Refuse Collection and Disposal Services agreement with Ace Roll Off Rubbish Service, be removed from the Consent Calendar and brought back at a later date.
Responding to Mayor Gardiner’s inquiry concerning the reason for Agenda Item No. 3 being removed, Director Allison explained that staff had discovered that the applicable fees had been paid and that it would not need to reappear on the Agenda.
Councilman Wolowicz requested that Agenda Item Nos. 4 (October Treasurer’s Report) and 5 (Register of Demands) be pulled from the Consent Calendar.
Councilman Stern moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Clark, to approve the Consent Calendar as amended, pulling Agenda Item Nos. 3, 4 and 5 and approval of the Minutes as amended. There being no objection, Mayor Gardiner so ordered.
Motion to Waive Full Reading.
Adopted a motion to waive reading in full of all ordinances presented at this meeting with consent of the waiver of reading deemed to be given by all Council Members after the reading of the title.
Approval of the Minutes of November 5, 2003. (301)
Approved the Minutes as amended, with Councilmen Long and Wolowicz abstaining.
Treasurer's Report for the month of October. (602)
Staff recommended that this report be received and filed.
Councilman Wolowicz questioned if there was another summary of operations with explanations from the budget or changes from the prior year.
Director McLean explained that on an annual basis, the financial statements of the City are audited by an independent certified accountant; in addition to that, those audited financial statements of operations are included in the City’s comprehensive annual financial report; and advised that the financial report ending June 30th, 2003 is expected to be presented to the City Council at the next meeting or the meeting thereafter.
Councilman Wolowicz requested and received input concerning the routine practices and policies for a monthly treasurer’s report being presented to this body.
Councilman Wolowicz requested a copy of the City’s investment policy.
Addressing Councilman Long’s inquiry regarding LAIF, Director McLean explained that it is a separate fund and is clearly protected from the grasp of the State of California.
Councilman Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Wolowicz, to receive and file the October Treasurer’s Report. There being no objection, Mayor Gardiner so ordered.
Resol. No. 2003-99: Register of Demands.
ADOPT RESOL. NO. 2003-99, 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.
Director McLean noted for Councilman Wolowicz that the purpose of this report is to provide a summary of each bill that is being presented for approval and disbursement of payment/funds.
Councilman Long requested that staff provide a summary to indicate the routine items that will come before this body.
Mayor pro tem Clark suggested that the two new Council members set up a meeting with the Finance Director to go through some of the routine reports that are presented to the City Council, as an alternative to providing the summary requested by Councilman Long.
Councilman Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Wolowicz, to approve the Register of Demands, thus adopting Resolution No. 2003-99. The motion passed as follows:
AYES: Clark, Long, Stern, Wolowicz and Mayor Gardiner
Lois Larue, 3136 Barkentine Road, stated that this is the first induction meeting that she has attended since attending these City Council meetings; and mentioned that a resident had commended her for her comments made at these meetings.
CITY COUNCIL ORAL REPORTS:
Councilman Long stated that he spoke with Rolling Hills Councilman Steve Zuckerman regarding the proposed development for the Sanitation Districts facility; and expressed his desire to see some of the comments he made placed in the staff report if and when comments are forwarded to the County of Los Angeles on the pending proposal.
Councilman Stern stated that on behalf of this City, he attended the L.A. County Breakfast on World Aids Day in Downtown Los Angeles – pointing out that it remains a huge problem worldwide.
Mayor pro tem Clark complimented staff on the annual City holiday celebration at Hesse Park. He stated that the tribute dinner for the outgoing Council members was a wonderful event and noted his appreciation of staff.
Councilman Wolowicz stated that he attended the South Bay Ethics in Government Forum in Torrance – pointing out that it was an impressive presentation on ethics in the government sector. He noted that he provided the City Manager and Council with the materials that were made available to the attendees of this forum.
Mayor pro tem Clark mentioned that the ethics forum was sponsored by the South Bay Cities Council of Governments, COG.
Mayor Gardiner stated that some material had been sent to Channel 33 and that he anticipates seeing it broadcast on Sunday.
City Manager Evans added that Cox would broadcast City business on Channel 33 on Sunday, from 5:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M.
Mayor Gardiner requested that staff send a list to each Council member reflecting all the various committees, subcommittees, and other bodies currently in existence. He requested that each Council member review the list and note their interest in adding to the list or deleting from the list and for each Council member to highlight their interest in being involved on any committee, according to preferences.
Resol. No. 2003-100: FY 03-04 ERAF Shift and Consolidated Loan Agreement between the City and Agency. (602 x 1900)
Finance Director McLean presented staff report and the recommendation to (1) Authorize an additional advance of $40,355 from the city to the Rancho Palos Verdes Redevelopment Agency for the FY 02-03 Education Revenue Augmentation Fund payment and previous payments of County administrative fees made from the City's General fund; (2) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO 2003-100, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES MAKING FINDINGS IN CONNECTION WITH THE FY 03-04 EDUCATIONAL REVENUE AUGMENTATION FUND PAYMENT AND AUTHORIZING A CONSOLIDATED LOAN AGREEMENT WITH THE RANCHO PALOS VERDES REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY IN CONNECTION WITH THE AGENCY'S PROJECT AREA NO. 1; (3) Authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to execute the proposed Consolidated Loan Agreement between the City and the Rancho Palos Verdes Redevelopment Agency; and (4) Authorize staff to account for the cost of administrative services and facilities provided by the City to the Rancho Palos Verdes Redevelopment Agency, beginning December 1, 2003; and to add those costs annually to the outstanding consolidated loan balance between the City and Agency.
Mayor Gardiner opened the public hearing.
Finance Director McLean stated that the City has the indebtedness in its Redevelopment Agency a $5.5 million bond; and advised that the City also owes the County an additional $3 million of deferred interest associated with the original County bonds. He indicated that all the property taxes that are generated in the portion of the City in the RDA are committed to either the fire or school districts or that it goes to pay off the bond indebtedness – pointing out that there is no money left over. City Manager Evans explained that two years ago, the State started taking some of the City’s Redevelopment money, some of the tax increment money; and advised that the State took more of this money once again this year. In addition to that, he explained that two years ago, the County started charging the City an administration fee to handle paying off this debt – noting that neither of those amounts of money, the money the State took nor the amount the County charges – can be taken from the tax increment, so the City has to pay it out of the General Fund. As a result, Director McLean explained that this request is to take that money out of the General Fund, considering it to be a loan from the City to the Redevelopment Agency.
Councilman Long questioned if there is any possibility of refinancing the 1997 bonds to lessen this burden.
Responding to Councilman Long’s inquiry, Director McLean explained that staff contemplated refinancing the 1997 bonds; that because of the unique nature of the whole arrangement, staff has determined that it would be prudent to leave them in place as is. He noted that the bondholder is the County.
City Manager Evans stated that some laws have changed regarding bonds and Redevelopment Agencies and that refinancing would not be to the City’s advantage.
City Attorney Lynch explained that the City has until November of 2004 to meet the deadline for the Agency to incur any additional debt; noted that there is a process by which the Agency could extend that deadline; however, because of all the existing agreements that have been outlined by the County, she explained that the County will not allow the City to restructure the debt in such a way that the County would not get paid first. She stated that basically, the ability of many Redevelopment Agencies to extend the opportunity to take on more debt would not work for this Agency because of its existing commitments to the County.
Highlighting staff’s decision not to refinance the bonds, Mayor pro tem Clark questioned if staff had sought professional/legal advice in regard to this matter.
Director McLean explained that this decision was made prior to the retention of Feldman & Rolapp, the City’s financial consultant; and noted that the $3.4 million of deferred interest is non-interest bearing.
City Manager Evans stated that staff had sought legal/professional advice on this matter; and added that the Redevelopment Agency laws have changed so that if this City refinances the $5.5 million to a lower interest rate, the City will have to agree to a lot of onerous conditions, basically having to give up some additional tax increment.
Councilman Wolowicz asked if staff could do a projection that would basically take out what the dollar amounts are through the rest of the extended period, to look at a calculation of the ERAF shift and simply project out into subsequent years what its impact might be. Director McLean stated that that could be done. Councilman Wolowicz requested this projection. City Manager Evans stated that future ERAF shifts, if any, are unknown at this time; therefore, could not be included in projections. Both the Director McLean and Councilman Wolowicz agreed with Mr. Evans.
For Councilman Wolowicz, Director McLean explained that the projections that were prepared were based upon an increase of tax increment at the rate of 2 percent each year, which seems to indicate that looking out 10, 15 years, it is conceivable that there may be enough tax increment to pay off the 1997 bonds, the $3 million of deferred interest and then perhaps begin paying back the City’s General Fund.
Councilman Stern stated that it would be helpful to have some projections on the schedules of the loans.
Mayor pro tem Clark explained that it may not be necessary to project into the future, year after year, due to the League of California Cities becoming more proactive in its efforts to voice dissatisfaction with this type of ERAF shift. He explained that the League is gaining clout with the State Legislature and new administration and is gaining support to get the State to back off their shifting of funds. He advised that he is the Vice-Chairman of the League’s Revenue and Tax Policy Committee and that he will keep this City well informed as new information comes forth regarding the budget process.
There being no response to the Mayor’s call for public testimony, he closed the public hearing.
Councilman Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Wolowicz, to concur with staff’s recommendation, thus adopting Resolution No. 2003-100. The motion carried as follows:
AYES: Clark, Gardiner, Long, Stern, Wolowicz
Proposed 2004-2005 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program. (601 x 1204)
The staff report of December 2nd recommended the following: (1) Conduct a public hearing to receive citizen input on the proposed 2004-2005 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program; (2) Approve the proposed CDBG projects and budget; and (3) Authorize the Director of Public Works to execute agreements for CDBG projects with the Los Angeles County Community Development Commission.
Mayor Gardiner opened the public hearing.
Mayor pro tem Clark moved to waive staff report. There being no objection, Mayor Gardiner so ordered.
Sunshine, 6 Limetree Lane, noted that the homeowners whose homes are in the landslide area cannot take advantage of the City’s Home Improvement program, to bring their homes into conformity with code; advised that the grant funds are not enough to fix foundations in this area; and asked that the City take another look at how to help finance these problems in the landslide area.
Mayor pro tem Clark questioned if there is flexibility during the year with the project list, asking if adjustments can be made once a project is approved.
In response to Mayor pro tem Clark’s inquiry, Director Allison stated that there is flexibility with this Federal grant program; and explained that during the year, the City is permitted to advise the Federal government that a project is costing more to build or less to build and that the City would request to make an adjustment.
Councilman Wolowicz questioned if the funds from the prior year have all been expended.
Responding to Councilman Wolowicz’ inquiry, Director Allison stated that the funds are in various stages of the process, but that they are committed to projects that are proceeding. He added that leftover monies would not be returned to the Federal government, but that those leftover monies would either be shifted to another project or sold.
Mayor pro tem Clark moved, seconded by Councilman Stern, to approve staff recommendation. There being no objection, Mayor Gardiner so ordered.
Proposed Interview Schedule for Advisory Board Applicants. (106)
City Clerk Purcell briefly presented staff report and the recommendation to adopt one of the following schedules for interviewing and appointment of committee and commission applicants: (1) Interview candidates Tuesday, January 6th and Thursday, January 8th. Make appointments at the January 20th City Council meeting; (2) Interview candidates Tuesday, January 6 and Monday, January 19th. Make appointments at Tuesday, January 20th meeting; and, (3) Interview candidates for committee chair at 6:00 P.M. on Tuesday, January 20th or February 3rd.
Councilman Long noted his concern with the even number of people on the Equestrian Committee and questioned if appointment of a 7th member is warranted.
City Clerk Purcell explained that sometimes, members of this committee must recuse themselves from consideration of certain matters that come before this committee due to their close proximity to a particular project being discussed. Also, during the last appointment process, Council appointed all of those who had applied for this committee.
Mayor pro tem Clark requested that this process take place as soon as possible, suggesting that January 6th be one of the interview dates.
Following discussion concerning each Council members’ availability, there was consensus to start the interview process January 6th, prior to the City Council meeting, January 7th at 6:00 P.M., and the selection of Committee Chairs on February 17, prior to the meeting.
Ganado Trail/Coolheights Lot Site Visit. (450 x 1203)
Staff recommended that Council select a date and time to conduct a site visit to the private lot at the terminus of Coolheights to view the route of the Ganado Trail.
Mayor pro tem Clark moved to waive staff report, stating that it was an excellent and comprehensive report. There being no objection, Mayor Gardiner so ordered.
There was consensus for the site visit to take place on Saturday, December 6th, at 3:00 P.M.
Sunshine, 6 Lime Tree Lane, asked that the Council keep in mind that the construction activity at this site has removed some of the problems that have existed at this site; and she questioned the accuracy of the labeling of trails on the conceptual plans.
Ralph Ortolano asked that the Director of Public Works visit this site in order to address his concern with installing an adequate drainage plan – pointing out that since the brush has been cleared from one side of the canyon, he believes a trench drain will be necessary across the slope. Mr. Ortolano stated that staff report inaccurately identifies him as being the one who suggested the Ganado Trail route alternative, but advised that this suggestion was instead made by Mr. Al Saddler and Jim Bussy. He reiterated his concern with the lack of proper public notice concerning this matter.
Councilman Stern moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Clark, that the site visit be conducted on Saturday, December 6, 2003, at 3:00 P.M.
Mayor pro tem Clark urged staff to do everything possible to publicize this site visit and to invite anyone to attend; and suggested that staff notify the homeowner’s associations, place a notice on the website and List Serve system.
Workshop Issues for the Year 2004. (1101)
City Manager Evans presented staff report and the recommendation to identify issues that the City Council should discuss in workshop sessions and set dates for those workshops.
Councilman Stern stated that traffic issues and infrastructure financing are high on his priority list.
Councilman Wolowicz stated that the Tactical Planning Workshop ranks top priority on his list.
Councilman Long stated that the Infrastructure Financing Workshop ranks top priority on his list.
Mayor pro tem Clark stated that the Tactical Planning Workshop ranks top priority on his list, suggesting that this workshop be scheduled for January 10th. He highlighted his interest for this body to take advantage of the League’s Leadership Team Building Workshop and the Contract Cities Legislative Tour. He suggested that the Infrastructure Financing Workshop be scheduled for February and that after selecting a new Traffic Committee, that a Joint City Council/Traffic Committee Workshop be scheduled. He suggested that the joint meeting with the School Board be scheduled for sometime late April, early May; and that the VIP Tour of the Long Beach Port take place in March or April.
Mayor Gardiner noted his preference to first have the Tactical Planning Workshop so that this body can establish priorities and identify what this body would like to accomplish.
Mayor pro tem Clark moved, seconded by Councilman Stern, that this body commit to attend the Annual Contract Cities Legislative Tour in Sacramento on January 12 and 13; to schedule January 10th, 9:00 A.M., for the Tactical Planning Workshop; and that the Council commit to the League’s Leadership Team Building Workshop on January 28th-30th. There being no objection, Mayor Gardiner so ordered.
Quorum Level for the General Plan Update Steering Committee. (701)
The staff report of December 2nd recommended that Council ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2003-101, RAISING THE QUORUM LEVEL FOR THE GENERAL PLAN UPDATE STEERING COMMITTEE FROM 6 MEMBERS BACK TO 8 MEMBERS AND RESCINDING RESOLUTION NO. 2003-15.
Councilman Stern questioned the purpose for this resolution, noting his support for public notice of meetings. He urged staff to make every reasonable effort to have some sort of public notice, whether it’s required or not.
Councilman Long commented on the purpose for this resolution; explained that the specific concern is lack of quorum for many subcommittees and the desire to make it clear that recommendations to a higher body were being made in a public forum.
City Attorney Lynch advised that publication in the newspaper is not required in the Municipal Code, all that is required is posting in 3 public places.
Ralph Ortolano reiterated that the need for the site visit is partially due to the lack of adequate public notice; and he echoed Councilman Stern’s desire to see the public notified of these meetings, giving people maximum opportunity to participate in the process.
Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Clark, to approve staff recommendation.
Deputy Director Pfost noted for Councilman Stern that all Brown Act requirements will be followed and that all other avenues will be utilized when possible, such as List Serve.
Councilman Long supported the adoption of this resolution in order to have a more normal quorum and to allow the City to avoid technical violations of the Brown Act. He pointed out that this is not for purposes of avoiding public notice that its primary reason is he does not want quorums to be less than the majority of the members.
Councilman Long offered a friendly amendment to the motion that staff will continue to give public notice of all subcommittee meetings and adhere to the adopted schedule, to the extent possible, and to attempt to give notice of all these subcommittee meetings in compliance with the Brown Act, notwithstanding that quorums of the committee may not be present at the subcommittee meetings.
Councilman Stern suggested an amendment that notwithstanding if there was technical failure to comply with the Brown Act notice, that it not invalidate the subcommittee’s recommendation to a higher body.
The amendments were accepted.
There being no objection, Mayor Gardiner so ordered approval of the amended motion.
Border Issues Status Report. (310)
The December 2nd staff report recommended that Council review the current status of border issues and provide direction to the City Council Committee and Staff.
With respect to the Palos Verdes Drive North (PVDN) portion of the former Navy housing sites, Mayor pro tem Clark requested input from staff regarding the news coverage last week with respect to the Navy’s decision for usage of the excess housing facility and reaction from staff with respect to whether they see any action Council needs to take as it applies to this City or any projects before this City.
Senior Planner Fox stated that with respect to the PVDN portion, it appears that the conveyance is consistent with the 1999 Reuse Plan; advised that there was no information regarding the San Pedro/John Montgomery site as far as staff is aware; but added that portion may be auctioned off with the current zoning for residential development. He noted that any future developer would be obligated to provide for at least 76 additional units of housing for the homeless. He stated that the PVDN seems to be moving forward in a manner consistent with the Reuse Plan. He added that at this time, he sees no implications for City projects.
With regard to the Sanitation District transferring liability to the County of L.A. for the golf course project above the landfill, Councilman Long questioned the value of those indemnities, potential liability or risk issues connected with 200,000 gallons of water per day being placed on top of this Class I landfill and that water leaching through that hazardous waste mass into the ground water-table; and with a capping membrane, the trapping of methane and the possibility for explosion. He asked that these issues be addressed when the appropriate time comes for input.
Mayor Gardiner reiterated his concern with the EIR reflecting a death risk of 3.4 in 100,000 for the golf course project – stating that this is unacceptable. He questioned the status of communication with Supervisor Knabe and Councilman Stern on this matter and the desire for an extension for the comment period to March 4, 2004.
Councilman Long noted his understanding that some type of preliminary meeting will be taking place on December 8, 2003.
Councilman Stern stated that Supervisor Knabe, at the last discussion, indicated to him that he saw no problem extending the EIR comment period to January 30, 2004.
Mayor pro tem Clark recommended that Mayor Gardiner put in a call to Supervisor Knabe in regard to the request for an extension to March 4, 2004.
Mayor Gardiner suggested that if there is resistance to the various municipalities’ requests for an extension, that the other Supervisors be contacted on the extension requests; and he requested that Councilman Stern join him in conversing with Supervisor Knabe.
RECESS AND RECONVENE
Mayor Gardiner recessed the meeting at 11:40 P.M. and reconvened the meeting at 11:50 P.M.
Continued Border Issues. (310)
With regard to the South Coast County Golf Course item, Councilman Wolowicz noted for the record that it was his firm that prepared the financial projections for that golf course four years ago.
With regard to the September 6th incident for the RWQCB notice date of August 1st, Councilman Wolowicz questioned if the city of Rolling Hills Estates or Palos Verdes Unified School District filed any actions.
In response, Senior Planner Fox stated that the City was not aware that any actions were filed.
With regard to the San Pedro facility, Councilman Wolowicz questioned if the Navy’s conveyance of the lands that were announced in the newspaper in November effectively concluded on all the issues addressed in the Mayor’s letter dated November 8, 2003.
Senior Planner Fox explained that two sites are involved concerning the conveyance of land, the PVDN and the San Pedro/John Montgomery site; stated that the newspaper article focused on the PVDN site and reflected that those conveyances were consistent with the 1999 Reuse Plan. He indicated that to staff’s knowledge, the San Pedro property has not been conveyed to anyone; that it would be auctioned to a developer for single-family residential use, which is not the use that was anticipated in the original 1999 Reuse Plan. He briefly provided a background of the activities on these two sites.
With regard to the Navy properties, Councilman Wolowicz commented on the numerous residents of this community who have expressed frustration about being excluded from the decisions which impact their neighborhoods; and stated that these residents have many concerns with the proposal for homeless housing, questioning if there is anything this City can do in an aggressive manner to help prevent the proposed homeless housing at that location.
City Manager Evans commented on the numerous meetings that have taken place over the years in regard to these properties; and indicated that it is very clear that it’s going to be the Federal agency’s decision on what will be placed on this property.
Councilman Wolowicz suggested that a Congress person be contacted in regard to these concerns.
City Manager Evans commented on the possibility of contacting Congressman Rohrabacher, asking to schedule a meeting in this regard.
Mayor pro tem Clark moved, seconded by Councilman Stern, for Council to authorize Councilman Wolowicz, Mayor pro tem Clark and City Manager Evans to engage Congressman Rohrabacher on this matter. There being no objection, Mayor Gardiner so ordered.
Regarding the Rolling Hills Covenant Church, Councilman Wolowicz questioned if there are any outstanding issues addressed by the RPV City Council to the city of Rolling Hills Estates.
Senior Planner Fox stated that the main issue that this City expressed to Rolling Hills Estates was that the EIR identified significant unavoidable adverse noise and air quality impacts that exclusively affected residents in RPV. He explained that the concerns are related to the exportation of soil from the church site onto the Green Hills Memorial Park site and noted that staff had asked very early in the EIR process to include an alternative analysis whereby that fill did not go to the Green Hills Memorial Park site. He noted that the EIR does include such an alternative as requested by this City. He advised that RPV has continued to stress to Rolling Hills Estates that if they are inclined to approve the project at some point, that this City would still prefer to see them require the fill go somewhere else. He also noted that Green Hills does not have authorization to accept the fill at this point in time and that this issue is unresolved.
Relating to the Harbor-South Bay Water Recycling project, Councilman Wolowicz questioned if any elements of the trenching in public rights-of-way can be coordinated with the infrastructure repairs and/or the street maintenance.
Senior Planner Fox stated that this City had addressed in the DEIR its concerns about the condition of these streets following the completion of construction and that this City asked that this issue be evaluated. He noted that just last week, staff received the final draft environmental assessment that does include some responses to RPV’s comments, and that staff plans on providing those responses on the next Border Issues report.
Councilman Wolowicz questioned if any part of the funds related to this recycling project can be applied to the infrastructure funding needs if this City sees there is a nexus between the infrastructure repairs and this trenching in the public rights-of-way.
Senior Planner Fox noted for Councilman Wolowicz that he does not know any of the funding details.
Councilman Wolowicz requested that staff research this matter.
AB 1160 (Steinberg) Limits Local Control on Second Housing Units on Single-Family Lots. (1101)
The staff report of December 2nd recommended that Council consider the request from the League of California Cities to oppose AB 1160 (Steinberg) and authorize the Mayor to send a letter of opposition to the appropriate member of the California Assembly and/or committee.
Mayor pro tem Clark moved to waive staff report and recommended approval of staff recommendation.
Councilman Stern offered an amendment that the document be signed by the current Mayor, Mayor Gardiner.
Mayor pro tem Clark concurred. The motion was seconded by Councilman Wolowicz. There being no objection, Mayor Gardiner so ordered.
Council Liaison for Eastview Traffic Issues. (1502 x 1204)
Mayor pro tem Clark commented on the traffic and safety concerns in the Eastview area and the residents’ urging immediate attention, noting that the traffic concerns have grown worse over the last decade; and requested to raise the bar of involvement/engagement in this area by assigning a volunteer member of this body as a liaison member who would not act as an adjudicator, but would bring some perspective from an elected’s standpoint to the discussions run by that community and perhaps some of the Traffic Committee sessions that deal with the Eastview traffic area. He stated that this liaison would bring a status report back to the City Council.
Mayor pro tem Clark moved, seconded by Councilman Wolowicz, that the City Council establish an ad hoc liaison member of the City Council to interface with the Eastview community, the Traffic Committee, and staff as parties work through a reasonable approach to the traffic solution.
Councilman Stern concurred with the necessity to address the traffic problems in this area of the community; but stated that he was not sure of what role the liaison would play in terms of addressing the traffic issues. He stated that the City already has a good system in the way staff does the technical workup and analysis and the Traffic Committee works through the problems. He expressed his concern that a liaison would become more of a fifth wheel that really doesn’t function; that it may make sense to either address this in the context of committees, or more appropriately at Council’s January 10th session, to see how it fits in with the kinds of things this body wants to do. He stated that at this time, he would not support Mayor pro tem Clark’s proposal.
Councilman Wolowicz stated that he is conceptually in favor of what Mayor pro tem Clark proposed and advised that he had witnessed the frustration in that community with regard to their concerns with traffic safety; and questioned to what extent this liaison would interact at that level.
Councilman Long stated that he understood the traffic concerns in the Eastview area and the need for these issues to be addressed; and noted the need for the Eastview community to believe that this community is unified in seriously addressing their traffic concerns. He addressed his concern that a liaison for one neighborhood might be perceived by other neighborhoods as showing favoritism to another neighborhood.
Mayor pro tem Clark expressed his belief that engaging a City Council member on various committees can be effective in bringing the status of issues back to City Council; he stated that this liaison would not be making decisions but would be reporting back to the entire City Council and that it would demonstratively show a concerned sector of this community that the City is concerned with their concerns. He reiterated that this liaison would not take the place of the Traffic Committee, staff or be the ultimate adjudicator.
Mayor Gardiner expressed his concern that appointing a City Council liaison to this particular community would set a precedent; he commented on the framework within which the Traffic Committee explores issues and alternatives so that they don’t develop something that can ultimately be rejected at the Council level; and stated that he would prefer to see a citywide approach with the use of mechanisms in place and possibly put together an ad hoc subcommittee on traffic issues for the moment, to work with the Traffic Committee and the Eastview residents. Because of the late hour, Mayor Gardiner suggested that this matter be continued to the Tactical Planning Workshop on January 10th.
Mayor pro tem Clark expressed his preference to discuss Council assignments, the need to form an ad hoc committee on citywide safety and traffic; expressed his belief that this can fit well with the concept of the liaison for this particular neighborhood because if the Council moves in that direction, it would meet all of the objectives that have been mentioned; and that it would also designate to Eastview one of the two Council members who end up on that safety and traffic ad hoc subcommittee. He suggested that this body establish that subcommittee and that both Councilmen Long and Wolowicz serve on that subcommittee, one of them being the liaison for the Eastview issue. He highlighted the importance of Council presence with this issue.
Councilman Long stated that he would not like to see as a matter of routine the designation of Council members as liaisons to neighborhoods on particular issues; stated that he could support Mayor pro tem Clark’s recommendation as he had structured the liaison’s role; and stated that he would like to see the traffic ad hoc committee assignments deal with the highest priority issues on traffic throughout the community.
Rather than having someone go to Eastview as a liaison, Mayor Gardiner suggested taking two members of the City Council, two members from the Traffic Commission and forming a subcommittee along the lines that was done for the Neighborhood Compatibility Committee, having a group from Eastview help generate a solution for their area.
Councilman Stern suggested that this matter be taken up at the January 10th workshop.
Councilmen Long and Wolowicz volunteered to attend the December 8th Traffic Commission meeting regarding Eastview issue, stating that he will act as an observer and return to the Council with a report.
With Councilmen Long and Wolowicz volunteering to attend the December 8th Traffic Commission meeting, Mayor pro tem Clark tabled his motion to a larger discussion for the establishment of an ad hoc committee on safety and traffic issues citywide.
There being no objection to table the motion until January 10th, Mayor Gardiner so ordered.
CLOSED SESSION REPORT:
On motion of Councilman Stern, the meeting was formally adjourned at 12:36 A.M. to Saturday, December 6th, 2003, 3:00 P.M.
/s/ Peter C. Gardiner
/s/ Jo Purcell