M I N U T E S
RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL
JUNE 15, 2004
The meeting was called to order at 6:00 P.M. by Mayor Gardiner at Fred Hesse Community Park, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard, and was immediately recessed to a Closed Session. At 7:10 P.M., the meeting was reconvened.
PRESENT: Stern, Long, Wolowicz and Mayor Gardiner
ABSENT: Mayor pro tem Clark
Also present were City Manager Les Evans; City Attorney Carol Lynch; Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement Joel Rojas; Director of Public Works Dean Allison; Director of Finance Dennis McLean; Deputy Planning Director Greg Pfost; City Clerk/Administrative Services Director Jo Purcell; and, Recording Secretary Carla Morreale.
The Mayor invited Boy Scout Jason Black to lead the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mayor Gardiner and the City Council presented a proclamation to Bonnie and Ron Ivy of Ivy Rubbish Services for the 28 years of excellent service they provided to the residents of Rancho Palos Verdes. He thanked them for their many years of service to the residents and wished them well in their retirement.
Mayor Gardiner presented Certificates of Appreciation to the parents of Eagle Scouts Nikola Blagojevic and Andrew Pace for the work the two scouts performed to earn their Eagle Scout badges. He reported that Andrew Pace led a team of eleven scout members in Troop 134 in the rehabilitation of seven picnic benches at Eastview Park, saving the City $1,000.00 in refurbishment costs. He reported that Nikola Blagojevic led twenty-five scout members of Troop 378 in the rehabilitation of more than 1200 feet of metal and wood railing at Robert E. Ryan Park saving the City substantial costs in repair work.
Mayor Gardiner had no announcements to make and turned the floor over to Councilman Long who announced a campaign to wear yellow in honor and support of cancer survivors on June 16, 2004.
Frank Pimentel and Donald Moine were chosen as recyclers of the month. Mayor Gardiner congratulated the winners who will receive a check for $250, which represents a year of free refuse service. He encouraged everyone to recycle.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA:
Councilman Stern moved approval of the agenda, seconded by Councilman Wolowicz. There being no objection, Mayor Gardiner so ordered the approval of the agenda.
Lois Larue, of Rancho Palos Verdes, expressed her displeasure with the paving of the Portuguese Bend landslide area.
Director of Public Works Allison stated that the paving of Portuguese Bend landslide area is an on-going project that requires approximately $100,000.00 a year in paving costs.
CITY MANAGER REPORT/OLD BUSINESS:
APPROVAL OF CONSENT CALENDAR:
Councilman Wolowicz requested that Item No. 3, Budget adjustment for consulting traffic engineering professional services, and Item No. 4, Authorization for Verizon to file a Conditional Use Permit application for an upgraded telephone facility at the Ladera Linda Community Center, be pulled from the Consent Calendar for discussion.
Councilman Long moved, seconded by Councilman Stern, to approve the Consent Calendar, as amended.
Motion to waive full reading.
Adopted a motion to waive reading in full of all ordinances presented at the meeting with consent of the waiver of reading deemed to be given by all Council Members after the reading of the title.
Minutes of May 4, 2004. (301)
Approved the minutes.
Resol. No. 2004-48: Register of Demands.
ADOPTED RESOL. NO. 2004-48, 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 amended Consent Calendar carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Long, Stern, Wolowicz, Mayor Gardiner
# # # # #
Item Nos. 3 and 4 removed from the Consent Calendar.
Resol. No. 2004-49: Budget adjustment for consulting traffic engineering
professional services. (1204 x 602)
Authorized the expenditure of $20,000 for Willdan Associates to provide additional consulting traffic engineering services for the remainder of FY 03-04; and, ADOPTED RESOL. NO. 2004-49, APPROVING A BUDGET ADJUSTMENT OF $20,000 TO THE TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT PROGRAM BUDGET TO COVER THE COST OF ADDITIONAL PROFESSIONAL TRAFFIC ENGINEERING SERVICES.
Councilman Wolowicz stated that there was a definite need for the continued consulting for traffic engineering services, and he asked if the projected amount had already been included in the FY04-05 budget.
Director Allison stated that if the level of service remained at its current level, he would expect to return to Council with a request for an increase from $70,000 to approximately $90,000 to $100,000 in the next fiscal year.
Councilman Wolowicz requested that staff return to Council as soon as possible when the figures become more clearly focused given the amount of emphasis being put on traffic issues.
Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Councilman Stern, to approve the budget adjustment for consulting traffic engineering professional services.
Mayor Gardiner asked the City Manager to comment on the matrix on circle page 3 of the staff report, which mentioned legal fees connected with the Indian Ridge Crest Gardens Lawsuit.
City Manager Evans explained that several years ago the City prevailed in a lawsuit and was awarded a settlement to collect attorney’s fees in the case. The City found it necessary to hire an outside attorney in its attempts to collect the fees and to date has spent $72,000 trying to collect them.
City Attorney Lynch stated that there are other issues involved besides the collection of the fees, including the time in trial court and the court of appeals, and that the party involved has done a good job of making his assets judgment proof.
Councilman Stern suggested that Council may want to devote some effort in future contractual agreements to define the criteria necessary to determine if an entity is solvent.
The motion to approve the budget adjustment for consulting traffic engineering professional services carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Long, Stern, Wolowicz, Mayor Gardiner
# # # # # #
Authorization for Verizon to file a Conditional Use Permit application for an
upgraded telephone facility at the Ladera Linda Community Center. (1201 x
Councilman Wolowicz asked if all the complaints regarding the phone shortage have been resolved or if any new issues have come to staff’s attention.
City Manager Evans stated that he was not aware of any new issues and that Verizon intended to provide trailer mounted equipment to solve the problems until the permanent installation of the new equipment can take place.
Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Councilman Stern, to authorize the City Manager to sign the Conditional Use Permit application to allow Verizon to seek approval for an upgraded telephone facility at the Ladera Linda Community Center.
Motion carried without objection.
Resol. 2004-50: Citywide Landscaping and Lighting Maintenance District. (901 x 1204)
The City Clerk reported that notice of the hearing had been duly published and that no written protests had been received by the City.
Mayor Gardiner declared the public hearing open on the matter of the proposed levy and collection of assessments within the Citywide Landscaping and Lighting Maintenance District for fiscal year 2004-05 and the Engineer’s Report prepared in connection therewith.
Councilman Long requested a brief summary staff report for the sake of the public.
Public Works Director Allison gave a brief summary staff report and explained that since 1992 the City has had a Citywide Landscaping and Lighting Maintenance District that has raised approximately $328,000 per year which is used to maintain the medians, street signals, and other items in the public right-of-way. He stated that the assessment fee is to remain at the same amount as it has been since 1998. He further stated that there have been no protests in the last five years.
Councilman Long explained that the assessment fees are based on the level of benefit received by households in the different neighborhoods; that the streets with no street lights present would have lower assessments than those with street lights.
Director Allison confirmed that the assessment fees are derived from the level of benefit received for each household in a neighborhood. He explained that some areas with landscaping and irrigation would have higher assessments than those without and that all residents contribute to the citywide tree maintenance that is necessary on a yearly basis.
Councilman Wolowicz requested that the Engineer’s report by Harris and Associates be placed on the City’s web site. He noted that there were two reserve funds in the report and asked what these funds could be used for as it continues to grow.
City Manager Evans explained that the money had to be spent for the purpose for which it was generated to benefit the people who paid into the fund.
Councilman Wolowicz asked if alternative uses for these funds could be examined.
Councilman Long asked what limitation the City was restricted to in regards to the use of the funds and what would be required to change the restrictions.
City Manager Evans explained that the street lighting assessment was transferred from the County to the City in an awkward manner.
Councilman Wolowicz asked if the funds might be used towards the undergrounding proposals or if the excess funds could be sold to other municipalities.
City Manager Evans stated that this issue had been examined before, but that it could be looked at again.
City Attorney Lynch explained that the accumulated funds strictly belong to the City and have to be used for the purpose intended by the residents who have paid into the fund.
Mayor Gardiner asked why the City was dipping into the General Fund for $16,000 if the one reserve fund shows a balance of $44,000.
Director Allison explained that the structure of the district was such that one of the zones needed a City subsidy in order to keep the assessments at the current level. He further stated that if the assessments were to be raised, the matter must go to a vote and that if the assessments were lowered, the City may never get the assessments back to their present level.
Mayor Gardiner asked if there were any requests from the public to speak.
City Clerk Purcell stated there were no requests to speak.
Mayor Gardiner declared the public hearing closed.
Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Councilman Stern, to ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2004-50, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES CONFIRMING A DIAGRAM AND ASSESSMENT FOR THE 2004-05 FISCAL YEAR IN CONNECTION WITH THE CITYWIDE LANDSCAPING AND LIGHTING MAINTENANCE DISTRICT PURSUANT TO THE LANDSCAPING AND LIGHTING MAINTENANCE ACT OF 1972, PART 2 OF DIVISION 15 OF THE CALIFORNIA STREETS AND HIGHWAYS CODE. The motion carried without objection.
CITY COUNCIL ORAL REPORTS:
Councilman Stern noted the following meetings/events he attended:
Councilman Wolowicz noted the following meetings/events he attended:
Councilman Long noted the following meeting/events he attended:
Mayor Gardiner noted the following meeting/events he attended:
Mayor Gardiner explained that he frequently receives emails from residents on various topics. He stated that he has often turned to the City Manager for answers and thanked him for his prompt responses to these questions so that he has been able to reply to the residents.
REGULAR NEW BUSINESS:
Storm Drain Master Plan update. (1405 x 1204)
Director of Public Works Allison presented the staff report and gave a Power Point presentation which included a brief explanation of the differences between a sewer pipe and a storm drain; a history of the storm drain studies performed to date; an inventory of the city-owned versus county-owned storm drains in Rancho Palos Verdes; different material used in the storm drains; an explanation of deficiencies present in the City; and potential problems as storm drains age and deteriorate over time. He explained that as pipes age and lose support, they have the potential to collapse causing roads to become cracked or causing sinkholes to appear. He outlined possible solutions such as removal of old corrugated metal pipe and debris, and filling of existing holes with concrete; rehabilitation of existing pipes with a polymer material using cured in place lining in conjunction with a heat process; the installation of new pipes and inlets; installation of drainage berms; and the installation of new storm drains.
Director Allison concluded with a brief explanation of areas that he would recommend as priorities and gave an overview of the costs totaling an estimated $29.4 million citywide. He explained that priority one projects were those affecting private properties; priority two projects were those affecting bluff or canyon erosion that could over time threaten a structure; and, priority three projects were those involving installation of larger storm drain pipes to handle inconsequential street flooding. He stated that 20% of the City’s pipes have been video inspected to date. He recommended three programs including reconstruction, lining, and continued video inspections.
Director Allison explained that the costs of the storm drain improvements are not evenly distributed in the City due to the fact that the older areas are in greater need of storm drain repairs at the present time. He stated that the Finance Advisory Committee recommended a storm drain user fee as a means of funding the needed storm drain improvements. He reported that the Infrastructure Financing Team is currently investigating ways to fund the storm drain infrastructure, a spending plan, and financing options.
Councilman Long asked if the $4.5 million cost for lining was less certain than the total cost of $24.9 million.
Director Allison said that the $4.5 million was an estimate and that the total cost was approximately $29 million.
Councilman Wolowicz asked if the inspection fees are included in the $500,000 already budgeted in the amount for FY04-05.
Director Allison stated that the video inspection fees are included in the $500,000 budgeted for FY04-05.
Councilman Stern complimented staff on the presentation and commented that the City should continue with the video inspections.
Mayor Gardiner asked if the $500,000 was already planned for in the FY04-05 budget and suggested that he would like a breakdown of the task type with the associated cost.
City Manager stated that the $500,000 has been requested for a program of design, engineering, and preparation of plans and specifications, and at each step staff would have to come back to the City Council for approval.
Councilman Long pointed out the large disparities in cost in the different regions of the City in relation to storm drain repairs needed. He stated that he was interested in knowing what the anticipated needs of storm drain repair will be in 40 to 50 years from now. He suggested that the goal should be to structure things so that the City’s successors may have some money in the bank to address future storm drain repair needs.
Mayor Gardiner echoed the remarks of Councilman Long and stated that maintenance was something that should be looked at for the future.
Councilman Stern inquired if a plan was being developed to finance the infrastructure over the long term to solve the financial burden.
Councilman Wolowicz asked about an annual lapsing schedule over a period of time showing when the costs would be incurred and how future needs would be accounted for.
Councilman Long stated there may be time periods of little need but at least user fees should be designed to collect more than what the situation requires at the present time.
Mayor Gardiner stated the project should be funded into perpetuity and that he would like to see a cash flow diagram so that the appropriate sinking fund could be built.
City Manager Evans stated that Directors McLean and Allison were already in the process of putting together an excellent team of professionals who have addressed the questions asked by Council and many others that have not yet been asked.
Mayor Gardiner asked if there were any public speakers on the item.
City Clerk Purcell responded that there were no requests from the public to speak.
Councilman Wolowicz asked what portion of the 25 percent addition for administration, legal, and engineering cost line fees deals with employees on staff versus contract employees.
City Manager Evans replied that all 25 percent would be contract employees. He explained that these were budget figures for large capital projects and that as a rule of thumb, design costs would cost about 10 percent of the value of the project. He stated that 10 to 12 percent would be budgeted for inspection services and that there would be legal fees built into the budget.
Mayor Gardiner asked about the direct and indirect costs related to this project. He asked if staff time would be charged against a project according to the time spent on it.
Councilman Stern stated that it made sense that any employee devoting substantial time to a project should charge that time to the project so that the true cost is available for informational purposes.
Councilman Long complimented staff on the report and presentation and stated that he felt the Council now has a good understanding of the problem, and that he anticipated receiving the same kind of outstanding solutions in the near future so that the public will feel well served.
Councilman Wolowicz echoed other Council members in praise of the complete and comprehensive staff presentation and suggested that a few minor changes be made to the staff report before it is placed on the City’s web site.
Councilman Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Long, to approve staff recommendation.
Without objection, Mayor Gardiner so ordered.
RECESS AND RECONVENE
Mayor Gardiner recessed the meeting at 8:48 P.M. and reconvened the meeting at 8:53 P.M.
Ocean Trails - Amendment to Agreement between City and Ocean Trails
Regarding the Peer Review Board. (1411)
Deputy Director of Planning Pfost presented a brief staff report and gave Council some historical background to the establishment of an agreement between Ocean Trails and the City setting up a Peer Review Panel to settle a geologic dispute between the City’s geologist and the Ocean Trails geologist regarding the foundation setback and determination where residential units could be built within Tract 50666 in its relationship to Landslide A. He explained that since that time, two additional geologic disputes have arisen in regards to: 1) the clay cap as-built report that is required to be completed and signed off by the City’s geologist before opening up the 18-hole golf course; and 2) the expansion of the Clubhouse. He explained that the request before Council was to amend the agreement and expand the scope of the work to include the Peer Review Panels’ review of the two additional issues and any future issues that might arise.
Councilman Stern stated that he believed when the issue of Landslide A line originally came up, Converse projected the line closer to the ocean and the City geologist believed it came further inland, and a Peer Review Panel was created to try to resolve the issue. He stated that the Peer Review Panel was unable to make a determination as to which party was correct in the initial dispute and had requested additional review of existing data be performed and additional data be obtained in the field. He continued to explain that Ocean Trails felt that there was enough information available to make a decision on this issue, and as a result Ocean Trails requested that a new Peer Review Panel be formed and that both the City and Ocean Trails agree to be bound by recommendations and determinations of the new panel. He asked why an additional panel was needed to address this issue and the first panel’s decision was not agreed to. He expressed his concern that when Ocean Trails did not receive the answer they desired from the Peer Review Panel that was in place, they requested a new review panel be formed. He stated that this was not acceptable.
Councilman Wolowicz asked if it was in writing in the new agreement that the City and Ocean Trails would be bound to the recommendations and the determinations of the new panel.
City Attorney Lynch reported that there was a covenant to be bound in the new agreement creating the obligations to be bound by the determinations of the new panel.
Councilman Long stated that he had a concern about agreeing in advance to be bound by the decision. He stated that what Ocean Trails really desires is approval of conditions that vary from the specifications that they are supposed to have. He stated that the people that would be charged with the responsibility if the land were not stable would be the City Council. He expressed concern that the City should agree to be bound by the decisions made by the Peer Group Panel. He stated that there was also a policy issue involved and asked if we should allow the developer to depart from achieving the specifications that they were supposed to achieve.
Mayor Gardiner stated that he shared the same concerns but that his understanding of the peer review panel was that they were to referee geotechnical disputes and that the decisions regarding policy implications and alterations in the specifications should be reserved for the City to decide.
Councilman Stern stated that there were two issues of concern: the expansion of the Clubhouse and the determination that is to be made whether it meets the 1.5 degree of safety.
City Attorney Lynch interjected that even that issue could become more complicated in that there can be certain measures taken to influence the factor of safety, such as the installation of sheer pins, so that the Council’s policy requirement can be met.
Councilman Stern continued that the second issue concerned the clay cap, which was to be in place over the golf course area so that water would be prevented from permeating down to the slide area. He stated that it was his understanding that during construction certain portions of the clay cap was decimated and that the question remains what the acceptable solution is to insure safety, whether it is additional dewatering wells or inclinometers. He reported that the dispute on this issue is that the City geologist believes measures can be put in place to mitigate the lack of continuous clay cap and Ocean Trails’ geologist, Converse, does not feel this is necessary. He stated that the City and the Council do not want to abdicate to a third party the decision as to what is acceptable.
Councilman Wolowicz stated that if the clay cap had been in place perhaps this issue might not have presented itself to this Council. He asked if the agreement before Council was binding arbitration or rather if the results of the Peer Review Panel were to be recommendations to Council.
Councilman Long stated that the City has never waived the specifications and that such a waiver could only come from an action of the City Council. He stated that he agreed with Councilman Stern that the factor of safety of 1.5 must be adhered to. Councilman Long stated that he wanted to hear expert opinion regarding the acceptability of the issue regarding the clay cap and felt it appropriate that out of courtesy the Council would consider the opinion of the panel, but would not agree to be bound by it.
Mayor Gardiner stated that from his perspective, the developer either meets the factor of safety of 1.5 or not, and that he would rely on the opinion of the geologic panel. He stated that the clay cap was to achieve a purpose and if the panel reports that there was an alternative that would achieve the same purpose the Council should consider the information and make a decision.
City Attorney Lynch stated that she has crafted a suggested revision to the agreement so that policy decisions, quasi judicial determinations, or legislative policy determinations should remain with the Council and that the binding nature of the agreement is intended only to address the decisions made routinely by the City’s geologist. She suggested editing the covenant to be bound section to narrow what the panel is looking at and the binding nature of it to read: "… geologic and geotechnical issues affecting the property that are to be determined by the City’s geologist or geotechnical engineer, however, nothing herein shall be construed as preventing or affecting any legislative or quasi judicial determinations that are to be made by the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council."
Mayor Gardiner asked if the panel could be restricted to determining which of the two geologists is correct when there is a dispute between the two.
City Attorney Lynch suggested that this item be continued to the July 6, 2004 City Council meeting, so that she could convey the Council’s sentiments to the Trump Organization’s attorneys and discuss the suggested changes to the agreement.
Councilman Wolowicz asked if there were any items that the Peer Review Panel could meet on in order to continue the process moving forward.
Mayor Gardiner stated that he would be in favor of the establishment of the Peer Review Panel to look at the Clubhouse factor of 1.5 because that is a tightly defined issue and would allow the developer to continue progress on the Clubhouse. He stated that he felt the clay cap issue was a different issue that should be treated separately.
City Attorney Lynch stated that she could convey to the Trump organization that they could proceed on the 1.5 Clubhouse issue and that the City would agree to be bound by that determination, but that the City would not be willing to sign the agreement as to the remainder of it.
Councilman Wolowicz stated that there were three issues to be considered including the geological dispute regarding Landslide A and the location of the foundation setback line; the expansion of the Clubhouse; and the clay cap issue. He stated that he could see moving forward on the first two items and that the clay cap issue should be subject to the redefinition of terms and conversations with the Trump organization.
Councilman Stern asked if under the new agreement the panel was to request additional information would the developer have to comply with the request.
City Attorney Lynch reported that the agreement stated that the developer would have to comply, but that there was one escape clause in the agreement for the developer. She reported that if the cost for acquiring the additional information was more than the Trump organization was willing to pay, they would not be required to do the additional work because they were not required to take the next step in development.
Councilman Stern opined that there should be time frames in place amending the existing agreement so that the panel reviews do not go on forever.
City Attorney Lynch suggested that the agreement should be open ended without an expiration date, but that the City could terminate the agreement if the developer failed to provide the requested information.
Councilman Long moved, seconded by Councilman Stern, that the City Attorney, staff, and subcommittee be instructed to propose modifications to the agreement by which the City would agree to be bound by the Peer Review Panel with respect to the decision of whether or not the Clubhouse addition satisfies the factor of safety of 1.5 to 1 or not; the City would agree that it would consider, but not agree in advance to be bound by, the advice of the panel with respect to the affect of the clay cap having been degraded or not being present; that the proposed agreement would provide a 36-month period after which it would expire from its effective date unless extended by mutual agreement; that the failure of the developer to provide requested information within a reasonable time period would allow the City to terminate the agreement; that the Council was instructing the City Attorney and staff to present this to the Trump organization and if the response from Trump organization was favorable, to work to prepare and present to the City Council a revised written agreement memorializing these terms, but that if the Trump organization was not receptive, to discontinue further negotiations with the Trump organization and report back to the City Council for further instructions.
Councilman Wolowicz stated that the Trump organization should understand that the City Council was in favor of the project continuing, but that the City Council would not abdicate its rights as a City Council in making final decisions.
Without objection, Mayor Gardiner so ordered.
Resol. Nos. 2004-51 & 52: Award of contract for elevator at City Hall. (1201 x 1204)
Councilman Stern asked staff what the original estimate was for the elevator.
Director Allison stated they had estimated the bids would be $400,000.
Mayor Gardiner reported that the cost of construction materials was skyrocketing due to a building boom in China. He stated he had questioned the amount of $47,500 for possible extra work and that the City Manager had explained that approving this amount in advance would allow the work to continue if there were change orders necessary.
Councilman Wolowicz pointed out that there were CDBG funds as well as general funds available to help pay for this project, and that there were certain obligations that the City was motivated by to build this elevator, including ADA factors. He stated that he felt the elevator was moving towards something of a necessity.
City Manager Evans stated that the necessity for an elevator included ADA issues, requests from employees, and the difficulties in navigating heavy equipment, such as computers and copy machines, from the first to the second floor.
Councilman Stern pointed out that the CDBG funds being used were of limited value and could only be spent on specific projects of this nature. He continued that this was the reason the City sold off a few hundred thousand CDBG funds for 58 cents on the dollar last year.
Councilman Long reported that there was a recent Supreme Court case where a government entity was held liable for not having an elevator to the second story of the courthouse. He stated that he felt the City had the responsibility to provide alternate access to the second story for the public and/or staff members who might be or become disabled.
Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Councilman Long, to approve staff recommendation to: (1) Approve the plans and specifications for the construction of the City Hall elevator; (2) Award a construction contract to 2-H Construction, Inc., in the amount of $475,000.00, for the construction of the City Hall elevator and authorize the expenditure of up to $47,500.00 for possible extra work, for a total authorization of $522,500.00; (3) Authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to execute a construction contract with 2-H Construction, Inc; (4) Approve Change Order No.1 to a professional service contract with John M. Cruikshank Consultants, Inc. (JMC2), for Construction Administration and Construction Management in an amount not to exceed $30,000.00; (5) Authorize the expenditure of up to $6,000 to Charles Abbott Associates for Construction Inspection services ; (6) Authorize the expenditure of up to $6,000 with Diana Cho and Associates, for Labor Compliance services; (7) ADOPT RESOL. NO. 2004-51, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, AMENDING RESOLUTION 2003-42, THE BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR FISCAL YEAR 2003-04, FOR A BUDGET ADJUSTMENT TO THE CITY’S CDBG FUND; and (8) ADOPT RESOL. NO. 2004-52, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, AMENDING RESOLUTION 2003-42, THE BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR FY 03-04, FOR A BUDGET ADJUSTMENT TO THE CITY’S CDBG FUND AND GENERAL FUND.
The motion carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Long, Stern, Wolowicz, Mayor Gardiner
Councilman Stern requested that staff research the possibility of purchasing CDBG funds for this project.
City Manager Evans replied that he would have staff look into the possibility although he believed the City could not move quickly enough.
Request to support the local government budget package proposed in the
Governor’s revised budget. (306 x 1101)
Councilman Wolowicz stated that he was in support of the letter with one modification stating that the City supports the governor’s budget package so long as he continues to support it and fulfills the promises he has made to the League of California representatives.
Councilman Stern made a motion, seconded by Councilman Wolowicz, to authorize the support of the local government package and constitutional amendment proposed in the Governor’s revised budget, and authorizing the Mayor to send a letter in support to key legislators.
Mayor Gardiner asked that the draft of the letter be emailed to Councilman Wolowicz to make certain that all of his concerns are addressed before he signs it on behalf of the Council.
With no objection noted, Mayor Gardiner so ordered.
Consider legislative position on Assembly Bill 2702 (Steinberg) – local
control of second housing units. (306 x 1101)
City Manager Evans presented the staff report and recommendation to consider opposing AB2702 (Steinberg) and authorizing the Mayor to send letters of opposition to the appropriate parties.
Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Councilman Stern, to approve staff’s recommendation.
The motion carried without objection.
Resol. No. 2004-53: NATOA National Convention Scholarship. (1101)
City Manager Evans presented the staff report and recommendation to: (1) Authorize Gabriella Holt to apply for a scholarship to the NATOA convention and attend the conference as our representative, at no cost to the City; and, (2) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2004-53, AMENDING THE 2004-05 BUDGET BY APPROPRIATING FUNDS IN THE AMOUNT OF $475 FOR MEMBERSHIP IN NATOA AND $25 FOR MEMBERSHIP IN SCAN NATOA.
Councilman Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Wolowicz, to approve the staff recommendation.
Without objection, Mayor Gardiner so ordered.
Employee Participation in Policy Positions in Outside Organizations. (1101)
City Manager Evans presented the staff report and recommendation to direct Staff to prepare an amendment to the City Personnel Rules to establish a policy regarding a City employee’s participation on, or appointment to, a volunteer or non-profit organization that provides services in the City.
Councilman Long stated that it was his understanding that the immediate issue was a moot point because the particular employee was no longer on the board of the docent’s organization. He asked about the present City Manager’s policy and what the issues were regarding employee participation, conflicts of interest, and the freedom of the employee to participate in organizations that they have an interest in.
Councilman Wolowicz stated that he understood that an individual could participate in a volunteer organization by working with it, but that the question was if that individual would be able to be a member of the board of directors of that organization.
City Manager Evans stated that he did not necessarily have a problem with an employee serving on a policy board as long as there was not a conflict of interest.
City Attorney Lynch stated that the issue was really an incompatible office issue, because it was unclear if the person was functioning as part of the policy board or as an employee. She explained that State law prevents employees to be solicited by candidates running for City Council to participate in their campaigns, but that employees have First Amendment rights and are free to participate in political issues or other issues of interest to them. She explained if a candidate were elected to one office, he would have to vacate a prior office due to conflicts of interest.
There was further Council discussion on the matter and Councilman Long and Councilman Stern suggested that a policy be established that would require employees to notify the City Manager regarding their membership on policy boards and that it be left to the discretion of the City Manager, and if necessary the City Attorney, to determine if there is a conflict of interest.
Vic Quirarte, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that the problem has been resolved but that he suggested a policy or rule be put in place to provide guidelines for all City employees.
Councilman Long moved, seconded by Councilman Stern, that an employee should serve notice of their intent to serve on policy boards and that the issue be left to the discretion of the City Manager.
Without objection, Mayor Gardiner so ordered.
Councilman Wolowicz asked if contractors conducting business with the City or employees are required to file Conflict of Interest forms such as the Form 700.
City Attorney Lynch replied that certain consultants, including herself, were required to complete Form 700, if they provide advice on policy making issues, whereas, construction contracts and agreements have a standard clause which states that the contractor cannot accept a position with another organization or company that would create a conflict of interest.
City Manager Evans stated that City employees in fiduciary positions and management positions with the City also complete the required Form 700.
COUNCIL DISCUSSION OF FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS & SUGGESTION OF FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS:
CLOSED SESSION REPORT:
City Attorney Lynch reported that with respect to the first item which was the Negotiations with Cox Communications, Mayor pro tem Clark was absent as he was for the entire regular meeting and Councilman Long recused himself from the closed session due to a conflict of interest. She reported that no action was taken regarding the matter related to Cox Communications. She stated that regarding the second item, the Council voted unanimously to sell the property located at 30678 Palos Verdes Drive East through a real estate broker for fair market value. She reported on the third item regarding the anticipated litigation that Council voted unanimously for staff to provide a written response to Ocean Trails regarding the management concerns so that the City would be better managing the contract of Cotton Shires and the process by which Cotton Shires would be providing services to the City on the Ocean Trails project.
Lois Larue, Rancho Palos Verdes, commented on her objection to the City Council members having a teambuilding workshop at the Mary and Joseph Retreat Center because she felt there should be a clear separation of state from religion.
Adjourned to Saturday, June 19th at 7:30 A.M. for a teambuilding workshop to be held at the Mary and Joseph Retreat Center, 5300 Crest Road. Motion made by Mayor Gardiner.
/s/ Peter C. Gardiner
/s/ Jo Purcell