A roll call vote carried as follows:
Adoption of Ordinance No. 450 – Business Permits and Regulations Relating to Escort Bureaus and Escorts (202)
ADOPTED ORDINANCE NO. 450, AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES REGARDING BUSINESS PERMITS AND REGULATIONS RELATING TO ESCORT BUREAUS AND ESCORTS, AND AMENDING THE RANCHO PALOS VERDES MUNICIPAL CODE.
Authorization for Verizon Wireless to File a Conditional Use Permit Application to Install a Wireless Telephone Facility at Ryan Park (1601 x 1201)
Authorized the City Manager to sign the Conditional Use Permit application to allow Verizon Wireless to seek approval for a wireless telephone facility at Robert E. Ryan Park.
Register of Demands
ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2006-87, 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.
ITEMS REMOVED FROM THE CONSENT CALENDAR
Approval of Minutes (301)
Mayor Wolowicz expressed his frustration as well.
Moved by Mayor Pro Tem Long and seconded by Councilman Stern to approve the minutes of January 17, 2006 and February 7, 2006. A roll call carried as follows:
AYES: Clark, Long, Stern and Mayor Wolowicz
# # # # # #
REGULAR NEW BUSINESS
Rob Katherman, Water Replenishment District of Southern California, provided a brief history of the District and various statistics regarding its operation with the aid of slides.
Adeline Jung, Water Replenishment District, explained different sources of water in Southern California and summarized various processes and programs run by the Water Replenishment District.
Responding to Mayor Wolowicz, Mr. Katherman explained that City Manager Evans had contacted them regarding a potential partnership to take advantage of the 200,000 to 300,000 gallons of water available per day from the dewatering efforts in Portuguese Bend area.
Responding to an observation from Councilman Gardiner regarding high water consumption, Mr. Katherman indicated that half of the consumption is used for landscaping.
In response to Councilman Clark, City Manager Evans indicated that there were five landscaped parks in the City. He explained that the dewatering in Portuguese Bend did not generate enough water to irrigate all of the City’s parks and it would not be cost effective to transport the water to the parks. He noted that the golf course at Terranea might be a logical user for the water as they would not want to bring the water across the landslide. He added that they would most likely have to sell the water to pay for developing the technology but a water purveyor would be needed to actually handle the process.
Mayor Wolowicz acknowledged that the matter would take more study but he supported future opportunities to work with staff on the matter.
Policy Options/Decisions Regarding Future Residential and Commercial Solid Waste and Recycling Services (1301)
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru distributed late correspondence on the item.
Director Bell indicated that the Council had requested that Waste Management and Universal Waste consider extending their contract periods.
Councilman Stern clarified that the City had not requested that the option be considered, but rather the City had already exercised the option of extending the waste haulers contracts.
Richard Tagore-Erwin, R3 Consulting, consultant to the City, summarized the material of record with the aid of slides.
Councilman Clark clarified that there was not a requirement to continue the current contract; but that the Council elected to continue the contract that the parties had mutually agreed to seven years ago.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin suggested a formal amendment to the contract to codify what was already agreed to and to add another termination date to the contract.
Mayor Pro Tem Long indicated that the City was exercising its option consistent with the current contract and he did not see why an amendment was necessary.
Councilman Stern felt that the terminology used by staff was causing confusion.
Mayor Pro Tem Long suggested that staff was responding cautiously to threats made by Waste Management in a letter dated November 14, 2006, which indicated that the company might not participate in the next Request for Proposals (RFP) process. He felt that they were suggesting that the City did not have a right to exercise the contract option, or that the option had not been exercised or if the City did exercise the option they would not participate in the RFP process. He indicated that if Waste Management did not change their conduct, their actions would negatively impact their statewide reputation.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin provided a brief summary of City service requirements and noted that Waste Management provides about 73% of the total service to the City including residential and a large share of commercial and roll-off services. He added that communities similar to Rancho Palos Verdes generally had one hauler providing service to all residential and commercial customers. He pointed out that while the City had a goal of open competition for the RFP that did not actually happen and he noted that the market rates are significantly higher than what the City is currently paying. He stated that the proposed rates were reasonable for the level of service received.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin reported that most companies qualified to service the area were not interested in taking the risk to find out whether they could make money or not as unlimited collection creates uncertainly and he suggested narrowing down the level of risk for the City, the customers and the companies in any future RFP. He explained that BFI, Norcal, Waste Management and Universal can service the peninsula but BFI and Norcal chose not to submit bids. He observed that the City was accustomed to premium services which increases the rates 20-30% over more typical levels of services.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin presented the results of a Rolling Hills Estates RFP conducted in 2004 which received responses that were comparable to what the City had received. He highlighted differences between service in Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes and clarified that Rolling Hills Estates had gone to a once per week limited trash pick-up schedule. He suggested examining policy issues and the various levels of services offered to residents with proposed changes such as not including multiple options in the RFP; reducing the level of services offered to single family customers to limit rate increases and reducing hauler fee payments and hauler-provided City services to limit rate increases.
Responding to Councilman Clark, Mr. Tagore-Erwin indicated that it was not difficult to price out once per week versus twice per week but with each variable added the RFP the calculation becomes more complex.
Councilman Stern observed that the residents with special needs in the Portuguese Bend area like their current hauler; noted that the rates these customers pay are better than what Waste Management is providing; and he did not see the benefit to making these residents part of the one size fits all scenario.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin stated that economies of scale could be achieved with routing and the types of trucks used, and he acknowledged that one size did not fit all.
Councilman Stern commented that if economies of scale did not translate to a lower rate he did not see the benefit.
Councilman Gardiner observed that other levels of government had an RFP process that took into account input from the companies who bid and he suggested that the City do the same.
Mayor Wolowicz clarified that the Council was not looking for alterations to the extension period or to renegotiate it, so there is ample time to address changes to the RFP before it is sent out again.
The Council discussed whether the City would retain its rights for contract additional extensions beyond the initial one year period and concerns were raised that it might not be in the City’s best interests to keep the options and go out for another RFP.
Councilman Clark discussed term incentives based upon good performance and noted that the Council was extending the term of the contract based upon the City’s options and the positive performance of Waste Management during the tenure of the base contract. He added that the City had the option to move forward irrespective of past performance with an RFP to find the best value for the City and he pointed out that it was not unusual for a government entity to reward a service provider by continued performance through the exercise of that option.
Councilman Gardiner pointed out that Waste Management claimed to be losing $100,000 per month and stated that if the claim is legitimately verifiable he would not be opposed to increasing the existing fees somewhat but if the claims can not be verified he did not agree with exercising future options.
Mayor Pro Tem Long expressed skepticism about the degree of loss due to the fact that Waste Management had not used the mechanism available in the contract to apply for increases and he noted that there were many ways to allocate costs among multiple contracts.
Mayor Wolowicz asked about the time frame for the Council to make the policy decisions.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin stated that if the Council wanted to issue another RFP, staff would formulate a schedule of tasks to accommodate the one year extension period. He added that a decision had to be made about whether or not to exercise future options before proceeding with another RFP.
Mayor Pro Tem Long questioned how much Waste Management would want to pay to get out of its existing contract if they are losing $1.2 million per year on it and he pointed out that the $500,000 performance bond was not the limit to its liability. He suggested making as many policy decisions as possible so that when the RFP is issued the potential bidders know that even though the City has the right to extend the current contract for two more years it is the right time to lock in a longer term price for 7-10 years.
Councilman Clark indicated that he would move to request the subcommittee meet with Waste Management to engage in more detailed discussions because he felt talking about decision points was premature.
Darrell Kato, Director of Operations, Waste Management, cited the November 14, 2006 letter which indicated that the other bidders knew what Waste Management’s rates were therefore providing an unfair advantage to their competitors and if the RFP process was not fair then Waste Management could choose not to participate. He clarified that it was not intended as a threat and they did understand that the City had chosen to extend the contract for a year. He reported that there would be price advantages for residential franchises if industrial and commercial customers are added into the contract.
Councilman Stern questioned what constituted fairness in the RFP process in order for Waste Management to participate given that their rates are public record and that can not be changed.
Mr. Kato believed that streamlining the RFP and basing it on the true needs of the City would present the opportunity to rate the City at a proper level.
Councilman Stern questioned whether Waste Management would be open to discussing a buy-out on years two and three of its current contract and Mr. Kato indicated that they would be willing to meet and discuss that option.
Mayor Pro Tem Long pointed out that Waste Management complained about the rates being public in the RFP process yet were aware there was no way around that.
Mr. Kato indicated that they did not know that there would be a second RFP process and they did not know who else would submit bids on the contract.
Mayor Pro Tem Long found it intriguing that the November 14, 2006 letter indicates that other bidders have knowledge of Waste Management’s negotiated rates, but then they indicate that what they bid before would not be bid again as circumstances have changed.
Mr. Kato reported that bundling services resulted in the commercial and industrial components subsidizing the residential rates but residential rates will be higher as a stand alone. He stated that Rancho Palos Verdes had a high percentage of residential, some multi-family and 187 commercial customers and explained that commercial and industrial rates were adjusted to bring down the residential rates, which is common practice for full exclusive franchises.
Mayor Pro Tem Long felt the November 14th letter was heavy handed and he took company management at their word that they are losing $1.2 million per year. He felt the response to the initial RFP was outrageously high and not in good faith or based upon real costs and the proof was the ultimately the negotiated rates they arrived at.
Mr. Kato indicated that their bid was not for bundled services and if they had the exclusive franchise they could bring down the rates, which is what they had worked hard to do.
Councilman Clark commented that Waste Management has a residential client base accustomed to past practices who wants to keep the current system and he wanted to hear more input from the community.
Responding to Councilman Clark, Mr. Kato reported recently going through a bid process for an unincorporated potion of the county and that Los Angeles County did an outstanding job of soliciting feedback from the residents and waste haulers during the process. He agreed with the concept of a series of meetings to work with the City on the framework, content and the structure of the RFP.
The Council discussed confidentiality of rate information and what information from the RFP was required to be made public.
Assistant City Attorney Snow indicated that there were probably circumstances under which the City could keep certain information confidential and he suggested that staff look into that and build the appropriate standards into future RFPs.
Mayor Pro Tem Long asserted that Waste Management knows the bidding process and that the information is public and he did not think that the City was getting the true cost.
Councilman Gardiner questioned whether Waste Management had provided information in the process of negotiations which they preferred not be public and in other settings is not done. Mr. Kato responded that they had.
Mayor Pro Tem Long questioned whether Waste Management had ever provided financial information to another city that the city has kept confidential.
Mr. Kato indicated that usually when they submit information it is in the form of a rate and rarely are they asked for the kind of detailed information which Rancho Palos Verdes requested.
Mayor Pro Tem Long pointed out that Waste Management knew the information submitted was not going to be confidential.
Mayor Wolowicz stated that he appreciated the company’s response to the RFP and he indicated that it was his inclination to keep residential, commercial and multi-family separate rather than bundling them since Waste Management’s initial response for the single contract indicated that no reduction in residential rates would occur because the commercial portion is too small.
Mr. Tagore-Erwin reported that initially Waste Management did not provide a bid for bundled services but after the initial bid came in high, staff requested a bundled rate and that was what resulted in the second lower rate proposed by Waste Management. He indicated that he still believed that one provider would net the best rate although it is a risk because while it may result in an improved rate for single family, it could result in an increase rate for commercial and multi-family users.
The Council and consultant discussed rate variations, differences in what haulers do depending on the size of the company, and efficiencies gained by grouping collection methods together. It was noted that it is common practice for commercial and industrial customers to subsidize residential customers and the Council disagreed with that as the consensus was that each should bear its own cost.
Mr. Kato stated that Waste Management had served the City for 14 years and he noted that their employees took pride in their work. He apologized for any perception of disrespect as it was not their intention; and explained that they were simply managing their business.
Councilman Stern stated that he wanted to see the consultant and staff obtain input from the industry as to what would make a successful RFP.
Councilman Clark wanted to see a more systematic outreach to the public as he felt that would help frame the final streamlined RFP choices.
The Council discussed the scope of the Council subcommittee’s work and Councilman Gardiner stated that he did not want to be constrained to specific tasks.
Mayor Pro Tem Long was not in favor of mandating that the subcommittee bring back whatever they chose and instead wanted to see the subcommittee directed to meet with Waste Management, negotiate based on what is presented and then have staff meet with interested haulers to discuss what should be in the next RFP and continue working on a revised RFP for a March 2007 release. He felt the subcommittee should have clear instructions rather than general, vague mandates.
Responding to Mayor Wolowicz, Mr. Tagore-Erwin reported that staff had sought feedback from the public but had not received a lot. He suggested that in order to get better feedback from the public the City needed to be more focused on the message given to them.
Mayor Pro Tem Long observed that it looked as though the direction was to negotiate with Waste Management with a goal of continuing the existing service but he favored issuing another RFP. He had no problem meeting with Waste Management to see what they would offer as an incentive not to proceed with an RFP or a buy-out of the current contract but he suggested beginning the process of preparing an alternate RFP and looking at the advantage of electing to keep the remaining two years in play. He indicated that the Committee’s mandate would be to discuss these issues with Waste Management.
Moved by Councilman Clark and seconded by Councilman Gardiner to: 1) Request the Council subcommittee to meet with Waste Management to continue discussions including, but not limited to, exploring truncation of the existing contract extension options and determining what the waste hauler’s position may be on buying out the remainder to the contract, and provide a status report back to City Council at the first meeting in January 2007; and, 2) Direct staff to consult with prospective bidders on ways to improve the structure of the RFP and to develop a systematic mechanism to solicit input from residents on a list of streamlined service options.
AYES: Clark, Gardiner, Stern and Mayor Wolowicz
RECESS AND RECONVENE:
Mayor Wolowicz called a recess from 10:10 P.M. to 10:18 P.M.
Santa Monica Bay Watershed –Jurisdiction 7 Joint TMDL Compliance Memorandum of Agreement (1204 x 1402)
Staff noted that there had been a number of amendments to the agreement which have been incorporated into the document being presented to Council.
Moved by Councilman Gardiner and seconded by Councilman Clark to: 1) Approve the joint Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) compliance “Memorandum of Agreement” (Agreement) for Jurisdiction 7; 2) Authorize the Mayor to execute the Memorandum of Agreement on behalf of the City; and, 3) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2006-88, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, AMENDING RESOLUTION 2006-41, THE BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR FY 06-07, TO INCREASE THE BUDGET IN THE STORM WATER QUALITY FUND.
Council Disaster Succession Proposal (401)
Assistant to the City Manager Park provided a summary of the material of record.
Mayor Wolowicz indicated that he was troubled by the concept of Councilmembers appointing other individuals to serve in their place.
Assistant to the City Manager Park explained various options available including having Councilmembers nominate the same three people, having each Councilmember nominate three people or the Council as a whole nominating 15 people with three designated for each Councilmember.
Mayor Wolowicz wanted to see the replacements be “office specific” rather than specific individuals, such that people currently involved with the workings of the City who are already in a position of authority, such as whoever is the Chair of the Planning Commission or Finance Committee, would be called on to substitute for a Councilmember during a disaster.
Assistant to the City Manager Park explained that the state Government Code is very vague about the qualifications of the alternates, so staff made suggestions such as having been a member of a Commission, being a registered voter, and being at least 18 years old.
The Council discussed situations constituting an emergency and concerns were raised with suggesting a line of succession, the inconvenience of having to designate three people each time there was a change in Councilmembers and having each designated person investigated to determine if they were qualified to hold the position.
Mayor Wolowicz suggested either greater study or something that prohibits adopting a line of succession of appointed positions within Commissions and Committees and he noted that there is a clearly defined line of succession for City staff by position.
Councilman Stern saw the logic of allowing Councilmembers to choose their successors.
Mayor Pro Tem Long acknowledged the difficulty of appointing successors but he noted that in the event of a catastrophe it would be important to have people chosen who are familiar with the workings of the government. He stated that he preferred developing a line of succession but did not feel it made that much difference as this was put in place in the event of an extreme situation to provide order in a time of chaos and not for a typical succession.
Councilman Gardiner commented that order came from the administrators and policy came from the Council.
Moved by Mayor Pro Tem Long to adopt the staff recommendation and have each Councilman choose three standby Councilmembers pursuant to state Government Code with appointments brought back in the second meeting in January 2007 for inclusion in a resolution. Councilman Stern seconded the motion and a roll call followed:
AYES: Clark, Gardiner, Long, and Stern
Format of City Council Minutes (301)
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru provided a brief summary of the material of record.
The Council discussed various methods of video streaming City meetings on the Internet.
Mayor Pro Tem Long expressed support for continuing to rely on printed minutes, as paper endured no matter what technological advances take place and he questioned whether the City would always have the ability to go back ten years no matter what happened technologically. He pointed out that much of the original videos of the Apollo mission can no longer be retrieved and he added that there were very few occasions where they wanted to look back more than ten years.
Responding to Councilman Stern, Director McLean explained that DVDs would not be the permanent record, the Real video files are the permanent record and they are backed up and archived remotely.
Councilman Stern questioned how the public would access the information.
Director McLean indicated that DVDs were being retained and could be made available for viewing and in addition, staff expected that the meetings would remain accessible online on the City’s website.
Councilman Gardiner expressed concern with the availability and integrity of the data noting that the length of time that video exists on hard disk is in question.
Assistant City Manager/ City Clerk Petru reported that the DVD and video stream files were designated as permanent records of the City and that hard copies of the adopted minutes are retained forever.
Councilman Gardiner pointed out that if the City changes its current practice, it would have hard copy summary minutes from this point onward and would be relying on media for the actual verbatim record. He questioned the reliability and stability of the current media.
Ted Vegvari, Palos Verdes on the Net, information/technology consultant to the City, reported that back ups were being done regularly and every time they do a back up the drive is tested and refreshed so there is a newly written complete data set.
Responding to Mayor Wolowicz, Director McLean reported that the City’s cost to digitize video stream files is about $3,500 per year, payable to PV on the Net, and that the City also supports PV on the Net’s hardware and software at a cost of about $3,000 per year. He clarified that the cost of the back-up system and offsite storage is for all of the City’s electronic data and not just the City’s video files.
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru indicated that the new cost of preparing summary minutes would be about half of what the City Clerk’s Office is currently spending.
Mayor Wolowicz questioned whether it was possible to increase accessing speed when reviewing verbatim minutes through indexing or key phrase links.
Mr. Vegvari reported that the technology did exist to take the verbatim minutes and index key portions of the video but they did not currently do that.
Moved by Mayor Pro Tem Long and seconded by Councilman Stern to: 1) Authorize the City Clerk’s Office to prepare summary minutes for all televised City Council meetings and detailed minutes of all non-televised City Council meetings; 2) Direct the Information/Technology Department to continue to use Real video stream files as the permanent video and audio record of City Council and Planning Commission meetings; and 3) Direct staff to present an overview of the City Council’s discussion to the Planning Commission and seek the Commission’s preference whether or not to migrate from detail minutes to summary minutes. Hearing no objection Mayor Wolowicz so ordered.
Consideration of an Ordinance of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes Regulating Solicitation within the City (202)
Councilman Gardiner suggested continuing the item as he had concerns he wanted to discuss with City Attorney Lynch who was not present.
Moved by Mayor Pro Tem Long and seconded by Councilman Clark to continue the item to December 5, 2006.
City Manager Recruitment (1101 x 1202)
Councilman Gardiner stated that he preferred to keep the application process open in case a qualified candidate surfaced after the specified application deadline ended.
Councilman Stern noted that five applications had been received after the deadline and the flexibility existed to consider additional applications.
Mayor Wolowicz expressed disappointment and concern that the City was not able to have a City Manager in place by the end of the year as promised.
The Council discussed the possibility of having Director McLean or another staff member act as Interim City Manager as it would be valuable to have someone familiar with the workings of the City in place until a final replacement is found. Concerns were raised about the additional workload that would be placed on an in-house interim City Manager, the recruitment process and the impact of an extension of the originally expected interim period.
Councilman Clark moved to accept the staff recommendation, except to defer entering into an agreement with Paul Bussey. Mayor Pro Tem Long seconded the motion for discussion purposes.
The Council further discussed their options and Mayor Pro Tem Long withdrew his second of Councilman Clark’s motion.
Moved by Councilman Stern and seconded by Councilman Gardiner to: 1) Endorse the City Manager recruitment process so far; 2) Approve the proposed recruitment process over the next few months; and 3) Direct the City Manager to negotiate and enter into an agreement with Paul Bussey to serve as the Interim City Manager until the new City Manager is hired.
AYES: Gardiner, Long, Stern and Mayor Wolowicz
FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS:
Mayor Wolowicz requested consideration of the scheduling of the first meeting of 2007.
CLOSED SESSION REPORT:
Assistant City Attorney Snow announced that no reportable action was taken on either item. Councilman Gardiner indicated that he had requested certain instances of litigation be reported on and added in the next closed session.
/s/ Thomas D. Long
/s/ Carla Morreale