NOVEMBER 20, 2007 CITY COUNCIL MINUTES NOVEMBER 20, 2007 CITY COUNCIL MINUTES







NOVEMBER 20, 2007 CITY COUNCIL MINUTES

MINUTES
RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL
REGULAR MEETING
NOVEMBER 20, 2007

The meeting was called to order at 6:00 P.M. by Mayor Pro Tem Stern at Fred Hesse Community Park, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard and was immediately recessed into Closed Session.  Mayor Long was present via teleconference from the Princeville Resort, 5520 Kahaku Road, Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii.  The meeting reconvened at 7:06 P.M.
 
City Council roll call was answered as follows:

PRESENT:    Clark, Gardiner, Stern, Wolowicz, and Mayor Long (via teleconference)
ABSENT:      None

Also present were City Manager Carolyn Lehr, City Attorney Carol Lynch, Deputy City Manager Carolynn Petru, Director of Planning, Building & Code Enforcement Joel Rojas, Director of Finance/Information Technology Dennis McLean, Deputy Director of Finance/Information Technology Kathryn Downs, Principal Planner Ara Mihranian, Senior Engineer Ron Dragoo, Senior Information Technician Robert Arthur, and City Clerk Carla Morreale.

FLAG SALUTE:

The Flag Salute was led by Councilman Clark.

CEREMONIAL:

The recognition of Pam Emerson on her retirement from the California Coastal Commission was postponed to a future City Council meeting.

MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Mayor Pro Tem Stern announced that recruitment had begun for three seats on the Planning Commission and three seats on the Finance Advisory Committee with a deadline of December 7, 2007 for the receipt of applications.

RECYCLE DRAWING:

Mayor Pro Tem Stern announced Recyclers of the Month from the October 16, 2007 City Council meeting, Wu Deng-Fu and Carol Johnson.  He indicated that all winners receive a check for $250 representing a year of free refuse service and urged everyone to participate in the City’s recycling program. 

APPROVAL OF AGENDA:

Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to approve the Agenda with Item 12 moved to follow Item 9. 

Without objection, Mayor Pro Tem Stern so ordered.

PUBLIC COMMENTS:
 
None.

CITY MANAGER REPORT:

None.

NEW BUSINESS:

APPROVAL OF CONSENT CALENDAR:

City Clerk Morreale reported that Staff had requested that Item 6 be removed from the Consent Calendar and placed immediately following the Approval of the Consent Calendar so that the representative from the City Attorney’s Office could address any questions that the Council might have regarding that item.

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilman Wolowicz, to approve the Consent Calendar with Item 6 removed for separate consideration.

The motion carried on the following roll call vote:

AYES:            Clark**, Gardiner, Stern*, Wolowicz and Mayor Long
NOES:           None

* Mayor Pro Tem Stern recused himself from voting on Item 7
** Councilman Clark abstained from voting on the minutes of August 7, 2007 as he was absent from that meeting.

EMERGENCY STORM DRAIN PROJECT:

Mossbank Storm Drain Rehabilitation (1204 x 604)
 
Reviewed and reconfirmed by a four/fifths (4/5) vote, the Council’s previous action on August 21, 2007, authorizing staff to proceed with emergency repairs to the Mossbank Drive Storm Drain.

OTHER CONSENT CALENDAR ITEMS:

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 (301)

Approved the Minutes of the July 17, 2007 and August 7, 2007 Regular Meetings and the September 4, 2007 and September 26, 2007 Adjourned Regular Meetings.

Border Issues Status Report (310)

Reviewed the current status of border issues.

Claim Against the City by Ingrid Mazsick (303)

Rejected the claim and directed staff to notify the claimant.

Side Fund (Pension) Liability Refinancing (602)

This item was removed from the Consent Calendar for separate consideration.

Purchase of Tax Defaulted Property (950)
 
Authorized the Mayor and City Clerk to sign an Agreement to Purchase Tax-Defaulted Property for a vacant parcel in Windport Canyon.

Register of Demands

ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2007-115, 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.

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ITEMS REMOVED FROM THE CONSENT CALENDAR:

Side Fund (Pension) Liability Refinancing (602)

Deputy Director of Finance/IT Downs presented a brief staff report.

Council and staff discussion clarified that the bonds were issued by a pool with the California Statewide Communities Development Authority (CSCDA).
 
Further discussion included an opportunity for projected positive savings each year over the lifetime of the bond; the differential in the CALPERS interest rate of 7.75% to the estimated 5.8% pool rate which is a real dollar savings; and that payroll growth beyond the CALPERS projection would benefit the pool the City is in and not reduce the principal balance on the City’s debt. 

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Mayor Long, to: 1) Direct staff to proceed with restructuring the City’s $2.43 million Side Fund Liability by using $691,500 in excess funds in the Employee Benefits fund and using a pooled financing program offered by California Statewide Communities Development Authority to refinance the remaining $1.74 million; 2) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2007-116, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE OF ONE OR MORE SERIES OF PENSION OBLIGATION BONDS, APPROVING THE FORM OF AND AUTHORIZING THE EXECUTION AND DELIVERY OF A TRUST AGREEMENT AND A PURCHASE AGREEMENT, AND AUTHORIZING A VALIDATION ACTION AND OTHER MATTERS RELATING THERETO; and, 3) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2007-117, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, AMENDING RESOLUTION 2007-70, THE BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR FY07-08, TO INCREASE EXPENDITURES IN THE EMPLOYEE BENEFITS FUND.

A roll call vote reflected the following:

AYES:            Clark, Gardiner, Stern, Wolowicz, and Mayor Long
NOES:           None

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

Extension to the Trump National Development Agreement (1411)

City Clerk Morreale reported that notice of the public hearing was duly published, written protests had been included in the late correspondence distributed prior to the meeting, and there were two requests to speak on the item.  

Mayor Pro Tem Stern opened the public hearing.

City Attorney Lynch provided a brief staff report.

Mike Vandergoes, General Manager, Trump National Golf Club, asked for support of the 110-day extension request.

Lenee Bilski, Rancho Palos Verdes, expressed support for the extension of the Trump project but voiced concern with the wording in the addendum to the agreement that stated there had been no substantial changes to the project or the environment.  She requested that the Council change the wording and issue reprimands to the developer for repeatedly disregarding City Codes and conditions.

City Attorney Lynch clarified the meaning of the language in question and suggested adding wording to the addendum for further clarification.

Staff provided clarification on certain portions of the developer’s agreement.

City Attorney Lynch read the change to the addendum into the record.  She noted that paragraph 2, item 2 of Addendum No. 30 will read “there have been no substantial changes to the Project or the environment caused by the extension of the Development Agreement that would cause the project to significantly impact the environment, nor does the proposed extension of the Development Agreement affect a change that would impact the environment in any manner that was not previously considered and mitigated to the extent feasible.”

Mayor Pro Tem Stern declared the pubic hearing closed.

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to 1) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2007-118, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, ADOPTING ADDENDUM 30 TO ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT NO. 36; (2) ADOPT URGENCY ORDINANCE NO. 465U, AS AMENDED, AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, APPROVING AMENDMENT NO. 3 TO THE TRUMP NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT, WHICH EXTENDS THE DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT BY 110 DAYS, AND DECLARING THE URGENCY THEREOF; (3) Authorize the Mayor and the City Clerk to execute the documents on behalf of the City; and, (4) Extend Vesting Tentative Tract Map No. 50666 consistent with the term of the Development Agreement.

A roll call vote reflected the following:

AYES:            Clark, Gardiner, Stern, Wolowicz, and Mayor Long
NOES:           None

Public Use Master Plan (PUMP) – City Council Public Workshop to Review the PUMP Committee’s Recommended Preserve Trails Plan (1201)

City Clerk Morreale reported that she had distributed late correspondence prior to the meeting and had received fifteen requests to speak on the item.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern disclosed for the record that he and Councilman Wolowicz had hiked the area with Ann Shaw, Dena Friedman, Eva Cicoria, and George Bender on Saturday.

Principal Planner Mihranian provided a summary of the staff report.

Council and staff discussion focused on the following topics regarding the Portuguese Bend Nature Preserve: staff’s determination on the effectiveness of designated trails and designated users of the trail plan; initial community resistance to the trail plan; enforcement and self-regulation throughout the property; new trails that have been cut since the acquisition of the Preserve; mountain bike restrictions and the origins of the restrictions; and, possible restrictions, as recommended by the PVPLC, of specific trail uses in order to allow proper healing of the Preserve.

The following speakers spoke in support of the PVPLC’S recommendation for a temporary closure: Tony Baker, Vic Quirarte, John Wessel, Judy Herman, Ken Swenson, Dave Wiggins, Barbara Sattler, Al Sattler, Ann Shaw, Dena Friedson, Eva Cicoria, and Jess Morton.

Speakers supporting the temporary closure voiced the following concerns: widespread damage to the trails; preservation of animal corridors; the necessity of immediate action to allow for the damaged areas of the Preserve to heal; and the City’s responsibility to protect the area as stated in the Conservation Agreement.

The following speakers spoke in opposition to the temporary ban on certain trail uses in certain portions of the Preserve, noting that any temporary ban on trail use should be extended to all users of the Preserve:  Katy Endicott, Troy Braswell, Ruth Braswell, Lenee Bilski, Wes Prunckle, and Brad House. 

Speakers opposing the temporary ban on certain trail uses in certain portions of the Preserve voiced concerns regarding the following issues: discrimination against certain uses or users on the trails in the Preserve; the damage to the Preserve caused by only a small number of users; damage from drought; the need for clear designation of trails; enforcement issues; and, animosity created by the restrictions on bicycle use.

RECESS AND RECONVENE:

Mayor Pro Tem Stern called a recess from 8:38 P.M. to 8:46 P.M.

Council discussion centered on the need for a temporary ban on use of damaged areas and how to enforce the ban.

Councilman Clark moved to propose a temporary ban on certain trail uses in certain portions of the City’s Preserve until the PUMP Committee’s Trails Network Plan is presented to the City Council.

Councilman Wolowciz suggested an amendment to the motion to include language stating that bicycle use would be allowed on the Burma Road and seconded the motion.

Council and staff discussion included the following topics: how to implement and enforce the ban; how to use volunteers to enforce the ban while avoiding public conflict; the need to ban all uses rather than some; the identification of affected areas; and the use of signs to notify the public of the areas of the temporary ban.

Mayor Long proposed an amendment to the motion calling for a temporary ban of all trail uses rather than certain trail uses.

Councilmen Clark and Wolowicz accepted the amendment as originators of the motion.

Further staff and Council discussion focused on whether the PVPLC could do the task in conjunction with staff, and how long it would take to identify and close the damaged areas.

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilman Wolowicz, to establish a temporary moratorium on all trail uses within those areas of the Canyons Ecological Preserve where the most severe habitat degradation has occurred until the workshop, with City staff and Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy to define the parameters and implementation of the temporary closures and mark them with appropriate signage;

A roll call vote reflected the following:

AYES:            Clark, Gardiner, Stern, Wolowicz, and Mayor Long
NOES:           None

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilman Wolowicz, to set Saturday, February 23, 2008, at 9:30 A.M. at the Point Vicente Interpretive Center to conduct a City Council public workshop to review and receive public feedback on the PUMP Committee’s Trails Network Plan (TNP) recommendations.

A roll call vote reflected the following:

AYES:            Clark, Gardiner, Stern, Wolowicz, and Mayor Long
NOES:           None

RECESS AND RECONVENE:

Mayor Pro Tem Stern called a brief recess from 9:42 P.M. to 9:53 P.M.

PAUSE TO CONSIDER THE REMAINDER OF THE AGENDA:

REGULAR NEW BUSINESS:

Approve Grant Application for Proposition 12, 2000 Resource Bond Funds (602 x 1204)

Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to 1) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2007-119, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, APPROVING THE APPLICANT TO APPLY FOR GRANT FUNDS FOR THE PER CAPITA GRANT PROGRAM UNDER THE SAFE NEIGHBORHOOD PARKS, CLEAN WATER, CLEAN AIR, AND COASTAL PROTECTION BOND ACT OF 2000; and, 2) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2007-120, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, AMENDING RESOLUTION 2007-70, THE BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR FY 07-08, ADJUSTING THE GENERAL FUND REVENUE BUDGET.

A roll call vote reflected the following:

AYES:            Clark, Gardiner, Stern, Wolowicz, and Mayor Long
NOES:           None

Approve Median Improvement Projects (1405)
 
Staff provided a brief summary of the staff report.

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilman Wolowicz, to approve two center median improvement projects at the northern and western gateway/entrances to the City. 

A roll call vote reflected the following:

AYES:            Clark, Gardiner, Stern, Wolowicz, and Mayor Long
NOES:           None

Employee Health Saving Accounts (902 x 1202)
 
Deputy City Manager Petru provided a summary staff report.

Council and staff discussion included the following topics: the transfer of employees from a PPO insurance program to a Health Savings Account (HSA) as an option, not a requirement; the City’s intent to encourage employees to migrate to the HSA; the fact that under a HSA, an employee cannot have any additional medical insurance coverage or retired military coverage; the concept that an HSA may modify the behavior of the insured with the intended goal of reducing the rate of increase for insurance premiums in the future; and, that there is no guarantee that the plan will work, but it will be monitored.

Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to approve the implementation of Employee Health Savings Accounts as part of the City’s health insurance renewal package for 2008.

A roll call vote reflected the following:

AYES:            Clark, Gardiner, Stern, Wolowicz, and Mayor Long
NOES:           None

Ordinance Clarifying that the City’s Redevelopment Plan Does Not Include the Power of Eminent Domain (1900)

Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to INTRODUCE ORDINANCE NO. 466, AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CLARIFYING THAT THE REDEVELOPMENT PLAN FOR THE REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY’S PROJECT AREA DOES NOT INCLUDE THE POWER TO ACQUIRE REAL PROPERTY BY EMINENT DOMAIN.

A roll call vote reflected the following:

AYES:            Clark, Gardiner, Stern, Wolowicz, and Mayor Long
NOES:           None

Channel 33 Transition

Mayor Pro Tem Stern suggested consideration of the three different parts of this item individually.

City Manager Lehr provided a brief summary staff report. She explained that this item was before Council because the request for expense reimbursement was rather high and payments were made outside of the City’s normal policies and guidelines that had been provided to Ms. Holt.  She suggested that Council consider Recommendation No. 2 first, since it was fairly straight-forward.  She explained that this would allow the City to continue to pay the worker who has been cross-trained in the operation of the Channel 33 Station.

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilman Wolowicz, to ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2007-121, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, AMENDING RESOLUTION NO. 2007-71, MODIFYING THE SALARY RANGE FOR THE POSITIONS OF ADMINISTRATIVE/PUBLIC WORKS/CABLE TELEVISION INTERN.

A roll call vote reflected the following:

AYES:            Clark, Gardiner, Stern, Wolowicz, and Mayor Long
NOES:           None

City Manager Lehr reviewed proposed changes to Recommendation No. 1, including the deletion of the Chamber of Commerce membership, since the City already carries a membership with the local Chamber; and the deletion of a payment for an invoice to the Princeton Server Group that should be made directly by the City, per the contract agreement.  She explained that she had communicated with Princeton Server Group and that they were willing to re-direct the invoice to the City of Rancho Palos Verdes for direct payment.

Council and staff discussion focused on the following issues: the payment of an invoice paid by Ms. Holt from her personal bank account; the recent resignation of Ms. Holt; City instruction and training regarding purchasing procedures; the history of the expenses; the expenditures made by the volunteer Station Manager without compliance with the City purchasing policies and procedures; the specifics and validity of the expenses incurred; how to insure these problems do not occur in the future; the political implications of the situation; potential tax liability with independent contractors hired by Ms. Holt; the unique nature of this situation; and, the suggestion that volunteers be excluded from the ability to purchase items or submit an expense report.

In light of the difficulties with the administration of Channel 33, Ms. Lehr offered to conduct a Lessons Learned report for a future agenda.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern moved, seconded by Mayor Long, to approve expense report reimbursement requests submitted by Gabriela Holt, dated October 22, 2007, November 5, 2007 and November 9, 2007 with aforementioned exclusions as well as further disallowances.

Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to amend the motion to allow for the payment of the postage, Rohrabacher luncheon, and EEL Production expenses once proof of the expenses are provided to staff.

The amendment carried on the following roll call vote:

AYES:            Clark, Gardiner, Stern, Wolowicz
NOES:            Mayor Long

A roll call vote on the main motion to approve expense report reimbursement, excluding payment of the Chamber of Commerce membership, PSG invoice, postage stamps, Rohrabacher luncheon, and EEL Production expenses, as amended, to state that payment of the last three items listed would be reimbursed upon proof and explanation of expense details was reflected as the following:

AYES:            Clark, Gardiner, Stern, Wolowicz, and Mayor Long
NOES:            None

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilman Wolowicz, to approve the performance of a subscriber survey to be conducted by Telecommunications Management Corp. to ascertain viewership and interest in educational and government access programming (Channels 33 and 35) in Rancho Palos Verdes for an amount not to exceed $15,750.

A roll call vote reflected the following:

AYES:            Clark, Gardiner, Stern, Wolowicz, and Mayor Long
NOES:           None

Staff and Council discussion focused on the methodology of the survey.

Establishment of the Dr. Allen and Charlotte Ginsburg Cultural Arts Building Fund (602)

City Attorney Lynch provided a brief summary staff report.

RECESS AND RECONVENE:

Mayor Pro Tem Stern called a brief recess from 11:14 P.M. to 11:17 P.M.

Councilman Gardiner left the meeting at 11:14 P.M.

City Attorney Lynch continued her summary of the item explaining the details of a generous donation to the City from Dr. Allen and Charlotte Ginsburg.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern noted that a weekend meeting regarding the donation was held between Dr. and Mrs. Ginsburg, Mayor Long, Councilman Wolowicz, City Attorney Lynch, City Manager Lehr, and Deputy City Manager Petru.

Council discussion included the following topics: the utilization of the donation at the Upper Pt. Vicente Civic Center or to assist in the acquisition of open space; the approval of the agreement by November 25, 2007, the transfer of funds to the City by the end of the year, and the installation of the donor recognition statue by March 30, 2008; the generosity of the Ginsburgs; and, the need to authorize Mayor Pro Tem Stern to sign the agreement since Mayor Long will be out of town.

Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Mayor Long, to ADOPT RESOLUTION 2007-122, AS AMENDED, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES ESTABLISHING A (RESTRICTED) SPECIAL REVENUE FUND TO: 1) ACCEPT AND DESIGNATE DONATIONS TO THE CITY FROM DR. ALLEN AND CHARLOTTE GINSBURG; 2) AUTHORIZE A DONOR RECOGNITION SITE; AND, 3) AGREE TO A NAMING OPPORTUNITY FOR A FUTURE CULTURAL ARTS FACILITY ON CITY PROPERTY. 

A roll call vote reflected the following:

AYES:            Clark, Stern, Wolowicz, and Mayor Long
NOES:           None
ABSENT:      Gardiner

CITY COUNCIL ORAL REPORTS:

Councilman Clark reported attending the California Coastal Commission meeting in San Diego from November 14-16, where the largest desalination facility in the western hemisphere was approved which will serve Carlsbad and the greater San Diego County.

Councilman Wolowicz reported that he attended the following:  the annual Mayor’s Lunch, sponsored by the Palos Verdes Chamber of Commerce and the Palos Verdes Rotary Club on October 26, 2007; the annual Mediterranea HOA Halloween Block Party on October 27, 2007; the Palos Verdes Transit Authority Board Meeting on October 29, 2007; a site tour of the McCarrell Canyon repairs and the Terranea project on October 31, 2007; a site visit of the Hawthorne Boulevard traffic light failures on October 31, 2007; a joint Board of Directors meeting with California Contract Cities Association and the Independent Cities Association on November 8, 2007; the League of Women Voters event honoring the Woman of the Year on November 9, 2007; attended the Vision Plan workshop on November 10, 2007; the Palos Verdes Peninsula Chamber of Commerce mixer on November 15, 2007; and, a hiking tour of the trails in the Portuguese Bend Nature Preserve and lunch with the Ginsburgs on November 17, 2007.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern reported attending the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy open space acquisition negotiating session on November 12, 2007 with City staff, City Manager Lehr and City Attorney Lynch; and, hiking the Portuguese Bend Nature Preserve area with Councilman Wolowicz on November 17, 2007.

Mayor Long reported attending the Mayor’s Breakfast, and a meeting with the resource agencies and Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy on November 9, 2007.  He reported on his attendance at the League of Women Voters and Chamber of Commerce events with Councilman Wolowicz on November 9, 2007; and, noted that he met with several residents regarding brush clearance on November 17, 2007.

COUNCIL DISCUSSION & SUGGESTION OF FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS:

Councilman Wolowicz requested that an item related to Storm Drain User Fee policy issues be addressed by the Council committee or the entire City Council in the future.

City Manager Lehr indicated that a date had not been set to discuss the issues, but noted that staff was gathering information related to this complex issues.

CLOSED SESSION REPORT:
 
City Attorney Lynch reported that with respect to the potential purchase of the Filiorum property, the City Council unanimously authorized a counteroffer be presented to the York Group.  She reported that the Public Employee Performance Evaluation did not occur and was continued to December 18, 2007 and that no action was taken regarding the existing litigation, but unanimous direction was given to the City Attorney.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mayor Pro Tem Stern adjourned the meeting at 11:40 P.M.

 

                                                                                                /s/ Douglas W. Stern
                                                                                                             Mayor

Attest:

/s/ Carla Morreale
     City Clerk

W:\City Council Minutes\2007\20071120 CC MINS.doc