Special And Regular Meeting of February 28, 2012
City Council Chambers, One Twin Pines Lane
CLOSED SESSION - 6:30 P.M.
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN of a Special Meeting called by the Mayor pursuant to Government Code Section 54956 for the following Closed Sessions:
ADJOURN TO CLOSED SESSION
A. Conference with Labor Negotiator, Greg Scoles, pursuant to Government Code Section 54957.6: (AFSCME, MMCEA)
ADJOURNMENT at this time being 7:40 P.M.
Belmont City Clerk
This meeting was not tape recorded or videotaped
CALL TO ORDER 7:45 P.M.
COUNCILMEMBERS PRESENT: Feierbach, Lieberman, Wozniak, Braunstein, Warden
COUNCILMEMBERS ABSENT: None
Staff Present: City Manager Scoles, City Attorney Rennie, Police Chief Mattei, Community Development Director de Melo, Finance Director Fil, Deputy Finance Director Lazzari, Public Works Director Oskoui, Human Resources Director Dino, Parks and Recreation Director Gervais, Recreation Supervisor Brunson, City Treasurer Violet, City Clerk Cook
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Led by City Manager Scoles
REPORT FROM CLOSED SESSION
City Attorney Rennie announced that there were no reportable actions from closed session.
Introduction of new Senior Center Staff
Parks and Recreation Director Gervais introduced Andrea de Lara, the new Recreation Coordinator for the Senior Program. He described her professional background in the private sector.
Proclamation Declaring American Red Cross Month
Mayor Warden read the Proclamation.
Nora Daly, on behalf of the Red Cross, outlined upcoming local activities sponsored by the Red Cross, including the Annual Gala, Save-A-Life Saturday, and the 2012 Heroes Breakfast.
PUBLIC COMMENTS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Brittney Engelland-Gay, Notre Dame de Namur student, announced an upcoming Dance-A-Thon to be held at the Notre Dame Theater to benefit the Ralston Hall renovations.
George Burgess, Belmont Chamber of Commerce, provided a summary of the Chamber’s recent Transportation Committee meeting. He noted that he has met with C/CAG (Cities/Counties Association of Governments) to discuss an upcoming shuttle grant application.
COUNCIL MEMBER COMMENTS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Councilmember Wozniak noted that she is experiencing her first paperless meeting.
Councilmember Wozniak requested the removal of Consent Item 4-C (Resolution Approving a Joint Powers Agreement with Sequoia Union High School District for Use of the Carlmont High School Aquatics Facility, and the Carlmont High School Performing Arts Center and Studio Theater) for separate consideration.
ITEMS APPROVED ON CONSENT CALENDAR
Approval of Minutes of Special Meeting of February 15, 2012 (Commission Interviews)
Approval of Resolution 2012-019 Authorizing the City Manager to Execute a Service Agreement for a Cost of Service Study for Sewer Service Charges with HDR Engineering for an Amount not to Exceed $27,655
ACTION: On a motion by Councilmember Lieberman, seconded by Councilmember Braunstein, the Consent Agenda was unanimously approved as amended by a show of hands.
ITEM REMOVED FROM CONSENT CALENDAR FOR SEPARATE CONSIDERATION
Resolution Approving a Joint Powers Agreement with Sequoia Union High School District for Use of the Carlmont High School Aquatics Facility, and the Carlmont High School Performing Arts Center and Studio Theater
In response to Councilmember Wozniak, Parks and Recreation Director Gervais explained that the City has been using the Carlmont pool for its summer swim program for 25 years. He clarified that the City and the high school district has been in discussions since 2010 to provide for a more detailed agreement to provide stability in costs. He also explained that the Heartbeat Dance studio, which has partnered with the City to provide a dance program, has expanded its student base and is using the Performing Arts Center at Carlmont High School since it outgrew the Notre Dame Theater.
Recreation Supervisor Brunson clarified that the dance program costs are offset by the fees charged to the participants.
ACTION: On a motion by Councilmember Wozniak, seconded by Councilmember Braunstein, Resolution 2012-020 Approving a Joint Powers Agreement with Sequoia Union High School District for Use of the Carlmont High School Aquatics Facility, and the Carlmont High School Performing Arts Center and Studio Theater was unanimously approved by a show of hands.
Report on Mid-Year Financial Results - December 31, 2011 and Resolution Amending the Fiscal Year 2012 Budget and Approving a Revision to Revenue and Supplemental Appropriation
Finance Director Fil described the time sensitivity in adopting the proposed resolutions as soon as possible. He noted that all actions would be revisited during the upcoming budget discussions. He explained that the Finance Commission had a recent discussion of the mid-year budget results and were invited to attend tonight’s meeting. He noted that the General Fund is in good condition and the local economy has improved.
Deputy Finance Director Lazzari provided an overview of trends for the General Fund balance from the past five years and described key revenue variances. She noted that transit occupancy taxes are higher than estimated, and motor vehicle license fees are lower, but this matter is currently in court. She also noted that sales, ERAF, and property tax revenues are slightly ahead.
Finance Director Fil reviewed the status of other funds and noted that all have small year-to-date surpluses. He commented that the City is on budget in most areas. He explained that the new fire department was created with a lump sum amount, and now that more details are known, a line-item budget can be built. He noted that overhead costs are shared using a public safety model, and some costs are being reallocated based on the dissolution of the Redevelopment Agency. He stated that legacy costs from the former Belmont-San Carlos Fire Department still need to be addressed and will likely be considerable.
Finance Director Fil reviewed the redevelopment dissolution process and noted that the City will retain some activities such as oversight of the successor agency, enforceable obligations, and some housing functions. He explained that the tax increment will continue but will be collected by the County of San Mateo for pass-through to other agencies. He outlined activities to be realigned, and explained that overhead costs will be reallocated to the General Fund, Development Services, Building, and the Fire Protection District. He noted that there will be reductions in labor, supplies and services.
Councilmember Feierbach expressed her desire that expenditures allocated to the Belmont Fire Protection District be fair.
City Manager Scoles reviewed staffing reductions. He stated that a vacant police officer position will be eliminated, and code enforcement will be moved to the Police Department from Community Development. He explained that the housing specialist, associate planner, office assistant, and deputy finance director positions would be eliminated, and clarified that the office assistant and deputy director positions were currently vacant. He noted that the deputy position would be revised to a management analyst position which could oversee housing, economic development and other functions.
Councilmember Feierbach expressed concern with the impact to the Community Development Department and inquired whether this would be a short-term impact.
City Manager Scoles explained that the loss of the redevelopment agency resulted in a $600,000 impact to the Community Development Department, which cannot be made up with fees. He noted that this can be addressed in the 2013 budget, based on Council priorities. He commented that all city departments collaborated to mitigate the impact to Community Development.
Councilmember Wozniak expressed concern regarding the impact this will have on the General Plan update.
Finance Director Fil explained that these staffing reductions result in one layoff.
Councilmember Lieberman commended staff for its efforts on what is an enormous challenge.
Mayor Warden noted that the City Council needs more time to review next year’s budget. He suggested a joint meeting with the Finance Commission, and expressed a desire that the budget review be more of a public process.
Discussion ensued regarding format and content of the budget review.
Councilmember Braunstein suggested that budget process start earlier in order to have an opportunity to digest the information and have more depth of review.
ACTION: On a motion by Councilmember Wozniak, seconded by Councilmember Braunstein, Resolution 2012-021 was unanimously approved by a show of hands.
COMMISSION, COMMITTEE, AND COUNCIL INTERGOVERNMENTAL ASSIGNMENT UPDATES, AND STAFF ITEMS
Verbal report from Councilmembers on Intergovernmental (IGR) and Subcommittee Assignments
Councilmember Wozniak reported on a Regional Housing Needs Association (RHNA) meeting she attended where it was noted that San Mateo County is the first county to determine its housing allocation by county. She outlined upcoming CalTrain/High Speed Rail meetings.
High Speed Rail Update and Review of Caltrain/California High Speed Rail (CHSR) Blended Operations Analysis Comment Letter
Community Development Director de Melo requested that the City Council provide direction regarding the future of the High Speed Rail Ad Hoc Committee. He suggested that it be suspended or permanently disbanded, and he clarified that staff and City Council will continue to attend meetings and will intervene when necessary. He presented a draft letter regarding the proposed blended operations with Cal Train. He explained that the City of Belmont would be impacted by both proposed scenarios for passing tracks, and drafted the letter under the assumption that the City Council would not be supportive due to the impacts.
George Kranen, High Speed Rail Committee Member, recommended keeping the committee active since high speed rail continues to be an issue.
Councilmember Feierbach noted the impacts to staff due to the dissolution of the Redevelopment Agency, and expressed concern for continuing support to the ad hoc committee. She recommended that it continue to operate without staff support. She expressed her desire that staff efforts be put towards the General Plan update.
Councilmember Wozniak expressed appreciation for the work of the ad hoc committee and concurred with the concerns expressed regarding staff impact. She noted that there may not be as much for the ad hoc committee to do with recent changes in the plans for high speed rail. She recommended suspending the committee or transferring it to the Public Works Department.
Councilmember Braunstein expressed support for continuing the committee. He noted that outreach and education was its primary goal, and having people keep up with information is helpful. He concurred that it could be moved to the Public Works Department.
Community Development Director de Melo outlined the various ways that the committee provided outreach, including participation in National Night Out and the Save the Music Festival.
Councilmember Lieberman stated that this issue was relevant to the City of Belmont, and that the City leveraged citizen interest in this topic. He suggested finding a way for them to remain active with minimal staff impact.
Mayor Warden noted that the Ad Hoc Committee’s work led to a policy decision and there is no need for more information or to rehash decisions already made. He concurred with the concerns expressed regarding the impact on staff, and expressed support for disbanding or suspending the committee.
Council concurred to suspend the High Speed Rail Ad Hoc Committee for six months.
Discussion ensued regarding the proposed draft letter on the blended rail operations.
Councilmember Wozniak expressed support for Cal Train and her desire to keep high speed rail and Cal Train as separate entities.
Councilmember Lieberman stated that cities are most effective when they collaborate with other cities to leverage impacts.
Councilmember Wozniak noted that the letter does not discontinue the multi-city collaboration.
Councilmember Lieberman commended Councilmember Wozniak’s efforts regarding high speed rail.
Council concurred to submit the draft letter as proposed.
Verbal Report from City Manager
City Manager Scoles noted that the County of San Mateo will be taking action to appoint its two members to the Oversight Committee for the Successor Agency. He stated that the Mayor will need to appoint two members and the Belmont Fire Protection District will need to appoint one person. He explained that the Belmont-Redwood Shores School District has yet to make its appointment.
City Manager Scoles outlined the topics discussed at the recent Neighborhood Association President’s Meeting. He stated that he will be polling the Council for potential dates for a priority calendar workshop. He commended the Police Department’s efforts regarding the apprehension of suspects in gift card theft which occurred recently at Safeway store.
ADJOURNMENT at this time, being 9:45 p.m.
Meeting Tape Recorded and Videotaped
Audio Recording 811
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