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George Rodericks

City Manager's Blog

The City Manager's Blog is an online educational tool to provide general information to the community in open communication style. Periodically, the City Manager will post articles of general interest covering topics such as the Town's budget, budget process, capital projects, upcoming meetings, community issues, public safety, and general Town operations.

Articles in the blog are not designed as press releases or Town publications, rather, they are written in more of a conversational style. The Blog does not have a comments feature but readers are free to respond to the Blog and its entries view email directly to the City Manager.

Feb 16

Election - June 6, 2017

Posted on February 16, 2017 at 3:15 PM by George Rodericks

On February 15, 2017, the City Council adopted a Resolution calling a Special Election for June 6, 2017. The election is an all-mail ballot election. The Town has created a public information webpage for the Election and will provide links to available public information related to the Election. 

The Council placed the following advisory measure on the ballot for consideration:

Ballot Question

Should the Town of Atherton supplement private donations with available non-dedicated General Funds to meet the funding shortfall, where one exists, for construction of the new Town Center? 

Text of the Measure

Measure L was approved by Atherton voters in 2012 as an advisory measure supporting the use of donor funds as the primary funding source for the Civic Center Project. Since 2012, the Town has spent four years in the design process, completed 100% Design Development and is now engaged in the preparation of construction documents. Donor funds have served as the primary funding source for all of this design work; but current donations are not sufficient to complete construction of the designed project. 

The City Council has developed a funding plan that would supplement current and future private donations with available general funds without adding any new project-specific taxes, changes to the current Parcel Tax or use of the Town's mandatory reserves. Other funding sources include funds derived from building fees and grants. The City Council would like input from the voters as to how best to proceed with respect to additional funding needs. They pose the following question: 

Should the Town of Atherton supplement private donations with available non-dedicated General Funds to meet the funding shortfall, where one exists, for construction of the new Town Center?

Staff Report History

The City Council discussed the issue over several public meetings. When available, video links to these meetings can be found via the video link near each item. Links to the staff reports are also below. 

February 15, 2017 - Staff Report with Resolution Setting Rules for Ballot Arguments and Rebuttals Video Link

This staff report provides a Resolution governing the submittal of arguments, impartial analysis, and rebuttals. 

February 15, 2017 - Staff Report with Resolution calling the Special Election for June 6, 2017  (Video Link)

This staff report provides a summary of the proposed ballot measure and the attached Resolution calls the Special Election for June 6, 2017.

February 1, 2017 - Staff Report on the Civic Center Project - Review, Discuss and Provide Staff with Feedback Regarding Funding Status and Options Related to Measure L  (Video Link)

This staff report provides a more detailed summary of the estimated project cost, a proposed Funding Plan, and a discussion of the possibility of Certificates of Participation.

February 1, 2017 - History Report for the Civic Center Project  (Video Link)

This staff report outlines the history and progression of the Project from its inception to February 1, 2017. 

January 18, 2017 - Staff Report on the Civic Center Project: Review, Discuss and Provide Staff with Feedback Regarding Funding Status and Options  (Video Link)

This staff report provides details on the Funding Status for Atherton Now, Design Costs for the Project, Project Cost Estimates, Available "Other" Funds, a discussion of any "At Risk" Capital Improvement Projects, and a discussion of possible Funding Alternatives. 


Project Webpage

The Project Webpage for the Civic Center Project can be found via this link. The project webpage provides a history of the project, related documents, history documents, design photos, and other design-related documents. 
Feb 16

That's A Wrap! - February 15, 2017

Posted on February 16, 2017 at 2:15 PM by George Rodericks

Thats A Wrap Logo

Council Meeting Date: February 15, 2017
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/user/TownOfAtherton/featured

Details of each item can be found via the links to Staff Reports within the narrative. 


The City Council met for the February Regular Council meeting on Wednesday, February 15, beginning at 7 pm. Following the Pledge of Allegiance, Sergeant Jeff Rickel was sworn in as the Police Department's newest Sergeant. 

CM_Report.jpgFollowing Public Comment, the Council moved to the City Manager's Report. The City Manager's Report is prepared monthly as part of the City Council's Regular Agenda. In addition to current reports from the City Manager, it includes departmental updates on the various happenings around Town such as reports from Administration, Community Services, Planning, Police, and Public Works. 

After the City Manager's Report, the Council moved on to the Consent Agenda consisting of Items 8 through 14. Items on the Consent Agenda are considered routine in nature and are generally considered in one motion and adopted by a single vote of the Council. Included in this month's Consent Agenda were minutes, bills, CalPERS Pay Schedule, Changes to the Master Fee Schedule, Authorization for use of the Refuse Rate Stabilization Funds, and Award of Contract for Street Patching and Cape Seal. After brief discussion, the Council approved the Consent Agenda. 

drone.jpegAfter the Consent Agenda, the Council moved on to a Public Hearing on Drones - Item No. 15. The Council discussed the proposed ordinance and feedback from the Town's Park & Recreation Committee. The Council discussed issues such as new State laws, notification requirements for using drones within 5-miles of an airport, compliance with FAA regulations and guidelines, insurance requirements for Civll Use (commercial), use in the Park, and use of drones with cameras in private yards.

Following discussion, the Council introduced the proposed ordinance for first reading and set second reading and adoption for March 15, 2017.

Moving on to Item No. 16, the Council discussed changes to the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan to add a Class I Bike Lane along portions of Oak Grove between Middlefield Road and Rebecca Lane. The Council discussed the recommended changes noting that it is important to make the connection for Safe Routes to School and that it is important to not only maintain safe access and use by those on bicycles but pedestrians as well. It was noted that staff will be preparing a preliminary design and advising the adjacent/affected property owners of the project prior to implementation. The preliminary design will be provided to the City Council for comment as well. Following discussion, the Council authorized the amendment to the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan and authorized work to move forward on design.  

election.jpegThe next item on the Agenda was Item No. 17 Calling for an All-Mail Special Election in June related to the Civic Center Project. The Council discussed the proposed ballot question and text for the advisory measure. After a couple of tweaks to the language, the Council adopted the Resolution setting the Special Election for June 6, 2017. The finalized ballot question and text is:

Ballot Question

Should the Town of Atherton supplement private donations with available non-dedicated General Funds to meet the funding shortfall, where one exists, for construction of the new Town Center? 

Text of the Measure

Measure L was approved by Atherton voters in 2012 as an advisory measure supporting the use of donor funds as the primary funding source for the Civic Center Project. Since 2012, the Town has spent four years in the design process, completed 100% Design Development and is now engaged in the preparation of construction documents. Donor funds have served as the primary funding source for all of this design work; but current donations are not sufficient to complete construction of the designed project. 

The City Council has developed a funding plan that would supplement current and future private donations with available general funds without adding any new project-specific taxes, changes to the current Parcel Tax or use of the Town's mandatory reserves. Other funding sources include funds derived from building fees and grants. The City Council would like input from the voters as to how best to proceed with respect to additional funding needs. They pose the following question: 

Should the Town of Atherton supplement private donations with available non-dedicated General Funds to meet the funding shortfall, where one exists, for construction of the new Town Center?


After deciding to move forward with the Special Election, the Council moved on to Item No. 18 to set the rules for primary arguments and rebuttals. After discussion, the Council adopted the Resolution establishing the primary argument to be signed by all five (5) members of the Council and authorizing one (1) round of rebuttals. 

Next up was the Civic Center Project. Item No. 19 required Council approval of a couple of changes to the Design and Project Management Scopes of Work, Feedback on the Project landscaping and signage plan, decisions related to photovoltaic arrays as add-alternates, acceptance of the 100% Design Development Plans and Cost Estimate and authorization to move forward to Construction Documents. This item involved a number of PowerPoint presentations and lots of discussion by the Council. Ultimately, the Council moved forward on all of the recommended items to include moving forward with Construction Drawings, but discussed in detail, project landscape and signage, future role of the Civic Center Advisory Committee, and photovoltaic arrays as add-alternates.

The Council provided key feedback on project design related to civic court bench design, Library fountain, Library decking, locations of flag poles, design and materials for monument signage, and the new address for Town Hall (80 Fair Oaks). The Council placed the Civic Center Advisory Committee on hiatus while staff continues work with the Project Management Subcommittee moving forward with key involvement by the Council at critical decision points. The Council also discussed the placement of possible photovoltaic arrays as a project add-alternate and discussed ways that the arrays could be funded via a power purchase agreement and made more efficient in design. 

PV Options.jpg

In the end, the Council selected Option 2 for the add-alternate photovoltaic arrays, without the additional carport along the western border of the project site. Council direction was to design the proposed panels to be as efficient as possible and look for ways to enhance their efficiencies within the constraints of the project site. Add-alternates are not automatically included within the project and are decided upon at the time of project construction award based on available funding. 

Next up was Item No. 20, the 2017 Earth Day Event scheduled for April 22. Staff presented the Staff Report and the Council discussed various issues related to the project, to include the project budget, participation, awards, community postcards and mailings, as well as event design. Following discussion, the Council authorized moving forward with the event with a $5,000 budget and combining the event with the E-Scrap and Compost Recology event on April 22, 2017.

Item No. 21 had the Council selecting the design for new LED streetlights in portions of Lloyden Park and Lindenwood to replace the Series Street Lights. This project has been in the works as part of the Town's Capital Improvement Project list for several years culminating with a community survey to select the preferred alternative LED streetlights at the end of last year. After discussion regarding pricing and numbers of lights, the Council selected the top light in each category - Pendant and Post-Top. 

King.jpgSternberg.jpg

Last up was Item No. 22, the Mid-Year Budget Review. After a brief staff report noting the changes in revenues and expenditures at Mid-Year, the Council discussed various issues related to capital projects, project timing, revenues, and anticipated General Fund savings. Following discussion, the Council adopted the budget amendment resolutions.

Following Council Reports and Final Comments, having cleared the entire Agenda, at approximately 10:45 pm, that, as they say - was a wrap!


The next meeting of the City Council is the Study Session of March 1, 2017. This meeting will be held at the Park and is a Joint Meeting with the Park & Recreation Committee. The Meeting will include a review and discussion of the planned Park Circulation Project as well as a discussion of the Town's experience with short-term rentals and work within the public right-of-way. The March 15 Regular Agenda tentatively includes a 2nd Reading and Adoption of the Drone Ordinance, Discussion of the Knox Pre-School Lease Extension, Approval of Design for the Oak Grove Class I Bike Path, a TEFRA Hearing, a Hearing on Refuse Rate Reductions, Introduction of Title 15 Changes by Menlo Park Fire Protection District, and Approval of Primary Arguments and the Impartial Analysis for the June 6 Ballot Measure. 


George_2.jpgThanks for reading!

George Rodericks
City Manager
Town of Atherton
grodericks@ci.atherton.ca.us




#AthertonTalks
#AthertonCivicCenter

Feb 08

Coming to a City Council Near You

Posted on February 8, 2017 at 3:06 PM by George Rodericks

dais.jpg
On Wednesday, February 15, the Council will meet for their
regularly scheduled meeting. The meeting begins at 7 pm
at the Atherton Council Chambers.
The Agenda includes a number of important items for Council consideration. Up first will be the regular Consent Agenda. These are routine items considered in one motion for approval. This will typically include minutes of prior meetings, the warrant register (bills), and other routine items. Specific approvals this month include: - Approval of an amendment to the Master Fee Schedule to Address Repossession of Vehicles - Authorization for the City Manager to use funds within the Refuse Rate Stabilization Fund to engage a consultant to assist with possible franchise negotiations/renewal process - Award of Contract for the 2017 Street Patching Project - Award of Contract for the 2017 Street Cape Seal Project After the Consent Agenda, the Council will move on to the Regular Agenda. This is where you’ll staff reports prior to each item to introduce it. Items on this month’s agenda include: - Amendment to the Town’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan for Class I/II Bike Lanes along Oak Grove and authorization for design work - Introduction of the Proposed Drone Ordinance Regulating Drone Use in Atherton - Consideration of Activities Related to the 2017 Earth Day Event Planned for April - Mid-Year Budget Report and Amendments - Selection of new LED Street Light Design for the Series Street Light Replacement Project
street_light_options.jpg There are two high-profile items on the Agenda this month. The first is approval of the Civic Center Project’s 100% Design Development Plans and Cost Estimate. This is a fairly significant milestone for this project. Moving forward from here is development of actual construction drawings in anticipation of bidding the project in the latter part of 2017. There are a few change orders that need to be approved as well to address professional services provided along the way - some architectural design changes as well as project management and engineering. The Civic Center Project is the most significant project in the Town’s history. There has been a tremendous amount of effort that has gone into the design of the project thus far. The effort is not only from professional staff and contractors, but also the tireless volunteers that served on the various committees, the public that engaged with comments and suggestions along the way, and those in the community that hosted community forums and outreach to help get the word out and get the input in to affect design. Not to be forgotten is the outstanding efforts of Atherton Now, the fundraising arm for the project. The project would not be where it is at today without the fundraising efforts and contributions from Atherton Now. Once built, this project will represent the largest public/private partnership undertaken by the Town.
You can follow the project’s progress and review the 100% Design Development Plans via the Town’s website.
But there is one hurdle left. Also to be considered by the Council at the February 15 meeting will be whether to Call a Special Election for June 2017 with an Advisory Ballot Measure Regarding Funding for the Civic Center Project. As successful as Atherton Now has been, the funds raised are not enough to fully fund the construction of the Town Center portion of the Civic Center. The Library, Restoration/Renovation of Historic Town Hall (into to a multi- purpose space for the Library), and the associated site work is fully funded by dedicated Library Funds. However, the funding source for the Town Center portion of the site - City Hall, Police Department, Building Department, Public Works, Planning, and its associated site work is restricted to donations and funds allocated within the building facilities fund.
After funding the majority of design costs for the project, Atherton Now has a committed and funded additional amount of approximately $4 million that can be allocated toward construction costs. There is an additional $2.9 million in building facilities funds. The total estimated construction cost is approximately $21.8 million. The remaining construction funds needed is $14.5 million (at 50% Design). To address this shortfall, the City Council has identified a Funding Plan, but that Funding Plan hinges on the ability to use available, non-dedicated General Funds - something not considered when the Town approved Measure L in 2012. So, the Council is considering putting another advisory vote to the electorate in June 2017 to affirm the possible use of available, non-dedicated General Funds. Inclusive of Educational Revenue Augmentation Funds (ERAF) during the life of the construction project (expected 27-months), the Town has approximately $12.2 million in available funds (not using any Special Parcel Tax funds or mandatory reserves). The remaining gap of roughly $2-3 million could be funded by year-over-year revenues over expenditures or the use of short-term borrowing against anticipated revenues. On February 1, the Council committed that no new project-specific taxes would be created to fund the project.

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The full agenda packet for the February 15, 2017 meeting will be available online on Friday, February 10. Check it out...we’d like your feedback! George Rodericks City Manager Town of Atherton #AthertonTalks