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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.

Dec 14

November 2016 City Manager's Monthly Report

Posted on December 14, 2016 at 3:57 PM by Theresa DellaSanta

City Manager's Monthly Report - November 2016

Monthly-report.pngWelcome to the City Manager's Monthly Report Blog! 

The City Manager's Monthly Report Blog is a consolidation of issues, communications, and Town activity during the prior month that have been reported to the City Council as part of their weekly email from the City Manager. Sometimes information is duplicated over the course of several emails to the City Council to ensure that it is reviewed.

As I review the information to include in the Monthly Report, to the extent possible, I remove duplicate updates (older emails get shorter) in favor of the most recent - although some will be duplicative if there is other relevant information included; I try to remove information regarding events that have already occurred; and I edit information that requires update - hopefully to make it more useful. However, overall, the information is generally the same as it was presented to the City Council in their weekly Council email.

The Report reads with the most recent first. As always, if you have any questions or comments regarding the Monthly Report, please feel free to contact me via email or phone.

My weekly email to the City Council typically goes out every Friday. 

Regards,

George Rodericks
City Manager
Town of Atherton
(650) 752-0504
grodericks@ci.atherton.ca.us
#AthertonTalks


November 17 Weekly Council Notes

Below is the Friday Council Notes. 

As a reminder, I will be out of town for my wedding anniversary (Hawaii) from Friday, November 18 through Saturday, November 26. I will have limited connectivity. Theresa and Joe have the conn in my absence. I will be trying to “disconnect,” but you know me, that’s darn near impossible. I am heading to the Recology Board Meeting at 2 pm this afternoon and will be leaving for home from there. 

Town Hall is CLOSED Thursday, November 24 and Friday, November 25 for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Articles of Interest

Below are some links to articles of interest. 
PG&E Atmospheric-Corrosion Meter Inspections

Every three years PG&E does household gas meter inspections for corrosion. PG&E has completed the 2016 scheduled inspections and have moved up the early-2017 inspections to this year. Beginning Tuesday, November 15, 2016, over 100,000 gas meters in San Mateo County will be inspected between Tuesday and the end of the calendar year. PG&E and private contractor (Underground Construction) crews will be conducting the inspections. These inspections used to be part of the monthly meter reading program, but with the SmartGrid roll-out, atmospheric corrosion is being inspected as its own program.

During inspections, customers may see a PG&E employee or contractor on or near their properties as they access the gas meter. This work will not affect gas service. In the event a meter cannot be accessed, PG&E will schedule a visit and inspect the meter on a future date. Inspectors may repair or replace gas meters as needed during their inspections or on a future date.

Customers who have an appointment with PG&E will receive an automated call back within 48 hours prior to a scheduled visit, or a personal call from a PG&E gas service representative prior to a scheduled visit. 

Inspections will begin in Daly City, Colma, Brisbane and South San Francisco and work their way south through the county. All inspectors will have an ID, be in a PG&E vest and hard hat, and have a PG&E placard on their dashboard. 

Joint Meeting with the Fire Board (Holiday Reception to Follow)

The Joint Meeting of the Fire Board is scheduled for Tuesday, December 13 from 5 pm to 7 pm. The Mayor and I met with Board President Silano and Fire Chief Schapelhouman on November 14 at 4:30 pm

The draft agenda topics are highlighted below. The final agenda is still in the works. 
  • Specific Project: 
    • Discussion of the Marsh Road Project and future access issues - bicycle/pedestrian/emergency acess
  • Future Needs: 
  • Discussion of the District’s CityGates(sp?) - Standards of Cover Update
  • Discussion of District Vision for Station 3 Growth - 5/10/20 Years
  • Discussion of the Medical Response JPA (how/who/process)
  • Transportation and Access: 
  • Discussion of the Town’s Neighborhood Traffic Management Plan (NTMP)
    • Discussion of new “sharrows” and bicycle paths
    • Discussion of Roundabouts and other Traffic Management Measures
    • Discussion of the El Camino Real Complete Streets Study
  • Community Education & Awareness: 
  • Discussion of ways to improve community education and awareness related to:
    • Residential Address Numbering Improvements
    • Designation of local Assembly Points
    • Designation/Maintenance of local ADAPT Storage Caches
    • Integration of local HAM Radio Networks
    • Local Disaster Preparedness Education
The conversation around the Medical Response JPA will be educational. Board President Silano connected with the San Mateo County Medical Services Group and has provided the following overview from John Odle, Executive Director of the Medical Services Group. 

"The JPA was formed in 1998 when the county was developing a new 911 ambulance contract. The Fire Agencies in San Mateo County had interest in providing paramedic first response to provide a higher standard of patient care. In order to do this the County required a collective approach, in other words a single entity to contract with. As a result the JPA was formed. The JPA has a Board made up of representatives from each City, Town, Fire District, and the County. Formation of the JPA allowed the member agencies to contract for paramedic first responder services and to receive revenue for providing those services.

The JPA Board approves a revenue allocation plan and operating budget on an annual basis. The current revenue allocation is $50,000 for each First Responder Unit (FRU). A FRU is a fire department vehicle that is staffed with a paramedic. We are currently compensating fifty-two FRU's across the County. Seven of the fifty-two are Menlo Park Fire Protection District (MPFPD) units. This means we allocate $350,000 annually to MPFPD. There are no expenses associated with the JPA funded by any source other than the revenue we collect for providing the paramedic first response services. This source of our revenues is a pass-through from the private ambulance contractor. In addition to the revenue the JPA receives, the Fire Agencies also receive durable equipment and consumable medical supplies from the ambulance contractor which helps to off set operational expenses. 

As the Executive Director for the JPA, the only information I have to provide is what revenues are distributed by the JPA and any question you may have concerning our annual operational  budget. I have no information regarding individual members of fire districts such as the MPFPD."

Animal Services Report - October 2016


CalPERS Circular Letter on Pay Schedules

As an FYI, linked here is the recent CalPERS Circular Letter on Pay Schedules. The Town is compliant with the requirements; however, CalPERS is still picking through the remaining items on our recent audit and there may be a need to again, “re-adopt” historical schedules. Stay tuned as we work this out. There is no fiscal impact on the compliance effort, but it is nonetheless frustrating to adopt something only to be told that you have to re-adopt it because you included TOO much information. 

Closing the Gap - Building Facilities Fund

Staff continues to research how to close the gap of $1.2 million for the Building Facilities Fund. As mentioned, the $505,000 that the Town transferred to its Capital Facilities Replacement Fund can be traced back to the Building Fees. This can be reallocated back into the Building Facilities Fund. In addition, the are several projects over the past few years that have been assessed Construction Time Limit Penalties. These funds could also be transferred into the Building Facilities Fund. These total $385,800. 

The total of $890,800 from the needed $1.2 million will leave $309,200 remaining. The full summary of options will be coming to the Council in January. 

Holiday Reception

The Town’s Holiday Reception and Recognition for members of Town Committees and the Commission (as well as Staff) is set to follow the Fire Board Joint Meeting at 7 pm at the home of Council Member DeGolia. All members of Town Committees and Commission will be recognized at the meeting for their volunteer work through the year. 


November 4 Weekly Council Notes

Articles of Interest

Below are some links to articles of interest. 
Barbara Wood (Almanac) asked for a total of Town costs over the years spent on rail issues. We have had a number of consultants involved over the years but some have been pro-bono. Putting together the summary, those that charged for services - Capital Advocates, Stuart Flashman, and California Rail Foundation) totals $145,550 from 2009 forward. This will be provided to Barbara. 

Park Revenue and Event Log

Linked here is the Park Revenue Log and the October Park Events Log

October Police Report to the Transportation Committee

Linked here is the October 2016 Report to the Transportation Committee. This report goes to the Committee as part of their public agenda. 

Event Garden @ the Park

The Event Garden project is complete and via letter, the Town has accepted the work as complete. 

PG&E Self Report Notifications

PG&E is required to provide local government notification as part of a process required by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) whenever they self-report any potential compliance issue we have identified. On October 18, 2016, PG&E self-reported to the CPUC an issue of non-compliance related to inadequate cathodic protection (CP) on gas transmission pipelines.
 
On June 5, 2012, PG&E provided the CPUC with a self-identified non-compliance notification regarding not promptly remediating 180 indications of inadequate cathodic protection (CP) on its transmission pipelines. On February 11, 2014, following an inventory of its records, PG&E issued an update to the 2012 self-report adding an additional 490 indications of inadequate CP on its transmission pipelines.  Following an expansion of the initial records inventory, PG&E has since identified 745 additional indications of inadequate CP that were not promptly investigated at non-routine monitoring locations (i.e. locations not part of the routine corrosion monitoring plan). 
 
PG&E has remediated 174 of the 180 locations (96%) identified in the 2012 self-report and expects to complete the remaining six locations by the end of 2016.  PG&E has remediated 429 of the 490 locations (87%) identified in the 2014 self-report and is working to complete the remaining 61 locations by the end of 2016.  PG&E has experienced project delays at 13 locations and anticipates that completion of these locations may not be completed until Q2 2017.  PG&E has remediated 502 of the 745 locations (67%) identified in the 2016 self-report and is working to remediate the remaining 243 locations by the end of 2018.
 

PAR Course Installations at the Park

Work is underway on the PAR Course Replacement Project. 

Planning Commission Meeting - October 26, 2016

The Planning Commission, at its October 26, 2016 meeting, took the following action:

- Approved the Heritage Tree Removal Permit at 56 Holbrook Lane to allow the removal of one tree.

- Continued the Heritage Tree Removal Permit at 167 Stockbridge Avenue for the request to remove two trees to the December 7, 2016 meeting in order for the applicant to propose further revisions to the plans as they relate to the trees for review by Town staff.
- Approved a Tentative Map and Lot Line Redesignation at 10 Sargent Lane to subdivide  the parcel into two lots and to designate the property line along the southwest side of the proposed new lot B as the front property line.  

The next meeting is scheduled for December 7, 2016.

Tax Rate Area Map and Educational Information

Staff has updated the Local Municipal Services webpage to provide education to the community on Tax Rate Areas (TRAs) and how property taxes are allocated. The information includes a step by step process to find their parcel on the County website to look up their tax rate area and detail. The information also includes a summary spreadsheet of all taxing entities in each TRA - as well as a map of all TRAs in Town. 

Almendral Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon (HAWK) Timing

Staff continues to work with Caltrans to remedy the timing of the HAWK Beacon. 

Peninsula Humane Society - Shelter Article

Last week, as the Council is aware, there was an article related to abuse at the Peninsula Humane Society Shelter. Assistant County Manager Mike Callagy provided the below email following an inspection of the facility: 

"As you may be aware, last week several media outlets reported employee allegations of animal welfare problems at the Coyote Point Shelter operated by Peninsula Humane Society through a contract with the County of San Mateo and its cities. In response, the Health System immediately dispatched a small team to the shelter to investigate.
 
The team, which included Health System Chief Louise Rogers, Public Health Director Cassius Lockett, a veterinarian and other Health staff involved in the contract’s oversight, toured the facility for approximately two hours on October 27, 2016 and found no examples of inhumane treatment of animals or distress. As expected, the team reported the building is antiquated and in poor shape which reconfirms the need for replacement as is currently planned. PHS agreed to promptly address several repair recommendations made by our team.
 
The County takes these concerns very seriously and we plan to convene a more thorough review of the Shelter and its operations in November. I will keep you updated on our next steps and the conclusions drawn from the upcoming review."

Peninsula Corridor Electrification Project Comprehensive Agreement

As the Council is aware, Caltrain is working with all agencies along the electrification corridor to execute comprehensive agreement with each agency. The Town’s effort on this was suspended while the CEQA lawsuit progressed. Now that that has completed, Caltrain has re-approached the Town regarding the agreement. The agreement covers issues such as the issuance of Town Encroachment Permits, lay down construction areas, truck routes, noise, construction times, etc. 

Staff is working with Caltrain on the points of the agreement. 

As Caltrain moves forward with the Project and other sub-project connected to it, they will be sending out a series of mailers to affected residents in advance of work. The relevant work segments for Atherton are shown via this link: 

 
At this phase, the majority of the work will occur during the day but there will be some night work. The contractor will locate utilities, confirm soil conditions, and test cables. Once work starts (mid to late November) Caltrain will be updating the website on a weekly basis with what and where the activity will occur. They will also send out the weekly email notices, and check the project hotline and email regularly. 

The Town will replicate and release as much of the information as possible in a timely manner via our outlets (website/email). 

Solid Waste Rate Structures - Zero Waste

Menlo Park is developing a Zero Waste Plan and Rate Restructuring with the help of R3 Consulting that will overlay “cost-of-service” rates with incentives to meet community Zero Waste goals. The rate structure model could be made available to other SBWMA Member Agencies that are interested in aligning a potential rate restructuring with extension of the franchise agreement. The rate structure could provide benefits to those agencies that are interested. Menlo Park has reached out for partners in the cost of the study; however, they are not holding up the study to wait for partners. 

At this time, it does not appear that this is something the Town is interested in pursuing. The results of their study will be public and if, at that time, the Town believes there is benefit to pursuing something locally, we can do so. The waste stream for communities such as Menlo Park is vastly different than that of Atherton. 

Green Bike Lanes Feedback

Staff is putting together an Open Town Hall Feedback item for the green bike lanes on Middlefield Project(s). We will be asking a few open-ended questions (along with pictures), such as: 

- What do you like or not like about the green striping?
- Are there specific intersections where you think this treatment would be helpful?
- Are there specific intersection where you think a higher level of striping would be helpful?
- In addition to green striping applications at intersections, some communities have painted the entirety of the bike lane green along busy roadways. The Town is considering this along Middlefield Road - what are your thoughts?
- Are you familiar with other types of markings that you would like the Town to consider? If so, what/where are they?

The preamble will read something like: 

"The Town of Atherton has developed a Bicycle & Pedestrian Master Plan to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety and provide connectivity with adjacent agencies. One of the projects within the plan is to install green bike lanes at key intersections in Atherton. The Town already has green bike lanes at intersections on Middlefield/Encinal, Laurel/Encinal, Michael/Emilie and on Glenwood. The Town is seeking your thoughts and feedback on installing these same green bike lanes at other intersections throughout the town. In addition, the Town is considering installing green striping along the entirety of Middlefield Road (to include all of the intersections). Your feedback on this project is important as the Town considers moving forward with the project.”

This should go live in the coming week. 

M-ALL All Star Tournament - 2017

M-ALL will be before the Council at the November 16 meeting to provide information on their Spring Season and the District 52 All Star Tournament. The tournament rotates around the District and it is M-ALL’s turn to host. They will be requesting time in July 2017 to accommodate. Some of the games will be played at the Park. Special Requests will include: 

- Extension of M-ALL field use rights at Burgess Majors and Willie Mays Ball Park at Holbrook Palmer Park (HP) through July 15.  This is an extension beyond M-ALLs typical use through June 30.  The All Star tournament is estimated to take place between July 1 and July 15.  The final dates will be determined in February by Little League’s Western Region.
Operation of the Snack Shack at Burgess during the tournament.  A temporary Snack Shack setup at HP to provide food and drinks to players and families.
- The use of our PA system during the tournament to play the National Anthem and introduce players before each game. (NOT PLAY BY PLAY)
- The ability to hang signage (tournament banners) and field decorations (e.g., red, white, blue bunting) at the fields.
- Restrooms to be open during the tournament and cleaned each evening.
- Additional trash cans to accommodate the increased users and for them to be emptied each evening.

Costs for the above, to include use fees, would be paid by M-ALL. 

Meeting Regarding Menlo College/School | Cartan Field

Staff will be meeting in early December to begin the process of reviewing compliance issues at Cartan Field. 

Turf Repairs at the Park

Staff is reviewing turf repair needs at the Park and will be meeting with M-ALL to discuss field needs. 

Second Dwelling Unit Law

On Monday, staff participated with the County’s 21 Elements Group (Housing) and Goldfarb & Lipman Attorney’s who presented SMCO jurisdictions a summary and legal opinion on the new State Laws amending Gov’t Code 65852.2 making it easier for property owners to create second dwelling units by right.  Most changes do not appear problematic to the Town, with the exception of the timing and conversion of existing accessory buildings to Second Dwelling Units (SDU) 

(see **  Primary Staff Concerns below). 
  
Summary of Substantive Changes to Existing Town SDU Ordinance

- Timing: need to take action within 120 days &  must specify this timing in Ordinance
- Parking: Spot can be tandem spot or in setback and we cannot require parking under certain conditions.
- SDU’s in existing structures:  Town must ministerially approve an SDU if contained within existing main residence or an existing accessory building.
 
**Primary Staff Concerns

Timing – local Ordinances must by updated by Jan 1, 2017, or local ORD is null & void, and only State standards apply. At this point, best case is Council meeting in December 2016 and Council January 2017, then Ordinance is not effective until March 2017.  Given the State’s late delivery of info, staff is investigating the possibility of an urgency ordinance adoption process. 
 
SDU’s In Existing Accessory Buildings – this would allow existing, legal detached accessory buildings (i.e. pool houses, guest houses, etc.) to be converted to an SDU, without consideration of additional setbacks.  The concern here is that these buildings, for the most part, are only 10’ from side & rear property lines, while our SDU Ordinance requires the location to meet much larger setbacks with slight encroachment (closer to ~40-48’’).  New detached units, would still need to meet our more stringent SDU setbacks.

Public Funds for Private Benefit

As the Council is aware, when a tree falls across the public right of way, staff will facilitate clearing of the public right-of-way, but the adjacent property owner is responsible for clearing the edges of right-of-way. In the past, the Town has not “charged back” the cost of using Town resources to clear the roadway. Much of this is circumstance dependent and in some cases, the Town itself may be obligated as the responsible party, but in general, there have not been chargebacks on a consistent basis. 

With the wet weather season approaching staff discussed this issue at a recent staff meeting to develop an audit process to track work done in the public right-of-way that needs to be charged back to adjacent property owners. This process will be followed moving forward. The law is quite clear that the Town cannot use public funds (staff time and resources) for private benefit - even when the staff time and resources are clearing the public roadway or drainage channel. If the source of the issue is private, the cost of Town work must be paid for by the private property owner. Sometimes, this will involve a very fast demand on the property owner to clear the roadway, if they cannot do so (out of town, late call out, no resources, etc.) the Town will do so and invoice the property owner.  








Dec 14

October 2016 City Manager's Monthly Report

Posted on December 14, 2016 at 1:56 PM by George Rodericks

City Manager's Monthly Report - October 2016

Monthly-report.pngWelcome to the City Manager's Monthly Report Blog! 

The City Manager's Monthly Report Blog is a consolidation of issues, communications, and Town activity during the prior month that have been reported to the City Council as part of their weekly email from the City Manager. Sometimes information is duplicated over the course of several emails to the City Council to ensure that it is reviewed.

As I review the information to include in the Monthly Report, to the extent possible, I remove duplicate updates (older emails get shorter) in favor of the most recent - although some will be duplicative if there is other relevant information included; I try to remove information regarding events that have already occurred; and I edit information that requires update - hopefully to make it more useful. However, overall, the information is generally the same as it was presented to the City Council in their weekly Council email.

The Report reads with the most recent first. As always, if you have any questions or comments regarding the Monthly Report, please feel free to contact me via email or phone.

My weekly email to the City Council typically goes out every Friday. 

Regards,

George Rodericks
City Manager
Town of Atherton
(650) 752-0504
grodericks@ci.atherton.ca.us
#AthertonTalks


October 28 Weekly Council Notes

Articles of Interest

Below are some links to articles of interest. 


Joint Meeting with the Civic Center Advisory Committee

The Mayor has called a Special Meeting (Joint Meeting) with the CCAC to coincide with their next meeting on November 7, 2016. The CCAC will meet first to cover a few detail items at 4:30 pm (regular meeting time) and then the Joint Meeting will begin at approximately 5:30 pm. The architects/consultants will be there along with staff to go through the big picture issues with the project as well as the sustainability features and detail.

Joint Meeting with the Fire Board

The Joint Meeting of the Fire Board is scheduled for Tuesday, December 13 from 5 pm to 7 pm. The Mayor and I will be meeting with Board President Silano and Fire Chief Schapelhouman on November 14 at 4:30 pm. 

 Atherton Generator @ Admin/PD

In mid-October I released the City Manager’s Monthly Blog that included information provided to the City Council back in September regarding staff efforts to address the Admin/PD Power Back-Up Generator. In an email from Peter Carpenter on October 20, 2016 that he had copied to John Orr from the San Jose Mercury News, he noted at the bottom “...This is a Town that doesn’t even have an legal emergency generator for its Police Department and yet it wants to spend almost as much money as a new Police Department emergency generator would cost to do a study of something over which it has no control… Not long after this email was released, I received a phone call from John Orr interested in what Mr. Carpenter was talking about with respect to the generator. I provided John some background information and referred him to Steve Tyler and Joe Wade for additional detail believing that there really wasn’t much to the story since the Town was clearly addressing the issue and the rationale for not purchasing a $100k generator was that we needed to ensure that it was forward-compatible with the new civic center before doing so. John released a story on October 26 regarding the Town’s generator. That story was in turn picked up by KPIX on October 27 for their 6 o’clock News Round-up

That in-turn prompted a telephone interview with a reporter and various staff press contacts throughout the afternoon as well as follow-up social media postings to clarify for the public that the issue making the news is not an immediate threat to public safety and 9-1-1 services for the Town. 

I posted the following on the Town of Atherton City Manager Facebook Page and Twitter

“...A recent news story on KPIX noted that the Town's Emergency Services Generator for the Police Department is "not up to code" and does not run with an automatic switchover. A few points of clarification to the story, the generator sits outside of the Town's Administrative Building. The Town has two generators for use during emergencies - one, a newer generator, powered by natural gas is outside the Town's Public Works Building and Emergency Operations Center; the second, a 20 year old generator, powered by diesel is outside of the Town's Administration/Police Department building. 

Both are in good operating condition. The issue with the Admin/PD building is directly related to the Town's aging facilities. The generator was compliant when installed, but with time, has not kept pace with the changing laws on air quality and ventilation. It sits adjacent to the window area for the Town's Dispatch Center and vents to the roof area of the police building where there are other vents that go back into the building. When in operation, the diesel fumes make their way into the halls and offices of the police department. Those sensitive to diesel fumes can end up with headaches and nausea when exposed for long periods of time. The generator is tested on a monthly basis. 

The Town is well aware of the issue and has been attempting to take steps to seal the ventilation areas, tune-up the generator, and get it registered with the Air Quality Management District for continuous operation when needed. In the interim, the Town has taken the generator out of its automatic cutover mode. The Town's dispatch/9-1-1 services are on UPS backups that provide plenty of time for personnel to step out and flip the cutover switch to the generator. The UPS systems are designed for this function as the generator takes a few seconds to come online even with automatic cutover.  

With the planning for the new Civic Center, the new Emergency Generator will be in the secure Police Parking Lot outside the facility. The Town does not want to purchase a new generator at this time given the temporal possibility of the new building. We do not yet know what the size, location, and connectivity requirements of a new generator would be to power the entire facility and do not want to spend $100k or more on something that is not forward compatible.” 

Staff posted and released similar information to the community via News Flash/Civic Send

National Register of Historic Places - Carriage House & Water Tower

The Park Foundation was successful in submitting the registration request for the Carriage House and Water Tower as historic places on the National Register of Historic Places. Linked here is the response from the National Register - National Register of Historic Places.

Grand Boulevard Task Force Follow-Up

The Grand Boulevard Initiative Task Force met on September 28, 2016. Linked here is a Summary and Update from that meeting

Drone Ordinance - DRAFT

On December 7, 2016 staff will bring introduction of the Town’s DRAFT Drone Ordinance to the Agenda. Linked here is a copy of the DRAFT Ordinance being proposed. There may be small modifications made in relation to public safety exceptions under the ordinance, primarily to accommodate the existing drone program with Menlo Park Fire Protection District. Drones are prohibited in HPP except in the North Meadow - as long as there are no scheduled events occurring. Commercial uses are allowed only via permit. The ordinance outlines these issues with specificity. 

Fire Services Fiscal Review

The Town is in receipt of a letter from Congresswoman Anna Eshoo in support of the Fire Services Fiscal Review. 

Public Records Act Request - Lindenwood Homes Emergency District No. 2

On October 26 the Town received a Public Records Act request from a resident requesting the “…total amount of property taxes and parcel taxes that the Town collects from residences in Neighborhood 2 and the description and cost of each specific service provided by the Town to the residences in Neighborhood 2.” Neighborhood 2 is generally defined as central Lindenwood. Theresa, Robert and Judi are gathering up data in response to the Request as a formal request, but I jumped in and sent an advance email to the requestor as italicized below. The spreadsheet I am speaking of has already been shared with the Council separately and once we get the map of TRAs it will be placed, together with the Map on the Town’s Local Municipal Services page as informational.  

“...Theresa copied me on this Public Records Act (PRA) request and I see from below that she, together with Judi and Robert, are working on gathering any documents pursuant to your request. They will continue to do so since the request was a formal PRA request. However, I wanted to jump in and send you the information I had available that might work toward an answer to your queries. 

First, unfortunately, it’s unlikely that the Town will be able to provide a direct and detailed answer to your query since, the Town, like many general service public agencies simply does not provide services on a parcel by parcel level/subscription service basis. That said, we’ll do our best to get you whatever data we do have and provide you with connections to other resources that might be out there that will get you close. To get to the detailed answers - specifically cost, the Town would likely have to engage a consultant to analyze the data and the specific geographic area and make the appropriate statistical calculations and correlations. If you would like to fund such an endeavor, we would certainly participate to the maximum extent possible. Absent that study, I am happy to work with you to drill down the available data as much as possible to get you the answers you are seeking. The revenue side is easier to get to. 

Shortcomings - the Town does not have a list of parcels and each's respective Tax Rate Area (TRA); nor does the Town aggregate and maintain property tax data - that’s the County. The proper request for that data request would likely be them. That’s a challenge for us on a number of fronts as we try to get to your data request. To get that data, we’d have to go to the County Tax Collector (website) and enter each parcel and determine exactly which Tax Rate Area it references. This is a publicly accessible database accessible here: 


Since we do not have distributed GIS, I pulled up my hard-copy Atherton map and marked out the area bounded by Area 2 on your Emergency District Map. I counted up 177 parcels. I hope that that matches with your knowledge of the area. I then went to the County Assessor’s website (linked above) and found data (x) at 1 Larch Drive for representative purposes. 

For 1 Larch Drive, for example, it shows an APN# 061-072-040, Tax Rate Area 01-001. The General Tax for that address for Tax Year 2016 is $3,901.45 (before exemptions). Exemptions reduce the base tax amount to $2,889.24. The Town’s tax rate (pre-ERAF adjustment) for that TRA is 10.55973% of the 1% General Assessment based on Assessed Valuation. So, after exemptions, for 1 Larch Drive, the Town would receive $305.10 a year in property taxes. After ERAF, the Town would receive about 88% of that total or $268.49 per year based on assessed valuation. 

You can also drill down and get the detailed breakdown by agency beyond the basic 1% property tax. These include agencies such as the Mid-Peninsula Open Space Debt Service, Menlo Park City Elementary Bond Measure, Sequoia High Bond Issue, etc. Beyond this, there are special tax amounts - this includes the Atherton Special Tax. For this parcel, the basic tax was $750. This parcel is representative of the size of most of the 177 parcels in Area 2 (except about 1-2 parcels - they are much larger). For 77 Flood Circle - the Atherton Parcel Tax is $960; and 149 Hawthorne Drive - not accessible by address in the County system. 149 Hawthorne looks to be about the same representative size as 77 Flood Circle so that tax is likely about the same. With that, the total Parcel Tax estimate for Area 2 might be close to $133,170 ($750 X 175 parcels 2 parcels X $960). For the entire Town, the revenue from the Atherton Parcel Tax is $1,860,000. 

Putting the two together, for 1 Larch Drive, the Town receives approximately $1,018.49 per year based on assessed valuation. 

However, because we do not have each property’s TRA, we would still have to go to the County Assessor to gather up what the respective income is per parcel. It’s a record we simply do not have. That said - we’re working on it. This weekend, I spent some considerable time doing some data entry. I took the TRA assessed value information for FY 2015/16 - provided recently by the Fire District via consultant MuniServices and married it up to the Town’s data from our property tax consultant, HdL. HdL provides some detail level information, but generalized (it’s available here on the Town’s website as part of the November 2015 Audit/Finance Committee Meeting): http://ca-atherton.civicplus.com/DocumentCenter/View/2565. I also married it up with the TRA data for each respective taxing agency. That’s also on the Town’s website at: http://www.ci.atherton.ca.us/documentcenter/view/2046. Attached is what I put together - PDF and Excel version. We can now use it as a tool for helping predict/validate property tax revenue based on overall assessed valuation projections. I’m also having our limited GIS consultant connect with the County and obtain a list of each parcel by TRA so that we can put together that visual map of Town by parcel. The data on my attached spreadsheet is more helpful to Atherton residents if they can marry it up with their specific parcel. 

It’s a lot of data entry so there might be a digit or two somewhere in error in there but the totals are very close across the bottom. I will be putting the spreadsheet up on the Town’s website once I finish validating my data entry and we put together that GIS map I mentioned above. The data is not as relevant to a property owner if they cannot, without considerable effort, identify what their specific TRA is and do their calculations. As you can tell from the spreadsheet, most of Atherton is concentrated within 5 or 6 specific TRAs given where the bulk of the Net Assessed Value (NAV) is distributed. There will also need to be an explanatory disclaimer when released since the totals for the agencies is "all in" - i.e. includes ERAF before it gets taken, reduced, and then rebated back. This impacts agencies such as the Town, the Fire District, the Library, the County, etc. Their totals are high by the total ERAF. For example, Atherton’s number of $9 million is high by about $2.1 million from secured receipts BUT, the Town received $1,070,000 back in ERAF at the end of the Fiscal Year, so the real revenue is approximately $7.9 million. 

We’re getting there. We gathering up as much data as possible from each of the agencies that tax our residents. We’ll be putting all of that data together on the Town’s website to help residents understand the complexities of the way property-related taxes work. The Town is intimately involved in the County Library tax distribution model and has begun a “Town and Gown” process to meet with the various school boards that provide services to our residents. The goal is to identify sharing opportunities (financial and otherwise). As you can see from the spreadsheet Sequoia High is the one district that taxes all tax rate areas in Atherton. We’re approaching the District(s) to ask them to pay a share of the cost of the Town’s School Resource Officer dedicated specifically to Atherton schools - we’ve been asking for a while, but more data is helpful. The Town is involved in the Mosquito Abatement District as well by appointing an Atherton resident to serve on the Board of Directors. 

Anyway, my apologies for the long email but I hope the above is useful. We’ll be gathering up what data we do have and getting back to your formal PRA. Let me know if I can help put it all together in some way that would be helpful. Your query is exactly what we hope to get to for Atherton residents so that they can ask the simple questions of “What am I paying and what am I getting for it?" without having to go off to 10 different agencies with 10 different processes, and 10 different levels of frustration. 

I would be happy to meet with you one-on-one if you’d like to go through any of the above or the other issue(s) that we’ve been discussing over the last few months." 


October 21 Weekly Council Notes

Below is the Friday Council Notes. 

Before moving to the Notes, thank you for the October 19 Council Meeting. The Agenda was full and could have been more full given the ongoing works and efforts around Town and in the organization. A lot of tough issues and a lot of next steps. I put a number of things on the Consent Agenda knowing that the issues, while significant, were a part of our daily effort and as a Council you trusted that moving them along was in the best interest of the Town. Despite the full docket, the Council worked through the tougher issues together and addressed the concerns presented in a calm and professional manner. Questions on the routine were addressed as much as possible in advance of the meeting letting the Council at the meeting focus on the more challenging issues - in depth as conversation and dialogue. Well run, well led, and well done. 

It is that collaborative and collegial approach by a Council of leaders that echoes in the community as trust in local government and trust in the decisions that we make and the steps that we take. It returns to us as support for jobs well done and belief that we are doing our best for the community as a whole. This in turn allows us to tackle complicated and controversial issues with confidence. 

Articles of Interest

Below are some links to articles of interest. 


Animal Services Monthly Report


Measure M - Atherton


Police Chief Reception

We will be organizing a reception for retired Police Chief Ed Flint in November. The tentative date/time is November 14 in the early evening. Council Member DeGolia is hosting. 

Quiet Zone Webpage & FAQs

With input from the Rail Committee, staff has put together the Quiet Zone webpage and FAQs. I have reached out to Bob Roeser who made comments at the October 19 Council Meeting regarding the Quiet Zone. 

Street Lamp Fixtures

We have an active Open Town Hall on the Series Street Light Replacement Program

October 14 Weekly Council Notes

Articles of Interest

Below are some links to articles of interest. 


Shoreway Environmental Center - Labor Action (From Joe LaMariana, Executive Director, SBWMA)

South Bay Recycling’s (SBR) General Manager, Dwight Herring, advised that temporary layoffs were implemented on 10/13 for 11 employees due to a lack of work at the site relating to the MRF fire on September 7th, 2016. This action was pursuant to Section 24(a) of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between SBR and Teamsters’ Local Union 350. The affected individuals were notified and this action is effective immediately. Per the terms of the Collective Bargained Agreement, the 11 affected workers will be invited back to work on a seniority basis (last person laid off is the first person called back to work).
 
Although this action has been anticipated since the plant closure, it sure doesn’t make it any easier hear this news. It’s important to note that all SBR staff have been fully employed with alternate assignments during the five weeks since the fire. Nine SBR employees will be retained throughout this restoration period based on their seniority and the need to perform necessary equipment maintenance and other essential job duties. On a related note, please be assured that the site restoration and equipment repair/replacement work at the plant is all being performed on an extreme, fast-track basis. Thanks to this extraordinary effort, reopening of the plant is anticipated during Q1 of 2017.  

Grant Opportunity - Caltrans (Las Lomitas Detention Basin)

During the process of working with Las Lomitas School District and Callander Associates on the feasibility study, a potential grant opportunity via Caltrans has been identified. Staff is chasing it down with Richard Watson & Associates, Inc. The grant could be significant enough to make the project entirely feasible from a cost-benefit/ROI perspective. I have authorized some work to continue with Richard Watson to determine fact from possibility. 

Climate Action Plan - Hearing

There was some confusion as to a notice in the Almanac about the Climate Action Plan. As required for adoption, staff published a notice of the October 19 Council Meeting in the Almanac on October 5. Staff double-checked the final notice and it stated a meeting date of October 19 and that a review of the draft CAP would be available on the Town’s website by October 7 (it was). A hard-copy of the Notice was posted in the Almanac, at the Post Office, Library, and Town Hall. There is also an informational page created for the CAP on the Town’s website. 

Fire District October 18 Agenda


LED Street Light Improvement Project

As the Council is aware, we are in the midst of a project designing new lighting circuits for the Lloyden Park and Lindenwood neighborhoods to replace the old high voltage series circuitry that currently power the lights.  The new circuitry will use current technologies and will be more reliable and efficient to maintain. The project includes replacing the existing series circuit light fixtures with new energy efficient LED lights on top of the existing light poles and repainting them. Staff put together a webpage and survey (via Open Town Hall) seeking feedback on which new light fixtures to install based on the opinion of the overall look of the light fixture and the quality of light it exudes.  

Staff has installed samples of each type of light fixture intended to be used as replacements - Post Top and Hanging Pendant types. The goal is to maintain a similar level of illumination and to match the current fixture style and appearance. 

Civic Center Project - Donor Meeting

As you may recall, earlier this week I released an educational/public information email related to the Civic Center Project.  Within the email, I talked about some of the sentiment expressed by the community participants in the Master Plan phase of the project - “a sense of place” - “a gathering space” - “a there there.” These were not well received by one of the more significant donors to the Civic Center Project. The donor believed that the message read as fluff and was not the most important component driving the project. The donor believed that the more important message was that the Town was “…to design and build a functional and attractive building that will comfortably house Atherton’s police, planning department, and town staff. It should also provide an accommodating environment for Atherton residents to conduct town business and hold necessary town meetings.” The donor intimated that unless the building met that objective, donor funds were not guaranteed. Didi Fisher and I met with the donor one-on-one and reviewed the floor plans for City Hall. Taking in the message, I concurred that the messaging of a sense of place and a gathering space were the more “fluffy” messages, and that the development of that message was echoed more in the site (Civic Court, Cafe, deck, pedestrian orientation, open space, etc.) than the buildings. I advised that the building was designed in the most efficient manner to address space needs without excess. 

As the conversation moved along, the donor articulated that he did not question the floor planning and space needs of the administrative and police spaces; however, the new Council Chambers and lobby size were seen as excess. The donor asked why we would be building a new Council Chambers when we have the historic Council Chambers that is being renovated. We talked through Library use of the Council Chambers as its primary user and funding source; the cost to renovate the old ($2m) versus building new ($1.6m); the use by the Town’s historic heritage association; and the use of the new chambers as the EOC and a community space. The donor advised that his suggestion was to eliminate the new Council Chambers; renovate the old with Library funds (or donor funds if necessary) and use the old chambers instead. Further, he advised that the lobby space should double as the Town’s EOC (this was something I presented strong objection to as it simply would not work given the sensitive issues and needs of the EOC - form and function).

The donor left with a greater understanding of the project and a greater level of comfort; however, the donor also left believing that further space could be eliminated via elimination of the council chambers and/or shrinking the lobby. Following this conversation, Didi Fisher and I spoke about reducing the size of the lobby as a “give” to address the concerns of excess space. While it may be possible to reduce the size of the lobby by say, 600 square feet, that reduction would impact the exterior design of the facility - such as reducing the 3-arches on each entry to 2-arches. While this may not be significant, it will cost money to redesign given our current stage of design. Multiple design professionals - technical, engineering, as well as architectural - have already designed all of the necessary plan sets for the current facility. Changes have a ripple affect. Bottom line, at $591 a square foot, the reduction would save approximately $355k. That number would be offset by new design costs and project time/delay costs - unknown at this time. As discussed above, such a change may not have the desired cost savings affect. At this stage, changes to simply reduce the square footage to simply save costs are not as beneficial as they were at earlier stages of the project. That said, necessary changes to address better design are beneficial at any stage of the project if they will have detrimental affect later if not addressed. 

Meeting with Jim Lewis

On October 13 I met with Jim Lewis from 1:30 pm to 3:45 pm to discuss the current conversation/issues with the Fire District Fiscal Review. Jim had sent me an email with a number of questions regarding the work of the Town’s Ad Hoc Subcommittee and efforts with the Fire District. Instead of responding at length in an email, I invited Mr. Lewis in to sit down and discuss the topics he presented. Mr. Lewis had 10 items (questions) that he wanted to discuss. The first was ensuring that the Mayor and Board President Silano had met. The second was ensuring that the Fire Chief and the City Manager continue to meet. The third was ensuring that the Ad Hoc Subcommittee had met - noting that it would have been more productive had the Fire Chief been able to attend. Fourth, Mr. Lewis suggested that the Town and District ensure that they get a joint meeting on the books. Fifth, Mr. Lewis suggested that the two Finance Directors meet to discuss the issues. Six and seven, Mr. Lewis suggested that the Finance Committee Chairs meet and possibly host a joint meeting. Eight, Mr. Lewis suggested that LAFCo be invited to the joint meeting to discuss issues of detachment versus their normal work. Nine, Mr. Lewis suggested that if the Council moves forward with the Scope of Work on October 19 that he may gather signatures for a Referendum to rescind the decision to do so. And last, Mr. Lewis suggested that a mediator or facilitator be present at any joint meeting to assist with dealing with the issues.

October 7 Weekly Council Notes

Articles of Interest

Below are some links to articles of interest. 


Park Revenue and Events Log

Linked here is the September Park Events Log and the Revenue Log for FY 16-17.

EV Charging Stations at the Park

Staff obtained 3 bids for the installation of the EV Charging Stations at the Park. However, the bids came in higher than the $30,000 purchasing ordinance allowance for informal bids - the low bid is approximately $31k. Staff will now return to the Council for authorization to conduct a formal bid process for installation of the stations. 

Facebook Expansion DEIR

As the Council is aware, we responded to Facebook’s Expansion DEIR in July 2016. Responses are included in this linked section of the DEIR  The final EIR was released on September 15, 2016 and a Planning Commission meeting to consider the project entitlements was scheduled for September 26. The Commission recommended approval of the Final EIR and land use entitlements.  The Menlo Park City Council is scheduled to hear the item at their November 1, 2016 meeting. 

Rail Committee Recommendation - AB 1889

At their October meeting, the Rail Committee recommended that the Council consider joining a lawsuit to challenge application of AB 1889 to fund the Caltrain electrification project. 

This will be considered by the Council in Closed Session on October 19.

Funding Opportunity - Alternative Fuel Vehicles

As the Council is aware, the Town participated in a regional grant application with C/CAG for the funding of 4 alternative fuel vehicles. The grant application was submitted by C/CAG on August 29. The total project cost was $6.6m with 17 jurisdictions participating along with private companies and included 60 PEVs and 70 level 2 charging stations as well as other planning components. We should hear something in January 2017. It is a competitive grant. The grant is through the Department of Energy. 

Holiday Closure - December

For  2013 the Christmas holiday was on a Wednesday. Town Hall was closed from Monday, December 23 through Wednesday, January 1 - 8 days. Only the Post Office was open for the Monday and Tuesday before Christmas. In 2014 the Christmas holiday was on a Thursday. Town Hall was closed Wednesday, December 24 through Friday, January 2 - 8 days. For 2015, the Christmas holiday fell on a Friday and the Town closed Thursday, December 24 through Friday, January 1 - 7 days

Except for Christmas and New Years Days, the closures do not affect construction hours and operation. Inspections are limited to critical path inspections. The closures do not affect emergency operations or any necessary field activity for Public Work or the Police Department. 

For 2016, the Christmas holiday falls on a Sunday. Town Hall will be closed on Friday, December 23 at noon through Monday, January 2 - 6.5 days (two are observed holiday closures). When the holiday falls on a Sunday, the holiday is observed on the following Monday. Monday, December 26 and Monday, January 2 would be the observed holidays, the days in between would be days for banked leave time or leave without pay. 

I will provide the same update above as an informational item in the City Manager’s Report on October 19. Please advise if there are any concerns with the above plan and I will write them into the update to the full Council. Absent any changes, I will advise staff. 

HAWK Beacons at Alejandra and Isabella

The contractor working on the Caltrans project has started potholing to positively locate utilities within the limits of the Town. Per the contractor’s 3-week look-ahead schedule, they will continue potholing within Atherton through Tuesday, October 11.  They intend to return the week of October 16 to rockwheel trenches for new conduits and curb/gutters to be installed as a part of this project.  The dates are subject to minor changes due to delays (inclement weather, equipment failures, etc.).
 
Fire Services Fiscal Review

At the 10/5 City Council Study Session, the Mayor reconfigured the Fire Services Fiscal Review Subcommittee to be Cary Wiest, Council Member & Fire District Liaison and Bob Polito, Chair of the Town’s Finance Committee. In this way, the Mayor can continue to meet with the Board President to address Fire District/Town related issues and the Subcommittee can meet independently. This also allows the Mayoral role to change in December without concern for the state of work product at that time. The first meeting of the subcommittee is Tuesday, October 11 at 8 am. The Committee is not a Brown Act committee so the meetings will be ad hoc and some of the communication will be handled via email. 

The first task on the table is preparing a scope of work. I intend to bring the scope of work to the City Council for approval and authorization to release a Request for Proposal at the October 19 meeting. I do not intend to prepare the entire boiler-plate RFP, only the scope of work itself for approval and authorization. The basic questions being asked are:

1) Has the Town’s property value’s increased to the point that the funds received by the Fire District via property taxes far exceed the cost to provide basic fire services to the community? 
2) If so, what are the options for addressing the issue?
3) What options do Atherton taxpayers have to address it if they choose to?

As I have expressed before, to get the answer to those questions, I suspect a study would need to be able to answer the following as part of a scope of work:

a) What revenue does the Fire District receive from Atherton residents via property taxes in support of fire services?

For this item, the Fire District has provided a recent analysis by Tax Rate Area for Atherton. The role of the consultant would be to validate the information and provide an analysis of data for FY 2016/17 as well as a predictive model for the future. 

b) What is the cost of providing basic fire protection services within the jurisdictional boundaries of the Town of Atherton from the Fire District? Beyond basic services, what other special services does the District provide to Atherton residents (i.e., hazmat, CERT, urban search/rescue, etc.)? In total, what do these add to the cost of basic fire services? 

For this item, the consultant would be tasked to prepare a summary of costs for basic fire protection and emergency response for the Town of Atherton from the Fire District. The consultant would then be tasked with adding the cost for any specialized services or programs applicable to the Town of Atherton to that basic cost - such as hazardous material response, CERT programs, urban search and resource programs, fire prevention, sharps drop off, disaster preparedness, etc. 

c) If there were not a Fire District and the Town were responsible for providing fire services independently, what would the cost of those services look like? What are the options? Would an additional fire station need to be built and staffed? If so, where would it be? What would it cost? What is the annual cost? What are the long-term cost models? What are the added liabilities? Are there any added benefits?

For this item, the consultant would be tasked with preparing a fire service model for the Town if the Town were responsible for providing fire services itself. The consultant would need to take into consideration programs and services currently provided, programs and services necessary for a Town-service model (inclusive of overhead), and long-term debt/liability. The consultant would also need to project initial capital required to build a 2nd fire station (if needed - consultant determined) and other issues related to initial versus ongoing versus long-term costs. 

d) If Atherton taxpayers want to address the issues raised, how would they do so and what are the mechanisms for doing so?

The consultant would need to analyze and provide a summary of process issues related to addressing any fiscal issues - LAFCo as well as legislative. The consultant should identify any impediments to doing so as well. 

I would envision that the above could be done in phases with (a) and (b) being done first, presented to the Council and then, if desired, undertake (c) and (d). As I have advised before, my professional opinion is that the District’s cost to provide basic fire and emergency response services to the Town of Atherton is less than the revenue collected via property taxes. How much less is dependent on the cost of other services and benefits provided to the Town. I also believe that the cost to provide services independently of the District is more than the cost of services through the District. A consultant would need to validate these assumptions. The issue for Atherton taxpayers is whether the revenue based on property values has significantly outpaced the cost of both District or independent costs for services, and if so, by how much, and if so, whether they wish to address that issue in some way. The intent is to gather the information to allow the District and Town to have a joint conversation and better understand the complexities of the service delivery, service model, and costs for service.   

We will not be doing this analysis or undertaking this effort in a vacuum or in secrecy. The Fire Chief is invited to all meetings of the subcommittee and will be included on all email exchanges. This also satisfies the District’s concern that the Fire Chief and City Manager continue to meet. The full Council will be kept abreast of the work effort via my Friday Council Notes to the City Council. I will also provide periodic updates to the Council at public meetings. The public will be kept involved via release of information via the Town’s website. If the Study is authorized by the Council, I intend to create a project page on the Town’s website for data and analysis.






Oct 20

September 2016 City Manager's Monthly Report

Posted on October 20, 2016 at 12:56 PM by George Rodericks

City Manager's Monthly Report - September 2016

Monthly-report.pngWelcome to the City Manager's Monthly Report Blog! 

The City Manager's Monthly Report Blog is a consolidation of issues, communications, and Town activity during the prior month that have been reported to the City Council as part of their weekly email from the City Manager. Sometimes information is duplicated over the course of several emails to the City Council to ensure that it is reviewed.

As I review the information to include in the Monthly Report, to the extent possible, I remove duplicate updates (older emails get shorter) in favor of the most recent - although some will be duplicative if there is other relevant information included; I try to remove information regarding events that have already occurred; and I edit information that requires update - hopefully to make it more useful. However, overall, the information is generally the same as it was presented to the City Council in their weekly Council email.

The Report reads with the most recent first. As always, if you have any questions or comments regarding the Monthly Report, please feel free to contact me via email or phone.

My weekly email to the City Council typically goes out every Friday. 

Regards,

George Rodericks
City Manager
Town of Atherton
(650) 752-0504
grodericks@ci.atherton.ca.us
#AthertonTalks


September 30 Weekly Council Notes

1. Articles of Interest

2. Assembly Bill 1732 - Single-user restrooms

Recently, the Governor signed AB 1732 into law. Existing law requires a public agency that serves the public or is open to the public and maintains toilet facilities to make those facilities available to the public free of charge. Existing law requires publicly and privately owned facilities where the public congregates to maintain a sufficient number of temporary or permanent toilet facilities to meet the needs of the public at peak hours. Existing law also requires each business establishment to provide, within reasonable access, a sufficient number of toilet facilities for the use of the employees. 

The bill requires (as of March 1, 2017) that all existing single-user toilet facilities in any business establishment, place of public accommodation, or government agency be identified as all-gender toilet facilities. Essentially, if there is a single-user toilet facility with no more than one water closet and one urinal that has a locking mechanism controlled by the user it must be identified as an all-gender toilet facility. 

In accordance with the new law, Steve will be re-signing all restrooms at Town Hall (lobby, PD, and Admin), Council Chambers, Building/Planning Trailer, and at the Park (Main House, etc.).

3. Planning Commission Meeting - 9/28/16

The Planning Commission, at its September 28, 2016 meeting, took the following action:

  • Continued the public hearing on the Heritage Tree Removal Request for the removal of one tree at 56 Holbrook to the October 26, 2016 meeting to allow the applicant additional time for further evaluation of the tree and potential future improvements to the property.
  • Approved PG&E Heritage Tree Removal Permits in conjunction with their Community Pipeline safety project at the following addresses:
    •  1 Knoll Vista - to allow the removal of one heritage tree. 
    •  9 Valley Road - to allow the removal of one heritage tree. 
    •  479 Walsh Road – to allow the removal of two heritage trees. 
    •  484 Walsh Road– to allow the removal of two heritage trees. 
The next meeting is scheduled for October 26, 2016.

4. Animal Control & Licensing - Monthly Report for August 2016

Linked here is the August 2016 Statistical Report for Animal Services. It includes shelter and field services information as well as licensing revenue information for Atherton. 

5. ICMA Conference

Thank you for allowing me to attend the ICMA Annual Conference this past week. There were several sessions and workshops of note. Those that I attended that were of particular interest included:

> Building Common Ground
> Persuasion and Influence - Making Effective Presentations
> Managing E-Hostility
> Promoting Civic Trust by Addressing MisInformation
> Building Effective Council-Manager Relationships
> Building and Maintaining an Ethical Culture
> Performance Management
> Social Media - Telling the Story of Local Government

6. CIP Project Status Report - September 30

Marty has produced the attached Capital Project Status Report (9/30/16). Some projects start in one fiscal year (design and development) and finish in a future fiscal year (construction). Sometimes this is due to the amount of time required to complete design and sometimes this is due to the size/length of construction (i.e. we can only do some projects at certain times of the year because of school traffic, rain, summer, etc.). 

City Manager Major Goods, Use or Service Agreements/Contract Awards as of September 30, 2016
 
As a reminder, the list below is provided as informational only. All items listed are authorized pursuant to the Town’s purchasing policy requirements and within the current year’s program budget(s). 
  • None.
Special Event Permits - as of September 30, 2016

This is a list of upcoming Special Event Permits approved or under review. 
  • October
    • October 7 - SHS Under the Lights (4:30 pm - 9:30 pm)
    • October 27 - Halloween Party - Circus Club (7 pm - 9 pm)
    • October 28 - OaktoberFest - Menlo College (1 pm to 9 pm)
    • October 28 - OaktoberFest - Menlo College (8:30 am - 12 pm)
    • October 28 - OaktoberFest - Menlo College (12 pm - 4 pm)
What’s in the Council Read File?
  • PD School Response Plan (Commander Wade Copy) - to be returned to the Commander by September 30

September 23 Weekly Council Notes

1. Articles of Interest

Below is a recent article of interest related to habits at Council meetings. 


2. Report from County on Library Funds Available

Linked here is a letter from the County regarding the fund balance of donor funds on behalf of Atherton held at the County. Reported with the Town’s budget, at the end of FY 2015/16, the Town held $6,023,640. The County reports donor funds as of June 30, 2016 of $4,966,014. The total funds available as of June 30, 2016 of $10,989,654. The Library letter includes $1,444,344 as branch operational expenses. This amount includes the Town’s FY 15/16 budgeted CIP expenditures for the Library portion of the Civic Center Project. 

3. Updates from the Town’s Building Official - Mike Mazur

Max. Construction Time Limit: The Building Department has received a number of inquiries from residents concerning maximum construction time limits. In addition to answering their specific questions we have offered to meet face to face when necessary. On a few occasions we have met with residents either onsite or at our Permit Center.
 
Construction Parking & Work Hours: The building department has received a number of inquiries from residents concerning construction parking requirements and work hours. Although we resolve customer complaints or answer questions and investigate onsite conditions and follow-up with the customer after the fact; we are working proactively with contractors by thanking them for being mindful of the requirements or reminding those others of the consequences when a neighboring resident may be frustrated. It is also important to note that we drive around occasionally in areas that have a lot of construction activity. It is also important to note that we drive around occasionally (and including prior to 8 AM) in areas that have construction activity.
 
RE: 102 Encinal - Construction job site sign location. The sign has been relocated. 
 
Feedback Items: When a permit is nearing issuance, an email is sent out to the applicant providing the breakdown status of each permit and listing a few outstanding items and/or fees due. A typical response may say “Thanks so much for breaking this down Tessa” and/or “We’ll try and wrap this up within the week.” Simply put, these emails continue to be very well received.

The following are a few examples of proactive measures the permit center is undertaking to anticipate and help any uncertainty that a client may encounter. 

- Before the client leaves the permit center we present them with a business card and mention to contact us if they have questions or to also provide an update on their project. 
When an applicant applies for a permit and when a permit is issued the permit technician reminds them to check with the Public Works dept. if a separate permit is required.

Winterization Requirement For Active Construction Sites: Letters were sent out September 1, 2016, explaining actions required by the Towns National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) storm water discharge permit and helps to protect the quality of water in our creeks and bay.
 
Atherton Development Round Table: The next Atherton Development Round Table will be held at noon on Monday October 3, 2016 at Holbrook-Palmer Park.  This meeting will be in the Main House. Tentative topics to be discussed as time permits are:

- Upcoming 2016 California Code Adoption cycle. We have complied a short abbreviated list of significant code changes. Each item also includes information such the type of changes (New code section, Modification and/or clarification of a code section, and the benefits or significance of a change.)
- Presentation by Menlo Fire District discussing upcoming California Fire Code
- Discussion with Code Enforcement: Announcements & status of trending items of concern.(e.g. Reminding to close and secure job site gates at the end of the day, etc.)

Weekly staff / coordination meetings: The permit center is continuing to hold a short weekly staff meeting to discuss any current items/issues that may need group collaboration (Building, Planning, Town Arborist, Public works)  More recently we have included code enforcement just in case the CEO may want to stop by and discuss any items.

4. League of Cities Conference

The League of Cities Conference is October 5 through 7. Council Member Widmer will be attending. No other members of the Council have signed up to attend. 

5. Preview of Local Revenue Measures on the Ballot in California this November - from the League of Cities

The November 8, 2016 California gubernatorial election includes some 650 local measures including 427 seeking approval for taxes or bonds.  School bonds and parcel tax measures make nearly half of the number. K-12 schools districts and community colleges are requesting a total of $25.314 billion in 184 separate authorizations for bonds to construct facilities, acquire equipment and make repairs and upgrades.  Six of these school bonds exceed the limits to qualify for a 55% vote and require two-thirds approval. There are 22 measures to increase or extend (renew) school parcel taxes.
 
Among the 221 non-school local revenue measures are four measures asking for a total of $7.266 billion in bonds including the $3.5 billion Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Measure RR covering three San Francisco Bay area counties, the $1.2 billion Los Angeles homeless housing and services Measure HHH and Santa Clara County’s $950 million affordable housing Measure A. 
 
There are 88 measures to increase or extend Transactions and Use Tax (Sales Tax) rates. Thirty of these are special (earmarked) taxes requiring two-thirds voter approval. These include 13 countywide measures for transportation improvements. There are 58 city and county majority vote general purpose tax proposals ranging from ¼ percent to one percent. 
 
There are 39 city, county and special district parcel taxes requiring two-thirds voter approval, including five street/road improvement measures, eight for parks /recreation /open space, 14 for fire /emergency medical response, four for hospitals, and four for police.

Coinciding with the statewide Proposition 64 which would legalize recreational marijuana in California, there are 37 measures to tax cannabis and three to tax sugary beverages (in Albany, Oakland and San Francisco). 
 
Voters in nineteen cities and two counties will consider increasing hotel occupancy taxes.
 

6. EV Charging Stations at the Park

Staff is moving forward with progress on the install of EV Charging Stations at the Park. There are two stations (2 parking spots) being installed. Each station has 2 ports. The first station is located at the west end of the Pavilion parking lot. The second station is located at the west end of the Main House Parking Lot. Image attached below.

7. Fire Fiscal Review Committee

The Council recently received an email from Fire Board Member Peter Carpenter. Board Member Carpenter copied a portion of my Pre-Agenda Follow-up Email to the City Council regarding the possibility of an urgency item. In that email I noted the Fire Board direction with respect to 9 areas on their Agenda on Tuesday (9/20) night. Those areas and decisions were:

1) Maintain the Status Quo - Continue to post information to the District’s website and direct people to the website. THIS WAS SUPPORTED BY THE BOARD.
2) The Board President and Town Mayor meet to discuss mutual issues and concerns. THIS WAS SUPPORTED BY THE BOARD.
3) Select a Board Subcommittee to work with the Town’s Subcommittee on the issue. THIS WAS NOT SUPPORTED BY THE BOARD. 
4) Provide mutually acceptable dates for a joint Board/Council Meeting (non-topic specific). THIS WAS SUPPORTED BY THE BOARD.
5) Have the Fire Chief continue to meet with the Town Manager. NO ACTION/DIRECTION BY THE BOARD.
6) Choose not to meet with the Town on this topic. NO ACTION/DIRECTION BY THE BOARD.
7) Allow Fire Chief to retain own consultant on the topic. NO ACTION/DIRECTION BY THE BOARD.
8) Jointly select a consultant on the topic. NO ACTION/DIRECTION BY THE BOARD.
9) Actively participate in the Civic Center Process to see if there is some way to find operational advantages. NO ACTION/DIRECTION BY THE BOARD

In addition to forming a Subcommittee to work with staff on the issue, it is important to note that the Town’s formation of a City Council Subcommittee is also in response to the Fire District’s request to have a representative or two (a Subcommittee) meet with the District Board (#7 of the Fire Chief’s letter of 9/6). The Fire Board declined to appoint a Subcommittee (No. 3 above). I noted in my Pre-Agenda Follow-up that because the District did not appoint a Subcommittee but rather suggested that the Board President meet with the Mayor to discuss mutual issues and concerns (possible including the fire fiscal services issue) presented a problem for the Town since we already had a Council Subcommittee and it did not include the Mayor. My comments revolved around a potential Brown Act issue and Subcommittee concern. I suggested that the Council re-assign members to the Subcommittee to ensure that it includes the Mayor or take some other action regarding how to meet with District on the issue(s) related to fire fiscal service review. In response, Board Member Carpenter sent an email to the City Council and the press articulating the following:

“..Clearly the Town Manager does not understand the Brown Act - or is using the Brown Act to preclude productive communications. The Brown Act prohibits communication outside a properly agendized public meeting between the majority of an elected body. The two members of a subcommittee ( which in this case has no purpose given that the Fire Board has declined to participate) can discuss whatever they want amongst themselves without violating the Brown Act. The Mayor and the Fire Board President can discuss whatever they want without violating the Brown Act. The Brown Act only precludes the Mayor from then discussing in private the issues evolving from her conversation with the Fire Board President with more than one other member of the Town Council. It is sad that the Town Manager is attempting to use the Brown Act to preclude productive communication…” 

“...Hopefully the Town Council will disregard the Town Manager’s incorrect interpretation of the Brown Act and encourage the Mayor to meet and confer with the Fire Board President with the results of such a consultation to be simply brought back by the Mayor to the full Town Council in a properly agendized public discussion…"

The Brown Act issue here is not so much an issue for general committees like Finance, Park & Recreation, or even Transportation. For these committees, it’s a Council representative serving as primary and then another Council Member serving as alternate. The role is not so much focused on a specific task or issue. However, with special focus or single task committees, such as the Civic Center Project or Aircraft Noise, having a 3rd member of the Council working independently of the Committee on a good day could create mixed messages and cross-purpose issues - and on a bad day, a potential Brown Act violation. 

Imagine, for example, if the 2-member Council Committee on Aircraft Noise met with a County Supervisor to discuss Town issues and make commitments to work regionally on a specific topic only to be followed by a 3rd Council Member meeting with that same County Supervisor and coming to different solutions. It is because of these issues and the potential for a Brown Act issue to arise that the Council is very clear that when there is a specific focus committee of the Council, those members are tasked with addressing the issue on behalf of the Town and are required to report back to the full Council at an open and public meeting for discussion and direction. 

Anyway - sorry for the long ramble. The intent is not to hamper or infringe on communication with the District. The intent is to ensure that the Council is clear on who on the Council is working with the Fire District on this issue and to prevent the potential for mixed message, confusion or cross-purpose communication - in addition to the potential for a Brown Act conflict. 

8. HSR - Corridor Survey

Letters were sent to 11 residents in Atherton asking permission for HSR to get onto their property. Linked here is a copy of the letter sent by HSR  Following up with HSR, the letters were requests from HSR to enter into the back yards of 11 residences in order to view the overall Caltrain Corridor and address study information - NOT for the purposes of land or right-of-way acquisition or survey. Residents are free to deny HSRs request. The 11 properties are: 92 Jennings Lane, 76 McCormick Lane, 98 McCormick Lane, 30 McCormick Lane, 96 Jennings Lane, 90 McCormick Lane, 45 Mount Vernon Lane, 100 Fair Oaks Lane, 52 Marianna Lane, 80 Jennings Lane, and 51 Mount Vernon Lane. 

September 16 Weekly Council Notes

1. Articles of Interest

2. Civic Center Project Update - PowerPoint for 9/21 Council Meeting

A PowerPoint presentation will be a part of the Civic Center Update on 9/21. Here is a link to a PDF of the presentation

3. Vice Presidential Candidate Visit - 9/21/16

VP Presidential Candidate Tim Kaine will be back in Town on September 21 (two different events at private residences). Staff will be working with the property owners and Secret Service for any necessary Special Event Permit. Prior events did not trigger the need for special services. 

4. Subcommittee Meeting with Menlo Fire

Thursday (9/15/16) morning I sent a follow-up email to Fire Chief Schapelhouman noting that I had not heard back on the Town’s concurrence and request for a Subcommittee Meeting on 9/8 - consistent with the District’s suggestion on September 7. The Chief responded that they were taking the Council’s request very seriously and that he was putting together a staff report that provides both a historical and more recent update to the issues. The Report will have options for the Fire Board to discuss in working with the Town. In order to accurately present information to the Fire Board, the Chief asked for what the Council is looking for to assist him in preparing the report. The Chief did not indicate when that report would be presented to the Board or if it was going to a Board Meeting. I followed up with an email and phone call to the Chief, but have not yet heard back. 

Via email (copied to the Town’s Council Subcommittee and President of the Fire Board), I provided the Chief with the following summary of the three broad queries from the Council:

- Has the Town’s property value’s increased to the point that the funds received by the Fire District via property taxes far exceed the cost to provide basic fire services to the community? 
- If so, how can that be addressed? Should it be addressed?
- What options do Atherton taxpayers have to address it if they choose to?

To get the answer to those questions, I advised the Chief that I suspected a study would need to be able to answer the following:

1) What revenue does the Fire District receive from Atherton residents via property taxes in support of fire services?
2) What is the cost of providing basic fire protection services within the jurisdictional boundaries of the Town of Atherton from the Fire District? Beyond basic services, what other special services does the District provide to Atherton residents (i.e., hazmat, CERT, urban search/rescue, etc.)? In total, what do these add to the cost of basic fire services? 
3) If there were not a Fire District and the Town were responsible for providing fire services independently, what would the cost of those services look like? What are the options? Would an additional fire station need to be built and staffed? If so, where would it be? What would it cost? What is the annual cost? What are the long-term cost models? What are the added liabilities? Are there any added benefits?
4) If Atherton taxpayers want to address the issues raised, how would they do so and what are the mechanisms for doing so?

I told the Chief that my gut says that the Fire District provides basic fire protection services and services beyond. However, even factoring in all of those costs, residents pay far more in property taxes to the District than the cost of those services (from the District). That might be perfectly fine. However, to narrow that gap by way of education, an analysis of what it would cost the Town to provide fire services on its own (not contract services) would be needed. My guess is that that number would be higher than the cost of fire services from the District. That would get to the “should it be addressed” question - since that cost would be closer to the revenue number. That’s just my gut answer but I suspect a study would bear that out. I advised that once all that data is gathered, the Town would like to circle back and discuss all of the data with the District; further we hope that the District would be involved at all phases of the study.

Immediately following my email to the Chief I received an email from the Rob Silano, Board President, asking that I call him. I called him within the next 15 minutes and he indicated that he wanted to reach out to the Mayor in his role as President of the Fire Board to attempt to bring things back to normal between the District and the Town. I advised that the Mayor may or may not be able to get into specific details with him since the Council has already designated a subcommittee to work on this issue (Brown Act conflict), but that he was welcome to call. I advised that the Mayor can certainly talk in big picture philosophy and about the agency-agency relationship.  

We also spoke briefly about what information the District could provide the Town to assist. I advised that at a start, on the revenue side, the Tax Rate Area data for revenue by serviced jurisdiction would be helpful. I advised that the Chief said what was on the Fire District website (the $10.8m) was incorrect and needed to be updated based on more recent data to at least $11.8m. That more recent data would be helpful. 

5. Cartan Field - Meeting with Rich Moran | Than Healy

Toward the end of August I met with Than Healy. Than indicated that his Board would be considering issues related to the Cartan Field Project soon and may be withdrawing their application. On September 12, Than sent an email to the Planning Department noting “…after much discussion, Menlo School and College do not plan to move forward on the Cartan Fields project at this time…”

I had advised Than that if the project does not move forward, the Town will ultimately be placed in the position of compiling compliance issues related to the 1965 and 1999 Conditional Use Permits and setting up a meeting with the School & College to discuss compliance and enforcement. Than understood. 

On Monday I had a meeting with Rich Moran to advise him of the same. I advised that my read of the 1965 and 1999 CUPs calls into question a number of activities and permitted/unpermitted structures on Cartan Field. I advised that the Town would be reaching out for a joint meeting to discuss bringing issues into compliance. 

Both Than and Rich indicated that they would be interested in completing some general field improvement/maintenance projects that did not change the use approvals for the sites. I advised that those would be good conversations to have as we discussed the site and the 1965/1999 CUPs. 

6. Menlo College - Summer Concerts

During my meeting with Rich Moran this week we also discussed the possibility of holding 1 or 2 of the College’s Summer Concerts in 2017 at Holbrook-Palmer Park instead of the College Campus. This was an idea that evolved from the Town & Gown event earlier this year. The thought was two fold - 1) Get the College more involved in the community by bringing them out into the community; and 2) give the immediately adjacent neighborhood around the college a break from summer concert activity at the college.

Rich was receptive to the idea and the Town and College will work together for the 2017 Concerts to make it happen. 

7. Town Hall / PD Generator

As the Council is aware, the Town Hall / PD Emergency Generator does not comply with Air Quality standards and cannot be operated without violation. Staff is meeting with a representative from an equipment rental facility to give us some options on our generator system. Given the temporal proximity of the Civic Center Project we do not want to spend $100,000 on a new generator that may or may not be compatible with the new facility. 

We have some basic options - 1) add some equipment to the current generator to make it short-term compliant (if possible); 2) remove the old generator set and see if we can fit a Tier 4 Rental onto the adjacent porch area; or 3) leave the old generator equipment in place and install a piece of rental equipment in an acceptable location (nearby parking spot). 

Once we get some estimates on some of the options we’ll contact vendors for competitive pricing. This is an important project to get complete before the rainy season begins. 

8. Security Camera Registry Program

The Atherton Police Department has created a residential security camera registry to aid in crime detection and prevention. When a crime occurs in a neighborhood, through the program Atherton PD is able to quickly identify the locations of nearby residential video cameras and enlist the assistance of the community to help officers collect video evidence and follow up on leads. 

Through this program, Atherton PD will be able to directly contact residents who have video camera systems in an area in which a crime occurred. Atherton PD would reach out to residents who have registered their camera systems with us to provide a specific date and time for footage that may show activity involved with a crime. If any video evidence is found, the resident can contact the Atherton Police Department at 650-688-6500 to make arrangements for sharing the video with our investigators.

Residents who have shared video camera footage of potential suspects and suspect vehicles have aided us in the successful identification and prosecution of people who have committed crimes in our community. Registration in our program is voluntary and very simple. To sign up, visit the Town of Atherton Website and click “Citizen RIMS- Crime Stats” tab located on the left side of the page. Next, click the “Security Camera Registration” tab and complete the on-line registration form. So far (as of the day of its launch 9/14), 12 residents have registered with the program.

9. Construction Time Limit (CTL) Ordinance/Compliance

The following is a list of updated information on projects that are approaching and/or exceeded the three year Construction Time Limits.
 
Three year CTL for 2016:
 
86 Kilroy: CTL was on June 4, 2016 and $30,000 penalty was paid. If project is not finaled on or before October 1, 2016 the  2
nd CTL penalty of $220,000 will be due. Contractor estimates completion by November 2016.
46 Almendral: CTL was on August 30, 2016 and $30,000 penalty was paid. If project is not finaled on or before December 30, 2016 the  2
nd
CTL penalty of $220,000 will be due. Contractor estimates completion by the end of October 2016.
228 Atherton Ave.: Approaching CTL which will be on October 3, 2016. After discussions with the general contractor the project will not be completed by this date. They will be bringing in the $30,000 penalty in the next couple of weeks. Their estimated completion date is approximately January 2017. Second CTL will be due on February 1, 2017 if project is not completed by this date.
- 176 Encinal: Approaching CTL which will be on December 12, 2016. Contractor estimates project will be completed prior to this date.
 
Three year CTL through March 2017:

 
- 97 Elena: Approaching CTL which will be on February 19, 2017. Contractor estimated completion date is April 2017.
- 96 Ridgeview: Approaching CTL which will be on February 21, 2017. Contractor states project will be completed prior to their CTL.
58 Northgate: Approaching CTL which will be on March 4, 2017. Contractor states project will be completed prior to their CTL.
70 Elena: Approaching CTL which will be on March 21, 2017. Contractor states project will be completed prior to their CTL.

10. One Bay Area Grant 2 (OBAG 2) Program - Call for Projects (Bike/Ped)

C/CAG recently announced the Call for Projects under OBAG 2 for bike/ped. For Fiscal Year 2017/18 through 2021/22 there is a total of $5.9m in Federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement funds available on a competitive basis

The minimum grant amount is $150k. The maximum per project is $1m. The maximum per agency is $1.5m. Projects must build upon and enhance the existing San Mateo County bicycle and pedestrian network to encourage the use of activity transportation. Programs should be community oriented. Seventy (70%) percent of all OBAG funds must be invested in Priority Development Areas (PDAs). Atherton is not a PDA - however, projects lying outside the limits of a PDA may count towards the minimum if it directly connects to or provides proximate access to a PDA. 

- A local match of 11.47% is required. 
- A local resolution of support is required.
- Applications due by November 18, 2016
- Projects must internally consistent (i.e. on the Town’s Bike/Ped MasterPlan)

Staff will be reviewing the Town’s Bike/Ped Master Plan for compatible projects and preparing any appropriate review/request/application. 

11. K-9 Karli is Retiring

K-9 Officer Karli is retiring. She has reached the extent of her on-duty lifecycle. Her handler will be provided the opportunity to take her. A donor has already stepped up to provide funding to fund a replacement officer. We expect to refill the position within 12 months. 

12. PG&E Self Report - Issues of Non-Compliance

Recently, PG&E provided local government notification as part of a process required by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) whenever they self-report any potential compliance issue they have identified. On September 14, PG&E self-reported to the CPUC an issue of non-compliance related to the qualifications of inspectors conducting Atmospheric Corrosion inspections.  Additionally, PG&E did not provide timely notification of this self-report as a result of a lapse in their process. The company has already completed several improvements and is implementing additional measures to update the timeliness of its self-report process.
 
In November 2015, PG&E found an issue with the Operator Qualifications of some contract inspectors of its natural gas distribution system. In 2014, PG&E provided its relevant contractor personnel with training on the Atmospheric Corrosion inspection tasks. However, many of these inspectors were missing one or more components of the required qualification process and documentation.
 
In response to this discovery, PG&E initiated a review of all Atmospheric Corrosion inspections across the service area and found that 35 percent of inspections completed in 2014 were by non-Operator Qualified personnel. PG&E advised that they have already taken steps to prevent this from happening again. 
 
They have advised that with regard to safety, this situation represents a very low risk exposure for the communities served. This is due to the frequency of inspections performed on the above-ground gas facilities and the multi-layered safety process the company employs including the use of PG&E’s leak detection process that enhances the safe operation of the natural gas system.
 
In addition, PG&E is re-inspecting all of the meters, with many being accelerated to 2016 and the remainder on-track for completion by the first half of 2017. Linked here is further detail on the self-report. 

13. APOA Side Letter

As you know, ratification of the APOA MOU is on your Agenda for September 21. Numerous issues were addressed in the MOU that are positive for the Town and employees. However, one issue remains to be addressed and will be addressed via a side letter once the details are worked out. 

The MOU calls for “alternative work schedules” for civilian dispatchers. They are assigned to a twelve (12) hour workday and a twenty-eight (28) day work cycle with a “four-on, three-off, three-on, four-off” format. The first 12 hours worked is paid at the regular hourly rate. Hours in excess of 12 or in excess of 40 are compensated as overtime. Each employee will have an individually assigned regular workweek. However, the FLSA requires that overtime is paid for each hour worked over 40 in a week. The CalPERS audit called attention to this issue and the potential conflict with the dispatcher schedules as it was not clear whether they had defined workweeks that met the standard. 

Historically, the Town has assigned dispatchers to the above schedule but calculated overtime on 2 hours of overtime each week (42 -hour work week) - asserting that the 42 hour work week was the “individually assigned regular workweek.” Alternative workweeks are permitted under the FLSA but they must be defined. There is some confusion in the MOU between the way overtime is calculated and the exact defined alternative workweek for dispatchers and the past practice for payment of overtime. 

To remedy, the Town needs to clearly define the work schedules of dispatchers such that 1 work week is the first 3 days on plus the first 6 hours of the 1st day of the next 12-hour shift (42 hours). This will need to be done for A-Shift, B-Shift, C-Shift, and D-Shift. The work weeks are different for each shift. 

This is similar to what is done for the typical 9/80 work week. For the purposes of 40-hours/OT, the work week is Monday through Thursday (9 hours each day) and the first 4 hours of the Friday. The second 4 hours of the Friday are part of the following work week together with the next Monday through Friday (9 hours each day). Then, the last Friday is off. 

This will all get worked out in a Side Letter to the MOU after we meet and confer to define the plans for each shift. The Side Letter will get ratified by the Council at a future meeting before the end of the year. There are alternative scheduling models (4-10s, 5-8s, etc.) but some require the hiring of additional personnel to adequately cover the 168-hour work week. Hiring additional personnel triggers other long-term liabilities. 

September 9 Weekly Council Notes

1. Articles of Interest

Below are a few recent articles of interest. 


The AirBnB article is provided as informational. AirBnB and VRBO are an issue in Atherton. The Mill Valley approach is one approach to addressing them. 

2. Quiet Zone FAQ Webpage

Staff is working on an FAQ webpage on the Town’s website for the Quiet Zone. The linked draft has been sent to the Rail Committee for feedback.

3. Quiet Zone Monitoring

We are looking into having a consultant conduct some quiet zone noise and compliance monitoring. 

4. Legal Newsletter

Here is a link to a municipal focused legal newsletter from Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley PC  Michael Colantuono was the City Attorney when I worked for the City of La Habra Heights. Bill Conners and I know him well.

5. Library Staff Changes

Tom Fortin will be leaving San Mateo County Libraries to take on a new challenge as Chief of Main with the San Francisco Public Library. His last day in the office will be September 16.

San Mateo County Libraries has been fortunate to benefit from Tom’s extensive public library experience and outstanding leadership. During his tenure, he has successfully managed system personnel activities and employee relations, library operations and system services, and numerous new facility and renovation projects. Tom has been a valued and well-respected member of the Library’s Admin Team and his contributions have been essential to the library’s success.

6. Council Inquiries

Activity at Selby/Stockbridge

Inquiry from a member of the Council regarding activity at Selby/Stockbridget - the work is in conjunction with PG&E Gas Line Replacement Project on Almendral. The work is permitted.

Construction Sign at 102 Encinal

Staff visited the site and found that the sign’s size would comply if it were parallel to the street, not angularly placed. It will be corrected (location).

130 Britton Construction - Asbestos/Demolition

A complaint was received regarding demolition of a house at 130 Britton. Concern regarding the method of demolition creating dust and possible hazardous chemical release (asbestos). Prior to demolition, the property was inspected for hazardous chemicals. The document from the BAAQMD found zero asbestos on the property. However, the Building Inspector will be speaking with the property owner about dust control measures. 

7. Traffic Enforcement Detail in Atherton

In Menlo Park and Atherton, there will be three separate traffic enforcement details during September. Please note that these details will be staffed by motor officers from Menlo Park, Atherton, and other San Mateo County police agencies. Two of the three enforcement details are OTS funded events.

- Saturday, September 10, 2016- OTS Funded DUI Enforcement- 6PM to 2AM- (6 Officers)

- Monday, September 12, 2016- OTS Funded traffic enforcement- this is a general enforcement detail, which basically means that traffic officers will target a variety of vehicle code violations in problem areas throughout Menlo Park/Atherton- 8AM - 4PM- (6 Officers)

- Wednesday, September 21, 2016- Non OTS Funded- another general enforcement detail...this event is much larger (20 traffic Officers from San Mateo County working in Menlo Park/Atherton- 8AM to 4PM. This larger detail has occurred in Atherton/Menlo Park for the past two years (both times during the month of September). We send out a press release for this event, as well as a Newsflash (will go out the week of the event).

8. Park Events and Revenue Log

Linked here are the August Park Events Log and Revenue Log

9. Shoreway Waste Facility Fire

Council Member Widmer visited the Shoreway Facility and took the attached pictures. During the visit it was noted that the fire on the residential line began as a small section but quickly spread due to the materials movement process. The safety procedures were followed but not before some quick reaction by Chad Zupfer, the Supervisor, which likely saved the facility. Chad’s quick reaction resulted in no injuries or fatalities. 

Two major waste processing cells were heavily damaged along with smoke and water damage throughout the facility. While no one can assess the equipment damage until the facility is cleaned up, the Executive Director advised that it will be 4 to 6 months to get the facility back in full operation. In the meantime, the SBWMA will be making contact with Republic Services to accept and process recycling materials. Insurance issues will be worked out. Council Member Widmer suggests that the Town consider recognition of Mr. Zupfer. 

10. Subcommittee Meeting with Menlo Fire

On Thursday morning following the Council Study Session I sent an email and Doodle Poll meeting request to Fire Chief Schapelhouman requesting that he share the link to the meeting poll with the appropriate members of the subcommittee and/or respond on their behalf. We are trying to schedule a subcommittee meeting in the next two weeks to help inform the Town’s Scope of Work and gather any other available information to limit the Scope.  As of 2:30 pm today, I have not had feedback on a meeting date/time. 

September 2 Weekly Council Notes

1. Articles of Interest

Below are a few recent articles of interest. 


2. New Officer - Harris Smiler (to be introduced on 9/21)

New Officer Harris Smiler, who will start on September 12, 2016 @ 0700 hours. Harris was born in the Bay Area and was raised in the East Bay. He earned his Bachelors of Science degree from California State East Bay in Business Administration Corporate Management. He later earned his MBA from Lynn University in Sports Management. During his collegiate years, Harris made two appearances in the NCAA Division II National Tournament: one in 2005 with New York Institute of Technology where his team made it to the quarter-finals of the tournament; and most recently in 2012 with Lynn University where his team won the National Championship. He has coached soccer for youth and collegiate levels with his latest role as a goalkeeper coach with San Francisco State University Women's Soccer team from 2011-2012. In his leisure time, Harris enjoys spending time with his family and friends.

Harris will attend his swearing in ceremony on Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at 7:00 pm in the Council Chambers.

3. Display Boards/Civic Center

We will be installing three display cases for the civic center project designed to give viewers a “perspective” view of what the Civic Center will look like when complete. These will be in before the September 25 Atherton Now Family Affair Event.