Council Meeting Date: July 17, 2019
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/user/TownOfAtherton/featured
Details of each item can be found via the links to Staff Reports within the narrative.
Following a Closed Session that began at 5 pm, the City Council met for the July Study Session on Wednesday, July 17 at approximately 5:50 pm. The Study Session included two items for review, discussion and direction by the Council.
Item No. 3, Review, Discuss and Provide Staff Direction regarding a Letter of Intent for Technical Assistance and Grant of $10,000 for the development of reach codes. After a brief staff report and public comment, the Council discussed the need for reach codes, the breadth of their application, public outreach to the community and specifically the Builder's Roundtable, and the difference and philosophy of mandating compliance versus encouraging compliance. Following discussion, the Council opted not to send a letter of intent to Peninsula Clean Energy in support of development of reach codes for the Town.
Item No. 4, Review, Discuss and Provide feedback regarding the Town-wide Local Traffic Flow and Long Range Planning Solutions Study; and approve a Contract Amendment with TJKM for additional related services. After a brief staff report and public comment, the Council discussed the philosophy of traffic flow through the Town. The Council discussed mitigation measures to address cut through traffic and the philosophy of moving traffic through Town on the primary arterials while mitigating cut through traffic along secondary streets. The Council provided feedback to staff to develop traffic philosophies and priority improvements to keep through traffic moving on the Town's primary north/south arterials - Middlefield, Avenida de las Pulgas, and El Camino Real and primary east/west arterials - Valparaiso, Atherton Avenue, Fair Oaks, and Marsh; develop mitigation measures to address cut through traffic to prevent significant impact on east/west secondary streets; and to return to the Council with an outreach and engagement plan to engage the community, discuss solutions, and ultimately implement mitigation measures. The Council also took action to approve the contract amendment with TJKM for additional services rendered.
Following the Study Session items, the Council moved to the Regular City Council Meeting at 7 pm.
Following the Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call, the Council moved to Presentations. During Presentations, the Oath of Office was administered to new Atherton Police Officer Joseph Green.
Following Presentations, the Council moved to Public Comments.
Following Public Comment, the Council moved to the City Manager's Report. The City Manager's Report is prepared monthly as part of the City Council's Regular Agenda. In addition to current reports from the City Manager, it includes departmental updates on the various happenings around Town such as reports from Administration, Community Services, Planning, Police, and Public Works. The Council received Oral Reports from the City Manager and staff on various issues contained within the City Manager's Report. The Council asked questions regarding signage and possible banners to assist the public with finding the relocated City Hall, the inclusion of minutes or summaries of prior meetings of committees in the City Manager's Report, and an update on the sinkhole on El Camino Real.
After the City Manager's Report, the Council moved to the Consent Agenda consisting of Items 8 through 15. Items on the Consent Agenda are considered routine in nature and are generally considered in one motion and adopted by a single vote of the Council. Included in this month's Consent Agenda were bills, minutes, Treasurer's Report, Approval of an extension to the Street Sweeping Contract, Approval of Purchase of Axon Body Cameras, Approval of an extension to the Janitorial Services Contract, Acceptance of Work for the 2019 Street Maintenance Project, and Authorization to purchase 3 marked police motorcycles. Following brief comments on the possible expansion of street sweeping services to assist with compliance with the Clean Water Act, brief questions related to the keeping of data for body cameras, the policy on use, and the future education of the Council/Community on their use, and brief questions on the number of motorcycle officers, the Council approved the items on the Consent Agenda.
Following the Consent Agenda, the Council took up the Regular Agenda beginning with a Public Hearing.
Item No. 16, a Public Hearing for Consideration of a Special Event Permit to allow Temporary Lights for Menlo School's Homecoming Football Game at Cartan Athletic Field, 30 Alejandra Avenue. The Council opened the Public Hearing and staff provided a brief staff report. Following the staff report, the Council heard from the Project Applicant and then other members of the public during public comment. Following the Open Public Hearing, the Council discussed various issues related to the Special Event and the event site. The Council discussed whether a special event permit had ever been granted in prior years, whether there would be amplified sound and if not, how were event activities broadcast, whether this is intended to be a multi-year event or application, and whether there was any precedent to be set by approval. Following discussion, the Council expressed support for approval of the Special Event Permit noting that the Permit was for a single year only, that the School had taken and plans to take on mitigation measures to alleviate any impact to adjacent properties, and while there could have been better communication with the neighbors, there was support for the event. Following comments, the Council approved the Special Event Permit, as presented.
Item No. 17 was consideration of acceptance of a sculpture donation from the Holbrook-Palmer Park Foundation and Atherton Arts Foundation; and authorize an amendment to the Public Works Park Maintenance Budget for FY 2019/20 for installation of any donated art piece. Following a staff report and public comment, the Council discussed the cost of installation of the potential art pieces and noted that typically the donor, in this case the Foundation(s) would pay for the installment of the art pieces. The Council discussed the various potential donated pieces and expressed support for "He Ain't Heavy" and secondary support for "Expanding Wholeness". The Council discussed the possible installation at the corner of Middlefield and Marsh Road, clarifying the intended corner location. Staff expressed concerns about installation at the corner in order to maintain unimpeded access to the Atherton Channel for maintenance. The Council expressed a desire to beautify the corner, but noted that installation of an art piece at that location may not be the best option; although asked that staff further evaluate the potential. Following discussion, the Council directed that staff return to the Foundation(s) and express support for "He Ain't Heavy" for installation in the Park with input from the Park & Recreation Committee. The Council directed that installation costs should be borne by the Foundation(s). As there was no acceptance of a donation at this time and no authorization for a budget amendment for installation costs, there was no action taken by the Council. The item will return to the Council in the future for formal acceptance once staff has returned to the Foundations with input on costs and selection.
Item No. 18 was consideration of adoption of a revision to the Town's Integrated Pest Management Policy regarding the use of Round Up in the Park. Following a brief staff report and public comment, the Council discussed issues related to natural weed control, product versus ingredient, lawsuits and legal liability, transition away from the product's use, State legislation, impact on maintenance and weed growth in the Park, and alternative products. Following discussion, the Council directed that staff transition away from the use of glyphosate-based products in the Park and develop a public information notice for the Park advising of the discontinued use and impact, in order to adjust weed tolerance for users of the Park.
Item No. 19 was the review and consideration of revisions to the Middlefield Road Bike Lanes Project and direction to staff regarding proposed improvements to an existing crosswalk at Valparaiso and Elena. Following a staff presentation and public comment, the Council took each issue up separately and discussed issues related to extent of revisions to the Middlefield Road turn pockets, the impact on bicycle lanes on Middlefield Road (if any), and any anticipated project cost or timing impact. With respect to the crosswalk, the Council discussed the need for a flashing beacon at the crosswalk, the funding of the beacon, the number of users, the future number of users, the potential for future signalization, coordination with Menlo Park, refreshing of the striping, and neighborhood outreach. Following discussion, the Council approved revisions to the Middlefield Road Bike Lanes Project, expressed support for a flashing beacon at Valparaiso and Elena, advised that the cost of design, installation and outreach be borne by Sacred Heart School, and directed that staff coordinate with Menlo Park for the refreshing of the painted crosswalk with costs to be borne by the two agencies.
Next was Item No. 20, Approval of the 6th Amendment to the City Manager's Employment Agreement. Following a staff report and public comment, the Council approved the amendment amending the base salary and auto allowance for the City Manager.
Last up was Item No. 21, Civic Center Update and Authorization for contract amendment with Murray Engineers, Inc. for increased funding due to project delays and rate adjustments; and authorization for a lease agreement with Mobile Modular Management for Temporary Restrooms for the Police Department. Following a brief staff report and public comment, the Council asked about a rate escalator clause within the Murray Agreement and discussed that need for the temporary restrooms. Following discussion, the Council authorized the amendment with Murray Engineers provided there was a rate escalator within the original agreement; and authorized the lease agreement for temporary restrooms for the Police Department.
Following Council Reports and Final Public Comments, having cleared the entire Agenda, at approximately 9:38 pm, that as they say - was a wrap!
The next meeting of the City Council will be September 4 for a Study Session Meeting. The Council will be DARK for the month of August. The September 4 meeting tentatively includes a review of Cash Flow Planning for the Civic Center Project; Review of a Gas Leaf Blower Use Policy Recommendation from the Environmental Programs Committee; and a Report and Recommendation to the CIty Council on the use of Automated License Plate Readers and Public Safety Cameras.