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.

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Jul 18

June 2015 Monthly Report

Posted on July 18, 2015 at 10:00 AM by grodericks grodericks

Monthly-report.pngCity Manager's Monthly Report - June 2015

Welcome to the newly formatted City Manager's Monthly Report! With the June 2015 City Manager's Monthly Report, there is a new format.

First, it's written in Blog format and posted to the City Manager's Blog. Second, instead of attaching all of the various bits of backup information (making for a rather large file) it includes them as links via the Town's website. Lastly, each item includes the date the information was provided to the City Council - part of the title of each item. 

Please remember, the City Manager's Monthly Report is a consolidation of issues, communications, and Town activity during the prior month. As I review information to include, I will try to remove updates or information regarding events that have already occurred and edit information that requires update - hopefully to make it more useful. Overall, the information is generally the same as it was presented to the City Council in their weekly emails.

I am moving to this new format in an effort to speed up the time it takes me to prepare the retrospective report and improve up-to-date transparency on relevant issues. Hopefully, it proves more functional, informative, and useful. Your feedback is appreciated!

1. Traffic Count Information (6/26)

As the Council is aware, staff is working on various studies that involve the need for traffic count data. A traffic count study has been conducted and staff has produced a summary table and a map of the various major streets through Town showing the average daily traffic (ADT). There are a couple of intersections/roads that were not counted. This was noted as staff completed the study and will be added. These include: Alameda de las Pulgas, El Camino Real, Encinal, and portions of Middlefield. 

2. SFPUC Water Line through Atherton (6/26)

SFPUC.jpegStaff is setting up a meeting with the SFPUC engineering team for the 2nd or 3rd week of July. If the meeting is prior to the Council’s approval of the final conceptual design, we will use the Master Plan and draft conceptual plans as a guide. 

At the June 23 CCAC Meeting, the Committee and WRNS discussed the benefits of relocation of the water relative to the site area constraints. It was the general consensus that given the need for surface parking for the Police Department, there was limited benefit to the project design in relocation of the water line. However, the Committee understood that the Council will be seeking relocation of the water line for a host of other reasons, to include but not be limited to, future expansion, construction hazard mitigation, age of the line, proximity to the proposed buildings, etc. 

The SFPUC provided a response to the Town’s Draft Environmental Impact Report relative to the water line. The expectation is the Town will provide comments back to the SFPUC (including analysis of impacts as requested) and requesting their cooperation in relocation of the water line. 

3. St. Petersburg Letter of Appreciation (6/26)

As the Council is aware, there was a recent case involving James D. Gluz and threats against an Atherton Police Officer. Linked is a letter from Detective Bryan Wood from the S. Petersburg Police Department expressing his appreciation for the joint investigation into Mr. Gluz. 

4. May 2015 Animal Shelter Services Report (6/26)

The Peninsula Humane Society has provided the May 2015 Animal Shelter Services Report. 

5. Menlo Atherton High School Expansion Project (6/26)

Supervisor Horsley was made aware of neighborhood concerns regarding parking congestion in the Menlo Oaks neighborhood connected to activity at Menlo Atherton High School. Linked here is a letter to Sheriff Greg Munks from Supervisor Horsley regarding the issue(s). 

The Town has provided a formal letter of response to the Draft EIR. The Town will also be meeting with the High School to discuss parking safety and traffic. 

6. PG&E Letter to Residents - Gas Line Vegetation Management (6/26)

pge-1.jpegAs mentioned prior, PG&E will be at the City Council meeting in July to talk about their vegetation management program launching in Atherton. The program is directed at PG&E Gas Lines. PG&E has sent a letter to local residents noting the issues and assessment. PG&E will be working with property owners to conduct a detailed assessment of trees located on or adjacent to their lines. 
  • Trees and brush located between zero and 5 feet from the edge of an underground gas line must be removed.
  • Trees and brush located between 5.1 and 10 feet from the edge of an underground gas line will be assessed based on size at maturity, distance from the pipe, and other issues to determine if a tree poses an unacceptable risk to the pipe.
  • Trees that are between 5.1 and 10 feet from the pipe and considered a manageable risk can potentially remain in place with ongoing monitoring. 
PG&E will obtain all necessary Town permits and will comply with any Town required mitigation. The linked letter has already gone out to the community and beginning next week, PG&E will be contacting property owners to schedule site visits. 

7. LPMG Agenda Packet - June 2015 (6/26)

Linked here is the LPMG Agenda Packet for June 25 2015. The packet includes presentation information related to Caltrain’s EMU Procurement, CBOSS PTC Updates, and Real Estate Update. 

8. RFP for Information Technology Services (6/26)

Staff is looking to release an Request for Proposal for Information Technology Services for the Town. The Town presently uses the services of Redwood City under contract to provide these services. While services have not been problematic, there are service enhancements and opportunities we would like to explore. 
9. AirBnB - Atherton (6/26)

As the Council is aware, staff is investigating the operation of AirBnb homes on Park Lane. Monica Diaz, Code Enforcement Officer, has pending cases at several addresses on Park. Staff is working with the property owners to obtain compliance and will be contacting AirBnb directly with respect to our ordinance(s). At this time, it appears that the cases will be resolved. 

10. Walnut/ECR Fence Construction (6/26)

A couple of you have noted that there is a new exterior fence being constructed at the corner of El Camino and Walnut. It was noted that the fence is “squared off” at the corner. Please note that the fence will comply with local requirements for a visibility triangle. The corner fence post is a temporary post for construction purposes only - see visual

11. Grand Jury Report - Flooding Ahead: Planning for Sea Level Rise (6/26)

SeaLevelRise051315.jpgAs the Council is aware, the San Mateo County Grand Jury produced a Report entitled “Flooding Ahead: Planning for Sea Level Rise.” The Report necessitates a Response from the Town on the various Findings and Recommendations. The Town’s response is not intended to be a debate or a detailed analysis of the Report’s results; rather, comments on the findings (Agree/Disagree) and comments on compliance with the recommendations.

Staff has drafted a preliminary response that will be on the Town’s July Council Agenda

12. Historic Registration - Carriage House and Water Tower (6/26)

As the Council is aware, the Friends of Holbrook Palmer Park are working to complete the Historic Registration of the Carriage House and Water Tower. They are seeking registration in an effort to obtain additional grant opportunities to restore the facilities. In order to submit the application on behalf of the Town, the Friends need a Resolution of Authorization from the Town. Prior to obtaining that Resolution, staff has advised that they need to bring a completed application to the Town for consideration so that the Council knows the full details of the project, the merits, and the pros/cons of historic registration. With Registration comes a requirement to adhere to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Treatment of Historic Properties.

The Friends are shooting for the September or October Council meeting for that Resolution. It will cost the Friends approximately $5,000 to complete the study/application.  

13. Fire District - Vegetation Management (6/26)

The Fire Chief is getting concerned about the "massive die off in trees” that he is seeing in the Fire District and region due to the draught. The Chief asserts that water restrictions will only make this worse. The District is exploring real time aerial photography and imagery to assist with dedication of resources to the issue. The Town will be participating with the District as appropriate. 

14. Verizon Wireless - Canister Sites (6/26)

canister_antenna.jpgJennifer Larson, Assistant City Attorney and I met with Verizon Wireless this week to discuss their potential application(s) for 10 single-pole canister sites around Town. They have identified pole locations at Stockbridge, Atherton Avenue/Austin, Almendral, Tuscaloosa, Selby/Selby, Isabella/ECR, Fair Oaks/ECR, and Selby/Shearer. The mounted canisters would be at the top of the existing PG&E pole. All equipment would be mounted to the side of the poles (minimal installations). All equipment would be camouflaged in color to match the existing pole. They have also provided photo simulations of the installations. I will be providing feedback to Verizon Wireless over the next couple of weeks regarding the potential installations. They have not yet submitted any applications; but instead are seeking some early feedback to make sure they “get it right” when they do submit. When submitting, they will submit in batches 3-4 locations at a time. 

15. ABAG Board of Directors Meeting (6/26)

This week I attended the ABAG PLAN Board of Directors Meeting (General Liability Insurance). It appears as though our premium for 2015/16 will be 30-40% reduced from the prior year. We will know more after July 1. We budget apprxoimately $245,000 in general liability insurance premiums.  

16. Menlo School Meeting (6/26)

This morning I met with Brad Smith, David McAdoo, and Than Healy to discuss Cartan Field. The group wanted my candid feedback on the project and its associated issues. I shared my concerns with respect to the development as well as my thoughts on the political/neighbor issues surrounding the project. 

I suggested that the Mayor, Than Healy, Rich Moran and I meet to have a similar conversation about the future development project. Further, I suggested that following that meeting, a neighborhood meeting be setup to talk with a representative neighbor group, share plan detail, and Q&A facilitated by the Town.

17. Peninsula Clean Energy (6/26)

renewable_energy.jpgAs you know, the County of San Mateo is pursuing research on the feasibility of implementing a Community Choice Aggregation project in San Mateo. The Town is participating. I serve on the Community Choice Energy Advisory Committee and the Mayor serves as the alternate. I attended last night’s meeting (4th Thursday of each month). While listening to the presentations, I created a local Town website to assist with disseminating information to the community. Information regarding the Advisory Committee (Agendas, Reports, Presentations) are available on the Clean Energy website. The name for the venture has been narrowed down to: Peninsula Clean Energy. There is a link on the Town’s homepage. 

18. Civic Center Advisory Committee Vacancy (6/26)

As the Council is aware, with Phil’s passing there is a vacancy on the CCAC. While no one can fill Phil’s shoes, I have been asked by members of the Council to be sure to advertise for this vacancy to allow a replacement. We will advertise as appropriate with any Committee vacancy. However, it is important to note that the work of the CCAC is flowing smoothly. They are moving headlong into the next phase of design and their work will be essentially complete in the next 8-12 months. The Charter allows for “up to seven” members to serve on the Committee. The Council is not required to appoint another member to replace Phil. 

I would encourage the Council to think about the challenging of bringing a new member up to speed or the challenges of adding a new personality to a well-functioning committee. If the Council is desirous of filling out the Committee, I would suggest that the Council consider adding an appointee from the Finance Committee to provide a finance background to the project. The CCAC already has a member of the Planning Commission in Paul Tonelli.

19. Articles of Interest (6/18)

Attached is an article on California’s Water Czar from the NY Times. 

20. Lindenwood Letter - Bicycle Route through Lindenwood (6/18)

As the Council is aware, Menlo Park is looking to identify a bicycle route to connect with Atherton to route cyclists between the Dumbarton Bridge and the Menlo Park Caltrain Station. Attached is a letter from the Lindenwood Homes Association opposing such a route through Atherton. 

21. Media Center 2014 Annual Report (6/18)

Attached is the Mid-Peninsula Media Center 2014 Annual Report. 

22. Department of Finance State Mandate Reimbursement Letter (6/18)

Attached is a summary report from the Department of Finance on the State’s Mandated Claim Reimbursement funding. The Town should be receiving the principal of $63,248 by June 22 and the interest of $15,010 by September - for a total reimbursement of $78,258. 

23. Utility User’s Tax (6/18)

Staff (City Attorney and Finance) are looking into the possibility of the Utility User’s Tax and a way to add telecommunications. Attached are a couple of interesting read publications. As we move forward with investigating the possibility of a UUT to either reduce or eliminate the parcel tax, the Town may wish to engage a consultant to assess more accurately the potential revenue.  
24. Infrastructure - The Movie (6/18)

Here’s a comical link to a potential movie - enjoy!

25. Deer Signage (6/18)

Staff is asking the LHA to consider the installation of deer crossing signage at the request of a local Lindenwood resident. 

26. Caltrain Cameras (6/18)

We have asked Caltrain to consider a partnership with the Town to install down-track facing motion cameras that could be monitored by the Police Department. Very early discussion stages. 

civic_center.jpgSquare Footage 

Staff continues to winnow down the programming for the facilities. Net square footage (i.e. square footage net of hallways, exterior stairwells, etc.) is hovering around 12k to 14k for the PD, 9k for the Library, and 9k for Admin, Post Office, Public Works, Finance, Building, and Planning. There are gross-up factors that add on additional square footage for those hallways, etc. that are different based on the type of use and design of the ultimate building. These factors are between 15% and 30%. 

Staff is working with WRNS on the programming details and then will meet with the various CCAC subcommittees to work through the data. 

Cell Site

Something will need to happen to the existing cellular tower. The PD equipment on the tower could be relocated to the new facility roof area. The tower itself (AT&T) may need to be removed. If removed (and rebuilt) it needs to conform to the new tower requirements for camouflage and leasing. Those conversations have yet to be held. 

PD Building Adjacent to Maple

We continue to get concerns from residents in the Civic Center Project area (particularly on Maple) that the concern with the Police Department building adjacent to Maple (with either above ground or below ground parking) is the possibility of Priority One Response calls regularly dispatched from the Police parking lot down Maple with Maple being a small, neighborhood street, with children playing the street. A safety concern. 

The majority of the police department’s priority one call response (red lights and sirens) occurs from police vehicles already in the field. But there are some some real issues with the Police Department being located adjacent to Maple. Those issues are generally related to officer shift change and the general comings and goings for normal operations. Shift change occurs at 7 am and 7 pm. During shift change there are equipment checks that occur (lights, sirens, loud speakers, motors, etc.). There will be general comings and goings from the parking lot (underground garage or above ground parking) throughout the day. Gate opening and closing. Command staff, CSOs, SRO, SGTs, Detectives, and others will enter and exit the lot at different times throughout the day on a regular basis; albeit rarely on a Priority One Response Call.  If the PD is located in this area, there will be more police vehicles up and down Maple. It is simply the closest and fastest exit to ECR coming out of the parking area. So while priority one response calls are not a significant issue, there are other issues to contend with.

On any given day, the police vehicles MAY exit the parking area if the on-duty officers receive a call while they are on site for a briefing, lunch, restroom break, report taking/writing, witness/suspect interview, or resident contact. I would say this happens maybe one or twice a day (if that). As indicated above, the bigger reality is that officer shift change is 7 am and 7 pm. Then, there is the perception that with the police department comes suspects, perpetrators, criminals, etc. coming to the PD for transport, interview, etc. Yes, this does occur just not as frequently as one might think. Presently, I suspect it is rare that officers will travel down Maple. From their current location, their current in/out is Fair Oaks, Atherton Avenue, and Ashfield. If it were relocated, Maple WILL get more police vehicle trips. It is simply the closest and fastest exit to ECR coming out of the parking area. From my office window, I can count at least 15 times a day that I will see a patrol car or motor coming in/out of Ashfield. The motor is much louder and much more obvious. Once it clears the gate and turns down Ashfield the officer will speed up on the way to ECR regardless of whether there is priority call. That speed up - carries with it noise and the perception that it is traveling quite rapidly.

While the possibility of placing the Police Department at that corner is diminishing, when you do encounter members of the community that are concerned, redirect the narrative away from the perception of priority one calls racing out of the police station - as this rarely occurs. Instead, counter with a more accurate narrative as shown above.  

28. Wireless Lease Agreements (6/11)

Things are looking dimmer and dimmer with respect to the Town’s ability to enact leases for cell sites within the Town’s right-of-way. The City Attorney has finished his research into the Town’s ability to require a lease for wireless facilities within the Town’s public right-of-way. He has concluded that the Town is not able to do so. The Town’s ordinance remains valid with respect to camouflage, screening and process. The Town can require a lease for Town-owned property (parcels) but not the right-of-way. This is a change from prior direction and the City Attorney will articulate the rationale for such in his memorandum.

We will be moving requests forward in the coming weeks. 

29. PG&E Rule 20A Funds (6/11)

Wires01.jpgAttached is a letter from PG&E regarding the Town’s allocation and work credit status for Rule 20A funds. The Town accumulates approximately $26,000 a year in Rule 20A funds. Rule 20A funds can be used to underground utilities in areas areas of the community that are most used by the general public. We could potentially use Rule 20A funds for the Civic Center Project. To use the funds, the Town must determine, after consulting with PG&E and holding public hearings, that underground the utilities in the specified area is in the general public interest for one or more of the following reasons:
  • Undergrounding will avoid or eliminate an unusually heavy concentration of overhead electric facilities.
  • The street or road or right-of-way is extensively used by the general public and carries a heavy volume of pedestrian or vehicular traffic.
  • The street, road or right-of-way adjoins or passes through a civic area or public recreation area or an area of unusual scenic interest to the general public.
  • The street or road or right-of-way is considered an arterial street or major collector as defined in the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research General Plan Guidelines. 
The Town has approximately $1.3 million (enough for maybe a 1/2 mile) in Rule 20A funds and we can “borrow ahead” 5 years for a total of $1.43 million.  

30. Cal Water Consumption Data (6/11)

Attached is a recent chart from Cal Water on Atherton’s water consumption progress.

31. Sequoia School District - Menlo Atherton High School Expansion - Draft Program EIR (6/5)

Sequoia Union District.jpgStaff is responding to the Sequoia School District Draft Program EIR for MA. Among other things, we are commenting on the following types of issues:

* lane configuration on Middlefield/Encinal
* lane configuration on ECR/Encinal
* driveway count information
* peak usage counts
* trip distribution methodology
* impacts on drop offs and parking on Oak Grove
* intersection delays and levels of service impacts
* cumulative project impacts
* trip generation
* intersection impacts (surrounding areas)
* illegal parking on Oak Grove study
* alternatives to minimize local impact need to be studied

We are also consolidating and coordinating comments from neighbors in the adjacent impacted neighborhoods.

32. SFPUC Water Line through Atherton (6/5)

I provided the following email to Harlan Kelly, General Manager of the SFPUC:

Our staff have been in contact with each other over the past year with respect to an existing 36” water line that travels through the Town’s Civic Center property. As you know, the line delivers water to Stanford, Menlo Park, Palo Alto and portions of Atherton. It is a rather old line (approximately 100 years old) with an unclear history of easements and permits. The SFPUC was issued an easement by the Southern Pacific Railroad for a portion of the line, but does not have an easement for the section of the line that is of primary concern for the Town. There was a permit issued by the City Council for the entire length of the line in Atherton, but no recorded easement through our owned property that your staff or our staff have been able to find. 

Here’s the issue - the Town is in the midst of redesign of its civic center. The existing buildings are over 60 years old and in need of rehabilitation. Some of our staff have been in “temporary” trailers for more than 20 years. The project has been something the Town has been working on for more 10 years. The project has gained recent momentum with the hiring of WRNS Studio as project architects. We are presently in the Conceptual Design Phase and expect to be in Schematic Design by August/September 2015 with biddable plans by June/July 2016. Assuming all the finances work out, that puts a shovel in the ground by September 2016. That’s when we will run into the SFPUC water line - literally. 

The preliminary designs of the project will result in a relocation of the road and associated right-of-way. In broad brush, the road right-of-way will shift closer to the existing railroad right-of-way in order to make way for construction of the new buildings. The preliminary design could place the new City Hall, Public Library, and/or Police Station on top of the existing water line. As a subordinate utility, the SFPUC will be formally requested to relocate all or a portion of the water line to a newly granted easement to accommodate the Town’s governmental purpose. We anticipate having a more specific easement location within the coming month and will work with the SFPUC to identify a timeline for relocation of the water line. 

Because the Town will be constructing new roadways, pathways, and other public facilities, coordinating relocation of the water line within the project timeline will enable the SFPUC to save project funds on the finish work required as the Town will be completing the paving and surface treatments. The Town is also prepared to allow the SFPUC to construct the new line prior to the Town initiating its construction project thus allowing the SFPUC to leave the existing water line in place while completing the new line in its new adjacent easement without needing to coordinate with an ongoing construction project. The Town is also willing to discuss abandonment of the old line as part of the Town’s construction project further enabling the SPFUC to save project funds. 

This is a high-priority project for the Town and one that will be moving forward at a rapid pace once fully funded. Time is of the essence and we expect to begin construction in September 2016. My staff and I look forward to working expeditiously with the SFPUC in a manner that benefits us both over the coming year. Should you need any additional immediate information, please feel free to contact me. In the meantime, please look for the Town’s formal written request to relocate all or a portion of the water line. You can find additional project information, to include preliminary plans and designs, on the Town’s website at

33. Bones Article (6/5)

As you can tell from today’s Daily Post, the press seemed to enjoy the museum bones article. SGT Hall will be on the KTVU news with respect to the Report. Confirmed by the coroner, the bones were definitely museum pieces. No recent foul play.

34. Committee/Commission Liaison Information (6/5)

gavel.jpgTheresa provided the following information to staff liaisons for their respective committees/commissions. 

Agendas and Minutes
  • Post all agendas and materials no later than Friday afternoon before the meeting (Thursday if possible).
  • Post all minutes that are approved. 
Judi, Kelli and I are happy to help post the agendas and minutes but it is your responsibility to send the material to one of us. For instance, Gordon is the liaison for the CCAC and is responsible for developing the agenda with the Chair, creating minutes, making sure the facility is set up, opening and closing the facilities etc. However I assist with posting the agenda and materials. I can also be available to assist with facility set up (to include presentations, projector, audio, etc.) if I am aware that assistance is needed. Otherwise we should all know how to use the presentation system, audio and video system, and the projector. I’ll send out some calendar invites over the next month for additional trainings on each.


Please let me know which staff member from your department is posting agendas so I know who to contact on Fridays if the agenda and material hasn’t been posted to the website. Also, Many of you are not posting finalized (approved) minutes. Following approval of the minutes please post them to the archive center of our website or send them to the appropriate staff member for posting. For those committees that are not up to date please work with Kelli and/or Judi to get up to date.


Committee & Staff Member Liaison

Audit/Finance - Robert Barron III
CCAC - Gordon Siebert
City Council - Theresa DellaSanta
Environmental Programs - Lisa Costa Sanders
Rail Committee - Mike Kashiwagi
Transportation - Ed Flint
Park & Recreation - Steve Tyler
Planning Commission - Lisa Costa Sanders


Meeting Facilities


If your committee is planning a special meeting PLEASE check with Judi on whether the facility (Main House, Carriage House, Pavilion, Chambers, Admin Conference Room) is available before confirming the meeting.  If you’re holding a meeting in a facility in the Park please arrange to get a key from Steve or Judi to open/close. Additionally, either send Judi a diagram of how you want the room to be set up OR work with Judi to develop the diagram. Include necessities such as projector, table for refreshments, audio, etc.
If Audio is Needed


We don’t have a reliable audio system in the pavilion - I have been using Guy Bailey from Redwood City. He will show up before the meeting to set up audio and arrive after to remove the audio. All for a minimal fee. I find it is best for whoever is in attendance at the meeting to coordinate directly with Guy. This way he knows when to show up (before and after) and who to speak with.


The Audio Guy
Guy Bailey
Business Line – 650-365-45502
Cell – 650-817-5757


Resolution Governing Committees


Lastly, please be reminded that term expirations for 2015 are on June 30. Any committee member whose term expires in 2015 shall not continue unless reappointed by Council. Council will make appointments at their June 17 meeting. Be reminded, each committee shall have a Chairperson. The Committee shall select its Chair on an annual basis in July. Council Members shall not serve as Chair or Vice Chair of Committees. Please add “reorganization of Committee Chair and Vice Chair” at your July Committee Meeting. If you meet bi-monthly, August is fine. Also, the July meeting requires committees to set a calendar of regular meetings for the year that can be posted publicly. If your regular meeting date/time changes from what it is now please let us know.

35. Airline Transportation (6/5)

I recently shared information regarding airline transportation to a member of the Council and thought it would be beneficial for all to know. It is one of those black and white rules that is often overlooked. 

The California Constitution forbids public officials from receiving free or discounted travel from a transportation company. This prohibition applies to any kind of travel — personal, business or on behalf of one’s public agency — to any location, near or far. The rule applies both to elected and appointed public officers. The penalty for accepting free transportation from transportation carriers is severe: forfeiture of office.

36. Cartan CUP Appeal - Meetings with MC/MS (6/5)

Some, if not all of you, may have been contacted by MC/MS (Chop Keenan) regarding their application coming to the City Council on June 17. The request is to meet in order that they may explain the rationale for their appeal. As I expressed to one member of the Council, you can meet but you cannot provide any opinion or direction or event hint at it. The danger of violating the Brown Ac in these situations is real. If the applicant advises that they met with others and provides their opinion or feedback - the Brown Act stands a good chance of being violated when they share that information. Then, when you get to the public meeting and each Council Member discloses the conversations they had with the applicant it becomes even clearer to any opponents or even the applicant that there could have been collusion. 

Planning Commissioners deal with this issue all the time. They have an obligation to meet at the property to view the land use request. They will make an appointment with the applicant or appellant. They are clear to advise the applicant or appellant that their purpose is solely to view the site, gather information to help inform their discussion at the public meeting. They may ask clarifying questions but will not provide any opinion or give any indication of how they may feel about the application or issue. If the applicant or appellant speaks about other members of the commission that they spoke with they are quick to cut them off and advise that they cannot be a part of that conversation. At the meeting they advise that they toured the site, viewed the issues at play in person, and are prepared to discuss their opinion at the public meeting. 

The Council is supposed to hear the issue and vote on the issue solely based on the information received at the public meeting so that all are deciding based on the same set of facts. Private conversations outside the public meeting can prejudice that process. The applicant’s rationale needs to be clearly stated in their letter of request - lobbying in the field outside of the public meeting sometimes does more harm than good. While members of the council and city boards and commissions may be permitted to make “ex parte” contact with the parties to gather facts, especially in land use matters, the information gathered must be disclosed on the record in sufficient detail so that all parties can respond and all decision makers are provided access to the same information. 

You can explain to anyone seeking your commitment to a position that you cannot make a decision until you consider all the information presented at the hearing. Such prejudgment is inconsistent with the duty of impartiality and the conduct of a fair hearing. Nevertheless, it is sometimes remain a matter of perception - and the degree to which the losing party believes they have been fairly treated. 

37. Park June Events and Revenue Log (6/5)

Attached is the Park June Events and Revenue Log.

38. Mayor/Vice Mayor Meetings - September 2015 (6/5)

There was a Mayor’s meeting in Menlo Park in late May to discuss a few specific issues of joint interest. As a result, the next Mayor/Vice Mayor Joint Meeting will be in September and will involve Redwood City, Menlo Park, and Atherton. 

39. Water Conservation Webpage/Cal Water Mailer (6/5)

The water district is preparing a mailer on water conservation and the drought that should go out soon. We have updated information on our website for our residents with links to various other resources. The link is available on the Town’s main webpage. 

40. Postal Meter (6/5)

connectPlus1000--prodDetail_Large.jpgThe Post Office will no longer service our present meter and requires that we lease (and/or purchase) a meter for public use (separate machine) at the Annex and a separate meter/machine for Town use (internally). The Town receives a discount for its internal use. We will move the Town’s internal meter to the back area beyond the copier. The Town purchased the current meter some years ago and it is not able to move forward with the Post Office’s new metering requirements (hence a new lease agreement). 

Separating out the cost for the internal meter (we would have that cost regardless), for a typical year, the Town is reimbursed the cost of the public postage and supplies to operate the annex. We receive about $8,500 per year in revenue reimbursement and will expend just under that for lease costs and basic supplies. When the Town owned the machine instead of lease, the cost revenue differential was slightly higher. As a lease, it is less. 

I recommended that we continue with the lease at this point since the Civic Center is moving forward and the Postal Annex could be relocated, re-tasked, and/or re-tooled based on the design. I don’t want to be in the situation of owning a postal machine that we cannot use or be forced to design a space around a postal machine. 

41. San Mateo County Sea Level Rise Workshop (6/5)

On June 5, staff attended a portion of the San Mateo County Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment Kick-off Meeting. The meeting discussed what is happening today and what has been accomplished thus far. The project is ongoing being led by ARCADIS on behalf of the County. Each agency has an staff representative on the technical advisory group. As the project evolves, there will be check-ins with local policymakers (local Councils, Boards, etc.). 

While Atherton will not be directly impacted by sea level rise, there will be peripheral issues related to sanitation, drainage, water services, and circulation. 

42. Menlo Park Fire Fee Next Study (6/5)

On May 31 the Fire District provided the Town with a Draft Impact Fee Study and staff report that proposes how to fairly implement fee’s through three provisions or methods for new construction. In summary, those three provisions waive fees for replacement of existing single family residential and only recommend a fee when any type of use adds multi-residential or a commercial use in excess of the existing square footage, essentially, the “impact”. Staff review and feedback is due by June 10 back to the District. Staff is reviewing the draft report and will provide feedback to the District by the deadline. 

If approved by the District Board on June 16, the report and a request will come back to the Town and Council for a formal approval request.

43. Request for Zoning Change - Chickens (6/5)

Attached is a letter from Lloyd Bakan regarding his request to amend the Town’s zoning ordinance to allow the keep of hens/chickens. This will be passed through the Town’s Planning Commission for recommendation to the City Council. 

For more information on any of the above topics or issues, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. 

George_2.jpgGeorge Rodericks
City Manager
Town of Atherton
(650) 752-0504

6. Cal Water Consumption Data

Attached is a recent chart from Cal Water on Atherton’s water consumption progress. 
6. Cal Water Consumption Data

Attached is a recent chart from Cal Water on Atherton’s water consumption progress. 
6. Cal Water Consumption Data

Attached is a recent chart from Cal Water on Atherton’s water consumption progress.