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.

View All Posts

Nov 21

That's A Wrap! - November 20, 2019

Posted on November 21, 2019 at 10:23 AM by grodericks grodericks

Thats A Wrap

Council Meeting Date: November 20, 2019
Video Link:
Details of each item can be found via the links to Staff Reports within the narrative. 

The City Council met for the November Regular Meeting on Wednesday, November 20 at 7 pm in the Pavilion at Holbrook-Palmer Park. Following the Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call, the Council moved to Presentations. During Presentations, the Council received an Annual Report and Presentation from the Park and Recreation Committee and the Atherton Library. 

Following Presentations, the Council moved to Public Comments. During Public Comments, the Council heard comments from a resident regarding the formation of underground utility districts. For residents interested in the formation of an underground district, the Town provides a Frequently Asked Questions handout - additional information is available by contacting Public Works Director, Robert Ovadia.  

ReportFollowing 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. Staff answered questions related to police response times, bicycle and motorized scooter enforcement efforts, and public works storm preparedness efforts. 

Consent_AgendaFollowing the City Manager's Report, the Council moved to the Consent Agenda consisting of Items 8 and 9. 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 and 2nd Reading and Adoption of an Ordinance adopting the 2019 Revisions to the California Building Standards (Building Code).

Regular_Agenda_ImageNext up was the Regular Agenda.

The first item on the Regular Agenda was Item No. 10, Review, Modification and Approval of the Town's Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR) Policy.  

Following a presentation by staff and an opportunity for public comment, the Council discussed the current ALPR Policy and discussed issues related to records retention, annual audits, transfer of data to the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center (NCRIC), and use/access to data. Following discussion, the Council asked that staff return with refinements to the current policy based on Council comments and a presentation by NCRIC on how they operate. 

Expanding_Wholeness_Art_SculptureItem No. 11 was consideration of a sculpture donation, use of the remaining balance in the Evans Creative Arts Fund, and confirmation of the status of the Atherton Arts Foundation. Following a staff report and public comment, the Council discussed the range of improvements needed in the Garden Room of the Main House, the activities of the Arts Foundation, the potential location of the proposed art sculpture and the commitment from the Park Foundation for funding of the sculpture. Following discussion, the Council asked that staff return the item to the Council in January and seek written commitment from the involved agencies regarding the sculpture and improvements to the Garden Room; and, a more refined estimate of work needed for the Garden Room. 

Item No. 12 was a Report regarding further work on the pursuit of an Off-Leash Dog area in the Park. Following a staff report and public comment, the Council discussed issues related to the possible location of the off-leash area, funding, liability, use, and timing. The Council discussed the priority of the off-leash dog area in relation to other priorities for the Town and the Park. Following discussion, the Council acted to remove the Off-Leash Dog Area from the Park Master Plan and advised that once other priorities had been accomplished, the Council could reconsider including the Off-Leash area for the Park as part of the overall Park Master Plan.  

2-stroke_leaf_blowerItem No. 13 was a discussion and direction regarding pursuit of amendments to the Town's Leaf Blower Ordinance restricting the use of gas-powered leaf blowers. Following a staff report and public comment, the Council discussed issues related to cost of implementation and public outreach, affect on municipal operations, air quality, and noise. Following discussion, the Council opted to begin the project in FY 2019/20 following a budget amendment at mid-year (February). 

Item No. 14, Discussion of the San Mateo County Disposal Food Service Ware Ordinance was continued to the December City Council Meeting without discussion. 

Item No. 15 was approval of a Scope of Work for the Townwide Local Traffic Flow and Long Range Planning Solutions Study; the Plan for Public Outreach and Engagement, and authorization for a contract amendment with TJKM and Interwest for the Work. Following a brief staff report and public comment, the Council discussed the modifications to the scope of work for TJKM and the timing of the overall project. Following discussion, the Council approved the various scopes of work. 

Item No. 16 was the 1st Reading and Introduction of Amendments to the Town's Water-Efficient Landscape Ordinance. Following a staff report and public comment, the Council discussed the required amendments based on State law, enforcement of the standards, applicability, and compliance. Following discussion, the Council introduced the ordinance for 1st Reading with adoption scheduled for December. 

Civic_CourtItem No. 17 was Review, Discussion and Direction on Cash Flow and Financing for the Town Center, Feedback on the Draft Debt Policy, Potential Engagement of a Professional Fundraiser, and Possible Acceptance of a Donation in exchange for Naming of the Cafe Terrace. Following a staff report and presentation, the Council discussed the various cash flow financing options and timing for implementation of the options in relation to possible fundraising efforts. The Council discussed the interest rates and timing of retirement of any debt issued. The Council provided brief comments on the draft debt policy to be adopted at a future date. The Council discussed the timing, efficacy, and cost of hiring a professional fundraiser. The Council discussed naming opportunities, the designated amount of funding acceptable for the cafe terrace, and contact with donors. Following discussion, the Council provide staff direction to move forward with preliminary work required for a Certificate of Participation, declined to engage a professional fundraising consultant, and provided direction to staff to circle back with the donor for the Cafe Terrace regarding the amount of donation sought for a naming opportunity as well as the possibility of contacting all existing donors to discuss naming opportunities. 

City_HallThe last item on the Agenda was Item No. 18, an Update on the progress on the new Town Center. Following a brief staff report and public comment, the Council briefly discussed the progress of the project. More information on the Project can be found on via the Project BlogWebsite, and Webcams.

Following Council Reports and Final Public Comments, having cleared the entire Agenda, at approximately 11:40 pm, that as they say - was a wrap!

The next meeting of the City Council will be December 4 for a Study Session Meeting. The December 4 meeting tentatively includes a discussion of revisions to the Town's Landscape Screening Regulations and providing direction to the Planning Commission; and a discussion of a possible future Development Tax.  

GeorgeThanks for reading!

George Rodericks
City Manager

Town of Atherton