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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Dec 19

That's A Wrap! - December 18, 2019

Posted on December 19, 2019 at 11:01 AM by grodericks grodericks

Thats A Wrap

Council Meeting Date: December 18, 2019
Video Link:
Details of each item can be found via the links to Staff Reports within the narrative. 

Conners Larson cakeThe City Council met for the December Regular Meeting on Wednesday, December 18 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 heard a presentation from Gatepath CEO Bryan Neider and then made a presentation to outgoing City Attorney Bill Conners and Assistant City Attorney Jennifer Larson. 

Rick Elizabeth cakeFollowing Presentations, moved to City Council Reorganization selecting Vice Mayor Rick DeGolia to serve as the Town's next Mayor and Council Member Elizabeth Lewis to serve as the Town's next Vice Mayor. Both will serve in those roles for calendar year 2019.    

Following Council Reorganization and a brief recess for a reception, the Council reconvened and moved to Public Comments. 

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 11. 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 claims, 2nd Reading and Adoption of an Ordinance amending the Town's Water Efficient Landscaping Standards, appointment of a representative to the Mosquito and Vector Control District, and acceptance of the 1st Quarter Treasurer's Report.  

Public_Hearing_ImageNext up was a Public Hearing - Item No. 12 - Introduction of Amendments to the Atherton Municipal Code Chapter 8.10 "Removal of and Damage to Heritage Trees", including amending the Heritage Tree Preservation Guidelines, Standards and Specifications. Following a brief staff report, presentation and public comments, the Council discussed issues related to the integration of the standards into the ordinance and how they relate, tracking of tree maintenance deposits, refunding of deposits, and the process involved with spec-homes. Following discussion, the Council introduced the ordinance for 1st Reading and adopted the Tree Preservation Guidelines, Standards and Specifications via Resolution. 

Regular_Agenda_ImageNext up was the Regular Agenda.

The first item on the Regular Agenda was Item No. 13, Award of Contract for City Attorney Services. Staff provided a brief staff report and following public comment, the Council directed staff to prepare a contract with Mona Ebrahimi, KMTG, for City Attorney Services and authorized the Mayor to execute the contract on behalf of the Town. 

Next was Item No. 14, Discussion on the San Mateo County's Office of Sustainability Proposed Disposable Food Service Ware Ordinance and Possible Restrictions on their use in Town. Following a staff report and public comment, the Council discussed issues related to the applicability of the ordinance locally if adopted; applicability to Town facilities; applicability to food truck vendors and public schools; enforcement; cost of enforcement; penalties; and possibility of future similar mandates. Following discussion, the Council directed that staff continue moving forward with a proposed local ordinance that would be made applicable to food truck vendors as well as Town facilities. 

Next up was Item No. 15, Review of the Town's Residential Alarm Ordinance. Staff presented the issue for Council consideration and after opportunity for public comment, the Council discussed issues related to the annual $50 fee; the $100 registration fee; Town-monitored versus privately monitored systems; and payment/collection. Following discussion, the Council asked that staff return the ordinance for minor modification along with a letter to the community advising of the changed ordinance requirements, the new alarm registration fee ($100), the annual fee of $50 to provide updated information to the Police Department, the cost of multiple false alarms, and advise that if residents have a current alarm that there will not be a registration fee if a response and registration information is received within a set period of time (6-months), after that period the registration fee will be required. 

Item No. 16 was Acceptance of Donation Naming Requests and Discussion and Direction Regarding Donors. Following a brief staff report and opportunity for public comment, the Council discussed the various naming request tiers and setup an Ad Hoc Committee to review the tiers, recommend any changes, and provide a contact letter to donors along with an outreach plan. The Council then heard a report on recent contact with Atherton Now regarding donors and asked that the Ad Hoc Committee discuss a response. Lastly, the Council accepted two naming requests submitted for the K-9 Corner and the Cafe Terrace. 

Item No. 17 was Authorization for Release of a Request for Proposal for Procurement Assistance for Solar and Micro-Grid Power Services Provider. Staff presented a brief staff report. Following the staff report and opportunity for public comment, the Council discussed the various system design opportunities, extent of services, power requirements and provisions of the system, cost of a generator alternative, and timeline. Following discussion, the Council authorized the release of the RFP. 

Next up was Item No. 18, Review and Discussion of the Status of the Fire Services Fiscal Review and Provide Direction on Next Steps. Staff provided a brief staff report followed by a report from the Ad Hoc Subcommittee. Following opportunity for public comment, the Council discussed the various policy options open for consideration. The Council discussed the need for continuing or not continuing pursuit of the issue, the equity imbalance, service delivery, urgency, cost, and process. Following discussion, the Council asked that staff return with a proposal for additional education and outreach to the community (and cost estimate); develop a plan and process for moving through LAFCO's application process (and cost estimate); and setup meetings with County and State Legislative Officials (Ad Hoc Subcommittee). 

The last item on the Agenda was Item No. 19, 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 and the plan for the Rammed Earth Wall Mock-up. 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 10:30 pm, that as they say - was a wrap!

The next meeting of the City Council will be January 15 for a Regular Meeting. The January 15 meeting tentatively includes adoption of the 2019 General Plan Updates; Acceptance of the 2018/19 Audited Financial Statements; Presentation by FLOCK and NCRIC and adoption of the revised ALPR Policy; Presentation on potential renovations to the Art and Garden Room; City Council Committee Assignments; and a Town Center Update. 

GeorgeThanks for reading!

George Rodericks
City Manager

Town of Atherton