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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May 20

That's A Wrap! - May 19, 2021

Posted on May 20, 2021 at 9:58 AM by grodericks grodericks

Thats A Wrap

Council Meeting Date: May 19, 2021
Video Link:
Details of each item can be found via the links to Staff Reports within the narrative. 

The City Council met for the May Regular Meeting on Wednesday, May 19 at 6 pm via Zoom Teleconference pursuant to the Governor's Executive Order. Following the Roll Call the Council began moving through the Agenda beginning with Presentations. The Council presented Proclamations proclaiming May as Mental Health Month and June as Pride Month. Following presentations, the Council moved to Public Comments.  There were no Public Comments. 

ReportFollowing Public Comment and a Report out of Closed Session, the Council moved to the City Manager's Report. The City Manager's Report is typically prepared monthly as part of the City Council's Regular Agenda. In addition to current reports from the City Manager, it typically includes departmental updates on the various happenings around Town such as reports from Administration, Community Services, Planning, Police, and Public Works. There were no questions regarding the City Manager's Written Report. 

Consent_AgendaFollowing the City Manager's Report, the Council moved to the Consent Agenda consisting of Items 7 through 13 (~6:12 pm). 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 minutes of various meetings, bills and claims, 3rd Quarter Treasurer's Report, Award of Contract for the Holbrook-Palmer Park Turn Around Construction Project, Award of Contract for the Town's IT Consulting Services, and Approval of an Agreement with San Mateo County for Animal Control Services. Following modifications to the Town's IT Consulting Agreement Term and the Contingency Amount for the Turn Around Construction Project, the Council approved the Consent Agenda.

Public_Hearing_ImageNext was Public Hearings.

Public Hearings are typically held for Ordinances, Budget Adoption, Fee Adoption, and Land Use approvals. 

There were no Public Hearings scheduled for the May 19 Council meeting.

Regular_Agenda_ImageNext up was the Regular Agenda (~6:15 pm).

Item No. 14 was an Update on the Town Center Project, Feedback and Direction on the Screening of the Corporation Yard, Feedback and Direction on the City Hall Fountain Selection; and Consideration of Approval of Tree Removal for Trees #109 and #110 at Town Center. The City Manager provided an overview of the Project and the items for review. The City Council heard a presentation from SWA Landscape Design for screening of the Corporation Yard as part of the Town Center Project. Following the presentation the Council took public comment. Following public comment, the Council discussed the various alternatives presented and addressed issues such as screening, size of plantings, gate material, type of hedge planting, and types of trees. Following the discussion, the Council provided direction to staff to move forward with Alternative #2 as presented incorporating Valley Oaks into the design and considering redwood for the gate material. The Council also discussed the formation of an Ad Hoc City Council Subcommittee to review the overall landscaping proposed for the Project. The Mayor advised that she would appoint herself and one other member of the Council to a Subcommittee that would be created to work with staff on the review. 

The Council then moved to consideration of the City Hall Fountain Selection from the Ad Hoc Subcommittee. After review of the fountains proposed, the Council discussed the size and placement of the fountain in relation to the proposed location on the exterior of the building. Following discussion, the Council discussed a site visit to the showroom of the fountain manufacturer. To accommodate other members of the Council becoming engaged in the fountain recommendations, the Mayor accepted the resignation of the current members of the Ad Hoc Subcommittee and appointed herself and Councilmember Hawkins-Manuelian to serve as the new Ad Hoc Subcommittee. The new Ad Hoc Subcommittee will meet with staff to visit a showroom for fountain selection. Staff will provide some background materials to assist the Subcommittee in providing a recommendation to the Council.  

Lastly, the Council reviewed consideration of removal of Tree #109 (leaning) and Tree #110 (neighboring). Following a staff presentation and public comment, the Council directed the removal of Tree #109 to be cut to grade and the retention of Tree #110. 

Next was Item No. 15, release of a Request for Proposal for the Donor Recognition Wall Design, Construction, and Installation (~7:12 pm). Following a staff report and public comment, the Council discussed issues related to numbers of donors, method of listing donors, types of acceptable materials, timing of responses, types of respondents anticipated, and design process. Following discussion, the Council directed that staff make minor modifications to the Proposal to ensure that it references Atherton Taxpayers instead of Taxpayer, removes "metal" as an acceptable material, allows for the response by teams of proposers, and ensures that donors are listed in descending order with larger donors having larger representations on the wall. 

Item No. 16 was a Report from the Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Legends of Atherton (~7:30 pm). Following a brief staff report the Council heard from the Subcommittee regarding the proposal. The Council discussed issues related to recognition, design of the train station, privacy of residents, vetting of potential legends and creation of selection criteria. Following discussion and public comment, the Council opted to abandon the legends proposal and focus the renovation of the Train Station on Atherton History and History of the Train Station. 

The last item on the Agenda was Item No. 17, Proposed Modification of Hours for the Right-Turn on Red Restrictions at the Middlefield Road/Oak Grove Avenue Intersection (~7:50 pm). Following a brief staff report and public comment, the Council discussed issues related to history of the changes to the intersection, rationale for current proposed changes, and safety concerns at the intersection. Following discussion, the Council directed that the item be returned to the Transportation Committee for further discussion after outreach to the surrounding community for additional engagement. 

Having cleared the entire Agenda, at approximately 8:05 pm, that as they say - was a wrap!

The next meeting of the City Council will be a Special Meeting/Study Session on June 2 at 4 pm. The June 2 meeting will be a Joint Meeting with the Town's Audit and Finance Committee to discuss final revisions to the FY 2021/22 Operating and Capital Improvement Budget. Other items on the Agenda include Oral Reports from the City Council Ad Hoc Subcommittee's, Discussion of COVID-19 Restart Guidance, and Follow-up on the City Council Goals Meeting.  

GeorgeThanks for reading!

George Rodericks
City Manager

Town of Atherton