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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Oct 20

September 2016 City Manager's Monthly Report

Posted on October 20, 2016 at 12:56 PM by grodericks grodericks

City Manager's Monthly Report - September 2016

Monthly-report.pngWelcome to the City Manager's Monthly Report Blog! 

The City Manager's Monthly Report Blog is a consolidation of issues, communications, and Town activity during the prior month that have been reported to the City Council as part of their weekly email from the City Manager. Sometimes information is duplicated over the course of several emails to the City Council to ensure that it is reviewed.

As I review the information to include in the Monthly Report, to the extent possible, I remove duplicate updates (older emails get shorter) in favor of the most recent - although some will be duplicative if there is other relevant information included; I try to remove information regarding events that have already occurred; and I edit information that requires update - hopefully to make it more useful. However, overall, the information is generally the same as it was presented to the City Council in their weekly Council email.

The Report reads with the most recent first. As always, if you have any questions or comments regarding the Monthly Report, please feel free to contact me via email or phone.

My weekly email to the City Council typically goes out every Friday. 


George Rodericks
City Manager
Town of Atherton
(650) 752-0504

September 30 Weekly Council Notes

1. Articles of Interest

2. Assembly Bill 1732 - Single-user restrooms

Recently, the Governor signed AB 1732 into law. Existing law requires a public agency that serves the public or is open to the public and maintains toilet facilities to make those facilities available to the public free of charge. Existing law requires publicly and privately owned facilities where the public congregates to maintain a sufficient number of temporary or permanent toilet facilities to meet the needs of the public at peak hours. Existing law also requires each business establishment to provide, within reasonable access, a sufficient number of toilet facilities for the use of the employees. 

The bill requires (as of March 1, 2017) that all existing single-user toilet facilities in any business establishment, place of public accommodation, or government agency be identified as all-gender toilet facilities. Essentially, if there is a single-user toilet facility with no more than one water closet and one urinal that has a locking mechanism controlled by the user it must be identified as an all-gender toilet facility. 

In accordance with the new law, Steve will be re-signing all restrooms at Town Hall (lobby, PD, and Admin), Council Chambers, Building/Planning Trailer, and at the Park (Main House, etc.).

3. Planning Commission Meeting - 9/28/16

The Planning Commission, at its September 28, 2016 meeting, took the following action:

  • Continued the public hearing on the Heritage Tree Removal Request for the removal of one tree at 56 Holbrook to the October 26, 2016 meeting to allow the applicant additional time for further evaluation of the tree and potential future improvements to the property.
  • Approved PG&E Heritage Tree Removal Permits in conjunction with their Community Pipeline safety project at the following addresses:
    •  1 Knoll Vista - to allow the removal of one heritage tree. 
    •  9 Valley Road - to allow the removal of one heritage tree. 
    •  479 Walsh Road – to allow the removal of two heritage trees. 
    •  484 Walsh Road– to allow the removal of two heritage trees. 
The next meeting is scheduled for October 26, 2016.

4. Animal Control & Licensing - Monthly Report for August 2016

Linked here is the August 2016 Statistical Report for Animal Services. It includes shelter and field services information as well as licensing revenue information for Atherton. 

5. ICMA Conference

Thank you for allowing me to attend the ICMA Annual Conference this past week. There were several sessions and workshops of note. Those that I attended that were of particular interest included:

> Building Common Ground
> Persuasion and Influence - Making Effective Presentations
> Managing E-Hostility
> Promoting Civic Trust by Addressing MisInformation
> Building Effective Council-Manager Relationships
> Building and Maintaining an Ethical Culture
> Performance Management
> Social Media - Telling the Story of Local Government

6. CIP Project Status Report - September 30

Marty has produced the attached Capital Project Status Report (9/30/16). Some projects start in one fiscal year (design and development) and finish in a future fiscal year (construction). Sometimes this is due to the amount of time required to complete design and sometimes this is due to the size/length of construction (i.e. we can only do some projects at certain times of the year because of school traffic, rain, summer, etc.). 

City Manager Major Goods, Use or Service Agreements/Contract Awards as of September 30, 2016
As a reminder, the list below is provided as informational only. All items listed are authorized pursuant to the Town’s purchasing policy requirements and within the current year’s program budget(s). 
  • None.
Special Event Permits - as of September 30, 2016

This is a list of upcoming Special Event Permits approved or under review. 
  • October
    • October 7 - SHS Under the Lights (4:30 pm - 9:30 pm)
    • October 27 - Halloween Party - Circus Club (7 pm - 9 pm)
    • October 28 - OaktoberFest - Menlo College (1 pm to 9 pm)
    • October 28 - OaktoberFest - Menlo College (8:30 am - 12 pm)
    • October 28 - OaktoberFest - Menlo College (12 pm - 4 pm)
What’s in the Council Read File?
  • PD School Response Plan (Commander Wade Copy) - to be returned to the Commander by September 30

September 23 Weekly Council Notes

1. Articles of Interest

Below is a recent article of interest related to habits at Council meetings. 

2. Report from County on Library Funds Available

Linked here is a letter from the County regarding the fund balance of donor funds on behalf of Atherton held at the County. Reported with the Town’s budget, at the end of FY 2015/16, the Town held $6,023,640. The County reports donor funds as of June 30, 2016 of $4,966,014. The total funds available as of June 30, 2016 of $10,989,654. The Library letter includes $1,444,344 as branch operational expenses. This amount includes the Town’s FY 15/16 budgeted CIP expenditures for the Library portion of the Civic Center Project. 

3. Updates from the Town’s Building Official - Mike Mazur

Max. Construction Time Limit: The Building Department has received a number of inquiries from residents concerning maximum construction time limits. In addition to answering their specific questions we have offered to meet face to face when necessary. On a few occasions we have met with residents either onsite or at our Permit Center.
Construction Parking & Work Hours: The building department has received a number of inquiries from residents concerning construction parking requirements and work hours. Although we resolve customer complaints or answer questions and investigate onsite conditions and follow-up with the customer after the fact; we are working proactively with contractors by thanking them for being mindful of the requirements or reminding those others of the consequences when a neighboring resident may be frustrated. It is also important to note that we drive around occasionally in areas that have a lot of construction activity. It is also important to note that we drive around occasionally (and including prior to 8 AM) in areas that have construction activity.
RE: 102 Encinal - Construction job site sign location. The sign has been relocated. 
Feedback Items: When a permit is nearing issuance, an email is sent out to the applicant providing the breakdown status of each permit and listing a few outstanding items and/or fees due. A typical response may say “Thanks so much for breaking this down Tessa” and/or “We’ll try and wrap this up within the week.” Simply put, these emails continue to be very well received.

The following are a few examples of proactive measures the permit center is undertaking to anticipate and help any uncertainty that a client may encounter. 

- Before the client leaves the permit center we present them with a business card and mention to contact us if they have questions or to also provide an update on their project. 
When an applicant applies for a permit and when a permit is issued the permit technician reminds them to check with the Public Works dept. if a separate permit is required.

Winterization Requirement For Active Construction Sites: Letters were sent out September 1, 2016, explaining actions required by the Towns National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) storm water discharge permit and helps to protect the quality of water in our creeks and bay.
Atherton Development Round Table: The next Atherton Development Round Table will be held at noon on Monday October 3, 2016 at Holbrook-Palmer Park.  This meeting will be in the Main House. Tentative topics to be discussed as time permits are:

- Upcoming 2016 California Code Adoption cycle. We have complied a short abbreviated list of significant code changes. Each item also includes information such the type of changes (New code section, Modification and/or clarification of a code section, and the benefits or significance of a change.)
- Presentation by Menlo Fire District discussing upcoming California Fire Code
- Discussion with Code Enforcement: Announcements & status of trending items of concern.(e.g. Reminding to close and secure job site gates at the end of the day, etc.)

Weekly staff / coordination meetings: The permit center is continuing to hold a short weekly staff meeting to discuss any current items/issues that may need group collaboration (Building, Planning, Town Arborist, Public works)  More recently we have included code enforcement just in case the CEO may want to stop by and discuss any items.

4. League of Cities Conference

The League of Cities Conference is October 5 through 7. Council Member Widmer will be attending. No other members of the Council have signed up to attend. 

5. Preview of Local Revenue Measures on the Ballot in California this November - from the League of Cities

The November 8, 2016 California gubernatorial election includes some 650 local measures including 427 seeking approval for taxes or bonds.  School bonds and parcel tax measures make nearly half of the number. K-12 schools districts and community colleges are requesting a total of $25.314 billion in 184 separate authorizations for bonds to construct facilities, acquire equipment and make repairs and upgrades.  Six of these school bonds exceed the limits to qualify for a 55% vote and require two-thirds approval. There are 22 measures to increase or extend (renew) school parcel taxes.
Among the 221 non-school local revenue measures are four measures asking for a total of $7.266 billion in bonds including the $3.5 billion Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Measure RR covering three San Francisco Bay area counties, the $1.2 billion Los Angeles homeless housing and services Measure HHH and Santa Clara County’s $950 million affordable housing Measure A. 
There are 88 measures to increase or extend Transactions and Use Tax (Sales Tax) rates. Thirty of these are special (earmarked) taxes requiring two-thirds voter approval. These include 13 countywide measures for transportation improvements. There are 58 city and county majority vote general purpose tax proposals ranging from ¼ percent to one percent. 
There are 39 city, county and special district parcel taxes requiring two-thirds voter approval, including five street/road improvement measures, eight for parks /recreation /open space, 14 for fire /emergency medical response, four for hospitals, and four for police.

Coinciding with the statewide Proposition 64 which would legalize recreational marijuana in California, there are 37 measures to tax cannabis and three to tax sugary beverages (in Albany, Oakland and San Francisco). 
Voters in nineteen cities and two counties will consider increasing hotel occupancy taxes.

6. EV Charging Stations at the Park

Staff is moving forward with progress on the install of EV Charging Stations at the Park. There are two stations (2 parking spots) being installed. Each station has 2 ports. The first station is located at the west end of the Pavilion parking lot. The second station is located at the west end of the Main House Parking Lot. Image attached below.

7. Fire Fiscal Review Committee

The Council recently received an email from Fire Board Member Peter Carpenter. Board Member Carpenter copied a portion of my Pre-Agenda Follow-up Email to the City Council regarding the possibility of an urgency item. In that email I noted the Fire Board direction with respect to 9 areas on their Agenda on Tuesday (9/20) night. Those areas and decisions were:

1) Maintain the Status Quo - Continue to post information to the District’s website and direct people to the website. THIS WAS SUPPORTED BY THE BOARD.
2) The Board President and Town Mayor meet to discuss mutual issues and concerns. THIS WAS SUPPORTED BY THE BOARD.
3) Select a Board Subcommittee to work with the Town’s Subcommittee on the issue. THIS WAS NOT SUPPORTED BY THE BOARD. 
4) Provide mutually acceptable dates for a joint Board/Council Meeting (non-topic specific). THIS WAS SUPPORTED BY THE BOARD.
5) Have the Fire Chief continue to meet with the Town Manager. NO ACTION/DIRECTION BY THE BOARD.
6) Choose not to meet with the Town on this topic. NO ACTION/DIRECTION BY THE BOARD.
7) Allow Fire Chief to retain own consultant on the topic. NO ACTION/DIRECTION BY THE BOARD.
8) Jointly select a consultant on the topic. NO ACTION/DIRECTION BY THE BOARD.
9) Actively participate in the Civic Center Process to see if there is some way to find operational advantages. NO ACTION/DIRECTION BY THE BOARD

In addition to forming a Subcommittee to work with staff on the issue, it is important to note that the Town’s formation of a City Council Subcommittee is also in response to the Fire District’s request to have a representative or two (a Subcommittee) meet with the District Board (#7 of the Fire Chief’s letter of 9/6). The Fire Board declined to appoint a Subcommittee (No. 3 above). I noted in my Pre-Agenda Follow-up that because the District did not appoint a Subcommittee but rather suggested that the Board President meet with the Mayor to discuss mutual issues and concerns (possible including the fire fiscal services issue) presented a problem for the Town since we already had a Council Subcommittee and it did not include the Mayor. My comments revolved around a potential Brown Act issue and Subcommittee concern. I suggested that the Council re-assign members to the Subcommittee to ensure that it includes the Mayor or take some other action regarding how to meet with District on the issue(s) related to fire fiscal service review. In response, Board Member Carpenter sent an email to the City Council and the press articulating the following:

“..Clearly the Town Manager does not understand the Brown Act - or is using the Brown Act to preclude productive communications. The Brown Act prohibits communication outside a properly agendized public meeting between the majority of an elected body. The two members of a subcommittee ( which in this case has no purpose given that the Fire Board has declined to participate) can discuss whatever they want amongst themselves without violating the Brown Act. The Mayor and the Fire Board President can discuss whatever they want without violating the Brown Act. The Brown Act only precludes the Mayor from then discussing in private the issues evolving from her conversation with the Fire Board President with more than one other member of the Town Council. It is sad that the Town Manager is attempting to use the Brown Act to preclude productive communication…” 

“...Hopefully the Town Council will disregard the Town Manager’s incorrect interpretation of the Brown Act and encourage the Mayor to meet and confer with the Fire Board President with the results of such a consultation to be simply brought back by the Mayor to the full Town Council in a properly agendized public discussion…"

The Brown Act issue here is not so much an issue for general committees like Finance, Park & Recreation, or even Transportation. For these committees, it’s a Council representative serving as primary and then another Council Member serving as alternate. The role is not so much focused on a specific task or issue. However, with special focus or single task committees, such as the Civic Center Project or Aircraft Noise, having a 3rd member of the Council working independently of the Committee on a good day could create mixed messages and cross-purpose issues - and on a bad day, a potential Brown Act violation. 

Imagine, for example, if the 2-member Council Committee on Aircraft Noise met with a County Supervisor to discuss Town issues and make commitments to work regionally on a specific topic only to be followed by a 3rd Council Member meeting with that same County Supervisor and coming to different solutions. It is because of these issues and the potential for a Brown Act issue to arise that the Council is very clear that when there is a specific focus committee of the Council, those members are tasked with addressing the issue on behalf of the Town and are required to report back to the full Council at an open and public meeting for discussion and direction. 

Anyway - sorry for the long ramble. The intent is not to hamper or infringe on communication with the District. The intent is to ensure that the Council is clear on who on the Council is working with the Fire District on this issue and to prevent the potential for mixed message, confusion or cross-purpose communication - in addition to the potential for a Brown Act conflict. 

8. HSR - Corridor Survey

Letters were sent to 11 residents in Atherton asking permission for HSR to get onto their property. Linked here is a copy of the letter sent by HSR  Following up with HSR, the letters were requests from HSR to enter into the back yards of 11 residences in order to view the overall Caltrain Corridor and address study information - NOT for the purposes of land or right-of-way acquisition or survey. Residents are free to deny HSRs request. The 11 properties are: 92 Jennings Lane, 76 McCormick Lane, 98 McCormick Lane, 30 McCormick Lane, 96 Jennings Lane, 90 McCormick Lane, 45 Mount Vernon Lane, 100 Fair Oaks Lane, 52 Marianna Lane, 80 Jennings Lane, and 51 Mount Vernon Lane. 

September 16 Weekly Council Notes

1. Articles of Interest

2. Civic Center Project Update - PowerPoint for 9/21 Council Meeting

A PowerPoint presentation will be a part of the Civic Center Update on 9/21. Here is a link to a PDF of the presentation

3. Vice Presidential Candidate Visit - 9/21/16

VP Presidential Candidate Tim Kaine will be back in Town on September 21 (two different events at private residences). Staff will be working with the property owners and Secret Service for any necessary Special Event Permit. Prior events did not trigger the need for special services. 

4. Subcommittee Meeting with Menlo Fire

Thursday (9/15/16) morning I sent a follow-up email to Fire Chief Schapelhouman noting that I had not heard back on the Town’s concurrence and request for a Subcommittee Meeting on 9/8 - consistent with the District’s suggestion on September 7. The Chief responded that they were taking the Council’s request very seriously and that he was putting together a staff report that provides both a historical and more recent update to the issues. The Report will have options for the Fire Board to discuss in working with the Town. In order to accurately present information to the Fire Board, the Chief asked for what the Council is looking for to assist him in preparing the report. The Chief did not indicate when that report would be presented to the Board or if it was going to a Board Meeting. I followed up with an email and phone call to the Chief, but have not yet heard back. 

Via email (copied to the Town’s Council Subcommittee and President of the Fire Board), I provided the Chief with the following summary of the three broad queries from the Council:

- Has the Town’s property value’s increased to the point that the funds received by the Fire District via property taxes far exceed the cost to provide basic fire services to the community? 
- If so, how can that be addressed? Should it be addressed?
- What options do Atherton taxpayers have to address it if they choose to?

To get the answer to those questions, I advised the Chief that I suspected a study would need to be able to answer the following:

1) What revenue does the Fire District receive from Atherton residents via property taxes in support of fire services?
2) What is the cost of providing basic fire protection services within the jurisdictional boundaries of the Town of Atherton from the Fire District? Beyond basic services, what other special services does the District provide to Atherton residents (i.e., hazmat, CERT, urban search/rescue, etc.)? In total, what do these add to the cost of basic fire services? 
3) If there were not a Fire District and the Town were responsible for providing fire services independently, what would the cost of those services look like? What are the options? Would an additional fire station need to be built and staffed? If so, where would it be? What would it cost? What is the annual cost? What are the long-term cost models? What are the added liabilities? Are there any added benefits?
4) If Atherton taxpayers want to address the issues raised, how would they do so and what are the mechanisms for doing so?

I told the Chief that my gut says that the Fire District provides basic fire protection services and services beyond. However, even factoring in all of those costs, residents pay far more in property taxes to the District than the cost of those services (from the District). That might be perfectly fine. However, to narrow that gap by way of education, an analysis of what it would cost the Town to provide fire services on its own (not contract services) would be needed. My guess is that that number would be higher than the cost of fire services from the District. That would get to the “should it be addressed” question - since that cost would be closer to the revenue number. That’s just my gut answer but I suspect a study would bear that out. I advised that once all that data is gathered, the Town would like to circle back and discuss all of the data with the District; further we hope that the District would be involved at all phases of the study.

Immediately following my email to the Chief I received an email from the Rob Silano, Board President, asking that I call him. I called him within the next 15 minutes and he indicated that he wanted to reach out to the Mayor in his role as President of the Fire Board to attempt to bring things back to normal between the District and the Town. I advised that the Mayor may or may not be able to get into specific details with him since the Council has already designated a subcommittee to work on this issue (Brown Act conflict), but that he was welcome to call. I advised that the Mayor can certainly talk in big picture philosophy and about the agency-agency relationship.  

We also spoke briefly about what information the District could provide the Town to assist. I advised that at a start, on the revenue side, the Tax Rate Area data for revenue by serviced jurisdiction would be helpful. I advised that the Chief said what was on the Fire District website (the $10.8m) was incorrect and needed to be updated based on more recent data to at least $11.8m. That more recent data would be helpful. 

5. Cartan Field - Meeting with Rich Moran | Than Healy

Toward the end of August I met with Than Healy. Than indicated that his Board would be considering issues related to the Cartan Field Project soon and may be withdrawing their application. On September 12, Than sent an email to the Planning Department noting “…after much discussion, Menlo School and College do not plan to move forward on the Cartan Fields project at this time…”

I had advised Than that if the project does not move forward, the Town will ultimately be placed in the position of compiling compliance issues related to the 1965 and 1999 Conditional Use Permits and setting up a meeting with the School & College to discuss compliance and enforcement. Than understood. 

On Monday I had a meeting with Rich Moran to advise him of the same. I advised that my read of the 1965 and 1999 CUPs calls into question a number of activities and permitted/unpermitted structures on Cartan Field. I advised that the Town would be reaching out for a joint meeting to discuss bringing issues into compliance. 

Both Than and Rich indicated that they would be interested in completing some general field improvement/maintenance projects that did not change the use approvals for the sites. I advised that those would be good conversations to have as we discussed the site and the 1965/1999 CUPs. 

6. Menlo College - Summer Concerts

During my meeting with Rich Moran this week we also discussed the possibility of holding 1 or 2 of the College’s Summer Concerts in 2017 at Holbrook-Palmer Park instead of the College Campus. This was an idea that evolved from the Town & Gown event earlier this year. The thought was two fold - 1) Get the College more involved in the community by bringing them out into the community; and 2) give the immediately adjacent neighborhood around the college a break from summer concert activity at the college.

Rich was receptive to the idea and the Town and College will work together for the 2017 Concerts to make it happen. 

7. Town Hall / PD Generator

As the Council is aware, the Town Hall / PD Emergency Generator does not comply with Air Quality standards and cannot be operated without violation. Staff is meeting with a representative from an equipment rental facility to give us some options on our generator system. Given the temporal proximity of the Civic Center Project we do not want to spend $100,000 on a new generator that may or may not be compatible with the new facility. 

We have some basic options - 1) add some equipment to the current generator to make it short-term compliant (if possible); 2) remove the old generator set and see if we can fit a Tier 4 Rental onto the adjacent porch area; or 3) leave the old generator equipment in place and install a piece of rental equipment in an acceptable location (nearby parking spot). 

Once we get some estimates on some of the options we’ll contact vendors for competitive pricing. This is an important project to get complete before the rainy season begins. 

8. Security Camera Registry Program

The Atherton Police Department has created a residential security camera registry to aid in crime detection and prevention. When a crime occurs in a neighborhood, through the program Atherton PD is able to quickly identify the locations of nearby residential video cameras and enlist the assistance of the community to help officers collect video evidence and follow up on leads. 

Through this program, Atherton PD will be able to directly contact residents who have video camera systems in an area in which a crime occurred. Atherton PD would reach out to residents who have registered their camera systems with us to provide a specific date and time for footage that may show activity involved with a crime. If any video evidence is found, the resident can contact the Atherton Police Department at 650-688-6500 to make arrangements for sharing the video with our investigators.

Residents who have shared video camera footage of potential suspects and suspect vehicles have aided us in the successful identification and prosecution of people who have committed crimes in our community. Registration in our program is voluntary and very simple. To sign up, visit the Town of Atherton Website and click “Citizen RIMS- Crime Stats” tab located on the left side of the page. Next, click the “Security Camera Registration” tab and complete the on-line registration form. So far (as of the day of its launch 9/14), 12 residents have registered with the program.

9. Construction Time Limit (CTL) Ordinance/Compliance

The following is a list of updated information on projects that are approaching and/or exceeded the three year Construction Time Limits.
Three year CTL for 2016:
86 Kilroy: CTL was on June 4, 2016 and $30,000 penalty was paid. If project is not finaled on or before October 1, 2016 the  2
nd CTL penalty of $220,000 will be due. Contractor estimates completion by November 2016.
46 Almendral: CTL was on August 30, 2016 and $30,000 penalty was paid. If project is not finaled on or before December 30, 2016 the  2
CTL penalty of $220,000 will be due. Contractor estimates completion by the end of October 2016.
228 Atherton Ave.: Approaching CTL which will be on October 3, 2016. After discussions with the general contractor the project will not be completed by this date. They will be bringing in the $30,000 penalty in the next couple of weeks. Their estimated completion date is approximately January 2017. Second CTL will be due on February 1, 2017 if project is not completed by this date.
- 176 Encinal: Approaching CTL which will be on December 12, 2016. Contractor estimates project will be completed prior to this date.
Three year CTL through March 2017:

- 97 Elena: Approaching CTL which will be on February 19, 2017. Contractor estimated completion date is April 2017.
- 96 Ridgeview: Approaching CTL which will be on February 21, 2017. Contractor states project will be completed prior to their CTL.
58 Northgate: Approaching CTL which will be on March 4, 2017. Contractor states project will be completed prior to their CTL.
70 Elena: Approaching CTL which will be on March 21, 2017. Contractor states project will be completed prior to their CTL.

10. One Bay Area Grant 2 (OBAG 2) Program - Call for Projects (Bike/Ped)

C/CAG recently announced the Call for Projects under OBAG 2 for bike/ped. For Fiscal Year 2017/18 through 2021/22 there is a total of $5.9m in Federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement funds available on a competitive basis

The minimum grant amount is $150k. The maximum per project is $1m. The maximum per agency is $1.5m. Projects must build upon and enhance the existing San Mateo County bicycle and pedestrian network to encourage the use of activity transportation. Programs should be community oriented. Seventy (70%) percent of all OBAG funds must be invested in Priority Development Areas (PDAs). Atherton is not a PDA - however, projects lying outside the limits of a PDA may count towards the minimum if it directly connects to or provides proximate access to a PDA. 

- A local match of 11.47% is required. 
- A local resolution of support is required.
- Applications due by November 18, 2016
- Projects must internally consistent (i.e. on the Town’s Bike/Ped MasterPlan)

Staff will be reviewing the Town’s Bike/Ped Master Plan for compatible projects and preparing any appropriate review/request/application. 

11. K-9 Karli is Retiring

K-9 Officer Karli is retiring. She has reached the extent of her on-duty lifecycle. Her handler will be provided the opportunity to take her. A donor has already stepped up to provide funding to fund a replacement officer. We expect to refill the position within 12 months. 

12. PG&E Self Report - Issues of Non-Compliance

Recently, PG&E provided local government notification as part of a process required by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) whenever they self-report any potential compliance issue they have identified. On September 14, PG&E self-reported to the CPUC an issue of non-compliance related to the qualifications of inspectors conducting Atmospheric Corrosion inspections.  Additionally, PG&E did not provide timely notification of this self-report as a result of a lapse in their process. The company has already completed several improvements and is implementing additional measures to update the timeliness of its self-report process.
In November 2015, PG&E found an issue with the Operator Qualifications of some contract inspectors of its natural gas distribution system. In 2014, PG&E provided its relevant contractor personnel with training on the Atmospheric Corrosion inspection tasks. However, many of these inspectors were missing one or more components of the required qualification process and documentation.
In response to this discovery, PG&E initiated a review of all Atmospheric Corrosion inspections across the service area and found that 35 percent of inspections completed in 2014 were by non-Operator Qualified personnel. PG&E advised that they have already taken steps to prevent this from happening again. 
They have advised that with regard to safety, this situation represents a very low risk exposure for the communities served. This is due to the frequency of inspections performed on the above-ground gas facilities and the multi-layered safety process the company employs including the use of PG&E’s leak detection process that enhances the safe operation of the natural gas system.
In addition, PG&E is re-inspecting all of the meters, with many being accelerated to 2016 and the remainder on-track for completion by the first half of 2017. Linked here is further detail on the self-report. 

13. APOA Side Letter

As you know, ratification of the APOA MOU is on your Agenda for September 21. Numerous issues were addressed in the MOU that are positive for the Town and employees. However, one issue remains to be addressed and will be addressed via a side letter once the details are worked out. 

The MOU calls for “alternative work schedules” for civilian dispatchers. They are assigned to a twelve (12) hour workday and a twenty-eight (28) day work cycle with a “four-on, three-off, three-on, four-off” format. The first 12 hours worked is paid at the regular hourly rate. Hours in excess of 12 or in excess of 40 are compensated as overtime. Each employee will have an individually assigned regular workweek. However, the FLSA requires that overtime is paid for each hour worked over 40 in a week. The CalPERS audit called attention to this issue and the potential conflict with the dispatcher schedules as it was not clear whether they had defined workweeks that met the standard. 

Historically, the Town has assigned dispatchers to the above schedule but calculated overtime on 2 hours of overtime each week (42 -hour work week) - asserting that the 42 hour work week was the “individually assigned regular workweek.” Alternative workweeks are permitted under the FLSA but they must be defined. There is some confusion in the MOU between the way overtime is calculated and the exact defined alternative workweek for dispatchers and the past practice for payment of overtime. 

To remedy, the Town needs to clearly define the work schedules of dispatchers such that 1 work week is the first 3 days on plus the first 6 hours of the 1st day of the next 12-hour shift (42 hours). This will need to be done for A-Shift, B-Shift, C-Shift, and D-Shift. The work weeks are different for each shift. 

This is similar to what is done for the typical 9/80 work week. For the purposes of 40-hours/OT, the work week is Monday through Thursday (9 hours each day) and the first 4 hours of the Friday. The second 4 hours of the Friday are part of the following work week together with the next Monday through Friday (9 hours each day). Then, the last Friday is off. 

This will all get worked out in a Side Letter to the MOU after we meet and confer to define the plans for each shift. The Side Letter will get ratified by the Council at a future meeting before the end of the year. There are alternative scheduling models (4-10s, 5-8s, etc.) but some require the hiring of additional personnel to adequately cover the 168-hour work week. Hiring additional personnel triggers other long-term liabilities. 

September 9 Weekly Council Notes

1. Articles of Interest

Below are a few recent articles of interest. 

The AirBnB article is provided as informational. AirBnB and VRBO are an issue in Atherton. The Mill Valley approach is one approach to addressing them. 

2. Quiet Zone FAQ Webpage

Staff is working on an FAQ webpage on the Town’s website for the Quiet Zone. The linked draft has been sent to the Rail Committee for feedback.

3. Quiet Zone Monitoring

We are looking into having a consultant conduct some quiet zone noise and compliance monitoring. 

4. Legal Newsletter

Here is a link to a municipal focused legal newsletter from Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley PC  Michael Colantuono was the City Attorney when I worked for the City of La Habra Heights. Bill Conners and I know him well.

5. Library Staff Changes

Tom Fortin will be leaving San Mateo County Libraries to take on a new challenge as Chief of Main with the San Francisco Public Library. His last day in the office will be September 16.

San Mateo County Libraries has been fortunate to benefit from Tom’s extensive public library experience and outstanding leadership. During his tenure, he has successfully managed system personnel activities and employee relations, library operations and system services, and numerous new facility and renovation projects. Tom has been a valued and well-respected member of the Library’s Admin Team and his contributions have been essential to the library’s success.

6. Council Inquiries

Activity at Selby/Stockbridge

Inquiry from a member of the Council regarding activity at Selby/Stockbridget - the work is in conjunction with PG&E Gas Line Replacement Project on Almendral. The work is permitted.

Construction Sign at 102 Encinal

Staff visited the site and found that the sign’s size would comply if it were parallel to the street, not angularly placed. It will be corrected (location).

130 Britton Construction - Asbestos/Demolition

A complaint was received regarding demolition of a house at 130 Britton. Concern regarding the method of demolition creating dust and possible hazardous chemical release (asbestos). Prior to demolition, the property was inspected for hazardous chemicals. The document from the BAAQMD found zero asbestos on the property. However, the Building Inspector will be speaking with the property owner about dust control measures. 

7. Traffic Enforcement Detail in Atherton

In Menlo Park and Atherton, there will be three separate traffic enforcement details during September. Please note that these details will be staffed by motor officers from Menlo Park, Atherton, and other San Mateo County police agencies. Two of the three enforcement details are OTS funded events.

- Saturday, September 10, 2016- OTS Funded DUI Enforcement- 6PM to 2AM- (6 Officers)

- Monday, September 12, 2016- OTS Funded traffic enforcement- this is a general enforcement detail, which basically means that traffic officers will target a variety of vehicle code violations in problem areas throughout Menlo Park/Atherton- 8AM - 4PM- (6 Officers)

- Wednesday, September 21, 2016- Non OTS Funded- another general enforcement detail...this event is much larger (20 traffic Officers from San Mateo County working in Menlo Park/Atherton- 8AM to 4PM. This larger detail has occurred in Atherton/Menlo Park for the past two years (both times during the month of September). We send out a press release for this event, as well as a Newsflash (will go out the week of the event).

8. Park Events and Revenue Log

Linked here are the August Park Events Log and Revenue Log

9. Shoreway Waste Facility Fire

Council Member Widmer visited the Shoreway Facility and took the attached pictures. During the visit it was noted that the fire on the residential line began as a small section but quickly spread due to the materials movement process. The safety procedures were followed but not before some quick reaction by Chad Zupfer, the Supervisor, which likely saved the facility. Chad’s quick reaction resulted in no injuries or fatalities. 

Two major waste processing cells were heavily damaged along with smoke and water damage throughout the facility. While no one can assess the equipment damage until the facility is cleaned up, the Executive Director advised that it will be 4 to 6 months to get the facility back in full operation. In the meantime, the SBWMA will be making contact with Republic Services to accept and process recycling materials. Insurance issues will be worked out. Council Member Widmer suggests that the Town consider recognition of Mr. Zupfer. 

10. Subcommittee Meeting with Menlo Fire

On Thursday morning following the Council Study Session I sent an email and Doodle Poll meeting request to Fire Chief Schapelhouman requesting that he share the link to the meeting poll with the appropriate members of the subcommittee and/or respond on their behalf. We are trying to schedule a subcommittee meeting in the next two weeks to help inform the Town’s Scope of Work and gather any other available information to limit the Scope.  As of 2:30 pm today, I have not had feedback on a meeting date/time. 

September 2 Weekly Council Notes

1. Articles of Interest

Below are a few recent articles of interest. 

2. New Officer - Harris Smiler (to be introduced on 9/21)

New Officer Harris Smiler, who will start on September 12, 2016 @ 0700 hours. Harris was born in the Bay Area and was raised in the East Bay. He earned his Bachelors of Science degree from California State East Bay in Business Administration Corporate Management. He later earned his MBA from Lynn University in Sports Management. During his collegiate years, Harris made two appearances in the NCAA Division II National Tournament: one in 2005 with New York Institute of Technology where his team made it to the quarter-finals of the tournament; and most recently in 2012 with Lynn University where his team won the National Championship. He has coached soccer for youth and collegiate levels with his latest role as a goalkeeper coach with San Francisco State University Women's Soccer team from 2011-2012. In his leisure time, Harris enjoys spending time with his family and friends.

Harris will attend his swearing in ceremony on Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at 7:00 pm in the Council Chambers.

3. Display Boards/Civic Center

We will be installing three display cases for the civic center project designed to give viewers a “perspective” view of what the Civic Center will look like when complete. These will be in before the September 25 Atherton Now Family Affair Event.