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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Mar 16

That's A Wrap! - March 15, 2017

Posted on March 16, 2017 at 8:26 AM by grodericks grodericks

Thats A Wrap Logo

Council Meeting Date: March 15, 2017
Video Link:

Details of each item can be found via the links to Staff Reports within the narrative. 

The City Council met for the March Regular Council meeting on Wednesday, March 15, beginning at 7 pm. Following the Pledge of Allegiance, the Council moved to Public Comments hearing an update on High-Speed Rail and Caltrain Electrification Project activities. 

Report.jpegFollowing 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. 

After the City Manager's Report, the Council moved on to the Consent Agenda consisting of Items 8 through 14. 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, bills, approval of the Town's Street Sweeping Contract, approval of Plans and Specifications for the Middlefield/Oak Grove Intersection Improvements, Authorization for an RFP for Design of Middlefield Road Bike Lanes, Acceptance of the Annual Report on the General Plan, and 2nd Reading and Adoption of the Town's Drone Ordinance. The Council pulled the Drone Ordinance from the Consent Agenda, and after brief comments, the Council approved the balance of the items on the Consent Agenda. 

drone.jpegAfter the Consent Agenda, the Council took up the Drone Ordinance item - Item No. 14. The Council discussed the proposed ordinance and feedback from the community. Following discussion about complaints, registration of small drones, cameras, privacy, and potential future issues, the Council adopted the Drone Ordinance without further changes. The Ordinance goes into effect on April 14, 2017.  

After the Consent Agenda items, the Council moved on to the 4 Public Hearings scheduled for the evening's meeting.

The first Public Hearing related to a decrease in residential garbage cart rates by approximately 10% - Item No. 15.  After a brief staff report and public comment, the Council discussed the current refuse rates, pending franchise negotiations, continuation and future use of the refuse rate stabilization fund and future rate adjustments. Following discussion, the Council introduced the proposed ordinance for first reading and set second reading and adoption for April 19, 2017.

Moving on to Item No. 16, the Council discussed amendments to the Town's second dwelling unit ordinance to comply with State law. After a staff report and public comment, the Council discussed application of the changes on current and future development of accessory structures, side and rear yard setback issues, the application of fire safety requirements (sprinklers), neighbor impact, and rental. Following a minor tweak to language related to rental periods, the Council introduced the ordinance for first reading and set second reading and adoption for April 19, 2017. The Council directed that staff begin a conversation with the Planning Commission to address setbacks for accessory structures in general.

The next item on the Agenda was Item No. 17 - a Public Hearing for adoption of updates to the Fire Code. After a staff report and public comment, the Council had brief discussion before introducing for first reading and setting the second reading and adoption for April 19, 2017. 

The last Public Hearing on the Agenda was Item No. 18 - a Resolution approving the issuance of tax-exempt revenue obligations for Menlo School. Menlo School was required to appear before the local jurisdiction (Atherton) at a Public Hearing for adoption of the Resolution. The Resolution does not impose any obligation on the Town with respect to the debt issuance. Following discussion and public comment, the Council adopted the Resolution.

Next up was the Regular Agenda and review of a letter to the Fire District regarding the recent Citygate Report - Item No. 19. This item was moved to the end of the Regular Agenda to allow a member of the Fire District Board to attend as the Town's Liaison. Following a brief staff report and review of meeting video from the February 2017 Fire Board Meeting, the Council engaged in a Q&A with the attending Fire Board Liaison regarding the recent Citygate Report, its implications for Station No. 3, possible future discussion around the same issue, and the desire for continued input and involvement by the Town on the issue. Following discussion, the Council approved the proposed letter from the Mayor in its submitted form.

election.jpegItem No. 20 was review and approval of the Ballot Argument in favor of the measure submitted to qualified electors at the June 6 meeting and direction to staff on the handling of rebuttal arguments. After a brief staff report, the Council reviewed the draft argument and made changes to its text. Following discussion, the Council approved the revised ballot argument and authorized signature by the Council for submittal. The Council set a tentative Special Meeting for 9 am on March 27 to review a rebuttal argument, if necessary, and directed the Ad Hoc Committee to draft the rebuttal for the meeting. (June 6, 2017 Election Webpage)

The final agenda item was Item No. 21 relating to the Civic Center Project. Following a brief staff report on the proposed staging task order, the Council reviewed the overall phasing and staging plan for the project. Following discussion, the Council provided feedback on the staging and phasing plan and approved the staging task order. (Civic Center Project Webpage)

Following Council Reports and Final 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 is the Study Session of April 5, 2017. This meeting begins FY 2017/18 Budget Meetings starting with the a Budget Kick-Off reviewing the budget process and policy, projected fiscal year condition at year-end, major revenue and expenditure projections, and 5-Year forecasts. The meeting will also include a brief presentation on how Certificates of Participation work by a representative from Urban Futures. The next regular meeting of the Council is scheduled for April 19. Major items on this agenda thus far is Budget Meeting #2 - Special Funds, RFQ for Civic Center Contractors, and a presentation from Peninsula Clean Energy. 

George_2.jpgThanks for reading!

George Rodericks
City Manager
Town of Atherton