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 14

City Council Meeting Tomorrow - 3/15 - @ 7 pm

Posted on March 14, 2017 at 4:05 PM by grodericks grodericks

There’s a City Council Meeting tomorrow night (March 15) @ 7 pm. The Agenda includes a number of key items for consideration.

There are no presentations scheduled, but we do expect some public comment related to current efforts surrounding High Speed Rail and Caltrain.

The Council should then move through the Consent Agenda fairly quickly as most of the items are routine in nature or have been seen/reviewed by the City Council at a prior meeting. These items include:

  • Minutes of Prior Meetings
  • Approval of Bills and Claims (paying the bills)
  • Approval of a 2-year contract for street sweeping services (continuation of current services)
  • Approval of the Middlefield Road/Oak Grove Intersection Improvement Plans & Specs - Authorization to Bid the Project
  • Authorization for an RFP for Design and the filing of a Grant Application for Bicycle Improvements on Middlefield Road
  • Acceptance of the 2016 Annual Report on the Town’s General Plan
  • 2nd Reading and Adoption of the Town’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Ordinance (Drones)

Staff anticipates that there may be a few brief comments or Q&A on the Consent Agenda, but the Consent Agenda may be approved in one motion of the Council.

After the Consent Agenda the Council will move to Public Hearings. Quite the line-up this evening.

  • Public Hearing #1 - Reducing Garbage Cart Rates by 10% - the Town has been tweaking cart rates over the last few years in an attempt to get to true cost recovery. Reducing the garbage cart rates is the last step in that process. The current franchise with Recology expires in 2020 and the Town expects rates to remain constant until that time. With the a new franchise agreement comes online, rates will be re-evaluated again.
  • Public Hearing #2 - Updates to the Town’s Second Dwelling Unit Ordinance - the State is making changes again that trickle down to local governments that must adopt changes to local law to remain consistent with State law. Those are the changes being made on this item. Essentially, the State is attempting to get to a place where a homeowner can create a second dwelling unit (with reasonable guidelines) with minimal interaction/permitting of local government. Because local governments are “creatures of the State” - our local ordinances must be consistent with State law.
  • Public Hearing #3 - Adoption of the new State/District Fire Code - as the State and Fire District adopt the local Fire Code, so must the Town. All existing Town exceptions and specific Town-applicable requirements remain in place - mainly related to fire sprinkler requirements. These revisions are necessary to be consistent with State law.
  • Public Hearing #4 - Approval of a Resolution approving the issuance of tax-exempt revenue bonds - for Menlo School (not the Town). This public hearing is required under State law in order for the School to issue tax-exempt revenue obligations. Approval of the Resolution in no way adds any liability to the Town.

After Public Hearings, the Council moves on to Regular Business. Only 3 items on their docket for the night.

The first up is review of a draft letter to the Fire District regarding their recent Citygate Report. The Town does not provide and is not responsible for the delivery of fire services; but, an inquiry arose while the Town was putting together its Local Municipal Services webpage as to what the Atherton-specific revenues and costs were for the services. This has sparked a lot of dialogue back and forth between the District and the Town. In December, the Board and Council held a joint meeting. At that meeting, there was a request by the Town to be involved in an upcoming update to the District’s Citygate Study - directly related to Fire Station #3 in Atherton. The District completed and presented the Report at their February 21 Board Meeting without opportunity for Town input. The letter is in response to that occurrence and again asks the District for more inclusion in the discussion.

Next is review of the draft ballot argument for the June 6, 2017 Special Election. The draft argument was written by a City Council Ad Hoc Subcommittee and must be reviewed and approved by the City Council.

The last item on the Agenda is the Civic Center Project Report. This Report is specifically related to Phasing and Staging. Now in the Construction Documents phase, it is anticipated that this project will be moving to bid in October/November 2017.

Feel free to contact me directly at or 650-752-0504.

George Rodericks City Manager Town of Atherton