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.

View All Posts

Sep 21

That's A Wrap! - September 20, 2017

Posted on September 21, 2017 at 8:59 AM by grodericks grodericks

Thats A Wrap Logo

Council Meeting Date: September 20, 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 September Regular Council meeting on Wednesday, September 20 beginning at 7 pm. Following the Pledge of Allegiance, the Council moved to Presentations where Police Chief Steve McCulley performed the swearing in ceremony for two new Atherton Police Officers. 

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 to the Consent Agenda consisting of Items 8 through 21. 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, Treasurer's Report, Rejection of Claim, 2nd Reading of an Electric Vehicle Charging Ordinance, Adoption of 2 Final Parcel Maps, Execution of an Agreement for CDBG Funding, Authorization for Destruction of Certain Records, Resolution for a Citizens' Option for Public Safety Grant, Establishment of Speed Limits for Certain Streets, and Awards of Contract for drainage work. Item No. 11, Rejection of Claim, was pulled form consent and upon hearing from the claimant and discussing the issue at length, the Council approved the rejection of claim. Following discussion, the Council approved the balance of the Consent Agenda.

Next up was the Regular Agenda.
 The first item was Item No. 22, Approval of a Resolution authorizing a Budget Amendment for two Electric Vehicle Charging Stations. The Council heard the staff report and discussed issues related to the cost of project, project delay, timing with respect to the Civic Center Project, possibility of future grants or grant cycles, and the need for charging stations in the Park. Following discussion and the opportunity for public comment, the Council opted not to move forward with the project directing staff to connect with the grantor (BAAQMD) to determine if the grant timing can be extended, and, if not, cancel the grant award and seek future grant opportunities that more closely align with the Civic Center Project development.

Items No. 23 and No. 24 were taken at the end of the Agenda and passed following the staff reports, the opportunity for public comment, and Council discussion. Item No. 23 was a Response to a County Grant Jury Report "English is not our only language: Are Local Law Enforcement Agencies Providing Multi-Lingual Access to Outreach Programs" and Item No. 24 was a Response to a County Grand Jury Report "A Delicate Balance: Privacy vs. Protection."

Next up was Item No. 25, Authorization for Staff to Issue a Request for Proposal for Additional Traffic Study along the Alameda de las Pulgas Corridor between Valparaiso Avenue and Woodside Road. The Council heard the staff report and following an opportunity for public comment, discussed issues related to the expansion of the study, inclusion of adjacent intersections, and coordination of the impact of planned and potential improvements along and beyond the corridor. Following discussion, the Council approved the release of the Request for Proposal, with the inclusion of scope suggestions provided by the Council. 

Item No. 26 was consideration of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the Bayfront Canal/Atherton Channel Flood Protection and Restoration Project Planning, Design, and Environmental Permitting. Following a brief staff report, comments by a County Representative, and an opportunity for public comment, the Council discussed issues related to scope of the MOU, project intent and beneficiaries, cost to the Town of Atherton for the initial MOU, expectation of participation in future projects and project construction, the terms of the County's offer to advance funds to the Town of Atherton for their share with expectation of reimbursement, the regional approach for drainage projects and issues, the financial model for participation, other drainage watersheds and their contributions to downstream flow, legal risk of non-participation, and the anticipated cost to the Town for construction of the future project inclusive of grants and contribution reduction based on the Holbrook Palmer Park Water Capture Project. 

Following discussion, the Council directed that staff meet further with the County and collaborative agencies to discuss the contributions of other watersheds (Sequoia Tract), further details on the reimbursement model proposed by the County for the Town's financial share, further details on the full project cost and anticipated contribution from the Town, and explore the possibility of alternative formulas for cost allocation, to include the possibility of a layered formula that might include layers for population, land use demographics, and development. The item was continued to the October 4 Study Session meeting with the intent to consider approval of the MOU at that time; but, if there is insufficient data; and if not, continue the item to the October 18 Council Meeting to allow more time.

The last item for discussion was Item No. 27, an update on the Civic Center Project with approval of a Scope of Work for the project architect and direction to staff on several project-related issues. Following a staff report and opportunities for public comment, the Council took each item individually. The first item was approval of a Scope of Work for the Project Architect, WRNS, for LEED certifications for the Library and City Hall/PD portions of the project. After discussion of issues related to grants, recognition, timing, and incentives, the Council approved the scope of work for the Library component and continued consideration of the scope of work for the CIty Hall/PD portions of the Project to the October 18 Council Meeting. 

Next up was consideration of pursuit of a Power Purchase Agreement for the solar portion of the Project. Here, after discussion, the Council asked that staff return with an educational presentation to the Council on Power Purchase Agreements at a future study session. 

The next item was consideration of separating the interior of the corporation yard building from the main project and completing the work with the Town's own forces. The Council supported this option and directed staff to move forward with that plan. 

The Council then discussed an issue related to the Town's southwest parcel property line. Staff presented a summary of the survey of the Town's parcel noting that the current fence does not represent the actual property line and that the Town's property line extend another 19.5 feet west. Further complicating the issue is that that additional 19.5 feet has been in private use by the adjacent property owner. The Council discussed possible resolution options for consideration and heard from the adjacent property owner. During the discussion, the Council questioned as to the exact line of the property line in relation to the trees along the border. There was a difference of opinion between staff and the property owner as to where that exact property line fell in relation to the base of the tree line. As a result, the Council directed that staff re-engage the surveyor to physically walk the property line and layout survey markings along the path. Once that's complete, the Council directed that the item be returned to the Council for reconsideration with visuals for review. No specific meeting was identified for reconsideration. The Council also expressed that staff would work to preserve as many trees as possible along the Town's property. 

Lastly, the Council considered removal of stunted or depressed trees along the Library border. Staff presented a summary of the trees and proposed removals and after having discussed the proposal for removals with the adjacent property owner, there was agreement as to which trees would be removed. The Council concurred with the approach and authorized staff to move forward. . 

Following Council Reports and Final Public Comments, having cleared the entire Agenda, at approximately 10:22 pm, that, as they say - was a wrap!

The Council will hold its next Study Session meeting on October 4 at 4 pm. The time may change to 3 pm based on availability. Tentative items for that Agenda include the Bayfront Canal/Atherton Channel Project, a report on Private Gates into Holbrook Palmer Park, a Report on Local Traffic Flow, Planning and the Neighborhood Traffic Management Plan, an update on the Quad Gates Design being prepared by HSR, and a Check-in on Strategic Goals for the Town. 

George_2.jpgThanks for reading!

George Rodericks
City Manager
Town of Atherton