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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Jan 18

That's A Wrap! - January 17, 2018

Posted on January 18, 2018 at 10:29 AM by grodericks grodericks

Thats A Wrap Logo

Council Meeting Date: January 17, 2018
Video Link:

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

The City Council met for the January Regular Council meeting on Wednesday, January 17 beginning at 7 pm. Following the Pledge of Allegiance, the Council moved to Presentations and heard reports from the Atherton Disaster and Preparedness Team (ADAPT) and from the San Mateo County Library. 

Following Presentations, the Council moved to Public Comment and heard comments regarding the results of the Atherton Parcel Tax and suggestions for future elections. 

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 13. 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, destruction of certain records, clerical corrections to the Town's Zoning and Land Use Maps, adoption of the State required Green Infrastructure Plan, and Council Committee Assignments. Following comments on a couple of the items, the Council approved the Consent Agenda. 

Next up was a Public Hearing, Item No. 14, Introduction of an Ordinance Amending Section 1.10.070 of the Municipal Code Related to PEG Support Fees from Video Service Providers. The Council heard the brief staff report, conducted the Public Hearing and introduced the ordinance for first reading. 

Next, was the Regular Agenda beginning with Item No. 15, Adoption of a Resolution of Intent to Amend the CalPERS Contract. The 
Council heard the staff report, discussed the item briefly clarifying that it did not add any additional costs or change current operations and adopted the Resolution of Intent. 

Item No. 16 was Review, Discussion and Feedback Regarding Alternatives for the Selby and El Camino Real Intersection. The Council heard the staff report, took public comment and discussed the findings of the study and public outreach. The Council queried staff regarding traffic counts, impact of changes, street levels of service, potential solutions, support, funding, and outcomes. The Council discussed challenges with the intersection, concerns of over-desiging the intersection, the possibility of a hybrid HAWK Beacon solution, potential nearby County development and low-cost signage solutions. Following discussion, the Council directed that staff investigate low-cost restricted movement options with stakeholders, investigate the status of nearby County development projects, involve the Transportation Committee in any further updates and discussion to obtain their recommendation to the Council. Further, the Council directed that staff add a N/S crosswalk on Selby Lane to assist pedestrians with crossing Selby Lane. 

Item No. 17, Discussion and Feedback Regarding Caltrain OCS PCEP Project and Color Preference for Poles. The Council heard the brief staff report and presentation from Caltrain regarding color options for the project. The Council also took public comment regarding the issues raised for pole height and pole color. Following some questions, the Council discussed the possible color options and with the help of the public, selected a Marine Green as the consistent pole color throughout Atherton. The Council thanked Caltrain for returning to the conversation, encouraged the public to attend the public meeting by Caltrain scheduled for January 18, supported a collaborative effort to solve the pole height issue and committed to working with Caltrain toward a solution by the February 21 Council Meeting. 

Item No. 18 was a Report from the Police Chief on False Alarm Responses and Discussion/Recommendation for changes to the Ordinance. Following a staff report and presentation, the Council took public comment and discussed the issues raised. The Council discussed the nature of false alarms, causes, the value of being connected to the Police Department, more latitude for 2nd or 3rd false alarms before fines are imposed, the need to get repeat false alarm calls under control, the need to educate the community about the impact false alarms have on the Police Department personnel, public safety and operations. Following discussion the Council directed that staff return with an ordinance and process for consideration that sets a small annual fee, eliminates an inspection requirement, incorporates an escalating fine after the 2nd or 3rd false alarm (without charge) in a 12-month period, enhanced education - to include the impact on public safety operations, eliminate the provision in the ordinance that the Police Department no longer respond to excessive false alarms, educate the Council about the process for collection of delinquent fines, and incorporate a fine waiver process for seniors. 

The last item on the Agenda was Item No. 19, Feedback on the Civic Center, Cost Mode Manager, Tree Removals, and GeoTechnical Services. Following a staff report, presentation and public comment, the Council discussed the issues. The Council discussed the Cost Model Manager, Contractor Overhead, Profit, and Contingency amounts, and approved a Geotechnical Contract with Murray Consulting. The Council discussed the draft redesign proposals provided by the project architect to save Trees #55, #67, #119, and #120. Following discussion, the Council that staff attempt to transplant Tree #55 provided an arborist advises that it can be transplanted without harming existing Tree #52. If that cannot be accomplished, Council authorized removal of the tree. Tree #55 is within the Library Project Funding. With respect to Trees #66/#67, the Council authorized the redesign of the Police Department Secure Parking lot to save these trees. The Council then discussed saving Trees #119/#120 and the realignment of the Maple Street entry. Following discussion, the Council authorized staff to proceed with a redesign to save Trees #119/#120 provided that the redesign maintains a less than 70 degree turn along Station Lane to Maple Street and improves the intersection visibility and safety. The City Council Subcommittee will be involved in reviewing the redesign; however, given the timing of the work needed the impending public bid process, none of the redesigns will return to the Council for final approval before incorporation into the plans. 

Next was Item No. 20, a request from staff to seek proposals from consultant firms to assist with updates to the Town's Business License Tax Ordinance. Following a staff report and Q&A, the Council discussed the need for a consultant and the scope of work. After discussion, the Council directed that staff prepare a formal Request for Proposal to be seen and approved by the Council prior to release, to have a consultant assist the Town and Council with development of an appropriate Business License Tax Model as well as engage the community and stakeholders. 

The last item on the Agenda was Item No. 21, Review, Feedback and Direction on the Fire Services Fiscal Review. Following a staff report and public presentation by Matrix Consulting, the Council asked detailed questions regarding the study and took public comment. Following public comment, the Council discussed the Study and next steps. The Council directed that staff send a letter to the community with a 2-page executive summary of the Report inviting the public to come to the February 21 Council Meeting for further discussion.

Following Council Reports and Final Public Comments, having cleared the entire Agenda, at approximately 11:31 pm, that, as they say - was a wrap!

The Council will hold its next Regular meeting on February 21 at 7 pm. Two major items on that Agenda include:

- Fire Services Fiscal Review
- Caltrain PCEP Pole Height Direction

The February 7 Study Session has been cancelled. 

George_2.jpgThanks for reading!

George Rodericks
City Manager
Town of Atherton