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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May 17

That's A Wrap! - May 16, 2018

Posted on May 17, 2018 at 8:52 AM by grodericks grodericks

Thats A Wrap Logo

Council Meeting Date: May 16, 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 May Regular Council meeting on Wednesday, May 16 beginning at 7 pm. Following the Pledge of Allegiance, the Council moved to Public Comment.

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, acceptance of work for temporary library facilities, and resolutions calling the November 6 2018 General Election. Following comments on the temporary library facilities, the Council approved the Consent Agenda. 

Next was Item No. 14 - a Public Hearing - Recommended Increase to Green Waste Rates. Following a brief staff report the Council conducted the Public Hearing and took public comment. Following discussion around the true cost of green carts, the numbers of green carts, the work of the Solid Waste Subcommittee, and the impact of future franchise negotiations and tipping fee increases, the Council voted to introduce the Ordinance to Increase Green Waste Rates. 

Next, was the Regular Agenda beginning with Item No. 15, an Update and Direction on Next Steps for the Atherton Water Capture Facility Project. Following a staff report and presentation, the Council took public comment. Following public comment, the Council discussed issues related to seismic safety, scalability of the project, PCB and Mercury sources and levels, benefits of the project in Atherton, funds from Caltrans, appropriateness of the facility in the Park, and alternative locations. Following discussion, the Council advised that they are not ready to accept the 20% design solution for the Park and generally see the Park option for a project of this type as an option of last resort. Council directed staff to continue to evaluate other options and locations and return to the Council for review and vetting of those options. 

Item No. 16, Fee Waiver Request - Encinal Elementary School 5th Grade Picnic was up next. Here, the Council heard the brief staff report, took public comment, and set the fee for the event at $500. 

Next up was Item No. 17, Approval for Funds - San Mateo County Buyback Request - up to $5,000. The Council heard the brief staff report, took public comment, and, finding that the event had already occurred and that there were surplus funds still available based on already provided donations, the Council tabled the issues. 

Item No. 18 - Discussion on Amendments to the Atherton Heritage Tree Ordinance was next. The Council heard the staff report and presentation and asked follow-up questions regarding definitions of trees and process. Following the presentation, the Council took public comment. After public comment, the Council discussed issues related to defining how to measure multi-trunk trees; application of the tree protection zone before, during, and after a construction project; the addition of redwood trees within the buildable area, reporting requirements for projects, analysis of the impact on smaller lots, staff discretion in the process, how flag lots are addressed; the addition of eucalyptus trees; complexity of the process and its impact on homeowners; strengthening penalties for violations; ability of staff to enforce the requirements and the need for assistance to do so; and the complexity and legitimacy of the restrictions within the tree protection zone. Following discussion, the Council asked that staff return with changes based on Council feedback at a future meeting.  

Next was Item No. 19 - Approval of a Resolution Governing Town Committees. Council heard the staff report and reviewed the changes in the Resolution and Rail Policy Issues Exhibit. Following public comment, the Council discussed the changes and suggested changes to the Audit/Finance Committee terms and charter; discussed the process for setting items to a committee agenda; and briefly discussed changes to the Rail Issues Exhibit. Following discussion, the Council adopted the Resolution and formally extended the terms of members of Audit/Finance Committee to 4 years, applicable to current members. 

Item No. 20 was next - Discussion of Temporary Housing Options for Public Safety Personnel; and, if appropriate, authorize the City Manager to engage a design professional. The Council heard a brief staff report and took public comment. Following public comment, the Council discussed the potential for use/need; appropriateness of using the Main House at the Park for the purpose; the need of the Town to provide the benefit; other options and solutions that might be available and the need for sprinklers in the Main House. Following discussion, the Council directed staff to investigate other options before proceeding with any further vetting of the Main House for this use and separately investigate the cost of retrofitting the Main House with fire sprinklers. 

The last item on the Agenda was Item No. 21 - Ordinance of the Council Authorizing an Amendment to the CalPERS Contract. The Council heard a brief staff report noting that this item is a redo of the April meeting item where the Council approved it as a Consent Agenda Item. It is being returned to the Council as CalPERS requires its presence on the Regular Agenda as opposed to the Consent Agenda. Following public comment, the Council adopted the item. 

Following Council Reports and Final Public Comments, having cleared the entire Agenda, at approximately 11:25 pm, that as they say - was a wrap!

The Council will hold its next Regular meeting on June 6 at 4 pm. Major items on that Agenda include:
  • FY 2018/19 Budget Presentation - All Funds Review
  • Report on the Park Survey and Fence Encroachments - Discussion of Next Steps
  • Civic Center Project - Award of Bid/Move to Construction Phase (Tentative Action Item)

George_2.jpgThanks for reading!

George Rodericks
City Manager

Town of Atherton