Council Meeting Date: February 20, 2019
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/user/TownOfAtherton/featured
Details of each item can be found via the links to Staff Reports within the narrative.
The City Council met for their Regular City Council Meeting on Wednesday, February 20 beginning at 7 pm with Open Session.
Following the Pledge of Allegiance, the Council moved to Presentations. Commander Wade swore in the Town's newest Police Officer, Officer Diego Romero.
Following Presentations, the Council moved to Public Comments.
The Council heard a variety of comments from the public regarding recent public works activity, concerns over potential Brown Act violations by the Rail Committee, comments on the Agenda Packet, support for an additional School Resource Officer, and interest in serving the Town's refuse needs by GreenWaste.
Following 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. The Council received Oral Reports from the City Manager on various issues and an update from the Commander on recent crime activity.
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 bills, minutes, the Treasurer's Report, Authorization for Destruction of Certain Records, Acceptance of the Final Parcel Map for the Civic Center, and Acceptance of the 2017-18 Audited Financial Statements. Following brief comments on the Destruction of Records, the Council approved the Consent Agenda.
Following the Consent Agenda, the Council took up the Regular Agenda.
Item No. 14 was discussion and if appropriate, adoption of amendments to the Town's Rail Policy and direction with respect to the Atherton Rail Station. Item No. 11 was Consider Rejection of All Bids for Janitorial Maintenance Services. Following a staff report, the Council took public comments. Eleven members of the public spoke on this item noting concerns with pending State legislation regarding affordable housing around transportation corridors; support for closing the Atherton station; impact of keeping the station and the affect on the rail corridor; support for maintaining the station and restoring weekday service; benefits of the quiet zone and safety improvements at the station; and definition of a job rich community. Following public comment, the Council discussed issues related to the formation of an Ad Hoc Committee to meet with Caltrain; Caltrain's Business Plan; State Legislation; changes to the Town's Rail Policy; and the pros and cons of the Atherton Station. Following discussion, the Council asked that the Mayor form an Ad Hoc Subcommittee to meet with staff and Caltrain on the future of the Atherton Station; use the Town's existing Subcommittee for the League of Cities and C/CAG to address the potential of State Legislation, to include the drafting of potential legislative changes; and task the Ad Hoc Subcommittee to craft changes to the Town's Rail Policy based on the Rail Committee's recommendations and return with a recommendation for the City Council.
Next up was Item No. 15, Authorization for the Mayor to send a letter to Caltrain Regarding the Constant Warning Time System. Following a staff report and public comments, the Council discussed issues related to the tone of the proposed letter; the need for the letter; and whether the Town should be weighing in on the issue at all. Following discussion, the Council advised that the Rail Committee should invite Caltrain to come speak regarding the issue at an upcoming Rail Committee meeting, and following that public meeting, if the Committee felt that a letter still needed to be sent, that the Committee make such a recommendation to the Council.
Next was Item No. 16, Approval of the Bid Specifications for the Middlefield Class II Bicycle Lane Improvements and Authorization to Bid. Following a brief staff report and public comment, the Council discussed issues related to grants and funding of the project, noting the savings found by grants and collaboration with PG&E's pending gas line replacement project. Following discussion, the Council approved the bid specifications and authorized the bid.
Item No. 17 was a Civic Center Update and Authorization for a Lease Agreement with Mobile Modular for the Relocation of Admin/Finance/Building/Planning services during construction of the Civic Center. Following public comment, the Council discussed issues related to parking, availability and cost of space outside of Town, comparative costs, and notification to Park group users. Following discussion, the Council authorized the execution of an agreement for temporary relocation of Town services to the Park.
Moving on to Item No. 18, Receive and File of the Mid-Year Budget Report and Adoption of a Budget Amendment for Necessary Adjustments. Following a brief staff report and public comment, the Council discussed issues related to increased revenue for miscellaneous revenues and police department revenues and the adjustment for custodial services. Following discussion, the Council recognized staff work on the budget and adopted the resolution for mid-year adjustments.
Item No. 19 was discussion and feedback on the use of Rule 20A funds for undergrounding. Following a brief staff report and public comment, the Council discussed issues related to the cost of underground districts; timing of the sale and reimbursement of funds; ability to borrow ahead for Rule 20A funds; applicable areas to expend the funds; exploration of the market for sale of the funds; and the potential cost of underground of utilities along Fair Oaks near the Civic Center. Following discussion, the Council asked that staff explore with PG&E the cost to underground utilities along the Fair Oaks corridor near the Civic Center and attempt to assess if there are any agencies currently looking for Rule 20A funds.
Next was Item No. 20, discussion and direction regarding the Amended and Restated Franchise Agreement with Recology. Following a brief staff report and public comment, the Council discussed issues related to rates of other agencies compared to the Town; potential expansion and cost to the Town for expansions at the SBWMA Shoreway Facility; impact on staff time and resources for processing a bid for services at this time with other ongoing priorities; and the cost for soliciting a bid for services. Following discussion, the Council tabled the issue until March at which time the Town will have a better idea of the Civic Center bid.
The last item on the Agenda was Item No. 21, discussion and direction regarding leaf blowers and possible restrictions in Town. Following a brief staff report and public comment, the Council discussed issues related to the efficiency of electric powered leaf blowers; impact of future State legislation; environmental issues; whether this was an issue that needed to be explored at all; and the effectiveness on large parcels. Following discussion, the Council asked that the Environmental Programs Committee review the staff report and explore the issue further.
Under Council Reports, the Council asked that staff put out information on how to serve on a Grand Jury to the public via the Friday Atherton Online.
Following Council Reports and Final Public Comments, having cleared the entire Agenda, at approximately 10:11 pm, that as they say - was a wrap!
The next meeting of the City Council will be a Study Session on March 6 at 4 pm at City Hall. This meeting will include a Kick-Off Presentation for the 2019/2020 Town Budget and a Review and Award of Bid for the Civic Center Project.