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 21

That's A Wrap! - March 20, 2019

Posted on March 21, 2019 at 8:33 AM by grodericks grodericks

Thats A Wrap Logo

Council Meeting Date: March 20, 2019
Video Link:

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, March 20 beginning at 7 pm with Open Session. A Closed Session was held at 6 pm. No action was taken in Closed Session. 
Following the Pledge of Allegiance, the Council moved to Presentations. During Presentations, the City Council recognized members of the community for their service to the Town as prior members of the Council and/or Committee Members. Recognized were Didi Fisher, John Fisher, and Alicia Bakowski. Following these presentations, the Council heard a proclamation for Communications Week and Arbor Day. Lastly, the Council heard a presentation from Warren Sedar, Principal of Selby Lane School regarding upcoming changes to the school curriculum and programs. 

Following Presentations, the Council moved to Public Comments. 

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. The Council received Oral Reports from the City Manager on various issues. 

After the City Manager's Report, the Council moved to the Consent Agenda consisting of Items 8 through 14. 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, Annual Report on the General Plan, Award of Contracts for remodel of the Pavilion restrooms, contract with Catering by Dana for event services, street maintenance and street slurry projects. Following comments and brief discussion on the Pavilion restrooms and Catering by Dana contract, the Council approved all items on the Consent Agenda. With respect to the Pavilion restrooms, it was noted that a Council Member will provide feedback on the selection of finishes. With respect to the contract with Catering by Dana, it was noted that there was a financial error made in cost allocation and staff would contact Catering by Dana to remedy. Staff will report back to the Council on the remedy and how to avoid the error in the future.  

Following the Consent Agenda, the Council took up the Regular Agenda.

Item No. 15 was a Fee Waiver Request for Encinal Elementary School 5th Grade Picnic. Following a staff report and public comment, the Council discussed the waiver and directed that, in the future, so long as the waiver request remained at or less than $500 that it should be placed on the Consent Agenda. The Council also noted that staff should talk with Encinal School regarding the more active parking activity in and around the North Meadow and encourage use of other areas of the Park and/or more caution to be used. Following that direction, the Council approved the Fee Waiver Request. 

Item No. 16 was review and approval of the 2019 Earth Day Event and Discussion of the Role of the Environmental Programs Committee with respect to implementation of the Town's Climate Action Plan. Following a staff report and public comment, the Council discussed the 2019 proposed event, its budget, and proposed speakers. The Council asked that the Committee consider alternative speakers that could provide more informative discussion for attendees, in particular, speakers from Peninsula Clean Energy may not be relevant as most residents already take advantage of the programs. Following discussion, the Council approved the Event Plan and budget, noting that the maximum budget allocation was $5,000. After review of the Earth Day Event, the Council discussed the role of the Committee in the Climate Action Plan. Staff and members of the Council provided feedback on current activities of the Committee with respect to the Plan. The Council directed that the Committee work with staff to provide an annual report to the Council, in line with the Town's budget process, that discusses the status of the Plan's implementation and suggests ideas for priority or enhancement. 

Item No. 17 was discussion of amendments to the Town's Heritage Tree Ordinance and Tree Preservation Standards. Following a staff report and public comment, the Council discussed the various elements of amendment to the Heritage Tree Ordinance, in particular, definitions of heritage trees, methods of determining the age of heritage trees, inclusion or non-inclusion of redwood trees as heritage trees, methods of surveying trees, damage or harm caused to trees, determining a dead, dying or diseased tree, interaction with neighbors, replacement trees, work within and size of the various tree protection zones, and penalties, their calculation, amount, and imposition. Following discussion, the Council provided feedback to staff on these various issues, noted that penalties need to be made more relevant to deter negative action - perhaps even including an escalator, and redwoods need to be counted over a period of 12-months rather than inclusion in the ordinance as protected at this time. The Council also asked that the Mayor appoint an Ad Hoc Subcommittee to work with staff over the next few months to fine tune the ordinance and standards before returning them to the Council. 

Item No. 18 was a discussion of public safety cameras and the use of automated license plate readers (ALPRs). Following a staff report, powerpoint, and public comment, the Council discussed issues related to effectiveness of ALPRs and public safety cameras, use in other communities, impacts on privacy, maintenance and retention of records, public records requests, the need for community input and discussion, and location and cost. Following discussion, the Council asked that the City Manager work with Police Department for additional study, identifying safeguards that should be put in place, identification of security and privacy issues and how they might be addressed, identification of cost and placement and report back to the City Council at a well-advertised public meeting (Council meeting). 

Item No. 19 was a discussion by the Channel District Board (City Council) on the Drainage Master Plan Projects that are within the Channel District and Direction to Staff on Next Steps for Funding and Solutions. Following a staff report and public comment, the Council discussed the amount of projects, the severity of the issues, priorities for projects, size of the District, the various funding solutions and outlook for successful passage of funding solutions, and what next steps should be. Following discussion, the Council asked that staff return to the Council with an assessment of priorities within the identified projects for the District, the potential for a field tour by the Council of the various projects and the issues related thereto, and the potential assessment of cost for short-term and long-term remedy. 

The last item on the Agenda was Item No. 20, a Resolution approving an amendment to the Town's contract with the California Public Employees' Retirement System. Following a brief staff report and public comment, the Council adopted the resolution. 

Under Future Agenda Items, the Council asked that staff return with a report to discuss the various Committee terms. Staff has scheduled this item for the April 3 Study Session. 
Following Council Reports and Final Public Comments, having cleared the entire Agenda, at approximately 11:05 pm, that as they say - was a wrap!

The next meeting of the City Council will be a Study Session on April 3 at 4 pm at City Hall. This meeting will include the 2019/2020 Budget Study Session on Town Operations, Award of Bid for the Middlefield Road Project and Construction Management Services, and Discussion of Committee Terms.  

GeorgeR6824xThanks for reading!

George Rodericks
City Manager

Town of Atherton