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Dec 17

December 2015 City Manager's Monthly Report

Posted to City Manager's Blog on December 17, 2020 at 10:29 AM by Francesca Reyes

City Manager's Monthly Report - December 2015

Monthly-report.pngWelcome to the City Manager's Monthly Report Blog.

The City Manager's Monthly Report Blog is a consolidation of issues, communications, and Town activity during the prior month that have been reported to the City Council as part of their weekly email from the City Manager. Sometimes information is duplicated over the course of several emails to the City Council to ensure that it is reviewed.

As I review the information to include in the Monthly Report, to the extent possible, I remove duplicate updates in favor of the most recent; I remove information regarding events that have already occurred; and I edit information that requires update - hopefully to make it more useful. Overall, the information is generally the same as it was presented to the City Council in their weekly Council email.

The Report reads with the most recent first. As always, if you have any questions or comments regarding the Monthly Report, please feel free to contact me via email or phone.


George Rodericks
City Manager
Town of Atherton
(650) 752-0504

December 21, 2015 - Weekly Report to Council

1. Regional Water Subcommittee (C/CAG)

As the Council is aware, C/CAG has initiated a Regional Water Subcommittee to address regional issues related to Sea Level Rise and Drainage. Mayor Lewis presently serves on the Subcommittee. The Subcommittee meets on the 1st Wednesday of every month at 5:15 pm. The Mayor has asked if the Council would consider moving our Study Session up from 4 pm to 3 pm to allow attendance at this C/CAG Committee by the Council representative. 

Feedback thus far is that moving up the time of the Study Session will cause conflicts in work schedules. 

2. Animal Services Report - October 2015

3. Park Events and Revenue Logs

Linked here are the November Park Events Log and the November Park Revenues Log

4. RWQCB - Marsh Road Channel

With the most recent DUI vehicle in the channel, Gordon sent a copy of the newspaper article to the Regional Water Board representative. This elicited an immediate response from the RWQCB saying that they expect to issue a 401 Certification at the beginning of January to allow the Town to move to the next step - which includes finalizing any approvals/reviews from the other participating JARPA Permit agencies. Advertising/Bidding the project at the January meeting will be excellent timing. 

5. Civic Center Advisory Committee - Naming Conventions

The CCAC has been reluctant to discuss the naming convention opportunities for the new Civic Center in order to provide the City Council with a recommendation. Atherton Now is providing supplemental information to the CCAC Staff Report for their meeting in January. I have the item on the January 20 Regular Meeting as a Study Session item for Council discussion. 

6. Art Foundation Thank You

Betty Ulman from the Atherton Arts Foundation sent in a nice email complimenting staff for their unsolicited assistance during a recent art installation at Town Hall. Positive feedback is much appreciated. 

7. Regional Storm Water Permit

As the Council is aware, the Town is one of a number of jurisdictions permitted under the Regional Water Quality Control Board Stormwater Permit. We have our permit via C/CAG and the County of San Mateo. Linked here is a very informative PowerPoint presentation from Matt Fabry posted to the C/CAG website on the topic. Here you can also view a dropbox link to the various jurisdiction maps (as shown in the PowerPoint). Atherton included. 

8. Transportation Committee Member Share

Committee Member Gary Lauder has asked that the California Department of Transportation TRIP Report for 2014 be shared with the Council.

9. Security of Firearms (excerpt from the Chief)

There has been a sharp increase in vehicle thefts and auto burglaries throughout the State. In a number of the incidents, unsecured firearms have been stolen and used in high-profile crimes. Although not as tragic, but certainly embarrassing were several other firearms taken from vehicles in the Bay Area belong to peace officers - including a Police Chief. The Department is updating its Lexipol policies to address this concern. Additionally, the Town will be purchasing five (5) gun storage vaults to be secured inside the trunks of our unmarked vehicles. 

Officers (on duty and off) are responsible for the security of all firearms under their care and control (privately owned as well as Department issued). The policy will address the securing of a firearm in an unattended vehicle for even a short period of time. 

10. Surf Air Working Group Letter to Surf Air - December 2015

Linked here is a letter outlining the list of four (4) items identified by the working group that they have been diligently working toward. There is good news noted on three of the areas. 

11. EPC Work Plan and CAP

As the Council is aware, the EPC has been working on their 2016 Work Plan that includes a number of the priority focus areas from the Climate Action Plan (CAP) that has yet to be approved by the Council. I have discussed this issue before and the feedback has been consistent that the Work Plan and Climate Action Plan need to be reviewed by the Council concurrently not independently as they are intertwined. 

The CAP has been delayed due to some insurance and indemnification issues with the consultant. These are being worked through; however, the Plan will not be on the Council agenda for January 6. We anticipate it reaching the Council for the February 3 Study Session. We will bring forth the Work Plan as well as an opportunity to provide congruent feedback/changes to the EPC Charter at the same time. It will be important for this Committee to have clear charter direction consistent with Council approval of any work plan or Climate Action Plan. 

At their last meeting, the EPC voted to approve and recommend their Work Plan to the City Council with three (3) key program items: 1) Atherton 2020/Home Energy Efficient, Water Conservation and Education; 2) Advisory and Support for Environmentally Based Building Code and Drainage District Upgrades; and 3) Resource Use Disclosure Requirements for Home Buyers. The Work Plan was to assign rough cost estimates to each of the items. The Work Plan will include a policy that discusses requested funding mechanisms in support of the effort. Discussion of a UUT was removed as an action item but remained as a potential/suggested funding source for consideration by the Council. The EPC also approved a categorized/prioritized list of EPC-recommended GHG reduction measures as part of the CAP. The EPC categorized each recommended GHG measure included in the CAP as measures to be considered as part of the EPC 2016 Work Plan or measures for the Town to consider as a matter of ordinance, policy or other guiding language. 

The EPC is recommending that the Town hire a consultant to implement the programs in the Work Plan primarily related to home energy efficiency, water conservation and public education/communication. The EPC is interested in resurrecting a number of the Atherton 2020 program components with revisions or tweaks as needed. This would include performing home energy audits and having a consultant assist with developing a public education website, marketing and other outreach efforts. 

Lastly, the EPC has requested a program that provides the EPC with an advisory and/or recommendation role for all Town-related ordinances, codes, policies or other issues that include any matters/topics that have an environmental relation. I have advised the staff liaison and the City Council representative that I believe that that request is too far-reaching to be supported. With CEQA, nearly all decisions of the City Council are tangentially environmentally related or determined. I believe it would be inappropriate to pass all ordinances, policies, or codes considered by the City Council first through the Town’s subordinate environmental programs committee. 

12. Proposed Constitutional Amendment to Provide Local Agencies with New Optional Funding to finance Stormwater Management

On December 14, 2015 the League of California Cities  joined the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) and the Association of California Water Agencies (CWA) in filing a proposed constitutional amendment with the Attorney General’s office. The measure would create a new, optional funding system local agencies can use to finance stormwater management, flood control, sewer and water supply projects, set rates for customers to encourage conservation and reduce water and sewer bills for low-income customers. The League Board of Directors formally authorized the League’s participation in this effort.
The proposed constitutional amendment includes strict accountability and transparency requirements for any local agency that chooses to avail itself of this new funding system. The measure would amend Art. X of the California Constitution, concerning water resources, and would add a new Sec. 8. It makes no changes to other parts of the constitution, including Proposition 218, which would continue to remain available for funding stormwater, sewer, flood control and water supply projects. It merely provides another financing alternative to local government agencies that could be used at their discretion unless their ratepayers object.

13. League Peninsula Division Representative

The League’s new Peninsula Regional Public Affairs Manage is Seth Miller. This week Seth has joined the ranks of the regional managers where he will establish and maintain relationships, implement ballot measure advocacy campaigns, and engage in other forms of strategic outreach and activities in the Peninsula Division. He will start on January 4, 2016.
Seth has fifteen years of experience working on region-wide challenges such as air quality, affordable housing and workforce development. He has extensive experience in the development of policies and programs related to transportation planning, land use and public health. He has worked closely with state, regional and local government to develop comprehensive public engagement strategies including the San Joaquin Valley Regional Transportation Planning process, the Southern California Association of Government Compass Program, and the California Department of Public Health’s Safe Routes to School effort. Seth served as Public Outreach Director with the UC Davis Institute for Transportation Studies from 2009-2013 and the Public Policy Director for the California Center for Regional Leadership from 2001-2008. He co-founded the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps in Taos, New Mexico in the 1990s. He has worked on statewide propositions throughout California and a host of local initiatives to create more livable communities. He serves as a Board Member for the Root Cause Institute and Technology Against World Blindness.  Seth has a Bachelor’s degree in History from The Colorado College and an MBA from Boston University. He lives in San Francisco with his wife Ruth Bond and sons, Max, Ben and Julian and daughter Phoebe.

14. Committee Assignment List

Theresa is putting together the Committee List for you to select the various committees or regional positions on which you’d like to participate. The Mayor will be making the assignments at the January Council meeting. Theresa will send out the list (name of committee, meeting times, description, etc.) with a due date back to her to send it to the Mayor for consideration. 

15. Event Garden Status

The rain has affected Event Garden progress at the Park. The working crews have been reduced in size and if the rain continues, the project will shut down until the site dries out. At this point, they are looking at a mid-January completion schedule. There are no significant events that will be impacted at the Park and notice will be provided to any potential renters during the time period. The contractor continues work on steel edging and planting trees. About 60% of the site has been unworkable due to the wet conditions. All the plant material has been delivered to the Site and is being watered daily.

16. Quiet Zone Status

We have released requests for Statements of Qualifications to various consultants and have scheduled interviews for the week of January 5. Stephanie Anzia (consultant referenced by Nerissa Dexter) will participate in the interviews. It is anticipated that we will have someone on board shortly thereafter. 

A question was asked about the construction period for the quad gates at Fair Oaks. Caltrain pulled a “no fee" encroachment permit via the Town in September 2009 for installation of the gates.  

17. Cal Water H20 Challenge

To continue to promote water conservation, Cal Water’s H2O Challenge is open for the 2015-16 school year. Now in its second year, elementary school students design innovative programs to practice water conservation and increase awareness about the impact of the state's historic drought. Information about this contest has been shared with principals in our service areas; while we recognize that schools are governed by school boards, Cal Water would like to invite the Town of Atherton to support and encourage schools in Cal Water's Bear Gulch District to participate.

The competition, developed in collaboration with the North American Association for Environmental Education, is open to classrooms in grades 4 through 6 in Cal Water’s Bear Gulch District. The winning class will receive an all-expense paid, three-day camping and hiking trip at Circle X Ranch, located in the Santa Monica Mountains, as part of the NatureBridge environmental science education program.

The Cal Water H2O Challenge builds on principles linked to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) learning, as well as Next Generation Science Standards. Students learn how principles can be applied in the study of the water cycle, how water quality affects the survival of plants and organisms, and how they can impact water conservation.
Last year, the winning school, Shasta Elementary School in Chico, designed a rain collection system to water plants in a native garden they created on school property that would have an enduring impact on the school's efforts to conserve water. The class took a field trip to a local nursery, learning about gardening and native plants. It also sought the expert advice of a longtime local rancher about building its rain collection system.
The Cal Water H2O Challenge is a project-based competition for schools seeking to enhance students' understanding of water-based science concepts. To ensure educators have access to the support they need, teachers will be provided with technical, expert, and monetary support through educational resources, consultants, and up to 20 $500 teacher grants chosen by lottery. The deadline to register for this challenge is December 31, 2015.
For more information about the program and eligibility, visit https://challenge.calwater.com. You can also contact Bear Gulch’s District Manager, Dawn Smithson, at 650-561-0014 or dsmithson@calwater.com.
18. Alameda de las Pulgas Traffic Recorder Results
Staff placed our Radar Recorder on northbound Alameda de las Pulgas, between Atherton Avenue and Callado Way, between 12-12-15 and 12-19-15. The results were as follows:
1)      During this time, a total of 90,516 vehicles traveled on Alameda de las Pulgas (combined northbound and southbound)
2)      61.8% of the vehicles were traveling at 31 MPH or greater
3)      24.2% of the vehicles were traveling at 35 MPH or greater
4)      7.4% of the vehicles were traveling at 38 MPH or greater (the current 85th percentile for Alameda is 37 MPH)
5)      0.7% of the vehicles were traveling at 43 MPH or greater
6)      0.1% of the vehicles were traveling at 48 MPH or greater
The Radar Recorder gave us an 85th percentile of 35 MPH combined, with 34 MPH northbound and 35 MPH southbound. A majority of the vehicles were traveling at 32 MPH combined, with 31 MPH northbound and 32 MPH southbound. Of all of the vehicles: 1,528 vehicles traveled at 41 MPH or greater, 146 vehicles traveled at 46 MPH or greater, and 16 vehicles traveled at 51 MPH or greater.

December 11, 2015 - Weekly Report to Council

1. Affordable Housing Nexus Study

As part of a San Mateo County Partnership Program (all jurisdictions), the consultant (Strategic Economics and Vernanzza Wolfe Associates, Inc.) prepared a nexus study for commercial linkage fees and residential impact fees related to increased demand for affordable housing in San Mateo County. The Town was provided with a copy of the study; however, at this time does not have any interest in pursuing any affordable housing impact fee on new residential development. The study was provided as part of a regional effort and, although locally focused, is informational only. At this time, staff has an internal draft of the results. However, we have been advised that if the Town wish to use the data in the study, we would be obligated to fund our portion of it ($20,000 ). 

2. Las Lomitas School District

Staff met earlier this week with the Bond Manager for Las Lomitas School District. The District continues their design work on the campus at ADLP. They are preparing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the Town to consider that would allow them to analyze the benefits to the Town of storm water detention on their site. They have an engineering team (and designers) that will prepare the analysis as part of their design. The primary purpose of their project is to meet their storm water needs in concert with playing field upgrades; however, they are willing to consider additional improvements that might benefit the Town as well (Town cost). Funding has not yet been discussed but it is anticipated that the District would expect some compensation for use of their property. 

3. Tree Downed

Yesterday at about 10 am a tree feel blocking the street and driveway on Bergessen Court off of Stockbridge Avenue. Staff responded and cleared the roadway. Sally will be in contact with the homeowner regarding the remaining debris removal. The roadway was closed for approximately 45 minutes. 

4. Peninsula Clean Energy

The December Agenda includes the Resolution and Introduction of Ordinance for the Town’s moving forward with Peninsula Clean Energy. The January Agenda will include the 2nd Reading and Adoption of the Ordinance. Once the JPA is formed, the Town (upon adoption of the Ordinance) will become one of the first members of the JPA - Peninsula Clean Energy. The Mayor will need to appoint a member of the City Council to serve as the Town’s representative to the JPA. The Mayor may appoint a member of the Council to serve as the alternate or may appoint a member of staff. 

5. Civic Center Advisory Committee - Naming Conventions

The CCAC has been reluctant to discuss the naming convention opportunities for the new Civic Center in order to provide the City Council with a recommendation. Atherton Now is providing supplemental information to the CCAC Staff Report for their meeting in January. I have the item on the February 3 Study Session for Council discussion. I will be out of town (City Manager’s Department Meeting in Indian Wells) for that meeting. 

6. Cartan Field Neighbor Meeting

I will assist in facilitating a 2nd round of neighbor meetings for the proposed Cartan Field Project with Menlo School and Menlo College on December 14 at City Hall from 6 pm to 8 pm. The Mayor has been in attendance at these meetings. 

7. Santa Cruz Fiber

Linked here is an interesting article on Santa Cruz Fiber and their initiative for 2016 - http://choosesantacruz.com/projects/fiber.

8. Removal of Building/Planning Trailer

Bids for removal of the temporary trailer for the Building/Planning Departments and restoration of the outside wall came in considerably higher than expected. As a result, the Building Official and Public Works Superintendent (Brett/Steve) opted to do the work themselves to seal off the wall (creating David’s office) and then leave the trailer “in place” rather than demo it. The trailer can be demolished/removed as part of the Civic Center Project staging and demo work. Kudos here for saving the Town considerable funds. 

9. SFPUC Water Line

The relocation letter will go out to the SFPUC this month. However, as we request relocation of the line, it is important to note that the current design of the Civic Center can accommodate the line in its present location from a major building foundation perspective. The line will traverse the Town’s secure Police Department parking lot and will have smaller buildings and foundations within the required easement - the revised location is the preferred location for those reasons. 

10. EPC Special Meeting - December 15 (1 pm)
The EPC is holding a Special Meeting on December 15 to finalize their proposed Work Plan and Overall Policy Statement to present to the City Council at the January 6 Study Session. The EPC will also be prioritizing their list of recommended GHG reduction measures for Council consideration as well. 

The EPC Chair has advised that the EPC would like to evaluate the concept of using a ballot measure to fund Atherton’s programs. The Chair has asked that staff obtain from PG&E, CalWater and Recology what Atherton’s revenue base is for electricity, natural gas, water, and waste. The Chair has also asked that staff obtain information about the distribution of energy bills by home in Atherton so that the Committee can conduct their analysis. 

I provided the Chair with links to the 2014 Staff Reports to the City Council on the revenue alternatives wherein the Council had a healthy discussion of various revenue alternatives. These reports provided summary revenue information for various utilities as part of the utility user’s tax analysis. I also advised the Chair that staff can contact PG&E regarding the committee's request for by home data; however, I suspect that a per home detail level is not something PG&E will release publicly as I suspect there may be privacy concerns. 

Lastly, I advised that discussion of a utility users tax has political and practical considerations that must addressed before publicly moving forward with any recommendation that the Town impose a new tax for whatever purpose it may be. The Council has not directed the EPC to have this discussion or provide this analysis. If the EPC moves forward with the recommendation to the Council on a utility users tax after the Council has already had a conversation about it (2014), it may back the Council into uncomfortable position that some will not appreciate. I advised that I was not suggesting that the EPC table the discussion given its connection to green energy use incentives; rather, I strongly suggested that the Committee discuss it carefully. 

11. Art in Public Places Program

I sent an email to the Atherton Arts Foundation advising that the Art in Public Places program seems to be working well at Town Hall and the displays are quite nice; however, I do not feel they are getting the recognition they so richly deserve. 

I suggested that the Foundation consider offering up a monthly Art Walk program through which the Foundation and/or Artist host an Open House at Town Hall one day a month (wine/cheese/etc.) say either over the lunch hour or at Post Office closing hour (4:30 pm) or 5 pm.. I suggested that we could open up Town Hall to allow visitors to browse the Art (planned in advance) and the Art Foundation would of course, host (any $). We could advertise in our Friday email to the community with pictures of the art/artist, etc.

Mar 04

February 2016 City Manager's Monthly Report

Posted to City Manager's Blog on March 4, 2016 at 3:12 PM by grodericks grodericks

City Manager's Monthly Report - February 2016

Monthly-report.pngWelcome to the City Manager's Monthly Report Blog! 

The City Manager's Monthly Report Blog is a consolidation of issues, communications, and Town activity during the prior month that have been reported to the City Council as part of their weekly email from the City Manager. Sometimes information is duplicated over the course of several emails to the City Council to ensure that it is reviewed.

As I review the information to include in the Monthly Report, to the extent possible, I remove duplicate updates in favor of the most recent; I remove information regarding events that have already occurred; and I edit information that requires update - hopefully to make it more useful. Overall, the information is generally the same as it was presented to the City Council in their weekly Council email.

The Report reads with the most recent first. As always, if you have any questions or comments regarding the Monthly Report, please feel free to contact me via email or phone.


George Rodericks
City Manager
Town of Atherton
(650) 752-0504

February 26, 2016

1. Elena Avenue Trip/Fall

We received a note from a resident concerning the small section of Elena Avenue adjacent to the Circus Club where there is a curb in the middle of the road as a lane divider. The resident advised that their father and another resident hit the curb while walking or biking - causing injury. To highlight the center raised line, staff paintedthe center curb yellow, similar to the centerline curb on Atherton Avenue. 

2. Aging in Atherton

The Town received an email from local resident about the aging population in Atherton (Steve Aber). Steve suggests creating an “Aging in Place” group that would meet on a regular basis. The content and purpose would be to suggest ideas to assist, discuss future meetings, create a support group, presentations, technology, security, transportation, etc. Steve asked if the Town would be interested in supporting the group (possibly as a “designated group” like the Friends of the Park) by getting the word out and providing meeting space. 

Steve and I met this week to discuss the program and its opportunities. He will be creating the group and asking that the Town assist as a partner (designated group). We will include information about the potential group in the next Athertonian and Steve will be coming to the April 6 Study Session to brainstorm a bit with the Council. Steve notes regarding the group are below.

The group would be called ASAP (Atherton Seniors Aging in Place).  ASAP is aimed at Seniors living in Atherton who want to continue to live in Atherton. By creating ASAP it is going to be possible to find out how many Seniors in Atherton want to be part of such a group and what the needs and desires are of the group participants. Some initial thoughts and suggestions about what might be of interest to this group are:
  • ?Should there by regular day programs/meetings
  • Housing* element as it relates to caregiver units
  • Home and personal monitoring Technology
  • Burglar alarms
  • Fire safety such as Fire Sprinkler, Fire and CO alarms
  • Telephone support such as Tele minder?
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Lowering of utility costs
  • Financial topics such as income and property taxes
  • Medical topics such as medications, visiting medical professionals
  • In home care topics such as caregivers and companions
  • Special interest clubs
  •   Walking
  •   Clubs: gardening, cooking, bridge, Book
  •   Social
  •   Food/wine
  •   Sports
  •   Mentoring/volunteering
  •   Home technology
  •   Home accessibility
  •   Outings
Housing - Housing and affordability are two diametrically opposed concepts in Atherton. One way to address this problems is to encourage more 'Secondary Units'.

Civic Engagement - ASAP affords retired individuals in Atherton the opportunity to put their skills and experience to good and extended use.

Transportation - ASAP will help provide access to transportation.

Health/Wellness/Social Services - ASAP will promote a healthy lifestyle by creating opportunities to participate in physical activities.

Technology - Technology has much to offer older adults in areas such as telemedicine, off-site monitoring, and social engagement.

3. Greenheart Complex - Menlo Park

Staff will be reviewing the Draft Environmental Impact Report for this project and preparing comments/responses. A few months ago we developed a process to keep the Transportation Committee involved in traffic impacts caused by regional projects whereby any responses to regional DEIR’s and other documents are provided to the Committee as informational at a public meeting (assuming all of the timing works out). Staff takes in any comments as part of any official Town response. We hope to be able to do this before the April 4 deadline for written comment. 

4. January Water Conservation - Bear Gulch District

January water conservation data has been reported to the State Water Resources Control Board (Board). For the month of January, the Bear Gulch District reduced its water consumption by 19.2% when compared to January 2013. For this service area, the Board set a cumulative water reduction goal of 36%. So far, the Bear Gulch District has reduced its water use by 35% when compared to the same period in 2013. With the Board extending the emergency drought regulations, the Bear Gulch District will need to continue to conserve water to meet the Board’s water conservation goal.

5. SMCL a National Medal Finalist for Museum and Library Service

SMCL was named by the Institute of Museum and Library Services as one of 30 finalists for the 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The IMLS National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community. IMLS Press Release, https://www.imls.gov/news-events/news-releases/thirty-museums-and-libraries-honored-finalists-national-medal-award. SMCL was selected as a finalist after an extensive application process, including nomination by Congresswoman Jackie Speier, who said in her nomination letter, “our county library is leading America into a new era of library services and is an example of America’s engine of enlightenment thriving in a diverse and challenging environment”. This honor recognizes the specific contributions of the programs to support critical community needs such as summer learning, early learning, family engagement, and access to technology. Each finalist will be highlighted through a Share Your Story campaign. SMCL will be highlighted on March 24.

6. Event Garden Status

Linked here is a recent status on the Event Garden

7. MTC-ABAG Merger Study

The MTC is hosting a series of forums to learn about and discuss the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) – Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) Merger Study currently underway. The dates and locations of the forums are as follows: 
  • March 2, 2016: South Bay Regional Forum | San Jose SPUR Offices | 76 S. First Street, San Jose, CA 95113
  • March 8, 2016: East Bay Regional Forum | CCTA Offices – Board Room | 2999 Oak Road, Walnut Creek, CA 94597
  • March 14, 2016: North Bay Regional Forum |City of Novato City Hall – Council Chambers | 922 Machin Ave, Novato, CA 94945
Additional information is provided in the Regional Forum and Merger Information sheets - Regional Forums and Merger Study Information  If you have any questions about the forums or the study, visit the merger website located at www.mtcabagmergerstudy.com.

8. Maple Street Correctional Center - Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Sheriff Munks has invited Town representatives to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Maple Street Correctional Center, 1300 Maple Street, Redwood City on Tuesday, March 1 at 11 am. For more information, call 650-716-5980. I plan to attend. 

9. IT RFP Timeline

The IT RFP has been released. The timeline for response review is as follows:
  • Mandatory Pre-Proposal Meeting - March 10
  • Deadline for Submitting a Proposal - April 4
  • Interviews - April 18
  • Recommendations to Council - May 18
  • Award of Bid - June 15
  • Contract Start Date - July 1
10. Selby Lane/ECR Intersection Outreach (Lewis/Wiest)

The Selby Lane/ECR Outreach Meeting is set for February 29. The meeting will have opening comments, background information, an overview of traffic safety improvement ideas, a review by the consultant, and next steps and Q&A.

11. Town & Gown Social Event

The Town & Gown Social Event has been tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, May 24. We selected the date to ensure that the school districts/boards/etc. are all still in Town (not on summer break) and not too heavily into finals and exit exams.  

12. C/CAG Water Committee

Linked here is the Meeting Agenda for the C/CAG Water Committee - March 2 meeting. The meeting will be held in the 1st Floor Conference Room, 155 Bovet Road, San Mateo at 5:30 pm. The public is welcome to attend. 

13. Animal Services Report - January 2016

Linked here is the January 2016 Animal Services Report

14. Salary & Benefit Negotiations

As mentioned in last Friday’s Report, I have begun salary and benefit negotiations for the next APOA Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The current MOU expires in September 2016. We are hoping for a multi-year MOU that is better aligned with the budget cycle so I hope to conclude negotiations early and restart the MOU as of July 1, 2016. To help set the tone during the initial meeting I advised, pursuant to the February 23, 2016 Daily Post article, that the Town would be following suit with the private sector and discontinuing all of the following perks and benefits - even though they are considered excellent recruitment and retention tools:
  • no more filling my office with balloons to celebrate my birthday
  • no more animal onesies and racing around the office in pink tricycles for annual office olympics
  • free meals will be cut to 3 times a week
  • no more party photos on Instagram
  • no more free dessert table as daily free meals are expensive enough
And even though Google, Facebook, Airbnb, Twitter, Apple and others will continue them, we will not be continuing:
  • the indoor tree house
  • no more communal bikes
  • we’re eliminating the volleyball court, bowling alley and apiaries
  • the office community garden will be repurposed
  • the “swim-in-place” pool will be closed
  • the barbershop will be shut down
  • dog care will no longer be offered
  • massages and self-improvement classes will be discontinued
  • organic meals and barbecues will also be discontinued
Everyone understood and will adjust accordingly. 

15. Planning Commission Meeting - February 24, 2016

The Planning Commission, at its February 24, 2016 meeting took the following action:
  1. Approved a Special Structures Permit at 25 Isabella to allow an increase to the main building height with increased setbacks.
  2. Approved a Heritage Tree Removal Permit at 130 Britton to allow the removal of one heritage tree.
  3. Approved a Special Structures Permit at 142 Britton to allow a pool in the side yard and approved a Heritage Tree Removal Permit to allow the removal of two heritage trees.
  4. Continued the public hearing for a Special Structure permit at 89 Tallwood to the next meeting at the request of the applicant
  5. Continued the public hearing for a Special Structure permit at 55 Camino por los Arboles to the next meeting at the request of the applicant
The next Planning Commission is scheduled for March 23, 2016.

16. HdL Headlines Newsletter

As you know, the Town contracts with HdL for information related to the economy. They provide the linked newsletter as informational to their clients.

17. Brown Act Violations - Los Altos

I was speaking with someone over the last couple of weeks about the Brown Act and the question arose as to the penalty, sanctions, and remedies. Linked here is an article from last week’s Daily Post about a Brown Act violation in Los Altos. While the remedy is a re-do, the negative press and violation of the public trust is certainly not a welcome outcome. 

18. Las Lomitas Site Plan - Schematic Design

I met yesterday with Eric Holm, Director of Bond Projects, Las Lomitas Elementary School District. Eric met with me so that we are ahead of their “road show” on the project to various community groups and other agencies. These public meetings will start in the coming weeks. 

Eric and I discussed the site plan and two primary issues: 1) Walsh Road and 2) Drainage/Retention. Eric made it very clear that the District is supportive of helping the Town find a solution for downstream drainage issues. To the degree that the Town feels that using the proposed field area at Las Lomitas as a retention pond, the District supports that endeavor. However, they do not have funding within their bond measure to financially support the project. The District could consider a joint agreement allowing the Town to have an easement over the property for the use provided that concern are met regarding design and impact. As part of the current schematic design  the District will manage water flow in, under, and across the property into approved drainage courses. Creation of a retention basin is something that benefits the Town, but not required as part of their development. 

Eric and I also spoke about the Walsh Road intersection with the District proposed parking lot design. We discussed the possibilities for the intersection, to include the possibility of a full signal, 4-way stop, HAWK beacon, and controlled crosswalks. The District has agreed to do a number of additional traffic studies at the Walsh Road intersection (their cost) in support of the Town’s recent effort to assess all of Alameda de las Pulgas. Preliminary indications from their traffic engineer notes that the District project will improve the flow along the Alameda. As part of the project, the District will be eliminating or restricting use at the gauntlet of crosswalks beyond Camino al Lago. They will focus crossing at Camino al Lago and Walsh intersections. Without signalization, Walsh will have restricting turning movements - i.e. right turn only out of the parking lot. The traffic engineer notes that while a signalized intersection would provide better flow, a controlled crosswalk would also suffice. Further, that the impact of the project improves the flow along the Alameda and does not have a negative impact (use period and direction). The District also plans on making a number of pedestrian oriented improvements around the school to include crosswalk improvements and sidewalks. 

Eric asked if the Town would be interested in funding a signal at Walsh Road. I advised that that is a policy call for the Council; however, a signal would assist Walsh Road property owners with exiting onto the Alameda and given the timing of school operations, the signal would give priority to the Alameda during heavy commute hours unless triggered by a Walsh Road vehicle. 

Eric will be out of town for the next 3 weeks, but upon his return we will be getting together again to discuss next steps - to include a discussion at the Council level as part of the budget process. I advised Eric of the Town & Gown event in May and suggested that his Board Members be prepared to have conversations about the improvements. 

February 19, 2016

1. Visit by Hillary Clinton

The property owner at 2 Parkwood has completed the Special Event Permit Application. The event is Sunday, February 21 from 2 pm to 5:45 pm. There will be uniformed officers in and around the event. At this time we are still coordinating whether or not the event requires an Atherton PD presence with the Secret Service. There will be an estimated 400 guests. They will valet vehicles on Ringwood. The CHP is handling all escort requirements Limited local impact. 

2. FAA Follow-up

The FAA is returning to the 18th Congressional District on Monday, March 7 to conduct a follow-up meeting with local elected officials from each community. Each community may send one member of the Council to attend and represent constituents along with staff. I plan to attend. Mayor Lewis and Vice Mayor Lempres are representatives from the Town. Mayor Lewis has confirmed her attendance on behalf of the Town. 

3. E-Shred and Compost Event

We have been unable to secure an April or May date for the event. We have scheduled June 4. Since it is no longer close enough to be connected to the Earth Day event, it will be held in the Town Hall parking area like last year’s successful event. 

4. Committee Recruitment

We will be opening up our annual committee recruitment process. It will begin on March 4 with a deadline of April 8. We can extend if necessary. A banner will go up on Marsh Road. 

5. Roundabout - Alameda de las Pulgas

We received the below feedback from James De Voy regarding the proposed roundabout at Alameda de las Pulgas. 

"I have read about the potential plan of installing a round about or traffic circle at the intersection of Atherton Avenue and the Alameda.   I often pass by that intersection and I have seen the significant back ups that occur mainly during the rush hours when there is substantial traffic to and from the Stanford area and the Woodside High School.  However, I often have occasion to conduct business in the South Western part of France, where traffic circles and round abouts are very common.  From that experience, I do not think that such a concept would work that well at that location for several reasons.

1.  To make a round about work as intended, the right of way must be understood by all drivers.  As there are very few on main streets in our area, drivers here are not aware of the rule that the car on the left has absolute priority. In addition, some drivers who assume that they have the priority barely slow down and take only a cursory look at the other traffic and just barrel through the round about.  The result could be some very nasty collisions with drivers who do not understand the rules or push them to an extreme.

2.  With the major flow of traffic coming from Woodside Road in the morning, if there is a traffic circle or round about, drivers coming  East down Atherton Avenue to the Alameda will have major problems trying to get into the circle as they will constantly have to yield to the heavy flow coming from their left.  The same thing will occur in the afternoon commute when the heavy traffic comes from the direction of Menlo Park.  In that case, any traffic coming westerly up Atherton Avenue will have a hard time getting into the traffic circle to go anywhere.  In short, the traffic circle will work against some Atherton residents during heavy traffic on the Alameda depending on the direction that they are attempting to get to., and 

3.  The traffic circles that I am familiar with are much larger than the space currently used for the intersection.  I doubt that the town wants to try to use eminent domaine to secure additional land to make a larger round about .

Bottom line:  Put in a traffic light and set it to give priority to the Alameda traffic during rush hours, and make it a blinking red for a full stop for all concerned ( as we now have ) for all other hours.  That should save time and money for everyone”

6. County Animal Control Shelter Project

As advised, I am a member of the County’s Animal Control Shelter Project Committee. We met yesterday for a kick-off meeting to discuss the steps in the County’s Design-Build Shelter Project. The County projects a $20m, staff-led project design-build project with an open date in 2018. As the project moves along I will keep you apprised. 

7. APOA Negotiations

Next week I begin negotiations with the Atherton Police Officers Association. 

8. Traffic Engineer Reports

Two recent traffic engineer reports were recently completed to address two issues raised as part of the Bicycle Pedestrian Master Plan. 

Presently, Oak Grove Avenue between Laurel Street and middle filed Road is not designated as a bike facility. The linked memorandum evaluates whether it is beneficial to designate Oak Grove Avenue as a route. The study considers the routes along Glenwood Avenue, Oak Grove Avenue and Ravenswood Avenue between Middlefield and El Camino Real. The conclusion notes that although Glenwood Avenue offers less interaction between bicyclists and motor vehicles, bicyclists currently choose Oak Grove over Glenwood by a significant margin for their east-west maneuvers. There is a recommendation to designate Oak Grove as a Class II route. A review and recommendation will progress up through the Bicycle Pedestrian Committee to the Transportation Committee to the City Council. Staff will also follow-up with Menlo Park about their planned Bicycle Pedestrian Improvement Projects in the area. 

There are currently 3 marked crossings across Middlefield between Watkins Avenue and Oak Grove. The linked memorandum evaluated the potential addition of crossing at James Avenue and/or Glenwood Avenue. The consolation notes that there is a recommendation for a crossing at Glenwood Avenue. However, it also notes that if a crossing is installed that rapid flashing beacons be considered as well. This will flow up through the Transportation Committee to the City Council. 

February 12, 2016

1. Civic Center Project

A member of the Council has asked for a proposed site plan that indicates dimensions. Linked here is the referenced drawing

2. Climate Action Plan - Continued Meeting Date

It has been suggested that instead of a separate Special Meeting to continue review of the Climate Action Plan that the discussion be continued at the March 2 Study Session. Presently, I have scheduled a discussion of the SBWMA/Recology Franchise Renewal & Potential of an RFB. This conversation could be involved; however, with a recent meeting of the Council Subcommittee, the discussion can be a bit more focused and would likely take no more than 30-45 minutes. This item has a timing requirement and must be scheduled in early March. Given its ability to be more focused, we can add a second item to the Agenda. However, the continued discussion of the CAP will likely take more than one hour. To accommodate that discussion as an addition to the Agenda for March 2, what is the Council’s preference for extending the March 2 Agenda:

1) Add 30 minutes at the beginning - START @ 2:30 pm
2) Add 30 minutes at the conclusion - END @ 5:30 pm (this impacts other meetings - Airport, etc.)
3) DO NOT ADD to the March 2 Agenda - Continue to find another separate Special Meeting
4) Other - Please suggest

Please be advised that some members of the Council have challenges finding additional dates/times for a Special Meeting and as a result, scheduling further discussion may get pushed farther out into April or May.

3. ABAG-MTC Merger

Linked here is a summary of an ongoing merger study being conducted for ABAG and the MTC. As you may recall, the study is being conducted to assess the best near-term approach to carry out the land use and transportation planning responsibilities set forth in SB 375 and reduce duplication. There is a website with further information. 

4. HPP Event and Revenue Log

Linked here are the Revenue and Event Logs for the Park. 

5. Local News - POTUS Visit

Below are a few links to local press regarding the POTUS visit. 

I also conducted an on-air radio interview with KGO Radio on Thursday morning as well as print-media interviews with SFGate and NBC.

6. San Mateo Manager’s Meeting - February 11

At the last Manager’s Meeting we discussed a number of issues that have local relevance. These include:

* Enforcement/Issues surrounding AirBnB operation in local communities (zoning, neighborhood impacts, positive/negative, and TOT)
* Marijuana Dispensaries, local ordinances, State laws, and an upcoming ballot initiative
* Imposition of Minimum Wage Ordinances

An issue that will make its way to the Town’s budget cycle is the use of Homeless Outreach Teams. The Homeless Outreach Team (HOT), a unique program to address chronic homelessness. The issue of homelessness is a multi-faceted one. While the Town does not have a significant problem with the homeless, we do encounter these individuals on a semi-regular basis and need appropriate resources to handle the issues and people involved. Local law enforcement are often the first government officials to make contact with a homeless person in Town. The Town needs resources to assist. Resources available through InnVision and the ShelterNetwork are available in the County and many agencies contribute to these facilities to address their homeless. However, they are already heavily burdened and are presently seeking financial contribution from local communities in order to continue to assist local law enforcement. 

This proposal will return to the Town as part of the 2016-17 budget process with a request for $5,000 to $6,500 annually (based on population and assessed valuation). More information to follow. However, in the interim, linked here is a report recently produced in Menlo Park that also includes the 
2013 Census and Final Report for San Mateo County. At the Manager’s meeting on Thursday, Kevin (Woodside) and I voiced concern with respect to the annual contribution requirement and discussed options to reduce the cost while still allowing the agencies to participate in the program as a resource. 

It should be noted that while we encounter homeless in Atherton it is not an everyday occurrence. Law enforcement and public works recently dealt with a homeless encampment on El Camino at the rear of a resident’s property. The outcome, while successful, was enforcement based. 

7. Town & Gown Event

We are working to schedule a Town & Gown social event for May/June. Following this event, we will begin quarterly meetings with local school boards and elected officials. 

8. National League of Cities - Caremark Program

The National League of Cities sponsors a free program for discounts on prescription medications. We are investigating the possibility of offering the program locally. 

9. FAQs - Town Website

As the Council is aware, we use regular mail, public notices, Town website, Facebook, Twitter, and NextDoor to get official information out to the community. As a matter of policy, we do not spend time monitoring and responding to the various media outlets and blogs. However, recently I saw a series of posts related to an Almanac article that prompted me to provide the Almanac with a link to Town FAQs on its website targeted specifically to answer the questions raised in the article commentary. Barbara Wood graciously posted the link to the FAQs within the commentary. However, the poster continued along their original vein and it prompted an official reply to the comment section by me. I provided a summary of the Town’s policy regarding posting on blogs and asked that those interested follow along via the Town’s website and other official outlets. 

I also invited the anonymous poster to contact me directly. As of this writing, I have not heard from the poster. Nevertheless, the FAQs answer the questions posed by the poster. Here is a link to the Almanac article to which I responded. 

Here is a link to the FAQs referenced. 

February 5, 2016

1. Special Events - POTUS and the Super Bowl

As advised, we have confirmed the POTUS visit for February 11. We are working with the Secret Service and the hosting property owner to work through event planning and the Town’s Special Event Permit requirements. 

In addition, we have been in contact with the property owner hosting the Super Bowl Party on Polhemus this weekend. The property owner has obtained a Special Event Permit and will be reimbursing the Town for additional public safety resources for the event. 

We are also in contact with the property owner hosting a fundraiser for Hilary Clinton later in February.

At this time, all have been cooperative with the Town with respect to the Permit requirements. 

2. Bike Sharrows

We have had a couple of complaints regarding the bicycle sharrows from a member of the Council. Staff and the contractor are aware of the quality issues (over pour, thickness, etc.). The contractor has had issues with their thermoplastic equipment and they have purchased a new stencil to control overflow. They will be repairing those sharrows that do not meet the Town’s requirements. We will not be paying for corrections. The sharrows are standard size per the MUTCD. If you are aware of any particular area where there is excessive overflow or “blobbing” - let me know and I will pass it along to Public Works. We will be inspecting all locations prior to sign-off. 

As part of the complaint, staff was advised to investigate sharrows in Menlo Park. Staff reviewed the other sharrows this week. Staff measured sharrows in Atherton, Menlo Park (MP) (University Ave south of Santa Cruz) and San Mateo County (SMC) (W. Selby). Staff found the sharrows in the three agencies to be similar in size with slight variations as outlined below. 

Menlo Park sharrows are installed in thermoplastic.  The bike symbol in the MP Sharrows has slightly narrower lines with more of a detailed bike. The MP tires are more oval shaped, are approx 2" wide on the sides and 4" on top/bottom as opposed to Atherton's tires which are circular and 4" all around.  MP's length (from point of arrow to bottom of tire) is approx 10',  as opposed to Atherton's length of 9' 3".  MP's sharrows are centered in the travel lane, whereas Atherton's sharrows are centered 4 ft off the edge of pavement (unless they have left/right sharrows, where they are centered in the lane).  The MP sharrow is 3' 3" wide, matching Atherton's width of 3' 3". The MP sharrows were installed a number of years ago wearing down their thickness. Three consecutive sharrows in MP were measured at 260', 310', and 320' as opposed to Atherton's 250' standard spacing.

SM County's sharrows are installed in paint.  The bike symbol in the SMC Sharrows has slightly thicker lines with wider tires.  The SMC tires vary from 3" - 6" wide as opposed to Atherton's tires which are circular and 4" all around.  SMC's length is 8' 9" (virtually no space between arrows and bike seat),  as opposed to Atherton's length of 9' 3".  SMC's sharrows are centered in the travel lane, and is also 3' 3" wide.  Three consecutive sharrows in SMC were measured at 130', 270' and 157' as opposed to Atherton's 250' standard spacing.

The spacing of the MP's and SMC's sharrows seemed to vary based on the length of the block.

The sharrows in Atherton that had left and/or right arrows (as opposed to straight through only arrows) had thinner sharrow line widths).  Both variations were acceptable.  

The thickness of the thermoplastic in Atherton varied between 1/16" and 1/8", which is below the 1/4" tripping hazard threshold.  Other than the quality of workmanship issue, we found the sharrows in Atherton to be installed in compliance with the plans. The contractor has noted that they will repair and clean locations of poor workmanship. Staff will review each location with the contractor prior to recommending acceptance.

3. Intersection of Camino al Lago and Park

A member of the Council reported a complaint from a property owner regarding the rights-of-way at the intersection of Camino al Lago and Park. Staff conducted a brief traffic engineer analysis of the intersection and as a result, installed two “Oncoming Traffic Does Not Stop” signs on the existing stop signs at the intersection. Maintenance to refresh pavement legends will occur during annual maintenance over the summer months. 

4. Marsh Road Project

Over the next week, we will be meeting with stakeholder groups to discuss early project planning, public outreach, notice, and other issues related to the project. We will be hiring a construction management firm to assist with project management. 

5. Internships

A member of the Council referred a student from Menlo College interested in pursuing a volunteer internship with the Town. Once contact is made, we will develop a plan for the internship. 

6. Drought Extension

On February 2, the State Water Resources Control Board (State) extended its mandatory water-use reductions and restrictions through October 2016. Following the April 1 snowpack assessment, the State will decide whether to further modify drought regulations. Until the State modifies these regulations, current water budgets and banking for California Water Service customers will continue. Cal Water will be mailing information to customers about this extension over the next week and have information posted on their web site. Customers can also get their upcoming months’ water budgets online at usage.calwater.com and in their bill. Customers whose water budget was adjusted through the appeal process will receive separate correspondence regarding their budgets. Additionally, the State will make adjustments to water-use reduction requirements in areas that meet certain criteria, such as population growth and climate. 

7. CCAC Meeting - February 8

Linked here is the PowerPoint for the February 8 CCAC Meeting. As the Council is aware, WRNS was directed to incorporate a “santa barbara style” to the design. Following the mid-January meeting, the CCAC asked WRNS to work further on the Fair Oaks facade possibly reducing the projection of the administrative wing to reduce the shadow on the main entry door, add more detailing to the facade, work on the spacing in the Council Chambers arched outdoor corridor, consider arched entry doors on the Fair Oaks side, investigate further the loggia at the Council Chambers, and examine the Police Department flat roof. 

The table at the beginning of the PowerPoint reflects the comments and WRNS’ response to those comments with the 2 options presented in the PowerPoint. 

Feb 07

January 2016 City Manager's Monthly Report

Posted to City Manager's Blog on February 7, 2016 at 12:14 PM by grodericks grodericks

City Manager's Monthly Report - January 2016

Monthly-report.pngWelcome to the City Manager's Monthly Report Blog.

The City Manager's Monthly Report Blog is a consolidation of issues, communications, and Town activity during the prior month that have been reported to the City Council as part of their weekly email from the City Manager. Sometimes information is duplicated over the course of several emails to the City Council to ensure that it is reviewed.

As I review the information to include in the Monthly Report, to the extent possible, I remove duplicate updates in favor of the most recent; I remove information regarding events that have already occurred; and I edit information that requires update - hopefully to make it more useful. Overall, the information is generally the same as it was presented to the City Council in their weekly Council email.

The Report reads with the most recent first. As always, if you have any questions or comments regarding the Monthly Report, please feel free to contact me via email or phone.


George Rodericks
City Manager
Town of Atherton
(650) 752-0504

January 29, 2016 - City Council Report

1. Joint MPFD Meeting

After speaking with the Fire Chief, the best date for the Fire District Board to get together for a Joint Meeting is July 13. At this time I have heard from only one member of the Council on the July 13 date. Another possibility is to try and tack the meeting onto an existing Council Study Session. Please advise as to your preference. 

2. Event Garden Status

The Event Garden continues to move along, but with the rain, its finish has been delayed. I have approved an extension for completion to March 1, 2016. 

3. Highway User Tax  Estimates - Local Allocations

Linked here is a publication from CaliforniaCityFinance.com on the Share Revenue Estimates for Highway User Tax - also known as the Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax. The Town budgets for Gas Tax revenues at about $225,000 per year directly into the Town’s CIP Fund. These funds are used for road improvement projects each year. This is another State funding source that has been targeted for reallocation and reduction over time. The publication is a detailed, albeit confusing, description of how the funding works and how it has changed over the years. It is estimated that our allocation will drop from $225,000 to $159,000 and then, increase again to $184,000 if the Governor’s budget is approved. 

4. EPC Earth Day Discussion

The EPC met earlier this week to discuss the proposed Earth Day event. The Committee approved the following (3-0) directing staff to prepare a proposed EPC 2016 Earth Day Event Work Plan and budget to present at the February 17, 2016 City Council meeting with the following components:

a) A 2016 Earth Day Event Work Plan will target dates around Earth Day (April 22nd) with pre-activities to be conducted during the week prior to the main Earth Day Event and with the main Earth Day event to be conducted on a weekend.  Final dates to be determined.  Committee members will research what and when other community groups, schools and/or agencies are planning for Earth Day so as to propose dates/times for the Town event that do not overlap to the greatest degree possible and then coordinate venue locations accordingly.

b) The 2016 Earth Day Event Work Plan will consist of four targeted phases:
(i) Pre-Event Marketing and Outreach – The Chair will work with Planning Staff and City Manager’s office on creating a survey to be distributed Town-wide to gage community interest on environmental issues so as to tailor the educational sponsors and activities of the Earth Day event accordingly as well as to alerting residents of upcoming Earth Day events. This survey to be distributed well in advance of actual Earth Day event activities. The Committee would then create public outreach materials and efforts for the event once final dates, times, and venues are secured and work with Town staff on distributing such accordingly.

(ii) Pre-Event Activities – The Committee would like to host an environmentally-based movie for the community in which the movie director will be in attendance and available for a Questions and Answers session after the movie.  The Committee would also like to host a guest speaker/panel discussion on an environmental topic.  These two activities can be separate or possibly combined.  These activities to be conducted prior to the main Earth Day event, with specific dates, times and venue location(s) to be determined.

(iii) Main Earth Day Event – The Committee would like to host a main Earth Day event on a weekend day, around the actual Earth Day of April 22, 2016.  The specific date, time and venue location to be determined. The Event would have numerous educational booths/tables of agency vendors providing educational information on matters such as energy, water, and solid waste.  The Committee would work with the Town on inviting selected vendors.  A student competition with prize giveaways would also be held.  The Committee would like a representative(s) from the Civic Center Advisory Committee and any other Town Committees/Commissions to also have a booth to provide the community information on other environmental happenings in the Town.  The Committee would utilize existing available supplies (shirts, bracelets, light bulbs, etc)  from the prior “Atherton 2020” program as free giveaways. Coordinating an E-waste drop off spot at the event is also desired. Some food, beverages, and live music would like to be made available at the event.  

(iv) Post Event Communication – The Committee would like follow up with the community after the event to gage interest and ideas to consider any future next steps and actions. 

c) The 2016 Earth Day Event Work Plan will request a budget of $5000.00.  The Committee would work to implement the ideas targeted within Item #1 above within the approved budget.  Supplementary, the Committee would solicit cash or other donations from private individuals and/or agencies which would need to then be referred to Town staff for follow up.  Additionally, the Committee would charge the identified vendors a fee for hosting a booth at the event.  Any collected funds would like to be used as prize giveaways for the student competitions and/or to off-set any of the costs with activities as noted in Item #1 above.  Any use of any funds collected would be used strictly for the Earth Day activities identified. 

5. AirBnB Support

I received an email from Dona Abbey regarding the Town’s policy with respect to AirBnB or VRBO rentals. Ms. Abbey noted that she is an advocate in support of changes to the policy. I responded to Ms. Abbey noting that the restriction on short-term rentals such as Airbnb or VRBO is codified into law; not merely a Town policy. I advised that at this time, the Town is not considering any changes to that law.  I suggested that if she would like the Town to consider changes to the law it would be appropriate for her to send a letter to the City Council outlining what changes she would like to see. I advised that if there were other signatories to that letter, that would be fine as well.

6. Special Events - POTUS and the Super Bowl

As advised, we have confirmed the POTUS visit for February 11. We are working with the Secret Service and the hosting property owner to work through event planning and the Town’s Special Event Permit requirements. 

In addition, we have been in contact with the property owner hosting the Super Bowl Party. At that time, the event was private and the expectation was that no Special Event Permit would be required. The event has now been released to the general public for attendance via the internet. We have reconnected with the property owner to advise that this may trigger the need for additional town resources in response to the event. There is a provision that allows a Special Request for Police Services (such as is done for events at Menlo College). The event can be handled in this manner if it is merely an officer on site that is necessary; however, if the event attendance expectation is of a sufficient amount, the Town may call in overtime services to mitigate potential issues. This would trigger the need for a Special Event Permit. We are working these issues out with the property owner. 

Presidential Candidate Hilary Clinton may also have a visit toward the end of February. We will be connecting regarding this event as well. 

7. Cal Water Emergency Response

On January 26, Cal Water was able to repair the nine (9) main line water breaks in their system. The cause of the “perfect storm” of main line failures was apparently due to the failure of two PRV’s (pressure reduction valves) in the system that went down following the Atherton Ave/Alameda break last week. These failures caused a huge influx of pressure and “hammer” to the main line system, culminating in the 9 failures that proceeded the recharge of the system.  As of January 26 at about 6PM, all breaks had been repaired (including replacement of the two failed PRV’s). The system had been restored to full pressure, and the EOC was closed down. The leaks were located in the following locations:
  • Euclid and Stockbridge – repairs completed; service restored
  • Fifth and Middlefield – repairs completed; service restored
  • First and Williams – repairs completed; service restored
  • Roble and University – repairs completed; service restored
  • Felton and Encinal – – repairs completed; service restored
  • Fremont and Fremont Place – repairs completed; service restored
  • 445 Fifth Ave. between Park and Middlefield –repairs completed; service restored.
  • Stockbridge between Santa Clara and Hillary – repairs completed; service restored
  • University between Partridge and Cambridge – repairs completed; service restored
Learning from this type of system meltdown is important. Along with the lessons learned from Cal Water concerning their infrastructure, there was some important lessons learned regarding communication between Cal Water and the Town. Dawn Smithson, Cal Water District Manager, has added the following to their protocol for such emergencies:
  • Town awareness – Cal Water has promised to make it part of their protocol to inform the Town earlier in their process of these types of large scale water issues. The Town can play an important role for them in notifying the public of real/potential delivery issues of their product through our many types of community contact devices.
  • Town communications – the Town has set up a “chain of contact” with Cal Water so that it is convenient for them to notify the correct Town staff during these circumstances with as little effort as possible. Town staff will then elevate this information to the appropriate parties under the guidance of the City Manager.
  • Partnership – The Town can help Cal Water during these types situations with labor, equipment or materials if necessary to help expedite these types of emergencies for the good of our residents. These costs can be reimbursed back to the Town following the emergency.
 All in all, a great effort by Cal Water. This was a huge emergency for them, and they brought in assets from all over northern California to help them stabilize the problem. Steve Tyler have personally thanked them for their herculean efforts and they have in turn thanked the Town residents for their patience and inconvenience during this time and Town staff for our offers of support and assistance.

As I mentioned to the Council, I agreed with the assessment above from Steve Tyler. Cal Water’s response was diligent and effective. However, I also agree that it is important that Cal Water engage the Town earlier. Cal Water is a member of the Town’s EOC Team and practiced with the Town during its last exercise. Communication was a key emphasis of that exercise. Nevertheless, small scale emergency situations will often “creep up” on you and before you know it, you’re knee deep in something that you should have reached out to others for support to address. I suspect this is what happened with Cal Water. They believed they could address the issue(s) internally and then when they realized they couldn’t - it was too late. Lessons learned. 

It continues to be important for the Town to engage and exercise with our partner agencies locally as well as regionally. This takes time, effort, and resources - but in the end, if we do not do so and issues arise - we will not know how to. Local EOC Teams are designed to “stand up” when needed. While the Cal Water situation may not have necessitated standing up our full EOC, it could have made sense to stand up the Operations Section of our EOC Team to work with Cal Water to address local issues. It would have been critical for the Town and our EOC Operations Team (Fire, Police, and Public Works) to know what water systems were not online in the off chance that a contemporaneous emergency situation arose. 

Work continues at the Atherton Avenue/Alameda de las Pulgas location. 

8. County of San Mateo - Shelter Services Bid

As the Council is aware, I serve on the review committee for the proposals received by the County of San Mateo for the construction of their new Animal Services Shelter. The County has received approximately 9 preliminary responses to their RFB/Design/Build project. We will be reviewing the statements of qualifications due by February 16. 

9. Camphor Trees

As part of the Event Garden, 4 large pieces of the camphor tree were saved to be turned into benches for the event garden. These have been stored at the edge of the site adjacent to the restroom and will be moved for a short-time behind the restroom. Tevita Taufehema, who assisted with moving the trees that were retained and assisted with moving the roses, will make the benches. He will be working behind the restroom area with appropriate safety measures in place (use of chain saw and plainer). 

10. Water Reductions

Cal Water recently reported December water conservation data to the State Water Resources Control Board (Board). For the month of December, Bear Gulch District, which encompasses the Town of Atherton, reduced its water consumption by 42.4% when compared to December 2013. For this service area, the Board set a cumulative water reduction goal of 36%. So far, the Bear Gulch District has reduced its water use by 35.8% when compared to the same period in 2013.

11. Little League Fencing

Season to begin soon. Field fencing will be installed on Monday, February 1. 

12. Bike Sharrows

We have had a couple of complaints regarding the bicycle sharrows. Staff and the contractor are aware of the quality issues (over pour, thickness, etc.). The contractor has had issues with their thermoplastic equipment and they have purchased a new stencil to control overflow. They will be repairing those sharrows that do not meet the Town’s requirements. We will not be paying for corrections. The sharrows are standard size per the MUTCD. If you are aware of any particular area where there is excessive overflow or “blobbing” - let me know and I will pass it along to Public Works. We will be inspecting all locations prior to sign-off. 

City Manager Major Goods, Use or Service Agreements/Contract Awards as of January 29, 2016

As a reminder, the list below is provided as informational only. All items listed are authorized pursuant to the Town’s purchasing policy requirements and within the current year’s program budget(s). 

  • None
Special Event Permits Authorized as of January 29, 2016

This is a list of the upcoming Special Event Permits approved.
  • January 
    • Approved events for the Circus Club under their blanket permit for Annual Events and Activities:
      • April 23 - SPCA Fur Ball
      • May 21 - ECR Cancer Benefit
      • May 30 - Memorial Day BBQ
      • June 11 - Polo Match
      • June 18 - Polo Match
      • June 19 - Father’s Day BBQ
      • July 4 - July 4 BBQ
      • July 9 - Polo Match
      • July 16 - Polo Match
      • August 8-14 - Horse Show - Requires separate Permit
      • September 3 - Polo Match
      • September 5 - Labor Day BBQ
      • September 10 - Polo Match
      • October 27 - Halloween Party
    • January 21 - VPRIV Advertising - 8 am to 6 pm, 58 Winchester, Photo Shoot for Advertising

January 22, 2016 - City Council Report

The next meeting of the City Council is the Study Session of Feb 3 from 3 pm to 5 pm on the Climate Action Plan and EPC Work Plan. I will be in Palm Springs at the City Manager’s Department meeting that Wednesday through Friday. Lisa and Stephanie will be presenting the item for Council discussion. My direction to them has been as follows:
  • Present the Council with the full Climate Action Plan and EPC proposed Work Plan related thereto. 
  • Recommend that a discussion of the language/verbiage of the CAP and EPC Work Plan be discussed at the end of the program discussion to allow the Council to discuss the programs themselves without getting side-tracked by the language in the CAP.
  • Have the Council make the policy decision up front with respect to apples-to-apples data - i.e. should we use the same methodology as other communities so that we can compare our programs directly with them and the State or should we use Atherton-specific methodology that does not allow an apples-to-apples comparison
  • Provide the Council with the programs that staff recommends (no cost, low cost, already doing, etc.). as easy to do and continue to do.
  • Provide the Council with a summary of GHGs mandates that are met by those staff-recommended no cost, low cost, already doing programs and what the gap is, if any, needed to meet the State mandate. 
  • Provide the Council with an "a la carte" selection of other programs recommended by the EPC that are designed to reach and/or exceed the State mandate with voluntary/mandatory GHG #’s
  • Decide what additional programs, if any, and in what form (voluntary versus mandate) should be undertaken by the Town.
  • Discuss the language/verbiage of the CAP and EPC Work Plan and revise as deemed appropriate
  • Consider an additional Study Session Special Meeting in February, if necessary, to finalize (Feb 10 or Feb 24)
1. Sacred Heart Project on the Horizon

Sacred Heart Schools has a project on the horizon that would replace the Sigall Building; the existing Prep School classroom building located near the corner of Valparaiso and Elena; and the McGanney Gym located between Valparaiso and the Main Building. At present, they are planning to replace two buildings and swap uses. Staff is discussing what planning steps need to be taken with respect to the SHS Master Plan in late spring or early summer 2016. The item might be before the Planning Commission in early Fall 2016. 

2. Special Meeting of the Transportation Committee

The Special Meeting of the Transportation Committee on Feb 9 has been cancelled. Staff will advise when rescheduled. The meeting was scheduled to allow further discussion of the Neighborhood Traffic Management Plan; however, the consultant was unable to make that date. The next regular meeting is March 10. 

The issue of the Hoover pedestrian lights will be placed on the regular agenda for March 10. 

3. Atherton Fiber

Robert Hayes has been appointed as the CEO of Atherton Fiber. Staff has a meeting set for Feb 10 to discuss the Development Agreement with Atherton Fiber. 

4. Shelter Services Report - December 2015

5. Quiet Zone Status

The Agreement has been executed by R.L. Banks & Associates, Inc. and is being returned to the Town for a Notice to Proceed. Once executed, they will begin work on the project. Specific tasks include: 1) Inventory of the Fair Oaks Grade Crossing; 2) Assessment of the FRA QZ Calculator and Applicability; 3) Prepare Study Report and Notice of Intent and Notice Letters; 4) Respond to Comments after Issuance of Notice of Intent; 5) Assessment & Inventory of Watkins Grade Crossing; 6) Determination of Inclusion in Fair Oaks QZ and/or assess additions necessary; 7) If applicable, Study Report & Notices. Not to Exceed Fee of $12,350. 

Staff will provide written updates as the project moves along. 

6. Speed Monitor on James Road

We had a complaint about a speed monitor on James Road and the flashing strobe that warns drivers of excessive speed. As part of the response, we advised that the radar speed indicator sign functions as designed. The strobe feature (designed to get the attention of the speed violator) has a setting for the speed at which it activates to get the driver's attention. The setting for the monitor on James Road was set too low. Public Works has since raised the setting and it is fixed. The radar sign was placed in the location of the radar sign that had been there before (same pole) but was removed due to malfunction and inability to be repaired. The Police Department requested that a new sign be installed to replace the old one due to excessive speeders on that thoroughfare despite vehicle enforcement. 

7. Camino Al Lago & Park Lane

Staff received a complaint regarding the intersection of Camino Al Lago at Park Avenue - specifically the turning movements from Park Lane to Park Lane (no stop bar) where it intersects with Camino Al Lago. Staff and our traffic engineer investigated. Without conducting a detailed radar speed survey, or geometric measurements, staff found that travel speeds and sight distances were operating at acceptable levels.  The Police Department reviewed the Town’s collision database and found that between 01-01-2011 and 01-16-2016, there were zero (0) intersection collisions at the subject intersection. After reviewing and rejecting several traffic engineering options (stop sign, yield controls, removal of stop bar, etc.) staff will be adding additional warning signs on the existing stop signs. The MUTCD allows the use of alternative supplemental messages such as TRAFFIC FROM RIGHT DOES NOT STOP (W4-4aP) or ONCOMING TRAFFIC DOES NOT STOP (W4-4bP) to be used in combination with a STOP sign when engineering judgment indicates that conditions that are causing, or could cause, drivers to misinterpret the intersection as an all-way stop are present.  When used, installation of these supplemental messages is required to be mounted under the Stop sign. Staff believes these supplemental messages will help clarify the intersection’s right of way and operations for approaching motorists. 

City Manager Major Goods, Use or Service Agreements/Contract Awards as of January 22, 2016

As a reminder, the list below is provided as informational only. All items listed are authorized pursuant to the Town’s purchasing policy requirements and within the current year’s program budget(s). 

  • None

January 15, 2016 - City Council Report

1. Open Salaries

Local government has long dealt with open salary information. Linked here is an interesting article from the Wall Street Journal on open salaries in the private sector

2. The Brown Act - Court Action

We talk about how violations of the Brown Act rarely have repercussions or “make the news” - linked here is an article from Marin about how the Marin County Supervisors recently ran afoul of the Act and we slapped by a judge as a result. 

3. Manus/Salzman Event

Attached is a recent article from Gentry magazine. Staff found a reference to a Super Bowl Party at the Manus residence in Atherton - marketed as the “largest Super Bowl philanthropy party in the country.” The Police Department is contacting the property owner to determine if the event will trigger a Special Event Permit. There is a heightened level of security around the Super Bowl and associated high-profile events this year (local, state and federal). 

4. Quiet Zone Status

Staff has selected R.L. Banks and Associates, Inc. as the top consultant. We are finalizing an agreement. Work will begin next week once we give authorization to proceed. 

5. Marsh Road Channel Project

On Monday we received an email from the Water Resource Control Engineer at the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board advising that the 401 Certification for the Town’s project is being completed for review by “management.” The representative advised that they expect to have it signed off by Friday of this week (today) or Monday of next. 

As of now, I have not had any further update. 

Road Detours - I have been in contact with David Fleck regarding possible detours when the project begins. I asked if he had anyone in the neighborhood (Holbrook Lane) that might be interested in working with staff to develop an appropriate signage and detour plan (to include notification). I have not yet heard back. But, staff will mention the detour plans at the next Council meeting as part of the item. There are plans to allow 2-way traffic in 1 lane, using flaggers, as well as a full road closure when required. We anticipate that many days, the contractor will stay within the channel to place rebar and forms, thereby saving the cost of flaggers and placement/removal of k-rails. We will have an extensive public outreach program to encourage the use of alternate routes. 

6. Historic Designations - HPP

Susan Masetti has advised that the Carriage House/Water Tower National Registry application is “on the desk” at the State Registration Unit and that it may be set for hearing on April 18. 

7. Cameras at the Park

The cameras and equipment recently installed at the Park have been very successful. The system works well. We will be requesting a budget amendment at mid-year for additional cameras to address the parking lots and entry/exit to the Park. 

8. Planning Commission - January Meeting

The January meeting of the Planning Commission has been cancelled due to a lack of items. The next scheduled meeting is February 24. 

9. Why Clean Energy is now Expanding

10. PCE Meeting - January 28 

Peninsula Clean Energy has asked that an elected official be in attendance at the next Advisory Committee meeting on January 28. The Advisory Committee meets on the 4th Thursday of each month from 7 pm to 9 pm at 101 Twin Dolphin Drive, Redwood City. 

At the January 20 Council Meeting the Mayor will make Council appointments to the PCE. At this time, Council Member DeGolia serves as the primary and I serve as the alternate. As PCE takes its final form, it is recommended that the primary and alternate be members of the Council. If you have asked to be a part of the PCE, please hold January 28 on your calendar for possible attendance. 

11. Leaning Water Tower

As the Council is aware, we engaged a surveyor to assess the “lean” in the water tower at the Park. The investigation revealed that there is a slight lean (about 1/10th of 1%). Further monitoring will detail whether the lean is historic or active. It appears that most of the lean is in the building slightly “bulging,” not so much the foundation moving. After a few months of monitoring there does not appear to be any significant activity. All of the activity recorded is within the tolerances of the equipment used. We will monitory again every couple of months to assess. 

12. Water Conservation Program

Cal Water has extended their water-use efficiency evaluation program to commercial industrial, and institutional properties. The program is similar to the residential program. The California Conservation Corps will conduct a thorough evaluation of a customer’s property, including plumbing fixtures, industrial processes, and irrigation and landscape uses. Customers will be provided with a water-use report detailing recommendations on how the property can be made more efficient. 

13. Valparaiso “in pavement” crosswalk lights

We have been having maintenance issues with the in-pavement flashing lights for the Valparaiso crosswalks. The brand that the Town selected when installed are no longer made or maintained for parts. Numerous lights continue to fail. Staff is putting together a recommendation to the Transportation Committee for either replacement with new in-pavement flashers (continuing maintenance issue) or installation of some other device. Neighbors will be advised of the Town’s next steps in this regard and will have an opportunity to talk to the Transportation Committee about the item before they make a recommendation to the City Council for inclusion in the 2016/17 Budget. 

The side flashing lights activated by the pedestrian work fine. It is only the in-pavement flashers that have been failing. 

City Manager Major Goods, Use or Service Agreements/Contract Awards as of January 15, 2016

As a reminder, the list below is provided as informational only. All items listed are authorized pursuant to the Town’s purchasing policy requirements and within the current year’s program budget(s). 

  • DNV GL Energy Services (Climate Action Plan Consultant) - $10,785
  • R.L. Banks & Associates Inc. (Quiet Zone) - $12,350

January 8, 2016 - City Council Report

1. Chickens Ordinance - Public Hearing February 2016

The Planning Commission, at its December 2, 2015 meeting recommended the City Council adopt an ordinance to update the Town’s chicken keeping regulations.  During the Planning Commission’s consideration process, staff provided Town-wide mailing of this topic to all Atherton residents, posted the item on the Town’s Open Town Hall portal for feedback, provided updates through the Town’s e-notify and posted public notice of the topic in the local newspaper and town bulletin boards. 
Since the Planning Commission meeting, the Town has received several requests for additional information on this topic and for additional time to study the proposed regulations.  Staff will be conducting additional public outreach by providing residents with a summary of the recommended ordinance through the town’s e-notify and scheduling the item for consideration at the February 17, 2016 City Council meeting.

2. HP Park Revenue and Event Logs

Linked here is the December 2015 HPP Revenue Log and Event Log

3. Wireless Antenna Upgrade

The wireless antenna(s) at the corner of Alameda de las Pulgas and Atherton Avenue will be upgraded. Equipment will be removed from one pole and replaced on a second. All permits were obtained and a hearing, with notice to property owners, was conducted. No one attended or provided any feedback. All equipment will be screened and camouflaged. The new pole will not be a tree, but will be appropriately screened. 

4. Upcoming Transportation Committee Meeting

The next meeting of the Transportation Committee is Tuesday, January 12. The primary item of new business on their agenda is the Neighborhood Traffic Management Plan.

5. EPC Work Plan and CAP

My role as your City manager and the role of staff is to support and implement the policy initiatives of the Council that are directed and adopted by the Council as a body (typically via a City Council meeting). Our role is not to champion or defend the specific policy initiatives of any singular Council Member or Committee. 

My specific role is to facilitate a policy discussion in the hope of formulating a policy that most if not all of you support. As we move through the EPC Work Plan and the climate action plan directives, please remember, that staff will support and implement any policy direction the Council ultimately adopts and during the meeting staff will answer any questions posed by the Council that we are able to answer, but we are not the champions of any particular policy direction.  

With respect to the Work Plan, my recommendation, as I have mentioned to each of you individually, remains the same. Given the disparate opinions and level of passion associated with climate action programs and policies, the Council should review the EPC Work Plan in the context of and concurrently with a review and detailed policy discussion of the climate action plan. That discussion is something you have not had yet. Pulling up pieces of the environmental programs committee workplan out of context with the climate action plan could impact the successful discussion and implementation of both. 

Can the EPC host an Earth Day event?  Sure. Earth Day is an event that is consistent with the policy direction of the Council in the past. They should develop what they would like the event to look like, develop a budget, and a program. That should then return to the Council for approval of the event and the budget. In the past, the event has consisted of tree-planting, green bag giveaways, and other educational material designed to inform the community about energy savings programs and opportunities that exist today. 

But, if you want to do more than that, to include development of local programs and policies, or the resurrection of older programs and policies that have not yet been re-adopted by the Council – that, I suggest you wait until you review the full climate action plan and adopt a EPC work plan that is consistent with it.  

6. CCAC Outreach Committee

The CCAC Ad Hoc Outreach Committee met the week to discuss ways to enhance outreach for the February 22 Public Meeting on the Schematic Design. This is one of the last full-community outreach meetings in the design process. Once we move past Schematic Design, the project and its aesthetic are pretty much nailed down. 

Linked here is the brief agenda of that meeting. 

7. Animal Services Report - November 2015

8. GHG Article - Berkeley Study

Staff was recently contacted by a reporter regarding a recent UC Berkeley study on GHG emissions. The Study noted that Atherton has the highest carbon footprint of any city in the San Francisco Bay area at 86 tCO2e - nearly 3 times the carbon footprint of Stanford and over 2.5 times higher than Emeryville. 

The study uses household income as the key driver in calculating emissions. The researchers calculations were made regardless of where the emissions occurred. For example, if a computer was made in China but purchased by a household in Atherton, all emissions from the production of the computer were assigned to Atherton. Since Atherton has the highest median income of anywhere in the Bay Area, this is likely the key contributing cause. It is the opinion of our consultant that this “consumption based” study, unlike the geographically-based inventory the consultants created, is based substantially more on estimates.

We had the consultant look at how Atherton’s median household income compared to some of the other cities/towns with the highest per household emissions mentioned in the study. Atherton’s household income is significantly higher than the other affluent town’s in the Bay Area. However, the MT CO2e per household per dollar of income is actually lower in Atherton than in any of the other towns/cities included in the table.

Median Household Income
MT CO2e per Household
MT CO2e Per Household Per Dollar of Income
Portola valley
Los Altos
Moss Beach

Household income (and to a lesser extent average square footage and vehicle ownership of households) is a key driver in the calculations for most emissions categories (transportation, housing, goods, services). The only category where income is not a key driver is food (where the per household emissions for Atherton are very similar to other towns/cities in the Bay Area). 

Here is a link to the Study

City Manager Major Goods, Use or Service Agreements/Contract Awards as of January 8, 2016

As a reminder, the list below is provided as informational only. All items listed are authorized pursuant to the Town’s purchasing policy requirements and within the current year’s program budget(s). 

  • Reflex Engineering, Inc. - Class III Bike Route Project - $80,921.30
  • Columbia Electric, Inc. - Almendral HAWK Beacon Project - $148,414.20
  • Hatch Mott MacDonald - Middlefield Road/Oak Grove Complete Streets Improvement Project - $45,570.00