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'Quiet Zones'

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.

Regards,

George Rodericks
City Manager
Town of Atherton
(650) 752-0504
grodericks@ci.atherton.ca.us
#AthertonTalks


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.

Aug 10

July 2016 City Manager's Monthly Report

Posted to City Manager's Blog on August 10, 2016 at 3:16 PM by grodericks grodericks

City Manager's Monthly Report - July 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 (older emails get shorter) in favor of the most recent - although some will be duplicative if there is other relevant information included; I try to 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.

My weekly email typically goes out every Friday. 

Regards,

George Rodericks
City Manager
Town of Atherton
(650) 752-0504
grodericks@ci.atherton.ca.us
#AthertonTalks


July 29 Weekly Council Notes

1. ECR HAWK Beacon Project - Ribbon Cutting (UPDATED)

Please hold August 17 3 pm as the date for the HAWK Beacon Ribbon Cutting. 
 
2. ADAPT - Atherton Community Emergency Drill

On Saturday, August 6 from 9 am to 1 pm ADAPT will be hosting an Atherton Community Emergency Drill (ACED). The exercise is a joint training earthquake drill with resident volunteers, first responders, and Town officials. Members of the Council are welcome to attend and participate as ADAPT volunteers. We will be opening our EOC in conjunction with the drill. The reporting area for the drill is the parking lot directly behind the Police Department. The goal of the drill is to help better prepare the Town in case of a major incident, to improve collaboration between the Town, first responders and volunteers during an event, and to expose residents to what they can do in an emergency for themselves and to help others. More information and education will be forthcoming as the event draws closer. 

3. Recent Articles

4. Atherton Development Roundtable

The next Atherton Development Roundtable will be held from 12 pm to 1 pm on Monday, August 1 at the Pavilion in the Park. Topics to be discussed include:

- Personnel Changes in the Building Department
- Atherton PD/Code Enforcement
- National Night Out
- PACE Program
- 2016 Code Adoption Cycle

5. Revenue Alternatives Reports I & II

At the Council meeting during the discussion of the Business License Tax, the Council asked that in September, staff return with the broad overview of revenue alternatives. I advised we would share with the Council the prior research on these topics. Below are the links to the two reports:


6. Letter from Congresswoman Eshoo - Flight Path

On July 25 the Town received a letter (copy) from Congresswoman Eshoo to Supervisor Slocum regarding arrivals/departures at San Carlos Airport and the planned FAA solution. A copy of that letter is linked here.

The letter expresses concern that while the Surf Air trial arrival route might alleviate concerns in San Mateo County it may shift the problem to the cities of Mountain View and Sunnyvale. Congresswoman Eshoo notes that if the route has an adverse impact on Mountain View and Sunnyvale and there is not a process to consider the concerns of all the constituents before granting the new route, she will oppose the measure. 

7. Planning Commission - July 27

Planning Commission met on July 27 and took the following action:

- DCC Herren swore in Lane and Lerner
- Commissioner Lane selected as Chair
- Commissioner Lamb selected as Vice Chair
- Commissioner Tonelli appointed by Chair to work with Commissioner Sockolov, Tree Committee, and staff on revisions to tree ordinance.
- PG&E provided an overview of their pipeline safety initiative (status)
- Continued the public hearing on the Heritage Tree Removal of three trees at 70 Stern to August 24 meeting. 
- Denied Appeal of CTL fine at 18 Ralston Road

Next meeting is scheduled for August 24. 

8. Galvanized Steel Railings - Paint or No Paint?

Along the Marsh Road Channel there will be new modern railings. The plan specifications call for the railings to be galvanized steel, but do not specify that they be painted. Staff is getting an estimate of the cost to paint the railings before installation (may cause delay - not recommended) or post installation. The color would be black or green (leaning toward green). The cost to paint is not included in the project cost.

9. Cal Water Drought Update - From Cal Water

The new emergency drought regulations adopted by the Board allowed water utilities to self-certify their own water-use reduction requirements based on local water supply conditions. Even with the regulatory adjustments made by the Board,  Cal Water believes it  is important to plan for the long-term and prepare to meet stronger, permanent water conservation standards expected from the State in early 2017. This is especially important given that many communities across California are still facing drought challenges and there is a distinct possibility that we will have a very dry winter. In light of all of this, Cal Water is making some adjustments to their Drought Response Plan, which will become effective on July 29.

First, Cal Water will be setting a conservation target of 10% for customers in the Bear Gulch service area. These targets will continue to be based, in most instances, on customers' same-month water usage in 2013. Conservation targets will also be shown on customers' bills. Cal Water believes that this conservation target effectively balances the short-term water supply outlook with the need to be prepared for more stringent regulations from the Board and the possibility of a very dry winter.

Second, Cal Water will be moving from Stage 2 to Stage 1 of the Water Shortage Contingency Plan, which does not include drought surcharges. Cal Water has confidence that customers will continue to use water wisely, so for now, water budgets and associated drought surcharges are suspended. Customers that have accumulated credits in their respective water banks will not see them listed separately on their water bills, but they will be maintained in customers' accounts until the current drought emergency ends. The various prohibited uses of water that have been in place since last year remain effective under Stage 1 of our Water Shortage Contingency Plan.

Customers can visit the website at www.calwater.com/conservation for information on  industry-leading water conservation program and additional information about the drought.

10. Las Lomitas - Detention Basin Project

The consultant continues to evaluate and analyze alternatives working with the District. There are a few issues that are cropping up that need to be cleared up - these include regional partner potential, regional grant opportunities, title reports that show clear ownership/responsibility, and sizing of existing drainage systems. Work continues on this feasibility study. 

11. Belbrook Culvert

Bids are due back on Tuesday and will be analyzed for award of contract. Returning to the Council in September is cleaning up of the easement and Channel District. 

12. Civic Center Project

- Reuse of the SFPUC pipeline - Integral reviewed the possible reuse of the SFPUC waterline as a green component of the Town’s project. If the waterline remained in use, the line could be wrapped with a coil. Absent its active use, the cost to build infrastructure to create a system that would be feasible for use is not practical. They recommend its full abandonment and not reuse. Staff is putting together a summary of their analysis for the Green Building Committee. 

- There is a meeting coming up of the Library Subcommittee, Library staff, and Heritage (Marion) to discuss the library floor plan. Tom Fortin is putting together a staging memorandum that outlines the staging options for the library (including the bookmobile option). 

- The cafe in the historic town hall is being designed as a warming/catering kitchen. It is not being designed for a particular vendor or with a particular vendor in mind. There is a timing issue involved with amendments to the Town’s General Plan and Land Use ordinance to allow a commercial use. That is something that will be addressed post-project. The facility will be designed such that it can accommodate a commercial activity (mostly electrical and plumbing), but it is not being designed with any particular activity in mind. 

- There is acoustics testing going on in the civic center.

Special Events Permits - July 29, 2016

This is a list of the upcoming Special Event Permits approved or under review.


July 22 Weekly Council Notes

1. Recent Articles

Below are a couple of recent articles related to Atherton activity.


Getting coverage in the press can be very helpful. The press can add a significant boost to getting the word out regarding Town activities, programs, and decision-making. Press coverage can also help educate the community on difficult issues and conversations that must be had. But it is important to remember, that as elected and appointed officials, when speaking to the press or in public our words and how we say things often find their way into headlines and articles. It’s important to be cognizant of not only what we say, but how we say it. Turns of phrase, no matter how well meaning or innocent, can often have positive as well as negative connotations to the reader. 

2. Animal Services Monthly Report - June 2016


3. West Nile Virus - Birds & Traps

The San Mateo County Mosquito & Vector Control District found another WNV positive bird in Atherton on Isabella. Traps went out to trap mosquitos immediately. All of the mosquitos captured in the traps tested negative for WNV. 

4. PCE Roll-Out

Council Member DeGolia presented a map of the PCE Roll-Out for Phase I. A question arose regarding PCE’s methodology for selecting customers in the roll-out. The customers in Phase I will be cutover in October on their meter read dates. The customers were selected so that they represented 20% of Atherton’s total residential load and were located in contiguous PG&E neighborhoods. The consultants used PG&E carrier routes to select contiguous areas.

All of the Town’s municipal accounts will be rolled in as well as part of Phase I. I will have something on the September agenda to allow you to provide input into whether the Town should enroll our accounts as 50% renewable or 100% renewable. The accounts include all municipal facilities inclusive of irrigation and streetlights. 

For the roll-out, PCE will send out written notifications next week to those identified customers. Residents that receive enrollment notices will automatically be enrolled to receive the ECOplus product (50% renewable and 75% GHG free) - at lower rates than PG&E’s current set. Here is a link to the notice material and informational materials

Even if a customer is not in the initial 20% roll-out for Phase I, customers can be “early adopters” by enrolling on the website. We will assist in publicizing this information. Residents can also choose to be ECO100 customers (100% renewable sources and 100% carbon free). This product is 1 cent/kWh above the ECOplus rate. 

5. PG&E Postcards on LED Streetlights

PG&E completed its PG&E-owned LED Streetlight Conversion Project in Atherton. They are sending out a post-installation postcard to those that live in the vicinity of the new street lights. Approximately 1,118 residences in Atherton will receive the postcard. 

6. Cal Water Urban Water Management Plan

California Water Service has prepared and adopted an update to its Urban Water Management Plan (UWMP) that addresses water service condition in the Bear Gulch Service Area. The Plan describes and elevates the sources of supply, reasonable and practical efficient water uses, reclamation, and demand management activities in the community. The Plan also addresses measures for residential, commercial, governmental, and industrial water demand management. 

A key focus of the UWMP is an update to the conservation requirements set forth in Senate Bill 7 as passed in November 2009. SB 7 mandates a statewide 20% reduction per capita urban water use by 2020. In order to quantify the objectives and identify the means of achieving this mandated demand reduction, Cal Water has updated the Conservation Master Plan for the Bear Gulch area. A copy of that Plan is in one of the appendices of the UWMP. An electronic copy of the UWMP is available at http://www.calwater.com/conservation/uwmp

7. Accounting Technician - Amanda Governale

As mentioned, with the reclassification of Noy to Junior Accountant we backfilled her Accounting Technician position. Beginning August 1 we welcome on board Amanda Governale as the Town’s Accounting Technician. Amanda holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont. Amanda’s most recent work experience includes a paid internship with the Town of Woodside where she assisted with projects and events, analyzed data and created codes for TRAKit and OpenGov, and assisted the Town in transferring to a new financial system - Springbrook (the one used by Atherton). Amanda also served as an intern with the City of San Bruno where she oversaw the complete renovation of the City’s website. Prior to that, Amanda interned with the College of San Mateo while working on her Bachelor’s Degree. If you are by after August 1, stop in and say hi to Amanda.

8. Pursuit Rated Hybrids/Alternative Fuel Vehicles

One of the questions that arises when the Town purchases police vehicles is when/how can we purchase pursuit rated vehicles that use alternative fuel technologies. My response to date has been that there are no alternative fuel vehicles at this time that are pursuit rated. However, that’s not to say they aren’t coming. In late 2015, the EPA certified bi-fuel and dedicated liquid-injection propane autogas systems for use in Ford police vehicles. When we learned of this, we contacted our Ford dealership that outfits our police vehicles. The strong advice was not to make the purchases at this time. The rationale expressed was because there are no prep packages presently designed that allow these vehicles to be outfitted properly for use. Without the proper prep packages, the representative advised that there could be some very significant engine issues. 

My suggestion is that we keep watch of these emerging technologies. The Town’s vehicle purchases are small scale and impactful when we need to do so (budget wise). We are not purchasing fleet vehicles in tranches. If we were to purchase a vehicle and it had issues that had not been fully vetted, the impact on our finances would be greater than the impact on larger agencies to repurchase. I suggest we keep watch of the emerging tech and let the dust settle on its use a bit by larger agencies before we leap in - we are simply not nimble enough to absorb the impact of a purchase that goes awry. 

9. 303 Atherton Avenue - Cell Tower

We are denying the landscape screening options for the approved cell tower at 303 Atherton Avenue. The cell provider has exhausted all options to devise an approvable landscape screening plan under the existing permit. A redesign will be required with the possibility of a camouflage/concealed pole (tree).

10. Helicopter at National Night Out

As in prior years, the CHP Helicopter will be landing at the Park during the National Night Out event on August 2. This is practice for emergency preparedness. Neighbors in the area are notified by letter in advance.

11. Business License Tax

Staff has contacted Hillsborough to get to the bottom of their business license tax/ordinance. They have advised that their current practice is in line with what staff presented at the meeting on Wednesday night - for contractors pulling a building permit, they pay 0.5% based on the permit valuation for every permit pulled as a business license tax in addition to their basic building permit fee.

Atherton has two significant builders in Town as I pointed out during our conversations. If Atherton adopted the Hillsborough model of 0.5% based on permit valuation, in calendar year 2015, one of those builders would have paid a license tax of $18,996 based on permit valuations of $3,799,251 and the other would have paid a license tax of $102,190 based on permit valuations of $20,437,940. I don’t know what those builders paid in Hillsborough, but I have asked. Those amounts will fluctuate year over year based on their permit activity for the year. 


July 15 Weekly Council Notes

1. Team-Building/Goals Workshop

Nancy Hetrick has met with each of you to discuss the August Team Building Workshop. Thank you for taking the time for the pre-meeting. I am meeting with Nancy at 11 am on Wednesday to go through the feedback. The August workshop is not a goal-setting workshop. It is an opportunity to build and reinforce the positive team (both Council and Executive) moving forward. The date and time of the workshop has not yet been set. 

2. Train Horn - Quiet Zone

Mike Kashiwagi and I met with Michelle Bouchard and others with Caltrain to discuss any continuing issues they may have with quiet zone compliance. In addition, we will be discussing the possibility of quad gates at Watkins and diagnostic review of both Watkins and the Atherton Train Station. 
 
3. Locate and Mark - USA North 811

The Town is not a member of USANorth 811. We have never have been. Recently, there was an incident on James Avenue where the Sanitary District hit one of the Town’s street light underground wires as part of a lateral installation project. Not only is this inconvenient - it’s dangerous. The adjacent property owner inquired as to why there Town is not a member. There are annual membership fees, GIS mapping requirements and annual follow-up. I connected with Steve to determine if the Town had ever considered membership in the past and he advised that we had, but had never followed through - cutting it from any proposed budget. I do not know what the fee is - honestly, I do not believe it could be that prohibitive. Membership provides a benefit, but also requires our participation. Steve and I will look into membership as I believe it’s time we seriously consider doing so.

4. LED Fact Sheet from PG&E - AMA Report

5. CalWater Update - Drought Data/Presentation

CalWater has provided the update for Atherton’s consumption for June 2016. It is linked here  Atherton conserved 45% as compared to 2013 and 39% year to date. A member of the Council asked if CalWater could present an update to the Council in September. I have contacted Dawn Smithson and she will be present at the meeting to present. I will provide her with some Q&A of interest. If there is something specific any member of the Council would like her to address please advise. 

Bear Gulch has not done a specific Drought Actions Summary Report, but she will request one. She advised that any funds collected through the “overage surcharge” (using more than your allotted water budget) are returned to customers via their WRAM (Water Revenue Adjustment Mechanism). When rates are generated, there are certain assumptions based on how much water they predict they will sell. If that varies, the difference is “trued up” through the WRAM system which either issues a surcharge or credit to the customer bill. The funds associated with the “overage surcharge” will go to offset the WRAM. Fees collected through restricted uses of water (e.g. watering hard surfaces, not using a positive pressure shut-off nozzle on your hose) were nominal. Dawn indicated that she did not think they collected any fees in Bear Gulch for those violations. If collected, those fees are used to help offset the cost of any extra expenses incurred because of the drought.

6. HdL Companies - July Newsletter

7. Recent Articles

I advised last week that there were a couple of recent articles that I would share with the Council - one on the Civic Center Funding and the other on the Caltrain DEIR lawsuit. Linked here are those articles. 


8. PCE Meeting - July 14, 2016 - 6:30 pm

There was a PCE Board meeting on July 14. On their agenda were discussions on the following:
  • Consideration of roll-out phases
  • Budget for FY 16/17
  • Energy Purchase Authority
  • Marketing & Communication Strategies
  • Report on Renewable versus Greenhouse Gas Free Energy
In addition, Peninsula Clean Energy asked for final pricing from the top three Electric Service Providers on June 27. PCE executed master agreements with the top three ESPs, which were 1) Energy America (a subsidiary of Direct Energy), 2) Exelon Generation Company (through its subsidiary Constellation), and 3) Shell Energy North America.  

PCE selected one ESP to sign the confirmation agreement, which was Energy America/Direct Energy.  This confirmation agreement is for a 51 month term, running from October 2016 through December 2020.  Direct Energy offered the most competitive pricing for the products we will be supplying to PCE's Phase 1 customers.  These products are conventional energy, renewable energy, and greenhouse gas free (carbon free) energy, and scheduling services, which meet the quantities and percentages as directed by the Board of Peninsula Clean Energy.  

9. Camino Al Lago/Camino A Los Cerros/Camino Por Los Arboles/Cowell Lane Intersection

In response to a request/complaint from a local resident, Interwest prepared a technical memorandum to address issues at the intersection of Camino Al Lago/Camino A Los Cerros/Camino Por Los Arboles/Cowell Lane. The information will be presented to the Transportation Committee for consideration at their next meeting.  

In general, there are two existing “Yield” signs at the intersection where the resident indicated that she has almost been hit by vehicles not yielding. The resident would like the “Yield” signs relocated to improve visibility or replaced with “Stop” signs. Staff reviewed collision information from the State Wide Integrated Traffic Reporting System (SWITRS) from 2010 through 2015 for the intersection and found the following:
  • There were a total of four reported collisions (one each in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2014).
  • All reported collisions were single vehicle collisions with a fixed object.
  • Three occurred during the day, and one at night
  • The primary causes were: unsafe speed, improper backing, unsafe turning.  The last collision was a reported hit and run, therefore no primary collision factor was stated.
Based upon the above findings, there are no patterns that would require mitigation. Staff also reviewed each of the four Yield sign locations and found the following:

Location #1-Cowell Lane at Camino Por Los Arboles
 
The location of the existing Yield sign is appropriate; drivers can easily see the sign as they approach, the sign is 24” and does not have much reflectivity. Once at the limit line, the location of the fence/landscaping limits drivers view of approaching vehicles northbound on Camino Por Los Arboles. 
 
Location #2-Camino A Los Cerros at Camino Por Los Arboles
 
The location of the existing Yield sign is appropriate, drivers can easily see the sign as they approach, the sign is 24” and does not have much reflectivity. Once at the limit line, the landscaping in the median island may create a visibility issue viewing northbound Camino Por Los Arboles traffic for some vehicles.
 
Location #3-Camino Al Lago at Camino Por Los Arboles
 
The location of the existing Yield sign is appropriate, drivers can easily see the sign as they approach, the sign is 30” and does not have much reflectivity. 
 
Location #4-Camino Al Lago at Camino Por Los Arboles
 
The location of the existing Yield sign is appropriate, drivers can easily see the sign as they approach, the sign is 24” and does not have much reflectivity. 
 
Based upon the findings mentioned above, it is recommended that the following be completed:
 
Location #1
  • Replace the existing Yield sign with a new 30” Stop sign.
  • Install “Sharks Teeth” markings
Location #2
  • Replace the existing 24” Yield sign with a new 30” Yield sign
  • Install “Sharks Teeth” markings
  • The landscaping in the median should be trimmed so that the height does not exceed 36” high (measured from pavement level)
Location #3
  • Replace the existing 24” Yield sign with a new 30” Yield sign
  • Install “Sharks Teeth” markings
Location #4-See photo #4
  • Replace the existing 24” Yield sign with a new 30” Yield sign
  • Install “Sharks Teeth” markings
Stop and Yield signs are to be a minimum of 30” per the current version of the California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (CA MUTCD). Visuals linked here


July 8 Weekly Council Notes

1. Marsh Road Project

The project is moving along and remains on schedule. I have executed a change order to the project to address the West Bay Reimbursement Agreement, Additional Traffic Control & Flaggers through the completion of the project, additional spare guard rail for future use, and a change in the shoring system. Inclusive of the $632,000 in West Bay work, there is $951,176 in additional work netting against $836,182 in credits and reimbursements for a net change order of $115,004. This is expected to be the bulk of the change orders for the project. There may be some other minor change orders well within the project expectations.   

2. Environmental Programs Committee Meeting

Staff is trying to setup the July/August Environmental Programs Committee for an After Action Report on the Earth Action Fair and selection of Chair/Vice Chair. At this time, there are no action items for consideration by the Committee so future meeting dates/times have not been set. 

3. Complaint Regarding Carcinogens.

The Town received an official request from members of the Police Department to have the building checked for carcinogens. Health concerns have been expressed. The Town conducted a building survey/inspection in 2010 and made improvements. We will be providing the report to the concerned parties and determining if there is a need to conduct additional inspections/analysis. 

4. Triple Flip Final Close Out

On June 30, the State sent a notification advising of the final triple flip amounts. Once all the funds have been received by the County, the final revenue will be transmitted to each agency. There are two agencies in the County that will need to be “trued up” with remittance back to the County, i.e. we were overpaid. Those two agencies are Portola Valley at $23,851.12 and Atherton at $10,494.04. 

The true up calculations were made by the Department of Finance and they are providing us (and Portola Valley) with written details and requests for reimbursement (invoice). The overpayment was based on the amount paid to the agencies and the estimate to actuals comparison performed by the Department of Finance. For those needing additional information about the triple flip, here is a publication that explains some of the history

5. Facebook Expansion DEIR Comment Letter

Linked here is the Town’s comment letter to Facebook’s Expansion DEIR

6. Article in the Daily Post

Linked here is a recent article in the Daily Post regarding the Town’s business license tax. There are a couple of other articles I am trying to get copies of related to Civic Center Funding (Atherton Now) and the Caltrain DEIR Lawsuit. As soon as I have copies, I will forward them to the Council. 


July 1 Weekly Council Notes

1. Managers Meeting - Menlo Fire Nexus Study

On June 30, I met with the City Managers of East Palo Alto and Menlo Park as well as a representative from the County to discuss the Fire District Nexus Fee Study and next steps/recommendations. Consideration of the Nexus Fee Study is on hold pending the outcome of these discussions and next steps. In the coming weeks, we will be setting up a meeting with the Fire Chief to discuss further. At this time, adoption of the Nexus Study has been put on hold. 

2. Atherton Fiber

We have received comments from Atherton Fiber on the draft agreement and are reviewing the issues internally. I spoke with Robert Hayes (CEO of Atherton Fiber) yesterday. He advised that they are re-evalauting their service model and the impact on a potential franchise agreement with the Town given the efforts of Zayo and Wave Broadband in Town. We will be reconnecting in August.  

3. Funding Opportunity for Alternative Fuel Vehicles and Infrastructure

C/CAG is considering pursuit of a grant opportunity from the Department of Energy to fund the purchase and deployment of alternative fuel vehicles (light, medium, heavy duty) and planning efforts for the deployment of refueling infrastructure. The objective of the project is to accelerate the use of electric vehicles and supporting infrastructure through community-based partnerships among state and local governments. The potential project would include all interested cities (for public fleets, as well as strategic partners for fuel supply/auto dealers/etc. 

C/CAG is surveying cities and seeking multiple cities to be partners on the project. Candidates must:

- have developed or currently developing fleet management plans/vehicle replacement strategies;
- currently planning or purchasing (in the near term) alternate fuel vehicles
- looking to deploy alternative fuel charging stations

C/CAG would be the project sponsor. The grant amount would be in the $3m to $5m range. We do not yet know grant application details or specifics, to include matching requirements. However, we have advised C/CAG that we are interested in participating and have identified the possibility of 4 all-electric type vehicles that could replace or augment some of the Town’s existing fleet in Code Enforcement, Arborist, general PW, and General Admin/PD use. 

4. EIR Comments

Staff is working to prepare comments in response to the following EIR Notices:

- Infill EIR for 500 El Camino Real in Menlo Park. Draft EIR with comments due by July 21. This is the Stanford property on the east side of El Camino just north of the Stanford Park Hotel near the Palo Alto City limits. Within the Notice of Preparation, they are planning to analyze all of the Atherton intersections along Middlefield Road between Ringwood and Marsh. The development proposal is for 144,000 sf of non-medical office, 10,000 sf of retail and 215 residential units. 
- Proposed Facebook Expansion - Draft EIR with comments due by July 11. The expansion includes two new office buildings totaling 962,400 sf and a 200-room hotel. 

5. HSR Agreement for Reimbursement

On the July 20 Agenda is authorization for the City Manager to execute a reimbursement agreement with HSR. The agreement itself is still in the works. Last week, staff met with a representative of HSR who is tasked with negotiating reimbursement agreements with cities and counties who will be impacted by planning, design, and construction of HSR. The purpose of the reimbursement agreement is to reimburse cities for staff and contract staff time necessary to research and gather information, review documents, studies, and plans necessary to construct HSR. It does not bind, bar or condition any legal action by the Town related to HSR. 

6. Peninsula Clean Energy - Meeting New CEO

Council Members DeGolia and Widmer and myself will be meeting in July with the Peninsula Clean Energy new CEO, Jan Pepper. 

7. San Mateo County - Preliminary Draft Countywide Transportation Plan

The San Mateo County - Preliminary Draft Countywide Transportation Plan has been released for public comment. Mayor Lewis and Council Member Wiest serve as the Town’s Ad Hoc Subcommittee to C/CAG. Please review the plan and provide me with any comments you might have over the next week. I will consolidate and forward those comments to the Subcommittee. 

8. HP Park Revenue and Event Logs

Linked here are the June Park Events Log and the Revenue Log. A full year logged of Park events netted the Town approximately $100,000. 

9. Green Bicycle Lanes - Valparaiso and Middlefield - MENLO PARK

Menlo Park will be installing green bike lanes at a few intersections in Menlo Park. The roll-out includes a few spots within Atherton on Valparaiso and Middlefield. They have applied for and received an encroachment permit from the Town. With the proximity of these improvements, we will take the opportunity to use their project to help educate our residents about further green lanes along Middlefield in Atherton in advance of our project implementation.

10. Mosquito & Vector Control District - AB 1362

In January, the SMCMVCD moved in opposition to AB 1362. The legislation could reduce the number of trustees on the Board and changed the appointment process from local agencies to the County City Selection Committee. It essentially eliminates the one-city one representative concept for the Board. If the Town would like to add its voice to the issue, please advise. Here is a link to the bill information. It is presently back in Committee.
 
11. Animal Services Report - May 2016


Jul 11

June 2016 City Manager's Monthly Report

Posted to City Manager's Blog on July 11, 2016 at 2:36 PM by grodericks grodericks

City Manager's Monthly Report - June 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 (older emails get shorter) in favor of the most recent - although some will be duplicative if there is other relevant information included; I try to 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.

My weekly email typically goes out every Friday. 

Regards,

George Rodericks
City Manager
Town of Atherton
(650) 752-0504
grodericks@ci.atherton.ca.us
#AthertonTalks


June 24 Weekly Council Notes

1. Team-Building/Goals Workshop

Working with Theresa, Nancy Hetrick will be meeting with each of you for about 30 minutes to discuss the August Team Building Workshop. Thank you for taking the time for the pre-meeting. I think it will be important for each of you to come to the meeting with the same expectations. Nancy will be sharing the format of the meeting and discussing any issues of concern related therein.

The August workshop is not a goal-setting workshop. It is an opportunity to build and reinforce the positive team (both Council and Executive) moving forward. 

2. Managers Meeting - Menlo Fire Nexus Study

I am meeting on June 30 the City Managers of East Palo Alto, Menlo Park as well as a representative from the County to discuss the Fire District Nexus Fee Study and next steps/recommendations. Consideration of the Nexus Fee Study is on hold pending the outcome of these discussions and next steps. It is tentatively scheduled for the September Study Session. 

3. ECR HAWK Beacon Project

This project is moving ahead as planned. No significant delays reported. 

4. Atherton Fiber

We have received comments from Atherton Fiber on the draft agreement and are reviewing the issues internally. I will be setting up a meeting with Atherton Fiber after July 4 to discuss the draft Agreement and next steps. There are some issues that have arisen related to Atherton Fiber obtaining a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN), the impact on a potential franchise agreement with the Town, and the efforts of Zayo and Wave Broadband service enhancement. 

5. Marsh Road Project

The project is moving along and remains slightly ahead of schedule. Flaggers will continue on the project into the coming weeks to help mitigate identified impacts. 

6. No Train Horn - Quiet Zone

The issue of sounding the horn within the Atherton Station has largely been addressed. Caltrain and the FRA are paying attention to the Almanac articles that have been recently printed on the Atherton Quiet Zone. The FRA’s position remains that the Atherton Station is designated as an at-grade pedestrian crossing (public). Caltrain asserts the same position as you can see from the most recent linked correspondence  Regardless of those assertions, only the northbound train sounds the horn as it passes through the station (the SB train sounds in the station for the Watkins Crossing) and the sounding in the Station NB is not consistent engineer to engineer. Staff’s position is that Caltrain is in substantial compliance with the Town’s quiet zone. We have received a copy of the CPUC law that Caltrain is referencing noting that they will sound the horn at all crossings

The Town’s consultant asserts that the Station’s pedestrian boarding areas are incorrectly designated as crossings. They are not owned by the Town and it was Caltrain that filed the designation with the FRA. Further, even if they were designated as crossings, the CPUC rule is referencing horn sounding at highway-rail grade crossings not pedestrian crossings.

At this time, we have determined that given Caltrain’s substantial compliance, unless the horn sounding through the station becomes a nuisance, the Town will address the station crossing issue as part of the feasibility analysis on the Watkins Crossing. If improvements to the Atherton Station need to be made to properly perfect the quiet zone once Watkins has quad gates, we will address the issue(s) with Caltrain (station owner) at that time. 

7. PG&E LED Conversion Program

The PG&E LED Conversion Program has begun in Atherton. There is a recent article (linked here) related to health safety concerns and LED lights. PG&E has purchased all their light conversion packages for communities in San Mateo County. However, they are also producing a response to the American Medical Association’s press release. Once the Town receives that statement/response, we will provide it to the community. Hillsborough is also moving forward with their conversion program (as have many other communities in PG&E’s territory) - and as have many communities with their own LED lights. 

8. ADAPT Disaster Drill

We will be working with ADAPT on their next Disaster Training Exercise. We will be participating in the exercise, setting up the EOC, coordinating with volunteers, advertising, and observing. 

9. FAA Rules on Drones

Linked here is a recent article on drones and the FAA rules. At the conference in Monterey this week it was noted that one of the good things that came from the rule is that local regulation of drones at less than 400 feet is not preempted by federal law. 

10. Peninsula Clean Energy - Meeting New CEO

Council Members DeGolia and Widmer and myself will be meeting in July with the Peninsula Clean Energy new CEO, Jan Pepper. 

11. Planning Commission Meeting - June 22

The Planning Commission took the following action at its June 22 Meeting:

- Accepted for filing the Annual Sacred Heart Master Plan Update for 2016 and TDM Reporting
- Recommended the City Council approval a Conditional Exception to the Subdivision Ordinance for a Lot Line Adjustment at 279 Park Lane and 60 Santiago. 
- Approved a Special Structure Permit for a tennis court in the rear yard at 355 Stevick Drive.

As a note, PG&E is scheduled to make a presentation to the Commission on its pipeline safety program and progress on any tree removal activity - July 27. 

12. Stormwater Resource Planning Effort - Grant Program

I reported that staff had considered participating in the Stormwater Resource Planning Effort Grant Program under the Regional Water Quality Control Permit and submitted the possibility of a detention basin (filtration system) at the Park as a possible grant project (draft concept). We have withdrawn the possibility. The decision to withdraw is based on the new understanding that the facility that would be scoped out for Atherton would be required to address any mercury or PCB issues that are currently county-wide issues not specific to Atherton. If Atherton has placed such a facility in Town, the long-term maintenance obligation would fall directly on the Town. In short, the Town would be responsible for clean-up and maintenance of a system whose contributors were upstream without remuneration. If a project could be scoped that does not require the extensive long-term maintenance and operation of a large pump station and subsurface filtering chamber, we might reconsider participation. 

Any project would need to be vetted by the Council before formal submission for consideration. 

13. Green Bicycle Lanes - Valparaiso and Middlefield - MENLO PARK

Menlo Park will be installing green bike lanes at a few intersections in Menlo Park. The roll-out includes a few spots within Atherton on Valparaiso and Middlefield. They have applied for and received an encroachment permit from the Town. With the proximity of these improvements, we will take the opportunity to use their project to help educate our residents about further green lanes along Middlefield in Atherton in advance of our project implementation.

14. Mosquito & Vector Control District - AB 1362

In January, the SMCMVCD moved in opposition to AB 1362. One of the two nay votes to not oppose was the Town’s Trustee Mason Brutschy. The legislation reduces the number of trustees on the Board and changed the appointment process from local agencies to the County City Selection Committee. It essentially eliminates the one-city one representative concept for the Board. If the Town would like to add its voice to the issue, please advise. Here is a link to the bill information. It is presently back in Committee.
 
Special Event Permits Authorized as of June 24, 2016
This is a list of the upcoming Special Event Permits approved or under review.
  • June
    • June 3 - NASDAQ Summer Concert - Menlo College (TBD)
    • June 10 - NASDAQ Summer Concert - Menlo College (TBD)
    • June 11 - Polo Match - Circus Club (10 am - 7 pm)
    • June 18 - Polo Match - Circus Club (10 am - 7 pm)
    • June 17 - Company Picnic - Menlo College (11 am - 3:30 pm)
    • June 18 - Company Picnic - Menlo College (11 am - 6 pm)
    • June 19 - Father’s Day BBQ - Circus Club (5 pm - 9 pm)
    • June 20 - Steve/Kates Camp - Encinal School (7:30 am to 6 pm) through August 19
    • June 24 - NASDAQ Summer Concert - Menlo College (TBD)
    • June 25 - Company Picnic - Menlo College Quad (9 am to 4 pm)
  • July
    • July 4 - 4th of July BBQ - Circus Club (4 pm - 9 pm)
    • July 9 - Polo Match - Circus Club (10 am - 7 pm)
    • July 9 - Bike for Breath - Encinal Elementary School/Streets (4:30 am - 2 pm)
    • July 15 - NASDAQ Summer Concert - Menlo College (TBD)
    • July 16 - Polo Match - Circus Club (10 am - 7 pm)
    • July 16 - Company Picnic - Menlo College Quad (9 am to 4 pm)
    • July 19 - Music @ Menlo - MA High School (8 pm - 10:30 pm)
    • July 20 - Music @ Menlo - MA High School (8 pm - 10:30 pm)
    • July 22 - Music @ Menlo - MA High School (8 pm - 10:30 pm)
    • July 27 - Music @ Menlo - MA High School (8 pm - 10:30 pm)
    • July 29 - Music @ Menlo - MA High School (8 pm - 10:30 pm)
  • August
    • August 2 - Music @ Menlo - MA High School (8 pm - 10:30 pm)
    • August 3 - Music @ Menlo - MA High School (8 pm - 10:30 pm)
    • August 4 - Music @ Menlo - MA High School (8 pm - 10:30 pm)
    • August 6 - Company Picnic - Menlo College (11 am - 3 pm)
    • August 8-14 - Horse Show - Separate Permit
    • August 12 - Company Picnic - Menlo College Quad (9 am to 4 pm)
    • August 13 - Company Picnic - Menlo College Quad (9 am to 4 pm)
    • August 13 - Bark For Life - HPP (10:30 am - 1:30 pm)
  • September 
    • September 3 - Polo Match - Circus Club (10 am - 7 pm)
    • September 3 - Wedding - 214 Oak Grove (4:30 pm to 1 am)
    • September 5 - Labor Day BBQ - Circus Club (5 pm - 9 pm)
    • September 10 - Polo Match - Circus Club (10 am - 7 pm)
    • September 17 - Las Lomitas School (streets) (8:30 am to 11 am)
    • September 18 - Atherton Now Family Affair (1 pm to 5 pm); or
    • September 25 - Atherton Now Family Affair (1 pm to 5 pm)
  • October
    • October 7 - SHS Under the Lights (4:30 pm - 9:30 pm)
    • October 27 - Halloween Party - Circus Club (7 pm - 9 pm)

June 17 Weekly Council Notes

1. ECR HAWK Beacon Project

This project is moving ahead as planned. We anticipate its completion in the next 30 days. PG&E will be the last step in the project to “energize” the signal. Once done, it will be fully operational. Before completion, we will begin a public education campaign about how to use it both from a pedestrian perspective as well as a vehicular perspective. It might take a bit for folks to get the hang of how it works (vehicles mainly). For pedestrians it operates just like a crosswalk. 

A question arose as to whether we could modify the HAWK such that the flashing red signalizing go when safe to the vehicles could be a solid red until the crosswalk countdown completed. This could prevent some confusion for drivers seeing the flashing red but also seeing some cars in Lane 1 or 2 moving based on the location of the pedestrian. After researching the MUTCD, the operation and light sequencing for the Hybrid Pedestrian Beacon is identified as “shall” comply not “should or may” - therefore, operation must be standardized. 

2. Marsh Road Project

The project is moving along and is slightly ahead of schedule. The second round of traffic counts were posted on the website this week. We continue to identify hot spots for traffic control. Flaggers will continue on the project into the coming weeks to help mitigate identified impacts. 

3. LAFCO - Martha Poyatos

This week I met with Martha Poyatos, Executive Director of LAFCO to discuss the status of the Woodside Annexations/De-Annexations; De-Annexation Processes, County Islands, and Atherton’s Sphere of Influence. An additional conversation revolved around the cost of fire services and options for the Town moving forward. I discussed the possibility of conducting a feasibility study to independently work through financing of fire services, collection of property taxes, cost of services, as well as the process for detachment and contract for services. Martha will provide me with the names of a few consultants that conduct such work. I will be putting together a summary document for the Council’s consideration moving forward. I will ask for the Council’s direction on whether to proceed with hiring a consultant to conduct that independent analysis. The Fire District will be invited to participate in these discussions. The issues are not related to service delivery or quality of service delivery, rather, the cost of fire services for the Town. 

4. No Train Horn - Quiet Zone

The Quiet Zone became effective on Monday, June 13. It only impacts the Fair Oaks Crossing. Compliance has been relatively good; however, there are a few instances of non-compliance. These have been reported to Caltrain and Caltrain will continue to educate their engineers to gain compliance. One issue that has arisen is the requirement to sound the horn within the Atherton Station when entering, leaving, or passing through the station. Caltrain and the CPUC both identified in their comment letters that the Atherton Station was a separate, DOT-identified, at grade crossing. They both asked if the Town would be including the station within the quiet zone and if so, a diagnostic review would be required and additional Safety and Security Measures may need to be added. The Town responded that we did not intend to include the station in the quiet zone. Both the Rail Committee representative and Stephanie Anzia (consultant) agreed that horns would not be sounded in the station, despite the comments by the CPUC and Caltrain. They advised that FRA rules would take precedence over any policy. However, the station itself is listed with the FRA as an at grade crossing. As defined, this would trigger the sounding of the horn. 

We have a meeting setup with LeeAnn Dickson from the FRA next week and will be getting confirmation from Caltrain as to their policy and rules from the CPUC, but below are my thoughts. 

The Atherton Station is a separate, DOT and FRA regulated at grade crossing. Both the CPUC and Caltrain pointed that out to us in their letters. Atherton has 3 at grade crossings registered with the FRA - Fair Oaks, Watkins, and the Atherton Station. Caltrain, pursuant to CPUC and FRA rules are required to sound the horn at all at grade crossings, unless they meet the risk index calculation requirements or have all of the required SSMs. The Atherton Station does neither. Both Caltrain and the CPUC called this to our attention in their letter of response. 

Caltrain echoed the CPUC’s letter stating that the Town’s Notice of Intent did not include the five pedestrian crossings at the Atherton Station. They advised that if the Town intended to include them in the Quiet Zone then a diagnostic review and SSMs or Risk Index needed to be done for them. Further, Caltrain advised that it was their operating rule to sound the horn when any train moves through the station. Further, they advised that this was the case in the event of trespassers or other hazardous situations. We responded that that was understood echoing FRA Rule 22.23(a)(2) referencing only the emergency situation comment - ignoring the operating rule comment - our advisors said that the FRA guidelines take precedence over Caltrain policy. 

The CPUC went even further and identified the DOT Crossing numbers of the 5 pedestrian crossing within the Station. They noted that pedestrian grade crossing located within the boundaries of a quiet zone must be included in the quiet zone. We responded that the crossings are independent of the quiet zone and they have their own warning systems. This played right into the issue raised by Caltrain that their operating rule requires that they sound the horn in the Station. 

I suspect not addressing the Atherton Station comments (horn sounding and inclusion within the quiet zone) was answered without full knowledge of the consequences of doing so. The Final Rule requires that pedestrian crossings included within the boundaries a quiet zone be included within the quiet zone for the purposes of a diagnostic review and implementation of any required improvements. We side-stepped this by saying they were not within the quiet zone, had their own warning devices, and were not regulated by the Town. In doing so, we left them subject to the policy rules of Caltrain and the CPUC which require that they sound the horn when entering the station as the pedestrian crossings are considered DOT-numbered pedestrian at grade crossings under the Final Rule and FRA. Without the quiet zone, the sounding of the horn in the station was indistinguishable from the sounding of the horn in advance of the Fair Oaks or Watkins crossings. Now that Fair Oaks is a Quiet Zone we can discern when the train is sounding the horn entering the station in advance of the uncontrolled crossings within the station. 

We are awaiting responses from Caltrain and the CPUC and will be meeting with the FRA on Monday. 

5. PG&E LED Conversion Program

Letters will start going out on Monday, June 20 from PG&E about their LED Conversion Program. We will be coordinating that information with news flashes and other educational mailers to advise of the upgrade program. 

6. Elm Tree(s) in Park

It was noted that near the back of one of the parking lots in the Park there is an Elm tree that may be diseased. Staff will investigate the situation before it spreads to other Elms in the Park. 

7. Curb Painting in Town

As the Council may have noticed, there are flyers being taped to mailboxes about curb waiting. The Town received numerous calls from residents about the flyers and on Tuesday, one of our officers in an unmarked unit observed what he perceived as suspicious activities in the Fair Oaks area. He stopped and made contact with the suspect. The individual turned out to be in the area posting the flyers. From that contact, we obtained information to trace the true source of the curb painting company (the phone # was a voice mail box). A letter was issued on Wednesday to a Mr. Phelan, San Francisco. Enforcement activity will continue on this item. 

8. Daily Post Article - Salaries and Benefits

Linked here is a recent article on salaries for the City of Menlo Park  The salary noted in the article is for the Town Arborist in Menlo Park. The position is noted at $108,490 per year. For comparison, Atherton’s Arborist position is $104,028. 

9. Civic Center Project

Work continues to reduce the square footage of the building in line with the Council direction to make it more efficient. Rough working drawings for a Monday meeting reflects approximately 2,000 square feet removed by making changes to Admin, Lobby, and Police as well as the Council Chambers. There are still numerous issues that need to be worked through for functionality and form, but the project is certainly moving in the right direction. The May 2016 Cost Estimate reflected a construction-only cost per square foot of approximately $600 a square foot — at that amount, a 2,000 square foot reduction equates to approximately $1.2 million. This is building only. There are also budget reductions that will be achieved by landscaping ad alternates and other items. We are moving in the right direction.  

June 10 Weekly Council Notes

1. Joint Purchase Agreement - Las Lomitas School

As mentioned in last week’s Council Notes, we received contact from Las Lomitas about the Town’s interest in jointly purchasing an adjacent property that could be used as a school field/detention basin for the Town. We investigated the potential and found that the idea simply did not pencil out for the Town. The suggestion has been withdrawn. 

2. Fire District Drone Program

The Fire District has advised that they have received official authorization from the FAA to fly “drones” under 400 feet anywhere in the Country. The District will be connecting with local law enforcement to work through some use policies and protocol issues. The July 6 Study Session will include a report from the City Attorney on drones and options for the Town to consider regarding regulation. 

3. Arts Foundation Open House

Thank you to those that attended the Atherton Arts Foundation Art & Wine Open House for the resident artist at Town Hall. Positive comments from all attendees on the event, the opportunity and the vision. I talked as well with folks that believe the event would be ever more popular if it were held in the new Town Hall spilling out onto the Civic Court. 

4. Marsh Road Project

The project is moving along at an acceptable pace. The second round of traffic counts completes this week. We will be comparing to the pre-project counts and identifying hot spots and times to address traffic issues or additional mitigation measures. 

5. Surveillance Camera Registry

Lt. Wade is establishing a Surveillance Camera Registry Program coordinated with the Town’s digital RIMS (Records Management System). This would be a voluntary registry system of security cameras throughout Town. We would invite the community to joint the Town’s “crime prevention efforts” by registering their security cameras or video surveillance systems with the Police Department. We would keep the registry confidential and while we would not have access to the footage, we would be aware of a camera that might exist to aid an investigation in or around a particular area. If a crime occurs in the vicinity of the known camera, we would contact the program participant and request a copy of the footage for evidence or leads. This prevents the door-to-door asks that take up valuable time in an investigation. We would plot them on a map along with their range of visibility and surveillance. 

6. Election - Tax and Bond Measures in California

Here is a link to how most local tax and bond measures:


7. Presidential Visit - Westly

The Town has received full reimbursement for costs associated with the President’s visit. 

8. Internship - Menlo College

The Town is participating in the Menlo College Summer Internship Program by hosting an intern. The program runs from June 6 to August 12 and consists of a total of 400 hours (approximately 40 hours a week). Bobby Caldwell has been working with the Mayor and various departments this week as his first week “in the program.” We anticipate a regular work schedule and rotation such that he gains experience across all Town departments. In addition to working with the various departments on particular projects, he will be attending Council and/or Committee meetings both local and regional with the Mayor and potentially other members of the Council. If you are attending a meeting that you think might be of interest to an interested college student, let us know and we can put you in touch with him. 

In the meantime, you will see him around in front of and behind the counters - usually Monday through Thursday. I have added authorization in the budget to hire Summer Intern Help up to a maximum 400 hours or $7,500. While Mr. Caldwell’s internship is “free” and he does not anticipate being paid for the time, I think it is something the Council should consider not just for this year, but each year.

9. Heino - K-9

We received a reminder from former Atherton PD Sergeant, Gary Evans about the remains of Atherton K-9 Officer Heino buried at the end of the walk behind my office. Mr. Evans wanted to make sure that the remains and plaque are properly cared for during the Civic Center Project. 

10. Park Events and Activities Log

Linked here are the HP Park Events Log and Revenue Log for May 2016  Of note, the Park Program Revenue budget started out at $152k and we now project $197k in total revenue from the Park Programs (social fees, meeting fees, class fees, weddings, day use, and admin fees). 

11. LAFCO - Martha Poyatos

I am meeting next week with Martha Poyatos, Executive Director of LAFCO to discuss the status of the Woodside Annexations/De-Annexations; De-Annexation Processes, County Islands, and Atherton’s Sphere of Influence. 


June 3 Weekly Council Notes

1. Budget Calendar for FY 2016/17 Budget 

The next meeting on the Budget is its adoption on June 15. 
  • Public Meeting #1 - April 6, 2016 - City Council Study Session (Joint Meeting with the Finance Committee) 
  • Public Meeting #2 - May 4, 2016 - City Council Study Session (Joint Meeting with the Finance Committee)
    • Presentation of the Operations Budget
  • Public Meeting #3 - Finance Committee Meeting (May 10 2016)
    • Review of Capital Improvement Budget
  • Public Meeting #4 - May 18, 2016 - City Council Regular Meeting
    • Presentation of the Capital Improvement Budget
  • Public Meeting #5 - June 1, 2016 - City Council Study Session
    • Final Review of Entire Budget to include Special Revenue and Other Funds
    • Review of the Parcel Tax for FY 2016/17
  • Public Meeting #6 - June 15, 2016 - City Council Regular Meeting
    • Public Hearing and Adoption of Budget
    • Adoption of the Parcel Tax for FY 2016/17
2. ABAG/MTC Merger - Affect on ABAG PLAN

A question arose at the last Study Session regarding the affect of the ABAG/MTC merger on the ABAG PLAN and its continuing fiscal solvency. Back in April, the Town received an email from the Executive Director of ABAG PLAN noting that the Merger Plan calls into question ABAGS continued financial health, solvency and financial condition. However, that does not represent the fiscal health of ABAG PLAN. The two are separate. ABAG PLAN continues its excellent fiscal health despite the merger. There are some issues that will affect ABAG PLAN moving forward and those continue to be evaluated by the Executive Committee, but there are no barriers that have been identified to continuation of ABAG PLAN. 

Nevertheless, staff will have alternatives in the wings evaluated for consideration if needed. 

3. Marsh Road Project

Work began on this project on May 31 - with a few glitches. All of those issues have been worked. We sent out a couple of social media pieces (News Flash, Next Door, Twitter, etc.) in response to some concerns raised in the newspaper blogs. Generally, the feedback was negative at first, but as the traffic patterns normalized, most of the feedback has been positive. We were instructed by Menlo Park to direct traffic down Ringwood earlier than our detour permit authorized and then redirected by the County to do the opposite and stay with the permit restrictions until mid-June directing traffic to Willow. The two agencies directives are in conflict and since the Town has a permit to direct to Willow until mid-June that’s what we have instructed any posted flaggers to do. As a reminder, these permits are issued by the adjacent agencies to allow the Town to detour and place signage through their collector streets. I sent out a news flash last night that has been echoed in a Next Door post today. We will also be adding a “reminder” to the bottom of every news flash about the closure. The website also has a flashing Alert along the top banner for the closure. 

The construction project itself is proceeding as planned. 

4. PG&E Light Conversion

PG&E has advised that they are planning to convert 229 PG&E owned street lights in Atherton to LEDs. I anticipate giving them the “go ahead” next Wednesday. It’s a voluntary program and customers must “opt-in” in order to be put in the cue. PG&E has asked if Atherton would like to be the first in. It is at no cost to the Town. If necessary, we can add deflectors to the lights at adjacent resident request. That’s a cost of about $200 per light. We have a few out there now, but not many. PG&E is obtaining the opt-in from the Town first before noticing the community of the changes to come. Once started, it could be completed by the end of summer. In addition to a small energy savings (we pay the energy costs on these lights), the Town would receive the GHG credits. PG&E owns and maintains the lights. This will also save the Town money on the pending feasibility analysis included within the Town’s CIP.  If there are any issues with my authorizing continuation of the program please let me know by Tuesday next week. These are PG&E owned lights. If we do not jump into the program now, we will be placed at the end of their cue for replacement and asked again at the completion of the program.