City Manager's Blog

The City Manager's Blog is an online educational tool to provide general information to the community in open communication style. Periodically, the City Manager will post articles of general interest covering topics such as the Town's budget, budget process, capital projects, upcoming meetings, community issues, public safety, and general Town operations.

Articles in the blog are not designed as press releases or Town publications, rather, they are written in more of a conversational style. The Blog does not have a comments feature but readers are free to respond to the Blog and its entries view email directly to the City Manager.

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Oct 19

That's A Wrap! - October 18, 2023

Posted on October 19, 2023 at 9:52 AM by grodericks grodericks

Thats A Wrap HeaderCouncil Meeting Date: October 18, 2023 (full Agenda link)
Video Link:
Details of each item can be found via the links to Staff Reports within the narrative and meeting videos are uploaded once they are fully compiled.

The City Council met for the Regular Meeting on Wednesday, October 18 at 6 pm. Following the Roll Call the Council began moving through the Agenda beginning with Presentations and Public Comments.  The Council provided a Proclamation to Sharon Koehler in honor of her retirement and years of service to the Town. The Council also provided recognition plaques to former Town Rail Committee members as the Committee transitions to a citizen-led group. Following Public Comments, the Council moved on to Departmental Reports. 

ReportDepartmental Reports (~6:23 pm) are prepared monthly as part of the City Council's Regular Agenda. 

In addition to current reports from the City Manager, it typically includes departmental updates on the various happenings around Town such as reports from Administration, Community Services, Planning, Police, and Public Works.

Consent_AgendaFollowing Departmental Reports, the Council moved to the Consent Agenda consisting of Items 1 through 7 (~6:25 pm). Items on the Consent Agenda are considered routine in nature and are generally considered in one motion and adopted by a single vote of the Council. Included in this month's Consent Agenda were bills and claims, minutes, Budget Amendment for Outreach and Lobbyist Services, Notice of Completion for the Town Center Project, 2nd Reading and Adoption of the Sidewalk and Right-of-Way Ordinance, Acceptance of Work for the Overlay Project, and a Budget Amendment for Pickleball. 

Following brief amendments to the minutes and removal of the Pickleball item from Consent, the Council approved the balance of items on the Consent Agenda.

Public_Hearing_ImageNext was Public Hearings.
Public Hearings are typically held for Ordinances, Budget Adoption, Fee Adoption, and Land Use approvals. There were no scheduled Public Hearings.  

Regular_Agenda_ImageNext up was the Regular AgendaThe Regular Agenda is reserved for items that require more deliberation and discussion by the City Council and items that are not routine in nature. 

The first item discussed was Item No. 7, Pickleball Budget Amendment. (~6:26 pm) The Council inquired regarding the amount of funding needed for the baffling and asked staff questions regarding the cost and sourcing of the baffling. Following discussion and public comment, the Council directed that before purchasing baffling staff investigate any secondary markets for baffling; that the IF the pickleball pilot is deemed successful that staff return with options for funding a permanent pickleball location in the Park that involves funding by users; and approved the full budget amendment for the pilot project. Staff was also asked to install signage inside of Court #1 noting the hours of pickleball along with any rules of use and recommendations for paddle or ball type.

Item No. 8 was consideration of appointments to the Environmental Programs Committee. (~6:37 pm) Following a staff report and opportunity for public comment, the Council appointed Min Hui to the term expiring on June 30, 2027 and Suneet Sandu to the term expiring June 30, 2025. In consideration of the youth applicant to the EPC, the Council directed that staff reach out to engage with the applicant and encourage participation as a volunteer with the EPC. The Council also directed that staff return the Committee Resolution to the Council at a future meeting for potential revision associated with term length, appointment qualifications, and formalization of any intern or volunteer roles with committees. 

Next up was Item No. 9, Discussion and Direction Regarding Earth Day 2024. (~6:59 pm) Following a staff report and public comment, the Council discussed issues related to size and type of event, benefits of a local event versus a regional event, budget, staff time and resources, volunteers, parking, vendors, and food. Following discussion, the Council directed that staff work with the EPC to develop a program and budget for a local event using the Park and Town Center as possible venue(s) for the 2024 Atherton event. 

Item No. 10 was review and approval of the Sidewalk Inspection and Repair Program and associated Budget Amendment for FY 2023/24. (~7:27 pm) Following a staff report and public comment, the Council discussed issues related to equity, cost, timing, inspection, Town cost, resident cost, and past practice. Following discussion, the Council approved the staff recommendation, approved the budget amendment, but directed that for the initial year the resident cost (panel replacement and tree/root pruning) be split 50/50 with the Town and that any administrative fees be waived. The Council directed that residents in Lloyden Park be provided a letter advising that the 50/50 split and waiver of any administrative fee is for this initial implementation only and that the program, as designed, would be implemented with future years. 

The last item was Item No. 11 related to the consideration of Meeting Protocols to address Zoom intrusions. (~8:45 pm) Following a staff report and public comment, the Council discussed issues related to meeting controls, muting of participants, use of profanity or hate-based comments, restrictions on names and photo sharing, restrictions on video sharing, restrictions on screen sharing, allowing citizen engagement at the highest level possible, agenda warnings and requirements, and policies of other agencies. Following discussion, the Council directed that staff return with a policy for consideration of the Council that implements a written agenda warning, a description of applicable protocols, and a protocol for implementation that allows for the greatest possible public participation via Zoom while still allowing the Town to address inappropriate comments or participant engagement that is considered disruptive to the meeting.

The last items on the Agenda were Council Reports and final Public Comments. 

Having cleared the entire Agenda, at approximately 9:15 pm, that as they say - was a wrap!

The next meeting of the City Council will be the Study Session on November 1 at 4 pm. This will be a Joint Meeting with the Planning Commission to discuss feedback from the Community Workshop on October 23 covering Objective Design Standards for Multi-family Development.  For more information and calendar of events, visit the Town's website.

GeorgeThanks for reading!
 George Rodericks
 City Manager
Town of Atherton