(i) Pre-Event Marketing and Outreach – The Chair will work with Planning Staff and City Manager’s office on creating a survey to be distributed Town-wide to gage community interest on environmental issues so as to tailor the educational sponsors and activities of the Earth Day event accordingly as well as to alerting residents of upcoming Earth Day events. This survey to be distributed well in advance of actual Earth Day event activities. The Committee would then create public outreach materials and efforts for the event once final dates, times, and venues are secured and work with Town staff on distributing such accordingly.
(ii) Pre-Event Activities – The Committee would like to host an environmentally-based movie for the community in which the movie director will be in attendance and available for a Questions and Answers session after the movie. The Committee would also like to host a guest speaker/panel discussion on an environmental topic. These two activities can be separate or possibly combined. These activities to be conducted prior to the main Earth Day event, with specific dates, times and venue location(s) to be determined.
(iii) Main Earth Day Event – The Committee would like to host a main Earth Day event on a weekend day, around the actual Earth Day of April 22, 2016. The specific date, time and venue location to be determined. The Event would have numerous educational booths/tables of agency vendors providing educational information on matters such as energy, water, and solid waste. The Committee would work with the Town on inviting selected vendors. A student competition with prize giveaways would also be held. The Committee would like a representative(s) from the Civic Center Advisory Committee and any other Town Committees/Commissions to also have a booth to provide the community information on other environmental happenings in the Town. The Committee would utilize existing available supplies (shirts, bracelets, light bulbs, etc) from the prior “Atherton 2020” program as free giveaways. Coordinating an E-waste drop off spot at the event is also desired. Some food, beverages, and live music would like to be made available at the event.
(iv) Post Event Communication – The Committee would like follow up with the community after the event to gage interest and ideas to consider any future next steps and actions.
c) The 2016 Earth Day Event Work Plan will request a budget of $5000.00. The Committee would work to implement the ideas targeted within Item #1 above within the approved budget. Supplementary, the Committee would solicit cash or other donations from private individuals and/or agencies which would need to then be referred to Town staff for follow up. Additionally, the Committee would charge the identified vendors a fee for hosting a booth at the event. Any collected funds would like to be used as prize giveaways for the student competitions and/or to off-set any of the costs with activities as noted in Item #1 above. Any use of any funds collected would be used strictly for the Earth Day activities identified.
5. AirBnB Support
I received an email from Dona Abbey regarding the Town’s policy with respect to AirBnB or VRBO rentals. Ms. Abbey noted that she is an advocate in support of changes to the policy. I responded to Ms. Abbey noting that the restriction on short-term rentals such as Airbnb or VRBO is codified into law; not merely a Town policy. I advised that at this time, the Town is not considering any changes to that law. I suggested that if she would like the Town to consider changes to the law it would be appropriate for her to send a letter to the City Council outlining what changes she would like to see. I advised that if there were other signatories to that letter, that would be fine as well.
6. Special Events - POTUS and the Super Bowl
As advised, we have confirmed the POTUS visit for February 11. We are working with the Secret Service and the hosting property owner to work through event planning and the Town’s Special Event Permit requirements.
In addition, we have been in contact with the property owner hosting the Super Bowl Party. At that time, the event was private and the expectation was that no Special Event Permit would be required. The event has now been released to the general public for attendance via the internet. We have reconnected with the property owner to advise that this may trigger the need for additional town resources in response to the event. There is a provision that allows a Special Request for Police Services (such as is done for events at Menlo College). The event can be handled in this manner if it is merely an officer on site that is necessary; however, if the event attendance expectation is of a sufficient amount, the Town may call in overtime services to mitigate potential issues. This would trigger the need for a Special Event Permit. We are working these issues out with the property owner.
Presidential Candidate Hilary Clinton may also have a visit toward the end of February. We will be connecting regarding this event as well.
7. Cal Water Emergency Response
On January 26, Cal Water was able to repair the nine (9) main line water breaks in their system. The cause of the “perfect storm” of main line failures was apparently due to the failure of two PRV’s (pressure reduction valves) in the system that went down following the Atherton Ave/Alameda break last week. These failures caused a huge influx of pressure and “hammer” to the main line system, culminating in the 9 failures that proceeded the recharge of the system. As of January 26 at about 6PM, all breaks had been repaired (including replacement of the two failed PRV’s). The system had been restored to full pressure, and the EOC was closed down. The leaks were located in the following locations:
- Euclid and Stockbridge – repairs completed; service restored
- Fifth and Middlefield – repairs completed; service restored
- First and Williams – repairs completed; service restored
- Roble and University – repairs completed; service restored
- Felton and Encinal – – repairs completed; service restored
- Fremont and Fremont Place – repairs completed; service restored
- 445 Fifth Ave. between Park and Middlefield –repairs completed; service restored.
- Stockbridge between Santa Clara and Hillary – repairs completed; service restored
- University between Partridge and Cambridge – repairs completed; service restored
Learning from this type of system meltdown is important. Along with the lessons learned from Cal Water concerning their infrastructure, there was some important lessons learned regarding communication between Cal Water and the Town. Dawn Smithson, Cal Water District Manager, has added the following to their protocol for such emergencies:
- Town awareness – Cal Water has promised to make it part of their protocol to inform the Town earlier in their process of these types of large scale water issues. The Town can play an important role for them in notifying the public of real/potential delivery issues of their product through our many types of community contact devices.
- Town communications – the Town has set up a “chain of contact” with Cal Water so that it is convenient for them to notify the correct Town staff during these circumstances with as little effort as possible. Town staff will then elevate this information to the appropriate parties under the guidance of the City Manager.
- Partnership – The Town can help Cal Water during these types situations with labor, equipment or materials if necessary to help expedite these types of emergencies for the good of our residents. These costs can be reimbursed back to the Town following the emergency.
All in all, a great effort by Cal Water. This was a huge emergency for them, and they brought in assets from all over northern California to help them stabilize the problem. Steve Tyler have personally thanked them for their herculean efforts and they have in turn thanked the Town residents for their patience and inconvenience during this time and Town staff for our offers of support and assistance.
As I mentioned to the Council, I agreed with the assessment above from Steve Tyler. Cal Water’s response was diligent and effective. However, I also agree that it is important that Cal Water engage the Town earlier. Cal Water is a member of the Town’s EOC Team and practiced with the Town during its last exercise. Communication was a key emphasis of that exercise. Nevertheless, small scale emergency situations will often “creep up” on you and before you know it, you’re knee deep in something that you should have reached out to others for support to address. I suspect this is what happened with Cal Water. They believed they could address the issue(s) internally and then when they realized they couldn’t - it was too late. Lessons learned.
It continues to be important for the Town to engage and exercise with our partner agencies locally as well as regionally. This takes time, effort, and resources - but in the end, if we do not do so and issues arise - we will not know how to. Local EOC Teams are designed to “stand up” when needed. While the Cal Water situation may not have necessitated standing up our full EOC, it could have made sense to stand up the Operations Section of our EOC Team to work with Cal Water to address local issues. It would have been critical for the Town and our EOC Operations Team (Fire, Police, and Public Works) to know what water systems were not online in the off chance that a contemporaneous emergency situation arose.
Work continues at the Atherton Avenue/Alameda de las Pulgas location.
8. County of San Mateo - Shelter Services Bid
As the Council is aware, I serve on the review committee for the proposals received by the County of San Mateo for the construction of their new Animal Services Shelter. The County has received approximately 9 preliminary responses to their RFB/Design/Build project. We will be reviewing the statements of qualifications due by February 16.
9. Camphor Trees
As part of the Event Garden, 4 large pieces of the camphor tree were saved to be turned into benches for the event garden. These have been stored at the edge of the site adjacent to the restroom and will be moved for a short-time behind the restroom. Tevita Taufehema, who assisted with moving the trees that were retained and assisted with moving the roses, will make the benches. He will be working behind the restroom area with appropriate safety measures in place (use of chain saw and plainer).
10. Water Reductions
Cal Water recently reported December water conservation data to the State Water Resources Control Board (Board). For the month of December, Bear Gulch District, which encompasses the Town of Atherton, reduced its water consumption by 42.4% when compared to December 2013. For this service area, the Board set a cumulative water reduction goal of 36%. So far, the Bear Gulch District has reduced its water use by 35.8% when compared to the same period in 2013.
11. Little League Fencing
Season to begin soon. Field fencing will be installed on Monday, February 1.
12. Bike Sharrows
We have had a couple of complaints regarding the bicycle sharrows. Staff and the contractor are aware of the quality issues (over pour, thickness, etc.). The contractor has had issues with their thermoplastic equipment and they have purchased a new stencil to control overflow. They will be repairing those sharrows that do not meet the Town’s requirements. We will not be paying for corrections. The sharrows are standard size per the MUTCD. If you are aware of any particular area where there is excessive overflow or “blobbing” - let me know and I will pass it along to Public Works. We will be inspecting all locations prior to sign-off.
City Manager Major Goods, Use or Service Agreements/Contract Awards as of January 29, 2016