City Manager's Blog

Feb 16

[ARCHIVED] That's A Wrap! - February 15, 2017

The original item was published from February 16, 2017 2:15 PM to March 16, 2017 8:26 AM

Thats A Wrap Logo

Council Meeting Date: February 15, 2017
Video Link:

Details of each item can be found via the links to Staff Reports within the narrative. 

The City Council met for the February Regular Council meeting on Wednesday, February 15, beginning at 7 pm. Following the Pledge of Allegiance, Sergeant Jeff Rickel was sworn in as the Police Department's newest Sergeant. 

CM_Report.jpgFollowing Public Comment, the Council moved to the City Manager's Report. The City Manager's Report is prepared monthly as part of the City Council's Regular Agenda. In addition to current reports from the City Manager, it includes departmental updates on the various happenings around Town such as reports from Administration, Community Services, Planning, Police, and Public Works. 

After the City Manager's Report, the Council moved on to the Consent Agenda consisting of Items 8 through 14. Items on the Consent Agenda are considered routine in nature and are generally considered in one motion and adopted by a single vote of the Council. Included in this month's Consent Agenda were minutes, bills, CalPERS Pay Schedule, Changes to the Master Fee Schedule, Authorization for use of the Refuse Rate Stabilization Funds, and Award of Contract for Street Patching and Cape Seal. After brief discussion, the Council approved the Consent Agenda. 

drone.jpegAfter the Consent Agenda, the Council moved on to a Public Hearing on Drones - Item No. 15. The Council discussed the proposed ordinance and feedback from the Town's Park & Recreation Committee. The Council discussed issues such as new State laws, notification requirements for using drones within 5-miles of an airport, compliance with FAA regulations and guidelines, insurance requirements for Civll Use (commercial), use in the Park, and use of drones with cameras in private yards.

Following discussion, the Council introduced the proposed ordinance for first reading and set second reading and adoption for March 15, 2017.

Moving on to Item No. 16, the Council discussed changes to the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan to add a Class I Bike Lane along portions of Oak Grove between Middlefield Road and Rebecca Lane. The Council discussed the recommended changes noting that it is important to make the connection for Safe Routes to School and that it is important to not only maintain safe access and use by those on bicycles but pedestrians as well. It was noted that staff will be preparing a preliminary design and advising the adjacent/affected property owners of the project prior to implementation. The preliminary design will be provided to the City Council for comment as well. Following discussion, the Council authorized the amendment to the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan and authorized work to move forward on design.  

election.jpegThe next item on the Agenda was Item No. 17 Calling for an All-Mail Special Election in June related to the Civic Center Project. The Council discussed the proposed ballot question and text for the advisory measure. After a couple of tweaks to the language, the Council adopted the Resolution setting the Special Election for June 6, 2017. The finalized ballot question and text is:

Ballot Question

Should the Town of Atherton supplement private donations with available non-dedicated General Funds to meet the funding shortfall, where one exists, for construction of the new Town Center? 

Text of the Measure

Measure L was approved by Atherton voters in 2012 as an advisory measure supporting the use of donor funds as the primary funding source for the Civic Center Project. Since 2012, the Town has spent four years in the design process, completed 100% Design Development and is now engaged in the preparation of construction documents. Donor funds have served as the primary funding source for all of this design work; but current donations are not sufficient to complete construction of the designed project. 

The City Council has developed a funding plan that would supplement current and future private donations with available general funds without adding any new project-specific taxes, changes to the current Parcel Tax or use of the Town's mandatory reserves. Other funding sources include funds derived from building fees and grants. The City Council would like input from the voters as to how best to proceed with respect to additional funding needs. They pose the following question: 

Should the Town of Atherton supplement private donations with available non-dedicated General Funds to meet the funding shortfall, where one exists, for construction of the new Town Center?

After deciding to move forward with the Special Election, the Council moved on to Item No. 18 to set the rules for primary arguments and rebuttals. After discussion, the Council adopted the Resolution establishing the primary argument to be signed by all five (5) members of the Council and authorizing one (1) round of rebuttals. 

Next up was the Civic Center Project. Item No. 19 required Council approval of a couple of changes to the Design and Project Management Scopes of Work, Feedback on the Project landscaping and signage plan, decisions related to photovoltaic arrays as add-alternates, acceptance of the 100% Design Development Plans and Cost Estimate and authorization to move forward to Construction Documents. This item involved a number of PowerPoint presentations and lots of discussion by the Council. Ultimately, the Council moved forward on all of the recommended items to include moving forward with Construction Drawings, but discussed in detail, project landscape and signage, future role of the Civic Center Advisory Committee, and photovoltaic arrays as add-alternates.

The Council provided key feedback on project design related to civic court bench design, Library fountain, Library decking, locations of flag poles, design and materials for monument signage, and the new address for Town Hall (80 Fair Oaks). The Council placed the Civic Center Advisory Committee on hiatus while staff continues work with the Project Management Subcommittee moving forward with key involvement by the Council at critical decision points. The Council also discussed the placement of possible photovoltaic arrays as a project add-alternate and discussed ways that the arrays could be funded via a power purchase agreement and made more efficient in design. 

PV Options.jpg

In the end, the Council selected Option 2 for the add-alternate photovoltaic arrays, without the additional carport along the western border of the project site. Council direction was to design the proposed panels to be as efficient as possible and look for ways to enhance their efficiencies within the constraints of the project site. Add-alternates are not automatically included within the project and are decided upon at the time of project construction award based on available funding. 

Next up was Item No. 20, the 2017 Earth Day Event scheduled for April 22. Staff presented the Staff Report and the Council discussed various issues related to the project, to include the project budget, participation, awards, community postcards and mailings, as well as event design. Following discussion, the Council authorized moving forward with the event with a $5,000 budget and combining the event with the E-Scrap and Compost Recology event on April 22, 2017.

Item No. 21 had the Council selecting the design for new LED streetlights in portions of Lloyden Park and Lindenwood to replace the Series Street Lights. This project has been in the works as part of the Town's Capital Improvement Project list for several years culminating with a community survey to select the preferred alternative LED streetlights at the end of last year. After discussion regarding pricing and numbers of lights, the Council selected the top light in each category - Pendant and Post-Top. 


Last up was Item No. 22, the Mid-Year Budget Review. After a brief staff report noting the changes in revenues and expenditures at Mid-Year, the Council discussed various issues related to capital projects, project timing, revenues, and anticipated General Fund savings. Following discussion, the Council adopted the budget amendment resolutions.

Following Council Reports and Final Comments, having cleared the entire Agenda, at approximately 10:45 pm, that, as they say - was a wrap!

The next meeting of the City Council is the Study Session of March 1, 2017. This meeting will be held at the Park and is a Joint Meeting with the Park & Recreation Committee. The Meeting will include a review and discussion of the planned Park Circulation Project as well as a discussion of the Town's experience with short-term rentals and work within the public right-of-way. The March 15 Regular Agenda tentatively includes a 2nd Reading and Adoption of the Drone Ordinance, Discussion of the Knox Pre-School Lease Extension, Approval of Design for the Oak Grove Class I Bike Path, a TEFRA Hearing, a Hearing on Refuse Rate Reductions, Introduction of Title 15 Changes by Menlo Park Fire Protection District, and Approval of Primary Arguments and the Impartial Analysis for the June 6 Ballot Measure. 

George_2.jpgThanks for reading!

George Rodericks
City Manager
Town of Atherton