George Rodericks

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.

Jul 18

That's A Wrap! - July 17, 2019

Posted on July 18, 2019 at 8:28 AM by grodericks grodericks

Thats A Wrap Logo

Council Meeting Date: July 17, 2019
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/user/TownOfAtherton/featured

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

Following a Closed Session that began at 5 pm, the City Council met for the July Study Session on Wednesday, July 17 at approximately 5:50 pm. The Study Session included two items for review, discussion and direction by the Council.

Item No. 3, Review, Discuss and Provide Staff Direction regarding a Letter of Intent for Technical Assistance and Grant of $10,000 for the development of reach codes. After a brief staff report and public comment, the Council discussed the need for reach codes, the breadth of their application, public outreach to the community and specifically the Builder's Roundtable, and the difference and philosophy of mandating compliance versus encouraging compliance. Following discussion, the Council opted not to send a letter of intent to Peninsula Clean Energy in support of development of reach codes for the Town.

Item No. 4, Review, Discuss and Provide feedback regarding the Town-wide Local Traffic Flow and Long Range Planning Solutions Study; and approve a Contract Amendment with TJKM for additional related services. After a brief staff report and public comment, the Council discussed the philosophy of traffic flow through the Town. The Council discussed mitigation measures to address cut through traffic and the philosophy of moving traffic through Town on the primary arterials while mitigating cut through traffic along secondary streets. The Council provided feedback to staff to develop traffic philosophies and priority improvements to keep through traffic moving on the Town's primary north/south arterials - Middlefield, Avenida de las Pulgas, and El Camino Real and primary east/west arterials - Valparaiso, Atherton Avenue, Fair Oaks, and Marsh; develop mitigation measures to address cut through traffic to prevent significant impact on east/west secondary streets; and to return to the Council with an outreach and engagement plan to engage the community, discuss solutions, and ultimately implement mitigation measures. The Council also took action to approve the contract amendment with TJKM for additional services rendered.

Following the Study Session items, the Council moved to the Regular City Council Meeting at 7 pm. 
 
Following the Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call, the Council moved to Presentations. During Presentations, the Oath of Office was administered to new Atherton Police Officer Joseph Green. 

Following Presentations, the Council moved to Public Comments. 

Report.jpegFollowing 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. The Council received Oral Reports from the City Manager and staff on various issues contained within the City Manager's Report. The Council asked questions regarding signage and possible banners to assist the public with finding the relocated City Hall, the inclusion of minutes or summaries of prior meetings of committees in the City Manager's Report, and an update on the sinkhole on El Camino Real. 

After the City Manager's Report, the Council moved to the Consent Agenda consisting of Items 8 through 15. 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, minutes, Treasurer's Report, Approval of an extension to the Street Sweeping Contract, Approval of Purchase of Axon Body Cameras, Approval of an extension to the Janitorial Services Contract, Acceptance of Work for the 2019 Street Maintenance Project, and Authorization to purchase 3 marked police motorcycles. Following brief comments on the possible expansion of street sweeping services to assist with compliance with the Clean Water Act, brief questions related to the keeping of data for body cameras, the policy on use, and the future education of the Council/Community on their use, and brief questions on the number of motorcycle officers, the Council approved the items on the Consent Agenda. 

Following the Consent Agenda, the Council took up the Regular Agenda beginning with a Public Hearing.

Item No. 16, a Public Hearing for Consideration of a Special Event Permit to allow Temporary Lights for Menlo School's Homecoming Football Game at Cartan Athletic Field, 30 Alejandra Avenue. The Council opened the Public Hearing and staff provided a brief staff report. Following the staff report, the Council heard from the Project Applicant and then other members of the public during public comment. Following the Open Public Hearing, the Council discussed various issues related to the Special Event and the event site. The Council discussed whether a special event permit had ever been granted in prior years, whether there would be amplified sound and if not, how were event activities broadcast, whether this is intended to be a multi-year event or application, and whether there was any precedent to be set by approval. Following discussion, the Council expressed support for approval of the Special Event Permit noting that the Permit was for a single year only, that the School had taken and plans to take on mitigation measures to alleviate any impact to adjacent properties, and while there could have been better communication with the neighbors, there was support for the event. Following comments, the Council approved the Special Event Permit, as presented. 

Item No. 17 was consideration of acceptance of a sculpture donation from the Holbrook-Palmer Park Foundation and Atherton Arts Foundation; and authorize an amendment to the Public Works Park Maintenance Budget for FY 2019/20 for installation of any donated art piece. Following a staff report and public comment, the Council discussed the cost of installation of the potential art pieces and noted that typically the donor, in this case the Foundation(s) would pay for the installment of the art pieces. The Council discussed the various potential donated pieces and expressed support for "He Ain't Heavy" and secondary support for "Expanding Wholeness". The Council discussed the possible installation at the corner of Middlefield and Marsh Road, clarifying the intended corner location. Staff expressed concerns about installation at the corner in order to maintain unimpeded access to the Atherton Channel for maintenance. The Council expressed a desire to beautify the corner, but noted that installation of an art piece at that location may not be the best option; although asked that staff further evaluate the potential. Following discussion, the Council directed that staff return to the Foundation(s) and express support for "He Ain't Heavy" for installation in the Park with input from the Park & Recreation Committee. The Council directed that installation costs should be borne by the Foundation(s). As there was no acceptance of a donation at this time and no authorization for a budget amendment for installation costs, there was no action taken by the Council. The item will return to the Council in the future for formal acceptance once staff has returned to the Foundations with input on costs and selection. 

Item No. 18 was consideration of adoption of a revision to the Town's Integrated Pest Management Policy regarding the use of Round Up in the Park. Following a brief staff report and public comment, the Council discussed issues related to natural weed control, product versus ingredient, lawsuits and legal liability, transition away from the product's use, State legislation, impact on maintenance and weed growth in the Park, and alternative products. Following discussion, the Council directed that staff transition away from the use of glyphosate-based products in the Park and develop a public information notice for the Park advising of the discontinued use and impact, in order to adjust weed tolerance for users of the Park. 

Item No. 19 was the review and consideration of revisions to the Middlefield Road Bike Lanes Project and direction to staff regarding proposed improvements to an existing crosswalk at Valparaiso and Elena. Following a staff presentation and public comment, the Council took each issue up separately and discussed issues related to extent of revisions to the Middlefield Road turn pockets, the impact on bicycle lanes on Middlefield Road (if any), and any anticipated project cost or timing impact. With respect to the crosswalk, the Council discussed the need for a flashing beacon at the crosswalk, the funding of the beacon, the number of users, the future number of users, the potential for future signalization, coordination with Menlo Park, refreshing of the striping, and neighborhood outreach. Following discussion, the Council approved revisions to the Middlefield Road Bike Lanes Project, expressed support for a flashing beacon at Valparaiso and Elena, advised that the cost of design, installation and outreach be borne by Sacred Heart School, and directed that staff coordinate with Menlo Park for the refreshing of the painted crosswalk with costs to be borne by the two agencies.

Next was Item No. 20, Approval of the 6th Amendment to the City Manager's Employment Agreement. Following a staff report and public comment, the Council approved the amendment amending the base salary and auto allowance for the City Manager.  

Last up was Item No. 21, Civic Center Update and Authorization for contract amendment with Murray Engineers, Inc. for increased funding due to project delays and rate adjustments; and authorization for a lease agreement with Mobile Modular Management for Temporary Restrooms for the Police Department. Following a brief staff report and public comment, the Council asked about a rate escalator clause within the Murray Agreement and discussed that need for the temporary restrooms. Following discussion, the Council authorized the amendment with Murray Engineers provided there was a rate escalator within the original agreement; and authorized the lease agreement for temporary restrooms for the Police Department.

Following Council Reports and Final Public Comments, having cleared the entire Agenda, at approximately 9:38 pm, that as they say - was a wrap!



The next meeting of the City Council will be September 4 for a Study Session Meeting. The Council will be DARK for the month of August. The September 4 meeting tentatively includes a review of Cash Flow Planning for the Civic Center Project; Review of a Gas Leaf Blower Use Policy Recommendation from the Environmental Programs Committee; and a Report and Recommendation to the CIty Council on the use of Automated License Plate Readers and Public Safety Cameras.

GeorgeR6824xThanks for reading!

George Rodericks
City Manager

Town of Atherton
grodericks@ci.atherton.ca.us






Jun 20

That's A Wrap! - June 19, 2019

Posted on June 20, 2019 at 10:49 AM by grodericks grodericks

Thats A Wrap Logo

Council Meeting Date: June 19, 2019
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/user/TownOfAtherton/featured

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


The City Council met for their Regular City Council Meeting on Wednesday, June 19 beginning at 7:15 pm with Open Session. A Closed Session was held at 6 pm. The Council discussed the City Manager's 360-Evaluation and provided direction to the Mayor and Vice Mayor for discussions with the City Manager. 
 
Following Roll Call, the Council moved to Presentations. During Presentations, by Proclamation, the City Council recognized Jim Massey for his contributions to the community over the years. 

Following Presentations, the Council moved to Public Comments. 

Report.jpegFollowing 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. The Council received Oral Reports from the City Manager and staff on various issues contained within the City Manager's Report.

After the City Manager's Report, the Council moved to the Consent Agenda consisting of Items 8 through 10. 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, minutes, and approval of a Lease Extension with Knox Playschool. Following brief comments on the lease extension, the the Council approved the items on the Consent Agenda. 

Following the Consent Agenda, the Council took up the Regular Agenda.

Item No. 11 was Consideration of and Appointments to Various Committees and the Town's Planning Commission and the assignment of staggered terms. Following a staff report and public comment, the Council appointed 4 members to the Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee; 2 members to the Environmental Programs Committee; 4 members to the Park and Recreation Committee; 1 member to the Audit and Finance Committee; 1 member to the Transportation Committee; and 2 members the Planning Commission. Following the appointments, staff drew appointee names randomly to assign staggered terms to all new appointees and members of the Town's Rail Committee. There remains 1 vacancy on the Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee and 1 vacancy on the Environmental Programs Committee. 

Item No. 12 was Adoption of the FY 2019/20 Operations and Capital Budget, Salary and Benefit Resolution for Unrepresented Staff, Memorandum of Understanding for the Atherton Police Officers Association; 2019/20 Salary and Classification Schedule, and the GANN Limit Appropriations. Following a brief staff report and public comment, the Council discussed issues related to the Town's revenue projections, Police Officers Association MOU and Capital Improvement Budget. Following discussion, the Council adopted all necessary Resolutions to adopt the Budget as presented.

Item No 13 was discussion of the General Plan Update and Initial Study/Negative Declaration, as well as the Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program. Following a staff presentation and public comment, the Council discussed issues related to street classifications, levels of service, hazard mitigation plans, fire hazard plans, aircraft noise and frequency, freight noise, quiet zone designation, noise contours, and the Grand Boulevard Initiative. The Council provided comments back to staff for future discussion on the General Plan and asked that it return for future consideration. 

Item No. 14 was a Review of Fees and Penalties, including the prior Road Impact Fee and Construction Time Limit Penalty; and provide direction to staff. Following a brief staff report and public comment, the Council discussed the merits of a fee study; the ability to adjust fees based on new hourly rates; the addition of a penalty for working without a permit; modifications to the construction time limit penalty to eliminate the 30-day grace period and remove the cap on the penalty amount; and the possibility of a future development tax on construction. Following discussion, the Council asked that staff return with modifications to the Construction Time Limit Ordinance to remove the maximum cap on the penalty amount; a recommendation on elimination of the 30-day grace period; implementation of a working without a permit penalty; and proposed fee adjustments to account for increases in hourly rates for the Council's consideration. The Council asked that staff schedule further discussion on the possibility of a development tax.  

Next was Item No. 15, Consideration of a Professional Services Agreement with R3 Consulting Group for Solid Waste Procurement Assistance. Following a staff report and public comment, the Council discussed the submittal by R3 Consulting Group. Following discussion, the Council authorized the award of the Professional Services Agreement to R3 Consulting Group.

Last up was Item No. 16, Civic Center Update and Ratification/Authorization for various project task orders, approval of a Consent Agreement and Exchange in Real Property Interest Agreement with the SFPUC, and ratification of the City Manager's Proposed Change Order process. Following a staff report and public comment, the Council discussed the various task orders related to electrical service work for the temporary facilities in the Park; extension of timeline for services for Mack5, Construction Management; approval of subcontracts via Mack5 for Asbestos Removal Monitoring and Storm Water Monitoring and Inspection Services; approval of a task order for Interwest for Information Technology assistance; and approval of the Consent Agreement and Real Property Exchange with the SFPUC. Following approval of these items, the Council discussed the Change Order process proposed by the City Manager. The Council asked questions related to the various possible sizes of change orders, the intended process to be used for review and approval, and the magnitude of change order potential for the project. Following discussion, the Council ratified the process with the caveat that no individual change order over $250,000 may be approved by the City Manager without Council review. 

Following Council Reports and Final Public Comments, having cleared the entire Agenda, at approximately 10:07 pm, that as they say - was a wrap!



The next meeting of the City Council will be July 17. The July 17 meeting will be a combined Study Session and City Council meeting as the meeting on July 3 has been cancelled. The July 17 meeting will begin at 5 pm at the Pavilion in the Park. The meeting tentatively includes a review of Cash Flow Planning for the Civic Center Project; Review and Approval of various General Plan Updates; Feedback on the Town's Townwide Traffic Study; Adoption of the Town's Green Infrastructure Plan; and Review and Consideration of changes to the Town's Integrated Pest Management Policy.

GeorgeR6824xThanks for reading!

George Rodericks
City Manager

Town of Atherton
grodericks@ci.atherton.ca.us






May 17

That's A Wrap! - May 15, 2019

Posted on May 17, 2019 at 1:35 PM by grodericks grodericks

Thats A Wrap Logo

Council Meeting Date: May 15, 2019
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/user/TownOfAtherton/featured

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


The City Council met for their Regular City Council Meeting on Wednesday, May 15 beginning at 7 pm with Open Session. A Closed Session was held at 6 pm. Direction was provided to the City Manager on Labor Negotiations and the Council discussed the City Manager's Evaluation process.
 
Following the Pledge of Allegiance, the Council moved to Presentations. During Presentations, the City Council recognized Gino Gasparini in honor of his retirement from Recology; and presented a Certificate of Recognition to Luca Medici as a "Trash to Art" contest winner.

Following Presentations, the Council moved to Public Comments. 

Report.jpegFollowing 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. The Council received Oral Reports from the City Manager on various issues.

After the City Manager's Report, the Council moved to the Consent Agenda consisting of Items 8 through 10. 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, minutes, and a Resolution adopting a program for managing PCBs in Building Materials during Building Demolition. Following comments and brief discussion on the the minutes, removing minutes from the January 22, 2019 Joint Meeting with the Fire District for modification and brief questions regarding the Resolution, the Council approved the items on the Consent Agenda, except the January 22 minutes. 

Following the Consent Agenda, the Council took up the Regular Agenda.

Item No. 11 was Approval of a Resolution Governing Town Committees; Setting a Distribution of Staggered Terms; and Adjusting Committee Charter and Membership Detail as Deemed Appropriate. Following a staff report and public comment, the Council discussed the various staggered term scenarios and discussed the merits of continuation of the Civic Center Advisory Committee. Following discussion, the Council adopted the Resolution as presented and given the current status of the project and the desire for the full Council to be involved as needed, opted to discontinue the Civic Center Advisory Committee. The Council directed that should staff need the direction of the Civic Center Advisory Committee Project Management Subcommittee, that staff should return to Council for consideration of reconstituting the subcommittee on an ad hoc basis. The Council asked that staff send letters of appreciation to the members of the Committee thanking them for their service to the Town. 

Item No. 12 was Authorization to Release a Request for Proposal for Procurement Assistance for Solid Waste and Recycling Services. Following a staff report and public comment, the Council discussed the request for proposal, the staff time involved in putting it together and suggested that staff amend the review criteria. Following discussion, the Council authorized release of the request for proposal amending the firm qualifications and project understanding review criteria. 

Item No. 13 was adoption of a Resolution approving the issuance of up to $64 million of solid waste enterprise bonds to refinancing outstanding bonds of the South Bayside Waste Management Authority (SBWMA). Following a brief staff report and public comment, the Council discussed the intended use of the bonds by the SBWMA; the impact on the Town for long-term liability as a member of the SBWMA; the impact on the Town's decision-making for an alternative service provider; and the impact of the Town's decision with respect to the issue on the SBWMA. Following discussion, the Council voted to oppose the adding of additional debt to the SBWMA long-term financial obligations; but expressed support for the refinancing of the SBWMA bond obligations without such additional debt.

Item No. 14 was the Civic Center Update and involved Authorization for the City Manager to execute an Agreement with Wong Electric Inc. to provide electrical services for the Temporary Trailers at the Park; and provide feedback regarding a cost proposal with S.J. Amoroso for a temporary pedestrian pathway during construction of the Civic Center Project. Following a brief staff report and public comment, the Council discussed issues related to wayfinding signage and safety along the pathway. Following discussion, the Council approved the agreement with Wong Electric, Inc. and expressed support for the execution of Change Order No. 1 to add the temporary pedestrian pathway. 

Following Council Reports and Final Public Comments, having cleared the entire Agenda, at approximately 8:24 pm, that as they say - was a wrap!



The next meeting of the City Council will be a Goals Meeting on Tuesday, May 28 at 12 pm in the Main House at the Park. Following the Goals Meeting, the Council will meet again in Study Session on June 5 at 4 pm at the Pavilion in the Park. This meeting will include a review of the full 2019/2020 Budget and input into the Town's Draft Green Infrastructure Plan.

GeorgeR6824xThanks for reading!

George Rodericks
City Manager

Town of Atherton
grodericks@ci.atherton.ca.us