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 19

That's A Wrap! - July 18, 2018

Posted on July 19, 2018 at 2:52 PM by grodericks grodericks

Thats A Wrap Logo

Council Meeting Date: July 18, 2018
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 a sequential Study Session, Atherton Channel District, and Regular City Council Meeting on Wednesday, July 18 beginning at 4 pm. 

Beginning with the Study Session at 4 pm, the Council addressed Item No. 1 - Review, Discuss and Provide Feedback on an Update on the Recology Franchise Discussions from the City Manager and City Council Subcommittee. Here, the Council heard updates from staff and the Subcommittee on recent discussions and negotiations with Recology. A representative from the South Bayside Waste Management Authority also spoke to answer questions from the Council. The Council discussed the various issues of consideration to include, but not limited to, special events, data reporting, education programs, weekend service, rate stabilization, future cost expectations, and facility upgrades. Following public comment, no decisions were made as the item was review and discuss only. 

Next up was Item No. 2, Fire Services Fiscal Review - Review Task 4 Results; Provide Staff with Feedback and Direction on Next Steps. Here, the Council heard the staff presentation and a presentation from Matrix Consulting. Following public comment, the Council discussed the Report and issues such as the need for a joint meeting with the Fire District, compensation from Atherton residents to the District for services, growth of the District and anticipated growth of Atherton, the process other agencies have encountered under similar circumstances, public education and the affluence of the region. Following discussion, the Council directed staff to work with the City Council Subcommittee of the Mayor and Vice Mayor to meet with the District Subcommittee in the coming month and to schedule a discussion of the issue for a joint meeting with the Fire District at the end of the year. 

Item No. 3 was Discussion and Direction on the Disposition of the Diana Statue. Following a staff report and presentation from representatives from the Lindenwood Homeowners Association (LHA), the Council discussed acceptance of the offer from the LHA to restore the statue and place the statue in a center island at Flood Circle, within the Town's right of way. The Council discussed issues related to maintenance, liability, and long-term obligations. Following discussion, the Council directed that staff work with the LHA on a maintenance agreement that would include repair, as needed of the statue and placement of the statue at Flood Circle. 

Next, the Council adjourned as a City Council and reconvened as the Atherton Channel District to discuss the Atherton Channel District and its finances. 

The sole item on the District Agenda was Item No. 1, Atherton Channel District Overview and Finances - Discussion and Direction. Here, staff made a presentation on the history of the Atherton Channel District, its organization, size, funding and projects. Following public comment, the Council discussed issues related to expansion of the District, funding sources and options, contributors to the Atherton Channel, legal definition of a "subsidiary district" and options for next steps. Following discussion, the Council asked that staff research further options for expanding or redistricting, provide a report on legal issues related to being a "subsidiary district", options to address new construction impacts from outside of Town, and provide a summary of the impact of the County's proposed overlay JPA for Stormwater. 

Following this item, the Council moved into Closed Session. Upon return from Closed Session, at 7 pm, the Council convened in Open Session for the Regular Meeting. 

Following the Pledge of Allegiance, the Council moved to Public Comment.

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. 

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, a resolution approving appointment to the PLAN JPA, and a resolution for voting delegates to the League Annual Conference. Following the opportunity for comment, the Council approved the Consent Agenda.

Following the Consent Agenda, the Council took up the rest of the Agenda, but reordered the items. They are presented below in order, but at the meeting, they were handled in the following order: Item No. 18, Civic Center, Item No. 13, Library JPA, Item No. 14, Tetra Tech, Item No. 15, Heritage Trees, Item No. 16, Letter to Holbrook Palmer Park Fence Property Owners, Item No. 17, Rental Fees at the Park, Item No. 11, False Alarm Ordinance, Item No. 12, Development Agreement Ordinance.  


Item No. 11, Conduct a Public Hearing; and, If Appropriate, Introduce for 1st Reading Ordinance No. X, An Ordinance of the Town of Atherton Related to False Alarm Systems. Following a staff report and public comment, the Council discussed issues related to the number of false alarms processed by the Police Department, applicability of the false alarm fee to alarms not directly monitored by the Town, cost of the system, impact to police operations, warning letters, grace periods for disconnects, and the cost of registration and annual fees. Following discussion, the Council introduced the ordinance, as amended, with an initial registration fee of $100, an annual fee of $50, and a 30-day grace period before disconnection of an alarm being monitored by the Town. Warning letters will be sent for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd false alarms. Fines will be imposed for the 4th false alarm at $200, the 5th at $300, and $400 for each additional false alarm - in a 12-month period. 

Item No. 12 was also a Public Hearing for Consideration of a Zoning Ordinance Amendment Establishing the Development Agreement Adoption Procedure Under Chapter 17.07 of the Atherton Municipal Code. Following a staff report and public comment, the Council discussed issues related to process and applicability of a development agreement and potential uses in the Town. The Council discussed how the development agreement ordinance and process related to the Town's General Plan. Following discussion, the Council introduced the ordinance for first reading. 

Next was the Regular Agenda, Item No. 13, Approval of the Amended Bylaws for the San Mateo County Library Joint Powers Authority and Second Amended Joint Powers Agreement Between the County of San Mateo and the Cities of Atherton, Belmont, Brisbane, East Palo Alto, Foster City, Half Moon Bay, Millbrae, Pacifica, Portola Valley, San Carlos, and Woodside relating to Library Services. Following a brief staff report and public comment, the Council discussed issues related to the excess tax funds - formerly called "donor funds", timing of the use of 100% of those funds for the Library Project, amendments to JPA Subcommittees, and commitment from the Library JPA for use of 100% of the excess funds for the Library Project. Following discussion, the Council approved the JPA documents and asked that the Library JPA clarity the Town's use of 100% of those funds, in writing, in relation to the Library Project.

Item No. 14 was Authorization for the CIty Attorney to prepare and the City Manager to Execute an Agreement Amendment with Tetra Tech, Inc. to Provide an Alternative Stormwater Capture Facility Site Assessment. Following a brief staff report and public comment, the Council discussed funding of the assessment and clarified that the Town would be reimbursed by Caltrans for the work. Following discussion, the Council approved the item. 

Item No. 15, Discussion and Direction on Amendments to the Atherton Municipal Code Chapter 8.10 "Removal of and Damage To Heritage Trees", Including Amending the Tree Preservation Guidelines, Standards and Specifications was next. Here, the Council heard a brief staff report and a recommendation that the Council and the Planning Commission host a joint meeting in September to discuss the proposed revisions. Following public comment and brief discussion the Council asked that staff consider additional items for consideration - clearer standards for future removal requests, improvements within the Tree Preservation Zone, and neighboring property trees into the mix but not make changes to the actual ordinance until after the joint meeting with the Planning Commission. The Council then directed that staff put together the joint meeting for sometime in September. 

Item No. 16 was next, a Review of the Notification Letters to Property Owners along the Holbrook-Palmer Park Fence Lines. Following a brief staff report and public comment, the Council suggested some minor revisions to the letters to address relocation of the fences, as needed, follow-up with formal code enforcement of those property owners that do not pursue an Encroachment Permit, and clarification that Encroachment Permits may be revoked as deemed necessary by the Town. Following these additions, the Council directed that staff proceed with release of the letters. 

Item No. 17 involved Consideration of Setting a Public Hearing to Adopt a Fee Resolution Amending Fees and Charges related to Rental Fees for the Pavilion at the Park. Here, following a staff report, Q&A with the Park Facility Vendor, and public comment, the Council discussed issues related to costs and rental fees at other venues, total revenue received for park events, number of Atherton residents versus non-residents using the facilities, clarification of Friday, Saturday and Sunday use, and condition of the Town's facilities in comparison to other venues. Following discussion, the Council directed that staff return the item at a Public Hearing.
 
The last scheduled item for the Agenda was Item No. 18, Receive the Civic Center Project Update; Review, Discuss and Provide Direction on Design Changes and Value Engineering Options for the Library; and Review, Discuss and Provide Direction on Funding Issues related to the Overall Project. Staff and project consultants began a presentation articulating the differences between bid options 3a and 3b as well as outlining the various value engineering options that were being considered for the Library. The Council discussed the various value engineering options as they were presented but focused on the need for the Library to retain some of its design features that were considered important spaces - such as the main deck, renovation of Town Hall, and specific program spaces and the importance of designing the facility to meet Cal-Green/Title 24 requirements and identifying where the design would exceed those requirements and the rationale behind those deviations. Following this discussion, the Council expressed a desire to be able to quantify the value engineering options - staff advised that this would be made available at a future meeting once the analysis was completed. The Council then moved on to the funding elements for the Library and the overall project. The Council first focused on the Library and the budget for the Library based on funds available. Further discussion delved into the funds available via the Library JPA excess funds provision and the expectation that the Town would be able to have additional funds advanced as part of those excess funds.

After discussing the Library funding options, the Council discussed funding options and alternatives for the Administration/Police Building. The Council discussed fund raising options, a bond measure, certificates of participation, value engineering, and the use of Operational Reserves.

No action was taken on this item as it was feedback only and it would be returning to the Council at a future meeting for further conversation.
 
Following Council Reports and Final Public Comments, having cleared the entire Agenda, at approximately 10:25 pm, that as they say - was a wrap!

The Council will be primarily DARK in August; however, the Council has called a tentative Special Meeting for 8 am on August 10 to discuss and take action on various components of the Civic Center Project. Specific items for that meeting are still being determined.

George_2.jpgThanks for reading!

George Rodericks
City Manager

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




#AthertonTalks
#AthertonCivicCenter

Jun 21

That's A Wrap! - June 20, 2018

Posted on June 21, 2018 at 8:46 AM by grodericks grodericks

Thats A Wrap Logo

Council Meeting Date: June 20, 2018
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 the May Regular Council meeting on Wednesday, June 20 beginning at 7 pm. Following the Pledge of Allegiance, the Council moved to Public Comment.

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. 

After the City Manager's Report, the Council moved 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, rejection of claims, 2nd reading and adoption of refuse rates related to green waste, authorization to purchase police vehicles, and appointments to various town committees. Following the opportunity for comment, the Council approved the Consent Agenda. 

Next was the Regular Agenda and Item No. 15 - Receipt of the Civic Center Bids and Taking Action on Next Steps with Respect to the Bids. Following a staff report and presentation by Mack5, the Council took public comment and then began discussion of the item. The Council discussed issues related to timing, budget, bid overages, reliability of estimates now and in the future, the need for peer review of the estimates, dividing the project into phases, scope reductions, add alternates, and environmental building components. Following discussion, the Council voted to reject all bids and directed staff to work with the architect on a scope of work to reduce the scope of the project as well as identify value engineering opportunities. The Council directed that staff return the issue to the Council for feedback as often as possible and that staff work to reduce the cost and scope of the project to fit within the Town's budget expectations based on the current market price schema. The Council suggested cost reductions in the neighborhood of $6 to $8 million for the Library and $8 to $10 million for the Administration/Police Building; further, the Council directed that the item be prepared for rebid by December 2018. It was also noted that the Council would have the opportunity when reviewing the proposed scope of work from the architect to consider splitting the project into distinct bid packages to allow phasing of the project upon rebid; and, that staff should consider a "peer review" process for bid estimates. 

Next, was Item No. 16, Adoption of the FY 2018/19 Budget. Following a staff report, the Council took public comment and briefly discussed issues related to any material changes to the budget since its prior review. Following final comment, the Council adopted the FY 2018/19 Budget and read the salary adjustments for the City Manager into the record as required by law.

Next up was Item No. 17, Approval of a 3-year Contract Extension, with a 2-Year Option with MCE Corporation for Public Works Maintenance Services. The Council heard a brief staff report, took public comment, and discussed issues related to the level of Park services and the level of landscape expertise. Following discussion, the Council adopted the 3-Year Contract Extension with the 2-Year Option.

The last item on the Agenda was Item No. 18 -  Consideration of forming an Underground Utility District within the Civic Center. Staff presented the staff report with updated information regarding PG&E work. Following questions and the opportunity for public comment, the Council opted not to form a District at this time. The Council asked that staff connect with residents in the community that might be interested in the formation of undergrounding districts and work with them on the process, if desired. 

Following Council Reports and Final Public Comments, having cleared the entire Agenda, at approximately 9:18 pm, that as they say - was a wrap!

The Council will hold its next meeting on July 18 at 4 pm for a Study Session and 7 pm for the Regular Meeting. Major items on that Agenda include:
  • Discussion of the Refuse Franchise Agreement
  • Discussion of Fire Services Fiscal Review Task 4
  • Discussion and Direction on Disposition of the Diana Statue
  • Convene as the Atherton Channel District to Discuss the District
  • Consideration of Amendments to the Library JPA
  • Consideration of Issues Related to the Civic Center Project
  • Introduction of the Town's False Alarm Ordinance
  • Introduction of a Development Agreement Ordinance
  • Authorization for Tetra Tech to Investigate Alternative Sites for a Water Detention Facility

George_2.jpgThanks for reading!

George Rodericks
City Manager

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




#AthertonTalks
#AthertonCivicCenter

May 17

That's A Wrap! - May 16, 2018

Posted on May 17, 2018 at 8:52 AM by grodericks grodericks

Thats A Wrap Logo

Council Meeting Date: May 16, 2018
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 the May Regular Council meeting on Wednesday, May 16 beginning at 7 pm. Following the Pledge of Allegiance, the Council moved to Public Comment.

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. 

After the City Manager's Report, the Council moved to the Consent Agenda consisting of Items 8 through 13. 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, acceptance of work for temporary library facilities, and resolutions calling the November 6 2018 General Election. Following comments on the temporary library facilities, the Council approved the Consent Agenda. 

Next was Item No. 14 - a Public Hearing - Recommended Increase to Green Waste Rates. Following a brief staff report the Council conducted the Public Hearing and took public comment. Following discussion around the true cost of green carts, the numbers of green carts, the work of the Solid Waste Subcommittee, and the impact of future franchise negotiations and tipping fee increases, the Council voted to introduce the Ordinance to Increase Green Waste Rates. 

Next, was the Regular Agenda beginning with Item No. 15, an Update and Direction on Next Steps for the Atherton Water Capture Facility Project. Following a staff report and presentation, the Council took public comment. Following public comment, the Council discussed issues related to seismic safety, scalability of the project, PCB and Mercury sources and levels, benefits of the project in Atherton, funds from Caltrans, appropriateness of the facility in the Park, and alternative locations. Following discussion, the Council advised that they are not ready to accept the 20% design solution for the Park and generally see the Park option for a project of this type as an option of last resort. Council directed staff to continue to evaluate other options and locations and return to the Council for review and vetting of those options. 

Item No. 16, Fee Waiver Request - Encinal Elementary School 5th Grade Picnic was up next. Here, the Council heard the brief staff report, took public comment, and set the fee for the event at $500. 

Next up was Item No. 17, Approval for Funds - San Mateo County Buyback Request - up to $5,000. The Council heard the brief staff report, took public comment, and, finding that the event had already occurred and that there were surplus funds still available based on already provided donations, the Council tabled the issues. 

Item No. 18 - Discussion on Amendments to the Atherton Heritage Tree Ordinance was next. The Council heard the staff report and presentation and asked follow-up questions regarding definitions of trees and process. Following the presentation, the Council took public comment. After public comment, the Council discussed issues related to defining how to measure multi-trunk trees; application of the tree protection zone before, during, and after a construction project; the addition of redwood trees within the buildable area, reporting requirements for projects, analysis of the impact on smaller lots, staff discretion in the process, how flag lots are addressed; the addition of eucalyptus trees; complexity of the process and its impact on homeowners; strengthening penalties for violations; ability of staff to enforce the requirements and the need for assistance to do so; and the complexity and legitimacy of the restrictions within the tree protection zone. Following discussion, the Council asked that staff return with changes based on Council feedback at a future meeting.  

Next was Item No. 19 - Approval of a Resolution Governing Town Committees. Council heard the staff report and reviewed the changes in the Resolution and Rail Policy Issues Exhibit. Following public comment, the Council discussed the changes and suggested changes to the Audit/Finance Committee terms and charter; discussed the process for setting items to a committee agenda; and briefly discussed changes to the Rail Issues Exhibit. Following discussion, the Council adopted the Resolution and formally extended the terms of members of Audit/Finance Committee to 4 years, applicable to current members. 

Item No. 20 was next - Discussion of Temporary Housing Options for Public Safety Personnel; and, if appropriate, authorize the City Manager to engage a design professional. The Council heard a brief staff report and took public comment. Following public comment, the Council discussed the potential for use/need; appropriateness of using the Main House at the Park for the purpose; the need of the Town to provide the benefit; other options and solutions that might be available and the need for sprinklers in the Main House. Following discussion, the Council directed staff to investigate other options before proceeding with any further vetting of the Main House for this use and separately investigate the cost of retrofitting the Main House with fire sprinklers. 

The last item on the Agenda was Item No. 21 - Ordinance of the Council Authorizing an Amendment to the CalPERS Contract. The Council heard a brief staff report noting that this item is a redo of the April meeting item where the Council approved it as a Consent Agenda Item. It is being returned to the Council as CalPERS requires its presence on the Regular Agenda as opposed to the Consent Agenda. Following public comment, the Council adopted the item. 

Following Council Reports and Final Public Comments, having cleared the entire Agenda, at approximately 11:25 pm, that as they say - was a wrap!

The Council will hold its next Regular meeting on June 6 at 4 pm. Major items on that Agenda include:
  • FY 2018/19 Budget Presentation - All Funds Review
  • Report on the Park Survey and Fence Encroachments - Discussion of Next Steps
  • Civic Center Project - Award of Bid/Move to Construction Phase (Tentative Action Item)

George_2.jpgThanks for reading!

George Rodericks
City Manager

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




#AthertonTalks
#AthertonCivicCenter