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.

Nov 19

That's A Wrap! - November 18, 2020

Posted on November 19, 2020 at 8:53 AM by grodericks grodericks

Thats A Wrap

Council Meeting Date: November 18, 2020
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 November Regular Meeting on Wednesday, November 18 at 7 pm via Zoom Teleconference pursuant to the Governor's Executive Order. Following the Roll Call the Council began moving through the Agenda beginning with Presentations and Public Comments.   

The Council approved a Proclamation supporting, applauding and joining the efforts of other jurisdictions and the California State Assembly in the pursuant of preventing nuclear war. 

ReportFollowing Public Comment and a Report Out of Closed Session, 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 City Manager answered a few clarifying questions from the Council on the Report. 

Consent_AgendaFollowing the City Manager's Report, the Council moved to the Consent Agenda consisting of Items 7 and 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 of various meetings, bills and claims, Certification of the Continuing Local Emergency (COVID-19), approval of amendments to the City Council Handbook, approval of an extension to the Building & Life Safety Services Agreement with Interwest Consulting Group, 2nd Reading and Adoption of Rate Adjustments for refuse services, and approval of an agreement with 21 Elements for assistance during the 6th Regional Housing Needs Cycle. 

Public_Hearing_ImageNext up was Public Hearings.

Item No. 15 was Introduction and 1st Reading of an Ordinance Amending Atherton Municipal Code Chapter 8.16 relating to Leaf Blowers. After the Staff Report, questions and public comment, the Council discussed the various proposed modifications to the Town's regulations covering leaf blowers. The Council discussed issues related to other community regulations, noise, PM-10 particulate matter (dust), holiday restrictions, hourly restrictions, noise, 2-stroke versus 4-stroke engines, enforcement, phasing of a transition, true cost and specifications of electric leaf blowers, and battery use, care and disposal. Following discussion, the Council continued the Public Hearing to January 20, 2021 to allow staff address some of the concerns raised, conduct additional research, review and report on a potential pilot effort at the Park, and amend the proposed ordinance. 

Regular_Agenda_ImageNext up was the Regular Agenda.

Item No. 16 was consideration of appointment to the Environmental Programs Committee. Following a brief staff report and public comment, the Council appointed Jennifer Carrico to the Town's Environmental Programs Committee. 

Item No. 17 was consideration of a letter to the Association of Bay Area Governments regarding the Town's Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA). Following a brief staff report and public comment, the Council approved the letter with minor amendments and authorized the Mayor to execute the letter on the Town's behalf. 

Item No. 18 was a Report on the current outreach efforts and next steps for the Neighborhood Traffic Management Action Plan. Following a staff report and public comment, the Council discussed issues related to budget priorities and fund availability, traffic control devices, prioritization of projects and focus areas, integrating the Transportation Committee and Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee priorities, gathering additional data to include, but not limited to policing and public safety data, reducing cut through traffic, encouraging the use of primary routes, and identifying a priority project focus for a pilot. Following discussion, the Council directed that staff continue with the outreach, education, and study via the Action Plan, return to Council at an upcoming meeting with updates, continue with the Public Outreach meetings, and provide the Council with opportunities to implement solutions in the short term based on identified Council priorities, with emphasis on Stockbridge - an identified priority in the first round of outreach. 

The last item on the Agenda, Item No. 19, Update to the Town Center Project, was informational only. 

Following Council Reports and Final Public Comments, having cleared the entire Agenda, at approximately 10:38 pm, that as they say - was a wrap!


The next meeting of the City Council will be a Special Meeting/Study Session on December 2 at 4 pm. On the Agenda is consideration of Temporary Field Lighting at Sacred Heart Schools and Menlo School.  

GeorgeThanks for reading!

George Rodericks
City Manager

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



Oct 22

That's A Wrap! - October 21, 2020

Posted on October 22, 2020 at 11:35 AM by grodericks grodericks

Thats A Wrap

Council Meeting Date: October 21, 2020
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 October Regular Meeting on Wednesday, October 21 at 7 pm via Zoom Teleconference pursuant to the Governor's Executive Order. Following the Roll Call the Council began moving through the Agenda beginning with Presentations and Public Comments.   

The Council presented Proclamations to retiring Police Sergeant Jason Bollendorf, recognizing Jason for his service to the Town. The Council also recognized ADAPT and its many volunteers for their service to the community. 

ReportFollowing Public Comment and a Report Out of Closed Session, 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.

Consent_AgendaFollowing the City Manager's Report, the Council moved to the Consent Agenda consisting of Items 7 and 16. 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 of various meetings, bills and claims, Notices of Completion for the 2020 Slurry project, approval of the Town's Conflict of Interest Code, approval of an Public Utilities Easement for CalWater, 2nd Reading and Adoption of the Accessory Dwelling Unit Code revisions, Certification of the Continuing Local Emergency (COVID-19), and Approval of an Agreement for Advancement of Funds from the Library JPA. The City Council removed the City Council Handbook for further discussion and ultimately continued the item to November. The remaining items on the Consent Agenda were approved.

Public_Hearing_ImageNext up was Public Hearings.

Item No. 17 was a Public Hearing on recommended increases to refuse residential, commercial and green waste rates in the Town. After the Staff Report, questions and public comment, the Council discussed the various modifications to the Town's refuse rate structures. The Council discussed issues related to charges for green carts, changes to service under the new franchise with GreenWaste Recovery set to begin on January 1, 2020, and rate adjustments at the various cart sizes. Following discussion, the Council introduced the Ordinance for its 1st Reading (2nd Reading and Adoption to be scheduled for November 18).  

Regular_Agenda_ImageNext up was the Regular Agenda.

Item No. 18 was consideration of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Joint Powers Board regarding Closure of the Atherton Caltrain Station. Following a brief staff report and public comment, the Council discussed the language within the MOU, commitments on behalf of Caltrain to the Town as part of the MOU, timing of Caltrain's requests for funding assistance from the San Mateo County Transportation Authority, guarantees on that funding, term of the agreement, and the ability of the Town to ensure that the terms of the agreement are fulfilled. Following discussion and recommendations for amendments to the Agreement, the Council continued the item to a Special Meeting on October 26 or 27 for final review. 

Item No. 19 was Approval of a Resolution governing Town Committees; reduction of Rail Committee Membership and amendments to the Resolution to address Rail Policy. Because of the continuation of Item No. 18, this item was also continued. 

Item No. 20 was consideration of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding the Bayfront Canal / Atherton Channel Flood Protection and Restoration Project. Following a brief staff report and public comment, the Council discussed issues related to the associated funding agreement, terms of the agreement, level of commitment by other agencies, potential cost over runs or under runs of the project, and opportunities for other regional project support. Following discussion, the Council approved the MOU contingent upon a successful funding agreement between the Town and the County of San Mateo for the Town's share of the project.

Item No. 21 was the establishment of speed limits on various streets throughout Atherton. Following a brief staff report and public comment, the Council discussed the speed limits on various streets for consideration. The Council discussed lowering the Middlefield Road Speed Limit from 30 mph to 25 mph. Following the discussion, the Council adopted the various limits recommended by staff, to include a reduction on Valparaiso from 35 mph to 30 mph and directed that the Transportation Committee conduct a review of Middlefield Road and make a recommendation regarding a potential reduction in its speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph.

Item No. 22 was consideration of a Request for Proposal for the Operation and Maintenance of a Proposed Library Cafe. Following a staff report and public comment, the Council discussed the timing of the release of the Request for Proposal as well as the land use for the site. Following discussion, the Council approved the Request for Proposal but delayed its release until March 2021. Staff advised that the Request for Proposal would be returned to the City Council prior to its final release.

Item No. 23 was discussion and direction regarding various naming request levels and a discussion of themed rooms for Atherton Legends. Following a staff report and public comment, the Council discussed various options for pursuing Atherton Legends of all variety (sports, education, science, politics, etc.) and discussed the formation of an Ad Hoc Subcommittee to flesh out the program parameters and concept. Following discussion, the Council asked that members interested in participating on the Subcommittee advise the Mayor so that the Mayor can consider appointments to such an Ad Hoc Subcommittee. 

The last item on the Agenda, Item No. 24, Update to the Town Center Project, was informational only. 

Following Council Reports and Final Public Comments, having cleared the entire Agenda, at approximately 10:05 pm, that as they say - was a wrap!


The next meeting of the City Council will be a Special Meeting on Monday, October 26 or Tuesday, October 27 (time TBD) to consider the Caltrain Station Closure MOU. The next regular meeting of the City Council/will be a Special Meeting/Study Session on November 4 at 3 pm. On the Agenda is consideration of a Resolution of Support for Local Housing and Zoning Control; Discussion of the ABAG Regional Housing Needs Analysis Process, and a Cash Flow Report from the Finance Department.  

GeorgeThanks for reading!

George Rodericks
City Manager

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



Sep 17

That's A Wrap! - September 16, 2020

Posted on September 17, 2020 at 11:45 AM by grodericks grodericks

Thats A Wrap

Council Meeting Date: September 16, 2020
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 September Regular Meeting on Wednesday, September 16 at 7 pm via Zoom Teleconference pursuant to the Governor's Executive Order. Following the Roll Call and Report out from Closed Session the Council began moving through the Agenda beginning with Presentations and Public Comments.   

The Council presented Proclamations to retired K-9 Quancy and former ADAPT President Normal Fogelberg. The Council also recognized the ADAPT Board and Area Coordinators for their outstanding efforts in support of the community's safety.  

ReportFollowing 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.   

Consent_AgendaFollowing the City Manager's Report, the Council moved to the Consent Agenda consisting of Items 7 and 16. 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 of various meetings, bills and claims, Notices of Completion for the 2020 Overlay and Patching projects, adoption of a Resolution designating voting delegates to the 2020 League Conference, a Resolution accepting COPS Grant Funding, a Resolution approving an application for Per Capita Grant Funds, Ratification of the Continuing Emergency due to COVID-19,  and acceptance of the 4th Quarter Treasurer's Report. The City Council removed the League Delegate Item (approved under Regular Agenda Items) to request that the League Resolutions be considered by the Council at the October 7 Study Session.

Public_Hearing_Image Next up was Public Hearings.

Item No. 16 was a Public Hearing to Introduce an Ordinance Amending the Atherton Municipal Code Chapter 17.52 related to Accessory Dwelling Units. After the Staff Report, questions and public comment, the Council discussed the draft ordinance. The Council discussed issues related to legal non-conforming structure replacement, inclusion of language to address enforcement of the owner occupancy requirements, impact of parking requirements, and setbacks. Following discussion, the Council introduced the Ordinance for its 1st Reading (2nd Reading and Adoption to be scheduled for October 21). The Council expressed displeasure at the State mandated requirements related to the proposed amendments, its potential impact on the character of the Town, and directed staff to incorporate language in the Ordinance's preamble articulating the Council's concerns about the State's overreach. 
 

Regular_Agenda_ImageNext up was the Regular Agenda.

Item No. 17 was discussion and direction regarding the Town's participation in the HEROES Project. Following a brief staff report and public comment, the Council discussed the Town's participation in the project. Following discussion, the Council opted not to participate in the project. 

Item No. 18 was direction to staff regarding next steps on withdrawal from the South Bayside Waste Management Authority (SBWMA). Following a brief staff report and public comment, the Council discussed issues related to current cost, future costs, risk of continued SBWMA membership as it relates to future costs, public comment issues raised by Recology, and the Town's continued membership in the SBWMA. Following discussion, the Council directed that staff move forward with finalizing negotiation of a franchise agreement with Greenwaste Recovery to begin January 1, 2021, authorize the Mayor to execute the agreement on behalf of the Town and directed the City Manager to facilitate the Town's exit from the SBWMA.  

Item No. 19 was consideration of a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Operation and Maintenance of a proposed Library Cafe. Following a staff report and public comment, the Council discussed issues related to operation of the cafe, non-profit versus for profit operators, opportunity for partnership with an event manager for the Park, minor corrections in the RFP, and size and opportunity of the space. Following discussion, the Council asked that staff return the item, with edits as directed, for consideration at the October 21 Council Meeting. 

Item No. 20 was consideration and direction of the million-dollar donor naming requests. Following a brief staff report and public comment, the Council discussed issues related to recognition levels, opportunities, and guidelines. Following discussion, the Council accepted the naming requests of the million-dollar donors as presented by Atherton Now and directed staff to connect with Atherton Now to advise of the Town's recognition guidelines (8 1/2" x 11" plaque, placement considerations, etc.). 

Item No. 21 was direction regarding potential revisions to the City Council Handbook and Rules of Procedure. Following a brief staff report and public comment, the Council discussed various provisions within the Handbook and Rules of Procedure and discussed possible revisions. The Council provided feedback with respect to the creation of Ad Hoc Subcommittees, representation of the Town and Council's direction by members of the Council, and engagement by other members of the Council on issues once a Subcommittee has been formed to address those issues. Staff will make the directed revisions, as well as other minor corrections, and return the Handbook and Rules of Procedure for consideration at the October 21 Regular Meeting. 

The last item on the Agenda, Item No. 22 was an update on the Town Center Project, direction regarding future fountain design and placement, approval of a Scope of Work for WRNS, and approval of a settlement with S.J. Amoroso regarding CPE#13 and CPE#51. Following a staff report and public comment, the Council directed staff continue to move forward with the proposed fountain design and placement and approved both the Scope of Work with WRNS and the Settlement Agreement with S.J. Amoroso.

Following Council Reports and Final Public Comments, having cleared the entire Agenda, at approximately 10:37 pm, that as they say - was a wrap!


The next meeting of the City Council will be a Special Meeting/Study Session on October 7 at 3 pm. On the Agenda is consideration of appointment to the Finance Committee; discussion and direction regarding the League of Cities Legislative Resolution; Consideration of an Agreement with Caltrain for closure of the Atherton Rail Station; direction regarding event management services at Holbrook-Palmer Park; and Review and Direction Regarding the Bayfront Canal Project MOU and Project Terms.  

GeorgeThanks for reading!

George Rodericks
City Manager

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