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August 11, 2009

A regular meeting of the City Council of the City of San Ramon was held August 11, 2009 at 7:17 p.m. in the City Council Chamber at City Hall, 2222 Camino Ramon, Mayor Wilson presiding. 
PRESENT:  Councilmembers Hudson, Livingstone, Perkins, Rowley and Mayor Wilson.
STAFF PRESENT:  Acting City Manager Phil Wong, Interim City Attorney Roger Peters, Police Chief Scott Holder, Parks and Community Services Director Jeff Eorio, Deputy City Attorney Alicia Poon, and City Clerk Patricia Edwards.

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Members of the Tassajara 4-H Club led those in attendance in the pledge of allegiance. 

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The City Clerk noted that there were no changes or additions to the agenda.  Mayor Wilson requested that the Council convene in Closed Session pursuant to Government Code §54956 (b) (3) (A) for City Council to discuss with the City Attorney facts and circumstances that might result in litigation but which the City Attorney  believes are not yet known to a potential plaintiff or plaintiffs.  Cm. Perkins’ motion to add this item to the agenda was seconded by Cm. Rowley.  Vice Mayor Hudson asked if it is an emergency item.  Interim City Attorney Roger Peters noted that the reason for the addition is that the item came up after the agenda was posted and requires immediate Council attention.  Mayor Wilson requested a roll call vote to verify the 4/5s vote.  The Council voted 5-0.  The Closed Sessions will be held at the end of the meeting. 

The City Clerk noted that there were no changes or additions to the meetings listed on the agenda. 

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(#4.1)  Recognition of Vicki Hsieh, Parks and Community Services Commission 2008/09 Student Commissioner.  Presented by Mayor Wilson.

Parks and Community Services Director Jeff Eorio introduced Vicki Hsieh.  He stated that her leadership resulted in a very successful year for the Teen Council.  She was a very active member on the Parks Commission.  Mayor Wilson presented Ms. Hsieh with a plaque recognizing and thanking her for her service.  Ms. Hsieh thanked the Council and Parks Commission for this opportunity to develop her leadership.  

(#4.2) Presentation by Tassajara 4-H Club - Activities Update by Dr. Elisa Dowd.

Dr. Elisa Dowd deferred to the 4-H members.  Margie Graver-Dowd, resident, reported that the County Board of Supervisors wants to eliminate funding for the University of California Cooperative Extension Office including the 4-H program.  The 4-H Club is an active participant at Forest Home Farms participating in Sheep Shearing Days and the Harvest Festival, donating chickens and the chicken coop, and providing a free petting zoo at the Farmers Market.  She asked the City to contribute funds to help sustain the Cooperative Extension Office because of the benefits provided by 4-H to San Ramon.

Wendy Graver-Dowd, resident, asked the City to help support 4-H.  She stated the advantages of 4-H participation in the personal development, communication skills, social engagement, and civic identity of members.   

Cm. Perkins asked how much funding will be cut.  Ms. Graver-Dowd stated that all funding for the Cooperative Extension office will be eliminated on September 30, 2009.  In order to keep the Cooperative Extension office open to the end of December, $75,000 is needed.  She requested $11,842 from San Ramon.  Cm. Rowley asked how many people are actively involved in the Tassajara 4-H Club.  Ms. Graver-Dowd said that the Club has more than 100 members.  Mayor Wilson stated that no action can be taken by the Council and asked Ms. Graver-Dowd to submit a formal request.

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The City Clerk noted that there was one request for public comment.

Pat Boom, resident, promoted the San Ramon Farmers Market which is held on Saturday mornings.  The Market is unique because it is located on a farm.  A variety of activities are provided including: the 4-H petting zoo, live music, food and nonfood shopping, property tours, the tractor barn, and the San Ramon Historic Foundation Gift Shop.  The Foundation is selling their own label of pancakes, crepes and scones mixes.  Gift Shop proceeds benefit Forest Home Farms.  She invited residents to attend the Foundation’s Victorian Tea on September 13, 2009 at the San Ramon Community Center.  The Tea honors Ruth Boone who donated the property for Forest Home Farms.  She recognized Whole Foods Market for providing the food for the Tea. 

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Cm. Rowley’s motion to approve the July 28, 2009 City Council meeting minutes was seconded by Cm. Livingstone and passed 4-0.  Cm. Perkins abstained. 

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(#8.1) Resolution No. 2009-132 – Authorizing the Mayor to Execute Amendment No. 1 to the Existing Agreement with Jani-King of California, Inc. to Renew the Agreement for Parks Restroom Janitorial Services in a Total Annual Amount Not To Exceed $65,947.

(#8.2) Resolution No. 2009-133 – Accepting Certain Landscape Improvements in RA 1174 (a Portion of East Branch Parkway) for Maintenance (Windemere BLC, Land Development Company, LLC).

(#8.3) Resolution No. 2009-134 – Accepting Certain Landscape Dedications and Certain Landscape Improvements within Portions of Parcels B and C of Subdivision 8926, Parcel B and a Portion of Parcel C of Subdivision 8927, and Portions of Parcels A and B of Subdivision 8928, Installed as Part of RA 1174 (a Portion of East Branch Parkway) for Maintenance (Windemere BLC, Land Development Co., LLC).

(#8.4) Resolution No. 2009-135 – Accepting Certain Roadway and Landscape Dedications and Certain Landscape Improvements for Maintenance in Subdivision 8717 (Windemere BLC Land Development Co., LLC).

(#8.5) Resolution No. 2009-136 – Authorizing the Expenditure of $14,025 from the Cultural Growth Fund for the Purpose of Upgrading the Sound Equipment at the Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center.

(#8.6) Resolution No. 2009-137 – Repealing Resolution No. 2009-086 and Amending the Parking Restrictions Master Street List By Adding Parking Restrictions in Various Areas of San Ramon as per Title B, Division B-8, Chapter I, Article 1, Section B8-1, Stopping, Standing or Parking – Curb Marking Designations.

Vice Mayor Hudson’s motion to approve items 8.1 through 8.6 was seconded by Cm. Livingstone and passed 5-0.

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(#9.1) Update on Measure J Traffic Congestion Relief Agency - TRAFFIX Program by Aram Boyd, Contract Program Manager.

Aram Boyd, TRAFFIX Contract Program Manager, provided the report.  The purpose of TRAFFIX is to reduce traffic congestion utilizing Measure J funds.  Mr. Boyd stated that each bus can potentially remove 30-50 cars from the road.  The buses are clean burning diesels.  Service to Country Club, Neil Armstrong, Walt Disney Elementary schools and Pine Valley Middle School will begin on August 25, 2009.  Ticket and route information is available at www.ridetraffix.com.  The annual cost is $250 per child or $200 per child before August 24, 2009.  Vice Mayor Hudson noted this program is a great value.  It is important to fill the buses in order to keep the routes.  Mayor Wilson noted that TRAFFIX is a collaborative effort by the Town of Danville, San Ramon, Contra Costa County, and the San Ramon Valley Unified School District. 

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(#10.1) Public Hearing:  Ordinance No. XXX (next in line) – Introducing an Urgency Ordinance of the City of San Ramon Establishing a 45 Day Moratorium on the Issuance of Any New, or Expansion of Any Existing, Massage Establishment or Massage Therapist Permits.  

Deputy City Attorney Alicia Poon presented the staff report.  SB 731, governing the certification of massage practitioners, massage therapists, and massage establishments, becomes effective September 1, 2009.  The Moratorium is proposed to allow staff to study the impact of SB 731 relative to the current City code and determine what amendments are necessary to comply with State law.  Ms. Poon added that the City is awaiting guidelines from the California Massage Therapy Council.  On July 31, 2009, Public Hearing notices were mailed to massage therapists and facilities licensed in San Ramon.  There are no immediate fiscal impacts related to this Urgency Ordinance. 

Cm. Livingstone asked which local cities have adopted an ordinance.  Ms. Poon replied that Pinole and Morgan Hill have adopted ordinances.  Cm. Perkins asked if staff expects that 45 days will be sufficient time to analyze SB 731.  Interim City Attorney Peters stated that the State has not provided complete direction for SB 731 implementation.  He estimates that staff will need 90 days.  He clarified that the law applies only to new not to existing licenses.  San Ramon currently has 35 licensed massage establishments and 88 licensed practitioners.  One license is currently being processed.  Police Chief Holder clarified that there are eight “massage only” establishments in San Ramon. 

Vice Mayor Hudson’s motion to introduce the Urgency Ordinance and waive the reading was seconded by Cm. Perkins and passed 5-0.

Mayor Wilson opened the public hearing.

Richard Crespin, massage therapist, stated his support for SB 731.  One State certification makes it easy for massage practitioners and therapists to work in different cities and counties in California without requiring multiple licenses and certifications.

Melody Evenson, massage therapist, stated that SB 731 is a voluntary title act which requires no action or changes by any given city or county to the current ordinance.  If adopted by San Ramon, it will eliminate San Ramon’s role in licensing and certification.

Young Hui, representing Joyven Day Spa, questioned why the City applies tougher requirements for massage therapists and establishments than the State.  He asked how long the Moratorium will last and if City businesses will be able to hire replacement therapists.  He asked if the public will have an opportunity to comment on proposed changes to the Ordinance.  Mayor Wilson responded that there will be a public hearing if Ordinance changes are proposed.  The Council’s goal is to protect City businesses and the residents.  Vice Mayor Hudson clarified the purpose of the Urgency Ordinance.  Cm. Livingstone recommended that the staff analysis be limited to 90 days to minimize any impact on existing businesses.  Cm. Perkins concurred with Cm. Livingstone.  Cm. Rowley asked if there is a difference between “replacement” and “expansion”.  Ms. Poon noted that the law refers to the expansion of a massage establishment not to staff replacement.

Gina Perine, massage therapist, asked if current massage therapists and establishments will be allowed to change locations in San Ramon during the Moratorium period.   Interim City Attorney Peters responded that the Council may establish an administrative or hardship exception process to deal with this issue.  Cm. Perkins noted that Section 2 (C) (1) does not prohibit “the renewal of a massage establishment permit or business license for an existing massage establishment provided that the renewal seeks to maintain the business in its current location”.  He recommended that the phrase “provided that the renewal seeks to maintain the business in its current location” be removed from the Ordinance.  He suggested deleting the word “relocated” in Section 3 (D) [“the operation of new, relocated, and expanded massage therapists and establishments”]. 

Vice Mayor Hudson requested that the Moratorium be limited to 45 days.  Mayor Wilson expressed concern for small business owners.  Cm. Livingstone requested clarification regarding the impact of the proposed Moratorium on small business owners.  Interim City Attorney Peters responded that, if the Urgency Ordinance is adopted as presented, existing licensed massage businesses could not relocate within the City.  He proposed two options: the Council could either amend the Urgency Ordinance or add an administrative hardship procedure.  He recommended that the Council postpone a decision on the Ordinance and that staff prepare a revised Urgency Ordinance for Council consideration at the August 25, 2009 meeting.  If adopted at that meeting, the Ordinance would be in place before the September 1, 2009 State deadline.

Cm. Rowley concurred with Cm. Livingstone’s concerns and stated her support for the addition of an administrative hardship procedure.   Interim City Attorney Peters stated that the Ordinance as written does not contain an administrative hardship procedure.  An Urgency Ordinance is in effect for 45 days and expires unless extended. 

Cm. Perkins’ motion to defer Council consideration of the Urgency Ordinance to August 25, 2009 was seconded by Vice Mayor Hudson and passed 5-0.  Interim City Attorney Peters requested that the Council provide direction to staff regarding their preference for the revision.  Mayor Wilson stated that his sense of the Council’s preference is to allow the City Attorney to review both options and provide an opinion at the next Council meeting.

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Vice Mayor Hudson reported that the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors voted to disband the San Ramon Valley Regional Planning Commission in October.  The Supervisors also took action to establish a Municipal Advisory Council for Alamo.

Cm. Perkins thanked the Council and citizens for their support on his hike of the John Muir Trail.

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Mayor Wilson encouraged residents to purchase their tickets for the 2009-2010 season at the Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center. 

At 8:38 p.m. the Council convened to Closed Session pursuant to: (1) Government Code §54957 to evaluate the position of the City Manager; and (2) Government Code §54956 (b) (3) (A) for City Council to discuss with the City Attorney facts and circumstances that might result in litigation but which the City Attorney believes are not yet known to a potential plaintiff or plaintiffs.  At 9:44 p.m., Mayor Wilson reconvened the meeting. All Council members were present.  Mayor Wilson reported that no action was taken by the Council on either item.

At 9:45 p.m., there being no further business, Mayor Wilson adjourned the meeting.


H. Abram Wilson, Mayor
Patricia Edwards, City Clerk

Approved at the August 25, 2009 City Council meeting 3-0; Livingstone and Perkins absent.

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