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May 11, 2010

A regular meeting of the City Council of the City of San Ramon was held May 11, 2010 at 7:04 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:  City Manager Herb Moniz, Interim City Attorney Roger Peters, Police Chief Scott Holder, Administrative Analyst Darlene Amaral, Transportation Division Manager Lisa Bobadilla, and Deputy City Clerk Renee Beck.

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Isabel Lau led those in attendance in the pledge of allegiance. 

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Mayor Wilson requested an emergency item be added to the Agenda under Presentations.  Cm. Hudson’s motion to add an Emergency Item under Presentations was seconded by Cm. Livingstone and passed 5-0. 

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(4.1) Presentation by Darlene Amaral on San Ramon Valley Community Bike Rodeo on May 12, 2010 at Iron Horse Middle School and Bike to Work Day on
May 13, 2010.

Administrative Analyst Darlene Amaral summarized the activities scheduled for Bike to Work Day. Two Energizer Stations will be available in San Ramon, both located on the Iron Horse Trail. Ms. Amaral also invited the public to attend the San Ramon Valley Community Bike Rodeo taking place on May 12, 2010 from 4-6 p.m. at Iron Horse Middle School. 

(4.2) Proclamation Declaring May 17-23, 2010 Hepatitis B Awareness Week.  Presented to Sarah Kim by Mayor Wilson.

Mayor Wilson presented the proclamation to Sarah Kim. Ms. Kim stated her appreciation of the opportunity to raise awareness of Hepatitis B to the San Ramon community.

(4.3) Announcement of Exchange Club of San Ramon Valley’s Scholarship Award Winners.  Sponsored by PG&E and AT&T.  Presentation by Karen Stepper, President of the Exchange Club, and Mayor Wilson. 

Ms. Stepper introduced Roxanne Lindsey and June Hannon, Officers of the Exchange Club.  Ms. Stepper indicated this is the sixth year that these are college scholarships have been awarded.  The major sponsors of the scholarships are AT&T and PG&E.  The applicants wrote essays based on the documents in the Freedom Shrine and speaker presentations on the balance of power between the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government. The essay competitors are Kylie Day, Emma Grager, Miranda Halverson, Steven Lau, Rebecca Rashid, Jessica Ritenour, Alexander Salazar, Eric Wang, and Katherine Zhang.  Winners are First Place, Emma Grager, Second Place, Steven Lau, and Third Place, Eric Wang.

(4.4) Presentation by Harv Singh, Market Manager, Announcing the May 15, 2010 Opening of the Farmers Market at Forest Home Farms. 

Market Manager Alisha Newell spoke on behalf of Harv Singh.  Ms. Newell indicated that the purpose of the market is to provide an outlet for local farmers to sell their produce and for consumers to purchase fresh, local produce at a reasonable price.  She stated the 2010 Farmers Market will include 30-40 vendors including San Ramon artists and local farmers.  In an effort to increase attendance, more events will be provided this year such as music, train rides, tractor rides, and tours of Forest Home Farms and the Glass House.  Farmers Market hours are 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Saturdays through October. 

(4.5) Emergency Item: Recognition of Mormon Helping Hand – Renewing California Parks at Forest Home Farms. Presentation by Mayor Wilson.

Mayor Wilson presented a proclamation to Michael Webb, Dallin Earl, Travis Selland, and Kendall Keysor, representatives from local Mormon Churches, recognizing their work at Forest Home Farms on May 8, 2010.  The Mayor stated that the many volunteer hours of work represented a great financial savings to the City.  Over 400 participants pulled weeds, dug ditches, painted, and poured concrete.  The Church representatives stated that it was a pleasure to be able to contribute to the community. Vice Mayor Rowley invited them to return next year. 

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(5.1) Central Contra Costa Transit Authority Accessible Services Committee Appointment.Transportation Division Manager Lisa Bobadilla provided the report.

Vice Mayor Rowley’s motion to appoint Phil Reed to the Central Contra Costa Transit Authority Accessible Services Committee for a term expiring in February 2012 was seconded by Cm. Livingstone and passed 5-0. 

(5.2) County Connection Citizen Advisory Committee Appointment. Transportation Division Manager Lisa Bobadilla provided the report. Vice Mayor

Rowley’s motion to appoint Harvey Riggs to the County Connection Citizen Advisory Committee for a term expiring in December 2011 was seconded by Cm. Hudson and passed 5-0. 

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The Deputy City Clerk noted that there were no requests for public comment.

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(#7.1) Minutes of the April 24, 2010 special meeting.

Cm. Hudson’s motion to approve the April 24, 2010 Special City Council Meeting minutes was seconded by Vice Mayor Rowley and passed 5-0. 

(#7.2) Minutes of the April 27, 2010 special meeting.

Cm. Hudson’s motion to approve the April 27, 2010 Special City Council meeting minutes was seconded by Cm. Livingstone and passed 5-0. 

(#7.3) Minutes of the April 27, 2010 regular meeting.

Cm. Livingstone’s motion to approve the April 27, 2010 City Council meeting minutes was seconded by Cm. Hudson and passed 5-0. 

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(#8.1) Minute Order No. 2010-11 – Accepting the Work by MCK Services,  Inc. for the Construction of the San Ramon Valley Boulevard Pavement Rehabilitation Project (CIP 5534) as Complete and Authorizing the City Clerk to File a Notice of Completion with the County Recorder's Office.

(#8.2) Minute Order No. 2010-12 – Authorizing a $71,715 Expenditure from the Vehicle Replacement Fund for the Purchase of Three Replacement Patrol Vehicles.

(#8.3) Minute Order No. 2010-13 – Authorizing Total Expenditures Not to Exceed $72,000 with Emergency Vehicle Solutions, Inc. for Police Vehicle Upfitting and Repairs.

(#8.4) Minute Order 2010-14 – Directing the City Clerk to Review and Prepare the Biennial Conflict of Interest Code for the City of San Ramon.

(#8.5) Resolution No. 2010-049 – Authorizing the Major to Execute an Agreement with Pacheco Brothers Gardening, Inc. for Areas I and III Landscape Maintenance Services in the Amount of $3,800,000 for the Initial Three-Year Term.

(#8.6) Resolution No. 2010-050 – Authorizing the Major to Execute an Agreement with FloraTech Landscape Management for Area II Landscape Maintenance Services in the Amount of $1,800,000 for the Initial Three-Year Term.

(#8.7) Library Advisory Committee By-Laws Revisions.

Cm. Livingstone’s motion to approve items 8.1 through 8.7 was seconded by Cm. Hudson and passed 5-0. 

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(#10.1) San Ramon Valley Measure J Traffic Congestion Relief Agency – TRAFFIX Service Delivery Plan for 2010-2011.

Transportation Division Manager Lisa Bobadilla provided the presentation.  She stated that the TRAFFIX program is a traffic relief program made possible through Measure J funds.  The TRAFFIX program was developed by a multi-agency committee over the last four years.  Contra Costa Transportation Authority provides oversight of the funds and administration. The Southwest Area Transportation Committee provides the recommendations. The TRAFFIX Board of Directors is responsible for the program implemented in 2009-2010.  The traffic study completed in 2007 indicated that south San Ramon had the most severe traffic congestion. The four impacted schools in San Ramon are Pine Valley Middle School, Country Club Elementary School, Neil Armstrong Elementary School, and Walt Disney Elementary School. There are no plans to alter the program for the 2010 -2011 school year.

Contract Program Manager Aram Boyd provided information on TRAFFIX marketing efforts to raise 2010 – 2011 ridership.  Ridership is more successful if students begin riding the bus in elementary school. These students will be more likely to continue bus ridership through middle school. The ridership focus needs to be on third-fifth grades since Kindergarten - second grades have different school bell hours. Parent surveys indicate that TRAFFIX information is best disseminated through school e-mails and website, and word of mouth.   Information has also been provided through PTA events and school administrators. Through these efforts, it was discovered that parents were looking for a bus service payment plan and a chance to try the bus service.  A payment plan will be offered in the 2010-2011 school year. The bus service will be offered for $25 on a trial basis for the rest of the school year.  There is an incentive of $50 off next year’s bus service if you sign up now.  Surveys also showed that bus ridership would increase with shorter routes, safe buses, and affordable passes.  Currently, over 100 passes have been sold for next school year. Ridership needs to be increased at the elementary schools.  Marketing efforts include attending new parent night at Pine Valley Middle School, PTA presentations, spring open house at the schools, busing students to fifth grader day, and online testimonials from parents and students. 

Vice Mayor Rowley stated that children love to ride the school bus and they arrive on time.  Mr. Boyd stated that parents can sign up throughout the school year and the cost will be prorated.

Cm. Hudson stated that TRAFFIX is a congestion management program not a school bus program and that without ridership there is no guarantee that the program will continue.

Mr. Boyd stated that similar programs in the Bay Area pay much higher rates.  He confirmed that congestion around Pine Valley has been reduced considerably.  He added that riding the bus is a learning experience for children.

Mayor Wilson pointed out that the children get up on time to get to the bus and is a good time saver for parents.  Mr. Boyd said the children love the interaction with other children and the bus drivers and that it saves parents time and money.  He added it also helps the environment.

Vice Mayor Rowley encouraged neighbors to use this bus service being provided by Contra Costa County, the City of San Ramon, the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, and the Town of Danville.

Mayor Wilson asked Mr. Boyd to discuss bus safety.  Mr. Boyd responded that the buses are built to exacting standards and drivers receive extensive training.  All buses have seat belts and buses are 25% less likely to get in accident than a car.  Buses reduce traffic around schools for pedestrian safety and that the orange color makes them more visible.

(#10.2) Interim Urgency Ordinance No. 424 – Moratorium on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries.

Interim City Attorney Roger Peters presented the report.  Mr. Peters discussed the California Compassionate Use Act of 1996 (CUA) which allows Californian’s suffering from illness to use marijuana on a doctor’s recommendation with limited criminal liability.  The CUA does not legalize marijuana so does not conflict with federal law. The CUA does create issues with regard to marijuana transportation and the definition of a primary caregiver.  The California legislature adopted the Medical Marijuana Program Act (MMPA) which created a voluntary ID program for qualified patients and primary caregivers.  This is a tool for police enforcement of the Act.  The MMPA also established rules and regulations for the operation of cooperatives and collectives and established limits on the amount of marijuana primary caregivers could use or possess.  These limits have been struck down by the courts as unconstitutional.  

Neither the CUA nor the MMPA defines the term “dispensaries”.  The term “dispensary” is used to describe retail sales as well as collectives. Retail sales are illegal under the MMPA Act but collectives and cooperatives are allowed.  Collectives and cooperatives are an association of individuals formed in accordance with state law.  All members must be either a primary care giver or a qualified patient.  The collective cannot make a profit but can be reimbursed for expenses.  There is gray area as to whether the money received by the collectives and cooperatives is profit or expense reimbursement. They may possess, cultivate or distribute marijuana but not sell marijuana.  Mr. Peters noted that the issue is how to determine whether ‘sales’ or ‘distribution’ of marijuana is taking place.  Collectives and cooperatives must also obtain all local government permits and licenses. Another complication is distinguishing between a retail dispensary and a legal collective.

There are three legal bases for initiating a moratorium on dispensaries and collectives.  The first is the Controlled Substances Act which classifies marijuana as a Class 1 substance which is illegal to possess, sell, cultivate, or transport.  In the case of Gonzales v. Raich, the Supreme Court held that federal law was enforceable despite CUA and MMPA.  San Ramon Municipal Code states that only those businesses in compliance with state and federal law can do business in San Ramon.  This would be a legal basis for regulating dispensaries.  The second basis for regulation is Government Code 37100 which states that legislative bodies may pass laws not in conflict with the Constitution and the laws of the States of the United States.  The third basis would be a city can adopt an Ordinance to prevent nuisances or secondary effects.  Dispensaries have secondary effects such as burglaries, thefts, fraud, sales to minors, etc.

There are currently three pertinent court cases.  City of Corona v. Naulls and City of Claremont v. Kruse/C.A.N.N.A.B.I.S. both deal with moratorium ordinances.  In both cases the court upheld the ordinance to ban a collective.  The third case, Qualified Patients Association v. City of Anaheim, is now pending.  The City of Anaheim banned collectives and the court upheld the ban and the ban is now being appealed.  That decision is expected within several months and should provide direction on whether state law will prevent Cities from adopting a ban on medical marijuana dispensaries.  The moratorium can be put into effect based on City of Corona v. Naulls and City of Claremont v. Kruse/C.A.N.N.A.B.I.S court cases.

The Ordinance will ban all dispensaries and collectives for 45 days.  This will give staff time to study the regulation of dispensaries and collectives and provide a report to the City Council.  The moratorium can be extended twice.  The first extension could be for 10.5 months. The second extension can be for 12 months.  The Policy Committee and staff recommend adopting the urgency moratorium for 45 days and direct staff to study land use regulations and report back to the Council. 

Mayor Wilson asked Mr. Peters if he had a sense of what would happened with the Anaheim case.  Mr. Peters said he did not.

Mayor Wilson opened public comment.

Mr. Nathan Pitts, a resident, addressed the Council.  He said that Eric Holder and President Obama have stated any dispensary operating with the scope of the law will not be raided.  The Urgency Ordinance would cost the City money in the loss of tax revenue and possible lawsuits.  Mr. Pitts stated that he suffers from autism and post traumatic stress disorder and cannot function without medical marijuana.  He feels the citizens of San Ramon should be able to vote on this issue.  He stated that the clubs he patronizes are safe, clean, and professionally staffed.  He finds the language in the moratorium offensive and overstates the fear of crime.  He requested that the City of Berkeley be contacted for more information.

Cm. Livingstone asked Mr. Pitts how much marijuana can be purchased at a time and how long the supply lasts.  Mr. Pitts responded approximately one gram.  Mr. Livingstone asked how much could be purchased at a time.  Mr. Pitts stated there is limited entry to the dispensaries and believes the amount is limited by the city.

Cm. Hudson stated there are issues with marijuana around DUI.  He doesn’t understand how there can be legal limits for drinking but no such limit or test for marijuana.  He suggested that some of these questions will be answered during the moratorium.  The City has to have the Anaheim decision before issuing permits or licenses to dispensaries or collectives.  He believes 45 days is not an unreasonable time to study the subject.

Vice Mayor Rowley agreed that there are too many unknowns and more study needs to be done before making a final decision. 

Mayor Wilson stated that the Council is responsible for deciding what is best for San Ramon.  More information and evaluation needs to be done before any action is taken. 

Cm. Hudson’s motion to adopt an Interim Urgency Ordinance imposing a moratorium on the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries and direct staff to begin studying the regulation of dispensaries and present the City Council with additional information at a future date and waive the reading was seconded by Vice Mayor Rowley and passed 5-0.

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Mayor Wilson announced the opening of the Farmer’s Market at Forest Home Farms on Saturday, May 15, 2010.

Cm. Perkins added a reminder of the Glass House Grand Opening on May 15, 2010.

Vice Mayor Rowley said there was a reunion for the members of the Glass family at the Glass House last week that was enjoyed by young and old. 

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At 8:30 p.m., the Council convened to Closed Session pursuant to Government Code §54957.6 for City Council to meet with its Labor Negotiators, Herb Moniz and Greg Rogers, concerning negotiations with SEIU Local 1021.

At 8:45 p.m., Mayor Wilson reconvened the meeting.  All Councilmembers were in attendance.  Mayor Wilson reported that the Council met in Closed Session pursuant to Government Code §54957.6 for City Council to meet with its Labor Negotiators, Herb Moniz and Greg Rogers, concerning negotiations with SEIU Local 1021.  The Council took no action.

At 8:47 p.m., there being no further business, Mayor Wilson adjourned the meeting.


H. Abram Wilson, Mayor
Patricia Edwards, City Clerk

Approved at the May 25, 2010 City Council meeting 5-0.

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