MINUTES OF THE
CITY OF SAN RAMON – COUNCIL MEETING
November 23, 2010
A regular meeting of the City Council of the City of San Ramon was held November 23, 2010 at 7:07 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, City Attorney Sheryl Schaffner, Police Chief Scott Holder, Recreation Services Division Manager Esther Lucas, Program Manager Teri Mountford, Senior Traffic Engineer Mike Talley, and City Clerk Patricia Edwards.
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PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
George A. Thomas, IV led those present in the pledge of allegiance.
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The City Clerk noted that there were no changes or additions to the agenda. 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 George Thomas on Achieving the Quartermaster Rank Award. Presentation by Mayor Wilson.
Ken Nicholson, Skipper of Sea Scout Ship 1776, presented the Quartermaster Rank Award to George A. Thomas IV. The Quartermaster Award is the highest award in Sea Scouting and requires the mastery of eleven seamanship skills. Mr. Thomas is the first Sea Scout in the Meridian District to earn this award since the early 1950’s. Less than 25 awards are presented nationally each year. Mayor Wilson presented Mr. Thomas with a proclamation and City pen. Vice Mayor Perkins congratulated Mr. Thomas who is currently a cadet at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Mr. Thomas thanked the Council for this recognition. Mayor Wilson thanked Mr. Thomas’ parents for inspiring and supporting their son’s achievements.
(4.2) Recognition of Bill Clarkson for His Service on the San Ramon Valley Unified School District Board. Presentation by Mayor Wilson.
Mayor Wilson presented Bill Clarkson with a certificate recognizing his twelve years of service to the San Ramon Valley Unified School District Board. Mr. Clarkson currently serves the City as a Parks Commissioner. Mr. Clarkson thanked the Council for this recognition. He noted that the partnership between the School District and the City provides a unique role model for other cities.
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CITY COUNCIL APPOINTMENTS
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The City Clerk noted that there were two requests for public comment.
Roz Rogoff, resident, reported that she attended the TV30 Board meeting. She noted that the San Ramon City Council meetings are broadcast several days after the meeting. She requested that the Council consider working with TV30 to broadcast “live” City Council meetings and asked the Council to investigate the cost for this service.
Phil O’Loane, resident, provided observations and suggestions resulting from Measure W and the November 2010 election. He said that the unofficial election results indicate that almost 20,000 votes were cast with 72% voting against Measure W. Dougherty Valley averaged a 75% no vote. He stated that it was clear that the direction which the Council has taken was wrong and that the City is moving too fast and in the wrong direction. He noted that the residents take the voter approved Urban Growth Boundary very seriously. They are tired of unrestrained growth and its impacts. He asked the Council to work with residents, the County, and other agencies to pursue agricultural preservation and open space protection around San Ramon. If the City perceives that the New Farm project is a threat, it should be actively vocal in its opposition to the County. He supports infill. He noted that small businesses are just as important as large businesses. Local businesses are concerned about proposed changes in zoning which may be a direct threat to their livelihood. He asked the Council to view the environmental groups as an important component of the process. He requested that the Council be honest and transparent and tell residents what is planned. He requested that the Council stop trashing Dougherty Valley and take responsibility for the legal agreements which the City voluntarily signed onto as part of that development. He stated that residents who were opposed to Measure W are willing to work with City leaders and staff to help continue to improve the quality of life and San Ramon’s prosperity.
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APPROVAL OF MINUTES
(#7.1) Minutes of the November 9, 2010 regular meeting.
Cm. Rowley noted that Mayor Wilson presided at the November 9, 2010 Council meeting. Vice Mayor Perkins’ motion to approve the November 9, 2010 regular City Council meeting minutes as corrected was seconded by Cm. Rowley and passed 5-0.
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(#8.1) Register of Demands as presented by the City Treasurer (Period ending October 31, 2010).
(#8.2) Minute Order No. 2010-30 – Authorizing the Mayor to Approve a Purchase with Turf Star from the Equipment Replacement Fund in the Amount of $54,000 for Two Replacement Athletic Field Conditioners and One Replacement Utility Vehicle.
(#8.3) Minute Order No. 2010-31 – Authorizing the Mayor to Attend the United States Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C. on January 19-21, 2011.
Vice Mayor Perkins’ motion to approve items 8.1 through 8.3 was seconded by Cm. Livingstone and passed 5-0. Mayor Wilson stated that it is important for the mayors of Danville, Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton, and San Ramon to attend the United States Conference of Mayors. As a unified group, they have been successful in lobbying and have secured significant funding for several major area projects including the East Bay Regional Communications System in the Tri-Valley community.
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(#10.1) Senior Advisory Committee Annual Report.
Recreation Services Division Manager Esther Lucas introduced the item. Joan Ernst, Senior Advisory Committee Chairperson, presented the report. Mrs. Ernst reviewed the 2009-10 goals and accomplishments in the areas of marketing, transportation, intergenerational programs, disaster preparedness, senior programming, and local government resource list. She reviewed the Accomplishments and Actions in the areas of: facility use; programs and services; Senior Center Foundation, and the Senior Scholar program. Goals for 2010-11 will include: increasing awareness of the senior center and community programs; enhancing transportation services; raising awareness and breaking down stereotypes; addressing the needs of isolated seniors; maintaining and promoting existing programs; evaluating current programs and making recommendations to staff; developing a document which provides information on governmental representatives; increasing health and wellness opportunities; and providing liaisons to the Housing Advisory Committee to keep members and staff apprised of senior housing projects within San Ramon and the housing needs and trends of older adults in the community.
Mayor Wilson thanked Mrs. Ernst for the report. He suggested that the Committee investigate providing a water therapy program. Mrs. Ernst replied that the Committee has discussed this. Vice Mayor Perkins asked if there were sufficient vans and drivers to accommodate the increased requests for transportation. Program Manager Teri Mountford noted that the City has two vans. More drivers are needed but that the Center is able to provide transportation for everyone who requests service. Vice Mayor Perkins asked if more tutors were needed. Ms. Mountford stated that currently there are enough tutors for the teens who have applied for the program. Cm. Rowley thanked Mrs. Ernst for her commitment. Cm. Hudson suggested that the Committee add regional governmental contact information to their resource list. Mayor Wilson recommended that the Council receive the report. The Council concurred.
(#10.2) Presentation by Rhythm Engineering for Adaptive Traffic Signal System for the Crow Canyon Road Corridor and Bollinger Canyon Road Corridor Traffic Signal System Upgrade Project (CIP 5457).
Senior Traffic Engineer Mike Talley stated that the Adaptive Traffic Signal System (System) is a real-time synchronization of traffic signals in response to actual traffic patterns. The System has been implemented for ten signals on Crow Canyon Road and eight signals on Bollinger Canyon Road. The benefits of the new signal system include decreased travel time, decreased air pollution and fewer accidents. The City received a total of $785,000 in Traffic Light Synchronization Program funding for the project. Mr. Talley provided details on the project’s scope of work.
Mr. Talley introduced Reggie Chandra, CEO of Rhythm Engineering who described the InSync System, traffic engineering, and the evaluation of the InSync System. InSync is a traffic adaptive system. Mr. Chandra noted that San Ramon is the first city on the west coast to implement InSync. He noted that InSync is effective, user-friendly, requires minimal human intervention, adapts with changes in real time traffic, and is cost-effective. He noted that once the system is “set”, there is no human intervention unless major traffic pattern changes occur. Other advantages to InSync are: that it requires virtually zero staff time to configure and maintain; all intelligence resides locally; there are no additional devices and no hidden costs.
Cm. Hudson requested an explanation for the lack of improvement in delay for east bound PM peak traffic on Bollinger. Mr. Chandra responded that the traffic patterns changed. Vice Mayor Perkins asked if the Cal Trans traffic signals were incorporated at the time of the study. Mr. Chandra stated that they have not and that there were some back-ups which resulted from the Cal Trans signals. He added that only the factors of travel time, delay, and stops can be measured by physics. Vice Mayor Perkins asked when the City could anticipate that the Cal Trans signals would be integrated into the system. Mr. Talley stated that staff has been working with Cal Trans for the past three months. Cal Trans is concerned about the potential impacts of InSync on their system. Vice Mayor Perkins asked if the InSync System could be applied to San Ramon Valley
Boulevard and Alcosta Boulevard. Mr. Talley stated that the System could be added to these streets and that significant improvements should result.
Cm. Livingstone asked what happens when the InSync System “has finished learning” at the end of the year and traffic patterns change. Mr. Chandra stated that the City can add information to optimize traffic movement if traffic patterns change. Cm. Livingstone expressed concern that the change in the order of left hand traffic turns at certain intersections could be a safety issue. Mr. Chandra noted that the InSync System is constantly “learning” and that it will change to optimize traffic flow based on actual traffic in real time. Cm. Rowley commented that the InSync System is running well. Mr. Talley thanked the Council for their support. Vice Mayor Perkins noted that the System cost $1.3 million and the computed annual benefit in terms of reduced travel time, fuel consumption and eliminated stops is $2.3 million per year. Mayor Wilson recommended that the Council accept the report. The Council concurred.
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CITY MANAGER COMMENTS
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Cm. Hudson stated that, to be honest with the people, he would like to provide some information. During the election, it was stated that there were plans for 4,200 homes in Tassajara Valley. The City did not have a development plan for the Tassajara Valley. The projection of 4,200 homes was not generated by San Ramon. No water was available from either the East Bay Municipal Utility District or the Dublin San Ramon Services District for Tassajara Valley. Voters were told that changing the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) would add 19% to the City’s area. This is not true because Measure W did not annex this area into the City. General Plan 2020 required a voter review of the UGB in 2010. The General Plan mandate requires the City to cooperate with the County. The New Farms project is being processed in the County. He stated that the Council did talk with environmental groups to explain why the Council was pursuing its position. He added that the statement by Save Mount Diablo that the “11,000 homes of Dougherty Valley were approved over two decades ago with the full support of San Ramon” is not true. The statement that San Ramon would have gotten the permit fees from development in Tassajara Valley is also not true. The County received all of the permitting fees from Dougherty Valley and is receiving the permitting fees from Tassajara Valley. He noted that the population estimates in General Plan 2030 do not increase by 20,000 but decrease by 4,000. The County is building 11,000 homes in Dougherty Valley of which 25% will be affordable housing. If Dougherty Valley had been built by San Ramon, only 7,000 to 7,500 homes would have been built and only 15% would have been affordable housing. Cm. Hudson reiterated that San Ramon did not have a development plan for Tassajara Valley but the County does.
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MAYOR’S REPORTS AND COMMENTS
Mayor Wilson invited residents to participate in the: December 2, 2010 Bishop Ranch Tree Lighting event and the annual Bah Humbug Run/Walk on December 4, 2010. Holiday on the Farm will be featured at Forest Home Farms on December 4, 11, and 18, 2010. Mayor Wilson thanked the San Ramon Arts Advisory Committee for approving Cultural Growth Funds to support the U.S. Army Band’s free Holiday Concert on December 5, 2010 at the Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center. Mayor Wilson congratulated the Police Department for their successful efforts in locating the criminals responsible for stealing catalytic converters in San Ramon. He reminded residents that, with the passage of Prop 22, the City needs to be very diligent of efforts by the state to take City funds.
Mayor Wilson noted that the City is working with small businesses to provide accurate information regarding the North Camino Ramon Specific Plan. He stated that the City is working with the County on the Fioli Street parking problem. The problem is the result of differing parking standards between the County and the City. He encouraged citizens with concerns or questions to contact the Council and get accurate information. On behalf of the Council, he wished residents and their families a Happy Thanksgiving.
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At 8:59 p.m., the Council convened to Closed Session pursuant to Government Code § 54956.9(c) – Conference with Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation – Case Name: One Potential Case.
At 9:34 p.m., Mayor Wilson reconvened the meeting. All Councilmembers were in attendance. Mayor Wilson stated that the Council took no action on this item.
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At 9:35 p.m., there being no further business, Mayor Wilson adjourned the meeting.
H. Abram Wilson, Mayor
Patricia Edwards, City Clerk
Approved as corrected at the December 14, 2010 City Council meeting 4-0; Perkins absent.