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October 11, 2011

A regular meeting of the City Council of the City of San Ramon was held October 11, 2011 at 7:06 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 Greg Rogers, Deputy City Attorney Alicia Poon, Police Chief Scott Holder, Division Manager Esther Lucas, Transportation Division Manager Lisa Bobadilla, Housing Program Manager Brooke Harris, Economic Development Director Marc Fontes, and Deputy City Clerk Renee Beck.

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Sebastian Abshiere, Alex Bru, John Curlett, Joey Curley, Jesse Gandt, Brennan Gray, Chris Hagebush, Austin Holly, Abhi Ilindra, Ian Lam, Trevor Mazzu, Krishna Sadhanala, Harrison Shaieb, David Young, and Kenji Won, members of Boy Scout Troop 1776, led those present in the pledge of allegiance. 

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The Deputy City Clerk noted that there were no changes or additions to the agenda. The Deputy City Clerk noted one correction to the meetings listed on the agenda.  The Housing Advisory Committee meeting scheduled for October 13, 2011 has been cancelled. 

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(#5.1) Announcement of the Exchange Club of San Ramon Valley’s 9-11 Essay Contest Winners.  Presentation by Karen Stepper, President of the Exchange Club of the San Ramon Valley, Denise Fowler, Exchange Club Essay Coordinator, and Mayor Wilson.

Exchange Club President Karen Stepper introduced the 9-11 Essay Contest participants including Augustine Chemparathy, Siena Gerbert, Madeleine Han, Sophia Krakowsky, Deven Shah, and Sarah Wu.  Winners in the high school competition were:  Gautam Ramesh (First Place); Spencer Carter (Second Place); and Waverly Runion (Third Place).  Winners in the Middle School competition were: Lauren Hui (First Place); Christopher Hou (second Place); and Varshini Sitarama (Third Place).  Ms. Stepper thanked all the participants and sponsors and indicated that the contest is a difficult one to judge. 

(#5.2) Presentation on the Contra Costa County Weatherization Grant Program. Presentation by Gregory Wixom, CCC Weatherization Program Manager.

Mr. Keith Marks, Contra Costa County Weatherization Program Field Supervisor, represented Mr. Wixom who was unable to attend.  He explained the source of the $5 million grant funds for Contra Costa County and the various ways they can be used such as windows, electrical issues, shower heads, and heating and cooling systems.  He urged qualifying residents to apply for the grant funds before the funds expire.  Weatherization helps the environment, improves the quality of life for low income residents, and saves money due to increased energy efficiencies.  The availability of this grant funds has created local jobs.  Grant money qualification is based on income.  Grants can be applied to multi-unit dwellings as long as three quarters of the building occupants meet the income qualification.

(#5.3) Recognition of Karen McHenry-Smith, Executive Assistant, as Employee of the Month for October 2011.  Presentation by Mayor Wilson.

City Manager Greg Rogers introduced Karen McHenry-Smith and described her duties as Executive Assistant.  He stated that she was selected as employee of the month for preparing, editing, and timely completion of the City’s newsletter due to a personnel vacancy.  Mayor Wilson thanked Ms. Smith for her service to the City.  Ms. Smith stated that it is an honor to work for an organization that recognizes their employees and that it is a pleasure to work for the Council.

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Mayor Wilson called for a recess at 8:43 p.m.   The Council meeting reconvened at 8:50 p.m.  All members were in attendance.

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(#7.1) Minutes of the September 23, 2011 special meeting.

Vice Mayor Perkins’ motion to adopt the September 23, 2011 special City Council minutes was seconded by Cm. Hudson and passed 5-0. 

(#7.2) Minutes of the September 27, 2011 regular meeting.

Vice Mayor Perkins’ motion to adopt the September 27, 2011 regular City Council minutes was seconded by Cm. Rowley and passed 5-0. 

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Mayor Wilson requested that item 8.2 be pulled for discussion.

(#8.1) Minute Order No. 2011-21 – Accepting the Phase 1 Work by Consolidated CM, Inc. for Design-Build Services for Tenant and Exterior Improvements of the Police Headquarters Facility at 2401 Crow Canyon Road (Part of CIP 5541) as Complete and Authorizing the City Clerk to File a Notice of Completion with the County Recorder's Office.

(#8.3A) Resolution No. 2011-101 – Authorizing the Mayor to Execute an Agreement with ENGEO, Inc. for Geotechnical Engineering Consulting Services for a Period between November 1, 2011 and December 31, 2013 in an Amount Not to Exceed $300,000.

(#8.3B) Resolution No. 2011-102 – Authorizing the Mayor to Execute an Agreement with Cal Engineering & Geology, Inc. for Geotechnical Engineering Consulting Services for a Period between November 1, 2011 and December 31, 2013 in an Amount Not to Exceed $300,000.

(#8.4) Resolution No. 2011-103 – Authorizing the Mayor to Execute an Agreement with ENGEO, Inc. for Materials Testing and Construction Inspection Services for a Period between November 1, 2011 and December 31, 2013 in an Amount Not to Exceed $300,000.

(#8.5A) Resolution No. 2011-104 – Authorizing the Mayor to Execute an Agreement with Azari Engineering, Inc. for Surveying and Miscellaneous Civil Engineering Consulting Services for a Period between November 1, 2011 and December 31, 2013 in an Amount Not to Exceed $300,000.

(#8.5B) Resolution No. 2011-105 – Authorizing the Mayor to Execute an Agreement with Ruggeri-Jensen-Azar for Surveying and Miscellaneous Civil Engineering Consulting Services for a Period between November 1, 2011 and December 31, 2013 in an Amount Not to Exceed $300,000.

(#8.5C) Resolution No. 2011-106 – Authorizing the Mayor to Execute an Agreement with URS Corporation for Surveying and Miscellaneous Civil Engineering Consulting Services for a Period between November 1, 2011 and December 31, 2013 in an Amount Not to Exceed $300,000.

Cm. Hudson’s motion to adopt items 8.1 and 8.3 through 8.5 was seconded by Cm. Rowley and passed 5-0.

(#8.2) Resolution No. 2011-100 – Approving the Updates and Revisions to the City Facility and Park Naming Policy.

Division Manager Esther Lucas provided the report.  She stated that the new policy for the naming of parks and facilities would be delegated to the Parks and Community Service Commission. Mayor Wilson stated his concern that the City Council would not be involved in the decision making process.  Cm. Hudson stated that the City Council, as well at the public, would have the right to appeal the name to the City Council.

Vice Mayor Perkins’ motion to adopt item 8.2 was seconded by Cm. Rowley and passed 5-0.

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(#10.1) Presentation by Sunset Development to Provide an Update of Bishop Ranch Projects Involving the Iron Horse Trail and the City Center Project.

Transportation Division Manager Lisa Bobadilla introduced Mr. Alex Mehran, CEO of Sunset Development Company, who provided an update on the City Center Project and Mr. Alexander Mehran Jr., General Manager of Sunset Development Company, who provided a report on Bishop Ranch’s enhancement of the Iron Horse Trail.  After giving a brief history and description of the City Center Project, Mr. Alex Mehran stated that he is anxious to move the City Center Project forward but it is imprudent to proceed with a project of this size given current economic conditions.  He emphasized his commitment to the project and added that once the economy stabilizes, the City Center will proceed.  Cm. Hudson stated the successful completion of this type of project is important to funding road improvements for this area.  Mayor Wilson indicated that the project will proceed when the time is correct. 

Mr. Alexander Mehran Jr. reported that the process of making improvements to the Iron Horse Trail in San Ramon involved the approval of many agencies and stakeholders.  The landscape architect provided site plans and renderings of the various trail enhancements including better access, circulation, safety, visibility, habitat, and the incorporation of shaded seating areas and historical elements.  Mr Mehran stated that the project will be done incrementally and that some seating areas near Executive Parkway would be started next year. 

Cm. Hudson stated that there was a possibility of a shared bicycle program in the future similar to a program currently being tried on the Peninsula.  The proposed improvements will be an example for future upgrades to the rest of the trail.  Vice Mayor Perkins asked if the area from Pine Valley to Alcosta was limited to the number of seating areas indicated on the plans.  Mr. Mehran said that the number is not limited to those sites.  Vice Mayor Perkins stated that service groups might be able to participate in construction of some of these areas.  Cm. Hudson asked if these improvements will require water.  Mr. Mehran stated that native plants will be used rather than lawn.

(#10.2) Update on San Ramon Affordable Housing Projects, Programs, and Policies.

Housing Program Manager Brooke Harris provided the staff report.  She provided the status of several affordable housing projects.  Valley Vista Senior Housing, completed in May 2011, provided jobs and over 100 units of senior housing.  The former First Interstate Bank site at 9000 Alcosta Boulevard has been cleared and discussions with developers are on-going.  A developer is being sought for the Crow Canyon Catalyst site at Deerwood and Omega which will provide 55 units of affordable housing.  St. James Place at Norris Canyon Road will have an affordable component but no Redevelopment Agency or City funding is being provided.  Affordable Housing Programs completed this year include the Housing Rehabilitation Grant Program which provides grants up to $5,000 to median to low income households for home repairs. The Crime Free Multi-Housing Program requires tenant criminal background checks and crime free lease addendums which subject the occupants to eviction for certain behaviors.  An affordable housing policy that creates a preference ordinance for the rental and sale of affordable housing units in San Ramon will be brought to the Policy Committee after additional analysis.  Ms. Harris stated that residents have applied for Affordable Housing Grants and the recipients will be announced in late October 2011.  San Ramon is a participant in the Tri-Valley Affordable Housing Committee that developed the Tri-Valley Housing Opportunity Center.  The Center provides homebuyer education, housing counseling, financial literacy, and foreclosure counseling services.   Contra Costa County is providing energy upgrade grant and rebate workshops.  The Weatherization Grants are part of this program.  The State of California is also providing Energy Upgrade California Rebates and Financing Workshops.  One workshop will be held at the San Ramon Community Center on November 3, 2011.  Vice Mayor Perkins asked whether the 400 units of senior housing in Dougherty Valley has been approved.  Economic Development Director Marc Fontes indicated that this issue is still in process.

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Resident Dominique Yancey announced that the National Coalition Against Prescription Drug Abuse will hold a “Take Back” event on October 29, 2011 at the San Ramon Police Department at 2401 Crow Canyon Road.  She reminded residents not to throw prescription drugs in the garbage or flush them down the drain.

Mike Conklin of the Sentinels of Freedom presented an American Flag to Chief Scott Holder in appreciation of the employment of veteran Mr. Manny Del Rio.  Mr. Del Rio has worked for the San Ramon Police Department for four years, attends Dougherty Valley College, and lives in San Ramon.  The presented flag was carried in a mission in Afghanistan by Army officers of Operation Salerno.  Chief Holder stated that this is a special honor and is pleased to have Mr. Del Rio employed in the Police Department.

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Vice Mayor Perkins thanked staff and residents for attending the grand opening of the new San Ramon Police Department and City Permit Center at 2401 Crow Canyon Road.  He stated that it was a great event attended by approximately 200 people.

Cm. Hudson reiterated Ms. Yancey’s recommendations for the proper disposition of prescription medications.  Proper disposal will ensure that the Bay will not be polluted.  Cm. Hudson, representing the Metropolitan Transit Commission, commented on his attendance at the American Public Transit Association Conference.  He stated that the expo is held every four years to exhibit the latest transit related equipment, security, and software.

Cm. Rowley thanked the San Ramon Rotary for sponsoring the Carboload Event.  She stated that the Primo’s Run event had high registration and participation.  She thanked everyone who worked to make the Grand Opening of the new San Ramon Police Department and Permit Center a success.  She urged residents to continue to shop at the Farmer’s Market at Bishop Ranch.

Cm. Livingstone thanked the community for supporting San Ramon Rotary’s Carboload.  An estimated $50,000 was raised.

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Mayor Wilson stated that San Ramon is great because of events such as the Primo’s Run and organizations like Sentinels of Freedom.  He advised that the City’s reserves have reached 88%.  He predicts that all of the reserve funds may have to be used to survive the long term economic decline currently affecting the state and the nation.

Mayor Wilson asked City Manager Greg Rogers to provide an update on the New Farms project as it relates to San Ramon.  Mr. Rogers stated that two letters have been sent to the County regarding this project.  One letter was from staff and the other from the City Council.  Both letters expressed San Ramon’s concerns and interest in the project relative to issues which will impact San Ramon.  The project is currently in the environmental review process.  Until that process is complete, the project is in a holding pattern.

Mayor Wilson announced that San Ramon’s current unemployment rate is 4.4%.  He explained I-Gate, a joint effort between Sandia and Lawrence Livermore Laboratories, to create jobs in the Tri-Valley area.  He emphasized the importance of shopping and dining in San Ramon to keep businesses thriving and employment stable.  Mayor Wilson hopes to be able to make an announcement soon regarding a new tenant for the vacancy left by Marie Calendars.  He stated that the BevMo grand opening was well attended.

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At 9:20 p.m., there being no further business, Mayor Wilson adjourned the meeting.

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H. Abram Wilson, Mayor
Patricia Edwards, City Clerk

Approved as presented at the October 25, 2011 City Council meeting 5-0.

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