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April 24, 2012

A regular meeting of the City Council of the City of San Ramon was held March 27, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. in the City Council Chamber at City Hall, 2222 Camino Ramon, Mayor Clarkson presiding.  
PRESENT:  Councilmembers Hudson, Livingstone, O’Loane, Perkins, and Mayor Clarkson.
STAFF PRESENT:  City Manager Greg Rogers, Interim City Attorney Bob Saxe, Police Chief Scott Holder, Program Manager Teri Mountford, Transportation Division Manager Lisa Bobadilla, and City Clerk Patricia Edwards.

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(#1.1) Pursuant to Government Code §54957 to evaluate the Position of City Manager.

At 6:01 p.m., the Council convened to Closed Session.  At 6:35 p.m., Mayor Clarkson reconvened the meeting.  All Councilmembers were present.  Mayor Clarkson reported that the City Council took no action on the Closed Session item.

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At 7:01 p.m., Mayor Clarkson reconvened the meeting.  All Councilmembers were present. 

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Ethan Bea, Blake Grauten, Thomas Hager, Siddharth Kumar, Antonio Manso, Bishop Marquez, and James Yu, members of Cub Scout Pack 841, led those present in the pledge of allegiance. 

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

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(#4.1) Proclamation Designating April 2012 as Alcohol Awareness Month.  Presented to Prevention & Treatment Specialist Lauren Cattolico on behalf of the San Ramon Valley Alcohol Policy Working Group by Mayor Clarkson. 

Ms. Cattolico introduced Mariaha Faldana, Lucy Holms-Higgen, and Jordan Olesen, students in the Monte Vista Friday Night Live Chapter.  This group focuses on reducing underage drinking and are also members of the San Ramon Valley Alcohol Policy Working Group.  The focus of the Alcohol Policy Working Group focuses on the environment of the San Ramon Valley and enabling youth to make positive choices.  She thanked the Council for the proclamation and for appreciating the importance of this issue.  Mayor Clarkson presented the proclamation to Ms. Cattolico.  He recognized Kathy Chiverton, Executive Director at the Discovery Counseling Center.

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City Manager Greg Rogers recommended that the Council did not need a staff report on item 10.3.  The City received a letter from Waste Management accepting the City’s three year Franchise Agreement Extension offer.  Vice Mayor Livingstone’s motion to remove item 10.3 from the agenda was seconded by Cm. Hudson and passed 5-0.

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Roz Rogoff, resident, asked the Council to support SB 1337.  Sponsored by Senator DeSaulnier, SB 1337 removes Zone 7 from the Alameda County Flood Control and Water Conservation District and establishes a separate Zone 7 Water Agency.  Zone 7 serves the Dougherty Valley but Contra Costa County residents are not able to vote for or serve on the Zone 7 Board because it is part of the Alameda County District.  Creating a separate entity will provide better quality water to Dougherty Valley and allow residents to vote for or serve on the Board. 

Holly Newman, representing the Friends of Tassajara Valley, voiced her opposition to the Creekside Memorial Park Cemetery.  She reported that the County has suspended the project because of ownership issues.  She opposes the cemetery proposal because it would create a huge urban footprint, destroy the ridgeline, increase traffic, create an unsustainable water problem, and does not retain the agricultural/open space use of the Valley.  She requested that the Council not commit any City funds to the project. 

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(#6.1) Teen Council Appointments.

Program Manager Teri Mountford provided the report.  The 72 candidates were interviewed by a subcommittee of the Parks and Community Services Commission.

Dominique Yancey, Commission Vice Chair and liaison to the Teen Council, stated that the candidates were wonderful and inspiring.  She thanked the Council for creating the Teen Council.  Mayor Clarkson thanked Ms. Yancey, Heidi Kenniston-Lee, and William Meine who served on the Commission’s interview panel.

Cm. Perkins’ motion to appoint the presented slate of Teen Council candidates, alternates, and wait list for terms expiring in July 2013 was seconded by Cm. Hudson and passed 5-0. 

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(#7.1) Minutes of the April 10, 2012 regular meeting.

Cm. O’Loane noted a correction to the April 10, 2012 meeting minutes.  He stated that he abstained from voting on Consent Calendar item 8.2.  Cm. Hudson’s motion to adopt the April 10, 2012 regular City Council minutes as corrected was seconded by Vice Mayor Livingstone and passed 3-0-0-2.  Mayor Clarkson and Cm. Perkins abstained.   

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(#8.1) Register of Demands as presented by the City Treasurer (Period ending March 31, 2012).

(#8.2) City of San Ramon Quarterly Investment Report (Period Ending March 31, 2012).

(#8.3) Resolution No. 2012-037 – Ordering a Summary Vacation of Approximately 201 Square Feet of Excess Right-of-Way of South Monarch Road (RA 1154) Located Adjacent to the Northeast Corner of Lot 56 within Subdivision 8970.

(#8.4) Resolution No. 2012-038 – Authorizing the Mayor to Execute a Construction Agreement with Southwest Construction & Property Management for the Construction of the San Ramon Police Department and Permit Center Roofing Repair as Part of the City Facilities Roof Covering Maintenance and Replacement Project (CIP 5433), in an Amount Not to Exceed $176,632; and Execute a Three-Year On-Call Roof Maintenance and Repair Agreement for the City Facilities Roof Covering Maintenance and Replacement (CIP 5433) in an Amount Not to Exceed $50,000 per Year for a Total of $150,000 for Three Years.

(#8.5) Resolution No. 2012-039 – Confirming the Applicability of Government Code Section 21221(g) to the Employment of Michael Roush as Interim Deputy City Attorney.

(#8.6) Resolution No. 2012-040 – Appropriating $55,158 from the General Fund to Pay for the November 8, 2011 Consolidate Election.

(#8.7) Minute Order No. 2012-015 – Annual Report - 2012 General Plan 2030 Implementation Work Plan and Schedule.

Vice Mayor Livingstone’s motion to adopt items 8.1 through 8.7 was seconded by Cm. Perkins and passed 5-0. 

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(#10.1) Introduction of Ordinance No. (next in line) – Adopting a Daytime Curfew and Truancy Ordinance for All Minors Subject to Compulsory Education in the City of San Ramon.

Police Chief Scott Holder provided the staff report.  The City does not have a daytime curfew ordinance.  A daytime curfew ordinance would prevent unsupervised and unexcused minors from frequenting public places while public schools are in session.  He stated that the majority of juvenile crime is committed between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. on weekdays.  The Ordinance will enable police officers to issue a citation for a curfew violation and enhance the ability to deter truancy, reduce the potential for truancy associated with crime, and increase the safety for students during school hours.  Chief Holder introduced Contra Costa County District Attorney Mark Peterson.     

Mr. Peterson stated that his office supports the daytime curfew ordinance.  He described the roll of his office and the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Truancy Program.  He stated that this Ordinance is a collaborative effort among the District Attorney’s office, the Police Department, the City, and the School District.  It is part of a countywide effort to work together to prevent crime.  Mr. Peterson referenced a study which stated that school attendance is a better indicator of graduation than test scores.  He reviewed the cost of crime for the community.  He believes that boosting high school graduation rates will improve public safety in Contra Costa County.  He noted that juveniles can be the victims as well as the perpetrators of crime. 

Cm. Perkins asked if other cities in the County have enacted a truancy ordinance.  Mr. Peterson responded that there are seven cities and the County with a truancy ordinance. 

Cm. O’Loane asked for a definition of a chronic truant.  Mr. Peterson responded that a chronic truant is three or more unexcused absences or tardies but there are differences among school districts.  He noted that the school district loses $30 per day per child in state funding when a child is absent. 

Mayor Clarkson requested clarification for unexcused versus excused absences.  Mr. Peterson stated that an unexcused absence is one in which the parent does not clear it with the school.  Scott Gerbert, Coordinator for Programs and Grants with the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, described the different kinds of absences.  A cut is an unexcused absence with no parent or guardian notification to the school.  An unexcused absence is one in which the parent notifies the school but the absence is not excused by the California Education Code.  Excused absences include illness, doctor’s appointments, etc.  Although the District has a 94-96% daily attendance rate, approximately 6,-7,000 first notices of truancy are issued per year for the 30,000 students in the District.  The financial loss to the District is significant.  He described his work with habitual truants in the School District. City Attorney Bob Saxe noted that there was a correction to Section 5 of the Ordinance.  Cm. Hudson’s motion to introduce the Ordinance; waive the reading and read by title only; and continue to the May 8, 2012 City Council Meeting for a Public Hearing was seconded by Vice Mayor Livingstone and passed 5-0.

(#10.2) Measure J I-680 Transit Corridor Improvement Project – Community Engagement Plan Status Update Relative to the Norris Canyon Road HOV.

Transportation Division Manager Lisa Bobadilla provided a historical background for Measure C from 1988 to the present including its projects and programs.  She also described the projects and programs associated with Measure J and the outreach efforts to date.  Ms. Bobadilla introduced Susan Miller, Director of Projects for the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA), and Scott Steinwert, president of Circlepoint.

Ms. Miller stated that Measure J funding became available in April 2009 to initiate the project planning process.  The Project Study report (PSR) identifies a scope, schedule, and estimated cost of the project and was completed in 2010.  The PSR authorized Caltrans to proceed with the Environmental Impact Report (EIR).  CCTA anticipates that it will take two years to complete the EIR.  CCTA is working on additional outreach to the community and to stakeholders regarding the project.  Mr. Steinwert acknowledged the issues of concerns for residents and stakeholders.  The Norris Canyon High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Direct Connector Project was proposed to improve access for and to encourage carpools, vanpools and transit in and out of San Ramon.  It will increase the efficiency of existing I-680 infrastructure, ease congestion on Crow Canyon and Bollinger Canyon, and also provide environmental benefits.  Ms. Miller explained why BART is not being studied as an alternative solution.  Mr. Steinwert discussed the other two options which include Executive Parkway and the option of ‘no-build’.  The Comprehensive Traffic Study will include an expanded traffic study, pedestrian and bicycle counts, and consultations with the Police and Fire Departments.  A second Public Workshop will be held in the fall 2012.  He anticipates that the Draft EIR will be available next summer.

Mayor Clarkson questioned the number of carpools on Crow Canyon and Bollinger Canyon.  He asked for an estimate on how many people will use the HOV.  Mr. Steinwert stated that travel time savings will determine whether people use the HOV option.  Ms. Miller noted that the area employment is expected to increase by 20% by 2040.  Mayor Clarkson questioned whether additional metrics have been utilized.  Project Manager Deborah Dagang, PE from CH2M Hill, noted that the HOV lanes will be operating in full use at capacity by 2040.  Mayor Clarkson asked if it was possible that the HOV lane could be converted to a High Occupancy Toll l (HOT).  Ms. Miller stated that this is not a HOT lane project but they are evaluating HOT considerations.  Mayor Clarkson asked if the HOV lanes will be open or closed for non-HOV hours.  Ms. Miller stated that the Traffic Analysis will include the option to use HOV lanes during non-HOV hours.  Mayor Clarkson stated that a key element of Measure J is congestion relief.  He asked what would be a good metric to justify the $100 million expenditure for the HOV project.  Ms. Dagang responded that that type of metric does not exist.  Ms. Miller added that the CCTA is looking at a system of improvements.

Mayor Clarkson opened the public comment. 

Rudy Bezmarevich, resident, stated that he opposes the Norris Canyon option.  The only viable alternative is the Executive Parkway option which terminates at the bus terminal.  The Norris Canyon HOV will negatively impact the environment and the quality of life. 

Roz Rogoff, resident, thanked the Council for agendizing this item.  She supports the HOV at Executive Parkway and stated that it is important to be proactive. 

Andrew Weiss, resident, asked several questions of CCTA regarding: the increased congestion on the west side of Norris Canyon; the increase road hazards; the increased traffic on the east side of Norris Canyon; and the increased HOV usage by San Ramon residents.  He asked what efficiencies residents can expect from the HOV ramps.

Jim Blickenstaff, resident, stated that the project looked viable in the past.  He added that the letter of support sent by the City is now out of date and requested that the City re-examine its position and support a more cautious approach.  He requested that the City schedule a City meeting on this topic so that residents can voice their concerns.  He believes that the Norris Canyon HOV will not relieve traffic congestion on Crow Canyon and Bollinger Canyon but will transfer it to Norris Canyon and its neighborhoods.

Residents Joyce Carr and former Mayor Greg Carr oppose the Norris Canyon HOV.

Resident Jeff Rackmil stated that the metrics questions are important and that the Council and residents need to study the project.  He is concerned about the impression of San Ramon in the I 680 corridor that this project is being built for development and to promote growth.  He added that CCTA needs to look at the correct data points.  He noted that this provides a corridor for growth in San Ramon and that the HOV project is not about Measure J but about growth in San Ramon.

Kevin L’Hommedieu, resident, reported on his observations regarding buses in San Ramon.  He added that many of the CCTA buses are not full and that three bus routes are not affected by the HOV.  People leaving the City are not using Norris Canyon.  For carpool numbers, he thinks that consideration should only be given to those people coming into and out of Bishop Ranch.  This project is not worth the $100 million cost. Jim Stewart, resident, opposes both the Norris Canyon HOV and the Executive Parkway options because it will be injurious to the west side communities.  The ramps will increase reflective and audible noise.  He is concerned about the lack of proper notice to residents.  He added that this project allows the development of Bishop Ranch without regard for residents’ concerns.

The City Clerk read an email into the record from residents Kathi Samec and Jim Atkinson who oppose the project and support the ramp at Executive Parkway. Mayor Clarkson closed the public comment.

Vice Mayor Livingstone stated that the study needs to proceed.  He added that the HOV project will not increase traffic but spread it out and anticipates that most of the traffic will go east into Bishop Ranch.  The goal is to remove commuters from Crow Canyon and Bollinger Canyon.  He supports the Executive Parkway option if it is a better alternative.  He supports wider sidewalks and bike lanes on Norris Canyon.  His primary concern is the safety of residents.  Because Norris Canyon only goes east to Alcosta, widening it may make it a safer roadway.

Cm. Perkins concurred with Vice Mayor Livingstone regarding the need to proceed with the EIR and the comprehensive traffic study.  He requested information for the cost of the overpass at Executive Parkway.  He acknowledged that this section on the west side of the City is the only part of I 680 where there are no sound walls.  He noted that it is important to include them.  He expects that the three express buses will use the freeway ramp and, if they do, they should be included in the study.  He requested that the three alternatives be given equal weight and consideration in the study.  He requested that the HOV and non-HOV hours and their impact on traffic be evaluated.  

Cm. Hudson stated that the HOV lanes are not available for all of I 680.  He acknowledged that project funding will be an issue.  The Crow Canyon and San Ramon Valley Boulevard intersection is one of the busiest intersections in the County.  California wants to fix traffic congestion by creating a jobs/housing balance.  He stated that 65% of San Ramon residents leave the City to work elsewhere.  The County Connection bus to California High School is full.  He clarified that the express bus is only 3% of Measure J.  California has a major commitment to transit oriented living communities.  He suggested that everyone take a look at the EIR and make a decision with that information.

Cm. O’Loane stated that the Council would not be looking at alternatives if residents had not spoken up.  He noted that the ability to move people around the community is critical. 

It is important to look at alternatives to the traffic congestion.  He stated that not all residents oppose the project and that he hears from residents who are in favor of the project.  Reviewing the project needs to be a dynamic process.  He wants to include an evaluation of the impact of Dougherty Valley, the City Center, and the North Camino Ramon Specific Plan on this project.  He expressed appreciation for the process and the input from residents.

Cm. Hudson stated that the County Connection cut back 32% of their service routes to the economic downturn.  Bishop Ranch pays for its bus service.  He stated that Measure J funding goes through 2034.

Mayor Clarkson stated his appreciation for the respectful audience participation.  He does not believe that the City should sacrifice neighborhoods for businesses but acknowledged that, if the City strangles new jobs and transportation, it will not be able to provide the services which residents expect.  He noted that the EIR will cost $2 million.  He stated that if the City does nothing, the situation will only get worse.  He suggested that the project needs to be approached from the viewpoint of what is good for the community as a whole.  He requested that the Executive Parkway option be thoroughly studied as it is closer to the center of gravity for jobs.  He is concerned about spending $200 million for the HOV and how it will impact congestion relief.  He noted that sound walls on the west side of the freeway need to be studied. 

Mayor Clarkson requested that staff respond to the questions asked by Mr. Weiss.  Ms. Dagang stated that the traffic analysis will be expanded to include traffic on the west side of Norris Canyon.  Ms. Dagang stated that speeds on the ramp should not create a traffic hazard as the ramp will be a full length ramp which meets Caltrans design standards.  The study will look at why ramps increase HOV usage for residents and what positive outcomes the ramps will provide for residents including anticipated travel time savings. Mayor Clarkson noted that the recommendation was to receive the report and the Council will take no action at this meeting.

(#10.3) Informational Update on Solid Waste Procurement Alternatives.

This item was removed by Council action as not needed.

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Former Mayor Abram Wilson stated that he was impressed with the meeting and that it demonstrated that San Ramon is working well.  He observed that there are excessively tall weeds in the lot at Bollinger Canyon and Camino Ramon.

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Cm. Hudson requested a report from the April 25, 2012 Parks and Community Services Commission Policy Committee meeting.  They are scheduled to discuss the formation of the working group to develop recommendations for the City’s July 4th events and activities for 2013 and beyond.

Cm. Perkins invited residents to attend the Grand Opening of the San Ramon Valley Veterans Memorial Building in Danville on April 28, 2012 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.  The building was constructed to a Silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standard.

Cm. O’Loane stated that the he attended the “Team Breezy” fund raiser at Dougherty Valley High School on April 21, 2012.  Approximately 3,500 people attended and more than $8,000 was raised.  The event included an exhibition soccer game between Stanford and the University of California women’s soccer teams. 

Mayor Clarkson stated that he also attended the “Team Breezy” event and threw two strikes at the Canyon Creek Little League Opening Day game.  He remarked that the Sheep Shearing Day at Forest Home Farms was well attended and observed that there is a parking problem which needs to be addressed by the City.

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Cm. Perkins’ motion to adjourn the meeting was seconded by Cm. Hudson and passed 5-0.  At 9:55 p.m., there being no further business, Mayor Clarkson adjourned the meeting.

Bill Clarkson, Mayor
Patricia Edwards, City Clerk

Approved as presented at the May 8, 2012 City Council meeting 5-0.

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