Home City Council Departments Services Calendar Contact Us Search
cherry blossoms in Central Park
San Ramon LogoCity Council Minutes title line

MINUTES OF THE
CITY OF SAN RAMON COUNCIL MEETING
December 11, 2012

A regular meeting of the City Council of the City of San Ramon was held December 11, 2012 at 7:12 p.m. in the City Council Chamber at City Hall, 2222 Camino Ramon, Mayor Clarkson presiding. 
PRESENT:  Councilmembers Hudson, Livingstone, O’Loane, Perkins, Hudson, and Mayor Clarkson.
STAFF PRESENT:  City Manager Greg Rogers, Interim City Attorney Bob Saxe, Police Chief Scott Holder, Public Services Director Karen McNamara, Employee and General Support Services Division Manager Toni Renault, Division Manager Esther Lucas, and City Clerk Patricia Edwards.

* * * *

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Halle Price and Kiely Bol led those present in the pledge of allegiance. 

* * * *

ANNOUNCEMENTS

The City Clerk stated that there were no changes or additions to the agenda.  The Zoning Administrator meeting scheduled for December 20, 2012 will be held at 3:00 p.m.  There are no other changes or corrections to the meetings listed on the agenda. 

* * * *

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

(#4.1) Recognition of Chief Richard Price for his Service to the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District.  Presentation by Mayor Clarkson.

Mayor Clarkson recognized Chief Richard Price as an extraordinary person.  The City will miss his organization and leadership and appreciated his service to the community.  Vice Mayor Hudson recognized Chief Price for his role in the development of the AED phone application.  Cm. Perkins stated that the Pulse Point project was a crowning achievement and that Chief Price is leaving the Fire Protection District with a great legacy and reputation.  Cm. O’Loane thanked him for his service.  Cm. Livingstone recognized Chief Price’s leadership and added that San Ramon Valley residents should recognize that they are in the best place in the world in the event of a medical problem.  Chief Price introduced his wife Lisa, daughter Halle, and her friend Kiely Bol.  Mayor Clarkson noted the importance of family support for first responders.  He read the proclamation and presented it to Chief Price.  Chief Price thanked the Council for the recognition.  He stated that it has been an honor to serve as the fire chief.  His plans include focusing on Pulse Point and continuing to make an impact locally and in a broader arena.  Cm. Livingstone asked if a new chief has been appointed.  Chief Price responded that the District has not made a decision but he expects one soon.

(#4.2) Recognition of the Public Services Department Employees for Their Efforts in Responding to Storm Events.  Presentation by Public Services Director Karen McNamara.

Public Services Director Karen McNamara recognized the contribution of the Public Services staff who performed as a dedicated team organizing their preparations in anticipation of the storms and responding to events during the recent storms.  She expressed confidence in their skills and thanked staff for leaving their families to perform a cold, wet job.  Cm. Hudson recognized the dedicated staff who will cover the City on Christmas and New Year’s and thanked them for taking excellent care of the City. 

* * * *

PUBLIC COMMENT

* * * *

CITY COUNCIL APPOINTMENTS

* * * *

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

(#7.1) Minutes of the November 13, 2012 regular meeting.

Cm. Livingstone’s motion to adopt the November 13, 2012 regular City Council minutes was seconded by Vice Mayor Hudson and passed 4-0-0-1.  Cm. Perkins abstained.

(#7.2) Minutes of the November 27, 2012 regular meeting.

Cm. Perkins requested a correction to the text (on page two) which stated “that the District is currently reviewing 8 to 10 miles of pipe per day.”  The correct statement is “that the District is currently reviewing 8 to 10 miles of pipe per year.”  Vice Mayor Hudson’s motion to adopt the November 27, 2012 regular City Council minutes as corrected was seconded by Cm. Perkins and passed 4-0-0-1.  Cm. Livingstone abstained.

* * * *

CONSENT CALENDAR

Cm. Livingstone requested that item 8.5 be pulled.

(#8.1) Register of Demands as presented by the City Treasurer (Period ending November 30, 2012).

(#8.2A) Resolution No. 2012-102 – Accepting Certain Bridge Improvements for the Alamo Creek Pedestrian Bridge in RA 1209 for Maintenance (Shapell Industries). 

(#8.2B) Resolution No. 2012-103 – Authorizing the Mayor to Execute a Temporary License Agreement for Access and Egress Purposes on Parcel G of Subdivision 8306 (Shapell Industries). 

(#8.3) Resolution No. 2012-104 – Repealing Resolution No. 2012-003 and Amending the Parking Restrictions Master Street List Establishing Restricted Parking Zones in the City of San Ramon as per Title B, Division B-8, Chapter I, Article 1, Section B8-1, Stopping, Standing or Parking – Curb Marking/Signage Designations.

(#8.4A) Resolution No. 2012-105 – Authorizing Appropriation of Additional Funds from Telecommunication Carrier Contributions for the Completion of the PG&E Corridor Landscaping (CIP 5545) in an Amount Not to Exceed $6,230.

(#8.4B) Minute Order No. 2012-037 – Accepting the Work by Sansei Gardens, Inc. for the Bollinger Canyon Median Landscaping Project (CIP 5414) and for the PG&E Corridor Landscaping Project (CIP 5545) as Complete and Authorizing the City Clerk to File Notice of Completion for the Contractor with the County Recorder's Office.

Cm. Livingstone’s motion to adopt items 8.1 through 8.4B was seconded by Vice Mayor Hudson and passed 5-0.

(#8.5) Resolution No. 2012-106 – Authorizing the Mayor to Execute Amendment No. 3 to the Agreement with Keenan & Associates for Employee Health Benefits Consulting; and Extending the Term of the Agreement for Three Additional Years from January 1, 2013 Through December 31, 2015; and Providing for an Additional Expenditure of $150,000 for a Total Cumulative Agreement Amount Not to Exceed $300,000.

Employee and General Support Services Division Manager Toni Renault provided the report.  The City originally entered into an agreement with Keenan & Associates for employee health benefits consulting in 2006 and again in 2010.  Keenan & Associates has been instrumental in obtaining benefits that have reduced the City’s overall fees for these services.  Keenan & Associates also acquired: a new Employee Assistance Program Carrier with a 59.3% decrease in annual premium; a new Stop Loss Insurance Carrier with a 5.7% decrease in annual premium; a new Life Insurance carrier with an 11.31% decrease in annual premium; a new Short Term/Long Term Disability Insurance Plan carrier with a 45.52% decrease for Short Term Disability and a 52.74% decrease for Long Term Disability in annual premium.  Keenan & Associates will continue to represent the City during insurance renewal periods and work with health care providers to provide quality services for City employees.  Keenan & Associates will guide the City for compliance with the Health Care Reform.  The consultant has not increased their rates during their current contract and has guaranteed there will be no increase in the remaining term. 

Cm. Perkins’ motion to approve Resolution No. 2012-106 was seconded by Cm. Livingstone and passed 5-0.

* * * *

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

* * * *

NEW BUSINESS

(#10.1) Minute Order No. 2012-038 – Confirming the Recommendation of the
Parks and Community Services Commission for the 2013 Fourth of July Independence Day Event.

Division Manager Esther Lucas introduced the item and provided an overview of the activities since the Council’s February 28, 2012 directive.  She reviewed the community notification processes, the event themes, the concerns for public safety and event costs, and the July 4, 2012 event.  She reported on the work of the Citizen Committee and the results of the two Community Forums.  She noted that “Open San Ramon”, an online community forum, provided an additional 302 responses. 

Chief Holder stated that two primary concerns were public safety and emergency response capabilities.  The event is too large for the Central Park venue.  Traffic is a problem especially at the end of the event.  Staff is unable to provide a safe venue for families to enjoy the event and the alternatives to provide a safe event are very costly. 

Dominique Yancey, Chair of the Parks and Community Services Commission, stated that the Council directed the Commission to obtain public input and make a recommendation based on that input.  At its October 10, 2012 meeting, the Commission reviewed the report and options from the Citizen Committee, the Open San Ramon forum results and comments, and the July 4th Staff Analysis Update.  The Commission recommended a Central Park event including a concert and armed forces/veteran tribute with no aerial fireworks.  Staff also proposed inclusion of elements to recognize the City’s 30th Anniversary of incorporation.  The Commission also approved a recommendation to the City Council that staff develop a long-range event plan to celebrate July 4th in San Ramon beyond 2013 to include sponsorship development, partnership opportunities, alternate event locations, and bringing forward new information as it becomes available.  The Commission vote was 5-1 in favor of their recommendation.   

Mayor Clarkson opened the public comment.

Roz Rogoff, resident and member of the Citizen Committee, stated that the Committee developed three options: bring back aerial fireworks as done previously; eliminate aerial fireworks; provide a celebration in Central Park with fireworks later in the evening.  Ms. Rogoff reported on the research which she did regarding remote fireworks.  She asked the Council to reconsider the fireworks and separating them from the celebration event.  

Vice Mayor Hudson stated that the Commission’s charge was “to plan a future aerial display program”.  He will not vote for a recommendation which does not include aerial fireworks.  This is not what the citizens said that they wanted.  It is a matter of prioritization and deciding how important it is.  He stated that this is the most important event in San Ramon and should not be eliminated because of cost.  He acknowledged that there is a problem in San Ramon with safety and this problem should be fixed.

Cm. Perkins stated that a plan is not in place for a safe fireworks program in 2013.  He likes Ms. Rogoff’s plan to hold a series of activities to commemorate the Fourth and locating an alternate launch site for the fireworks.  He noted that the Bishop Ranch site will not be available when the City Center is built.  It may be worthwhile to find an alternate launch site and stated that he would like staff to propose another plan.

Cm. Livingstone stated that he cannot support aerial fireworks viewed from Central Park from a financial and safety standpoint.  There does not seem to be a good alternate site which provides a safe environment without extensive additional cost. 

Mayor Clarkson asked whether any viable options for a site other than Central Park were identified.   Ms. Yancey stated that the problem with alternate sites is to find one with a sufficient safety drop zone.  Mayor Clarkson asked if there was a safer location for aerial fireworks in the City than Central Park.  Ms. Yancey responded that San Ramon is a victim of its own success.  One of the issues is firing them high enough at the high schools so that they can be viewed by many people.  Ms. Yancey explained that this is why the Commission recommended that staff continue to look at alternate sites and options to pay for it.  Mayor Clarkson asked if the City is in a libelous position if it provides an event with identified safety concerns.  Interim City Attorney Bob Saxe stated he needs to research the issue.  He noted that cities have a lot of immunities.  This is a public event but he would need to research if there is increased exposure for the City.

Vice Mayor Hudson reiterated that the Council’s direction was to come up with a program.  He asked why Park attendance could not be limited.  He stated that what is missing in the process is bringing together all the ideas and stating that the best recommendation is that the fireworks cannot be done.  He recommended that the City look at a smaller option if the aerial fireworks are eliminated.  He stated that people want the aerial fireworks.  If safety is the only issue, he asked how long it will be before the Art and Wind Festival is eliminated.  He recommended that the City look at it again. 

Cm. O’Loane stated that the Council received the initial report a year ago.  It is not realistic to cordon off Central Park as there are too many egress points.  Central Park is a problematic location for a large crowd.  Many cities have art festivals.  San Ramon is the only city providing aerial fireworks within 150 square miles.  He noted that the evaluation missed an important question.  When you layer on safety, fire danger, huge cost increase, he believes that the right question was not asked.  The question should have been “What do you value?”  He stated that safety is the Council’s number one priority.  He asked why San Ramon should shoulder the financial burden of this event.  Central Park does not provide a long term viable option.  Perhaps a laser show is an option to be explored.  Fireworks cannot be used at the high schools because of the artificial turf.  He stated that this is not the most important thing that the Parks and Recreation Department presents and added that they came up with a pretty good alternative.

Cm. Livingstone observed that a large percentage of the people in Central Park are not from San Ramon and that it is not possible to keep nonresidents from attending.  The bottom line is safety of the people.  If there was an emergency in the Park, responders would have a difficult or impossible time providing aid because of the crowds.  He stated that he does not support aerial fireworks in any fashion.

Cm. Perkins stated that the increased cost of $320,000 is approximately three days of the City’s budget.  In February, 750 emails were received and the response was approximately a 50/50 split on whether or not to have the fireworks.  It is a budget and safety issue and he agrees with the Commission’s recommendations.

Cm. Perkins’ motion to move forward with both elements of the Parks Commission recommendations was seconded by Cm. Livingstone and passed 4-1-0-0.  Vice Mayor Hudson dissented. 

(#10.2) Resolution No. 2012-107 – Approving the 2013 City Council Liaison Appointments to the City Committees, City Foundations, City Liaisons, Council Committees, Regional Committees, Other Agencies, and Ex-Officio Assignments.

Resolution No. 2012-108 – Approving the 2013 City Council Appointments to the Central Contra Costa Transit Authority.

Resolution No. 2012-109 – Approving the 2013 City Council Appointments to the Southwest Area Transportation Committee.

Resolution No. 2012-110 – Approving the 2013 City Council Appointments to the Tri-Valley Transportation Council.

City Clerk Patricia Edwards provided the staff report.  The Mayor is responsible for making annual City Council liaison appointments to: City Committees, City Foundations, City Liaisons, Council Committees, Regional Committees, Other Agencies, and Ex-Officio Assignments.  Adoption of Resolution No. 2012-107 will confirm the Councilmember’s liaison assignments for 2013.  Separate City Council resolutions are required for appointments to the Central Contra Costa Transit Authority (CCCTA), Southwest Area Transportation Committee (SWAT), and the Tri-Valley Transportation Council (TVTC).  There was no discussion from the Council.

Cm. Perkins’ motion to adopt Resolution No. 2012-107 was seconded by Vice Mayor Hudson and passed 5-0.

Cm. Perkins’ motion to adopt Resolution No. 2012-108 was seconded by Vice Mayor Hudson and passed 5-0.

Cm. Perkins’ motion to adopt Resolution No. 2012-109 was seconded by Vice Mayor Hudson and passed 5-0.

Cm. Perkins’ motion to adopt Resolution No. 2012-110 was seconded by Vice Mayor Hudson and passed 5-0.

* * * *

CITY MANAGER COMMENTS

* * * *

PUBLIC COMMENT

* * * *

CITY COUNCILMEMBERS’ AND MAYOR’S COMMENTS

Cm. O’Loane wished his colleagues happy holidays.  He noted that it has been an interesting first year on the Council and that he has enjoyed getting to know his fellow Councilmembers.

Mayor Clarkson noted that the December 25, 2012 Council meeting has been cancelled.  He reminded the public that the City furlough will be in effect from 5:00 p.m. on December 22, 2012 through January 1, 2013.  City staff will be available to deal with emergencies.  Additional information is available on the City website.  He announced several holiday events.  On December 15, 2012, the San Ramon Library Foundation will present “Warming Up Winter” at the Dougherty Station Library.  “Impressions of the Nutcracker” by the San Ramon Dance Academy will be held at the Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center.  The San Ramon Community Chorus will present a Holiday Concert at the San Ramon Community Center on December 16, 2012.  The San Ramon Arts Foundation will feature the Sing Along Messiah at the San Ramon Presbyterian Church on December 16, 2012.  On December 21, 2012, the “Christmas Festival Concert” will be presented by the San Ramon Symphonic Band at the Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center.  The Bay Area Children’s Theatre will present “Pinkalicious, The Musical” on December 23, 2012 at the Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center.

* * * *

CLOSED SESSION

(#14.1) Public Employee Performance Evaluation pursuant to Government Code § 54957 to Consider Renewal of Employment Contract with City Manager.

At 8:35 p.m., the Council convened to Closed Session Pursuant to Government Code § 54957 to Consider Renewal of Employment Contract with City Manager.  All members of the Council were present.

At 8:50 p.m., Mayor Clarkson reconvened the meeting.  All Councilmembers were present.  Mayor Clarkson reported that the Council agreed to extend the contract of the City Manager, Greg Rogers, for two years per the agreement and directed the City Attorney to draw up an addendum to reflect such.  The vote was 5-0.

* * * *

ADJOURNMENT

At 8:52 p.m., there being no further business, Mayor Clarkson adjourned the meeting.

Signed:
Bill Clarkson, Mayor
Patricia Edwards, City Clerk

Approved as presented at the January 8, 2013 City Council meeting 5-0.

We provide efficient delivery of quality public services that are essential to those who live and work in San Ramon.
2226 Camino Ramon, San Ramon, CA 94583 | Map | Phone (925) 973-2530 | Fax (925) 866-0547