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

January 28, 2014

A regular meeting of the City Council of the City of San Ramon was held January 28, 2014 at 6:46 p.m. in the City Council Chamber at City Hall, 2222 Camino Ramon, Mayor Clarkson presiding. 
PRESENT:  Councilmembers Hudson, O’Loane, Perkins, Sachs, and Mayor Clarkson.
STAFF PRESENT:  City Manager Greg Rogers, Interim City Attorney Bob Saxe, Interim Police Chief Joe Gorton, Administrative Services Director Eva Phelps, Planning and Community Services Director Phil Wong, Division Manager Esther Lucas, and Interim City Clerk Renee Beck.

* * * *


(#1.1) Pursuant to Government Code §54957.6 to meet with the City Council’s Labor Negotiators: Steve Harman, Karen McNamara, Eva Phelps, and Bob Saxe concerning Negotiations with the San Ramon Police Officers Association.

At 6:47 p.m., the Council convened to Closed Session Pursuant to Government
Code §54957.6 to meet with the City Council’s Labor Negotiators: Steve Harman, Karen McNamara, Eva Phelps, and Bob Saxe concerning Negotiations with the San Ramon Police Officers Association.  All Councilmembers were present. 

At 7:00 p.m., Mayor Clarkson reconvened the Council meeting with all Councilmembers in attendance.  Mayor Clarkson reported that the Council took no action.

* * * *


Resident and former San Ramon Councilmember Greg Carr led the Pledge of Allegiance.

* * * *


The Interim City Clerk stated that the Minutes in item 9 of the agenda are from 2014, not 2013 as printed.  She added that item 4.7 on the Consent Calendar is being deferred to the February 11, 2014, City Council meeting.

There was one change to the City meetings listed on the agenda.  The Policy Committee will be meeting in the Main City Hall Conference Room at 2226 Camino Ramon at 4:00 P.M. on Wednesday, January 29, 2014.

* * * *


(#4.1) Register of Demands as Presented by the City Treasurer (Period ending December 31, 2013.)

(#4.2) City of San Ramon Quarterly Investment Report (Period Ending
December 31, 2013).

(#4.3A) Ordinance 446 – Adopting San Ramon Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment (TA 13-410-003) to amend certain sections of the San Ramon Zoning Ordinance to adopt locally the Statewide Density Bonus provisions contained in Section 65915 of the California Government Code. 

(#4.3B) Ordinance 447 – Adopting San Ramon Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment (TA 13-410-004) to eliminate the Redevelopment Overlay District, (including the related revisions to the Zoning Map); add Administrative Office (OA) uses in the City Center Mixed Use (CCMU) District, clarify the Tree Preservation and Protection standards, clarify certain Wireless Facility standards and other minor Zoning Ordinance revisions and clarifications with Title D, Zoning Ordinance of the Municipal Code of the City of San Ramon.

(#4.4) Minute Order No. 2014-002 – Accepting the Work by G. Bortolotto & Company, Inc. for the Construction of 2012 and 2013 Pavement Repair Stop Gap Projects (CIPs 5490 & 5510) as Complete and Authorizing the City Clerk to File a Notice of completion with the County Recorder’s Office.

(#4.5) Resolution No. 2014-012 – Authorizing the Appropriation and Expenditure of $134,551 from the Vehicle Replacement Fund for the Purchase of Three Replacement Patrol Vehicles and Two Additional Patrol Vehicles.

(#4.6) Minute Order No. 2014-003 – Accepting the Work by MCK Services, Inc. for the Construction of the Bollinger Canyon Road Widening – Pavement Rehabilitation Phase (CIP 5324) and Crow Canyon Road Pavement Rehabilitation Project (CIP 5561) as Complete and Authorizing the City Clerk to file a Notice of Completion with the County Recorder’s Office.

Resolution No. 2014-013 – Authorizing Budget Transfers in the Amount of $28,508 from the Bollinger Canyon Road Widening – Pavement Rehabilitation Phase (CIP 5324) and $252,475 from the Crow Canyon Road Pavement Rehabilitation Project CIP 5561), a total of $550,983, to the 2014 Annual Pavement Management Project (CIP 5521).

Cm. Hudson’s motion to adopt items 4.1 through 4.6 was seconded by Cm. Perkins and passed 5-0-0-0. 

(#4.7)   Approving Amendments to Memorandum of Understandings between the City of San Ramon and Various Labor Groups.

Resolution No. 2014-014 – Approving Amendment No. 1 to the Memorandum of Understanding between the City of San Ramon and the San Ramon Police Officer’s Association.

Resolution No. 2014-015 – Approving Amendment No. 2 to the Memorandum of Understanding between the City of San Ramon and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1021.

Resolution No. 2014-016 – Approving Amendment No. 2 to the Memorandum of Understanding between the City of San Ramon and Unrepresented Miscellaneous Employees.

Item 4.7 was deferred to the February 11, 2014 City Council meeting.

* * * *


(#5.1) Presentation by Bay Area Infrastructure Finance Authority (BAIFA) on Bay Area Express Lane Project.  Presentation by:  Barbara Laurenson, Express Lane Project Manager, BAIFA.

Ms. Laurenson stated that the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) are working together on the Bay Area Infrastructure Finance Authority (BAIFA) under a Joint Powers Authority.  She defined express lanes as similar to High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes except that additional road capacity can be sold to solo drivers via a toll.  The purpose is to alleviate traffic in the general purpose lanes.  She stated that the toll rate can change based on supply and demand for the lane. She indicated that the 23 miles of express lane planned on Interstate 680 will run from Livorna Road to Alcosta Boulevard in the south bound direction and from Alcosta Boulevard to Rudgear Road in the north bound direction.  This conversion will require no new road construction but will entail lane re-striping, installation of toll equipment, lighting, and signage.  BAIFA will take public comment at a public meeting on Thursday, January 30, 2014, at the San Ramon Community Center from 5:30 P.M. to 7:30 P.M.  The express lanes are expected to be open in the spring of 2016.

Cm. Perkins asked if the demand for express lane use is ever so low that the toll is reduced to zero.  Ms. Laurenson stated that the express lanes hours are projected to be the same as the current carpool hours so that the express lanes would be free in non-peak hours.  Cm. Perkins asked how carpool vehicles are not charged in the express.  Ms. Laurenson responded that the new FasTrak transponders will have a toggle switch that can be positioned for carpool.  The transponder will set off an overhead beacon to alert the California Highway Patrol as to type of vehicle in the lane to facilitate enforcement. Cm. Perkins asked if the express lanes will have restricted access.  Ms. Laurenson said the lanes on Interstate 680 will have unrestricted access.  Cm. Sachs asked about speed in the HOV or express lanes as compared with the general lanes.  Ms. Laurenson stated that she did not have that information but the focus is improved speed in the general purpose lanes.  Cm. Sachs asked whether there was any connection between this project and the proposed HOV ramps at Norris Canyon Road.  Ms. Laurenson stated there is no connection between the two.  Cm Perkins asked how much toll revenue was expected and how the toll money would be used.  She stated she would get back to the Council regarding the amount of toll revenue.  She stated that initially the revenue will be used for effective operations of the express lane, equipment maintenance, and marketing.  The balance of the funds will go to complete the network of lanes in Solano County, Contra Costa County, and Alameda County.  After the network is completed it is possible the funds can stay in the community.  Vice Mayor O’Loane asked for information on the success of these lanes in states where they have been operating for a longer period of time.

Mayor Clarkson opened public comment.

Resident Greg Carr stated his opposition to the express lanes.  He feels that Interstate 680 is a public highway.  It should not include lanes that give preference to those that can pay.

Mayor Clarkson closed public comment.

Cm. Hudson stated he was against the express lanes until he read a survey that indicated that San Ramon residents are the #2 users of express lanes.  Express lanes have the support of environmental groups and the Bay Area as a whole.  He feels that SB1339, commuter benefits, will aid transit services.

* * * *


Resident Greg Carr stated that the proposed HOV ramps are a special project for the benefit of Bishop Ranch and that they will create more traffic on the Westside of San Ramon.  He would like to have the City conduct a public meeting on the issue so that citizens could provide feedback.  If it is determined that the residents are against the proposal, he requests that the City articulate that sentiment to the Metropolitan Transit Commission. 

Resident Lowell Lamb stated his opposition to the HOV ramps and requested that the City explain a January 2010 letter to the Contra Costa Transportation Authority by Planning Director Phil Wong expressing support of the project.  He would like to have the letter entered into the public record, as well as how it was authorized.

Resident Carol Lopez, representing the San Ramon Historic Foundation, thanked everyone for their participation in the January 25, 2014, Annual Crab Feed.  She stated that 216 people consumed 600 pounds of crab.  She thanked Cm. Hudson and Mrs. Hudson for their invaluable help in the kitchen.  She stated the proceeds will be used to renovate buildings at Forest Home Farms.

* * * *


* * * *


(#8.1) Senior Advisory Committee Appointment.

Division Manager Esther Lucas gave the report.  She stated that there is one vacancy on the Senior Advisory Committee as Alternate #2.  The position was advertised and one application was received from Jacalynn Blankenship.  The Parks and Community Services Committee recommends her appointment to a term expiring in April 2015. 

Cm. Perkins motion to appoint Jacalynn Blankenship to a term expiring in April 2015 was seconded by Cm. Sachs and passed 5-0-0-0.

* * * *


(#9.1) Minutes of the January 13, 2013 special meeting.

Cm. Perkins’ motion to approve the January 13, 2014 special City Council minutes as amended was seconded by Cm. Sachs and passed 5-0-0-0.

(#9.2)   Minutes of the January 14, 2013 special meeting.

Cm. Perkins’ motion to approve the January 14, 2014 special City Council minutes was seconded by Cm. Sachs and passed 5-0-0-0.

(#9.3)   Minutes of the January 14, 2013 regular meeting.

Cm. Perkins’ motion to approve the January 14, 2014 regular City Council minutes as amended was seconded by Cm. Sachs and passed 5-0-0-0.

* * * *


* * * *


(#11.1) Library Advisory Committee Annual Report.

Division Manager Esther Lucas advised that the report was prepared by the Library Advisory Committee (LAC) and was approved by the Parks and Community Services Commission.  She introduced Darryl Young, LAC member, who provided the report.  Mr. Young acknowledged the work of the other members of the Committee and staff on the report.  He stated that the libraries have been updated with furniture repair, new upholstery, and new computers.  He indicated that the committee created a library survey, analyzed the results, and condensed the findings into a report for presentation to the Parks Commission and the City Council.  The library survey provides insight to the public’s perception of the library and their desires for improvements.  He stated that the public desires more comfortable spaces as well as meeting rooms for large and small groups. The goals and objectives for 2014 include monitoring of the Jazz collection area and the new Teen section of the library, and review of the Dougherty Station Library lease agreement.  The LAC will also continue to make recommendations on their performance metrics in the General Plan 2030, as well as, participate in development of plans for the San Ramon Library renovations. The survey results also showed the city libraries need improvement in the areas of childhood literacy, diverse programming, education, and adult professional and leisure uses.

Vice Mayor O’Loane asked about how the survey questions were framed.  He stated it is better to put the survey questions into the context of various choices that can be prioritized. Cm. Sachs stated it is interesting to note that upgrades requested from the survey are improvements that can be accomplished with the expansion and renovation plans.

Cm. Perkins’ motion to receive the report was seconded by Vice Mayor O’Loane and passed 5-0-0-0.

(#11.2) Five Year Financial Forecast

Administrative Services Director Eva Phelps gave the report. She stated that the purpose of the forecast is to provide the projected multi-year financial condition of the City, identify policy issues and promote development of policy direction, and assist in the development of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2014-15 budget. She indicated that the highlights of the report include General Reserves projecting annual deficits through FY 2016-17 with positive increases thereafter.  The forecast was developed based on moderate growth using the following assumptions:  Salary increases of 3% per year, funding new positions in Police Services and City Manager’s department, transitioning long-term temps to permanent status; PERS employer rate increases, stable retiree health costs, increasing medical costs, increases in the cost of service contracts, population growth, sale of housing properties to fund housing programs, and the cost to maintain the new Rancho Park.  Revenue growth is estimated at a moderate rate of 4.4% per year. Property tax, sales tax, franchise fees, and transit occupancy tax are all projected to show some increase. Many prior unfunded activities will not be restored.  After taking all these elements into account, it is expected that at the end of the 5 years, General Fund revenue will exceed expenses and General Reserves will be at $33.1 million.  General Fund expenditures may be impacted by wage and benefit cost inflation, funding for expanded services in Dougherty Valley, and increases in service contact and utility costs.  The general observations of the five year forecast are that the economy is growing, reserves are strong, and the City will remain in a good financial position over the next five years.

Cm. Perkins asked for the number of temporary positions that will transition to permanent.  Vice Mayor O’Loane asked about the assumption of no new positions.  Ms. Phelps clarified that it means no new authorized positions will be added.  Vice Mayor O’Loane asked what ‘local economy’ includes.  Ms. Phelps stated it means the Bay Area economy which is doing better than the State as a whole.  Vice Mayor O’Loane asked for a review of previous years’ forecasts to see how well the estimates bear out.  Vice Mayor O’Loane and Cm Perkins asked that the revenues and expenditures of Dougherty Valley not be segregated in the budget. 

Cm. Perkins would like to discuss the list of unfunded activities be reviewed in the upcoming Council Goal Setting Workshop.  He also asked for prudent pavement management in order to save costs in the long term.  He would like to reduce the City’s debt faster than prescribed after the FY 2016/17.  Also, he suggested looking at financing to pay for solar panels including cost recovery in light of increasing utility costs.

Cm. Hudson stated that health care and utilities are issues that concern him.  He also would like to take a look at solar panels.  He suggested looking to grants for funding particularly for the new City Hall. Cm. Perkins and Vice Mayor O’Loane added the service centers and the building at 2401 Crow Canyon Road as possible sites for solar panels.

Vice Mayor O’Loane asked Cm. Hudson if there was any grant funding coming for pavement management.  Cm. Hudson stated that through One Bay Area, funds will be available for communities at risk.  He does not anticipate seeing any of that funding coming to San Ramon.  Cm. Perkins stated that since Dougherty Valley pavement all went in at about the same time; there will be a significant cost when it needs to be replaced.

Cm. Sachs stated he appreciates the conservative nature of the forecast.  He added that revenue will be received from City Center project.  He indicated that staffing levels are tied to service levels.  He believes staffing and service levels have an effect on the quality of life.  He invites the public to state what their needs are so that they can be addressed.  He asked about Capital Improvement Projects (CIP’s).  Ms. Phelps stated that no general fund money has been designated to CIP’s.  Cm. Sachs would like to use some money appropriated for improvements along the Iron Horse Trail, especially in light of the opening of City Center.  Cm. Sachs asked about the funding of retiree health care funding.  Ms. Phelps stated it will be an ongoing cost but is well funded at this point.

Mayor Clarkson asked if the conservative five year forecast was likely to produce a positive ending balance as it did last year.  Ms. Phelps stated she believes that the budgeted numbers will be correct.  She added that both revenues and expenses are going up.  Mayor Clarkson thanked Ms. Phelps and her staff for the good report.

Cm. Perkins’ motion to receive the report was seconded by Cm. Sachs and passed 5-0-0-0.


(#12.1) Update:  City Hall Construction Project.

Planning and Community Development Director Phil Wong indicated that the construction contract is being reviewed by the City Attorney.  Schematic drawings will be available for management to review soon.  After City Council review, a public meeting will be scheduled to get feedback on the plans.

City Manager Greg Rogers noted that the City and Sunset Development are working on taking down the ‘Coming Soon’ sign on the City Center property.


Resident Jim Delano wanted to comment on the BAIFA project.  He feels the public is paying for lanes already paid for with tax money.  He would like to see a policy change that brings those toll funds back to local communities to pay for local street maintenance.  He would like the Council to ask the MTC for the City’s fair share of the collected fees.

Resident and Planning Commissioner Donna Kerger wanted to add to Cm. Sachs comments regarding City staffing.  She reminded Council that the hiring and pay freezes have been in effect for many years.  She stated that staff has done a good job reducing costs and keeping revenue up.  She added that staff does a good job.  Mayor Clarkson stated that pay raises were reinstituted this year.


Cm. Sachs reported that he is the new Library Advisory Committee liaison and attended their most recent meeting.  He stated the Committee is working on the standards of the General Plan and growth management element.  Cm. Sachs attended training for new councilmembers provided by the League of California Cities.  He attended sessions in public finance, land use law, conducting meetings, and current State legislation.  He gained knowledge regarding the proper role of the City Council as a policy setting body.  He indicated that comparing other cites with similar population, San Ramon is well managed and fiscally responsible.  He cited a good relationship with the City Manager as the key to carrying out the policies set forth by the Council.  He looks forward to a professional relationship with the other councilmembers in setting good policy. 

Cm. Hudson indicated the Air District will be holding a Public Hearing on commuter benefits (SB 1339) on March 19, 2014.  This meeting will include discussion of pre-tax and employer subsidy options for commuting. He stated that we have had many Spare the Air days this year.  ABAG and the Air District will also be working on policies for a climate action work program and tracking rules for petroleum refineries, gas stations, and dry cleaners.  A citizen advisory group will be formed to advise the District regarding more scientific views on climate change. He clarified that 18% of the funds from Measure J come back to San Ramon based on according to a formula based on population and road miles. There will be a public meeting regarding the Norris Canyon Ramps when the EIR is complete.  The Builders Industry sued the Association of Bay Area Governments.  A settlement agreement is expected this week. Mobile Source advised that Southwest Airlines applied for a grant for three baggage movers.  He stated that it would be nice to see the airports trying to improve air quality. 

Cm Perkins stated that he attended the East Bay Regional Communications System Authority meeting. They are negotiating with Oakland and Piedmont to join the radio system which will reduce overall costs. He added that the Economic Development Advisory Committee is preparing their Work Plan for the coming year. 

Cm. Hudson stated that the Clipper Card may be available by 2016 for use on the County Connection.  This one card will allow access to public transit in the entire Bay Area and will make commuting easier.

Mayor Clarkson attended the League of California Cities Economic Development and Housing Committee meeting to discuss group homes and massage parlors.  He stated that it is important to maintain local control over standards set in these areas.  The State law with regard to massage parlors is expiring.  It is the Committee’s feeling that control should be returned to local agencies.  Mayor Clarkson attended the swearing in of the Chamber of Commerce President Joe Nelson.  Mayor Clarkson asked for topic suggestions for the State of City address scheduled for February 11, 2014. 

* * * *


At 9:00 p.m., there being no further business, Mayor Clarkson adjourned the meeting

Bill Clarkson, Mayor
Renee Beck, Interim City Clerk

Approved as presented at the February 11, 2014 City Council meeting 5-0-0-0.

We provide efficient delivery of quality public services that are essential to those who live and work in San Ramon.
7000 Bollinger Canyon Rd, San Ramon, CA 94583 | Map | Phone (925) 973-2530 | Fax (925) 866-0547