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Council Meeting minutes for 8/8/06
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posted 12-21-2006 11:15 AM
CITY OF GRASS VALLEY
REGULAR MEETING OF THE GRASS VALLEY CITY COUNCIL,
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS AUTHORITY AND REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY
TUESDAY, AUGUST 8, 2006, 7:00 P. M.
1.0 CALL TO ORDER: 7:00 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: Judy
ROLL CALL: Council Members Ingram, Swarthout, Williams, Vice Mayor Johnson and
Mayor Tassone were present. Also present were Gene Haroldsen, City Administrator, Ruthann Ziegler,
City Attorney and Kristi Bashor, City Clerk.
2.0 INTRODUCTIONS AND PRESENTATIONS - None
3.0 ANNOUNCEMENTS, AGENDA REVIEW AND CHANGES
4.0 PUBLIC COMMENT
Bill Hair, Trails Coordinator for the Nevada County Land Trust, 10200 East Drive, Grass
Valley, Came to update Council regarding the trail program that the Land Trust is working on.
He stated that they recently secured a trail easement across Loma Rica Ranch and wanted to
bring this to the Council as he believes this is very exciting and that it largely implements what
is in the General Plan Recreation Element for trails.
Dot, stated that she came tonight to ask for help regarding storm drains in her
neighborhood. She said that all the water from the rains stay in the drains and when it rains it
produces a terrible odor, just like sewer. She stated that they get clogged up and that they are
clogged up right now and that when it rains all the water comes running down her sidewalk and
into her driveway. She asked that Council help her with this problem. Mayor Tassone suggested
that she speak to Jeff Jewett, Public Works Director.
Howard Levine, Grass Valley Downtown Association Executive Director came forward
to invite the Council to the GVDA’s Fair Booth in the main exhibit hall. He also spoke about the
Friday Night Market and that is will still be taking place even with the fair also happening.
Buck from the City of Nevada City, came forward and addressed the Council about the
City of Nevada City having someone coming to teach the new members about the Brown Act the
first week in September and wanted to relay this to the Council. He then spoke about the Brown
Act and quoted from the preamble to the Brown Act. He also spoke about 1st amendment rights
and the public access channel.
The City Attorney told Council that the person coming to Nevada City to talk about the Brown
Act is Mike Dean who is one of the partners in her law firm.
5.0 BRIEF ANNOUNCEMENTS / REPORTS BY COUNCIL MEMBERS
Council Member Ingram spoke about attending the Land Trust Concert.
Council Member Williams spoke about the Public Workshop that was held last night at the Vets
Hall and that about 150 persons attended. He said there were breakout groups to discuss what
the public wants in regards to the SDA’s and then questions and answers between the public and
6.0 CONSENT ITEMS
Vice Mayor Johnson requested that item 6.8 for separate discussion.
Motion by Vice Mayor Johnson to approve the Consent Agenda with the exception of item
number 6.8, seconded by Council Member Williams and carried by a unanimous roll call vote to
approve the consent items as follows:
6.1 Warrant Registers
Approved disbursements of $1,284,340.98.
6.2 Department Reports: - a. Finance – Investments b. Fire c. Police d. Public Works
Received and filed.
6.3 Resolution Amending Seasonal Staff Pay at the Pool
Adopted Resolution #06-69 revising Resolution #06-32 providing a pay differential for
teaching individual swim lessons.
6.4 Agreement with Fireman’s Fund for $26,000 Special Operations Equipment Donation
Authorized execution of agreement providing for acceptance.
6.5 Amendment to Traffic Signal Service Agreement – Adding recently annexed signal
Authorized execution of amendment to the agreement with Republic Electric.
6.6 Police Information Technology Maintenance Service Agreements
Authorized execution of agreements with Nevada County Information Services and
Executive Information Services.
6.7 Update of Regional Transportation Mitigation Fee (RTMF) Program
Concurred with Nevada County Transportation Commission’s request to use consultant
services to update the RTMF Program.
Council Member Ingram asked the Mayor to allow her speak about item number 6.4. She said that
she wanted to acknowledge that the City received a donation of $26,000 from Network Insurance
7.1 Ad Hoc Committee for Dorsey Drive Interchange Project
Mayor Tassone asked City Manager Gene Haroldsen present this item to Council. Gene
explained that the Nevada County Transportation Commission has submitted a request to the
City asking that the City appoint a representative to participate in an Ad Hoc Committee that the
Commission has decided to form an Ad Hoc Committee of representatives from the County,
Nevada City, Grass Valley and NCTC to participate in this for the Dorsey Drive Interchange
Project. Gene mentioned that since this project is in the City, the Council would probably want
to be well represented with one or two members on the committee. Mike Woodman,
Transportation Planner for NCTC came forward to speak to Council regarding this item. He said
this morning the Board of Supervisors appointed John Spencer District 3 Supervisor to be the
representative on the Committee and Tim Brady was appointed at the July NCTC meeting as
NCTC’s representative. He said that if Council would like to appoint more than one
representative that he didn’t believe there would be a problem. Mayor Tassone asked Vice
Mayor Johnson to serve on the Committee with him. Council Member Ingram moved that the
Mayor and Vice Mayor Johnson represent the City of Grass Valley on the Ad Hoc Committee
for the Dorsey Drive Interchange Project, Council Member Williams seconded. Motion carried
by a unanimous voice vote.
8.0 PUBLIC HEARINGS – No Items
9.0 STAFF REPORTS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS
9.1 Sales Tax Measure Follow Up
City Administrator Gene Haroldsen presented this item to Council. He explained that this item
is a Sales Tax Measure follow up. He said that this was a Special Tax and requires an
expenditure plan and that Council decided to insert the words “for twenty years” into the plan a
couple of weeks ago and that it will read this way on the ballot in November. He reiterated that
tax rates will be voted on in Grass Valley as well as other Counties and Cities in the area that
also have tax measures on their ballots. He reviewed the revenue estimate that this tax could
bring into the City, which could be about 72 million dollars over the next 20 years. He spoke
about what is included in the expenditure plan and the breakdown of how the money brought
into the plan would be spent. He also covered the priorities that came from the workshop that
was held in the last part of July and the revisions to the expenditure plan wording that came out
of that workshop. He spoke about the workshop also producing a draft sales tax administrative
frame work which focuses on community involvement and includes annual meetings to gain
input and make recommendations to Council. There will also be an annual fiscal audit. This is in
the ballot measure. There will also be a report at a public hearing reviewing the revenues,
expenditures and the status of the projects. He explained that financial costs should be limited to
one percent for accounting and auditing. Gene told Council that tonight Council will be looking
at introducing the ordinance revising the expenditure plan. He spoke about a special meeting on
August 14, 2006 to finalize the plan. This time frame works for submitting the impartial analysis
for the plan and delivering everything to the County Clerk and Recorder for the election. Vice
Mayor Johnson cited that the City’s Charter allows Council to make changes tonight for the
expenditure plan but then again at the special meeting if Council decides to make changes at that
meeting. Mayor Tassone opened the meeting up to public comment at this time. Grant Cattanio,
representing CCAT came forward to address the Council regarding the status of the tax proposal
and spoke against the measure. Terry Lamphier, resident of Grass Valley addressed the Council
regarding when the Dorsey Drive Interchange was established as a priority as he doesn’t recall
attending a meeting in which that took place. Vice Mayor Johnson said that at the May 23, 2006
meeting it was endorsed by Council as a number one priority. Howard Levine, Grass Valley
Downtown Association Executive Director came forward and spoke in favor of the measure and
stated that the Downtown Association also supports the measure. Donna Reynolds came forward
and spoke in opposition of the measure as she is concerned about the cost of the Wolf Creek
Parkway and loss of privacy for her. Diane Gradhant came forward and spoke in opposition of
the measure. Council Member Ingram spoke about funding for the Wolf Creek Trail and the
opportunities available for funding of the trail. She also addressed Mr. Cattanio’s comments.
Council Member Williams spoke about the Dorsey Drive Interchange and that he doesn’t think
that CCAT is endorsing having less than four ramps. Vice Mayor Johnson spoke about the fact
that if the Dorsey Drive interchange gets scaled down then the money from the sales tax will
also be scaled down for that particular item. He spoke about trust in the government and seeing
the dollars work for the citizens. Council Member Swarthout said that she is not available for a
special meeting on August 14, 2006. Council discussed other dates for the special meeting.
Council Member Williams spoke about specific line items to be included in the expenditure
plan. Discussion continued about getting too specific and what that specificity may cause. Mayor
Tassone spoke about an Oversight Committee for the measure and how it will help with checks
and balances for the measure and the expenditures. Vice Mayor Johnson said that he feels having
an Oversight Committee is a good idea. The City Attorney spoke to Council regarding the
Brown Act and the possibility of a member being able to participate by phone if they could not
be at the meeting in person. The Mayor asked if everyone could make August 17, 2006 and
Council confirmed that they could. Council Member Ingram moved to waive the reading of the
ordinance in its entirety and read by title only, Council Member Swarthout seconded. Motion
carried by a unanimous voice vote. The Clerk read the title of the ordinance. Council Member
Swarthout moved to introduce ordinance 665 revising Exhibit A and setting a workshop and
special meeting for Thursday, August 17, 2006 at 5:00 p.m., Vice Mayor Johnson seconded.
Motion carried by a 4-1 vote with Council Member Williams voting no.
9.2 Collection of Delinquent Parking Citations and Administrative Penalty Fines
John Foster Chief of Police presented this item to Council. He explained that he is asking
Council to approve services with Data Ticket, Inc. / Revenue Experts, Inc. for revenue collection
of delinquent parking citations and administrative penalty fines. He said that without the help of
Finance Director Carol Fish, Community Development Director Joe Heckel and Captain Dave
Remmillard of the Police Department as well as the review of the City Attorney’s office he
would not be here tonight to present this item to Council. He explained that the Police
Department has tried several methods to collect unpaid parking tickets and the methods did not
work. He explained that Data Ticket has the ability to access the Department of Motor Vehicles
registration system so that when people do not pay they are able to place a hold on the
registration which causes people to pay the fines. They also have the ability to place a tax lien
through the Franchise Tax Board. John said that there are over 1000 unpaid fines that the
Department has been unable to collect from the past 3 years and that Data Ticket has agreed to
accept these citations without a cost to the City except to the DMV to place a hold on the
registration. He also talked about the ability to use this company for administrative fine
collection as well. He reviewed the Administrative Penalty Ordinance which is used as a code
enforcement tool. He then asked Council to approve the contracts and approve a budget
amendment for this item. Council Member Swarthout asked for clarification regarding the hold
on the registrations if the fine is not paid. She also asked how many days past due does it
become and unpaid citation. At the request of the Chief Captain Remmillard came forward and
explained that after approximately 30 day the initial penalty accrues another fine and after that it
will be sent to Data Ticket for collection. Council Member Swarthout also asked if the notices
are sent to the address on the person’s license and Captain Remmillard responded yes. Vice
Mayor Johnson asked about the procedure the system will follow and if the person will have a
chance to pay the ticket before it goes to the DMV. Captain Remmillard confirmed that they
would have the chance to pay before a hold is put on their registration. Vice Mayor Johnson
asked about the revenue and whether this system would be revenue neutral. Captain Remmillard
said that he believes there will be an increase in revenue. Council Member Ingram moved to
approve execution of the contract and the related budget amendment, Council Member
Swarthout seconded. Motion carried by a unanimous roll call vote.
9.3 Potential Gateway Monument Program
City Manager Gene Haroldsen presented this item to Council. Gene explained that there is an
opportunity to sign these on Caltrans right away. He said that Howard Levine of the GVDA has
been working with a local architect Tom Roman of Roman Associates on a preliminary gateway
monument and that sketches had been included in Council’s packets. Gene then described the
sign. He explained that the placement needs to occur before the timeline is up. He explained that
there are a lot of strings attached as they don’t allow civic logos, community calendar event and
are very strict as to what can be done. He said that if this was placed outside of Caltrans right
away there would be more flexibility. He explained what locations would be available for the
sign and that finding a suitable and appropriate location would take a considerable amount of
Engineering effort so it must be located very precisely and meet all of Caltrans’ requirements.
He said there are also opportunities to locate these signs outside of Caltrans right of way. Cost is
unknown at this time and could range up to about $50,000 each excluding land costs.
Fundraising is possible for the project but could be difficult without the ability to include logos
or community oriented features on the sign. Gene also said that the Engineering Department is
stretched at this time and could not address this program without re-prioritizing projects or
outside assistance. He said that staff has 5 questions for Council regarding this item regarding
whether Council is interested in the program, developing such monuments outside of Caltrans
right of way, Should the preliminary design sketches be submitted for sign review, what are
Council’s priorities for developing such Gateway Monuments and is Council willing to commit
staff time and funding for such Gateway Monuments. Howard Levine of the GVDA came
forward to speak to Council on this item and the difficulties with finding appropriate areas for
signage like this. He explained that Caltrans model has specific dimensions to follow. Council
asked about the deadline of December 31, 2006 which if missed is over. Vice Mayor Johnson
would like to push forward with program and with the time frame it may need to come to
Council and not take it to DRC and Planning Commission. Council Member Swarthout would
like to see it go through one DRC so that the City’s Architect can look at it. She said that she
thinks the big decision right now is if the Council is willing to commit staff time and money for
this project. There was discussion regarding permits from Caltrans and time frame for putting the
monuments up. Mayor Tassone said that Council should be able to direct staff to get costs and
everything and bring it back with how much staff time it might take and those types of things.
Council Member Ingram is in favor of having a Gateway Sign but is disappointed that they will
not allow service clubs and community features on it because that is the essence of Grass Valley
and what we do here and how we do those things and work together as a community with the
service clubs. Vice Mayor Johnson said that staff should also find out from Caltrans whether
there is some time here for doing more than one sign over a 3 or 4 year period. Council gave
direction to staff to proceed with gathering more information regarding this possible project.
10.0 ITEMS REMOVED FROM CONSENT CALENDAR FOR DISCUSSION OR SEPARATE
ACTION AND / OR ANY ADDED AGENDA ITEMS
6.8 No Parking Zones – As recommended by the Traffic Safety Committee
Vice Mayor Johnson spoke about this item and people who have come forward not wanting
the parking removed from Richardson Street. He would like Council to postpone action on
this item until the Parking Study is done. Trisha Tillotson came forward to review the
recommendation of the Traffic Safety Committee and address the objections to the no
parking on Richardson Street. She said that the Traffic Committee is scheduled to revisit
these issues after one year to check on how it is working. She reviewed with Council a
summary of public testimony that was heard by the Traffic Committee regarding this issue.
She then reviewed facts that engineering had gathered regarding Richardson Street such as
the width being 32 feet from edge of pavement to edge of pavement which means that when
there parking on both sides it leaves only 16 feet for two travel lanes which would be 8 foot
travel lanes and typically engineering like to design streets with 12 foot wide travel lanes
minimum. Trisha then asked for questions from Council. Council Member Swarthout
questioned whether there is curb gutter and sidewalk on the other side of the street and Trish
said there is on the South side. Council Member Swarthout said that she attended the parking
study meeting that occurred several months ago and that there were a lot of people from this
neighborhood that were complaining about the parking issue. She said that parking keeps
being removed from downtown and none added to replace that removed. She said that she
would prefer not doing anything until the Parking Study is done. She asked about those
citizens who had made public comment about cars being hit on Richardson and asked Chief
Foster how many accident reports he had received regarding this. Chief Foster responded
that he didn’t have any reports. Mayor Tassone said that the Committee spent a lot of time
deciding this issue and that it all came down to safety so they decided to see if removing the
parking would alleviate the problem. Chief Foster said that at the meeting there was only one
person in opposition which was a woman who was concerned about parking for her tenant.
Others were concerned about losing parking spaces but understood the safety issues. He said
that his recommendation at the meeting was to remove the parking. He also said that
discussion at the meeting did include the parking study to be done but the committee was
concerned about timing so they decided to revisit this issue in 1 year. Vice Mayor Johnson
said that he drives this and that having the parking there slows people down and makes
people more cautious and careful. He thinks it is a natural traffic calming because in the
segments of Richardson where parking does not exist people speed and then have to slow
down with the area of parking. He said he thinks that what is paramount is not to take
anymore parking away until there is a decision of where to put more parking. Council
Member Ingram said she travels Richardson every Monday to a restaurant that backs onto
Richardson and that trying to turn onto Richardson Street from that parking lot is very
dangerous as the parked cars block your view and you have to pull out into the street to get
around the parked cars. She said she appreciates that losing for 4 parking spaces is not the
ideal situation but it is a safety issue. Council Member Williams said he would like to see the
Council wait until the parking study is complete before making a decision on removing the
parking. Council Member Swarthout said that she feels strongly about the parking in
downtown and is one of the main reasons for her to want a parking study done so parking
availability and safety issues would all be addressed at one time. She said that the restaurant
has changed the entrance and exit and it has made it better. She thinks that if it is a safety
issue that one space could be eliminated and leave the other three to give more room at the
driveway entrance. Mayor Tassone said that it wasn’t enough. Council Member Ingram
asked what the time frame for the parking study to be finalized is and Community
Development Director Joe Heckel responded 6 months. Howard Levine, Grass Valley
Downtown Association came forward and spoke about the parking on Richardson. He also
spoke about how narrow the lanes are and feels that is a very important consideration. He
said he knows how important parking is downtown but that safety is an issue here. He also
mentioned that a parking space on Main Street is being taken away for the bus and that the
committee was asked to wait until the parking study was done but the committee chose to
move forward with it also. He said that the Sales Tax Initiative may help provide more
parking. Mayor Tassone stated that waiting for the parking study will not help the situation.
He said it might help the parking situation but not the safety situation and that the committee
and Engineering look at that and have to be aware of it especially when accidents are
reported. He feels it is very important not to just ignore that fact because of the loss of the
parking spaces. He said the main concern of the committee is traffic safety and that is what
this is all about. Council Member Ingram moved to adhere to the request of the Traffic
Safety Committee and implement the East Main Street and Valley View recommendations.
Vice Mayor Johnson seconded and the motion carried by a unanimous roll call vote. Vice
Mayor Johnson moved to not delete any parking on Richardson Street at this time. Council
Member Swarthout seconded. Motion carried by a 3-2 vote with Council Member Ingram
and Mayor Tassone voting no.
Recess the City Council Meeting and Convene as the Grass Valley Redevelopment Agency
11.0 GRASS VALLEY REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY
12.0 CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS AUTHORITY - No Items
13.0 CLOSED DOOR SESSION
13.1 Conference with legal Counsel – Government Code Section 54956.9a
Existing Litigation – City of Grass Valley v. Newmont Mining Corp., et al.
USDC Eastern District Case No. CIV.S – 04 – 0149 GEB DAD
There was no action to report from closed session.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:00 p.m. by Mayor Tassone.
All times are PST
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