LIVERMORE AREA RECREATION AND PARK DISTRICT

 

 

MINUTES

 

REGULAR MEETING OF THE

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

 

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2007

 

ROBERT LIVERMORE COMMUNITY CENTER

4444 EAST AVENUE, LIVERMORE, CALIFORNIA

5:30 P.M.

LARKSPUR SOUTH

7:00 P.M. 

CRESTA BLANCA BALLROOM

 

 

DIRECTORS PRESENT:            Director Faltings, Director Furst, Director Kamena, Director Wilson and President Goodman

 

DIRECTORS ABSENT:                    None

 

STAFF MEMBERS PRESENT:            Chiye Azuma, Tim Barry, Jim Brandenburg, Jim Carlson, Barbara Kraybill, Michael Kyle, Mike Nicholson, Gretchen Sommers

 

 

1.         CALL TO ORDER – ROLL CALL – PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Meeting was called to order by Vice President Faltings at 5:35 p.m. All Directors were present except President Goodman.

 

2.            WORKSHOP ON ROBERTSON PARK MASTER PLAN (5:30 P.M.)

2.1      Overview of Process

2.2      Results of Public Meeting

2.3      Key Issues to Date

2.4      Board Direction

 

General Manager Barry stated that the District is working on developing an updated master plan for Robertson Park. He said the District has engaged the services of consultant Reed Dillingham, who is working with LARPD Landscape Architect/Project Manager Chiye Azuma. Ms. Azuma is the project manager.

 

Mr. Dillingham showed slides and gave a presentation to the Board on the status of the last master plan for the park, which was completed 20 years ago. Some of the elements of that plan have been completed, including the Maintenance Service Center, soccer complex and softball complex, as well as a number of other minor improvements. Mr. Dillingham talked about projects and ideas that have come up which affect the park, including: a flood control study done by Zone 7 Water Agency; Zone 7’s request for a wetland mitigation area in the park; a City of Livermore trail extension; a trail, respite area and playground being funded by the O’Brien Group; a proposal by Livermore Youth Soccer League (LYSL) for expansion of soccer uses; a proposal for expanded use by the Livermore Stockmen’s Rodeo Association (LSRA); the Livermore Girls’ Softball Association’s (LGSA) need for more space; and the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District’s (LVJUSD) pending declaration of 13 acres of land adjacent to the park as surplus. Mr. Dillingham said that so far he has conducted research and information gathering and has held one public meeting at which 46 people signed in, all but 10 of whom live within the District. He reported that the interests of attendees included: equestrian activities and uses; soccer facilities; protection of riparian zone; enforcement of noise ordinance by neighbors; and the need for additional girls’ softball facilities. He said the next public meeting will probably be held in late October.

 

Mr. Dillingham reported that three main issues or options for use of Robertson Park surfaced from the public meetings and since then: 1) ability to stable horses overnight as part of a multiple day events; 2) permit recreational vehicles to park overnight as part of multiple day events; and 3) overnight stabling of horses by people traveling through town. He also talked about parking needs within the park and questions to consider regarding Zone 7’s wetland mitigation proposal.

 

Vice President Faltings thanked Mr. Dillingham for his presentation. She said the Board also has a written report on this and a report containing comments received at the public meeting. Vice President Faltings asked for Director comments and questions.

 

President Goodman arrived at 6:02 p.m.

 

Directors asked for clarification on, and discussed, the following items: funding arrangement of proposed Zone 7 wetland mitigation; Zone 7 would fund if the District would provide space; commitments made to the Livermore Stockmen’s Rodeo Association (LSRA); questions about the 1991 master plan; overview of the history of LARPD’s relationship with LSRA; and the fact that Livermore is a hotspot for West Nile Virus.

 

President Goodman opened public comment.

 

1) Carolyn Hendrickson, California State Horsemen’s Association (CSHA), spoke in support of Director Faltings’ recollection of the original master plan and gave some history of the equestrian committee. She spoke about safety concerns regarding the area being a flood zone and the proposed wetlands mitigation area.

 

2) Donald Staysa, Livermore Stockmen’s Rodeo Association, spoke about the 1989 agreement between LARPD and LSRA and LSRA’s contention that the vast majority of improvements included in Phase I of the original master plan were not done, etc.

 

3) Dave Best, representing the Livermore Youth Soccer League (LYSL), said the LARPD Board needs to discover its legal obligations to LSRA first. He said that all of the sports organizations in Livermore are begging for fields. He stated that Zone 7 has plenty of funding for flood protection, and that perhaps riparian zones can double as flood protection zones, if not wetlands. He said perhaps this could be parlayed into funding by Zone 7, as there is land in the park that would be very difficult to develop.

 

President Goodman closed public comment.

 

General Manager Barry talked about the potential for lighting in the lower grass field, which would be helpful in relieving congestion on the fields.

 

President Goodman asked for Board direction and comments. Directors discussed the following: surplus School District property; need for understanding of the District’s obligations under its agreement with the LSRA; the three key issues mentioned in the report: stabling of horses in connection with events, overnight RV parking in connection with events, and stabling horses for people traveling through Livermore; the idea presented in the consultant’s report of an additional footbridge to connect the two halves of the park; pleasure expressed that the Board is seeing the plan in its early stages; the Board’s role of setting vision and policy for the District and how this is related to its vision for Robertson Park; the question of what the Board wants to see as the central focus of the park; the need for more soccer fields; the vision of the park as a multi-use facility; the desire to look for the greatest good for the greatest number of Livermore residents in planning for the park; the desire to see more wetlands if it does not pose a safety hazard; the need to look at the big picture and make a decision based on what the Board feels the District’s priorities are; the feeling that equestrian and sports uses are very important; Livermore has the lowest acreage for soccer players in the Bay Area; the Rodeo is part of Livermore’s heritage; the fact that LSRA has brought the Rodeo to life again; the feeling that perhaps it is not necessary to name a priority for the park now; support for accommodating Zone 7’s use if possible, without diminishing current uses; the desire to not shortchange the District’s master plan because of current funding capabilities; the need to be realistic, yet not sell the District short; the need to caution exercise so the District does not promise things it cannot deliver on; the enforceability/intent of master plans and the expectations they create; the need to identify funding sources; the desire of the District for continued public input; and the difficulty of trying to make a plan the District can implement.

 

President Goodman asked if Mr. Dillingham had further comments. Mr. Dillingham said that, for many agencies, master plans are policy documents, not a promise. He said that a master plan provides policy for staff to use over a long period of time. He added that funding and implementation of the plans are separate issues, noting that having the policy document sets the stage for all this and provides opportunities to seek grants and funding. Mr. Dillingham said a master plan does not make a promise that its elements will all be done in 20 years. He said tonight’s discussion has been very helpful.

 

In the above discussion, Director Faltings said that she would support overnight stabling of horses and overnight parking of RV’s in connection with events, and would not support overnight stabling of horses not connected with events. Director Kamena said he was okay with all three options. Director Furst said that all of the Directors will have comments. Director Wilson said she was in support of increased soccer use, creating use for the park that meets the needs of the greatest number of citizens, and the creation of a wetland mitigation area, if it did not involve standing water.

 

President Goodman called a recess at 6:50 p.m.

 

Director Wilson left the meeting at 6:51 p.m.

 

3.            ADJOURN TO REGULAR MEETING

 

5.         CALL TO ORDER – ROLL CALL – PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Meeting was called to order by President Goodman at 7:07 p.m. All Directors were present except Director Wilson.

 

Director Kamena stated that Director Wilson attended the Robertson Park master plan workshop prior to this meeting and was not in attendance at the Regular Meeting because she was observing Rosh Hashanah.

 

4.            INTRODUCTION OF PARK SUPERVISOR

General Manager Barry introduced newly hired Park Supervisor Steve Gregg to the Board. He said that Mr. Gregg was previously employed by the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District for 10 years, and that he is a Certified Arborist, Master Composter, and Pesticide Qualified Applicator.

 

6.          PUBLIC FORUM

President Goodman opened public comment. No public comment received. President Goodman closed public comment closed.

 

Director Kamena requested that Agenda Item 11.1 be addressed earlier in the meeting in order to accommodate the consultant who was giving a report to the Board this evening. President Goodman suggested that the Consent Agenda be addressed, then Agenda Item 11.1.

 

7.          CONSENT AGENDA:

7.1   BOARD  MINUTES

            7.1.1   Meeting of August 29, 2007

7.2   COMMUNICATIONS:

            7.2.1    General Manager’s Monthly Report (#61/2)

                        7.2.2            Quarterly Capital Projects Status Report

 

President Goodman asked if Directors wished to remove any items from the Consent Agenda. No items removed. President Goodman asked for a motion. Director Kamena made a motion, seconded by Director Faltings, to approve the Consent Agenda. President Goodman invited Board discussion on the Consent Agenda. No discussion. President Goodman called the motion. The motion to approve the Consent Agenda passed 4-0. Director Wilson was absent.

 

11.        NEW BUSINESS: 

11.1    REPORT ON EFFORTS TO SECURE PROPERTY TAX RELIEF

General Manager Barry stated that the Board will receive a final report from Johan Klehs  on the efforts to secure property tax relief from the Education Revenue Augmentation Fund (ERAF).

 

Mr. Klehs gave a report on the efforts of consultants, Aprea & Micheli and Johan Klehs & Company, to try to secure property tax relief for LARPD. He stated that LARPD has lost proportionately more property tax revenue to ERAF than any other district in California; 48% of LARPD’s property taxes have been shifted due to ERAF. He summarized the efforts of the coalition formed to achieve the goal of capping property tax shifting to no more than 25% of districts’ share of property taxes. Mr. Klehs reported that the coalition’s efforts were unsuccessful in attaining this goal and that there is a possibility that continued efforts might benefit the District, but that it is too soon to tell at this point.

 

President Goodman asked if Directors had questions. Directors asked about strategies for further efforts and the stance of legislators on the issue, as well as clarified Mr. Klehs’ suggestion that it might benefit LARPD to make solo efforts in the future, and possibly include a coalition later. President Goodman stated that he feels it is absolutely criminal that 48% of LARPD’s property tax money is being taken away by ERAF. He thanked Mr. Klehs for his efforts and his report.

 

General Manager Barry stated that the ERAF property tax shift is the single most important financial issue the District faces, and that the District faces it every year. He reported that the District has allocated money in its budget for consulting services to continue this effort next year, and that staff and Board will determine if it is in the District’s best interest to do so.

 

8.            CONSENT AGENDA RESOLUTIONS: None.

 

 

 

9.         BIDS AND PUBLIC HEARINGS:

9.1   CONTRACT FOR SUNKEN GARDENS PARK BICYCLE STUNT COURSE ASPHALT PAD

General Manager Barry stated that the Board will consider awarding a contract for construction of the Sunken Gardens Park Bicycle Stunt Course Asphalt Pad. He said that the bicycle stunt course at Sunken Gardens Park has already been approved by the Board. He said that the District collected bids and is ready to award a contract for the asphalt pad. 

President Goodman asked if Directors had any questions. Director Kamena asked if the ramps will be a bid item, or are they inexpensive enough for the General Manager to authorize without Board approval. Mr. Barry replied that the cost will be under $100,000 so he has the authority to approve it. He added that the District will purchase the ramps through a state purchasing contract (CMAS) and be installed under the supervision of the equipment manufacturer. He said the timing of the order will coincide with the pad work .

 

President Goodman asked for a motion. Director Faltings made a motion, seconded by Director Kamena, to approve Resolution No. 2085, awarding a contract for construction of the Sunken Gardens Park Bicycle Stunt Course Asphalt Pad to North Valley Construction. President Goodman invited Board discussion. No discussion. President Goodman called the motion. The motion to approve Resolution No. 2085, awarding a contract for construction of the Sunken Gardens Park Bicycle Stunt Course Asphalt Pad to North Valley Construction, was approved by the following roll call vote:

 

AYES:                            Director Furst, Director Kamena, Director Faltings and President Goodman

 

NOES:        None (0)

 

ABSTENTIONS: None (0)

 

ABSENT:             Director Wilson (1)

 

10.       OLD BUSINESS: None.

               

11.2    ARROYO MOCHO TRAIL EXTENSION (TRAIL SEGMENT E-1) TRAIL IMPROVEMENTS

        General Manager Barry stated that the Board will consider approving the plans for the Arroyo Mocho Trail Extension trail improvements. He apologized to the Board for the fact that approval was not sought from the Board when the project was in its beginning stages a few years ago. He said this step was not covered, and that the trail is at the point of going to bid and that he is asking for Board approval of the improvements. He introduced Michael Mikasa, Associate Civil Engineer for the City of Livermore, who is working on this project with LARPD’s Landscape Architect/Project Manager Chiye Azuma.

 

        Mr. Mikasa made a slide presentation. He reported that an easement with the Wine Group will be needed. He talked about the trail location, composition, etc. Mr. Mikasa made a correction to the staff report, saying that the total project budget is $460,000, not $337,000 as stated in the report. Of this total, said Mr. Mikasa, the City of Livermore will pay $380,000 and LARPD will pay $80,000.

 

        President Goodman invited Board questions. Directors asked for clarification on the following: the interface with the Wine Group; why the bridge is not being used for this trail; and whether work normally begins before an agreement is in place. Mr. Mikasa apologized that work has already been started before gaining Board approval, saying this is not the normal process, but rather an oversight

 

President Goodman opened public comment. No public comment received. President Goodman closed public comment. General Manager Barry offered clarification about why the bridge is not being used.

 

President Goodman asked for a motion. Director Kamena made a motion, seconded by Director Faltings, to approve Resolution No. 2086, approving the plans for the Arroyo Mocho Trail Extension trail improvements.

 

President Goodman invited Board discussion. Board discussion included: the fact that there is currently a beaten path there now, which is somewhat dangerous; the fact that the equestrian trail had to go in another place because the bridge is not high enough for a horse and rider to pass under; and timing and details of the easement agreement. 

 

President Goodman called the motion. The motion to approve Resolution No. 2086, approving the plans for the Arroyo Mocho Trail Extension trail improvements, was approved by the following roll call vote:.

 

AYES:                            Director Kamena, Director Faltings, Director Furst and President Goodman

 

NOES:        None (0)

 

ABSTENTIONS: None (0)

 

ABSENT:             Director Wilson (1)

 

President Goodman thanked Mr. Mikasa for his report.

 

11.3    RESCHEDULING OF OCTOBER 31, 2007 BOARD MEETING

        General Manager Barry stated that the Board will consider whether to reschedule its October 31, 2007 (Halloween) meeting to October 24, 2007. He said that this timing was not noticed when the 2007 Board meeting schedule was created and that staff will be more careful next year. 

 

        President Goodman invited Board discussion or questions. No discussion or questions. On a motion by Director Faltings, seconded by Director Furst, approved rescheduling the October 31, 2007 meeting to October 24, 2007, passing 4-0. Director Wilson was absent.

 

11.4    ACSDA NOMINATION FOR ALTERNATE SPECIAL DISTRICT REPRESENTATIVE FOR LAFCO

President Goodman stated that the Board will consider an invitation by the Alameda County Special Districts Association (ACSDA) to nominate a candidate for the alternate special district representative seat on the Alameda Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo).

 

General Manager Barry stated that this is an option the Board has, not a requirement. Director Goodman invited Board questions or comments. Director Faltings clarified that the invitation by ACSDA is for the LARPD Board to nominate one of its Directors, if it so desires. There was agreement by the Directors not to exercise its option to nominate anyone.

 

12.            COMMITTEE REPORTS

            Director Faltings reported on her attendance at the ACSDA chapter meeting that morning. She said topics covered included: West Nile Virus; traffic congestion management;  and a panel discussion by four Alameda County water agencies that focused on the drought cycle and the likelihood of rationing being imposed.

 

Director Furst reported on his attendance at a Community Garden meeting on September 10. He said that eight gardeners and five staff attended, and that there are 11 people on the waiting list. Director Furst said the group discussed minor issues and that all is generally going well. He said the gardeners are considering coordinating next year with Earth Day and Children’s Fair. He said the next meeting of the Community Gardeners is March 3, 2008.

 

President Goodman reported on his attendance at the August 21 Livermore Downtown meeting, at which he gave a presentation on the Character Counts program, along with City Council Member Lorraine Dietrich. He explained that the program focuses on character-building in the community, and noted that there is a Character Counts committee meeting coming up next week. He said that Livermore Downtown is doing a lot in the community, and that Downtown Trick or Treat is the next big event.

 

13.            MATTERS INITIATED/ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE DIRECTORS

1) President Goodman said he is glad to see Children’s Fair resurrected, and that he feels the event is better at the RLCC than at May Nissen Park, its former site. He said the event was well received and that many groups and staff were in attendance. Directors Kamena and Faltings spoke favorably of the event as well.

 

2) President Goodman announced that LARPD’s Aquatics Coordinator, Sharon Grant, is in Russia now; she was selected by the American Red Cross to go to Russia to teach swimming to children in the embassy there. He said this is a great honor to Ms. Grant, who spent many nights in the past earning difficult-to-achieve instructor training status. President Goodman said it is nice for Ms. Grant to receive this recognition.

 

3) President Goodman complimented the new sign at RLCC aquatics center entrance.

 

14.            MATTERS INITIATED/ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE GENERAL MANAGER

1) General Manager Barry thanked the Directors for being involved in Children’s Fair and commended staff on doing a great job. He said that the event is good for families as well as helpful in exposing the RLCC to the community.

 

Meeting adjourned to Executive Session 8:00 p.m.

 

15.            EXECUTIVE SESSION

15.1   REAL ESTATE NEGOTIATIONS

                    Pursuant to Section 54956.8 of the Government Code

Property: 14 acres of land, Robertson Park Rd., Livermore, CA

                    Agency Negotiator: District Staff and/or Legal Counsel

                    Negotiating Parties: Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District

                    Under Negotiation: Terms of Purchase

 

15.2             REAL ESTATE NEGOTIATIONS

                                Pursuant to Section 54956.8 of the Government Code

                                Property: Sonoma School, 543 Sonoma Ave., Livermore, CA 94551

                                Agency Negotiator: District Staff and/or Legal Counsel

                                Negotiating Parties: Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District

                                Under Negotiation: Lease agreement

 

16.             RECONVENE TO OPEN SESSION

            Meeting reconvened to Open Session at 8:44 p.m.

 

17.            REPORT ON ACTION TAKEN IN EXECUTIVE SESSION

            No action to report.

 

18.            ADJOURNMENT

            Meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m.

 

 

APPROVED,

                       

                                                                                    _______________________________

                                                                                    Steve P. Goodman

President, Board of Directors

ATTEST:

 

__________________________

General Manager and ex-officio

Clerk to the Board of Director