WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2006
ROBERT LIVERMORE COMMUNITY CENTER
4444 EAST AVENUE, LIVERMORE, CALIFORNIA
CRESTA BLANCA BALLROOM
DIRECTORS PRESENT: Director Faltings, Director Furst, Director Goodman, Director Turner and President Kamena (5)
DIRECTORS ABSENT: None
STAFF MEMBERS PRESENT: Tim Barry, Jim Brandenburg, Jim Carlson, Maureen Gandara Swinbank, Barbara Kraybill, Michael Kyle, Gretchen Sommers, Brian Tibbetts
CITY STAFF PRESENT: Cheri Sheets
Meeting was called to order at 7:06 p.m. by President Kamena. Roll was taken and all Directors were present.
2. PUBLIC FORUM
President Kamena asked for public comment on any item not on the agenda. No public comment was received.
3. CONSENT AGENDA:
3.1 BOARD MINUTES
3.1.1 Meeting of August 30, 2006.
3.2 COMMUNICATIONS: None.
3.3 General Manager’s Monthly Report (#60/2).
3.4 Payroll and Claims.
3.5.1 Extension of temporary assignment of a Senior Recreation Supervisor to the higher duties of Landscape Architect/Project Manager.
On a motion by Director Faltings, seconded by Director Furst, approved the Consent Agenda, passing 5-0.
4. CONSENT AGENDA: RESOLUTIONS: None.
5. BIDS AND PUBLIC HEARINGS: None.
6. OLD BUSINESS: None.
7. NEW BUSINESS:
7.1 CONTRACT WITH CITY OF LIVERMORE FOR PLANNING SERVICES
President Kamena explained that the Board will consider authorizing the renewal of the contract with the City of Livermore for planning services.
General Manager Barry stated that staff would like to renew the contract for an additional two years, and that Cheri Sheets, City of Livermore Engineering Department, is present to respond to any questions tonight. Mr. Barry listed the services that are covered in the contract. He stated that this relationship with the City has been a good experience for LARPD, noting that the District has saved money over the last two years by contracting with the City, as opposed to having staff perform these functions at this time.
Director Turner asked Ms. Sheets if the City wishes to renew this contract. Ms. Sheets responded that City staff does support the idea of continuing services at this time.
President Kamena opened public comment.
1) Dennis Gambs, representing the Tri-Valley Adult Day Care Program Board of Directors, asked if the contract with the City includes planning for the Civic Center site, as this might relate to the LARPD Friendship Center program.
On a motion by Director Turner, seconded by Director Faltings, approved Resolution No. 2036, authorizing the General Manager to renew the agreement with the City of Livermore for planning services, by the following roll call vote:
AYES: Director Goodman, Director Turner, Director Faltings, Director Furst and President Kamena (5)
NOES: None (0)
ABSENT: None (0)
Director Goodman stated that he feels the relationship with the City has been very beneficial to LARPD. He would, however, like to see LARPD start performing these planning functions again itself, once budgeting allows for the addition of staff. Director Turner stated that he, too, appreciates all that the City has done with this contract, and how well they have carried out the functions of the contract. Director Faltings also stated she very much appreciates the City’s work, and feels the improved communication and understanding between the two agencies is a very good thing.
7.2 FRIENDSHIP CENTER RELOCATION PROJECT
President Kamena spoke about the Friendship Center and its functions and the current situation in which its lease at the Charter School will expire in June 2007. The Friendship Center’s lease will not be renewed by the School District due to expansion of the Charter School and LARPD staff has been exploring options for relocating the Friendship Center, which will entail obtaining a new license of operation; the license is site-specific.
General Manager Barry stated that staff will present a status report this evening and noted that Friendship Center staff and Tri-Valley Adult Day Care Program (TVADCP) Board members are present. The first option staff is exploring is the R.E. Merritt Bldg. and Little House property on Trevarno Road, owned by LARPD. Mr. Barry introduced Mr. Deiss of the firm ATI, who is here to present a report his firm prepared; a feasibility study on relocating to Trevarno Road.
Mr. Deiss addressed the Board about his company’s feasibility study. He stated his opinion that the Friendship Center program would fit into the building, but the internal structure of the building presents problems, in that the building is on two levels. The Friendship Center would only fit, using the whole first floor of the building, not either half. If the program is moved there, he would recommend raising the floor of the building, as well as installing ramps at various entrances. These conditions would present certain hazards, as well as require additional staffing and operational costs. Significant remodeling would be necessary to open up the building, which consists of several small rooms. In summary, while the building is a significant, substantial building, it would require significant modification, at significant expense to the District. Mr. Deiss asked if there were questions.
President Kamena asked what the least amount of expense might be to meet the minimum needs of the program. Mr. Dice responded $1.5 million dollars. Mr. Kamena asked how long it would take to perform the remodeling. Mr. Deiss answered that it would take a minimum of 18 months. Mr. Kamena asked how well the program would be accommodated if the District followed his firm’s recommendations. Mr. Deiss responded that staff has expressed a desire to expand to 50 clients (from current 28); the Merritt Building would accommodate up to 40 clients, using the first floor only. Mr. Deiss does not recommend occupying the second floor. Satisfying the future requirements of the program would require a future lateral addition, and functionality would be reduced. There is limited expansion potential for this site, on a long term level.
Director Turner inquired about the traffic in that location. He stated that exiting Trevarno Road onto First Street is a concern, especially turning left. Mr. Deiss stated that a traffic study was not performed by them, but his firm did address a drop-off and pick-up point at the building. Director Faltings asked for clarification on what effect the selling of Little House would have on program expansion and remodeling recommendations.
President Kamena opened public comment.
1) Dennis Gambs, representing the Tri-Valley Adult Day Care Program (TVADCP) Board of Directors, asked about the renovation cost. He asked how it compares to the cost of constructing a new building. Mr. Deiss responded that a new would building would cost $2.5-3 million, to meet program requirements.
2) Marena Drlik, TVADCP Board, asked about the 18 month renovation estimate, whether it included the licensing or just the building. Mr. Deiss replied that it included just the building. Discussion among staff determined that construction and licensing could be performed simultaneously. Ms. Drlik asked about the restrooms at the Merritt Building. Mr. Deiss responded that his is a schematic design. His commission was not to design the building, and he only did schematic design as it seemed necessary. He responded that the restrooms would be adequate.
President Kamena closed public comment.
Director Turner asked whether the District would have to apply to the City for approval. General Manager Barry said we would have to go through a permit process, which would take place in the 18 month estimated time, per Mr. Deiss. Mr. Turner also asked about the Trevarno homeowners association and whether staff foresees a problem with this. Mr. Barry explained that staff has not discussed the issue with the homeowners association, pending Board decision on this matter. Director Turner stated that he heard that Almond Avenue School is now vacant, and may have room. He recommends that the District sell the Trevarno Road properties and reinvest the sales proceeds.
Director Furst asked staff how many clients come from Pleasanton and if we’ve had dialogue with the City of Pleasanton about its support. Recreation Supervisor Maureen Gandara Swinbank responded that there had been had 21 clients from Pleasanton in the last year and that staff has talked with Eileen Morley from Pleasanton. She stated that staff does not have a good feeling of getting support from Pleasanton. Director Furst asked about support from the City of Livermore. Mr. Barry said that staff has spoken with the School District and the City to work on a solution. He said that there could possibly be funding available from the community block grant program. There have been no further discussions about financial commitment, he said. Mr. Barry stated that staff is trying to find the logical solution, price it, and get the commitments as we can. Mr. Furst encouraged staff the get support from Pleasanton and Livermore. Mr. Furst mentioned an abandoned private school site on Vasco Road, which he encourages staff to investigate. He asked if LARPD can continue to support the Friendship Center, and about the financial commitment this entails.
Director Turner stated that he felt Ms. Swinbank should not be the one to approach for financial requests. General Manager Barry agreed that it is his responsibility and the she has not done so.
Further discussion included: clarification about the city of residence of the clients; the fact that the Friendship Center is a unique program where people come from out of the area; the difference between general funds and capital funds in the District budget; whether capital funds, which are restricted, could be used to fund construction of a program site. Mr. Barry listed advantages and disadvantages to relocating the program at various named alternate sites, such as Almond Avenue School, Sunken Gardens Park, City Council Chambers, former Civic Center Library, the private school site on Vasco Road and Arroyo Mocho School. President Kamena stated that almost all options that the District is looking at would require renovations, etc. that exceed the time left on the lease. Staff and Directors discussed the possibility of temporary licensing.
Director Faltings stated she is not prepared to accept that this program close because we cannot find a site. We need to get moving. She stated she feels a permanent solution should be in a District-owned building. She stated she feels the school district has an obligation to us. She said that she feels that LARPD needs to keep this program operating for those who live in Livermore and the surrounding area. She is not convinced we cannot make the Merritt Building work. She said that a temporary, albeit less optimal, solution is preferable to allowing the program to cease to exist.
President Kamena opened public comment.
1) Marena Drlik spoke about Almond School possibly being a temporary fix. Would the charter school be willing to wait until September 2007 for the program to leave the site? General Manager Barry responded that staff still needs to assess the cost of renovating Almond. We’d still be under lease with the School District if we moved to Almond, he noted. Ms. Drlik spoke in favor of doing all in our power to keep the program open, even if it is less than ideal conditions, even if it takes 4 to 5 years.
2) Lisa Gambs, Friendship Center employee, 1862 Marini Lane, Livermore, said that she is a 10.5 year employee of the Friendship Center and that she feels the staff is willing to put up with whatever inconveniences occur in order to keep the program open.
3) McKinley Day, who is running for the Livermore School Board, stated it is a personal issue with him. He would pledge his support of the Friendship Center. He stated he is disappointed that the School District could not provide LARPD with more time. He said he is available for any help that LARPD needs. He supports a temporary fix, if needed. If elected, he will support finding a solution.
4) Dennis Gambs, TVADCP Board of Directors, gave information about the Friendship Center, and said that the TVADCP Board is a nonprofit organization which funds the Friendship Center operating costs that not covered by client fees. This has happened since 1992. Mr. Gambs on the relocation committee for the program. This is the only program like this in the Tri-Valley, he said. If the program goes away, clients would have to go to Hayward or the central valley for similar services. He said that 30 or more clients receive direct help, but that many more are affected by the program, such as the clients’ families. He said it does not look feasible to him to use the Merritt Building. He recommends selling the Trevarno Road property. Also, he feels we need to keep expansion of the program in mind. He stated he feels the Friendship Center is a stepsister compared to other LARPD programs. It is a Tri-Valley issue. He said it is hard to ask for funding when the project does not yet exist. Also, the future location could limit Tri-Valley participants if we move further east. He feels the short-term solution is our biggest problem now. He encouraged LARPD’s continued work with the School District and the Charter School. TVADCP is here to work with LARPD, he said.
5) Thomas Heath, TVADCP Board, stated he is a licensed senior health care provider. He said he is concerned that time is really short. We do not have a viable back-up plan to even move to a temporary facility. Time is of the essence. Has everything been done? He said there had been no mention of the County this evening. He said there is a Tri-Valley program which may have funding. We need to talk to city of Pleasanton and the city of Livermore, he said.
6) Annette Cook, 1019 Bluebell Drive, Livermore, Friendship Center employee, thanked Director Faltings for her comments. Ms. Cooke said she wished to clarify that the program also helps the young senior volunteers and young volunteers. It is for everyone. She said that many people come to visit, and to participate, in the program. She asked the Directors to please do the best they can for the Friendship Center.
President Kamena closed public comment.
Director Goodman stated that he wished to clarify that the LLNL childcare center did not, in fact, vacate the Almond School site. Mr. Goodman stated that the Friendship Center is, to him, LARPD’s most important program. He said that the program makes a difference in people’s lives, that the staff love their jobs and treat the clients like they are their own. Mr. Goodman said he feels torn because of the financial implications. When program started, he said, LARPD, the School District and the City worked together. If the program goes away, it will not come back, he said. Hundreds of people benefit from the program, volunteers caregivers, and families. Mr. Goodman encouraged those affected by the Friendship Center to send a note to the Board of Directors us to let it know how important it has been in their lives. He asked if we can we talk to the licensing department, if we have not already, and explain to them our dilemma; ask if we can get a temporary license. Director Goodman said that the Board needs to make a decision about the level of subsidy we can provide to the program. He asked if the School District can they give us any extension at all.
Director Turner stated that he is committed to keeping the program, and that we need to concentrate on a site that might work. He asked what the asking price was for the private school site and was told $2 million. Mr. Turner stated he feels we should go back to the School District and ask for reconsideration on the lease extension, and that staff should meet with the Charter School staff.
Director Faltings stated that she challenges the School District and Charter School and the County Board of Supervisors to do what is right by the Friendship Center. We need this program, and we need help.
President Kamena said he agrees with Director Goodman that seniors tend to get the short end of the stick, in terms of programs. He said that we are talking about people who cannot take care of themselves. He noted that it is very difficult to obtain license for senior care, as opposed to child care licensing. He stated that Director Turner, himself and General Manager Barry met with the School District last week. School District staff indicated at that meeting that they were having trouble holding off the Charter School, but might be able to hold them off for another year, if they saw that LARPD was working on a solution. LARPD has, in fact, been looking at lots of options, but that this is not necessarily obvious to people. We need to let them know that we have indeed been doing a lot to try to solve this situation. We need to demonstrate we’re doing all we possibly can. President Kamena recommended cutting out the nonviable alternatives. He asked if there is such a thing as a temporary license. Ms. Swinbank responded that there is a 3-0 day emergency license, which is not renewable. Director Furst concurred on eliminating alternatives tonight so that staff can get some direction. Director Furst stated he feels we need our own, LARPD-owned site. All Directors agree on this point.
Directors and staff reviewed the list of 9 alternatives for program sites. The Board directed staff to eliminate 5 of the 9 relocation alternatives it had considered, and to investigate the following 4 possibilities: LARPD-owned Merritt Building on Trevarno Road; City-owned Civic Center site on Pacific Avenue; lease commercial space; and a former private school site on South Vasco Road. The timeline for staff is 60 days. This issue will be on the agenda for the next several Board meetings.
7.3 CSDA BOARD OF DIRECTORS ELECTION 2006
President Kamena explained what the scope of the California Special Districts Association is (CSDA) is, and that the Board will consider whether, and for whom, to cast a vote on behalf of LARPD for the California Special Districts Association Board of Directors Election 2006. General Manager Barry listed the slate of candidates and asked the Directors for one vote that the District would cast. Director Faltings stated she would endorse Margaret Shirrel, who represents the Moss Landing Harbor District. President Kamena asked Directors for any comments, as well as the audience. On a motion by Director Faltings, seconded by Director Turner, approved endorsing Margaret Shirrel, passing 5-0.
8. COMMITTEE REPORTS
Directors reported on the committee meetings attended since the Board meeting of August 9, 2006, as follows: Facilities (1), Intergovernmental (1), Livermore Cultural Arts Commission (1), Livermore Downtown (1), Personnel (1), and Ravenswood Progress League (1).
Director Faltings reported on her visit, along with five others from Livermore, who visited Scotland for the Birnam Highland Games in Scotland.
President Kamena officially disbanded the Equestrian Committee, as it has fulfilled its purpose of investigating and proceeding with the arena cover project. He stated that if it is needed in the future, we’ll restart it.
President Kamena officially started an ad hoc Committee on College Tours, which will end in December. The program will be coordinated by LARPD Recreation Supervisor Julie Lange and will involve acquainting Livermore youths with the abundance of local colleges in California by taking them on tours. The School District supports this program, and will give credit to students who participate. The committee will select 4 or 5 universities and bus students to the schools in the spring of 2007. Ms. Lange is appointed to the committee. President Kamena and Director Faltings will serve on the committee. He said that Youth Services Superintendent Kraybill will appoint another staff person. Alane Loisel from the School District will serve on the committee, and President Kamena will also appoint three members from the community.
Director Faltings reported on her and the General Manager’s attendance today at the Alameda County Special Districts Association (ACSDA) meeting.
Directors also attended Farmers Markets, the LARPD Volunteer Appreciation Dinner and the Ravenswood Vineyard Dedication.
9. MATTERS INITIATED/ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE DIRECTORS
1) Director Furst would like Ravenswood Historic site to be brought before the Board.
2) Director Furst would like a financial report on Scottish games and a formal discussion of whether to continue the Scottish games.
3) President Kamena would like to promote the Alameda County Youth Leadership Academy, which is for high school juniors and seniors.
4) Director Turner stated that at the Livermore Cultural Arts Commission meeting recently, Sam Spitar was elected President and Chuck Hartwig is retiring.
5) Director Turner said he has received telephone calls about the rock wall at Sunrise Mountain sports. He was unaware of the issue.
6) Director Goodman thanked staff for putting together the ERAF handout. He spoke about the ERAF tax shift which has hurt LARPD financially since 1992.
7) Director Goodman thanked staff for the volunteer appreciation event held last week.
8) Director Goodman stated that Doug Fields passed away recently. Mr. Fields was involved in CYSA. Mr. Goodman expressed condolences to Mr. Fields’ family.
9) Director Goodman said he is excited that LARPD has hired a Landscape Architect/Project Manager. He welcomed Chiye Azuma.
10) Director Faltings complimented City of Livermore and LARPD staff on the recently created bikeways map. She noted that it is available at City Hall, the Robert Livermore Community Center and all local bike shops.
11) Director Furst gave spoke about the specific financial figures of the ERAF tax shift. The state has taken almost 50% of LARPD’s property taxes since 1992.
1) General Manager Barry talked about the planning agreement with the City of Livermore, which was renewed tonight. He gave his compliments to Cheri Sheets and Eric Brown of the City, saying that they have been fantastic in providing service to LARPD. Mr. Barry also gave his compliments to staff, particularly Senior Recreation Supervisor Brian Tibbetts and Park Supervisor Jim Brandenburg. Mr. Barry stated that the projects staff has completed in the last two years, in spite of cutbacks, is impressive.
The meeting adjourned at 9:17 p.m.
President, Board of Directors
General Manager and ex-officio
Clerk to the Board of Director