MINUTES

REGULAR MEETING

 

 

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2006

 

ROBERT LIVERMORE COMMUNITY CENTER

4444 EAST AVENUE, LIVERMORE, CALIFORNIA

7:00 P.M.

CRESTA BLANCA BALLROOM

 

 

 

DIRECTORS PRESENT:              Director Faltings, Director Furst, Director Goodman, Director Turner and President Kamena (5)

 

DIRECTORS ABSENT:                                  None (0)

 

STAFF MEMBERS PRESENT:            Tim Barry, Jim Carlson, Barbara Kraybill, Michael Kyle, Rich Lange, Gretchen Sommers, Maureen Gandara Swinbank

 

 

 

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

Meeting was called to order at 7:08 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 November 8, 2006.

3.1.2   Meeting of November 20, 2006.

3.2   COMMUNICATIONS:  None.

 

Director Faltings requested that the minutes from the November 8, 2006 meeting be removed from the Consent Agenda.  On a motion by Director Turner, seconded by Director Furst, approved the amended Consent Agenda, passing 5-0. Director Faltings referred to page 5, Agenda Item 6.3 of the November 8, 2006 meeting minutes, pertaining to the Scottish Games presentation. She requested that the wording be amended to include Special Events Coordinator Katrina Hole as one of the presenters. On a motion by Director Faltings, seconded by Director Goodman, approved the minutes from the November 8 meeting, as amended.

           

4.            CONSENT AGENDA:  RESOLUTIONS:  None.

 

5.         BIDS AND PUBLIC HEARINGS:  None.

 

6.          OLD BUSINESS:  None.

                 

7.          NEW BUSINESS: 

    7.1   LUNAR  ROCKET CLUB

            President Kamena explained that the Board will view a presentation of the LUNAR club’s activities and consider a request to extend its facility use permit for Robertson Park. The LUNAR club has been using Robertson Park for over 13 years. Since then, many homes have been built, making it difficult to ensure safety, as rockets have the potential to land on roofs of neighboring houses.

 

Craig Saunders, President of LUNAR, gave a slide presentation on the group. Mr. Saunders said that LUNAR 160 members and is the largest rocket club in the U.S. His presentation included information about LUNAR activities, including: launches classes, mentoring student teams; organizing launches for the local TARC team, organizing demonstration launches; educational meetings; participation in documentaries for the history channel and other media. Mr. Saunders gave historical information about the National Association of Rocketry (NAR) and the activities it participates in and conducts. He stated that LUNAR has flown 25,000 rockets in Livermore over the past 13 years. He said the participants are not just hobbyists, but that they work with many youth groups. He said that he feels they promote the community’s youth activities. They do not charge for their services; it is a volunteer organization. He spoke about the Team America Rocket Challenge (TARC) program and the Student Launch Initiative (SLI). Mr. Saunders said that LUNAR has had a very safe record. There was an incident in September that necessitated calling the fire department, he said, but the club’s record in general is very good. He stated that the group has many reference letters.

 

            Mr. Saunders asked for the following from LARPD: 1) LUNAR would like to continue to launch rockets from Robertson Park while the club seeks a new launch site; 2) LUNAR would like to be permitted to host Team America Rocketry Challenge teams; 3) LUNAR would like a letter of reference to aid the club in finding a new venue; and 4) LUNAR would like assistance from LARPD staff in locating a venue, particularly in identifying zoning and land-use issues. Mr. Saunders thanked LARPD for the use of Robertson Park for the last 13 years. 

 

            Director Furst asked for clarification on the extent of LUNAR’s request. Mr. Saunders said that the club would like to continue launches beyond end of the year, until April. The TARC season is January-April, and this is why they want to continue. There would be a total of about 8 launches, but the club would like the flexibility to match the needs of the TARC teams. Director Furst asked about the insurance provided by the District; will LUNAR’s insurance cover LARPD if someone sues because of a rocket mishap. Mr. Saunders replied that the club’s insurance would cover LARPD. 

 

Director Turner asked if LUNAR had identified any sites yet as potential new launch sites. Mr. Saunders said they have identified sites, and are in the beginning phases of investigation. Mr. Turner said a title company may be able to help them identify owners of property they are interested in. Director Turner asked staff if there have been any written complaints in the last few years. General Manager Barry responded that there have not.

 

Director Furst asked LARPD Legal Counsel Michael Kyle about his concerns with LARPD’s liability, since LUNAR has insurance of $2 million per annum, $1 million per incident. Mr. Kyle said that he does not feel that LUNAR’s insurance coverage is adequate. Mr. Saunders said that LUNAR does not depend on its insurance policy to protect the club, that the club analyzes safety issues and makes adjustments to account for the encroaching houses. They work to make is physically impossible or unlikely that their rockets will be able to reach any of the houses.

President Kamena asked about the limitations on the engine size.  Mr. Saunders replied that LUNAR wants to fly only A-D engines now, and that they are suggesting a 1,200 ft flight limit as opposed to the former 1,500 ft limit. President Kamena asked if they have looked at the land that BART owns that is used by EBRC fliers. Mr. Saunders answered that the land is too close to the freeway. He said that there is county land west of the freeway that he hopes LARPD staff will help with that. Mr. Kamena asked if April is the limit, that LARPD needs to know specifically.  Mr. Saunders said that they need to move on from Robertson Park. He said they would like to continue to host the youth groups beyond April, if they still have not found a site yet. Jack Hagerty, past President of LUNAR said they want two more club launches, plus the ability to support a dozen or so TARC launches, that end in April. April 30 is the deadline that LUNAR is requesting.

 

President Kamena said he lives near the park and is impressed by the LUNAR events, and thinks they are fun. He said that he has never heard any of his neighbors complain.

Director Faltings asked for clarification on LUNAR’s self-regulation; is it correct that nothing larger than a D motor will be used? Mr. Saunders responded that yes, that is correct.

 

General Manager Barry asked if LUNAR are capable of increasing its insurance to $5 million, as recommended by District Legal Counsel. Mr. Saunders replied that he thinks that would be difficult, but that he will look into it. The insurance is regulated by LUNAR’s national organization. He noted that there have only been three claims across the country, for a total of $2,100.

 

President Kamena opened public comment.

 

1) James Boxwell, 8 Hawthorn Court, Boy Scout master, spoke in support of LUNAR.

2) Mark Anderson, Concord, LUNAR member, spoke in favor of LUNAR.

3) Mark Weiss, 1391 Flanders Way, Livermore Police Department, said that he is here to offer his services and expertise to work with LARPD to help LUNAR come up with some sort of solution. He would like the educational portion to remain in Robertson Park.

4) Craig Thor, Cut Scout Pack 282 from San Jose, spoke in support of LUNAR.

5) Collin spoke in favor of LUNAR.

6) Christopher spoke in favor of LUNAR.

7) Steve, teacher and TARC representative, spoke in favor of LUNAR.

8) Cliff Sojourner, Sunnyvale, spoke in favor of LUNAR.

9) Charlie Whitman, Director of Advocates for Children and Families, Los Gatos, and member of American family Rights Organization, spoke in favor of LUNAR.

 

President Kamena closed public comment.

 

Director Turner spoke in favor of the LUNAR program.

 

President Kamena spoke in favor of LUNAR.

 

Director Goodman said that he will support the motion. He worked with LUNAR for years when he was an LARPD staff person. He spoke highly of the integrity of Jack Hagerty and Mark Weiss. He said that there was an occasion about 5 years ago when a rocket hit a house. LUNAR then lessened the launching ability of its rockets. Director Goodman said that he feels that the Directors need to listen to the General Manager and District Legal Counsel. He noted that LUNAR was looking for a new site 5 years ago and did not find one. He said that LARPD has done the best it can to work with LUNAR, but the District has to be mindful of its liability risk.

 

Director Faltings said she supports extending LUNAR’s time to the end of this fiscal year. She said she agreed that the Directors must listen to staff and Legal Counsel. She said that she is  concerned about LARPD’s liability.  She said that she would like staff to look at another LARPD park at which LUNAR might conduct launches.

 

Director Furst said there is not a question in his mind about the value of the program. He sees it as valuable, but is concerned about LARPD’s liability. He asked for the General Manager’s and Legal Counsel’s opinions. Mr. Kyle responded said he appreciates the value of the program but feels that LUNAR needs to have more insurance. He said that the Board has to decide if they can live with the risk. He said that, in his opinion, it is too risky to continue to allow LUNAR to launch in Robertson Park with the level of insurance that the club carries.

 

General Manager Barry said that he appreciates that LUNAR can reduce the power of the rockets, and that this puts his mind more at ease about it. He said that he is mindful of the District’s assets being at risk. He said that he would like to see additional insurance to protect the District, and would like LUNAR to make efforts to that effect. Mr. Barry said that he is willing to help LUNAR  try to find appropriate land to continue its program.

 

On a motion by Director Turner, seconded by President Kamena, approved extending LUNAR’s use of Robertson park to June 30, 2007, with the provision that nothing more powerful than D motors are used, and with the provision that launched rockets will achieve an altitude of no more than 1,200 feet.

 

            7.2   LIVERMORE HERITAGE GUILD

            President Kamena stated that the Board will receive information regarding a request by the Livermore Heritage Guild (LHG)for exclusive use of the Carnegie Building. He stated that there are four different organizations that use that building and that representatives from the Heritage Guild will  make their case tonight. General Manager Barry referred to the staff report. He complimented the Heritage Guild program. He said one of LARPD’s concerns is if the current rental revenue will continue or go away, if LARPD gives LHG exclusive use of the building. The other two renters, the Livermore Art Association (LAA) Gallery and Weight Watchers, like the location and do not have anywhere else that they would like to move to. Mr. Barry said that staff Brought the issue to the October 2, 2006 Facilities Committee meeting, at which time the Committee determined that LARPD should not force out a non-profit group in order to aid another non-profit group. Mr. Barry added that he held a meeting on October 23, 2006 which included representatives of the LHG, the City of Livermore and the LAA.. Chris Davidson of the City of Livermore said at that meeting that City staff is trying to develop gallery space downtown. Mr. Barry said that it would be difficult for the LAA to pay for rental space at the market rate. Mr. Barry said there was good discussion at the meeting; the groups work well together. He said that he did not feel that LARPD was in a position to ask one group to leave so another group could have more room. He said the LHG was not asking for excusive use immediately, but in a year’s time.

 

            President Kamena asked if representative from the LHG was present to speak and answer questions.

 

            Jolene Abrahams, 737 El Caminito, Livermore, President of the Livermore Heritage Guild spoke. Ms Abrahams said that the LHG wants to expand its museum in the Carnegie Building. She talked about the mission of the LHG and its longevity and usefulness to researchers and to the community. She stated that the LHG has had to rent two storage units, at a cost of $2,400 dollars per year, to store items which they have no room for now

The Directors asked Ms. Abrahams about space needs and the possibility of increasing rental payments.

 

President Kamena asked if anyone from the Livermore Art Association wished to address the meeting.

 

Angela Johal, President, Livermore Art Association, said that her group has had a great relationship with the LHG. She stated that the LAA Gallery has no problems sharing the building, and that she does not see an opportunity for the gallery to move. The LAA is a non-profit and its gallery does not make much profit. She said that the LAA has many artists for whom gallery sales are a sole source of income. She said that their member artists are very active in the community, and that loss of the gallery would cause a loss of identity for many of them. She said that the artists need to be in a visible spot in order to sell their artwork. The Farmers Market brings a lot of people into the gallery. Ms. Johal said that the LHG does not have enough staff and she feels that it needs staff from both of their groups to operate.

 

Director Turner said he feels that the Board does not have enough information to make a decision tonight. He said that the LAA has no place to go. He said he wondered how quickly the LHG would grow out of the Carnegie Building, even if it was given exclusive use of the building.

 

President Kamena asked if the LAA Gallery is looking to move. Ms Johal said that is not planning to move at this time. She said that the LAA is happy with the current situation.

 

President Kamena opened public comment.

 

1)      Gary Drummond spoke in favor of the LHG having exclusive use of the building.

2)      Stephen Rodriguez, officer of the LAA, said he wished to clarify that the space is used by the LAA Gallery, not the Livermore Art Association. Mr. Rodriguez spoke in favor of allowing the LAA gallery to stay in the building.

3)      Michelle Bucket, Keystone Way, Livermore, member of the LAA and gallery, and LAA Director, for past 4 years. Also on the Board of directors, spoke in favor of allowing the LAA gallery to stay in the building.

4)      Don Meeker, College Ave., Livermore, curator for the history center, said that Livermore has had space issues for years. He suggested that a formal discussion be taken to the City, that this issue is bigger than LARPD.

5)      Bill, 1640 Sixth St., Livermore, said that both groups need space. He spoke in favor of the LHG having exclusive use of the building.

6)      Barbra Stanton, Art Director of the LAA Art Gallery for the past 2 years, member and artist for 16 years, spoke in favor of allowing the LAA gallery to stay in the building.

 

President Kamena closed public comment.

 

Director Faltings said that she feels more study on this subject is needed. She said that the LHG is being denied the ability to do what it does because of a lack of space. She asked why the artists cannot move to the Bothwell Center.  She said she feels that the other groups besides the LAA Gallery and the LHG are renters and can rent other space. She said she feels that staff should work with the two groups. Ms. Johal said she feels that it is crucial for the gallery to be downtown, and that the Bothwell Center is too far from downtown.  She said she does not feel it is necessary for the LHG be close to downtown and retail businesses; it does not need the foot traffic as much as the LAA Gallery does.

 

President Kamena said that his is a very difficult decision He said that he does not wish this situation to drag on. He said that it seems that this Board does not want to change the status quo at this time. He said that he recommends, informally, that the groups take this discussion to the Livermore Arts Commission, and that LARPD would be willing to work with the groups if the Commission comes up with a good recommendation.

 

Director Goodman praised both groups. He said that  he visits both spaces. He asked the groups to mull it over. He said that he would like there to be a way for both groups to benefit, that this is a difficult situation for the Board.

 

Director Faltings said that she does not necessarily not want to change the status quo. She said that she feels the Carnegie Building is a perfect place for the LHG, and that the LAA Gallery is more portable. She said that the two groups need to work something out, and perhaps come back to LARPD.

 

Barbara Stanton invited everyone to the LAA Gallery’s holiday boutique this Saturday from 1:00-3:00 p.m.

 

 7.3  SCOTTISH GAMES

                 General Manager Barry asked the Board to approve the Scottish Games Committee  recommendation to adjust the 2007 Scottish Games operating budget to a balanced budget of $75,000.

 

  Senior Recreation Supervisor Jim Carlson referred to the 2006 Scottish Games report. He stated that the 2006 event had the highest attendance of all the LARPD Scottish Games events. He noted that there were attendance problems this year due to rain on Sunday. He said he felt the feedback from the public was good.  He stated that we did not meet revenue projections, which he feels was because of the poor weather on Sunday.

 

Director Goodman asked what the one-time expenses in the budget were that are not expected again. Mr. Carlson responded that these included cables, a generator, a stage, other equipment, and billboards. Mr. Goodman asked about the amount of these expenses. Mr. Carlson said that staff tried to borrow from other areas to cover unexpected expenses.  Mr. Carlson said that they increased the marketing for the event substantially.

 

Director Furst asked about the total expenses and total revenue for the 2006 event. Mr. Carlson responded that the total revenue was $70,762, and the total expenses were $108,261, leaving a shortfall of $37,499. Mr. Carlson reported the 2005 event revenue and expense, which finished  with a shortfall of $16,942.

 

President Kamena stated that no one is happy about losing $37,000. He said that there was a recent Scottish Games Committee meeting at which the Committee members explored a number of different options. He said that we spent a lot of money on billboards, which was in the budget, and also on renovating the meadow.  He said that the event would have broken even if we had had even 2/3 of Saturday’s attendance on Sunday. He said that LARPD can anticipate at least $75,00 in revenue, rain or not, in 2007.  He said the Committee is looking at reworking the budget. Mr. Carlson said he feels that $75,000 is attainable. He noted that much of the expense for the 2006 event expended in making the facility safe for the public. He said that he feels there are additional ways to pare down the budget.

 

Director Turner asked if all of the expenses are included in the budget. Mr. Carlson responded, that yes, all of the expenses are included in the budget.

 

Director Furst stated that the General Manager had recommended against putting on the Scottish Games event three years ago. Mr. Furst said that Directors said at that time that they would give the event three years to see if it would succeed. He noted that LARPD has continued to lose money. He wondered if the Directors should set a time line for this event, perhaps five years. Director Turner said that he feels that e should take it year by year. Director Furst stated that he wants to continue to revisit the issue of whether or not to continue the Scottish games. He said he is concerned about continuing the event out of momentum. Director Turner said that the event can be changed from year to year. Director Faltings said that she does not feel it is necessary to set a time limit. She noted that the Board votes on a budget each year. She feels that the Board cannot support an event which continues to lose a lot of money, but that money is subjective. Director Faltings said that she thinks that LARPD should look at the event each year and make a decision then.

 

              7.4  MARKETING REPORT

                    General Manager Barry stated that the Board will receive a summary report on the activities of the Marketing and Business Consultant, Carol Purkis. He said that this is to keep Board posted on Ms. Purkis’ marketing efforts over the past year.

 

Community Center Director Rich Lange summarized the different sections of the marketing packet that Directors received with their Board meeting materials.  He said that one project that Ms. Purkis worked on was creating “Community Connection”; this is a survey of the public concerning the Robert Livermore Community Center. Mr. Lange stated that Ms. Purkis had been instrumental in teaching staff abut the marketing process and customer service component of promoting the RLCC. He said that our goal was to improve public awareness of LARPD and to teach the staff how to do that. He said he feels that Ms. Purkis has made a significant impact in many areas, and that her efforts have been very, very successful in getting people to the RLCC. He said that she as gotten people to this facility who might never have come, and that she has opened our eyes to non-traditional events and customers, such as the LLNL Science Fair and the California Independent Film Festival.

 

                    Director Goodman said that he attended these events and they were wonderful. He noted that we will not know right away the results of the seeds sown by these marketing efforts. Mr. Goodman said that he was very impressed with the marketing materials, that Ms. Purkis brings an expertise that recreation people do not necessarily have. He stated that he feels that LARPD should look at some of Ms. Purkis’ comments about the structure of the organization. Mr. Goodman said that it is very timely and beneficial to have an outside perspective, and that this is a good report.

 

                    Director Faltings said that she felt the consulting overview report’s specific suggestions for improving marketing and staff communication were good. Director Faltings asked what kind of process is being put into place to evaluate those recommendations and choose which ones are valuable to implement. Mr. Lange responded that he and the General Manager have met to discuss this and will put together a list of priorities and goals for the next year.

 

8.            MATTERS INITIATED/ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE DIRECTORS

1)Director Faltings announced that she took her grandchildren to the Sunrise Rock Gym on Saturday, and it was a marvelous experience which makes her glad that LARPD decided to take this project on.

2) Director Goodman asked about a Board retreat, to which the public would be invited. President Kamena asked Administrative Assistant Gretchen Sommers to schedule something for January or February. General Manager Barry said that he has an idea for a facilitator for the retreat.

 

9.            MATTERS INITIATED/ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE GENERAL MANAGER

            1) General Manager Barry invited the Board to his holiday party on December 11.

 

Meeting convened to Executive Session at 9:32 p.m.

 

10.            EXECUTIVE SESSION

10.1 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

 

10.2 CONFERENCE WITH REAL PROPERTY NEGOTIATIORS

                    Pursuant to Section 54956.8 of the Government Code

                    Property: Robert Livermore Community Center, 4444 East Avenue, 

Livermore, CA 94550

                    Agency Negotiator: District Staff and/or Legal Counsel

                    Negotiating Parties: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

                    Under Negotiation: License agreement for use of RLCC by LLNL

 

11.             RECONVENE TO OPEN SESSION

            Meeting reconvened to Open Session at 10:02 p.m.      

 

12.            REPORT ON ACTION TAKEN IN EXECUTIVE SESSION

            No action taken.

 

13.            ADJOURNMENT

Meeting adjourned at 10:03 p.m.

 

 

APPROVED,

                                                           

                                                                                    _______________________________

                                                                                    President, Board of Directors

ATTEST:

 

__________________________

General Manager and ex-officio

Clerk to the Board of Director