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Cerritos City Council Meeting Minutes

MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING OF THE
CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CERRITOS
HELD SEPTEMBER 13, 2007

CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers at Cerritos City Hall, 18125 Bloomfield Avenue, Cerritos, California.

INVOCATION

Leonard Tan of the First Evangelical Church of Cerritos offered the invocation.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Boy Scout Troop 394 led the assembly in the salute to the flag.

ROLL CALL

The City Clerk noted attendance of the following Members of the City Council:

Councilman Bruce W. Barrows

Councilman Joseph Cho, Ph.D.

Councilman John F. Crawley

Mayor Pro Tem Jim Edwards

Mayor Laura Lee

PRESENTATIONS

The Mayor presented a proclamation to Arjun Parthiban for achieving the highest possible composite score on the June 2007 national test administration of the ACT, and September 24 through 29, 2007 was proclaimed Dollar Wi$e Week in the City of Cerritos.

PUBLIC COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS

Merri Wheaton, Cerritos resident, offered a prayer.

Don Moore, Cerritos resident, referenced a power outage during a recent heat wave and suggested the City establish a cooling station at the Cerritos Senior Center.

Diosdado DeLeon, Cerritos resident, indicated that the proposed joint City/Agency/School District senior housing project would result in the fleecing of funds from low, very low, and moderate income senior residents and asked that the proposal be withdrawn.

Barbara Lockwood, Cerritos resident, also referenced the joint senior housing project, expressing concern with additional traffic on 166th Street, and the cost of the project.  She indicated that the senior housing should be no more than two stories high and inquired if the senior center proposed as part of the plan would provide meals for seniors.

Gerald Parent, Cerritos resident, was advised that the residential waste collection item would be considered later in the agenda.

CONSENT CALENDAR ITEMS

Approval of Register of Demands

MOTION:  It was moved by Mayor Pro Tem Edwards and seconded by Councilman Cho to approve the Register of Demands dated September 13, 2007, Checks 93243 through 93714, in the total amount of $10,646,567.09.  The motion carried unanimously.

Approval of Treasurer’s Report for the period ending July 31, 2007

MOTION:  It was moved by Mayor Pro Tem Edwards and seconded by Councilman Cho to approve the Treasurer’s Report for the period ending July 31, 2007.  The motion carried unanimously.

Approval of Minutes

MOTION:  It was moved by Mayor Pro Tem Edwards and seconded by Councilman Cho to approve the Minutes of the August 23, 2007 Regular City Council Meeting.  The motion carried unanimously.

Miscellaneous

Consideration and award of Bid No. 1056-08, printing of the 2008 Cerritos Community Calendar.

MOTION:  It was moved by Mayor Pro Tem Edwards and seconded by Councilman Cho to award Bid No. 1056-08 for the printing of the 2008 Cerritos Community Calendar to Meridian Graphics in the amount of $31,750.80.  The motion carried unanimously.

PENDING LEGAL MATTERS

Consideration of a request from Wave Broadband, LLC to transfer its Cerritos cable television franchise to Charter Communications Entertainment II, LLC.

Consideration to waive reading of and adopt A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CERRITOS APPROVING THE TRANSFER OF THE CABLE TELEVISION FRANCHISE FROM WAVE BROADBAND, LLC, A WHOLLY OWNED SUBSIDIARY OF WAVE DIVISION HOLDINGS, LLC, TO CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS ENTERTAINMENT II, LLC.

Councilman Cho indicated that there may be a potential conflict of interest with this item because Charter Communications Entertainment II is a tenant in a shopping center that he owns in Norwalk.  He left the dais and the Council Chambers at this juncture, 7:30 p.m.

City and Theater Marketing Manager Hylton provided an overview of the staff report dated September 13, 2007.

It was pointed out during ensuing discussion that Charter had not provided the City with a new financial analysis; that Charter would honor existing resident agreements through the end of the term of those agreements; State legislation has resulted in bypassing of City approval of cable television franchises; Charter's current basic package charge is less than what residents are currently charged.

Interested parties were invited to offer testimony.  There was no response.

A brief discussion ensued regarding the limited items that could be negotiated and the apparent futility of considering this matter since State law preempts City approval of cable franchises.

MOTION FAILS:  It was then moved by Mayor Pro Tem Edwards and seconded by Mayor Lee to waive reading of and adopt Resolution No. 2007-16 entitled:

RESOLUTION NO. 2007-16 - A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CERRITOS APPROVING THE TRANSFER OF THE CABLE TELEVISION FRANCHISE FROM WAVE BROADBAND, LLC, A WHOLLY OWNED SUBSIDIARY OF WAVE DIVISION HOLDINGS, LLC, TO CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS ENTERTAINMENT II, LLC.

The motion failed with Councilmembers Barrows and Crawley dissenting and Councilman Cho absent.

Additional discussion was held regarding the possibility of continuing the item for the purpose of receiving independent financial information pertaining to Charter as well as extending the review period beyond the September 28, 2007 deadline.

Jane Bremer, Bremer Law, outside legal counsel representing Charter Communications, referenced the qualifications of Charter and provided highlights of its 2007 second quarter report to the Securities and Exchange Commission.  She commented on the variety of services provided by cable companies, noting that these services are capital intensive with an ultimate revenue benefit, and requested Council approval of the proposal.  In response to Council inquiry, Ms. Bremer indicated that it is the intent of Charter to provide service upgrades to Cerritos via network upgrades in the larger network outside of the City.

Further discussion ensued and it was noted that approval of the proposal would set a foundation for a positive working relationship with Charter.  It was also pointed out that Charter has not opted out of the State mandate that bypasses City approval, which would enable negotiations at the City level.

Councilman Cho returned the dais at 8:05 p.m.

Consideration to waive reading of and adopt A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CERRITOS APPROVING THE LOS ANGELES GATEWAY REGION INTEGRATED REGIONAL WATER MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY JOINT POWERS AGREEMENT.

Following a review of the staff report dated September 13, 2007 by Senior Assistant City Manager Brar, a discussion was held regarding the make-up of the Water Board by either elected or staff representatives, and that only those cities within the Gateway Cities Council of Governments would participate.  It was also noted that it is anticipated that most of the participating cities would adopt the resolution.

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilman Cho and seconded by Councilman Crawley that the City Council:

1.         Authorize the appropriation of sufficient funds for participation in the Los Angeles Gateway Region Integrated Regional Water Management Authority Joint Powers Agreement; and

2.         Waive reading of and adopt Resolution No. 2007-16 entitled:

RESOLUTION NO. 2007-16 - A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CERRITOS APPROVING THE LOS ANGELES GATEWAY REGION INTEGRATED REGIONAL WATER MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY JOINT POWERS AGREEMENT.

The motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS ACTIVITIES

Review and/or consideration of residential waste collection and recycling program proposals.

Environmental Services Manager O'Grady presented the staff report dated September 13, 2007.

A brief discussion was held regarding accommodation of trash carts for zero lot line homes, dirty waste that is sorted at the Material Recovery Facility (MRF), bulky item pick-up remaining the same; and the City's diversion rate.

Interested parties were called upon to present testimony.

Barbara Lockwood, Cerritos resident, indicated that public notice of this item was not sufficient, suggesting that hearing notices be distributed in the trash/water bills.  She requested clarification of who would pay for fabrication of the trash carts; would a deposit be required for the carts; would the bulky item quantity remain the same; what type of enforcement would be undertaken to prevent scavenging; and would businesses be required to recycle.

Bob Houska, Cerritos resident, observed that trash separation/diversion was supposed to be achieved through the MRF process.  He added that CalMet did not meet the diversion provisions called out in its contract and is being rewarded for its lack of compliance by the offer of another contract.  Mr. Houska also inquired what the enforcement/penalty would be if waste is placed in the wrong trash cart.

Gerald Parent, Cerritos resident, called for bidding the waste hauling contract, and noted that the trash carts are too large and difficult to handle, scavengers would scatter trash, and residents do not understand the system.  He asked if he would be reimbursed for trash barrels he had recently purchased.

Betty Gregory, Cerritos resident, opined that the present system is working; limited side yard space would restrict storage of the trash carts; public notice was not sufficient and the item should be continued with notice provided through the water bills; and residents are being asked to pay for a new system because CalMet failed to comply with the diversion requirements of the current contract.

Paul Marshall, Cerritos resident, indicated that maneuvering the trash carts could exacerbate his back problem and opined that the proposal is an attempt by CalMet to reduce workload/worker's compensation costs.  He added that public notice of this matter was not sufficient and the increased fee for the new system would hurt those on fixed-incomes.

Mary Buell, Cerritos resident, discussed the benefits of a similar system used in Bellflower, noting that the trash carts are easier to handle than the traditional trash containers.  She commented that by implementing this system, the City is attempting to comply with State mandates.

Linda Dixon, Cerritos resident, indicated that she has one side yard at the entrance of her home and placing three large trash cans at this location would be unacceptable.  She added that she currently stores one trash barrel in her garage, which would not accommodate three trash carts.  Ms. Dixon indicated she was unaware of the issue until recently and urged reconsideration of matter to allow for expanded public input.

James Bugher, Cerritos resident, asserted that this type of system results in trash being scattered, which is not retrieved by trash haulers; the trash carts impede traffic; and three trucks will be required to pick-up waste from the three different trash carts.  He asked if there would be a penalty for placing the wrong waste in the wrong cart; indicated that the current 12-year contract term is too long and the contract should go to bid; and questioned the need for a new system when the City is out of compliance with the State diversion mandates by only a few percentage points.

Dixie Primosch, Cerritos resident, made the following comments:  opposes three-can trash collection; surprised that such a significant issue was being decided when residents were unaware of its consideration; the proposed system is confusing; concerned that trash carts will fall over and present a safety hazard for children; system will result in impacts on residential street infrastructure since more trucks are needed to collect the waste; the extra carts being offered does not apply to the refuse cart; dirty MRF was originally instituted because it was thought residents would not comply with source separation; what type of penalty would apply if waste is not placed in the proper cart; there are other alternatives to make-up the two percent diversion deficiency in lieu of implementing a new system; and has there been an investigation into instances where there have been major problems with the type of system being proposed.

Ken Cha, Cerritos resident, discussed the benefits of recycling for the community.

Paul Bellenbaum, Cerritos resident, questioned the reported trash generation figures for Cerritos and asserted that there should be alternatives to make-up the two percent diversion shortfall.

Martin Grossman, Cerritos resident, indicated the proposed system will result in three trucks having to maneuvering in his small cul-de-sac area instead of the one truck with the current system. He asked if liners would be included with the trash carts, if green waste pick-up could be provided more than twice a year, and if the value of the recyclables collected by CalMet would be rebated to the City.

Charlie Gregory, Cerritos resident, expressed concern regarding the impact of three waste truck pick-ups because his trash is currently picked-up at 6:00 a.m.

Leo Padilla, Cerritos resident, indicated that proper notification of Council consideration of this matter was not provided to the residents.  He inquired if the number of carts provided could be altered from time to time as needs change and what the cost would be for additional carts.

Sally Havice, Cerritos resident, suggested continuing the matter to allow for further public input, noting that further consideration should be given to exceptions for certain circumstances.

Randy Economy, Cerritos resident, suggested locks for the trash carts to discourage scavenging.

Joe Sloan, representing CalMet Services, Inc., the City's current trash hauler, indicated that 80 jurisdictions in Los Angeles County are using the three cart system, some for over 15 years, with a large degree of success.  He added that there are issues that require attention at the beginning of implementation and that in most instances solutions can be identified that work for everyone.  Mr. Sloan then responded to inquiries by demonstrating cart maneuverability; confirming cart storage capacity for each cart size; and identifying types of waste for each cart.  He responded further as follows:  additional green waste and recyclables carts could be provided at no charge; cost of the carts is included in the service fee; carts make it more difficult for scavengers to access the contents of the carts; the recyclable cart is one of many appropriate ways to discard recyclables; although there are expenses associated with disposing of recyclables, any associated residual value is put back into revenue to reduce rates; recycling markets define contamination as recyclables containing moisture or associated with food waste; CalMet will work with residents who have difficulty maneuvering the carts; in most instances carts can be stored in side yards or garages; the initial transition from a manual to automated system can result in litter, which is significantly reduced after full implementation; occasional mistakes in placing waste in the wrong container is tolerated, but intentional waste misplacement is discouraged; not aware of trash liners for the carts, but carts can be changed-out on a scheduled basis; and extra green waste carts during certain times of the year can be accommodated as well as bulky item pick-up for large lot clean-up.

RECESS AND RECONVENE

A recess was called at 9:50 p.m.  The meeting reconvened at 10:05 p.m. with all Councilmembers in attendance as previously noted.

In response to Council inquiries, Mr. Sloan indicated the following: the diversion rate could be met with the current system at a higher service rate of approximately $20 a month because the residential waste stream would be subject to higher processing costs at a facility that is farther away; rates for different cart sizes has yet to be negotiated, however, providing various cart sizes may be more expensive due to inventory management issues; and requiring small barrels to encourage separation has resulted in more contaminated recyclables because users need more cart space for garbage/wet waste and place it in recyclable carts.

In response to further inquiry, Brianna Knabe, representing CalMet Services, Inc., indicated that a vast majority of the waste goes through the dirty MRF process.

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilman Barrows and seconded by Councilman Crawley to direct staff to include in its residential waste collection and recycling program analysis a 10-year contract term option for the residential waste collection and recycling programs.  The motion carried unanimously.

MOTION DIES FOR LACK OF A SECOND:  It was moved by Councilman Cho to direct staff to continue negotiations including Option 4 and Option 5 for residential waste collection and recycling programs, and after the negotiations conduct a public hearing regarding this service.  The motion died for lack of a second.

It was noted during ensuing comments that change is difficult; recycling is beneficial to the community and this system accommodates recycling; and the automated system reduces litter and discourages litter from scavengers because the recyclables cart is easy to identify.

MOTION:  It was then moved by Mayor Pro Tem Edwards and seconded by Councilman Crawley to continue negotiations with CalMet Services, Inc. for the integrated solid waste management services in the City of Cerritos, as recommended in the staff report dated September 13, 2007.  The motion carried unanimously.

NEW AND OLD BUSINESS

Consideration of providing funds to build a covering, an arena and stables on City property at B & B Riding Stables, located at 10730 Artesia Boulevard, in conjunction with the Ride Your Horse! therapeutic riding program.

Recreation Superintendent Titus reviewed the staff report dated September 13, 2007.

During ensuing discussion the City Manager responded to Council inquiries as follows:  the proposed project is not included in the adopted budget and the funds for the proposal could come from reserves or an approved project could be delayed, with the funds for the delayed project being used for the proposal; a $3 million policy would be required to indemnify the City and/or Agency at an estimated cost of between $2500 and $5000; even with the indemnification the City and/or Agency could be sued; no recollection of a similar proposal being approved in the past; and funding for community groups are reviewed and approved by the City Council during the budget process on a case-by-case basis.

In response to inquiry regarding use of City funds for a private program, City Attorney Steres indicated that although the program is private, the property is owned by the City and once the lease expires the improvements will stay on City property, potentially being an asset to the City in the long run.  He added that the annual allocation to community groups that provide a benefit to the City as a whole is a proper use of City funds.

Discussion ensued regarding the positive impact of such a program, however, some concern was expressed that such a substantial investment may be questioned, particularly if Southern California Edison does not renew its lease with B & B Stables in the future, which in turn could result in the program being discontinued and the arena/stables vacated.  Equity considerations were also raised regarding the small number of participants and recreational services priorities in general.

Mary Buell, Cerritos resident and B & B Stables owner, shared that all indications from Edison are that B & B Stables can remain as long as it chooses, and commented on the benefits of the therapeutic riding program for the disabled, noting that many of the participants are on medications that would require a covered arena.  She referenced previous joint City/Agency/School District projects and commented that Mr. Buell would be installing many of the improvements himself to save money, with the understanding that the Buells/B & B Stables would never derive any financial gain from this program.  Mrs. Buell added that with the proposed improvements, the program could increase from 2 to 5 days a week because of the demand and she invited everyone to come to the program to view a lesson.

Bob Buell, Cerritos resident and B & B Stables owner, reiterated several of the comments made by Mrs. Buell and added that the program will benefit the ABC School District by providing students with opportunities for community service hours.  Mr. Buell indicated that several other entities such as Cerritos College, Rancho Los Amigos, Junior Blind, and Long Beach Veterans Hospital have expressed an interest in the program, noting that the program would likely grow to meet demand, and stated that there are efforts underway to seek foundation funding for the 501(c)(3) corporation.

Gail Grossman, Cerritos resident, supported the request, noting that special needs children and their parents will greatly benefit from the program and the requested improvements.

Paul Payne indicated that the therapeutic riding program has helped him overcome the effects of a stroke, which left him partially paralyzed.

Margie Payne urged the Council to approve the proposal to provide a covering for the area for the health of the children and animals and to keep them out of the sun.  She addressed the benefits of the program and invited everyone to visit.

Jackie Upton, Long Beach resident, indicated she overcame her autism with her horse, which she is donating to the program, and asked the Council to approve the proposal so that others could overcome their disabilities.

Darlene Harman, President/Founding Director of Ride Your Horse! Therapeutic Riding Program, discussed the operational aspects of the program and the benefits derived over a more classical therapeutic approach.  She added that program staff is certified and trained, and she has not had a claim since she has been involved in therapeutic riding over the past 10 years.

Julie, Fullerton resident, indicated that her daughter is autistic and has been part of the program since 2004 with exceptional results.  She indicated that the program offers mothers from the southern California area with an opportunity to share their experiences and would provide the community with a source of learning.

Kathy Mesner, Brea resident, indicated that her two disabled children have excelled in this program and asked the City to approve the proposal for the covered arena.

Clorissa Simpson, Huntington Beach, commented on her volunteer activities associated with the program and addressed the success of the program for those with disabilities.

Carol Rider, Fullerton resident, indicated that she is the grandmother of an autistic granddaughter who has benefited from the program.  She encouraged approval of the proposal.

Marty Grossman, Cerritos resident, encouraged the Council to visit the program and commented on people being able to relate to animals.  He referenced the fiscal responsibilities of the Council, suggesting that the anticipated growth of the program would benefit the entire community and offset cost concerns.

Heather Barlow, Westminster resident, indicated she has been associated with the program for three years, noting that the covering would accommodate lessons in sunny conditions allowing for uninterrupted treatment and an enhanced opportunity for volunteerism.  She commented that the program could serve children as well as adults and veterans.

Discussion followed and it was observed that while the program is a benefit to the disabled, the fiscal obligations and responsibilities of the City must also be recognized.  Additional discussion was held regarding the possibility of securing a grant or other funding; whether or not another facility has been considered; and the possibility of taking more time to evaluate the request.

Darlene Harman responded that attempts to incorporate such a program at the Rancho Del Rio facility in Anaheim have been unsuccessful.

Louise Underwood, Costa Mesa resident, commented on her unsuccessful efforts to secure grants and other types of funding for the program, noting that there is a reluctance to commit funding to operations where a long-term program commitment is uncertain.  She added that the grant process is time-consuming and often occurs on a yearly basis.

MOTION FAILS:  Councilman Barrows moved to fund the cost for the covered arena and stables at B & B Riding Stables in conjunction with Ride Your Horse! therapeutic riding program.  The motion was seconded by Councilman Crawley and failed, with Councilman Cho abstaining and Mayor Pro Tem Edwards and Mayor Lee dissenting.

MOTION:  It was moved by Mayor Pro Tem Edwards and seconded by Councilman Cho to direct staff to research, as soon as possible, available grants applicable to construction of a covering, an arena and stables on City property at B & B Riding Stables, located at 10730 Artesia Boulevard, in conjunction with the Ride Your Horse! therapeutic riding program, and report back to the City Council.  The motion carried unanimously.

REPORT ON PENDING LEGISLATION

City Manager Gallucci reported on efforts to get two bills introduced in the legislature, one relating to authorizing a redevelopment agency to pay its local school district a portion of the agency's annual deposit into the agency's low and moderate income housing fund; and the second to amend the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) to allow the carry-over of excess housing units of a particular income level to a subsequent planning cycle.

CITY COUNCIL COMMUNICATIONS/COMMITTEE REPORTS/REPORT ON MEETINGS

Councilman Barrows commented on his recent trip to Sacramento with Mayor Pro Tem Edwards regarding efforts to get the two bills that the City Manager referenced introduced, noting his discussions with Senator Torlakson and Assemblymember Mendoza. 

Consensus:  Councilman Barrows suggested and it was the consensus of the City Council that staff be directed to make minor modifications to the Council Chambers podium in order to accommodate wheelchair accessibility.

Councilman Crawley requested plaques for Doris Iglesias and Ray Lovell for their service on the Property Preservation Commission and reported on his attendance at the League of California Cities meeting in Sacramento.

Consensus:  Councilman Crawley suggested and it was the consensus the City Council to direct staff to report back on the matter of Commission salaries and car allowances.

Councilman Cho referenced the recent heat wave and interruption of electric service, suggesting that staff contact Southern California Edison to develop an emergency communication channel and to check the City's emergency management system.

Mayor Pro Tem Edwards also reported on legislative meetings in Sacramento and offered that the Council meeting be adjourned in memory of Mayor Laura Lee's sister, Judy Tjipto, and her brother, Bing Luan, both of whom recently passed away.

Mayor Lee thanked everyone for the thoughtful cards and flowers sent in memory of her brother and sister, both of whom were lost within a three week period.  She also requested a memorandum regarding the possibility of a cooling center, which was addressed during the Public Comments portion of the meeting this evening.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the City Council, the meeting adjourned at 11:40 p.m. in memory of Mayor Laura Lee's sister, Judy Tjipto, and her brother, Bing Luan, both of whom recently passed away.

/s/ Josephine Triggs          
Josephine Triggs, City Clerk

ATTEST:

/s/ Laura Lee          
Laura Lee, Mayor

Approved:  September 27, 2007

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