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Cerritos City Council Meeting Minutes

MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING OF THE
CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CERRITOS
HELD JUNE 25, 2009

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

Pastor Brandon Haan with New Life Community Church in Artesia offered the invocation.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Boy Scout Troop 1005 led the assembly in the salute to the flag.

ROLL CALL

The following Members of the City Council were in attendance:

Councilwoman Carol Chen
Councilman Jim Edwards
Councilwoman Laura Lee
Mayor Pro Tem Joseph Cho, Ph.D.
Mayor Bruce W. Barrows

PRESENTATIONS

Proclamations were presented as follows:  Cerritos residents Emily Kan, Jacquelyn Kan and Christopher Kan for qualifying to compete in the XVIII Pan Am Junior Badminton Championships in San Juan, Puerto Rico from August 17 to 23, 2009; Cerritos Elementary School Principal Beverly Spicer upon her retirement from the ABC Unified District; and Raj Pradeep Parikh for attaining the rank of Eagle Scout.

PUBLIC COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS

Mayor Barrows commented on questionable media reports by some reporters regarding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (USEPA) recent release of unconfirmed National Air Toxics Assessment data for the City of Cerritos from the late 1980s and early 1990s that did not take into account diesel particulate matter, the exposure to which represents the vast majority of risk according to Air Quality Management District studies.  He indicated that immediately upon learning of the reports, the USEPA, South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), Congressional representatives, and the City of Santa Fe Springs were contacted for assistance in resolving what appears to be release of unconfirmed data.  He noted that the source of the Hydrazine toxin, which was the toxin identified in the data, appears to be a company in Santa Fe Springs near the northeasterly portion of Cerritos.  A comprehensive review of the City's environmental programs was presented by the Mayor and it was noted that re-evaluation of this situation is being undertaken, with results to be reported within the next two weeks.

Dr. Anupom Ganguli, SCAQMD, distributed a SCAQMD Fact Sheet entitled U.S. EPA Report on Air Toxic Risk in Cerritos, CA.  He indicated that an investigation has been initiated with the following findings thus far:  the EPA identified one chemical from one facility that accounted for over 95% of the risk at the Heraeus Metal Processing facility utilizing data from the late 1980s to the early 1990s; the process used at this facility is a closed system; the USEPA study did not consider diesel particulate matter, which accounts for over 90% of the cancer risk in Southern California; and the risk at Cerritos is no greater than surrounding areas.  He noted there is no immediate cause for alarm or panic and that facts will be analyzed before drawing conclusions.  Dr. Ganguli added that a town hall meeting would be held in the next two weeks to discuss the SCAQMD data, analysis and findings as well as future actions, including applying or developing new regulations, depending on the level of the Hydrazine risk.  He stated that the USEPA data did not indicate the type of risk that has been reported.

In response to Council inquiry, Dr. Ganguli indicated that an SCAQMD investigation has been started; air samples will be taken from inside and outside of the facility and other parts of Cerritos; generally, samples are collected as needed; USEPA released the data not the SCAQMD; SCAQMD cannot vouch for or guarantee the USEPA data; the facility was not a problem according to SCAQMD past studies; and the facility is operated legally under a permit from the SCAQMD.

Steven John, USEPA Southern California Field Office Director, indicated that the USEPA and SCAQMD will be working together on this situation, and he expressed concurrence with the SCAQMD position on the matter.  He noted the situation is unfortunate and the information that appeared in the media was not intended to be released at this time, adding that this data had not gone through the full depth of quality assurance before it was released.  Mr. John stated the conclusions that appeared in the press about a problem have not been validated and the forthcoming SCAQMD monitoring results will be the ultimate determinant of the situation.  He observed that there is not an immediate concern, the exact situation at this point is not known because the data is very old, and after monitoring occurs steps will be taken to address any problems or a demonstration will be made to show there is no problem with this facility.

In response to Council inquiry, Mr. John noted the following:  the report was released from the USEPA office in Washington, D.C.; the information was not intended to be released until validation of the study; representatives from the USEPA will be present at the town hall meeting in the next two weeks; generally, modeling processes are lengthy and provide information on trends, which could account for the age of the data; and the two studies undertaken by the SCAQMD and USEPA did not look at the same air toxics compounds, particularly with regard to diesel particulate matter, which was not included in the USEPA data release.  He indicated that toxics risks for surrounding areas including Long Beach, downtown Los Angeles, Los Angeles International Airport and Wilmington would be provided to the City Council.

Chris Tierheimer, Cerritos resident, requested and received confirmation regarding the City's active approach in responding to the situation through the media as well as the SCAQMD, USEPA, and Congressional representatives.

Connie Turner, Southern California Edison Region Manager Local Public Affairs Metro Region, distributed and discussed information contained in a handout entitled State of the Utility System in the City of Cerritos dated June 25, 2009, particularly with regard to renewable energy, infrastructure improvements, and energy efficiency programs and services.

Jonathan Ho and other students from Cerritos High School discussed the benefits of a District Science Olympics and requested assistance from the City in their efforts toward establishing such a program at the high school level.

It was suggested that the students contact Southern California Edison representative Connie Turner for additional assistance.

CONSENSUS:  Staff was then directed to work with ABC Unified School District and Cerritos College to lend assistance with the District Science Olympics effort.

Chris Tierheimer, Cerritos resident, thanked all of those involved in the deployment bag stuffing party sponsored by the Friends of the United States Marine Corps 1st Combat Engineer Battalion.

Paul Bellenbaum, Cerritos resident, questioned the accuracy of the media reports related to the air toxic risk in Cerritos.

Ram Kakkar, Cerritos resident, referenced the air toxic risk issue and suggested an agenda report for this matter.

CONSENT CALENDAR

Approval of Register of Demands

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilman Edwards and seconded by Councilwoman Lee to approve the Register of Demands dated June 25, 2009, Checks 109185 through 109551, in the total amount of $7,562,254.29.  The motion carried unanimously.

Approval of Treasurer's Report

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilman Edwards and seconded by Councilwoman Lee to approve the Treasurer's Report for the period ending April 30, 2009.  The motion carried unanimously.

Approval of Minutes

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilman Edwards and seconded by Councilwoman Lee to approve the Minutes of the Joint Special Meeting of June 8, 2009 and the Special Meeting of June 9, 2009.  The motion carried unanimously.

With concurrence of the City Council, the following item was taken out of order.

NEW AND OLD BUSINESS

Review and consideration of the artwork for the expansion of the Los Cerritos Center, including a two-story Nordstrom department store and multi-tenant stores in accordance with Chapter 22.94 of the Cerritos Municipal Code as it relates to the Art in Public Places Program.  The project is generally located on the northeast quadrant of the Los Cerritos Center, Gridley Road between 183rd Street and South Street (APN 7038-014-012, APN 7038-014-013, APN

7038-014-014, APN 7038-014-015, APN 7038-014-016, APN 7038-014-017).

Cheryl Hines, representing Macerich Company, spoke in favor of the art piece.

Brian Tolle, artist, reviewed images of existing projects he produced and the proposed piece that was developed for this location.

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilman Edwards and seconded by Councilwoman Lee to concur with the recommendation of the Fine Arts and Historical Commission and approve the art piece by artist Brian Tolle for Macerich Cerritos, LLC, at the Los Cerritos Center, as outlined in the staff report dated June 25, 2009.  The motion carried, with Mayor Pro Tem Cho abstaining and noting a concern with compatibility of the art piece with the surroundings and pedestrian safety.

RECESS AND RECONVENE

The meeting recessed at 8:48 p.m. and reconvened at 9:03 p.m. with all Councilmembers in attendance.

The regular order of the agenda was resumed at this time.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

Consideration to waive reading of and adopt A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CERRITOS, CALIFORNIA, APPROVING THE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE CITY OF CERRITOS AND THE CITY OF LA MIRADA, CALIFORNIA, REGARDING THE EXCHANGE OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT (CDBG) FUNDS FOR GENERAL FUNDS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 2009-2010.

Title was read to the foregoing public hearing item, the public hearing opened, and staff report presented.

Interested parties were invited to present testimony, hearing no response the public hearing was closed.

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilwoman Lee and seconded by Councilman Edwards to waive reading of and adopt Resolution No. 2009-8 entitled A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CERRITOS, CALIFORNIA, APPROVING THE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE CITY OF CERRITOS AND THE CITY OF LA MIRADA, CALIFORNIA, REGARDING THE EXCHANGE OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT (CDBG) FUNDS FOR GENERAL FUNDS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 2009-2010; and authorize the City Manager to execute those agreements applicable to this fund exchange of the City of Cerritos Fiscal Year 2009-2010 Community Development Block Grant Fund allocation for not less than 65 cents on the dollar in General Fund monies.  The motion carried unanimously.

Consideration of the Combined Financial Program for the City of Cerritos and Cerritos Redevelopment Agency for Fiscal Year 2009-2010.

Consideration to waive reading of and adopt A JOINT RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CERRITOS AND THE CERRITOS REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY APPROVING AND ADOPTING THE ANNUAL BUDGET FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 2009-2010, APPROPRIATING THE FUNDS NECESSARY TO MEET THE EXPENDITURES SET FORTH THEREIN, AND APPROVING THE CITY OF CERRITOS'/CERRITOS REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY'S INVESTMENT POLICY FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 2009-2010.

Title to the foregoing item was read and the public hearing was opened.

City Manager Gallucci introduced the item and discussed the potential taking of City monies by the State in the face of its budget crisis, which may result in adjustments to the budget in the future.

Budget Manager DeMasi provided an overview of the staff report dated June 25, 2009 and presented the budget and investment policy to the City Council. 

Interested parties were invited to present testimony.

Ray Lovell, Cerritos resident, spoke in support of the Su Casa program and urged the Council to continue the funding allocation for that program.

Vicky Doolittle, Su Casa Executive Director, commented on the benefits of Su Casa and urged approval of its funding request.

No one else wishing to present testimony, the public hearing was closed.

It was noted during ensuing discussion that review of allocations to non-profit organizations for possible streamlining in light of the economic times would be considered later in the agenda, and it was suggested that staff look to idle properties for revenue generation and City Manager Gallucci noted that the possible renting of the Mullikin property at the southeast corner of Bloomfield Avenue and 183rd Street would be presented at a future meeting.

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilman Edwards and seconded by Councilwoman Lee that the City Council:

A.        Receive and file Planning Commission Resolution No. PC 2009-18 finding the Capital Improvement Plan for Fiscal Year 2009-2010 in conformance with the General Plan for both the City of Cerritos and the Cerritos Redevelopment Agency; and

B.         Waive reading of and adopt Joint Resolution No. 2009-9 and CRA 2009-2 entitled A JOINT RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CERRITOS AND THE CERRITOS REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY APPROVING AND ADOPTING THE ANNUAL BUDGET FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 2009-2010, APPROPRIATING THE FUNDS NECESSARY TO MEET THE EXPENDITURES SET FORTH THEREIN, AND APPROVING THE CITY OF CERRITOS'/ CERRITOS REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY'S INVESTMENT POLICY FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 2009-2010, as recommended.

The motion carried unanimously.

Consideration to waive reading of and adopt A JOINT RESOLUTION OF THE CERRITOS CITY COUNCIL AND CERRITOS REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY APPROVING A REPORT PURSUANT TO CALIFORNIA HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE SECTIONS 33445 AND 33679 AND AUTHORIZING THE CERRITOS REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY TO FUND PORTIONS OF THE CITY OF CERRITOS/CERRITOS REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM FOR FISCAL YEAR 2009-2010.

Title to the foregoing item was read, the public hearing opened, and staff report presented.

Interested parties were invited to present testimony.  No one wished to comment and the public hearing was closed.

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilwoman Chen and seconded by Councilman Edwards to waive reading of and adopt Joint Resolution No. 2009-10 and CRA 2009-3 entitled A JOINT RESOLUTION OF THE CERRITOS CITY COUNCIL AND CERRITOS REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY APPROVING A REPORT PURSUANT TO CALIFORNIA HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE SECTIONS 33445 AND 33679 AND AUTHORIZING THE CERRITOS REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY TO FUND PORTIONS OF THE CITY OF CERRITOS/CERRITOS REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM FOR FISCAL YEAR 2009-2010.  The motion carried unanimously.

Consideration and overview of community programs and funding allocation recommendations for Fiscal Year 2009-2010.

Community Participation Manager Hinger provided an overview of the staff report dated June 25, 2009.

Jeff Farber, Helpline Youth Counseling, commented on the services provided by Helpline Youth Counseling and supported continued allocation for this program.  In addition, Mr. Farber requested that the funding that would have been allocated to Consolidated Youth Services be allocated toward Helpline Youth Counseling to provide a greater level of direct service to those in need.  In response to Council inquiry, Mr. Farber noted should the reallocation of Consolidated Youth Services funds to Helpline Youth Counseling occur, the nine families served by Consolidated would be served by Helpline and that Helpline's service would increase to meet the needs of the community,

Gloria Kappe, Cerritos resident speaking as a Member of the Su Casa Advisory Board, discussed the services provided to the community through Su Casa and urged the Council to continue an allocation to this program.

Cindy Skovgard, Pathways Volunteer Hospice, addressed the Pathways services and requested continued allocation for this program.

Discussion followed regarding the benefits to the community from the work of community organizations that receive allocations from the City and it was noted during the discussion that the City is in a position to continue the funding allocations at this time.

MAIN MOTION:  It was moved by Councilwoman Lee and seconded by Councilman Edwards to eliminate funding for Consolidated Youth Services Network in the amount $4,450 and reallocate said funding to Helpline Youth Counseling in addition to the $8,000 in funding proposed for fiscal year 2009-2010; and approve allocation amounts for community programs account line items for cost centers 421 – Community Participation, 422 – Senior Center, and 441 – Recreation Services, as proposed in the staff report dated June 25, 2009.

It was pointed out during ensuing discussion that the Council has an obligation to review the budget in light of difficult economic times, particularly in light of the potential diversion of millions of dollars from cities to the State, and look toward reducing budget expenditures as much as possible.

MOTION TO AMEND BY SUBSTITUTION DIES FOR LACK OF SECOND:  It was then moved by Mayor Pro Tem Cho to amend the main motion to implement a 10% cut in all donations over $500, except organizations proposing more than a 10% cut in donations and senior programs.  The motion died for lack of a second.

Additional discussion was held regarding the proposed $4,450 reallocation to Helpline Youth Counseling that would expand the Helpline Youth Counseling program as well as possibly result in a potentially inequitable allocation for the nine families being served by Consolidated Youth Services.  It was suggested during the discussion that an increased allocation for Helpline be considered next year.

MOTION TO AMEND BY SUBSTITUTION FAILS:  It was then moved by Councilwoman Chen and seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Cho to amend the main motion to eliminate the Consolidated Youth Services Network funding of $4,450 and not reallocate that amount to Helpline Youth Counseling.  The motion failed, with Councilmembers Edwards and Lee and Mayor Barrows dissenting.

Discussion continued with regard to the long-term benefits of the service provided by community groups, which address the present needs of individuals and families and in turn reduce social costs associated with increased law enforcement or providing these services directly.  It was also noted that the requested allocations for these community groups has not increased in several years.

MAIN MOTION CARRIES:  The foregoing main motion carried, with Mayor Pro Tem Cho dissenting.

Consideration of adoption of the Fiscal Year 2009-2010 appropriation limit.

Consideration to waive reading of and adopt A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CERRITOS APPROVING AND ADOPTING THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION LIMIT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2009-2010.

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilwoman Chen and seconded by Councilman Edwards to waive reading of and adopt Resolution No. 2009-11 entitled A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CERRITOS APPROVING AND ADOPTING THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION LIMIT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2009-2010.  The motion carried unanimously.

Consideration and award of contract for City/Agency annual financial auditing services.

Ken Pun, representing Caporicci & Larson, Irvine, discussed the qualifications of the company.  In response to Council inquiry Mr. Pun noted that 85% of the Caporicci & Larson portfolio is cities and counties, serving Hermosa Beach and Danville for over 10 years; that fiscal policies will be reviewed as part of the service; and that Caporicci & Larson could meet with the Council Budget Committee as necessary.

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilwoman Lee and seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Cho to select the lowest bidder, Caporicci & Larson of Irvine, California; and authorize the City Manager/Executive Director to execute a service agreement for financial auditing services with Caporicci & Larson for the fiscal years ending June 30, 2009, 2010 and 2011, with the option to extend the agreement for a maximum of two additional

one-year periods.  The motion carried unanimously.

Review and consideration of an estoppel certificate and consent in connection with a financing proposal by Sheraton Cerritos hotel owner Sunstone Center Court, LLC, to modify an existing credit facility and add a leasehold mortgage encumbering Sunstone's interest in the Sheraton Cerritos hotel as security for the credit facility.

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilwoman Lee and seconded by Councilwoman Chen to authorize the City Manager to execute the Estoppel Certificate and Consent substantially in the form submitted in connection with and recommended in the staff report dated June 25, 2009.  The motion carried unanimously.

PENDING LEGISLATION

City Manager Gallucci reported on the State budget crisis and the potential taking of City monies by the State in the event the State budget cannot be balanced.

CITY COUNCIL COMMUNICATIONS/COMMITTEE REPORTS/REPORT ON MEETINGS

Mayor Pro Tem Cho discussed his participation in the deployment bag stuffing party sponsored by the Friends of the United States Marine Corps 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, and his attendance at the following events:  ABC Unified School District's CNG cleaner bus fleet ceremony; Chamber of Commerce mixer; Our Lady of Fatima School Awards Ceremony; and Youth Basketball Awards Ceremony.  He reported on the Korean War Veterans Appreciation Event held in Las Vegas, Nevada.

MOTION:  It was moved Mayor Pro Tem Cho and seconded by Mayor Barrows to direct staff to place on the next City Council agenda, with appropriate advertising, the matter of the reported air toxics in Cerritos for detailed review and comprehensive discussion.  The motion carried unanimously.

Councilwoman Chen reported she participated in the deployment bag stuffing party sponsored by the Friends of the United States Marine Corps 1st Combat Engineer Battalion and attended the Cerritos Youth Baseball Awards. 

Councilman Edwards noted he had also participated in the deployment bag stuffing party sponsored by the Friends of the United States Marine Corps 1st Combat Engineer Battalion and the Community Golf Tournament, and attended the Youth Baseball Awards and the National Alliance of Grieving Children event.  He invited everyone to the City's July 4th celebration.

Councilwoman Lee indicated she participated in the deployment bag stuffing party sponsored by the Friends of the United States Marine Corps 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, and attended the Youth Baseball Awards.  She reported on her attendance at the U.S. Conference of Mayors annual meeting in Providence, Rhode Island where the City received the Most Livable City Award.

Mayor Barrows reported on his attendance at the U.S. Conference of Mayors annual meeting in Providence, Rhode Island, suggesting future submittals for the Most Livable City Award related to the children's library and the Friends of Arts Education program, and commented on his attendance at the Los Angeles Division of the League of California Cities workshop Understanding the Basics of Public Engagement.  He addressed the Nixle mass communication program; suggested a Mayor's letter be sent to all residents regarding the matter of the reported air toxics in Cerritos; and suggested staff, the Fine Arts and Historical Commission and the Parks and Recreation Commission look into a Hall/Walk of Fame concept as a means of assisting Chicago in its venue bid for the Olympics. 

CONSENSUS:  Staff was directed to place consideration of an appointment to the

Workforce Investment Board on the next City Council agenda.

CLOSED SESSION

PUBLIC EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE EVALUATION PURSUANT TO CALIFORNIA GOVERNMENT CODE SECTION 54957 AND LABOR NEGOTIATIONS WITH UNREPRESENTED EMPLOYEES PURSUANT TO CALIFORNIA GOVERNMENT CODE SECTION 54957.6

Title:   City Manager

Agency Designated Representative:            Art Gallucci

Agency Designated Representatives:          Mayor Bruce W. Barrows and Mayor Pro Tem Joseph Cho, Ph.D.

CONSIDERATION OF SALARY AND COMPENSATION ADJUSTMENTS FOR CITY CHARTER EMPLOYEES

There was no closed session held and staff was directed to place these items on the July 9, 2009 agenda.

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting adjourned at 11:00 p.m. 

/s/Josephine Triggs                   
Josephine Triggs, City Clerk
 

ATTEST:

/s/Bruce Barrows                     
Bruce Barrows, Mayor

 

Approved:  July 9, 2009

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