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Cerritos City Council Meeting Minutes

MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING OF THE
CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CERRITOS
HELD DECEMBER 10, 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

Councilman Jim Edwards offered the invocation.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Girl Scout Troop 678 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 to Deputy Doug Bingham upon his retirement from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and Matthew David Hamilton for attaining the rank of Eagle Scout.

PUBLIC COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS

Jennifer Henry, Lakewood resident, Delta Dental employee and Member of Teamsters Local 986, requested support from the City to keep her job and thanked the City for taking Delta Dental employees seriously.  She commented that Delta Dental employees are participating in charitable endeavors despite their employment situation and stated that Delta Dental employees are also participating members of the community.

Brenda Martinez, Delta Dental employee, indicated that Delta Dental employees are trying to keep their jobs and thanked the City for its continued support.  She commented on the difficulties experienced in light of her potential job loss.

Leila Allen, Delta Dental employee, indicated that her job helps her support her family and their education.  She expressed appreciation to the City for its support.

Sean Harren, President, Teamsters Local 986, representing Delta Dental employees in the Cerritos office, expressed appreciation for any assistance the City gives to keep Delta Dental jobs in Cerritos.  He noted that a meeting with Delta Dental today resulted in no changes in plans to close the Cerritos Delta Dental facility.  Mr. Harren read a suggested resolution for Council consideration to terminate the existing agreement with Delta Dental and contract with another provider with a facility in Southern California that can provide employment to Cerritos residents as well as surrounding communities.

Vivian Gallimore, Carson resident and Delta Dental employee, expressed that Delta Dental is a family and its proposal would be difficult for single mothers as well as seniors who have the ability to visit the Cerritos Delta Dental facility for assistance.

Chuck Sooter, Cerritos resident, read a poem by recently deceased Cerritos resident and military veteran Dutch Ducharme in his honor and memory.

In response to Council inquiry, City Manager Gallucci indicated that the proposed resolution from Delta Dental employees would require placement on a City Council agenda, and he commented on previous Council direction to work with Delta Dental to address concerns raised by employees.  He added that any modifications related to the City’s current Delta Dental contract would require legal review in light of potential meet and confer ramifications. 

CONSENSUS:  Following a brief discussion, it was the consensus of the City Council to include the Delta Dental resolution presented during Public Comments in staff’s review of this matter when reporting back to the City Council.

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 December 10, 2009, Checks 112895 through 113148, in the total amount of $3,715,197.17.  The motion carried unanimously.

Approval of Treasurer's Report for the period ending October 31, 2009

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilman Edwards and seconded by Councilwoman Lee to approve the Treasurer's Report for the period ending October 31, 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 Special Meeting of November 23, 2009.  The motion carried unanimously.

Miscellaneous

Consideration of the annual report of the Cerritos Redevelopment Agency for Fiscal Year 2008-2009.

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilman Edwards and seconded by Councilwoman Lee to:

1.         Receive and file the Annual Report of the Cerritos Redevelopment Agency; and

2.         Direct staff to transmit a copy of this report and the Redevelopment Agency Annual Financial Report as required to the State of California Department of Housing and Community Development;

as recommended in the staff report dated December 10, 2009.  The motion carried unanimously.

PENDING LEGAL MATTERS

Consideration to waive reading of and introduce AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF CERRITOS AMENDING CHAPTER 5.22, MASSAGE ESTABLISHMENTS, OF THE CERRITOS MUNICIPAL CODE TO COMPLY WITH CHAPTER 10.5 OF DIVISION 2 OF THE CALIFORNIA BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONS CODE.
 
Pursuant to Section 15061(b)(3) of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), this project is exempt from CEQA review.

Advance Planning Manager Lopez reviewed the staff report dated December 10, 2009 and the provisions of the ordinance, and reported on preemption of local laws related to massage establishments as a result of new legislation.  He responded to Council inquiries noting that massage establishments are permitted in commercial zones, there are currently no massage establishments within the City, and a massage establishment license application is currently pending.  Mr. Lopez commented on the rationale in adoption of massage establishment regulations and indicated that there are massage establishments in surrounding communities.

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilman Edwards and seconded by Councilwoman Chen to waive reading of and introduce Ordinance No. 953 entitled AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF CERRITOS AMENDING CHAPTER 5.22, MASSAGE ESTABLISHMENTS, OF THE CERRITOS MUNICIPAL CODE TO COMPLY WITH CHAPTER 10.5 OF DIVISION 2 OF THE CALIFORNIA BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONS CODE.  The motion carried by the following vote:

AYES:         Councilmembers     –  Chen, Edwards, Lee, Cho, Barrows
NOES:        Councilmembers     –  None
ABSENT:    Councilmembers     –  None
ABSTAIN:  Councilmembers     –  None

PUBLIC WORKS ACTIVITIES

Consideration of options to further mitigate traffic congestion and pedestrian related issues impacting residents in the vicinity of Gahr High School.

Assistant City Engineer Vancheswaran presented the staff report dated December 10, 2009.   In response to Council inquiries it was noted that a barricade at Alora Avenue during the 30-day trial closure at Mapes Avenue is not recommended; the City can close Mapes Avenue without the consent of the property owners on both sides of that tract entrance; the closure of Mapes Avenue would be a policy decision with any health and safety issues addressed as part of that decision as well as general plan consistency; funding for the closure could be incorporated into the budget process for the upcoming year; and the left turn pocket at Mapes Avenue would also be closed during the trial period and has been included in the cost estimates for the trial closure. 

Howard Sachs, Cerritos resident, indicated he lives on Mapes Avenue three houses in from Artesia Boulevard and opposed closing Mapes Avenue.  He indicated Gahr High School has been in the area for 40 years; the congestion during pick-up and drop-off times is of a short duration and not a serious problem; and the only residents who should be permitted to vote on the closure should be the people on either side of Mapes Avenue who live ten houses in from Artesia Boulevard.  Mr. Sachs expressed concerns related to emergency vehicle access; opined the closure would be a waste of money; suggested those who want the closure should move; and indicated the closure of Mapes Avenue would be a significant inconvenience to exit the tract for those who live on Mapes Avenue near Artesia Boulevard.

Denise Hamilton, Cerritos resident, indicated that the closure would not affect her appreciably, however, she concurred with Mr. Sachs.  She added that there has been a vast improvement in the congestion in the tract since the vehicle drop-off/pick-up traffic was moved to the gymnasium parking lot area, noting that as a substitute teacher she has seen this type of congestion at the schools to which she has been assigned.

Clarence Kirkwood, Cerritos resident, suggested the installation of a temporary traffic light with a pedestrian don’t walk sign that would operate in coordination with the traffic light to the east to control pedestrian traffic as well as prohibit cars from turning around at Mapes Avenue.

Paul Bellenbaum, Cerritos resident, suggested a pedestrian bridge over Artesia Boulevard from Artesia Cemetery to the school.

Viola Kline, Cerritos resident, requested and received clarification that if Mapes Avenue were closed it would be closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic.  She referenced the petition that was circulated in the tract, indicating that a majority of the residents had expressed a preference for closure and that a 30-day trial closure was a good idea.

In response to Council inquiry, the City Manager indicated that should the Council consider a permanent closure of Mapes Avenue, it was staff’s intent to poll the residents.  It was also pointed out by the City Attorney that Council action to close Mapes Avenue would be discretionary.

Written communication from Stephanie Fong, Cerritos resident, indicated that the closure of Mapes Avenue would reduce the number of exit points and could cause more congestion and accidents.

Doug Kline, Cerritos resident, indicated that he personally passed the resident petition on Palm Avenue and all residents signed in favor of closure of Mapes Avenue.  He indicated that there is a significant amount of traffic before and after school and one morning he counted 340 cars.  Mr. Kline added that students also loiter on the streets during these times.

Discussion ensued regarding the improvement in the traffic situation on Mapes Avenue since the implementation of the revised student drop-off/pick-up area in the school parking lot near the gymnasium.  An observation was made during the discussion that the constant stream of student pedestrians walking along Artesia Boulevard crossing Mapes Avenue prevent vehicles from exiting the tract and contribute to the congestion. 

In response to Council inquiry, the City Manager indicated that staff would recommend a temporary closure after the winter break, should the Council choose to take that action.  The importance of educating the students and parents was also addressed during discussion and it was pointed out that since a number of the residents residing closer to Artesia Boulevard polled in opposition to the closure, a 30-day temporary trial closure would provide additional information in the decision-making process.

Andrea Encisco, Cerritos resident and Gahr High School student, indicated that her home is one that is close to the Mapes Avenue/Artesia Boulevard intersection and opined that the traffic congestion in the tract is not significant.  She indicated that a street closure would be costly and unnecessary, and would pose a safety risk to residents should a fire occur.  Ms. Encisco suggested a crossing guard at this location to control pedestrian traffic and indicated that those who live further within the tract are not as impacted by the traffic as those who live closer to Artesia Boulevard.

Howard Sachs, Cerritos resident, opposed the 30-day trial period, indicating that the closure to pedestrians would present a great inconvenience.

MOTION:  Following additional discussion, it was moved by Councilwoman Lee and seconded by Councilman Edwards to direct staff to proceed with a 30-day trial closure of Mapes Avenue at Artesia Boulevard, as outlined in the staff report dated December 10, 2009, with the proviso that if the residents request removal of the barricade prior to the end of the 30-day trial, the temporary closure would be removed immediately.  The motion carried unanimously.

Discussion continued with regard to a temporary barricade on a trial basis to prevent vehicular traffic on Alora Avenue at Artesia Boulevard in conjunction with a crossing guard to coincide with student pick-up and drop-off times during the morning and afternoon.  The impact of this type of closure given the size of the tract was also addressed during the discussion as well as a suggestion to withhold the barricades on Alora Avenue until after the Mapes Avenue trial is concluded.

MOTION DIES FOR LACK OF A SECOND: It was moved by Councilwoman Chen to include the Alora Avenue temporary pedestrian barricade as referenced in the staff report dated December 10, 2009 as part of the 30-day trial for the Mapes Avenue temporary closure.  The motion died for lack of a second.

CONSENSUS:  It was the consensus of the Council to direct staff to include in its report back to the City Council the cost to add two crossing guards at the Mapes Avenue crossing at Artesia Boulevard as an alternative.

RECESS AND RECONVENE

The City Council recessed at 8:55 p.m. and reconvened at 9:10 p.m.

Upon reconvening, the Mayor clarified that in preparation of its report, staff would analyze all options discussed during the previous item related to traffic congestion and pedestrian related issues impacting residents in the vicinity of Gahr High School.

NEW AND OLD BUSINESS

Consideration of local business preference in the purchasing bid process.

Discussion was held regarding the current 1% preference for Cerritos bidders and the possibility of increasing the preference.  In response to Council inquiry, the City Attorney noted that the specific preference must be set prior to the bid opening, which precludes any flexibility in the preference if the Cerritos bidder is shy of the low bid by a small dollar amount.  It was also noted that the sales taxes related to bids is based on where the item is delivered, which is the City of Cerritos, or the Los Angeles County rate.

Ram Kakkar, Cerritos resident, expressed that the preference kills competition and will affect quality, possibly encouraging an unethical process.

Additional discussion ensued regarding the preference.  It was noted during the discussion that the preference should be no more than what the City receives in sales tax revenue and the infrequency of reaching the preference was pointed out as well.  In further discussion, comment was made that Cerritos businesses should be given a preference particularly in this current economic environment.

MOTION DIES FOR LACK OF A SECOND:  Following discussion it was moved by Councilwoman Chen to direct staff to prepare an ordinance amending Chapter 3.2 Section 3.20.065 of the Cerritos Municipal Code to change the bid percentage credit amount that is granted to local businesses from one percent to two percent.  The motion died for lack of a second.

MOTION:  It was moved Councilman Edwards and seconded by Councilwoman Lee to receive and file the staff report dated December 10, 2009 entitled Consideration of local business preference in the purchasing bid process.  The motion carried unanimously.

Review and consideration of a proposed art contest utilizing recycled materials in recognition of Earth Day in April, 2010.

Elayne Shiohama, Cerritos resident and Fine Arts and Historical Commission Chair, concurred with the staff report dated December 10, 2009 and commented on the Commission's deliberations related to the art contest.

MOTION:  Following a brief discussion regarding funding of the art contest, it was moved by Councilwoman Lee and seconded by Councilwoman Chen that the City Council approve:

1.         The art contest utilizing recycled materials in recognition of Earth Day 2010; and

2.         Funding in the amount of approximately $1,500 from the Beverage Container Recycling Grant;

as recommended by the Fine Arts and Historical Commission and outlined in the staff report dated December 10, 2009.  The motion carried unanimously.

Consideration of the City of Cerritos' Annual Financial Report for Fiscal Year 2008-2009.

Gary Caporicci and Henry Chen, Caporicci & Larson, Certified Public Accountants who conducted the audit, provided an overview of their work and presentation of an unqualified audit.

Ram Kakkar, Cerritos resident, suggested a summary should be provided to the public prior to consideration of the report.  It was noted that the report was available for public review at City Hall as well as being posted to the City's website, and State law precludes a summary only.

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilwoman Chen and seconded by Councilman Edwards that the Cerritos City Council receive and file the Fiscal Year 2008-2009 City of Cerritos Financial Report for Fiscal Year ended June 30, 2009.  The motion carried unanimously.

CITY COUNCIL COMMUNICATIONS/COMMITTEE REPORTS/REPORT ON MEETINGS

Councilwoman Chen indicated that she attended the Memorial Highway Dedication on the 91 Freeway for Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy David Powell; Cerritos Korean Women's Club 5th Annual Scholarship Awards; Cerritos Library Awards Reception for The Short Story and Art Contests for Children; the Bellflower Live Work Project.  She requested the meeting be adjourned in memory of long-time Cerritos resident Robert Warren Douglas.

Councilwoman Lee noted her attendance at the Cerritos Korean Women's Club 5th Annual Scholarship Awards and Cerritos Library Awards Reception for The Short Story and Art Contests for Children.  She reported that the Cerritos Library received the 5-Star Rating from the Library Journal for the second time and commented on burglary reports occurring in the City, reminding residents to be vigilant.  She requested the meeting be adjourned in memory of long-time Cerritos resident Rudy Pulido, offered condolences and commented on his contributions to the community.

Community and Safety Services Director reported that a rash of car burglaries had occurred and that deputies apprehended the suspects who are now in custody.

Councilman Edwards reported on his attendance at the ABC School Board swearing-in; Code Enforcement Officer Pam Douglass' retirement; Supervisor Don Knabe's Holiday Reception for Elected Officials; Cerritos' Holiday Boutique; and Cerritos Library Awards Reception for The Short Story and Art Contests for Children.  He requested the meeting be adjourned in memory of long-time Cerritos resident Alphee H. "Dutch" Ducharme and wished everyone happy holidays.

Mayor Pro Tem Cho reported on his attendance at the Cerritos Holiday Boutique; South Asian Helpline and Referral Agency Opening Reception; Chinese Life in America book review; Cerritos Library Awards Reception for The Short Story and Art Contests for Children; holiday events sponsored by Assemblymember Tony Mendoza, Cerritos Regional Chamber of Commerce; Cerritos Sheriff's Station; and Cerritos Optimist Club.  He indicated he attended the funeral mass of long-time Cerritos resident Rudy Pulido and commented on the contributions of Mr. Pulido and Mr. Ducharme.  He wished everyone a happy holiday season and happy new year.

Mayor Barrows offered condolences in the tragic death of four police officers in Lakewood, Washington, and recognized the dedication of those in law enforcement and fire fighters.

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting adjourned at 10:42 p.m. in memory of long-time Cerritos residents Robert Warren Douglas, Rudy Pulido, and Alphee H. "Dutch" Ducharme, each of whom recently passed away.

 

/s/Josephine Triggs                   
Josephine Triggs, City Clerk
 

ATTEST:

/s/Bruce Barrows                     
Bruce Barrows, Mayor

Approved:  January 14, 2010

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