RED BLUFF

CITY COUNCIL

SPECIAL MEETING MINUTES

 

DATE OF MEETING:   August 22, 2005

 

TIME OF MEETING:   6:30 P.M.

 

PLACE OF MEETING:  RED BLUFF COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL

 

 

Councilmembers Present: Andy Houghton, Mayor                                                                                                                                                Forrest Flynn

                                                           Wayne Brown, Mayor Pro Tem

                                                            Larry Stevens

                                                            Dan Irving

              

Councilmembers Absent:  None

                                                     

Staff Present:                         Susan Price, City Manager

Gloria Shepherd, City Clerk

Tessa Pritchard, Human Resources Director

Michael Damon, Fire Chief

                                                               Al Shamblin, Police Chief

                                                               Charlie Mullen, Planning Director

                                                               Margaret Van Warmerdam, Finance Director

                                                               J D Ellison Sr., Building Director/Official

 Nik Reikalas, Parks and Recreation Director

                                                     

Rich Mehling led the Pledge of Allegiance at the request of Mayor Houghton and the assemblage joined in.

 

 

CITIZENíS COMMENTS

 

Councilmember Dan Irving excused himself from Mr. Wintleís comments about In-En-Tec due to a conflict of interest as he felt he might have significant knowledge of what was about to be discussed.


 

 

Earl Wintel, concerned citizen, spoke on behalf of a concerned citizens group that has filed an appeal to the permit that was issued through the Air Pollution Control District to a company called In-En-Tec. This permit allows the company to build an incinerating medical waste facility that is a new plasma arching process. His concern was over the location of the proposed plant and that it may cause potential harm to the citizens of Red Bluff and ought to be discussed along with the environmental review.  There has been little or no input from the City and he made a formal request for this topic to be placed on the next agenda for discussion and review of the process from the Cityís viewpoint.  Timing is important in this matter.

 

Susan Price, City Manager, explained that the County of Tehama has set a date on September 8th regarding discussion of the ground rules for the hearing and for the date to be identified.

 

The City Council could elect to put it on the agenda of the September 6th meeting or to call a Special Meeting to investigate and provide more information as a policy decision to provide comments to AQMD or take a position for or against an appeal.  The City was not previously asked to comment on this but the City may contribute input on it. The issue was about air quality impacts and did not include whether there will be an impact on water or ground.

 

M/S/C Flynn, Brown to put this issue on the September 6, 2005 agenda to investigate and provide more information.

 

AYES:            Councilmembers:                      Brown, Flynn, Houghton and Stevens

NOES:                                                            None

ABSENT OR NOT VOTING:            Councilmember:            Irving (Abstained)

 

 

CITIZENS COMMENTS

 

Kay Webb, concerned citizen, read a statement to the City Council as follows in the format that it was written:

 

ďI AM BRINGING THIS INCIDENT TO THE COUNCIL BECAUSE I FEEL THE PUBLIC HAS A RIGHT TO KNOW THE TACTICS USED BY THE PARKS AND RECREATION DIRECTORÖ

 

ON AUGUST 16 AT ABOUT 6PM I MET NIK REIKALAS AND KELLY SPENSER, ANOTHER PART TIME EMPLOYEE IN THE PARKING LOT AT FREY FIELD, I ASKED HIM WHAT HE WAS DOING THERE. HE LOOKED SURPRISED THAT I ASKED. SO I TOLD HIM I HAD NOT SEEN HIM THERE ALL SEASON. HE THEN STATED IíVE BEEN HERE SEVERAL EVENINGS YOU JUST HAVENíT SEEN ME. I WORE A FLOPPY HAT SO NO ONE WOULD RECOGNIZE ME. AND THEN INDICATED THE BACK OF THE FIELD ON VISTA WAY. HE THEN SAID YOU WOULD BE SURPRISED WHAT YOU CAN SEE WITH A PAIR OF BINICOLARS. AND AS IF TO VALIDATE HIS STATEMENT HE TOLD ME I DID NOT SOUND LIKE MYSELF ON THE PA.

 

I ASKED HIM IF HE THOUGHT HE WAS ARTE JOHNSON AND PARTED IMAGINARY BUSHES IN FRONT OF MY FACE WITH MY HANDS. HE SAID NO IíM NOT A STALKER.

I HAVE SPOKEN TO SEVERAL MEMBERS OF THE COUNCIL AND THE CONENSES WAS TAKE IT TO HUMAN RESOURCES AS IT IS A PERSONNEL PROBLEM. IT IS IF THIS IS THE METHOD THE DIRECTOR USES TO CHECK UP ON HIS EMPLOYEES ONLY, BUT IF HIS SPYING IN DISGUISE INCLUDES THE PLAYERS AND FANS IT BECOMES A PUBLIC PROBLEM.

 

WHILE TALKING TO HR ON THURS I LEARNED PICTURES OF PLAYERS WITH BEER WERE TAKEN WED NIGHT AT THE CHAMPINONSHIP GAMES. I DONíT KNOW FOR A FACT WHO TOOK THE PICTURES BUT SINCE HR HAD THEM, I CAN MAKE A GOOD GUESS SINCE NIK WAS CARRYING A CAMERA ON WED. ARE THERE OTHER PICTURES ON OTHER NIGHTS?

 

I DONíT KNOW WHAT HIS MOTIVE FOR THE OBSERVATIONS IN DISGUISE AND USING THE BINOCULARS WAS. BUT I DO KNOW IT IS UNPROFESSIONAL, MORALLY WRONG, AND QUITE POSSIBLY ILLEGAL.

 

I HAVE NO DOUBT THAT MY SEVENTEENTH SEASON AS A SCOREKEEPER WAS MY LAST BUT WRONG IS WRONG, NO MATTER THE CONSEQUENCES.Ē

 

Terry Bensch, concerned citizen, has been a ballplayer for 30 years and currently is officiating and discussed the issue of drinking at the ball field.  As an official and a ballplayer she explained that beer drinking at the games is not the problem, but rather a few key individuals that need to be addressed and that in no way has alcohol been a factor. Selling beer at games is common and they have lost teams and players as a result of this enforcement. This is their recreation and what they were brought up doing here. She mentioned that theyíve never had any previous incidents and that perhaps the RBPD has not been enforcing this and the City has taken this too far and needs to re-look at this.

 

Jean Waelty, concerned citizen, has been playing ball as long as she can remember and her dad played ball for years and passed away 3 years ago. The 2 years that she had a tournament, she sponsored for a donation to American Cancer to help her mom with bills. Previously she was allowed a permit but this year no one is allowed a permit. Summer Slam brings 32 teams and players are being denied the right to play and drink alcohol. They bring a lot of money to this City and they may not return next year as a result.  She questioned why the Blues for the Pools was allowed an alcohol permit but not the softball team?

 

Steve Judson, concerned citizen, brought up a Parks and Recreation issue about the letters to the editor and the new fees that are going to be going into effect.  His concern was about the current fee schedule and the new dates of implementation for the changes.

 

Richard Crabtree, City Attorney, explained the fees that that have already been approved and adopted by the City Council. There is a 60-day waiting period provided by law but the trigger for the waiting period is not the day they apply but the time the services or the use of facilities are actually provided.  If it were a Building Permit, it would be when the Building Department is to review the Building Permit and issue it.  If it were provided before the 60 days then old fees would apply. If it were provided after the 60 days the new fees would apply.

 

Danielle Jackson, concerned Parks and Recreation employee for 11 years, expressed her shame for her association with the department this year for the first time.  She explained that any incident that has ever occurred whether it was a fight between ball players overreacting or if she saw alcohol she always called the police and that there is a record of that.  She speaks on behalf of the score keepers, umpires, referees and that they are above reproach following through with the appropriate paperwork, phone calls and that they have handled any issues as they have seen best.  She has not seen one case of alcohol use, abuse, or otherwise at any game she has kept score for over the last 8 years.  Since this Ordinance has been instituted, she has not seen an incident and would have reported it as that is the type of individuals that Parks and Recreation has working for them.   

 

             

CONSENT CALENDAR

 

M/S/C Brown, Flynn to approve Consent Agenda.

 

AYES:            Councilmembers:                      Brown, Flynn, Houghton, Irving and Stevens

NOES:                                                            None

ABSENT OR NOT VOTING:                   None

 

 

PLANNING AND PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION VACANCIES 

 

Approved 5-0-0

 

           

CURRENT BUSINESS

 

GENERAL PLAN UPDATE ADVISORY COMMITTEE APPOINTMENT

 

Charlie Mullen, Planning Director, reviewed the staff report and gave staffís recommendation that the City Council appoint one of the two Alternate Members, Beth (Kathy) Bonner or Phyllis Avilla, to serve as a Primary Member on the General Plan Update Advisory Committee.

 

Councilmember Irving inquired about the make up of the Committee and whether it was from the Commission or the City Council. 

 

Charlie Mullen, Planning Director, explained that he felt that this selection was appropriate, as they were familiar with all the work that has taken place to date, but commented that the Council may revisit that issue. The Ad Hoc Meeting is currently scheduled every third Monday of the month.

 

Councilmember Irving felt that the greater benefit of having a Planning Commissioner on that Ad Hoc Committee is more important as the input and experience than the actual vote.

 

Mayor Pro Tem Brown suggested in order to keep things the way that it should be it was recommended that they approach one of the other Commissions to see if they want to be on there or wait until they have a new one appointed.

 

Councilmember Stevens supported having the continuity of having two Planning Commissioners on the Ad Hoc Committee.

 

Councilmember Flynn agreed as well.

 

Councilmember Irving suggested that they wait until there is a Planning Commissioner appointed until they make a decision.

 

M/S/C Flynn, Stevens to approve putting this item on the October 4, 2005 Agenda.

 

AYES:            Councilmembers:                      Brown, Flynn, Houghton, Irving and Stevens

NOES:                                                            None

ABSENT OR NOT VOTING:                   None

 

 

DRAFT SCHEDULE OF FEES AND CHARGES FOR CITY SERVICES PLANNING AND BUILDING DEPARTMENTS

Susan Price, City Manager, reviewed the staff report and gave staffís recommendation that the City Council review and discuss the Building and Planning Department draft Schedule of Fees and Charges for City Services and provide direction to staff.

 

Bill Moule, Ad Hoc Member, explained that the Chamber of Commerceís position on fees is that they shouldnít be necessary and that when the City hires someone to do a job it is done because there is a job to do and the costs of performing the tasks are paid for by the tax payers in the community in which they are being performed.  Some fees although they may not like them are probably necessary and that they have as a staff and as an Ad Hoc Committee agreed with several of these fees.  It includes Chamber of Commerce and a Citizens group made up of people who work with City Staff and two Council members.  He explained that if you were a new business tomorrow you would do what Maximus did so you would know what to charge in order to stay in business.  He suggested that the City isnít a revenue producing agency and is not here as representative of the citizens and the voters to raise revenues.  He commented that the new approved fee increases have already put more money into the General Fund then it had when it begin.

 

Councilmember Irving questioned this talk about building revenue and whether it isnít the idea of these fees is to capture costs? 

 

Susan Price, City Manager, explained that the concept of the Maximus Study were the costs of service. 

 

Bill Moule explained that they are trying to find some center ground of fees that are not onerous to the people paying them that make sense for some cost recovery for the City and will keep them from running into the red.   He explained that the Chamber absolutely disagrees with the concept of an annual adjustment factor. They believe the automatic fee increase is not a good thing and as elected representatives, and he feels itís part of the job to get the feel of the citizens and voters as to how they feel about ongoing increases in fees.  He explained that they recommend that this Ad Hoc Committee be used to review and discuss any future fee increase instead of any automatic one.  In the past when a fee was discussed, it started at the department level and then was brought to the Council level. He feels that the Council needs to feel the pulse of the community to see if the fee is necessary and the department will tell you if it is a legitimate cost.  He explained that this is a total revenue based discussion tonight and total dollars received opposed to what you are receiving now. 

 

Councilmember Irving asked for confirmation as to whether this was the Ad Hoc Committeeís philosophy that no fees should be charged.

 

Bill Moule explained that no, it was the Chamber of Commerce as a general rule statewide feeling that fees are being charged because you can and that they are necessary in some instances and that you need to take good hard long looks on them before you impose them on the citizens.

 

Councilmember Irving then questioned whether this Chamber perception was not the sort of assumption that led the Ad Hoc Committee.

 

Bill Moule explained that no, that was not what led them and that the Ad Hoc Committee was made up of Chamber members and citizens in the community.

 

Bill Moule then went straight to the Building Department Fees and explained that he would like to see the Building Permit Fee go a little higher but does not want to turn anyone off from getting a permit and they feel that this is how they build a good strong city.  The fault that they had with this Building Department was with the formula and he invited Steve Judson to give an explanation of it.

 

Steve Judson felt that the problem was that without a computer being turned on you could not generate a permit fee. He felt that a Building Permit Fee should be computed on a hand calculator straight up without relying on what a computer says.  He had researched this and found a discrepancy in the calculations and he recommended a research on the calculations and modifying this by a factor of four. 

 

Bill Moule suggested having Steve Judson meet with the Building Department to give them his suggestions on formulas, but other than that they donít have any more issues with the Building Department.

 

Bill Moule went on to address the Planning Department Fees and referred to Fees 1 through 60 as being a little arbitrary and explained that he felt this is for what the Planning Department does and you donít charge fees for what the Planning Department does.

 

Fee #1 he recommended that the applicant or recipient pay for the newspaper fee ad and thatís all and no fee for the abandonment of a right of way.

 

Fee #2 Address assignment street name fee should not be a fee.

 

Fee # 3 & 4 were agreed to.

 

Fee # 5 Alcohol license recommended a fee a $230 & the existing fee was zero.

 

Fee # 6 Recommended $160 & the existing fee was zero.

 

Fee #7 Recommended $250 & the existing fee was zero.

 

Fee #8 Right to appeal should be $50 or according to the appeal.

 

Susan Price, City Manager, asked the City Council to keep in mind and consider how much the City wants to subsidize private development.

           

Bill Moule responded that they arenít suggesting subsidizing anyone but that this is what the Planning Department does.

 

Richard Crabtree, City Attorney, explained that legally the City canít say ďwe want to hear more from you, than youĒ and it would be illegal to charge the appeal fee the Ad Hoc Committee is suggesting as they presented it.

 

Bill Moule responded that they should go back to the original request then that the appeal should be free.

 

That might result in a concern for the City that everything would then be appealed if it were free and would take more time than itís worth.

 

Bill Moule stated, let it be appealed then.

 

The existing fee is $500 and the City Staff recommended $300.

 

Bill Moule continued to recommend it be zero.

 

Charlie Mullen, Planning Director, explained the reason for the fee is that when an appeal is filed it often brings up issues that need further research and analyzed in order to make an informed decision. Most cities charge for an appeal.

 

It was suggested by the Bill Moule that if the appeal went through they would get their money back since they didnít do their job right.

 

Richard Crabtree, City Attorney, explained that just because the City Council may disagree with a decision doesnít mean something was done wrong.

 

Councilmember Irving explained that it might tend to marginalize the Planning Commission and they serve an important role, they depoliticize the process, and the Commission is there to protect us from the politics.  City Council is more the Political part.

 

The appeal fee applies to both the Planning Director or the Planning Commission Action.

 

Bill Moule feels they should be separate.

 

In an effort to clarify the discussion, Charlie Mullen, Planning Director, explained that the City Council directed the staff to do the User Fee Study to seek a 100% cost recovery. That is what this study is all about and then staff came up with what was a fair recommendation and at this point it is a policy decision of the City Council through either a line item process or choose to adopt percentages or implementation strategies of how to achieve this.  The analysis of this recovery was done by Professionals including the previous Planning Director, Chuck Hayden, and all data was reviewed that was put into that and the data is proven and documented. He asked that the City Council decide what is an appropriate percentage of cost recovery. 

 

Bill Moule recommended that the Ad Hoc Committee meet with Charlie Mullen, Planning Director and his staff and rewrite this appeal fee so that it makes more sense.

 

Richard Crabtree, City Attorney, explained that the County has often waived the appeal fee.

 

Bill Moule asked for approval and wanted to pull some of the fees out and proceeded to ask that 17 through 24 have no fee, as this is what the Planning Department does.

 

He asked that 29, 30, 31, & 32 regarding fees for information requests and inspections be reconsidered.

 

Fees 33 to 35 he recommended $180.

 

The zero fee for 36, 37, 38 he agreed on these fees.

 

Fee 44 should be $1,500 opposed to $2,500

 

Setback adjustment set back at zero.

 

Tree replacement is something that staff requires and the rest are off by about 35% to 45 % on the balance but on the total amounts they are still greater than when they started.

 

The flood plain variance #56 was questioned.

 

Margaret Van Warmerdam, Finance Director, mentioned that the cost allocation plan requires that the Planning Department give back to the General Fund and due to the fact that Planning doesnít have the funds thatís a second shortfall thatís not even discussed at this point.

 

Richard Crabtree, City Attorney, explained that the law doesnít allow the Development Impact Fees to be used for maintenance and can only be used for Capital Improvements.

 

Mayor Pro Tem Brown suggested that the Planning Department soften the fees somewhere in the middle ground.

 

Councilmember Irving suggested taking Maximus recommendations and comparing to other cities.

 

Susan Price, City Manger, explained that we have and they are still lower.

 

M/S/C Stevens to adopt the Chambers recommended fee with the exception of the fee for the appeal and have that item brought back for a reconsideration of the amount.

 

The Motion died for lack of a second.

 

Charlie Mullen, Planning Director, explained that development driven areas are new development driven from out of town people who are used to paying fees. These are areas that will require a lot more work and energy and it is a direct driver of staff effort and time being utilized and to achieve 100% cost in that area.  Any other areas the staff, in order to offer a compromise, suggested the 75%.  Otherwise, sufficient funds will not be available to plan for the future of this community. If they donít plan and a institute fees that build up a pot of money for large cost items, the department will have to come to the City Council to ask for money from the General Fund.

 

M/S/C Brown, Irving to send it back to the same Ad Hoc Committee and bring it back to the September 6, 2005 City Council Agenda.

 

AYES:            Councilmembers:  Brown, Flynn, Houghton, Irving and Stevens                                   

NOES:                                                            None

ABSENT OR NOT VOTING:                   None

 

 

SCHEDULE OF FEES AND CHARGES FOR CITY SERVICES AUTOMATIC ANNUAL ADJUSTMENT FACTOR

 

Susan Price, City Manager, reviewed the staff report and gave staffís recommendation that the City Council discuss and consider an automatic annual adjustment factor for the Cityís new Schedule of Fees and Charges for City Services and provide direction to City staff.

 

It was the consensus of the City Council to have staff bring back the Annual Fee Adjustment for further discussion and to also bring back the recommended Building Department Fees with a Resolution at the September 6, 2005 City Council meeting.

 

John Elko, concerned citizen, felt that the Ad Hoc Committee is doing a good job and thanked them for their efforts.

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

At 9:30 P.M.  Mayor Houghton adjourned the meeting to the City Council Regular Meeting of September 6, 2005, at 7:00 p.m., in the Red Bluff City Council Chambers.

 

s/b Andy Houghton

                                     Mayor

 

 

 

ATTEST:

s/b Gloria Shepherd, City Clerk