ANTIOCH CITY COUNCIL
ANTIOCH DEVELOPMENT AGENCY
July 13, 1999
7:00 p.m. Council Chambers
CLOSED SESSION: CONFERENCE WITH LABOR NEGOTIATOR. Agency Negotiator: Yanie Chaumette, Director of Personnel/Assistant City Attorney. Unrepresented employees: City Manager, City Attorney, and City Clerk. This Closed Session is authorized by Government Code '54957.6.
Mayor Rocha called the meeting to order at 7:09P.M. and City Clerk Martin called the roll.
Present: Council Members Freitas, Soliz, Davis, Sudario and Mayor Rocha
Mayor Rocha stated there was nothing to report from the Closed Session as Council would be returning to Closed Session at the end of the meeting to complete their business.
PRESENTATIONto Rivertown Business Association, 4th of July Event
Mayor Rocha presented a Certificate of Recognition to the Antioch Rivertown Business Association for their participation in the 4th of July event. Rick Carraher, representing the Antioch Rivertown Business Association, thanked the Council for their recognition. He then recognized the individual participants and thanked them for making the event possible.
ANNOUNCEMENT OF CIVIC AND COMMUNITY EVENTS
Alvin Scott discussed his work in helping to protect pensions for all people. He stated he had received help from the public to put an initiative on the ballot to protect pensions.
Jean Kuberra discussed portions of the Speakers Rules she felt did not reflect the changes adopted by Council on May 11, l999.
Ed McMunn discussed some of the shows currently aired on public access TV on Channel 25, and felt these shows were focused on demeaning the City Council and the people of Antioch.
Council Member Sudario called aAPoint of Order@ stating the remarks made by Ed McMunn were both slanderous and malicious, and asked City Attorney Galstan whether or not it was legal for him to continue. Mr. Galstan stated the Council may limit public comments to items over which it has jurisdiction, however, Council had the choice whether or not to let the speaker continue. Council Member Soliz reminded Council the decision was made several years earlier to make public comments the people=s forum, and gave the public the right to speak on any subject.
Jim Conley suggested Council consider changing its broadcast channel from TCI Channel 25 to CCTB Channel 27. He felt TCI Channel 25 broadcast shows created and hosted by persons of questionable character resulting in programs that were morally bankrupt. He felt it was demeaning for the City to broadcast its Council meetings on the same channel.
William Leroy discussed politics in Antioch, and urged the Council to realize the effects their decisions have on the citizens of Antioch.
Norma Hernandez stated Council should not allow slanderous remarks to be made during public comments. She felt only those subjects under the Council=s jurisdiction should be discussed during public comments. She stated she would be returning to public involvement.
Ralph Hernandez also objected to the slanderous remarks made during public comments. He discussed the Urban Limit Line meeting and noted Citizens for Democracy had submitted to Supervisor Canciamilla an opposing view from that of the Council Majority. He further stated Council had impeded free speech by not having the Urban Limit Line meeting on a Tuesday evening.
Barbara Sobalvarro stated members of the Hernandez/Sudario faction are abusing the democratic process in the City of Antioch.
Allen Payton announced there was a groundbreaking event last week for the Highway 4 East widening project. He implored Council to make it a priority to ensure the widening continues until it reaches Hillcrest Avenue.
Council Member Soliz directed City Attorney Galstan to look into the possibility of changing the City=s broadcasting station from Channel 25 to Channel 27 and report back to Council at the next regularly scheduled meeting.
COUNCIL REGULAR AGENDA
Public Works Director Brandt presented the staff report dated July 2, l999, recommending the City Council award the project to the low bidder in the amount of unit prices bid.
Allen Payton thanked the Council Members who voted to approve the budget with funding for the Skate Park. He noted the budget did not provide lighting for the facility, therefore, the Skate Park Fund Campaign was now working to raise money for lighting to keep the park open at night.
Council Member Freitas directed staff to look into the availability of funds for lighting and landscaping for the park when an inquiry revealed the current plans did not provide shaded areas or lighting.
Mayor Rocha declared a recess at 7:55 P.M. The meeting reconvened at 8:06 P.M. with all members present.
On motion by Council Member Freitas, seconded by Council Member Soliz, the Council unanimously awarded the contract to A.J. Vasconi of Concord in the amount of $229,750.
On motion by Council Member Soliz, seconded by Council Member Sudario, the Council unanimously continued this item until July 27, l999.
Council Member Davis noted on Thursday he would be traveling to our Sister City, Chichibu, Japan and had asked Thomas West to create a gift to present to the Mayor of Chichibu. Mr. West presented his stained glass art which combined the City of Antioch's logo and the red sun displayed on Japan's flag. City Manager Ramsey noted Mr. West had graciously donated his time in doing this artwork for the City.
CIVIC ARTS PROGRAM UPDATE
City Manager Ramsey introduced Katie Ruppe to the Council and community, noting she would be giving quarterly presentations to the Council on the status of the Civic Arts Program.
Coordinator of Arts and Cultural Programs Katie Ruppe, presented the staff report dated July 8, l999 highlighting upcoming Arts and Cultural Programs.
Mary Zbacnik, former member of the Civic Arts Commission, noted the disbanded Civic Arts Commission initially started most of the programs that have taken place and/or planned for the future. She felt the Lynn House Gallery should not be rented to the public for private events.
William Leroy stated the Civic Arts Program had become a political football, and felt politics should not be a part of the Arts.
On motion by Council Member Soliz, seconded by Council Member Davis, the Council unanimously received and filed the report.
Economic Development Director, Laura Sainz, presented the staff report dated July 1, l999, recommending Council adopt the resolution supporting a regional small business incubator and direct staff to research and present a regional incubator model for East Contra Costa County.
Ms. Sainz responded to questions from Council Member Sudario regarding the possible location of the incubator project. Ms. Sainz stated the direction from the City Manager was to try and put the incubator downtown, as part of the City's participation in the Rivertown Renaissance. She clarified her request was for direction from Council as to how they wanted her to proceed. She stated she could not move forward with the project research without direction on the overall concept of whether the incubator would be regional or strictly an Antioch based incubator.
Council Member Freitas expressed concern for the cost, terms, selection process and the means used to measure the success of the incubator project. City Manager Ramsey explained the issue before the Council was whether or not to pursue this project on a regional scale or restrict it to Antioch. Ms. Sainz stated the resolution before Council was strictly a concept description.
Norma Hernandez urged Council to be very careful and make sure they understand exactly what they were voting on before adopting the resolution. She noted she would be more supportive of a strictly Antioch based incubator versus a sub-regional incubator, as she felt a sub-regional incubator would put the project under County jurisdiction.
Jean Kuberra stated she was opposed to the resolution. She felt it would be very difficult to organize something on a regional level involving other jurisdictions. She further commented she did not want Ms. Sainz assigned to something that could potentially take her away from the job she was hired to do.
Council Member Sudario stated she was wary of voting on a concept without any facts or figures, and felt the City should be looking for investors interested in an incubator concept for Antioch's home based businesses.
Council Member Soliz stated he was in support of the concept, and felt we could collectively accomplish more regionally than with Antioch standing alone.
Council Member Freitas stated he would like to see a comparison between a regional incubator and a City based incubator. He further stated he would like the Council to receive periodic updates on this project, and did not want this project to consume the resources of the Economic Development Director.
RESOLUTION NO. 99/74
On motion by Council Member Soliz, seconded by Council Member Davis, the Council adopted the resolution, with an amendment to the last sentence of the last paragraph of the resolution to read as follows:
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the City Council of the City of Antioch does hereby support the concept of a regional incubator and directs staff to work with other interested cities to research and present various options for how a regional incubator versus city owned incubator may work.
The motion was carried by the following vote:
AYES: Freitas, Soliz, Davis, Rocha
City Manager Ramsey noted this item dealt with the redevelopment of the old K-Mart store location at Sycamore and Mahogany Drives. He noted this is a complex item and would be handled in two parts, the economic development perspective and the legal implications involved in going forward with the proposed project.
Economic Development Director Sainz presented the staff report dated July 7, l999, recommending the City Council adopt the resolution designating the survey area to determine whether an amendment to the redevelopment plan was feasible.
Ms. Sainz outlined the existing businesses at the location, and briefly outlined the existing leases. She explained the request of one tenant for a very high, probably well-above market value buy out; therefore, the City's involvement would entail determining the market value of that lease. She further noted eminent domain would allow the court to review the market value of that lease, and determine an adequate buy-out.
City Attorney Galstan presented the staff report dated July 7, l999, recommending the City Council adopt the resolution determining a Project Area Committee would not be formed in connection with the proposed amendment to the redevelopment plan. He stated when there is an amendment to the redevelopment plan, the law requires a committee be formed consisting of the residents within the project area to allow them to participate in the redevelopment plan. However, there are no residents in this project and therefore no functional reason to form a committee. He further noted this was the first of several meetings on this project and the public would have many opportunities to participate at both the City Council and Planning Commission levels. Regarding the cost to retain special counsel for this item, he felt the City needed a specialist in this area, stating City staff was not versed in this area, and the time line of the developer did not allow for any missteps.
Raymond Sheppard, Antioch Ace Hardware, stated he hoped the City Council would keep in mind the plight of small businesses. He further stated Ace Hardware would like to once again ask City Council to grant permission to place Ace Hardware directional signs on Sunset Drive.
Lamont Campbell, Hospice of Contra Costa, one of the sub-lessees located in the project area, stated he was in support of the project going forward and revitalizing the area. He urged Council to give Hospice of Contra Costa and the other affected businesses the respect they deserved, and help in the relocation process. He stated many local residents depend on the services of Hospice of Contra Costa and the money generated by the thrift store helps to provide comfort for those in need.
Norma Hernandez stated this was a private business enterprise, and felt the City should not become involved. She felt by getting involved the City was siding with a new business against existing businesses, thereby creating an unequal playing field. She also felt residents in the surrounding area should form the committee, as they would be affected.
Ralph Hernandez stated he was opposed to the project, and felt the people who were renting the properties should form the committee and become involved in the process. He agreed the blight should be eliminated, but not at the expense of established businesses.
Charlotte Indar, owner of Party Time Gifts and Groceries, stated she had learned of this project this day. She noted she had recently moved her established business from Pittsburg to Antioch because she had been informed Antioch wanted more business, and felt it was unfair she would have relocate again. She urged Council to let her business remain at its current location.
Jean Kuberra reminded Council they were not voting on the amendment, but whether or not to form a committee for this project. She felt it was imperative a committee be formed by the businesses to consider how they would be impacted in the future.
Saleem Sadruddin, owner of Red and Green Market, noted he had 42 years left on his lease and had not been told about the proposed project. He stated this shopping center had been there for many years, and if the owner had maintained the center properly, this would not be happening. He urged Council to allow the existing businesses to remain at their present locations, explaining it was costly in both time and money to establish a successful business and the current business owners did not want to start over again at new locations.
City Attorney Galstan responded to questions from Council regarding the relocation process, stating the City had a requirement to pay certain relocation benefits as specified by State law. He noted there would be several meetings with the tenants to discuss the needs and costs of moving, as well as finding them a new location.
Council Member Sudario felt the information given to the tenants was conflicting. She further felt it was unfair to force existing, established businesses to relocate because the property owner did not maintain the property. She also stated taxpayers' money should not be used to get involved in private business negotiations, and felt the City should step back and let the parties negotiate on their own.
Council Member Freitas stated that after listening to the tenants, he felt it was imperative the Council approve the resolution. He noted eminent domain would provide balance and fairness to all parties involved. City Manager Ramsey responded to questions from Council stating there was no bonding capacity within this project, and bonds would not be sold to fund the project.
RESOLUTION NO. 99/75
On motion by Council Member Freitas, seconded by Council Member Soliz, the Council adopted the resolution determining a project area committee would not be formed in connection with the proposed amendment to the redevelopment plan. The motion was carried by the following vote:
AYES: Freitas, Soliz, Davis, Rocha
City Attorney Galstan presented the staff report dated June 23, l999, recommending the City Council take no action on this item.
Jean Kuberra discussed her allegations concerning violations of the Brown Act in conducting Council meetings. She stated the Council majority has consistently ruled against the people they were elected to serve, and have been dysfunctional in their accountability to the public.
On motion by Council Member Freitas, seconded by Council Member Davis, the Council voted to take no action on this item. The motion was carried by the following vote:
AYES: Freitas, Soliz, Davis, Rocha
A. SB 320, WORKERS COMPENSATION REFORM; OPPOSE
On motion by Council Member Freitas, seconded by Council Member Soliz, the Council directed staff to prepare a letter for the Mayor's signature in opposition of SB 320. The motion was carried by the following vote:
AYES: Freitas, Soliz, Davis, Rocha
Council Member Freitas directed staff to prepare a briefing on SCA3, Burton's Bill regarding transportation issues, to be presented at the meeting of July 27, 1999.
8. COUNCIL CONSENT CALENDAR
- Claim of Yvonne James, #99/00-1088
On motion by Council Members Freitas, seconded by Council Member Sudario, the Council unanimously approved the Council Consent Calendar, with the exceptions of Items F, G, and H which were removed for further discussion.
ITEM F: Council Member Freitas removed himself from the dais on this item, due to a potential conflict of interest.
On motion by Council Member Soliz, seconded by Council Member Davis, the Council Members present unanimously approved Consent Calendar Item F.
ITEM G: Council Member Sudario stated she would be voting against any further residential development, due to the fact she did not feel the City was in compliance with its General Plan. She felt the developer agreements could be challenged in court based on the health and safety clauses included in the developer agreements.
On motion by Council Member Freitas, seconded by Council Member Soliz, the Council approved Consent Calendar Item G. The motion was carried by the following vote:
AYES: Freitas, Soliz, Davis, Rocha
ITEM H: Council Member Sudario stated although there was a suspension on residential development, this item was to approve 75 more homes.
City Attorney Galstan clarified the suspension resolution applied only to new Tentative Maps, not to Final Maps of previously approved projects. He further stated Council had no discretion regarding the approval or denial of a request for Final Map approval. Council Member Sudario stated she disagreed with the statement made by City Attorney Galstan. She further stated Mr. Galstan had written the developer agreements containing the health and safety issues, and he had retained counsel for a second opinion on whether or not denial of a Final Map could be challenged in court and was told it could not be challenged.
City Attorney Galstan stated the development process was complicated and involved a number of steps. He noted at the Final Map stage, Council had no discretion as to whether to approve or not. However, he stated at the building permit level, there were opportunities for moratorium, phasing and timing, and this was the issue addressed by outside counsel, not whether or not a Final Map could be denied.
On motion by Council Member Freitas, seconded by Council Member Soliz, the Council approved Consent Calendar Item H. The motion was carried by the following vote:
AYES: Freitas, Soliz, Davis, Rocha
Mayor Rocha adjourned from the City Council meeting and convened to the Antioch Development Agency.
AGENCY CONSENT CALENDAR
APPROVAL OF AGENCY MINUTES: June 8, 15, and 17, l999
APPROVAL OF AGENCY WARRANTS
On motion by Agency Member Freitas, seconded by Agency Member Soliz, the Agency unanimously approved the Agency Consent Calendar.
AGENCY REGULAR AGENDA
On motion by Agency Member Freitas, seconded by Agency Member Soliz, the Agency approved the agreement for legal services. The motion was carried by the following vote:
AYES: Freitas, Soliz, Davis, Rocha
Mayor Rocha adjourned from the Antioch Development Agency and reconvened to the City Council meeting.
Council Member Sudario reported the Contra Costa Water Board distributed flyers stating there was a bacterium in the water at the Contra Loma Reservoir. She clarified the State took water samples from the Delta, where the bacteria was found, however there was no bacteria in the samples taken from Contra Loma. She further stated the slanderous comments made about her during public comments were completely false, and felt it was an attempt to destroy her credibility. She also indicated Sean South had two items he was requesting be put on the agenda for consideration.
Council Member Freitas, referring to the Contra Loma issue, stated he was greatly disturbed two public agencies were on the verge of litigation. He suggested Council send a letter to the Presidents of the Water District and the East Bay Regional Park District under the Mayor's signature, stating the Council's objection to the use of taxpayers' money for litigation. He also suggested a letter be sent to Assemblyman Tom Torlakson indicating the need for legislation to resolve the problem.
City Manager Ramsey stated he would be happy to agendize the items outlined in the letter from Sean South.
Council Member Davis noted he would be in Chichibu, Japan on City business from July 15-29, l999, and asked to be excused from the Council meeting of July 27, l999.
Mayor Rocha noted she had talked to the City Manager about putting some privately funded trees in a park in remembrance of the Viramonte children and another young girl who died a year ago. She further noted in April the City would be remembering these and other children who have met with tragic deaths. She also announced she and City Manager Ramsey were challenging each other in a Bocci Ball Tournament on July 17, l999. Also on that date, Oakley would have a parade starting from Freedom High School at 10:45 A.M. She requested staff bring written information to Council indicating what constitutes a "living wage," what triggers a "prevailing wage," and the difference between the two.
Mayor Rocha adjourned the City Council Meeting at 10:38 P.M. to return to the unfinished Closed Session. In response to Council Member Sudario's question on the Closed Session topic, Mayor Rocha stated Council was going into Closed Session to give direction on the negotiations. Council Member Sudario announced she would not be attending the Closed Session. Mayor Rocha asked Ms. Sudario for a reason for her absence from Closed Session and Ms. Sudario stated she was simply not attending the Closed Session for negotiations.
Mayor Rocha reconvened the City Council meeting at 10:49 P.M., and City Clerk Martin called the roll:
Present: Council Members Freitas, Davis, Soliz and Mayor Rocha
Absent: Council Member Sudario
Mayor Rocha stated Council went into negotiations, came to a consensus and had given instructions to Assistant City Attorney/Personnel Director Chaumette. She noted the absence of Council Member Sudario at the Closed Session. Mayor Rocha expressed her concern about Council Member Sudario's actions concerning City issues.
With no further business Mayor Rocha adjourned the meeting at 10:55 P.M. to the next scheduled City Council Meeting on July 27, l999.
L. JOLENE MARTIN, City Clerk
Home Page || Council Meeting Directory