TO: The Honorable City Council DATE: December 31, 2008
FROM: Charles R. Martin, City Manager
SUBJECT: CITY MANAGER’S REPORT
Charlie’s Bon Mot
I am more afraid of an
army of 100 sheep led
by a lion than an army of
100 lions led by a sheep.
● State HCD has not yet approved our revised Housing Element
● Legislature relaxes “design/build” project construction
● Independent audit of City’s finances shows glowing results
● TCUSD still wants to amend the costs of joint use facilities
● Recent court cases that could impact city operations
GENERAL COUNCIL INFORMATION
1. We have received the annual independent audit of the City’s and CRA’s 2007-8 fiscal year. The audit is a glowing report of the annual transactions showing no errors, no disagreements, no deficiencies, no weaknesses, and no recommendations for improvement.
a) The audit for the City shows that we had revenues almost 10% over those estimated; and expenditures more than 5% under the budgeted estimates; the amount of revenues over expenditures was $943,000 for the year. This surplus was added to our allocated reserves.
b) The Council should feel very proud of its accomplishments. Financial Services Manager, Monica Molina, and her staff are to be commended.
c) The audit for the CRA also shows no errors etc., but does acknowledge that we still do not have a requisite Housing Element. The CRA continues to survive primarily on loans from the City and interest income, but nevertheless made grants of $244,000 in the fiscal year, which reduced our cash reserve by about $160,000, but helped a number of residential and business properties.
d) All in all, a very favorable audit. The residential rehab loan program has also been very successful this year
e) It has been my pleasure to guide a three year audit of continued service to the community, fiscal responsibility, and complimentary audits. I am confident that the 2008-09 audit for the year ending June 30, 2009, (my fourth year) will provide continued success.
f) I feel that we have had a very good year, except of course the Piazza problems – and the Piazza problem was not of our making.
2. The T.C.U.S.D. staff (Chelsea and David Jaynes) has invited Cathy Burroughs and me to a meeting next week to discuss the School/City finances with regard to the reciprocal usages of each other’s facilities, and any inequities in the financing thereof.
a) While Cathy and I are willing to meet as requested, we note that originally this discussion was to take place before the full School Board and full City Council, but apparently scheduling has become too difficult.
b) The District Board has now invited the Council to the first scheduled joint meeting at the District building on January 15 at 7:00 pm. Please let Mary know whether you will be attending, and whether you want this as an adjourned meeting of the 6th, or would like to have the Mayor call a Special Meeting?
3. I and the city staff wishes you and the entire city and its residents a very happy new year for 2009.
1. We suffered some minor vandalism or accidental damage at the Civic Center building Monday night. It seems someone broke a window with what appears to be a club, baseball bat, or flipped skateboard.
Both of the City Hall buildings are protected by alarms so no one entered, and nothing was taken. We will try to get the window repaired today, if possible.
2 AB 642, effective January 1, permits cities to use “design/build” construction methods for projects over $1 million, but not for streets. This should result in lower construction costs over the present “design/bid/build” process.
3. The City’s property values are holding up better than most of our neighboring cities; our crime rate remains very low; and we are still operating at a profit even though we have no city property tax, no utility tax, no bonded indebtedness, and no assessments,
In my opinion, your staff has operated in an exemplary fashion this year with particular kudos to your department heads: Mary Flandrick, Monica Molina, Cathy Burroughs, Joe Lambert and Chuck Erickson.
Community Redevelopment Agency (CRM)
1. The investigation of Wang’s charges is presently on hold, pending the authentication of his recordings. In the interim, the City’s civil law suit against Wang is proceeding through the discovery state pending a trail in July.
Community Development & Housing Authority (CRM)
1. We are still waiting for an approval or conditional approval of our submitted Housing Element. See comments by Joe Lambert, below.
We still recommend that the other General Plan Amendments recommended by the Planning Commission (and its Task Forces) await the final Housing Element so that the necessary coordination can take place without going back for re-hearings.
The indicated writers have submitted the following items. All have been reviewed and approved (but may have been edited) by the City Manager.
Department of Management Services (Assist. to the City Manager Gary Flod)
1. Over the last three months, the City’s website statistics are basically identical to same time period last year with slightly over 17,000 visits.
(CRM Note: It appears that the residents continue to enjoy reading the weekly comments on the Website.)
Department of Parks & Recreation (Director, Cathy Burroughs)
1. The bid opening for the new multipurpose/office facility at Live Oak Park is scheduled for next Tuesday, January 6th at 10 a.m.
We hope to have a recommendation for award of contract to the Council on January 20th with construction beginning in February.
Department of Community Development (Manager, Joe Lambert)
1. We have received preliminary comments from the State regarding our draft
a) I have attached a copy of the State’s letter and the related appendix for your information. As you will see, many of the comments are not straightforward and require further clarification before we can address them. Our Housing Element consultant (Ralph Castaneda, Jr.) and I have been working on getting clarification so we can respond to the State.
b) I feel that our draft Housing Element was a very good first draft and it seems that the State is requesting an unusual amount of detail in the Housing Element, much more than was requested in past reviews.
c) Some of their comments were already addressed in the Housing Element, but may need to be specifically pointed out.
d) Housing Element law is subjective, complex, and ever changing, so we are trying to “nail down” and address specific comments.
e) In the coming weeks we will be working on itemizing each of the issues that the State wants addressed and we will be in contact with the reviewers to stay on the same page.
f) Before we send any response back to the State, this item will be brought back to the Planning Commission (and possibly City Council) for further discussion.
Office of the City Attorney (Charlie Martin, City Attorney)
1. The Statute of limitations for a criminal violation of G.C. 1090 is three years from date of reasonable discovery; but for a civil action is one year from date or reasonable discovery.
2. Cases of the week:
Miller v. Speedway (9) 536 F3d 1020: An ADA spectator (in a wheel chair) at an event is entitled to a seat where there is a continued line of sight even when other spectators stand at e.g. the finish line (or for the flag salute or anthem?).
People v. Flores DAR 18615: The Supreme Court case of D.C. v. Heller (which permitted the carrying of guns for self protection) does not invalidate CA law stating that a convicted felon may not carry a concealed weapon
Cohn v. Corinthian DAR 18632: a promotional awarding an entry gift to all mothers on mothers’ day is not invalid because it is not male v. female, but mothers v. non- mothers on a specific “Mothers’ Day”.
Cown v. Fontana DAR 18783: Court awarded attorney fees in a #1983 civil rights case may not be disproportionate to the results obtained.
Wolfe v. Fremont 144 CA 4th 533: The Brown Act provisions of this case have been overruled by G.C. 54952.2; and it is now improper for any Council Member to poll (or be a party to a polling of the Council (directly or through others) in order to ascertain probable votes in advance of a meeting. But see Clark v. Lakewood (9) 259 F3d 996: holding under federal law that a City Manager may poll the Council for his own information and without disclosure as to the results to the Council or its members.
AB 642, effective January 1, permits cities to use “design/build” construction methods for projects over $1 mil. This should result in lower construction costs.
State of America’s Cities: 2008
Skyrocketing health care costs, crumbling infrastructure and failing schools are taking their toll on local governments across the U.S., according to a new survey of municipal officials released by the National League of Cities.
The report, 2008 State of America’s Cities: Annual Opinion Survey of Municipal Officials, was compiled by NLC from a survey of nearly 400 municipal officials.
Some highlights of the report:
• Six in 10 (62 percent) of city officials report that overall economic conditions have worsened during the last year, and seven in 10 (69 percent) report that overall economic conditions are either a major (19 percent) or moderate (50 percent) problem for their city.
• City officials from all parts of metropolitan areas — core cities in larger (78 percent) and smaller-mid-sized (54 percent) regions, inner ring suburbs (68 percent) and developing suburbs (57 percent) — are more likely to say that foreclosures have worsened over the past year, than to report that they have improved or not changed.
• City relations with federal (21 percent) and state (32 percent) partners have worsened over the past year, while relations with regional (35 percent) and business and civic (42 percent) partners have improved.
One in two (54 percent) city officials say that their ability to finance city services is either a major (36 percent) or moderate (18 percent) problem for their city; a problem exacerbated by negative impacts of volatile fuel and energy costs. CaliforniaCityNews.org