City Council Minutes - 09/04/2007back
REGULAR MEETING OF THECITY COUNCIL OF THE
CITY OF CORONADOCoronado City Hall
1825 Strand Way
Coronado, CA 92118
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Mayor Smisek called the meeting to order at 3:05 p.m.
1. ROLL CALL:
Present: Councilmembers Downey, Monroe, Ovrom, Tanaka and
Also Present: City Manager Mark Ochenduszko
City Attorney Morgan Foley
City Clerk Linda Hascup
2. INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE. Dr. Jim Eischen, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, provided the invocation and Mayor Smisek led the Pledge of Allegiance.
3. MINUTES: Approval of the minutes of the Regular Meeting of August 7, 2007, were approved as submitted. The reading of the minutes in their entirety was unanimously waived.
MSUC (Tanaka/Monroe) moved that the City Council approve minutes of the Regular Meeting of August 7, 2007, a copy having been provided Council prior to the meeting, as submitted.
AYES: Downey, Monroe, Ovrom, Tanaka and Smisek
4. CEREMONIAL PRESENTATIONS:
4a. Proclamation: National Preparedness Month. Mayor Smisek presented the proclamation to members of CERT (Coronado Emergency Response Team) and CERO (Coronado Emergency Radio Operators) and Fire Chief Raddatz.
5. CONSENT CALENDAR: The City Council approved, adopted and/or accepted as one item of business Consent Agenda Items 5a through 5l with the exception of Items 5d and 5j.
Councilmember Downey thanked the City Council for voting to pay Coronado's fair share for the Regional Beach Sand Project.
Councilmember Monroe commented on the Item 5e regarding the 4th of July event. He reiterated, for the third year in a row, that the backup that takes place due to the lack of guards at the turn off from Orange Avenue to R.H. Dana Place going towards Ocean Boulevard must be addressed.
Councilmember Tanaka thanked staff for the well-done reports on items 5e and 5k.
MSUC (Monroe/Downey) moved that the City Council approve the Consent Calendar Items 5a through 5l with the exception of Items 5d and 5j.
AYES: Downey, Monroe, Ovrom, Tanaka and Smisek
5a. Approval of Reading by Title and Waiver of Reading in Full of Ordinances on this Agenda. The City Council waived the reading of the full text and approved the reading of the title only.
5b. Approval of Warrants. The City Council ratified payment of warrants Nos. 10059677 thru 10060307 audited and approved by the Audit Committee, provided there are sufficient funds on hand.
5c. Approval and Acceptance of the Fiber Optic Cabling Project Phase III Construction. T&M electric, Inc. was issued a Notice to Proceed on April 9, 2007. Due to the long lead time in the manufacturing of the fiber optic cable, the contractor actually started construction on May 29, 2007. The project was substantially complete on July 6, 2007. The project was completed in accordance with the project plans and specifications by July 30, 2007. The City Council accepted the Fiber Optic Cabling project, directed the City Clerk to file a Notice of Completion, and authorized release of the contractor's 10% retention amount of $23,400.
5d. Recommendation from the Traffic Operations Committee that the City Council Adopt a Resolution to Install a 140-foot Red Curb Zone at the Intersection of Silver Strand Boulevard and Pomona Avenue. Councilmember Ovrom commented that the City Council had directed a study on all the red curbs in town and would like to send this back to staff to wait for the report. Staff advised that it is not urgent to do this right away.
Councilmember Monroe believes this is a different situation due to the danger of trying to turn onto Pomona. The temporary signs for no parking have helped, but it is a real hazard when people park in the way of that intersection.
Councilmember Tanaka agreed with Councilmember Monroe. He wants to move forward and mitigate the problem.
Mayor Smisek commented that when the cars have space to pull around they create a third lane, which is illegal. If this was put on consent and there are three Council members who support this, then a vote could be taken.
MSC (Monroe/Tanaka) moved that the City Council adopt A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CORONADO, CALIFORNIA, TO INSTALL A RED CURB ZONE AT THE INTERSECTION OF SILVER STRAND BOULEVARD AND AVENIDA DEL SOL. The Resolution was read by Title, the reading in its entirety unanimously waived and adopted by Council as RESOLUTION NO. 8238.
AYES: Downey, Monroe, Tanaka and Smisek
5e. Review of Staff Critique of Fourth of July 2007 Celebration and Direction to Staff for Future Events. The annual Fourth of July Celebration includes the Rough Water Swim, 15K Run/5K Walk, Parade, Art in the Park, Concert in Spreckels Park, and Fireworks Show. The Citizens' Committee for the Fourth of July Celebration sponsors the Fourth of July Celebration. The City supports the holiday events by providing personnel and services from all City departments at no cost to the Committee. Each year, planning meetings are held with City staff and the Committee to review every aspect of the day. After July 4, staff again meets with the Committee to debrief the day and determine what improvements can be made for the next year's event. This report is provided to the City Council as an update and critique of the holiday's activities so the Council can determine if their desires and expectations are being met for this special event. Any changes the Council makes to next year's event should be discussed at the City Council meeting. The City Council received the report and ordered it filed.
5f. Approval and Acceptance of the Slurry Seal Pavement Maintenance FY 06-07 Project. Bids were publicly opened on May 24, 2007, and the contract awarded to the lowest responsive bidder, American Asphalt South, Inc. at the June 18 City Council meeting. This project began construction on July 16 and was completed on August 10, 2007. The City Council accepted the project and directed the City Clerk to file a Notice of Completion.
5g. Approval and Acceptance of the Sewer Replacement and Alley Resurfacing Project - Block 55 (Between I and J Avenues from Eighth to Ninth Streets), Block 56 (Between J Avenue and Alameda Boulevard from Eighth to Ninth Streets) and Block 95 (Between I and J Avenues from Sixth to Seventh Streets). The project was advertised for bidding beginning on February 14, 2007 and bids were publicly opened on March 8, 2007. The contract was awarded to the low bidder, BRH-Garver West. On August 3, 2007, BRH-Garver West completed the project in accordance with the project plans and specifications. The City Council accepted the Sewer Replacement and Alley Resurfacing Blocks 55, 56 and 95 project and directed the City Clerk to file a Notice of Completion.
5h. Determination to Support the Planning Phase of San Diego Association of Government's (SANDAG) Regional Beach Sand Project, and Appropriation of Funds for the City of Coronado Proportionate Share, and Approval and Authorization of Execution of a Memorandum of Understanding with the San Diego Association of Governments. SANDAG and participating coastal cities are working to initiate a beach sand replenishment project similar to the one accomplished in 2001. It is expected that the experience gained in 2001 should lead to greater efficiencies and cost savings for the next project. Although not one of the "recipient" beach cities for the next project, Coronado stands to benefit from the sand replenished along the coastline from Imperial Beach to Oceanside as the resident and tourist population are provided more beach going opportunities. Moreover, Coronado's support for this project would likely increase regional support for any future Coronado project that might eventually prove necessary. Preliminary cost estimates as well as a number of draft contribution calculations have been developed and discussed. If the planning costs for the project were evenly distributed between the eight coastal cities, Coronado would be requested to contribute $62,500. Instead, the $500,000 planning cost of this phase of the project is proposed to be allocated based on the length of the non-Navy shoreline within each coastal city, thereby making Coronado's share $35,500. Appropriation of these existing reserves would allow the City to provide this level of funding support by the end of this year. As noted by the attached July 23, 2007 SANDAG letter, it is necessary that coastal cities express interest in the project prior to October 1 and sign Memoranda of Understanding by November 1, 2007, in order to move the project forward as a SANDAG work program. The City Council approved a General Fund appropriation of $35,500 (Legislative 100110) to fund the City's proportionate share of costs for the planning phase of the SANDAG Beach Sand Project, authorized that SANDAG be notified of said commitment, and approved a Memorandum of Understanding substantially in the form of the attached draft MOU provided by SANDAG, authorizing the City Manager to execute the MOU with such changes as he shall approve.
5i. Resolution Authorizing an Amendment to the 2007-2008 Personnel Authorization and Compensation Plan (Salary Resolution) Approving the Reclassification of One Administrative Secretary Position to a Management Assistant Position. Recent mandates by federal, state and regional agencies have resulted in significant changes in the workload of the Public Services Department. This has led the Department Director to delegate analytical and technical responsibilities to the Administrative Secretary. Specifically, the incumbent Administrative Secretary now has significant responsibility for the Jurisdictional Urban Runoff Management Program (JURMP) mandated by the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board (SDRWQB), new waste discharge requirements for sanitary sewer systems mandated by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), new and emerging solid waste mandates for recycling and waste stream reduction, and several projects coordinated with other State and local agencies. In order to implement these mandates, programs and projects, the incumbent has gathered data, written reports and met with staff from both the City and external agencies. The incumbent also retains significant budget monitoring responsibilities. The City Council approved A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CORONADO ADOPTING AN AMENDED PERSONNEL AUTHORIZATION AND COMPENSATION PLAN FISCAL YEAR 2007-2008. The Resolution was read by Title, the reading in its entirety unanimously waived and adopted by Council as RESOLUTION NO. 8240.
5j. Approval of Waiver of Alcohol Prohibition at the Coronado Tennis Center During Designated Coronado Tennis Association Events. Councilmember Ovrom questioned the public policy the City Council is stating in taking this action or if it is a change in the City's public policy?
City Manager Mark Ochenduszko explained that the City does have a prohibition on the use of alcohol at its parks and recreational facilities, with a couple of exceptions on a continuing basis. One is at the Golf Course Clubhouse where food and beverages are served as a normal course of operations. The other is at the Community Center banquet facility. Some would argue that there is a parallel between the Tennis Center and the Golf Course Clubhouse. There are exceptions made on a case by case basis for the use of alcohol, a noteworthy example is for the Concerts in the Park. In terms of policy, this does not interrupt the effectiveness of the Code; however, the policy question is certainly one to be considered by the City Council.
Councilmember Monroe stated his hope that the City Council would support this.
MSUC (Monroe/Downey) moved that the City Council allow the Facility Use Permit issued for specified Coronado Tennis Association events on specified dates between October 2007 and September 2008 to include a waiver of the prohibition against the consumption of alcohol on public property.
Councilmember Downey pointed out that the staff report recommendation should read "%u2026October 2007 and September 2008."
Mayor Smisek asked if this is strictly beer and wine and if there is a license required to do that.
Councilmember Monroe explained that no license is necessary because no alcohol is being sold.
Councilmember Tanaka commented that it might not seem to be a good policy idea, but the staff analysis says, "If the waiver is granted, it is recommended that the Recreation and Police Departments monitor the events and report back in six months on any problems with the permitting of alcohol consumption during CTA events. It is further recommended that the waiver be issued for a one year term." He is comfortable with allowing this because he knows that if there is a problem, the permit will not be renewed.
Ms. Downey stated her support for the motion but mentioned that there can be youth involved in tennis and asked if an adult will accompany them. Councilmember Monroe responded affirmatively.
AYES: Downey, Monroe, Ovrom, Tanaka and Smisek
5k. Review and Acceptance of the 2006 Annual Traffic Report. The report shows a history of Bridge and Strand traffic volumes and data that shows that in 2006, annual average traffic volumes decreased on the bridge (2.5%) and had no change on the Silver Strand Highway compared to year 2005 traffic volumes. It also shows that overall, the City's number of accidents per year continues to be lower than historical, and accidents in year 2006 were up slightly compared to year 2005 (225 in 2006 vs. 205 in 2005). The number of hit-and-run accidents was up significantly and accidents involving driving under the influence in 2006 were similar to the numbers experienced in 2005, accounting for 35% of the total collisions. The intersections with the greatest number of accidents for 2006 occurred at Third Street and Orange Avenue (five) and Orange Avenue at Fourth Street (five). The City Council reviewed and accepted the Annual Traffic Report for 2006.
5l. Information Item: Red Bull Air Race Event, September 19-22, 2007. Staff was contacted in April 2007 by the Coast Guard to review an application for a Marine Event Permit for the Red Bull Air Race and to "evaluate the proposed event for any adverse effects" as the Coast Guard "must review all responses and ultimately determine that this event will have 'no significant impact on the human environment' prior to granting the permit." The application described the event as a "flying competition where each pilot flies a defined course, one at a time, against the clock. The course is created with inflated pylons atop 110' x 30' barges." Location of the event, as described in the application, is "on the bay, south of Midway, north of Coronado Bridge, centered mostly in front if Embarcadero Islands." Subsequent to this request from the Coast Guard, staff attended several meetings with Port of San Diego staff, representatives of the San Diego International Sports Council, and the promoter of the race to discuss issues of concern to Coronado. These issues included impact of aircraft noise on residents, the potential for crowds and traffic, trash and recycling collection plans, and impact to City services, which would require full cost recovery. The City Council received and filed the report.
6. ORAL COMMUNICATIONS:
a. Susan Heavilin, 1144 Isabella Avenue, addressed Item 11b. She spoke in favor of City workers.
b. Councilmember Tanaka requested that the Administrative Hearing and the truck route discussion be heard out of order because he would have to recuse himself for Back to School Night. He added that because the Mayor and Councilmember Downey were disqualified from the truck route item, there would be no quorum unless that item was heard earlier.
7. CITY MANAGER:
7a. Update on Council Directed Actions and Citizen Inquiries. No report.
8. PUBLIC HEARINGS:
Items 8a and 8b were heard out of order late in the meeting after Councilmembers Tanaka and Downey had left the proceedings.
8a. Public Hearing to Approve Proposed Expenditures of Supplemental Law Enforcement Services Funds for Fiscal Year 2008.
Mayor Smisek opened the public hearing and seeing no one wishing to speak on the item, the public hearing was closed.
MSUC (Monroe/Ovrom) moved that the City Council accepted the funds and authorized the proposed expenditures as budgeted in FY 2007/08 to account 231222.
AYES: Monroe, Ovrom and Smisek
ABSENT: Downey and Tanaka
8b. Public Hearing: Approval of a Resolution for a Two-Lot Tentative Parcel Map to Allow for Condominium Ownership of 4 Residential Units at 840 C Avenue in the R-3 (Multiple Family Residential) Zone (PC 11-07 Robell Enterprises LLC). Tony Pena, Director of Community Development, explained that this map complies with all City requirements and staff and the Planning Commission recommend approval. The applicant is in agreement with the findings and conditions contained in the resolution.
Mayor Smisek opened the public hearing and seeing no one wishing to speak on the item, the public hearing was closed.
MSUC (Ovrom/Monroe) moved that the City Council adopt A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CORONADO APPROVING A TWO LOT TENTATIVE PARCEL MAP FOR DEVELOPMENT OF FOUR CONDOMINIUM UNITS FOR LOTS 9 AND 10, BLOCK 48, MAP 376 CBSI, ADDRESSED AS 840 C AVENUE, CORONADO, CA. The Resolution was read by Title, the reading in its entirety unanimously waived and adopted by Council as RESOLUTION NO. 8239.
AYES: Downey, Monroe, Ovrom, Tanaka and Smisek
9. ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS:
9a. Administrative Hearing: Appeal of the Historic Resource Commission's Determination that the Residence Located at 901 Tenth Street Meets the Criteria to be Deemed a Historic Resource in Accordance with Chapter 70.22 of the Municipal Code (NOI 9-07 Anne Beattie Kirk Family Trust). Tony Pena, Director of Community Development, explained that when any decision of a committee or commission is appealed to the City Council, it comes before the City Council as an Administrative Hearing under 70.22.170 of the Coronado Municipal Code. He said that an administrative hearing is a fairly formal process, handled differently than a public hearing. He is the presenting officer for the hearing. There is a list of parties and witnesses listed in the staff report who are entitled to speak. The appellant, Ms. Cara Clancy, is present with her witnesses. There are also supporting witnesses to speak for the Historic Resource Commission (HRC) and its decision. Some of these witnesses may not appear, but based on the Municipal Code, witnesses must be declared in advance of the meeting.
On August 1, 2007 the HRC heard a request by Cara Clancy, who was authorized to represent the Trust from Helen Blanchard because she is in escrow to purchase this property. There was a request to make a determination that the property was not considered historic for demolition purposes. This was triggered by the ordinance that requires that properties 75 years or older come before HRC if there is going to be a potential demolition of the property requested. The HRC determined that this property was historic and that it did meet the criteria for an historic designation. If it was not appealed, the next step of the property owner or representative of the Trust would be to apply for an alteration permit for demolition purposes which would then have been heard by the HRC. In lieu of that step, Ms. Clancy chose to appeal the initial decision to the City Council. The City Council will determine whether to uphold the HRC's decision or to overrule that decision. If the decision is overruled and the property is no longer considered historic, then there will be no need to apply for an alteration permit. The property owner could then apply for a demolition permit. The HRC's determination was that the property met the criteria for historic designation based on the builder, the Spanish bungalow architectural style of the home, and the fact that it is one of three such bungalows in a row.
Mayor Smisek asked if any Council members have questions for staff or if they have any information to share regarding this issue that the rest of the City Council do not have the opportunity to know.
Councilmember Monroe disclosed that he toured the site inside and out and discussed with Ms. Clancy the pertinent issues.
Councilmember Tanaka also toured the site with Ms. Clancy on August 22nd and spoke about the situation with her.
Councilmember Downey advised that she was not able to set up a tour with Ms. Clancy but looked at the property from the outside on her own.
Councilmember Ovrom said he spoke with Ms. Clancy and drove by the property. He discussed the situation with Ann McCaull of City staff.
Mayor Smisek disclosed that he received several phone calls but did not return them due to the nature of this hearing. He drove by the property.
Mr. Monroe asked for clarification on the issue of a demolition permit versus an alteration permit. Mr. Pena explained that if the property remains historic in the eyes of the City, the next step is for the property owner to apply for an alteration permit/demolition. An alternative is for the property owner to somehow modify the property in another way. If it is historic it would trigger an environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), but Mr. Pena is not sure what type of CEQA would be involved. The City Council would make the decision as to whether a Negative Declaration or Environmental Impact Report (EIR) would be required.
Mayor Smisek stated that the supporter's witnesses will be heard first, followed by the appellant and her witnesses. The supporters can then offer a rebuttal and the appellant will have time to do a summary.
Mayor Smisek read the names of the supporters' witnesses. They are as follows:
JG Andre Monette
The appellant is Ms. Cara Clancy and the witnesses for the appellant are:
Mayor Smisek called for testimony from the supporter's witnesses.
Ann McCaull deferred to the Historic Resource Commission members.
Gerry MacCartee, Chair, Historic Resource Commission, 836 D Avenue, explained that the HRC is the first line of defense in what so often seems to be the unstoppable loss of Coronado's history, character and defining fabric. The defense weapons consist mainly of incentives and innovative ideas, compromises and dialogue that educates and encourages preservation. The HRC is concerned only with the exterior of a structure and searches for means that retain the architectural contribution of a home while still making it livable in today's world. The HRC also, very rarely, when it feels necessary, deploys the criteria the City Council has given it to deny a demolition, thus allowing time for everyone to be very sure that this loss is what is really desirable. For once gone, it is gone forever. The National Trust for Historic Preservation has identified Coronado, California as one of the cities suffering from what it calls the 'teardown trend' - the loss of historic neighborhoods to rampant demolition. Sometimes a breathing spell can result in a positive outcome as in the case of 300 First Street. A new idea comes forth and a potential loss becomes a win for everyone.
Ms. MacCartee continued by saying that in the case of 910 Tenth the reasons for denial of demolition, besides the age of the home, included the fact that it was built by Oscar Dorman, a noted Coronado builder of the 1920s. It is true that he was not a major architect but his designs and craftsmanship had a great influence as to the visual direction Coronado took. Small Spanish bungalows such as the one under consideration today, created the unique architectural landscape that came to mind when one thought of Coronado. To have three of these Dorman homes sitting side by side in a neighborhood that still retains some of the distinctive architecture of the island village is becoming a rarity. The HRC understands fully the reasons for demolition requests. There are enormous economic incentives to demolition. Many homes are simply not worth saving and would be far better replaced. The HRC also realizes that people new to the community do not know its history or the value placed on it by the residents who have spent a good part of their lives protecting and loving it. To the people who sit on the HRC, each home that comes before them for a demolition request is deserving of respect for having once contributed to what made Coronado the lovely, sought after place it has become. They look at a home knowing full well, but not allowed by the criteria to consider, that Coronado is losing not only a piece of who Coronado was and where it came from, but also are losing the back yards, trees, gardens, and sense of open space that is also part of Coronado's historic legacy. The HRC addresses the criteria that define an historic resource and when they feel that a home deserves a second look before it disappears forever they leave it to the citizens and the City Council to be the final judges. It is the job of the City Council to guide and protect the unique and special community that is Coronado. The HRC respects the City Council's decision.
Laura Crenshaw chose not to speak.
Deni Herron chose not to speak.
John O'Brien, Historic Resource Commission, 1140 Coronado Avenue, said he participated in the review of the subject property and voted in favor of demolition. The City Council has entrusted the HRC to be the first stand and they take that responsibility seriously. In this particular instance, he did not feel this was a house that the HRC needed to take a stand on. Coronado has some very special houses and everyone agrees that they deserve to be restored. This particular property was a difficult property for the HRC to take a stand on.
Mona Wilson was not present.
Martha Jordan, 1125 G Avenue, neighbor of the subject property, commented that this house is very important. It may not have been as important five or ten years ago as it is today because the more similar dwellings that are torn down, the fewer old ones are left. It is critical to the historic fabric of that particular block of Tenth Street, a key thoroughfare in Coronado. It is, ironically enough, right across the street from two 1920s houses that have been redeveloped beautifully, seamlessly, that have second stories on them with the density essentially doubled, and one cannot tell that they have been redeveloped. It is expected that the population of California is going to double over the next 45 to 50 years and there will be development pressure all over California. There will be relentless development pressure, particularly in Coronado. There has to be a way to accommodate that density that saves historic resources. She spoke about the incentives that are offered to property owners such as this one. Coronado is a heritage tourism destination.
Bruce Coons, Executive Director, Save Our Heritage Organization (SOHO), 51 Aruba Bend, thinks that the main issue with this particular house is that there is a group of these houses together. The HRC is looking to the City Council to help them preserve Coronado's character. The HRC thought this grouping was important enough that this particular building is significant to that context. It makes an impact and it preserves Coronado's heritage. He heard some discussion that this decision would send a signal to the HRC as to what was important and what wasn't. This house is more important than the sum of its parts. It is important for the character of the area. He also commented that once a discretionary process has begun, one can't revert back to a ministerial process. Even if the designation is overturned today the fair argument standard still applies. There is a fair argument that it is historic. He asserted that CEQA still applies and must be followed.
Jacqueline Hardt was not present.
Mr. Ingelhoff did not speak.
Emile Monette did not speak.
J.G. Andre Monette, 719 F Avenue, said he reviewed the purpose of the City's ordinance regarding historic preservation. If a building is 75 years or older and it meets 2 of the 5 conditions enumerated in 70.22.160 it qualifies as historic and receives an escalated level of review by the City and demolition isn't freely granted. The first of the five criteria is whether or not a building exemplifies or reflects special elements of the City's military, cultural, social, economic, political, aesthetic, engineering or architectural history. The house at 901 Tenth Street meets those criteria. 901 Tenth Street is a small, Spanish style bungalow that reflects a style of housing and lifestyle that was prevalent in Coronado from the 1900s until the present day. The second criterion is whether or not the building at issue is identified with a person or events that are significant in local, state or national history. It has already been mentioned that the house at 901 Tenth Street was designed and built by Oscar Dorman. He was an architect whose designs have been recognized as historically significant by the HRC no less than 13 times. This is someone whose designs and talent are prevalent and whose buildings are worthy of protection. It clearly meets the second criteria. It also meets the third criteria which deal with whether or not the property is one of the few remaining examples in Coronado that possess distinctive characteristics of an architectural style and is valuable for the study of a type, period or method of construction and it hasn't been substantially altered. While there have been alterations to this particular house, the historical and architectural integrity are still there. The current façade is still there although much of it is hidden behind a wall. There has been an addition to the side of the house, which is an addition in the kitchen. Individually it is a distinctive property. In combination with 905 and 911 Tenth Street, collectively, it is distinct. Having three Dorman houses in a row like that does not exist anywhere else in the City. The fourth criteria consider whether it is representative of the notable work of a builder, designer, architect, artisan or landscape professional. He feels this criterion is met as well. He asked the City Council to support the designation by the HRC.
Jerry Cholko was not present.
Mayor Smisek called for the appellant's presentation.
Cara Clancy, 561 Marina Avenue, stated that she is before the City Council because of the decision reached on August 1, 2007 by the Historic Resources Commission whereby it deemed 901 Tenth Street historic. In doing so, she believes that the HRC failed to follow Section 7022170 of the Coronado Municipal Code. The outline from the HRC meeting states as follows: Oscar Dorman constructed the home in 1925. An existing garage was demolished and a sunshade was added to the dwelling. In 1964 there was an addition to the kitchen. In 1973 a 6' masonry wall was added along E. All windows were double hung. A closet addition was also added to the house. The HRC inventory completed in the 1980s gave this structure a value rating of a 5. A 5 indicated that the structure was in poor physical condition, had substantial modifications to its original appearance and may be representative of a recognized style or look of an actual style, but not unique or scarce. In actuality, after reviewing the building permits, there was a major conversion in 1964 without a legal permit. The kitchen was changed from a kitchen to a bathroom, a new kitchen was added to the rear and side of the home. The kitchen addition turned out to be 239 square feet. This increased the home by over 50% in the rear, in the width of the home. The closet addition was 29 square feet; an additional 25 square feet was later added to the kitchen and all but two double hung windows as well as all doors have been replaced and openings changed with enlarged aluminum windows and sliding glass doors. The initial report for the meeting to determine whether or not this was historic was not correct. The windows were not all double hung and they were not all original. Ms. Clancy referred to photographs for clarification.
The report continued to say that the even though the home was rated a 5 in the 1980s, it appears predominantly intact from its original construction. She is confused as to how a property could be a 5 and then 17 years later be considered nearly original. She confirmed with the owners that nothing has been done to the home during this period. In the HRC's decision it lists how they incorrectly applied the code when they said that, because the home was one of 3 in a cluster together, that somehow makes it historic. Nowhere in the code or any subsection of the code does it indicate that what your neighbor's home looks like is a reason for deeming your property historic. In the outline the HRC identified this property with a person significant in local history, Oscar Dorman, a builder and developer, not an architect. In 2006 the HRC said Oscar Dorman was not a person significant in local history when they granted the demolition permit for the Spanish bungalow at 967 G Avenue, which was rated a 3, two points better than 901 Tenth Street. The home at 967 G Avenue was directly across the street from Oscar Dorman's primary residence where he lived for the 7 years he was on the Island.
Ms. Clancy said that she had researched Oscar Dorman. He came to California in his late 20s and he worked at San Diego Lumber Company for 20 years. In 1920 he purchased land at 950 G Avenue to build his own primary residence. For the next two years he then worked in a lumber yard at Dixie Lumber in San Diego until 1922 when he began building homes in Coronado at a very rapid rate with two other contractors and an investor named Heathfield. The front page of the Coronado Journal dated February 2, 1924 disclosed five building permits for January. Four of them were for Oscar Dorman. Over the next five years he built an average of 10 homes per year and in one 14 month period over 20 building permits were issued to Oscar Dorman. Several of the homes he and his partners built were rentals for the first 10 or 15 years of their existence. His larger, more attractive homes were built specifically for clients as primary residences. She would be curios to know how many people in the community would feel about a contractor who built this many homes in such a short period of time, specifically for rentals.
The HRC stated that 901 Tenth Street is one of the few remaining examples that have not been substantially altered. According to the definition of 'altered' in the Coronado Municipal Code shows this home has been altered. 80% of the Oscar Dorman homes still remain on the Island. In April 2006 when the HRC granted demolition of the Oscar Dorman built Spanish bungalow on 967 G there were only 44 identified Oscar Dorman properties. Now the list today is 66. He has become less rare.
Ms. Clancy said that through this process she has become totally disheartened by how unfair the process is and the ulterior motives of some of the people involved. She pointed out to the City Council how disingenuous the process has become. At the HRC meeting on April 5th, Commissioners Herron, Wilson, and MacCartee were all present and voted in favor of allowing the demolition of the Oscar Dorman Spanish bungalow. The same group of commissioners voted completely on 901 Tenth Street. Surrounding the picture of the home at 967 G are other similar bungalows as well. The picture of the better landscaped, better maintained home was 967 G. She asked that the Council compare it to the picture of 901 Tenth Street. 967 G did not meet any of the qualifications. 901 Tenth Street did. 967 G was not identified with someone significant in local history even though Oscar Dorman built it. 901 Tenth Street was noted because Oscar Dorman built it. 967 G is not one of the few remaining examples, with the number listed as 44 at the time. 967 G was not a notable work of Dorman although it was in a cluster of 12 small bungalows and across the street from Mr. Dorman's primary residence. Ms. Clancy commented that it is important to note the commissioners' comments prior to that vote. Commissioner Herron said that she understands that this is a tired home and she hopes it is replaced by a kind and loving home. Commissioner Keith said that it is 82 years old and was built by Oscar Dorman however she does not feel as if it qualifies as an historic resource.
Ms. Clancy doubted that she could emphasize enough how the property at 901 Tenth Street possesses none of the characteristics defined in the municipal code other than being 75 years old. The home has exhausted its life by every measure. Its original square footage has been significantly altered and the rear width of the home has been increased by more than 50%. It is not one of the few remaining examples and it is not one of Dorman's more notable works. She thinks that there needs to be an examination of this process because of the number of inconsistencies, especially when so many of the same commissioners were present for the hearings on 967 G and 901 Tenth Street. She is concerned that the R-3 zoning designation on this property persuaded the commissioners to unfairly render this decision. The majority of the questions asked of her referenced the future use of the structure and/or structures she plans to build. The HRC failed to follow the Code. Instead, they cared more about the end use of this property than its historic significance. She asked the City Council to review the questions asked of her during the meeting. She feels that something needs to be done about this process.
Helen Blanchard, 74 Mountain Meadow Circle, Weaverville, North Carolina, trustee of the Anne Beatty Kirk Family Trust, spoke in favor of the appellant. Through this process it has become apparent that the sole anchor for the historic designation is the fact that the house was built by a prolific Coronado builder of the 1920s, Oscar Dorman, in spite of its having been altered and added on to in so many ways. Somewhere in the City's inventory list of the more than 60 bungalows which Oscar Dorman built on the Island there must be more exemplary examples of his work than the many time remodeled front, side and back structure, whether part of three Dorman houses in a row or not. These remodels were made by several different contractors, none being the original builder and all but one before Mrs. Kirk's purchase of the property in 1973. By then, Dorman's original 26' x 43' square foot house had been added on to by an additional 293 square feet, including a major configuration change in the demolition of the garage. In 1997, Mrs. Kirk's remodel simply took 25 square feet from the car park to make room for building in the kitchen. Immediately after moving in, Mrs. Kirk did have a decorative capping placed on top of the already existing brick wall. The house continues to be in decreasingly poor physical condition. Ironically, in the 1980s, its then historic condition was given the lowest rating by the City of Coronado, a 5. None of those negatively distinguishing elements have changed. Why then, 15 months ago, was the Dorman built home at 967 G Avenue, allowed to be demolished by the HRC and it was rated a better 3 by the City of Coronado. This property is zoned R-3. Why then are there questions about building two new structures on the property? Have the municipal codes been changed? The family is in a quandary on many levels regarding the historic designation given to 901 Tenth Street. She realizes that the HRC was created to serve a grand purpose in Coronado but she believes that this designation is way off the mark. The house is nothing on the exterior like what it was in the 1920s or 1960s. She respectfully requested that the City Council reverse the decision reached by the HRC regarding 901 Tenth Street.
Phyllis Sarber had nothing to add.
Peter Jensen, 1039 Olive Avenue, spoke about the arbitrary and capricious nature of the decision. He stated that he has been a neighbor of Ms. Clancy's and is very pleased with the homes she has built in Coronado. He is pleased to see that the conversation has changed from what is going to go in to what is there now. That should have been the original focus and he doesn't think it was. He has lived in two unique homes in Coronado, one at 1007 F Avenue, and the other was the Goodenough Home on Ocean Boulevard. Since he has moved out of the Goodenough Home it has been torn down. That home had much more unique and historic significance than the home in question. There is no basis for declaring this an historic home compared with the other works that this builder did. There are really good examples of his work still standing. This is probably one of his worst works. The windows have been changed and all of it has been dramatically altered. As he read through it bothered him that the Commissioners' comments were concerned what was going to be built rather than what is there. This is a dramatic government action that he thinks was a very arbitrary and capricious act.
Jon Palmieri, 561 Marina Avenue, said he applauds this process and this type of open discussion. He believes it will continue to make Coronado great. He also believes that citizens have the obligation to question the same processes when they believe they are not being fairly applied to all citizens. Unfortunately, that is the case here. He and his wife are frustrated by the way this was handled and by the approach the HRC took. Even the HRC believes that all older homes are not right for historic preservation or renovation. There is a reason they no longer built 1,000 square foot homes with one bathroom and one closet. It is not practical for today's homeowners. It is the same reason that the new Police Station, City Hall, and Coronado school buildings are not just expanded versions of their former shells. It is not practical. In some larger, well built, older homes it can certainly be done and some may say that it should be done. It is not practical for older buildings to be renovated and he sometimes gets the feeling from the HRC that they would love for every old house to stay standing. In the case of 901 Tenth Street it is not possible to constructively remodel this home without it losing every bit of its small bungalow appearance and charm, which seems to be its only redeeming quality. It strikes him as strange that the HRC has offered to allow zoning exceptions for this home if it remains historic. Having built two homes before and dealt with the Commission regarding zoning, that can only mean that they will allow the remodeled home to be bigger and higher than it would have been in the case if it were not historic. How does this benefit the neighborhood? It would only serve to make it look even less like a small bungalow than now. The HRC's experience on J Avenue is proof of how little neighbors like the proposition of having zoning changes to meet the HRC's agenda. The HRC gets what they want at the expense of the neighbors. He applauds the HRC's work but he thinks the City Council needs to take into account that not everything can be saved. Citizens only have the Municipal Code and past decisions of the HRC to guide them in their understanding of what is historic.
Mr. Palmieri commented that in the City Council's review of 300 First Street, one of the Council members stated, "The fact of the matter is that this ordinance is on the books and it has to be applied fairly to all or it has to be removed." A quick review of past HRC meetings and decisions, including 967 G Avenue, shows this is definitely not the case. Given the little to no research the HRC did on his property, 901 Tenth Street, their focus on zoning, and their lack of wanting to know anything about the alterations made to the home, which always were the focus of previous HRC reviews, he can only believe their vote on this home was capricious at best and not based on applying the facts they have applied in the past. He quoted the commissioners during the appeal to the City Council on 301 First Street, "There was much discussion about this property because the HRC does not take this lightly%u2026The members take their job very seriously and know the decisions they make affect property owners." Where was the seriousness in approach to and homework done on 910 Tenth Street? Major decisions are being made financially and otherwise for other people and are not doing their homework. What saddens him most about this process is how disingenuous people can be in their zeal to get their way on this issue. He and his wife have attempted to be completely up front and honest with their intentions and have invited every member of the City Council to the home to see for themselves and form their own opinion. They want the City Council to vote on this based on the facts and on the code as it stands.
Beth Delano had nothing to add.
Virginia Johnson was not present.
Mayor Smisek called for the supporters' rebuttals.
Mr. Pena advised that staff had nothing to add. No other supporters chose to speak.
Mayor Smisek called for the summary by the appellant. The appellant indicated there was no additional information.
Mayor Smisek called for deliberation by the City Council.
Councilmember Tanaka thanked everyone for being present for this item. He began by talking about the moratorium on demolition permits and when the City Council created this review process with the 75 year trigger. The whole point of the process that is in place is to catch mistakes and to make sure that there isn't a wonderful home that disappears overnight as has occurred in the past. He still feels that denying a person's demolition permit is a tool of last resort. It is a very serious denial of rights and it should be exercised sparingly and under very specific circumstances when a City treasure is about to be torn down. This home is not such a treasure. Mr. Tanaka said that in a democratic process like this it is very important that if one is going to deny someone a property right such as demolition, the average Coronado citizen should be able to say that they understand why the City took such an action. In general, he feels that the City Council members must have a good feeling that people would support their action. If a person were to walk by 901 First Street he doesn't think that the house can pass the smell test. Mr. Tanaka admitted that he is a history teacher and he doesn't want to see a loss of historic resources. The toughest part of this for him is, inherently, he doesn't want to see this structure demolished. He would like to see it renovated and fixed up and the three Spanish style homes would stay in a row. But he does not really believe that is what the Ordinance tasks the City Council to do. He doesn't think it is appropriate to bend rules to achieve an outcome that is desired. He thinks, in fact, that most important thing is to suspend those sorts of judgments and biases and use the Ordinance in a very clear cut way. He does not feel that in this case the Ordinance was applied appropriately. He reiterated three points: 1) This is a weapon of last resort; 2) The average Coronado resident needs to be able to support the City Council decisions; 3) There needs to be a fair application of the rules. He also reviewed the list of criteria used for historic designation. He said that, under A of the list, that this property clearly does not exemplify or reflect special elements in the City's history. This home is not a great example of Spanish bungalows or even of Dorman's work. You might be able to make the argument that it might reflect special elements. That is a close but clumsy argument. Dorman is a builder and not an architect which makes the argument clumsier still. With respect to B, Mr. Tanaka is troubled with calling Oscar Dorman a person of significant local history. If one did decide to apply that standard, then the City would be up for an interesting debate on current prolific builders in the next 50 to 75 years. With respect to C, this is not one of the few remaining examples in the City possessing a distinctive characteristic. That argument has not been made appropriately. The only way to apply C is to use the 'three in a row' rationale, which he does not know is appropriate and it certainly isn't provided for in the ordinance. The only ground that this could clearly have a case is on D. It is representative of a notable work of a builder. He summarized by saying that, in his opinion, the only ground under which the HRC could be upheld would be on D. He disagrees with them on A, B and C and feels that they inappropriately applied the ordinance. There was no argument made that it is E - eligible for the State Program of Landmarks. This is a clear case of this decision needing to be reversed. There are only five people who have been elected to make political judgments about drawing a line here or there. That is the City Council. He thinks it is inappropriate for a commission to take political views. They are on the safest ground when they narrowly construe the ordinance and apply it in a more factual way. He thinks that is what put the City Council in the position it is in today.
Councilmember Downey thanked Mr. Tanaka because he said virtually everything she was going to say. She appreciates the hard work of the HRC and she doesn't suggest that there are any wrong motives. She just disagrees with how they applied the Ordinance. She agrees with the applicant and her statement that this is a "not this one" argument. Being the builder of a significant number of homes does not necessarily make one notable. She supports Mr. Tanaka's review and will also not be in support of upholding the HRC's determination.
Councilmember Ovrom agrees with both Councilmember Downey and Tanaka. It seems to him that this is not a good example of a Spanish bungalow. It is not a good example of Mr. Dorman's work. What seems to have been applied here is something that was misapplied - that this is one of three. He doesn't believe that the Ordinance allows the City to do that.
Councilmember Monroe has always been concerned about the idea of a cluster. That is not one of the City's criteria. Maybe it should have been. Maybe that was missed when this was done. If the City wants that to be a criterion it is something that could come back to be included in the Ordinance. For today's decision it is not part of the Ordinance. He clarified that criteria D says "It is representative of the notable work of a builder." Most of the comments said that it is "representative of a notable builder." There are certainly other notable works of the builder.
Mayor Smisek commented that today's discussion is one of the more unpleasant ones, especially when there is discussion of people's agendas and intentions. The City Council has appointed every member of the HRC and such appointments are not made lightly or because people are personal friends. The commissioners are appointed because the City Council thinks they will do a good job and he believes that the HRC has done an outstanding job. In looking at the criteria for how certain properties are determined, there is a lot of opinion there. It is very difficult to find the black and white criteria in something like this where people with different kinds of backgrounds have a different vision. Because there are so few appeals that come to the City Council that shows that the HRC is doing its job and doing it properly. There have been disagreements from the Council level with commissioners as to the number of homes. He hopes everyone understands that the feeling of the Council on this particular issue has nothing to do with the members on the HRC or the HRC itself. He has noticed himself how Council members can get carried away in a certain direction by virtue of testimony, personal feelings, etc. and so he gives that opportunity for all the City commissioners for all the commissions they are on. He is in full agreement with the comments of the City Council. There are other examples of Mr. Dorman's buildings that are much more appropriate. Originally the City was talking about trying to save 200 to 300 homes. He would not put this in that category. He will not be supporting keeping this home for renovation. The City Council needs to address the fact that this property is in the R-3 zone, which is a multi-family zone, and the City Council needs to do its best to increase the number of habitat in the R-3 zone. However, this does not come into play when reviewing the criteria for historic designation.
Mr. Monroe added that State law requires that if one down zones an area, density needs to be increased somewhere else. This is a single lot, but if the City Council limited this lot to the current one dwelling, the City might find itself open for an up zone.
MSUC (Monroe/Downey) moved that the City Council overturn the decision of the Historic Resource Commission and found that the property does not meet the criteria to be deemed a historic resource.
AYES: Downey, Monroe, Ovrom, Tanaka and Smisek
10. COMMISSION AND COMMITTEE REPORTS:
10a. Report from the Port Commissioner Concerning Port Activities. Port Commissioner Robert Spane provided the City Council and public with an update on several items of interest to Coronado.
The Gaylord project in Chula Vista is a big item in the newspaper. The Port has a gag order on the issue. Admiral Spane said he could only report that negotiations are continuing.
The Broadway Pier upgrade issue revolves around the cruise industry business. From the Port perspective, this does not gain much revenue for the Port, however, each cruise ship that visits puts about $2 million into the San Diego economy. The question boils down to whether there will be a cruise ship industry in San Diego or a pier that is more open to the people. The Port has contracted with the cruise ships. If it doesn't get built there will be some kind of fallout. That issue should be decided at an upcoming Port meeting.
The Red Bull Races were advertised on television over the weekend. There is a move to hold a VIP reception in Coronado, which will affect the traffic. There are some issues with closures in the Bay, etc., but to his knowledge, this event is going ahead.
The Port has is trying to rotate its meeting location to be held in the various member communities. It will be held in Coronado on October 9th. If anyone is interested in how the Port conducts business, they are welcome to come to the meeting, which is open to the public. The agenda will be published in advance. It will contain the usual business, not necessarily items about Coronado.
Pehoe's pier was on the Consent Agenda at the last Port meeting but was removed from consent. It is now on the Action Agenda for the September meeting. It would help to get Pehoe's pier back to an operational state if the City could write a letter talking about the unsafe conditions with the way it is now and the very real need for people to have a dock they can come in on. The more pressure that can be put on the Port to cause Pehoe's pier to be reconstructed, the better. The issue revolves around who is going to pay for it. It is $1 million. The Port's position is that the Port will borrow the money from Art Engle and pay him in rent credits.
Councilmember Ovrom commented that the last time the dock was rebuilt was when Admiral Speer was Coronado's Port representative and it was supposed to be the design to end all designs. Admiral Spane responded that it didn't work and people have been hired to give the next great design which he is told looks like the Navy Flag Pier.
11. CITY COUNCIL BUSINESS:
11a. Council Reports on Inter-Agency Committee and Board Assignments.
Councilmember Monroe attended a FACT Board meeting in Oceanside, took a trip with Greg Cox to Portland for the Rails to Trails Annual Meeting regarding turning old rail lines into hiking trails. There are federal funds available for creating a network of trails. He attended the SCEDC In The Know luncheon with Dave Garcia, the City Manager of Chula Vista, attended a funeral service for Marilyn Lassman who was one of the five founders of SCEDC, met with Rachel Hurst, Leslie Suelter, and Andrew Potter about CDA reports, attended an MTS Board meeting, a Bayshore Bikeway meeting, a Navy Complexes meeting with Mayor Smisek, the San Diego City Historic Resources Board to talk to them about the Bayshore Bikeway project, and the Third Street Gate opening.
Councilmember Ovrom attended meetings of SDMAC Board, the Tunnel Commission, the Navy City Traffic Group with the City Manager and senior representatives of the Navy, the Rotary Park presentation with Mr. Tanaka, the Tunnel Action Team, and the Third Street Gate dedication.
Mayor Smisek attended the Cays Annual meeting, the Library Board meeting, the opening of the new Coffee Cart, the Navy Complexes meeting where discussion was on issues around the Third Street Gate. He attended the South Bay Mayors meeting and met the new airport commissioner who is Interim until a new person is appointed. There was discussion about the airport issues. He attended a CIP meeting to discuss art at the Marina, the dedication of the Third Street Stockdale Gate, a MainStreet meeting where there was unanimous agreement that there would no loss of parking at Rotary Park, and he met with Chamber representatives.
11b. Resolution of Impasse Between City and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 127 (AFSCME) Regarding Compensation and Benefits Pursuant to City of Coronado Employer-Employee Relations Resolution. City Manager Mark Ochenduszko provided background information for this agenda item. He said that City staff have been meeting and conferring vigorously with representatives of AFSCME who represent the City's employees who work in Public Services and Golf. Those discussions did not reach a contract resolution. Recently, he held an impasse hearing as the City's Employee Relations officer with both parties to see if he could break what was mutually declared as an impasse. Despite that effort, they are unable to break the impasse. Therefore, this topic is now before the City Council. Making the presentation on behalf of the City is Administrative Services Director Leslie Suelter. Damian Tryon and Joan Raymond will be making the presentation on behalf of AFSCME. Following the rules that have been prepared by both parties, each party will be permitted to submit a brief, written summary of its last, best and final proposal. Summaries will not exceed three pages in length. Those have been received. Each party will be presented with not more than two spokespersons selected by the party to present not more than ten minutes to the City Council a summary of the situation and a last, best, final offer from each. During the hearing the City Council may ask questions. Upon completion of the presentations the City Council may deliberate in open session and present its findings and course of action. The City Council can do one of several things. It can select the last, best, final offer made by AFSCME, the last, best, final offer made by the City, it can take no action whatsoever and associated with taking no action can direct that both parties go back to the bargaining table in an effort to try to break the impasse and continue to meet and confer. Generally, that sort of discussion would be the result of hearing, through the course of today's item, that what is being discussed is not the last, best, final offer and that there is an opportunity to break the impasse.
Joan Raymond, President, AFSCME Local 127, introduced Damian Tryon, lead negotiator for AFSCME Local 127. She urged the City Council to fully support the AFSCME contract proposal for the blue collar workers. Not to do so would be a slap in the face to these union employees who, every day, loyally, professionally and proudly, maintain and beautify the City of Coronado. They are the reason why the City is kept so pristine. These workers have gone without a contract for three long years. This is the fourth impasse in as many years. That is too many years in a row to not fully support the City's workers. Now is the time for the City Council to tell them and the community that their work is valued as are their families and are fully committed to them. No threats with one percent pay cuts if AFSCME doesn't give in to the City's terms. If the City Council is worried that agreeing to AFSCME's proposal would set a precedent, the precedent would be to grant a fair contract to all proud and loyal City of Coronado employees. That is a precedent the City Council should be very proud to set. At the very least, send the City's negotiators back to the bargaining table, if necessary, to finish an agreement. The two sides are very, very close.
Mr. Tryon explained that agreement has been reached on all but two items. The tone at the table was cordial and professional. The substance fell short, though, especially in the eyes of their members. The City has two last, best and final offers which is inappropriate. He is not sure where the legal stance is on this. In every impasse, there is one last, best and final offer. The City has a one year last, best and final offer and a three year last, best and final offer. That is the crux of why resolution can't be reached. The City is proposing an 11% raise over three years which included 4% in the first year. AFSCME's proposal was for a 10 ½% raise over three years and a retirement benefit called EPMC. It is AFSCME's understanding that the police were able to gain it in the third year of their contract and the fire already had it. City administrators already have this benefit. AFSCME is trying to do something for its oldest members who are about ready to retire. That really explains why they came in ½% under the City. When talks were most productive, they came within $23,000 of each other. That was about a 0.75% difference. AFSCME also offered a much more cost effective solution to try to meet the City half way. They have done nothing but troubleshoot on this issue. While AFSCME is not ashamed that this is an issue that is important, they did in every way try to address the City's issues. He gets mixed messages. He also understood that, philosophically, the City Council did not think the AFSCME members deserved this. AFSCME fundamentally does not agree with that. The smaller difference is not what is before the City Council. The City Council is faced with a City proposal of 3% in the first year, which erases all the previous tentative agreements that were reached during the negotiations. That is the hammer and that is the threat they refer to. That is also something that their members strongly objected to. This was expressed across the table and they urged the negotiators to reconsider this tact. This is not conducive to labor relations. It doesn't create momentum towards getting an agreement. The City has bargained aggressively against the Union by providing a one year proposal whose sole intent is to be adverse to the Union and its members. Their members were informed of this hammer and the threat posed by the City if they didn't accept all components of the City's three year deal and they rightly consider this blackmail and coercion. In addition, their members view a 3% salary proposal in the one year offer as threat against the Union itself. By providing a 4% increase to the non Union employees the City is engaging in a classic maneuver to bust the Union. Their members remain indignant about this as well. More than anything, the City's one year proposal derailed any chance of successful negotiations with the City. It undermined the credibility between the City and their members and the City has suggested that they view this differently. It should be viewed that the one year proposal is an enticement, but the suggestion there is insulting. Taking the stand that the members have, their members have demonstrated the most admirable qualities of unionism. The younger members have made a financial sacrifice and now are faced with impasse and financial risk. The City Council has the power and the authority to do whatever it wants. The hearing can be suspended. The two parties can be sent into a room where a deal can be reached. He believes negotiations are successful when they go forward with hope, dialogue, and respect. The respect part was the part they felt was completely diminished once the one year proposal hit the table. The City and the Union are apart by $23,000. By some scenarios they were apart by as little as $8,000. He called on the City Council to drop the threat and to send the negotiator back to the table with the authority to close the gap. He urged the City Council not to put a voice and vote to this type of anti union tactic.
Leslie Suelter, Director of Administrative Services, provided the City's position and negotiation details. She has worked for several months opposite Damian and his team and agrees that he has a fine team and that he represents his group very well. While there has not been agreement, there have been good relations at the table and it has been a positive working relationship. Like many cities in San Diego, Coronado maintains a philosophy on employee compensation which seeks to pay salaries and benefits in the middle of the regional market, comparing itself to other cities in San Diego County. This philosophy is applied not only to this bargaining group but also to firefighters, police officers, clerical and executive employees. City staff meets and confers on those conditions of employment and have been unsuccessful in reaching agreement for several years, which is very disappointing. She provided detailed information on the make up of this group and the comparative compensation it receives. This group is not in the position where it is out of market as some other groups have been. During the bulk of the negotiations data was being looked at from before June. All of the benchmark positions, with the exception of the Maintenance Worker II, were at the middle of the market and above market. That is current pay compared with other salaries. Since July 1, several agencies have had labor agreements or otherwise have provided pay increases to their employees. Even without a pay increase, by and large this group is within the market. It compares favorably to other agencies. This led the City to believe that it was bargaining from a strong position of not having to try to correct but to essentially maintain. The City's approach to this has been to achieve a multi year deal with this group. The City explained that if there cannot be a multi year deal there will be a different amount of authority in one year deal than in a three year deal. That has been stated from the beginning. Ms. Suelter reviewed some other benefits that this employee group gets. This employee group enjoys 3% at 60 retirement, which is the highest level of retirement in the CalPers system. That retirement enhancement was provided in the last contract which ended in 2004. What that essentially means is that for every year of service within the City, when you retire at 60, you receive 3% of your pay for each of those years. If you retire with 25 years at age 60, you would retire with 75% of your pay. If you retire before 60 there will be a lesser amount of 3% but would still be above 2.5%. In addition to CalPers retirement, this bargaining group also receives full social security which is a unique benefit in this County. There are very few agencies that provide both a full CalPers retirement and social security. The City has always approached with this group that this group has a very healthy retirement package. In addition to retirement benefits, the City provides a healthcare package with a current allocation of $8,500 per year which goes into a pot from which employees can purchase health, dental, vision, disability, etc. This group also has a number of specialty assignment pays that were discussed at the table. Ms. Suelter also reviewed annual leave for this group. She reiterated that the one year proposal was not going to be as significant as the multi year proposal and reviewed the multi year proposal. The costs of the economic proposals are net of health care. The total proposal she has costed for AFSCME is approximately $450,000 compared to $330,000 for the City. The City's position is not that it doesn't have the ability to pay, but it is about the City's philosophy of compensation and what it is trying to do with its compensation and benefits. There are options before the City Council. If the City council wishes to send them back to the bargaining table, she does think that ultimately the packages were different. There was not an overlap in terms of authority and that is ultimately where the two sides were unable to find agreement. If she thought there was authority that is overlapping there might be some positive outcome by going back to negotiations.
Councilmember Tanaka excused himself at 5:30 p.m.
Mayor Smisek pointed out that in all the years he has been on the City Council, there are not threats by doing a one year versus a three year. That is how one negotiates. The City Council wants a three year deal. That is what it always strives for in all of its negotiations with all of the different unions that represent City employees. By virtue of that, when talking about the three year package there are incentives added in various years. The one year package is usually presented near the end of negotiations if it appears that a three year package is not going to be agreed to. The one year package takes out the incentives. He commented that, in the last discussions that the City Council had with its negotiating team, the two sides were very close. The City Council felt that some of the questions that were asked of the negotiators indicated that a three year deal was going to happen. The City Council was very happy when it heard that. It still seems that the sides are extremely close. The only thing he would be able to do because the City Council has stated that it would not grant any more authority. He asked the City Manager, as the Impasse Hearing Manager, the impression he had on whether he felt there was any room for this three year deal.
Mr. Ochenduszko responded that at the impasse hearing they worked very hard to find a way to close the gap that was outstanding. Both parties attempted to be creative. There was discussion about two alternatives to create some increased retirement pay. One was particularly problematic and the other was EPMC. After that discussion took place, in an attempt to be creative, the meeting was adjourned to provide an opportunity to think about it and to allow Mr. Tryon to meet with AFSCME employees and as a result of that the City was notified that the AFSCME proposal was the last, best and final proposal, which dropped one of the two alternatives for retirement and maintained the other, which was EPMC and retained the salaries at 4%, 3 ½% and 3%. That cost about 1.85% of salary per year and the proposal by AFSCME is a 0.5% reduction from the City's three year proposal. There was no overlap where an agreement could be reached.
Mayor Smisek asked the two parties if they feel, at this time, that within the authority that Ms. Suelter had, that there would be a chance for a three year deal to be consummated he would entertain the motion, with the City Council's support, of going back to the bargaining table to work that out as rapidly as possible. Every day this goes on is a loss of the raise that is in the deal. The City Council does not go retroactive on its pay.
Mr. Tryon explained that the short answer is that he and Ms. Suelter got to within 0.75% of each other. If the City Council is looking to AFSCME to try to make up that difference, the membership has indicated it is not willing to do that. The other alternative to the EPMC leads to about a 0.25% difference. If the City Council has no interest or ability to try to close that gap in any other way he does not believe that the membership is willing to make up the complete difference on its own.
Councilmember Downey greatly appreciates how close the two sides have come. There isn't anyone more likely to vote for a union contract than she is. She addressed a few other things. When a one year deal is imposed, there are two reasons. One is, under the law, under the Myers, Milius, Brown Act, the City can't impose more than one year which is to protect the workers. Two, if it was really regressive bargaining, nothing would be imposed. Imposing as the City has done is to show that the City does appreciate everything they do. She wants everyone to understand how much they are appreciated. Coronado is a City and a business and has to operate like one. The City's deal on the table for three years was a very, very generous deal.
Councilmember Ovrom understands that rhetoric is part of the process. The facts are that the group is in the market. The facts are that the group has been compensated reasonably even though it has been imposed to the point where they are equal to or above the market and are certainly above inflation. The compensation packages they have are good for this group. He would have liked to see a three year package.
Councilmember Monroe agreed that going three years without a contract has disappointed him. The group is not only in the market, but above the market, with the exception of the one position. The City does not have two best and finals on the table right now. Mayor Smisek explained that once impasse is reached, the City can only impose a one year contract. Mr. Monroe denies the suggestion of a threat. There are clearly enticements to a three year contract. He moved on to talk about the retirement issues.
Mr. Ochenduszko explained that there were two alternatives that were proposed by AFSCME. One was a very creative proposal and they tried very hard to get a deal, which is appreciated by the City. The other was EPMC. The City can certainly implement EPMC, but an 8% increase for anyone with 18 or more years of service would require a fair amount of conversation with CalPers to determine whether and how that affects the City's rates given that it is not actuarially built in over an extended period of time and it is a late in a person's career increase in salary for the purposes of determining their final compensation for the purposes of increasing their retirement benefit. That was the part that was taken off of the table.
Mr. Monroe feels that the two groups are dollars apart but Ms. Suelter's numbers are a little different from Mr. Tryon's. He is delighted that the two are close, but is sorry that the deal isn't done. The City Council has really tried to be fair. He is personally worried about retirement benefits if that is the center. It is a tough area to deal with.
MSUC (Downey/Ovrom) moved that the City Council adopt A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CORONADO IMPLEMENTING THE CITY'S LAST, BEST, AND FINAL ONE-YEAR PROPOSAL TO THE AMERICAN FEDERATION OF STATE, COUNTY, AND MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES LOCAL 127 FOR COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS FOR FY 2007-08. The Resolution was read by Title, the reading in its entirety unanimously waived and adopted by Council as RESOLUTION NO. 8241.
AYES: Downey, Monroe, Ovrom and Smisek
Councilmember Downey excused herself at 6:05 p.m.
12. CITY ATTORNEY: No report.
13. COMMUNICATIONS - WRITTEN:
This item was heard out of order prior to Mr. Tanaka and Ms. Downey departed the meeting.
13a. Consideration of Request from Councilmember Monroe to Eliminate the First Street Truck Route to North Island.
Mayor Smisek stated that because he and Councilmember Downey both own property near truck routes, they were disqualified from sitting in on this hearing. He appointed Councilmember Monroe as the chair to conduct this meeting. He and Ms. Downey recused themselves for this item only.
Mr. Monroe explained that the agenda item is not to de-designate the truck route but to give direction to staff. He explained that there has been a long history on the City Council of not moving traffic from one street to another. He sees this as an exception because the Navy has made a major change. The Third Street Gate is open and there is a truck inspection station at the Third Street Gate. The Navy wants trucks to come over the Bridge and go straight up to that inspection station. Based on the Navy's action the City can make a response with respect to truck routes.
City Manager Mark Ochenduszko commented that, if the City Council so directs, staff will be happy to review this matter, provide some analysis and return it to the City Council for determination.
Miles Harvey, 1099 First Street, The Landing, said that he has been dealing with this issue for eighteen years. The citizens of First Street have long since been asking that First Street be dedesignated as a truck route. When the Third Street Gate was opened and trucks were rerouted from First Street to Third Street it was a glorious day for those who live on First Street. The first thing that really helped was when the City Council put the stop signs at E and I Avenues. That slowed down the traffic and convinced the truckers that there may be a better way. When they were turned away from the First Street Gate they learned that there was a better way. The reason he is before the City Council is to request that the signs be taken down. He understands that the City may not want to dedesignate a particular route, but he hopes they can take down the signs.
Paul McCarthy, The Landing, feels that the opening of the Third Street Gate allowed a direct shot off of the Bridge, down Third Street, and right into the main gate. It is a much more efficient arrangement. The Navy put in four or five lanes, one of which is a truck station. This improves efficiency with getting on and off the Gate and improves security at the Gate. The signs are still up. The trucks, if they are not aware of where they are going, come off the Bridge, go down Third Street to Orange, take a right turn on Orange, go down to First and take a left on First. They go down to the First Street gate and then have to take another left down Alameda to get down to the Third Street Gate. The agreement that came up on April 25, 1989 by the City, the Navy, Caltrans, community representatives, and commuter representatives, was that the Third Street Gate would be used. The Navy has bought into it. He thinks the City has bought into it. Now, as a fact of life, that is the main gate. People should be directed the right way to the main gate.
Langdon Smith, 800 First Street, showed photographs of the signs. He asked the City Council to dedesignate the truck route on First Street. He does not want the City to dedesignate all of the truck routes in Coronado.
Councilmember Tanaka supported the request when it was made before and he still supports it. There should not have been a truck route on First Street. It was never in the best interests of the City of Coronado. The sooner the truck route is removed the better.
Councilmember Ovrom provided some background information on this item. He is supportive of dedesignation.
Councilmember Monroe read an excerpt from the City Council minutes of April 5, 2005. There was a Major Traffic Study that the City Council accepted. "Council directed that the Study look at the City's truck routes." This wasn't specifically mentioned in the conclusions or recommendations, but in the text of the report it stated, "It is recommended that when the Third Street Gate is fully implemented, Truck Route 4 and 5 on First Street and Glorietta be dropped by the ordinance of Council." He hears a consensus to direct staff to look at this and the feeling of the City Council is to dedesignate First Street as a truck route and make all the signs appropriate to such an action.
Mr. Tanaka feels there are too many signs. He doesn't think they serve a purpose other than to create a visual nuisance. There may be a place to designate one or two truck routes but he doesn't believe the signs are doing a whole lot in terms of directing people.
The City Council agreed by consensus to send this item to staff for review. The consensus was to remove the signs but not to remove all truck routes.
14. CLOSED SESSION: None.
15. ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned at 6:20 p.m.
Approved: September 18, 2007
Tom Smisek, Mayor
City of Coronado
Linda K. Hascup
MINUTES OF THE
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AGENCYCITY OF CORONADO City Hall Council Chambers Coronado, CA 92118
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
The Community Development Agency regular meeting was called to order at 6:20 p.m.
1. ROLL CALL:
Present: Members Monroe, Ovrom, and Smisek
Absent: Members Downey and Tanaka
Also Present: Agency Executive Director Mark Ochenduszko
Agency Attorney Morgan Foley
Agency Secretary Linda Hascup
2. MINUTES: The minutes of the Regular Meeting of August 7, 2007, copies having been delivered to each member of the Community Development Agency prior to the meeting, the reading in its entirety unanimously waived, were approved as submitted.
3. ORAL COMMUNICATIONS: None
a. Executive Director: No report.
b. Agency Secretary: No report.
c. Agency Treasurer: Approval of Warrants - The Agency approved Warrants No. 90003521 through 90003552 as audited and approved by the Audit Committee, provided there are sufficient funds on hand.
d. Agency Attorney: No report.
5. AGENCY BUSINESS: None
6. ADJOURNMENT: The Agency adjourned at 6:21 p.m.
Approved: September 18, 2007
Tom Smisek, Chair
Linda K. Hascup, Agency Secretary