Council to consider changes & new facilities district

MARTINEZ, Calif. – The City Council will vote on authorizing the formation of a Community Facilities District (CDF) for the Traditions at the Meadow residential development, according to the Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act of 1982. This will allow new owners to be taxed for their share of public services provided, and help expedite the project.

Just in time for today’s Nov.6 meeting, the City reported receipt a petition signed by Traditions at the Meadows LLC, the sole owner of the property, requesting the City Council to take actions to form a CFD and to waive certain otherwise applicable time frames associated with the election of a CFD in order to speed up the process. The developer and elected city officials hope to move the long-delayed project forward, but engineers for both parties seemed to be at an impasse over park drainage at their last meeting on Oct. 23.

Council benefits

The council may adopt a resolution to eliminate its own city-paid benefits contribution at the Nov. 7 council meeting. By dropping the Employer Paid Member Contributions (EPMC) the city will save approximately $265 for the current fiscal year, and approximately $530 annually when fully implemented, according to the staff report. The proposed resolution will apply to elected officials.

The proposed change came about after the Council approved a resolution eliminating the EPMC for the Laborer’s International Union Local 324 (Local 324), the Martinez Police Non-Sworn Employee’s Association (MPNSEA), and management/confidential employees within the Management Compensation Plan in late October.

During the discussion of the resolution, Council directed the City Manager to bring back a resolution to also eliminate the EPMC for the City’s elected officials.

The law as written says EPMC is a benefit in which the employer pays all or a portion of a member’s contribution. The California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) requires the City Council to approve by separate resolution to eliminate EMPC. Resolution No. 19 is designed to address that requirement, and the change will take effect Jan. 1, 2020.

New Building Codes

The council may also vote to adopt the 2019 California Building Standards Code and set a hearing on the ordinance for November 20, 2019.

The new code will affect building, plumbing, electrical, mechanical, fire and green standards. Building Division bought a $1,500 set of new codebooks that are available for the public to view at the front counter. Division staff attended training provided by California Association of Building Officials on the various codes there has been in-house staff training on the new code requirements.

The State Building Standards Commission reviews new model code standards about every three years. After changes are approved by the

Building Standards Commission, cities must adopt them within six months or they become law by default. The proposed changes to Title 15 will bring the City into compliance with the State mandate.

Don Salts, Deputy Public Works Director, reported that the new Building Standards Code changes are not significant, compared to the last revisions.

Meeting minutes

The council may adopt the use of Action Minutes, as opposed to the Summary Minutes that have been provided in the past. Since the advent of the online video of the council and other minutes, there is not a genuine need for the city clerk to paraphrase, write a summary of what was said. The public can actually hear it for themselves. The City Council, Planning Commission, and PRMCC meetings are available via a live stream and on-demand through the City’s website.

Action minutes will contain only the most pertinent information from the meeting including: “Date, time and place of meeting. Type of meeting, whether regular, special or adjourned. Names of Council members and staff in attendance. A description of items. A listing of speakers present and whether they spoke in support or opposition to an item. A statement of the action (motion, resolution, ordinance) and the voting record. Any statement by a Council member or Commissioner that announced: ‘For the record’.”

This staff recommendation is intended to save time for the clerk, and for the council in reviewing and approving minutes, while providing a perfectly accurate record of the meeting for the public. The council members will still be able to request a written copy of any statement they may need.

The City council also held a special closed session meeting, Nov. 5, at 5:00 p.m. to meet with City counsel regarding existing litigation between the City and Friends of Pine Meadow, et al.

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