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Board Meeting Minutes







Wednesday, October 12, 2005

7:00 p.m.

 Robert Livermore Community Center

4444 East Avenue

Livermore, California


LARPD DIRECTORS PRESENT: David Furst, Dale Turner, Maryalice Faltings, Steve Goodman and Scott Kamena (5)   (4)




STAFF STAFF MEMBERS PRESENT: Tim Barry, Michael Kyle, Barbara Kraybill, Jim Brandenburg, Felix Errico, Lora Cohen, and Gretchen Sommers




Meeting was called to order at 7:01 p.m. by Chair Furst, who led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance. Director Kamena was absent at the time of roll call.



2.1 Chair Furst re-presented an Outstanding Pool Maintenance Award to Mike Gutierrez, Park Maintenance II. The award was originally presented to Mr. Gutierrez by the Bay Area Public Pool Operators Association.



Chair Furst asked for public comment for any item not on the agenda.

Robert Baltzer, 1141 Catalina Drive #263, Livermore, California, Chair of the Friends of Livermore Committee, presented copies of a letter to the Board of Directors. Mr. Baltzer stated the subject of the letter, as follows: The Friends of Livermore Committee requests that the Board of Directors direct staff to study the following issues in connection with the City of Livermore’s 9212 Report, and would like the Board’s response to t the follow-up study on sports park maintenance. The issues are: 1) the projected amount of time the fields will be used; 2) is the revenue projected consistent with other sports parks in the Valley; 3) what is the difference between this park and Pleasanton’s, which the City of Pleasanton subsidizes at over one million dollars per year.

Steven Delledera, 1560 San Remo Ct., Livermore, Representative and Liaison for the Livermore Youth Soccer League (LYSL), expressed his gratitude for LARPD staff’s extraordinary efforts in trying to solve field problems. He wanted to thank staff for the fact that field use at Kellman Fields/Independence Park is being regulated, and that the restrooms are open.

Chair Furst closed public comment.





4.1 Board Minutes

4.1.1 Special meeting of September 28, 2005.

4.2 Communications:          

4.2.1 Letter from Clarence Hoenig to the LVJUSD Board of Education regarding the School District’s fact sheet regarding the “North Livermore Initiative”

4.3 General Manager’s Monthly Report (#58/3).

4.4 Payroll and Claims.

On a motion by Director Turner, seconded by Director Kamena, approved the Consent Agenda, passing 5-0. & Co.



5.1 Resolution No. 1976, a resolution accepting construction improvements by Pacheco Brothers at Almond Park.

5.2 Resolution No. 1977, a resolution accepting landscape improvements by American Civil Constructors at Ralph T. Wattenburger Park.

On a motion by Director Turner, seconded by Director Goodman, approved the Consent Agenda Resolutions, by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Director Turner, Director Faltings, Director Kamena, Director Goodman, and Chair Furst (5)

NOES: None (0)

ABSENT: None (0)








8.1  Resolution No. 1978, a resolution expressing appreciation to Pat Kasberg on the occasion of her retirement from LARPD.

Director Faltings read the text of the resolution. Each Director and General Manager Barry expressed their appreciation for Ms. Kasberg’s 39 years of service and the invaluable help she gave to all of them. On a motion by Director Faltings, seconded by Director Goodman, approved the Consent Agenda Resolutions, by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Director Goodman, Director Turner, Director Faltings, Director Kamena and Chair Furst (5)
NOES: None (0)
ABSENT: None (0)        

General Manager Barry summarized the October 12, 2005 Staff Report regarding the four parks improvement project, involving Ravenswood, Summit, Vista Meadows and Livermore Downs Parks. At its September 14, 2005 meeting, the Board received a staff report requesting the consideration of terminating the contract with J.W. Riley and Son, Inc. for renovations to the above named parks. There is a large volume of rejected work, and the contractor has not corrected it or taken steps to correct it. Without correction of the work, the parks cannot be approved for the final maintenance period. At Mr. Riley’s request, the Board postponed discussion of this item on September 14th to give him time to respond. The contractor has disputed the District’s assertions in the August 31, 2005 staff report by issuing a letter dated September 14, 2005. Park Projects Coordinator Felix Errico and General Manager Barry met with Mr. Riley and Abel Virgen on September 21, 2005 to discuss the staff report’s content. Mr. Riley presented verbal responses to some of the items in the staff report, and submitted a list of change in work for which he expects to be paid. Staff investigated Mr. Riley’s claims and conferred with District Legal Counsel Michael Kyle. In reviewing Mr. Riley’s claims and staff’s review of the issues, it is the joint recommendation of Legal Counsel and the General Manager that the contract should be terminated due to lack of performance according the LARPD plans and specifications. Mr. Riley was notified of this item appearing on the agenda at this meeting, and was given a copy of the October 12, 2005 staff report and attachments.

District Legal Counsel Kyle addressed the Board, explaining that he was brought into the proceedings in early 2005, when efforts to communicate with the contractor were failing. Mr. Kyle stated that the contract, signed in July 2004, had the original completion date for the project as November 2004. In June 2005, staff met with J.W. Riley & Son, Inc. and was given a new completion estimate of 45 days. The project is still incomplete and the work deemed unacceptable. According to Mr. Kyle, when the District has determined that work was unacceptable, those claims have been ignored. Normally, we would either correct our assessment of the problems, or the problems would be acknowledged and repaired. The amount of staff time spent on the project has been extraordinary.

Mr. Kyle gave a slide presentation of different areas of the four parks and the work that had been performed by the contractor. The approximately 25 slides were photos illustrating several examples of work that the District deems unacceptable. Mr. Kyle explained the issues associated with each slide. Mr. Kyle concluded the staff report.

Chair Furst opened public comment, asking that remarks be limited to five minutes.

John Riley, President of J.W. Riley & Son, Inc. came to the podium. He apologized to the Board for any delays in the project that were caused by J.W. Riley and Son, Inc., and stated that it has been a difficult project from day one. Mr. Riley said his company is willing to correct the problems, but that the District has stopped speaking to him in a constructive manner. He stated that there have been thirty to forty unforeseen items in the project, and that the District has not responded to these problems. Mr. Riley gave examples of construction difficulties in Summit and Ravenswood Parks that his company had to deal with, that he felt were not part of LARPD’s contract with him. He stated that J.W. Riley & Son, Inc. has done $300,000 in corrections, without having received change orders. Mr. Riley stated he hoped the Board would direct staff to meet with him to work out any unforeseen conditions and then be allowed to perform any corrective work, under the direction of staff. He stated that the job is complete, as bidded, and the parks are being used.

Chair Furst closed public comment.

District Legal Counsel Kyle clarified for the Board that, if the contract with J.W. Riley & Son, Inc. is terminated, the contractor is permitted seven days notice. Such notice gives the contractor the opportunity to move his equipment from the job sites.

The Board discussed various aspects of the situation.

On motion by Director Turner, seconded by Director Faltings, approved the staff recommendations to terminate the contract with J.W. Riley & Son, Inc. for the Four Parks Improvement Project, effective seven days from the date of this meeting.

AYES: Director Goodman, Director Turner, Director Faltings, Director Kamena, and Chair Furst (5)
NOES: None (0)
ABSENT: None (0)

General Manager Barry summarized the October 12, 2005 staff report. The Board received a presentation at its July 13, 2005 meeting on the proposal from the City of Livermore to produce a Parks, Recreation and Trails Master Plan under the contract for planning services between the two agencies. The Board agreed in concept with the proposal and directed staff to proceed with an agreement to implement this project. A contract amendment to the September 15, 2004 contract with the City of Livermore for Planning Services has been prepared, along with the scope of work and cost analysis. The study will be done for a cost not to exceed $161,557. It will be done utilizing both city staff and consultants and will involve input from District staff and the public. Part of the study will be to conduct public workshops to gain citizen input into the proposed policies and plans for future facilities and improvements; this plan includes the cost of having Spanish interpreters available at the public meetings. The Facilities Committee reviewed this scope at their September 13, 2005 meeting and recommends approval. Staff recommends approval as well.

Susan Frost, Principal Planner, and Ingrid Rademaker, Associate Planner/Project Manager, from the City of Livermore Planning Department were on hand to answer any questions.

Board and staff discussed the idea of having Spanish interpreters at the public meetings. Director Furst brought up the point the approximately 14% of Livermore’s population is Hispanic, and he would like to see more involvement by the Hispanic community. The city of Livermore has interpreters that we can use at a cost of approximately $600 per meeting; this cost has been factored into the contract amendment. Director Goodman inquired about interpreters for hearing impaired citizens. It had not been discussed by staff. Director Goodman asked if the City of Livermore provides such a service. Susan Frost responded that the city does not provide the service as a matter of course, but that they can do so, given 48 hours notice. She can get a price estimate for this. Director Goodman suggested that LARPD mirror what the City does. Director Faltings noted that, if we have Spanish interpreters at the workshops, we need to advertise it. All Board members agreed that having Spanish interpreters at the workshops is important.

Chair Furst raised questions about the value of the City conducting a community survey, as contained in the Scope of Work. LARPD conducted a survey in 2002 and it was not very clear how the public interprets LARPD facilities. Chair Furst posed the question to City of Livermore Staff. Ms. Frost responded that the value of the survey depends on how it is structured. They can review the questions with LARPD staff as well as look at different formats, such as telephone, in person, written, etc. Director Furst asked what the loss would be if we skipped a new survey, used the old survey, and went to the workshops. Ms. Frost replied that it would depend on how confident we are in the previous survey. Also, the workshops would need to be advertised and the timing of the workshops is important, so that we get as many attendees as possible. Director Faltings noted that the proposal states that the City will use subcontractors for the survey, and how confident is the City in the process. Ingrid Rademaker has a list of consultants who do surveys and would seek recommendations; she has no personal experience. Director Faltings noted that there are companies that specialize in park and recreation surveys. There was discussion among the Directors and staff regarding the pros and cons of a new survey being conducted, and whether the Board could approve the amendment tonight, reserving the right to change their minds about the survey. It was decided that a new survey would, indeed, be of value.

On a motion by Director Faltings, seconded by Director Turner, approved Resolution No. 1979, a resolution amending the planning services contract with the City of Livermore to write the District’s Parks, Recreation and Trails Master Plan, by the following roll call vote:
AYES: Director Faltings, Director Kamena, Director Goodman, Director Turner, and Chair Furst (5)
NOES: None (0)
ABSENT: None (0)

The District has had, in its Capital Improvement Project Plan, a restroom project in a neighborhood park for the past two years. General Manager Barry presented a staff report which discussed how and when to address this issue in relationship to the District’s Master Plan policies. Specifically, does the Master Plan language currently allow for the addition of a restroom in a neighborhood park? (The current District Master Plan states, in reference to neighborhood parks, that “Normally too costly for neighborhood park development,” which staff has taken to mean that we do no develop restrooms in neighborhood parks.) Should the Board amend the 1995 District Master Plan language by resolution to allow for restrooms in neighborhood parks, or should the Board wait until the Parks, Recreation and Trails Master Plan process has been completed in about a year to allow for additional formal public comment on this issue and include it in the new Master Plan prior to implementing this project?

Chair Furst inquired if the District has enough money to complete the aforementioned restroom project. General Manager Barry responded that the estimated budget is $250,000. The City of Livermore has $50,000 budget for Fiscal Year 2006-07, and LARPD has $100,000 budgeted for this fiscal year, leaving us with a $100,000 shortfall. Director Goodman explained the reasons behind not installing restrooms in neighborhood parks, including: the parks are intended for neighbors, who can use their home restrooms; restrooms invite increased vandalism and increased loitering. He recommended that, if we do install restrooms in neighborhood parks, we should keep them open, and bear the costs of vandalism. Director Kamena stated that he thought a pilot program would be good, as LARPD has received many letters this year regarding the request for restrooms; it is a constant issue. He does not believe that the Master Plan language limits us, and that we should move forward with the selection process; press releases, notifying neighbors, selecting the park, director Faltings stated that restrooms are not generally installed in neighborhood parks by the park and recreation community for the same reason we don’t install basketball courts; if the facilities are attractive, outsiders will come, and neighbors may not think of that. Since the parks are public, non-neighbors can use them, and restrooms in parks attract more people. She pointed out that the District receives money to build things, but not money to maintain what we build. She is not in favor of restrooms in neighborhood parks, as it is too costly. If we do, indeed, go ahead with this, staff must choose the park carefully. Another reason we have not put restrooms in neighborhood parks is that the City of Livermore requires under grounding; this, and the water service is very expensive. In the past, LARPD requested a variance from this policy, and the City of Livermore denied our request. Director Kamena recommends that LARPD send a formal letter to the City of Livermore Planning Commission and City Council requesting a variance on the under grounding requirement. Chair Furst agreed with Director Kamena’s recommendation.

8.5  LIVERMORE VALLEY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER PROPOSAL FOR USAGE OF THE BOTHWELL CENTER General Manager Barry reported that the Livermore Performing Arts Center requested postponement of this item to a future meeting.

General Manager stated that staff was prepared to answer any questions the Board may have on the quarterly Capital Budget Status Reports contained in their Board meeting packets. Director Furst inquired about where the Facilities Committee stood on report item #13, bicycle stunt course & site work. General Manager Barry responded that the issue has not yet been brought before the Facilities Committee, but staff is thinking of a stunt course near the skate park.



9.1 Legal Counsel’s report of activities.
District Legal Counsel Mike Kyle reported that he has been working on the J.W. Riley & Son, Inc. issue. He also stated that he is making progress with legal counsel for Signature Properties, working on easements and developments for what he believes is that last stage of Signature Properties’ Dunsmuir Division.



Board received reports on the 12 committee meetings attended since the Regular Board meeting of September 14, 2005, as follows: Intergovernmental/EBRPD, Scottish Games, Livermore Downtown (2), Parent Advisory Commission, CSDA Conference, Intergovernmental/City of Livermore/LVJUSD, Sports Park, Facilities, Equestrian, Livermore Cultural Arts Council, and Budget.




Director Turner requested an update on the Trevarno Road properties.

Director Faltings recommended that board reports on official meeting/event attendance required as a result of the recently passed Assembly Bill 801234, effective January 1, 2006, be included as formal agenda items.



General Manager Barry welcomed Gretchen Sommers, the new Administrative Assistant in the General Manager’s office.

Mr. Barry reported on the Hurricane Katrina benefit concert that LARPD co-sponsored on October 9. Approximately 75 people attended, and we raised some money for Red Cross relief efforts.

Mr. Barry reported on his attendance, along with Director Faltings, at the California Special Districts Association (CSDA) in Long Beach the last week of September. He stated that there were several valuable workshops, including those on personnel and fiscal matters, as well as on working with boards of directors.

Mr. Barry thanked the Directors for their support on the J.W. Riley & Son, Inc. project issues.


13.  ADJOURNMENT:  Meeting adjourned at 9:20 p.m.








            Chair, Board of Directors






General Manager and ex-officio

Clerk to the Board of Directors

Livermore Area Recreation and Park District
4444 East Ave.

Livermore, California 94550-5053
(925) 373-5700

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