WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2006
ROBERT LIVERMORE COMMUNITY CENTER
4444 EAST AVENUE, LIVERMORE, CALIFORNIA
CRESTA BLANCA BALLROOM
DIRECTORS PRESENT: Director Faltings, Director Furst, Director Goodman, Director Turner and President Kamena (5)
DIRECTORS ABSENT: None (0)
STAFF MEMBERS PRESENT: Tim Barry, Jim Brandenburg, Barbara Kraybill, Michael Kyle, Mike Nicholson, Gretchen Sommers, Maureen Gandara Swinbank
Meeting was called to order at 7:04 p.m. by President Kamena. Roll was taken and all Directors were present except President Kamena
2. PUBLIC FORUM
President Kamena asked for public comment on any item not on the agenda.
1) Guadalupe Castillo, representing the Hispanic community in Livermore. She said that the Hispanic community needs Spanish speakers or interpreters to provide information at the LARPD ESS and PAL programs. They would also like the sign-in forms and other forms to be available in Spanish. She said the kids would like to start a soccer team, and they need help and scholarships. She said that the Hispanic community does not have options for after school activities for its children, and this is why the children are getting into trouble.
2) Sonia Rosalias said that she has a problem sometimes when she brings her son or daughter to the Community Center. She said that her English is not good and there are no bilingual people here to provide information. She said she feels that the costs for the different programs here are high.
3) Gloria Perez said she is here to support the Hispanic community. She said that she has two daughters, aged 17 and 14 year. She said she needs places for them to go to be safe. She said that there are gangs all over, and the gang colors are changing, making it difficult for the kids, because of the danger of being mistaken for a gang member if they wear a gang color. She said that their children need a place to go to be safe and to learn. She said that her daughters would like a safe place to go to play music. She said Latinos need a safe place to grow as a community.
4) Susan Contreras, public health nurse for Alameda County and member of the League of United Latin American Citizens. Ms. Contreras gave written information to the Directors regarding what she and the previous speakers are requesting tonight. She said that she is working with a group of about 15 families who have trouble accessing LARPD programs because the front desk staff does not speak Spanish, nor are any of the forms are in Spanish. Ms. Contreras said that many of her clients do not speak English, and have trouble registering their children for classes. They have trouble finding out about scholarships, also. She said they would like it to be made clear who provides what scholarships. Also she said there are not enough parks near where the Latinos live. Having more activities available to the Latin community helps the community’s overall health and well being. She asked the Directors to consider meeting with these families to achieve better access to information and services for them.
5) Eva Garcia, public health nurse with Alameda County, speaking on behalf of her clients. Ms. Garcia said that she had a recent experience with a 12 year old school child from Mexico who was trying to sign up for soccer. The girl had trouble getting information about the soccer programs in Livermore. Ms. Garcia stated that she wants safe activities for children after school. She asked the Directors to consider making access easier for the Hispanic community as well as provide more parks.
President Kamena thanked the speakers for coming tonight and spoke in Spanish to them. Mr. Kamena said that he would be happy to meet with the people to discuss how LARPD might better be able to help them. He stated that LARPD would like to meet with them and discover ways that the District can be more responsive to the Latin community. He said that it would be easy for LARPD to translate its forms into Spanish. He asked the speakers to give their contact information to Administrative Assistant Gretchen Sommers.
6) Lori Pavich, 640 Ruth Way, Livermore. Ms. Pavich stated that she has an idea for Livermore. She recently went on a vacation and found a sculpture park/outdoor art museum. It was a nearly 19-acre park with benches and water features. She said that the sculpture park is a non-profit project, and that it pays insurance. The pieces are on loan from the artists. Ms. Pavich said that she envisions Sycamore Grove as a site to encompass a sculpture park, and would like to pursue this concept with the District.
President Kamena closed public comment.
3. CONSENT AGENDA:
3.1 BOARD MINUTES
3.1.1 Meeting of October 11, 2006.
3.2.1 Letter from Kent Anderson supporting inclusion of a softball field in the design plans for Bothwell Park.
3.2.2 Letter from Mary Fotos supporting the elimination of the softball field and tennis courts from the design plans for Bothwell Park.
3.2.3 Letter from Hoofprints on the Heart Adaptive Riding Center inquiring about use of LARPD land or facilities for its program.
On a motion by Director Turner, seconded by Director Faltings, approved the Consent Agenda passing 5-0.
4. CONSENT AGENDA: RESOLUTIONS: None.
5. BIDS AND PUBLIC HEARINGS: None.
Meeting convened to Executive Session at 7:24 p.m.
6. EXECUTIVE SESSION
6.1 REAL ESTATE NEGOTIATIONS
Pursuant to Section 54956.8 of the Government Code
Property: Sonoma School, 543 Sonoma Ave., Livermore, CA 94551
Agency Negotiator: District Staff and/or Legal Counsel
Negotiating Parties: Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District
Under Negotiation: Lease agreement
7. RECONVENE TO OPEN SESSION
Meeting reconvened to Open Session at 7:44 p.m.
8. REPORT ON ACTION TAKEN IN EXECUTIVE SESSION
No action to report.
9. OLD BUSINESS:
9.1 FRIENDSHIP CENTER RELOCATION STATUS
President Kamena stated that LARPD operates an adult day care program called the Friendship Center, which has been housed at the Sonoma School (now the site of the Charter School) for years. The Charter School would like to expand, so the School District informed LARPD that the program would have to move. Mr. Kamena explained that the licensing requirements for this type of program are stringent, and that a new licensing application process must take place, that the program cannot just move. Mr. Kamena stated that he is pleased to announce that Lon Goldstein, Executive Director of the Charter School, has offered to allow the program to stay longer at the site while a new site is sought. The current lease expires in June 2007.
General Manager Barry referred to the staff report. He stated that the Board gave staff a 60-day timeline at the September 13, 2006 Board meeting to develop a plan for the Friendship Center relocation. Mr. Barry listed the four options to which staff had narrowed the search. These included: 1) LARPD-owned R.E. Merritt Building; 2) City-owned Civic Center site; 3) lease commercial site; and 4) former private school site. Mr. Barry introduced Recreation Supervisor Maureen Gandara Swinbank, Director of the Friendship Center. Ms. Swinbank reported that the private school site is currently being evaluated, and a report is forthcoming. Regarding the Civic Center site, Mr. Barry said that staff expects a positive offer from the City to lease the land on Pacific Avenue and staff will be getting a formal indication of this from the City soon. Ms. Swinbank said that staff has looked at 29 sites and narrowed it down to 4 commercial sites. She listed details of the commercial sites that staff considered. The minimum rent would be $5,000 per month. General Manger Barry reported that he sent a letter to the owner of the private school site, asking the agent to hold the property from being sold while LARPD evaluates the situation. Mr. Barry said that the property owner was amenable to his request.
President Kamena opened public comment.
1) Lon Goldstein, Executive Director, Livermore Valley Charter School, said that the Charter School currently has 737 students, and that next year it will have 869 students. He said that the size of the student body makes space a precious commodity. He said that it works out very well having the Charter School and the Friendship Center program at the same site; there are some intergenerational activities and holiday parties, and it is a good relationship. He expressed gratitude to the Friendship Center’s staff’s understanding and cooperation during the construction that occurred over the summer. He said that he greatly appreciates the value of the Friendship Center program. He stated that the Charter School does not want to displace the Friendship Center clients. He recommended to the Directors that they accept the Charter School’s offer to have the Friendship Center stay at the site until it finds another site. He thanked the Directors.
2) Dennis Gambs, Tri-Valley Adult Day Care Program (TVADCP) Board of Directors, stated that his Board spoke to the LARPD General Manager about the Charter School’s offer and that it greets Mr. Goldstein’s offer as good news.
On a motion by Director Turner, seconded by Director Faltings, approved accepting the principals of the Charter School’s proposal and the pursuit of negotiations with the school district to extend the Friendship Center’s lease at the site, passing 5-0.
Director Turner thanked Mr. Goldstein. He stated he feels the District needs to pursue negotiations for the private school quickly if staff feels that that is the avenue the District wishes to take.
Director Goodman thanked Mr. Goldstein and Principal Tina Morris of the Charter School for working with LARPD to find a solution to this issue. He said that he had been concerned that the program would go away if we couldn’t find a home for the program right away. He asked the School District to approve the lease extension offered by the Charter School.
Director Furst thanked Mr. Goldstein and the Charter School. He inquired about the delay in receiving the report from ATI on its evaluation of the private academy.
President Kamena thanked Mr. Goldstein.
10. NEW BUSINESS:
10.1 SYCAMORE GROVE PARK PRESCRIBED BURN
General Manager Barry introduced Ranger/Naturalist Supervisor Mike Nicholson and explained that an upcoming prescribed burn at Sycamore Grove Park is part of the Sycamore Grove Resource Management Plan. Mr. Nicholson introduced Caroll Rice of Wildland Resource Management, Inc., the firm that LARPD has contracted with to manage the burn. Ms. Rice gave a slide presentation which provided the following information: reasons for the burn; the time of it; the location in the park; the vegetation (invasive non-native weeds) that will be burned; details about the fire lines; agencies and fire departments involved; methods for protecting existing resources; how the burn will progress; smoke control; what happens after the burn; native grass regeneration and expansion; and the subsequent planting of 400 sycamore seedlings and native grass seed, with ongoing monitoring. Ms. Rice stated that this prescribed burn is part of the implementation of the Sycamore Grove Resource Management Plan.
Director Goodman asked if there had ever been a burn in Sycamore Grove. Mr. Nicholson responded that yes, there was a burn approximately 14 years ago.
Director Faltings said that the burn is for the health of the park. She asked what type of public information will go out, as it is very important to notify the public. Mr. Nicholson responded that staff will issue press releases, and post signs, as well as send notices to nearby property owners.
Director Furst asked about how the two ponds will be protected. Ms. Rice responded that the ponds have been mowed and that there will be no harm to the salamanders. Mr. Furst asked about the residue that will be left and if there is any danger to the trail users. Mr. Nicholson said there was no evidence of safety issues after the recent Holdener Park fire, but that staff will monitor it. Mr. Furst said that his understanding from the Resource Management Plan is that the burns are supposed to occur after grazing. Mr. Nicholson said that his understanding was not that there was a hierarchy, with one thing happening first. Mr. Furst asked why East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) is included in the project. Mr. Nicholson responded that EBRPD has had a lot of experience with burns and wanted to participate and that EBRPD staff participates in wildland fires each June. Mr. Furst asked why non-native grasses will be planted, if we’re trying to get the native grasses back. Mr. Nicholson responded that the native grasses take a long time to spread, and that the non-native grasses they chose will help fill in and will not threaten the native grasses, as they are non-invasive and will fade out on their own.
President Kamena asked if part of the reason the fire departments participation in this is to practice with such fires. Mr. Nicholson responded that, yes, this is a reason.
11. MATTERS INITIATED/ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE DIRECTORS
1) Director Furst stated that LARPD had received a letter from Hoofprints on the Heart and asked that staff contact the group to see if the District could accommodate it. General Manager Barry responded that he intends to do so.
2) Director Furst asked staff to follow up with the speaker who talked about the sculpture park.
3) President Kamena said that he thinks it is important that LARPD follow up on the pleas of the mothers and nurses who attended this evening regarding issues faced by the Hispanic Community. He would like to meet with them, and perhaps start a committee. Mr. Barry said it would be most efficient to sit down and meet with them. Mr. Kamena said that he would like LARPD to explore this issue and see how the District can help them. He would like to attend the meeting.
Meeting recessed at 8:23 p.m.
Meeting convened to Executive Session at 8:28 p.m.
13. EXECUTIVE SESSION
13.1 CONFERENCE WITH REAL PROPERTY NEGOTIATIORS
Pursuant to Section 54956.8 of the Government Code
Property: Sycamore Grove Park, 1051 Wetmore Road,
Livermore, CA 94550
Agency Negotiator: District Staff and/or Legal Counsel
Negotiating Parties: Tri-Valley Conservancy and City of Livermore
Under Negotiation: Conservation Easement for Sycamore Grove Park
14. RECONVENE TO OPEN SESSION
Meeting reconvened to Regular Session at 8:43 p.m.
15. REPORT ON ACTION TAKEN IN EXECUTIVE SESSION
No action to report.
Meeting adjourned at 8:44 p.m.
President, Board of Directors
General Manager and ex-officio
Clerk to the Board of Director