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Recap of 1/10 City Council Meeting
** (note: following are highlights only; for more detailed information, please see meeting minutes)
The City Council Agenda Planning Session that was scheduled for 6 p.m., prior to the City Council meeting, was cancelled. Council met in Closed Session following their regular meeting to discuss existing litigation: City of Novato v. State of California, Sacramento Superior Court Case No. 34-2013-80001496
Novato Theater representatives, Steve Rempe (Novato Theater Board President) and Christina Strohe (Novato Theater Executive Director) led the Pledge of Allegiance (pictured below with Mayor Athas). They also gave an update on the Theater which included that the Theater is expected to open by the time the 4oth Annual Mill Valley Film Festival is held in October. The Novato Theater also has a new space for classes—improv, dance, and others—Studio 46 which is located at 1016 Railroad Avenue. Theater seats are also available for sale, which includes a name plaque of the donor. For more information on the Theater, Studio 46, and the Theater seats for sale, go to www.novatotheater.net.
Presentation: Former interim Police Chief Joe Kreins introduced the City’s new Police Chief Adam McGill and the new City Clerk Claudia Laughter, both who began work on Monday, Jan. 9.
Photo of new Police Chief Adam McGill with former interim Police Chief Joe Kreins
Photo of new City Clerk Claudia Laughter with former interim Police Chief Joe Kreins
Council approved items with the following exceptions: The Grand Jury Web Transparency item was pulled from Consent and discussed under the General Business portion of the meeting and the Appointment of City Treasurer was pulled and will be considered on a future agenda.
APPOINTMENT OF CITY TREASURER (pulled for consideration on a future agenda)
CONSIDER AUTHORIZING THE NOVATO PUBLIC FINANCE AUTHORITY BOARD'S RESPONSE TO THE MARIN COUNTY CIVIL GRAND JURY REPORT TITLED "2015-2016 WEB TRANSPARENCY REPORT CARD: BRINGING MARIN COUNTY GOVERNMENTS TO LIGHT". (item was discussed under General Business portion of the agenda)
Council held a public hearing and introduced an ordinance replacing Section 7.3 of the Novato Municipal Code related to smoking and tobacco use in the City of Novato, specifically for multi-unit housing and hotels.
Council held a public hearing and adopted a City Council resolution approving the loan from the Hamilton Trust Fund via a lease-leaseback financing mechanism to fund the phase 1 improvements to the Downtown Novato SMART Station.
Council, acting as the Novato Public Finance Authority (NPFA), approved the loan from the Hamilton Trust Fund via a lease-leaseback financing mechanism to fund the phase 1 improvements to the Downtown Novato SMART Station.
The Council previously approved the funding agreement with SMART for the first phase of construction of the station, with funding to come from the Hamilton Trust loan. This Council action formally approved the loan from the Hamilton Trust to the City.
The Hamilton trust was set up in the early 2000s as a permanent trust fund to offset impacts from the construction of the new neighborhoods in Hamilton. It was intended to generate interest earnings that would allow a long-term City revenue stream to help compensate for the additional police, recreation, public works impacts that would occur. The City receives 80% of the interest earnings on the trust. The other 20% goes back into the principal of the trust.
The “lease-leaseback financing” means that the City agrees to lease its Corp Yard property to the NPFA. As compensation for the lease, the NPFA pays a lump sum of $2.2 million to the City (this is the loan). Simultaneously, the NPFA agrees to lease the Corp Yard back to the City and the City agrees to make annual lease payments of $157,000 each year (this is the debt service on the loan). The effect of the transaction is to effectively take out a "mortgage" on the Corp Yard property. The Trust was set up in a way, so that the City, as beneficiary of the trust, receives back 80% of all investment earnings on the trust, including the interest paid on this loan.
Council approved the regular inclusion of the City’s “Expenditure Approval List,” which lists monthly City expenditures, to the Consent section of the City Council’s agenda and directed staff to bring back samples of reports listing executed City contracts once the new financial software is in place.
The Council provided direction to staff and the Planning Commission to include analysis of possible revisions to the Bel Marin Keys Industrial Parks Master/Precise Development Plan to modify zoning regulations for designated biotech/life science campus development to the scope of the General Plan 2035 Environmental Impact Report.
The Council continued the existing appointments that are listed here.
Council authorized the Novato Public Finance Authority (NPFA) Board's response to the Marin County Civil Grand Jury report titled "2015-2016 Web Transparency Report Card: Bringing Marin County Governments to Light," with modifications to the response to include a commitment to add information regarding the NPFA to the City’s website. (item was pulled from Consent to be discussed under General Business portion of the agenda)
Councilmember/City Manager Reports
Request from Mayor Pro Tem Fryday to agendize for a future meeting a review of progress made to date on the City's Climate Action Plan, and consideration of hiring a full-time staff person dedicated to sustainability and climate action plan implementation. (this item will be placed on a future agenda)
Video of the meeting
Upcoming meeting: Tuesday, January 24