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Recap of 11/28 City Council Meeting
** (note: following are highlights only; for more detailed information, please see meeting minutes)
The City Council recognized City of Novato employee Dan Weakley for over 31 years of dedicated service to the Novato community. During his time here at Novato, Dan has worked in the City Manager's Office, Police Department, Community Development, and Parks, Recreation and Community Services before finding his home in Human Resources as the Human Resources Manager in 2000. Dan has contributed to several major projects over the years including the criminal apprehension grant, radio voting system and initiation of the department budgeting process. We wish him a very happy retirement.
The City Council welcomed the new Habitat for Humanity residents and presented them with a certificate to officially welcome them to Novato. Habitat for Humanity recently completed 10 single-family homes within walking distance to Downtown Novato.
Novato Fire Protection District Chief Mark Heine provided an update to Council which included an overview of the fire district and highlighted recent accomplishments.
CONSENT CALENDAR - Council approved all items
Item 1 - Waive Reading and Authorize Introductions and/or Adoptions of Ordinances by Title Only
This is a standard procedural action to waive any first reading of an ordinance on this agenda, so that the City Council does not have to read the ordinance in its entirety, only the ordinance's title.
Council held a public hearing and took action to adopt a resolution accepting and approving the 2017 Downtown Novato Business Improvement District (BID) annual report and 2018 budget and confirming the levy of BID assessments for calendar year 2018, and took action to adopt a resolution amending the City's Fiscal Year 2017/18 budget in the amount of $54,442 to create a $1 for $1 match for all BID levies collected.
As part of the annual renewal process for the BID, the BID Advisory Board is required to prepare an annual report each year. The annual report includes a detailed budget, summary of accomplishments and proposed work plan for the coming year. The City contracts with the Downtown Novato Business Association (DNBA) which serves as the BID Advisory Board and prepares the annual report, including a proposed budget.
Council held a public hearing and introduced an ordinance reauthorizing the cable PEG (public, educational, and governmental) channel support fee for all state franchises that have been or are being renewed since the time that the PEG fee was implemented by Ordinance Number 1535 in 2008. This ordinance will return to Council at a future meeting for adoption.
Council adopted a resolution to merge the Novato Police Department Crisis Response Unit (CRU) with the San Rafael Police Department Crisis Response Unit and authorized the City Manager to sign the MOU with the City of San Rafael to merge the two units; the name of the new unit will be the San Rafael Novato Crisis Response Unit.
It is recognized that the presence of a highly trained and skilled police Crisis Response Unit has been shown to aid in the peaceful resolution of critical incidents and reduce the risk of injury or loss of life to members of the community, police officers, and suspects. These units have been established to provide support to critical field operations where specialized tactics and negotiation skills exceed the capability of patrol officers, usually involving violent individuals trying to avoid apprehension. The ability to deploy highly trained individuals with specialized resources will significantly increase the probability of a safe and peaceful resolution to these critical incidents.
Council adopted a resolution approving the allocation of a portion of unassigned fund balance surplus of $325,000 from FY 2016-17 to fund a one-time distribution to City employees as part of an Employee Retention and Recognition Program. This action was in recognition and appreciation of staff's work and service to the community. An additional $25,000 was allocated to enhance our current Employee Recognition Program. Additionally, Council directed staff to bring back at a future meeting additional detailed information and recommendation on the remaining balance of the unassigned fund balance.
On October 24, 2017, staff presented the 1st quarter Budget report, which illustrated that the City has an unobligated General Fund balance from the fiscal year 2016-2017 of approximately $1.5 million dollars. Subsequently, Council directed staff to provide recommendations for the use of these funds including an employee reward or compensation component and addressing the City’s long-term debt and reserves policy.
- Town Center site (the former theater, parking lot and community center), APN 157-690-47
- Commissary site, APN 157-970-03
- Old Gym Parking Lot, APN 157-690-37
- Bachelor Officer's Quarters/Officer's Club/Old Gym site, APN 157-690-53
This is the first step in a comprehensive process that may lead to reuse/redevelopment of one or more of these four sites.
Next steps will include bringing back a detailed plan for a proposed RFP process to Council for discussion and review. The details will include a timeline, community engagement plan, and a layout of the review and selection process.
Council requested that the RFP(s) allow for multiple options such as City Retention and Reuse, Sale (which could be to a public entity, private entity, non-profit, etc.), Lease, Public/Private/Non-profit Partnership, or Public-Public Partnership.
Any reuse/redevelopment of these sites will occur only after a comprehensive public engagement process, environmental review and noticed public hearings before the Design Review Committee, Planning Commission and City Council. Decisions will not be made without significant input from the community throughout the entire process for each parcel.
More information on this topic and to sign-up for updates via email and/or text message, visit novato.org/hamiltonproperties.
Video of meeting will be available online at novato.org/watchmeetings.
Upcoming meeting: Tuesday, December 5 at 6pm (*This meeting will be held at the Margaret Todd Senior Center, 1560 Hill Rd)