The Employee Protection Line of the Employment Risk
Management Authority (ERMA) has been heating up with calls from San
Ramon City Employees complaining about mistreatment by City Manager,
Gail Waiters. The
Protection line is a toll-free, third-party reporting service,
available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, providing a simple,
accessible, and unbiased reporting mechanism for employees.
of management harassment would go to the City Manager for
resolution, but since the complaints are against the City Manager,
City employees have taken their issues to an outside
source. A deep
source told the Observer that an Attorney was hired to look
into employees' claims of mistreatment. The attorney is preparing a
report, which will be delivered to Mayor H. Abram Wilson next
The Contra Costa County Municipal Risk Management Insurance
Authority (CCCMRMIA), which covers employee claims for San Ramon, is
also investigating the many complaints received against
Risk Control Program oversees a number of programs designed to
contain insurance costs in such areas as workers' compensation,
employment liability, motor vehicle, property and general liability.
It seems that unionization plans are just the tip of the
iceberg of discontent at City Hall.
At the end of the October 14, 2003 City Council
meeting, Councilmember Donna Dickey defended the City Manager.
Dickey said that Waiters came in to reorganize City government and
impose controls that had not existed before. Waiters took on
an $8M deficit and didn't lay off any staff. Dickey said she
stood behind the City Manager, and anyone criticizing
her should walk in her shoes first.
City employees met in July and August to discuss
how to deal with what many felt was the oppressive management style
of new City Manager, Gail Waiters. Many senior staff took early
retirement or sought other jobs, rather than continue working for
the City after Herb Moniz was fired, and then again after Waiters
Those who had not retired or resigned,
were left to deal with very tense and untenable working
conditions. One individual whose mother was
seriously ill, was told by Waiters that she could not take time
off to visit her mother until after the City budget was
resolved. The Observer also received a report that Waiters
yelled at the new Police Chief about missing a meeting about which
she had not been informed. Waiter's has been accused of having
a closed-door policy, being difficult to see and speak to, and being
condescending and critical.
City employees also complained about meddling by
some City Councilmembers. Scott Steinberg, reporter for the
Tri-Valley Herald, attributed staff's interest in forming a union to
the economy and threats of layoffs.
Show Me the
The City Council finally got a long-awaited presentation on
the cost and funding for the new City Center. Project Manager Stephen
Fust, gave a presentation at a special City Council meeting on
September 29, 2003.
Vice-Mayor Jerry Cambra led the meeting since Mayor Wilson
was at the Undergrounding Workshop, which was scheduled at the same
time. Councilmember Dave Hudson was also unable to attend.
The four buildings in final site plan were presented together
and individually, to show that the City Center could be built in
phases, with any building built independently of any other. "This is a Master Plan,"
said Fust, "with a zero to 25 year time frame to be
But Fust sees the Valley Children's Museum as "Teed up and
ready to go." The
Council voted for an exclusive Negotiating Agreement with the VCM at
their September 23, 2003 meeting. This agreement will be
finalized in the next 60-90 days. The VCM will be financed
through their nonprofit foundation and not with City money. The cost is estimated at
$8.7M, which is the smallest of the four buildings planned for the
The VCM building shares it's lobby space with the new
Library. The Library is
under pressure to file for a State Grant, which is now in Phase III
with the deadline on January 16, 2004. Fust feels that the proximity
of the Children's Museum adds to the Library's chances of being
The Grant could provide as much as $16M of the estimated $25M
for a new 50,000 sq. ft. library, with $100,000 from the Library
Foundation. Pauline Nolte, representing the Library Foundation,
handed the City a jumbo check for $100,000 for the new Library. Councilmember Nancy Tatarka
thanked Mrs. Nolte for her hard work on behalf of the
However, in order to apply for the State Grant, the City is
required to match 35% of the cost.
The land value is $2.5 to $3M but that leaves
approximately $6M, which the City must commit to by resolution
before January 16, 2003.
The Grant process is being rushed to meet the deadline with
barely a whisker of time for any unforeseen delays. Councilmember
Donna Dickey pointed out that new Councilmembers take office in
November. If the new Council doesn't approve the City Center EIR, or
other required agreements with the County and School District,
Library funding could be sunk.
However the Library would not be in this situation if Dickey,
Tatarka, and Cambra had not restarted the City Center design a
year-and-a-half ago, pushing the EIR and architectural designs to
this late date.
The San Ramon Library is actually part of the Contra Costa
County system, but the County has no budget for the increased
operating expenses of an enlarged library. That could fall to the
City to the tune of $730,000 a year. But many speakers urged the
Council to support the Library, including two high school
students who say that despite stereotypes, teens like to read.
The City Office building, with its 4th story
Council Chambers placed kitty-corner to Mt. Diablo, is projected at
$38M to $55M. Planning
Commissioner Donna Kerger said City Staff needs new offices. Staff
is presently scattered around the City in rented spaces, or as
Kerger said, in little cubbies behind the Council Chambers. A new City Hall would
provide room for meetings and meeting rooms, which are needed by
many community organizations.
Fust said the City could fund this building with Certificates
of Participation, which takes money from the General Fund and
requires greater solvency than the City has now. General Obligations
bonds require a 2/3 vote of the residents. A bond could be phased in at
$45 per $100,000 of appraised value. As homes in Dougherty Valley
are annexed to the City, the prorated amount for each property would
go down. Kerger said she would be willing to pay a few hundred
dollars a year get a new City Hall.
The most controversial of the four buildings, and the most
expensive, is the Performing Arts Center. The City Council voted to
change the original 800-seat theater and 200 seat black box, to a
1200 seat regional theater with a 300-seat component. Mark Ballock, Chairman of
the Arts Advisory Committee has been an outspoken critic of this
change. He says a
1200-seat theater is too large, and cannot support local groups like
the new San Ramon Theater Company or the Tassajara Symphony. Ballock is also very
critical of the building's design, which he considers boxy and
unimaginative as well poorly laid out. Fust says the Performing
Arts Center would cost close to $66M to build and $2M a year to
Other speakers also criticized the design of the site and the
buildings as boxy and unattractive. Beau Berman said that the
original plan was to be a gathering place, and lively at night.
Several years ago Alex Mehran of Sunset Development offered to build
City Offices and a downtown, but this was rejected by the City
Council at that time.
Ironically Mr. Fust now recommends a public-private
partnership for the 7 acres on the south side of Bollinger. Diane Schinnerer was
disappointed that those 7 acres weren't incorporated into the whole
plan. Scott Miller, who
is a director of the Aqua Bears swim team, wanted to know why the
aquatic center had been taken out of the City Center. Fust said that
it didn't fit into the site plan, but could be revisited for the
An agreement with Sunset Development requires building to
begin by 2005 or Sunset can buy back the 7-acre property. However if the City has a
public-private partnership for the 7 acres, they do not have to
sell to Sunset. Mary
Hanson, representing the Economic Development Advisory Committee,
says EDAC is working on a proposal for a public-private partnership
for the 7 acres and that will be their main project for 2004.
Funding Consultant, Christine Dohrmann, recommended
establishing a nonprofit corporation to manage the City Center
project instead of the City.
That would remove it from politics and increase business and
Dohrmann said the nonprofit corporation could work with other
nonprofits, like the VCM and Library Foundation on raising money,
and also manage the public-private partnership on the 7 acres across
the street. Business likes to
partner with government because the cost of capital is lower. The
City would have leverage because we own the
Councilmember Tatarka liked this source of funding, because
it wouldn't require a bond or payment by residents. Tatarka said
that putting a bond measure on the ballot would kill the project,
because GO bonds don't do well here. She wants to consider other
sources of funding that won't require a bond measure. It still isn't
certain what would go on the 7 acres, but Fust recommended retail
like they have in Pleasanton and Walnut Creek. In the past Tatarka has
opposed retail at the site.
But Councilmember Dickey says she never opposed
To summarize Fust's five recommendations:
Valley Children's Museum is ready to go. Finalize the
Finalize the Library Grant by January 16, 2004. Requires City
acceptance of the City Center EIR in December.
Start public-private partnership for 7 acres on South side of
Form a nonprofit organization to manage the City Center
Pursue Certificates of Participation or General Obligation
bonds for new City Hall and Performing Arts Center.
The three Councilmembers voted to give staff direction to
start working on a plan for a public-private partnership for the 7
acres, even though this was not on the published agenda.
Lundgren Corrects Oliver
(Statement at Public
Comment before City Council meeting of October 14, 2003)
I was in the audience
a few weeks ago at a Council meeting when Joe Covello and Mary Lou
Oliver made a presentation about the past history of San Ramon (see below), especially as it
related to agreements that are in place and now being questioned by
some members of the current Council.
As to Mr. Covello’s
description about the formation of San Ramon as a City and some of
the reasons why, I have no doubt that these people spent a great
deal of time and effort and we are all grateful that they were
willing to do so.
However, some of the
information presented by Ms. Oliver was not factual or clear, and
this does a disservice to all residents of San Ramon who rely on
information presented by politicians, either past or current.
First, she stated that
the property for Iron Horse Middle School was “donated.” In fact, the School District
had an appraisal for that property and the price paid was “fair
market value” or $4.1 million dollars. Further, when Sunset sold
this acreage to the School District, they were allowed by the City
to build all of the square footage from that property on the
remaining property at BR 3.
Second, she stated
that Sunset “made available” the city center property. Made available is a
questionable way to say that the City paid fair market value based
on the appraisal done by the School District, since the City did not
get an actual appraisal for this or the 7 acre properties. The over $5 million for the
11 acres was paid by forgiving fees that Sunset owed the City. Again, Sunset retained the
right to build the square footage from that property on the
Finally, the general
direction of Ms. Oliver’s statement was that past councils had made
good decisions regarding the annexation agreements that were entered
into between the City and Sunset Development. I understand that the sales
tax revenue paid by the tenants of Bishop Ranch was attractive to
the City, and that some consideration should be given to obtain this
revenue. However, the
reality is that according to the agreement with Sunset we cannot
charge a business tax, or a payroll tax, the business license fee is
limited to only $300/year, there can be no lighting and landscaping
district and no assessment district, and the transient occupancy tax
cannot go above 10%.
Even this small increase in revenue was eliminated this year
when Mr. Wilson and Mr. Hudson saw to it that there would not be an
opportunity for the voters to decide if the TOT should be raised
from its current 7.25% to 10%.
In addition to the
contract with Sunset, the City Council in 1987 signed a contract
with the County to annex Bishop Ranch and agreed to refund property
tax received by the City based on the sales tax collected in the
previous year. What
this has meant to the city of San Ramon is that since 1987, this
City has never received one penny of property tax for the Bishop
Ranch annexations. Just
in the last ten years, this is over $8 million. Coincidentally, this is the
amount of the last City budget deficit.
The problem is not any
one of these decisions specifically, and certainly the sales tax
revenue in good economic times is wonderful for San Ramon, but we
now know that a strong economy is not always the case. The real problem is that the
past councils in San Ramon walked into a room through a door marked
“sales tax revenue” and then locked every other door, and they’re
going to stay locked for a very long time. What this means to you and I
is that if the sales tax revenue is not sufficient to run the City
of San Ramon, the only place to look is to us, the residents.
Two weeks later, Mrs.
Schinerrer, who in fact signed some of these agreements, made a
comment at the Council meeting regarding the City Center that the
council should have looked to a partnership with business to support
this project. From what
we’ve been able to find out, the taxpayers of San Ramon can’t afford
one more “partnership”!
Covello & Oliver Answer Tatarka's
Questions (See Melody Lundgren's response above)
Presentation by Mary
Lou Oliver and Joe Covello
At the September 23,
2003 San Ramon City Council Meeting
At the last council
meeting (August 26, 2003), Council Member Tatarka asked a series of
questions that went without answers. We are here to address those
somewhat rhetorical questions and comments. Joe Covello is here to
give you an overview or the events leading up to the incorporation
of San Ramon.
Due to the specious
questions being posed it is time to impart the historical
perspective into this issue; a perspective based on facts not
supposition; a perspective provided and validated by the actual
participants in the drama.
The alternative to the
queries is simple: SR
would not exist and we would be “subjects” of the County or worse
yet, vassals of Danville.
How do we know this – because we lived it!
We lived with the
absence of the 4 Ps:
Public works projects and
Parks – minimal or non-existent
Planning – virtually uncontrollable which
required treks to Martinez just to express our un-listened to
When we finally
decided to do something collectively about this maltreatment we had
to overcome SR’s own Mason-Dixon Line regarding services. Three things kicked us into
high gear in 1979.
The attempt to
solve local Proposition 13-caused financial problems by
incorporating south San Ramon with Dublin failed (in part due to
the thankful efforts of late Wilbur Duberstein).
- Danville (not yet incorporated) became the favored son of the
County. In doing so
they concocted a gerrymandered ignoble boundary map for Danville,
which went to Crow Canyon Road, and “cherry-stemmed” down the
freeway to encompass the BR leaving out all San Ramon
residences. In other
words, get the fruit and spit out the pit.
- R-7, the north San Ramon to Walnut Creek border county park
district, decided to develop all Danville and Alamo parks before
any San Ramon parks and eventually gave us Precipice Park (now
Memorial Park) as a lien-encumbered, long-time useless site,
which required significant cost to just stabilize the
At this point the
North/South issues were set aside. The San Ramon Incorporation
Study Committee put on its boxing gloves, fought the County and
Danville. We split into
three subcommittees, to do the “How To”, “Revenue” and “Expenses”
analyses”, drew up and negotiated our desired boundaries, (to
Danville’s detriment on our northern end), and 12 of us had to pitch
in $500 each to pay for the County mandated consultant study which
the County paid for Danville, but not for us and they never did
(Incidentally, another reason the SRISC organizers have the
right to use the term Founders.)
perseverance, stubbornness, and a healthy dose of belligerence and
rebelliousness later we were allowed by LAFCO to get on the
ballot. But only on one
late, mind numbing, and nearly fatal to incorporation condition,
that the BR (and several residential developments the County wanted
to maintain) were left out.
This was nearly
devastating – the County and BR’s position was based on:
County unwilling to give up planning power,
associated fees, and upon annexation to San Ramon (if it
incorporated) the right to cut and dictate a one-sided revenue
Other landowners fears of over-regulation and
taxation by future City Councils.
BR’s fear of dealing with the growing pains of
a new city.
BR’s fears of an inadequate and incapable City
Council majority that was anti-business instead of pro or at least
neutral to business – a nightmare for them and everyone else that
only very recently came true.
So what’s the ending
of the initial chapters of Part I of the Chronicle of San Ramon? We
lost the LAFCO battle to help the BR in the original City limits. We
won the war, when by the largest majority in California history to
that date, on 3/8/83, I, as President of SRISC, proclaimed “We are a
We overcame the almost
immediate loss of 1/3 of our revenue when Kodak closed down but
instead of crying we went to work and those reserves we eventually
had were testimony to our hard work (we even took on the County and
won again when the County played shell games gave our 1983-84 park
money to Danville and we got it back).
We then went to work
to encircle the BR and force annexation into San Ramon on the best
terms and conditions that were negotiation possible. And we won that also because
the alternative of the BR staying in the County and the Counting
keeping all the money was too gruesome to contemplate
So as Paul Harvey
“And now the rest of
the story” from a person who was one of the major players on the pre
and post Incorporation stage – Mary Lou Oliver.
mandated by LAFCO, a developer (either commercial or residential)
who owns land outside incorporated areas has a choice. He or she
develop the land under the control and
direction of the county planning department,
annex to a bordering city and develop under
enter into an agreement where the county and
city work together.
The driving force for
the development has always been and will always be, the bottom line.
Joe has explained how
the incorporation came about, and why the Bishop Ranch and the
Dougherty Valley were not included in the city boundaries at the
time of the 1983 incorporation.
It is still the
Whether to annex at all
Whether to annex before 12 residents move
Whether to wait until the development is
occupied and put it to a vote of the residents.
Whether to piecemeal the annexation of
commercial developments as projects are completed.
Again, the bottom line
is $$$$$. Those
negotiating the agreements had to balance the needs of the city,
with the needs of the business or development community in order to
bring about mutual benefit, and, frankly, to prevent lawsuits in the
At the time of
Incorporation, the business climate was in a growth mode, but
development was outpacing occupancy. Bishop Ranch was still in
the planning stages, but there were entitlements (approved plans) on
most of the land.
Bishop Ranch was competing with Walnut Creek and Hacienda
Business Park. Two major parcels were sold off to Chevron and
ATT. In order to make
the traffic circulation work, it became necessary to add an
interchange at Bollinger Canyon Rd. Caltrans would not have been
able to build the intersection for the foreseeable future, so the
property owners at BR fronted the money for the interchange and it
was built years ahead of schedule.
To answer CM Tatarka’s
question: “What was the purpose of the agreement?” The answer is in
order to annex the Bishop Ranch and secure the tax base for San
annexation took place in phases. During each phase,
entitlements were included in the annexation agreements. If there
were proposed changes to the entitlements, a new development
agreement was negotiated, and the city always benefited in some way,
either financially or through the transfer of property, or property
made available for purchase by the city or school district. (Central
Park was nearly doubled from the original size, for example.)
Concurrently, the city
was building a relationship with the corporate, retail, and business
community. The San
Ramon Business split away from the Danville Chamber of Commerce and
formed their own Chamber. The city had no way of knowing whether all
the proper sales taxes, portions of the property taxes, and other
income due the city from the businesses was properly being
transferred from the county.
It became necessary to do an inventory of just who was doing
business in San Ramon.
As a Business License was proposed, there was very heavy
opposition from the businesses and Chamber of Commerce. Also at the time, businesses
were locating in San Ramon to avoid the business taxes in Walnut
Creek and Pleasanton. It was decided at that time that San would not balance it’s
budget on the backs of those who don’t have a vote. Money collected for the
Business License was to be for administration of the program only,
not for revenue purposes.
To quote Mr. Curry, “This agreement is a significant
impediment to raising money.” Yes. That is true. It was intended that
way. In other cities,
when business taxes go up, so does the vacancy rate. At the time
Walnut Creek had a vacancy rate of almost 20%, Hacienda was
suspending building because they couldn’t fill the space they had,
and San Ramon had a little if any vacancy.
The TOT was also an
issue. The only hotel
was the Marriott. It
was competing with Dublin and Pleasanton and the owners were fearful
of a high TOT. We were
gratified at the time to get as high as a 10% cap. You (the City Council) are
the ones who extended that cap while under the management of the
Interim City Manager that you promoted.
To quote CM Tatarka,
“We inherited this agreement.
It has some things that are detrimental to the city. I don’t know
how we are going to deal with it.” Might I suggest you go to
the business community and start a dialog. I guarantee the business
community doesn’t want the city to go downhill either.
CM Tatarka also asked,
“What were our forefathers
thinking when this was signed? Who knew about this agreement? The public has a right to
know who signed it.” Perhaps the above comments will answer that
question for you. These
were hard fought contracts and agreements. Many concessions were made
on both sides. I’m sure my signature is on some the annexation
agreements, and certainly I voted for many such agreements before my
retirement in 1995, even against some, I suppose. But I’m proud to say I was
part of the effort to bring the Bishop Ranch Business Park into the
Fourteen people spoke
at the April 22, 2003 Council meeting on the pressing issue of
whether the David Glass house should be Documentary or
Representative. Everyone, even Nancy Thompson, said
pretty much the same thing. The Glass family was very
interesting. They weren't famous or unusual. They were
important to the region, but not outstanding. We know a lot about
them. A couple of Glass family decendants even spoke on their
linage, and how Glasses married into many other well know families
in the Valley. In fact the Glass family was very
representative of families living in San Ramon in the late 19th
The gist of public
testimony was that the Glass House should be a merging of
information about the Glass family with representations of
family life in this area at that time. Kathleen Mero of the
John Marsh House in Brentwood spoke about how plans to
restore Marsh House have been in progress for over 50
years. Marsh only lived there a few weeks, and only had a few
pieces of furniture, so it would be easy to make that a Documentary
house. Mero gave mixed answers about whether having
furniture not belonging to the Glass family would detract from the
Documentary focus of the house.
Cambra read the definition of Documentary, where it says, "It
is not essential that every facet of a restoration be provable."
However, earlier in the same definition it said, "A minimum of
conjecture should be employed." Cambra felt it was not
conjecture to assume some members of the Glass family might have had
a silver dollar, and that putting one in the house would not detract
from its documentary focus.
Cambra said the
FHF Advisory Committee has a lot of information on the Glass
family, but not much on other families in the valley at that
time, so how could all these other families be represented
in a representative house. "I want to make sure everyone gets it
right, including the newspapers." That appears to be a
reference to Taunya English's article in the San
Ramon Valley Times quoting Bruce Judd of Architectural
Resources Group, who suggested "that the required level of
documentation has not been collected or does not exist for the Glass
said the house should be an amalgam of documentary and
representative, but with the focus on documentary. She made a
motion for "a plan for the David Glass house to be developed,
decorated, and maintained as an historical museum with a living
history component recreating with historical accuracy the David
Glass family's occupancy of the home in the 1890's with the
exception of two of the bedrooms, one of which may be designated as
a docent room/office and one designated as an interpretive exhibit
area, which would be flexible."
Except for the last
phrase about the upstairs bedroom being flexible, this is taken
verbatim from the minutes of the May 1, 2002 Forest Home Farms
Advisory Committee meeting. It is the motion made by Nancy Thompson which
supposedly passed unanimously. However, the minutes of that
meeting were not approved at the next meeting on June 4,
2002. Thereafter all subsequent meetings of the Advisory
Committee were canceled.
Melody Lundgren, who
identified herself as a Parks Commissioner in public comment, said
that proper procedure wasn't followed because
this recommendation was never brought to the Parks Commission.
Mayor Wilson clarified that Lundgren was not speaking on
behalf of the Parks Commission. It is proper procedure
for an Advisory Committee not
to make a recommendation to a
Commission until the minutes have been approved.
Dickey tried to put
the same wording into the RFP for the National Trust for Historic
Preservation at the March 11, 2003 Council meeting. When
that didn't go over, the issue was carried over to the April 22,
2003 meeting. Now Dickey is saying the house should be an
amalgam, but only one upstairs bedroom (the same as in
Nancy Thompson's original May 1, 2002
motion) is designated representative. Jerry Cambra asked to
have the Docent Office changed to another representative
room. So now in the motion, two upstairs bedrooms could
be "flexible." The motion passed 3-2 (Wilson and Hudson
Dickey then objected
that the Architectural Resources Group, which worked with Jane
Jennings on the application for the Historic Register, should not
get an RFP for Consulting Services. City Manager Waiters said
the RFP was for the Consultant from the National Trust for Historic
Preservation, not ARG. Waiters said Staff would need to
rewrite the RFP to give the Consultant room to come back with issues
that might need to be addressed. The Council agreed to send
the RFP back to staff with Council review.
Then Jerry Cambra made
a motion to "sunset" the Forest Home Farms Advisory Committee.
Dave Hudson said that wasn't on the Agenda. Cambra said
he checked with City Manager Waiters, and because the topic was on
the Agenda, he could do it. City Attorney, Tom Curry, agreed, and
the Council voted 4-1 (Husdon dissenting) to dissolve the Committee.
The unapproved minutes from the May 1, and June 4, 2002 FHF
Committee meetings will be accepted as official records.
Manager, Brooke Littman, gave a presentation at the Joint Meeting on
January 21, 2003 on the City's plans to meet state and ABAG
(Association of Bay Area Governments) requirements for affordable
housing. The State requires that San Ramon add 4,447
affordable units, with almost 600 for very low income, which is
defined as less than 50% of the median income or $37,250 for a
family of four. Littman outlined the major techniques the City
is looking at to meet these
Zoning - requiring affordable housing in new
- In-Lieu Fees -
developers pay fee instead of including affordable
- Linkage Programs -
requiring commercial developments to provide affordable housing or
pay linkage fee
- Density Bonus -
developers can increase densities by 20-25%, but 80% of that
must be affordable
Development - rezoning commercial areas to include affordable
Victoria Walker, then went on to present the numbers on where
and how affordable housing can fit into existing spaces in
San Ramon. According to the list of "Housing Opportunity
Sites" distributed at the meeting, most of the very low income
units would be mixed into the Crow Canyon redevelopment area, which
is between the 680 and the auto repair shops near Danville.
I asked if the City
surveyed any low income people working here to find out if they
would want to live in such a development. Deborah Cash,
Vice-Chair of the Housing Advisory Committee, said there are waiting
lists for people without decent housing to get into affordable units
in Mountain View. She said the need is very
great. After the meeting I heard Donna Kerger telling
Littman and Walker that the General Plan Review Committee did not
want low income housing concentrated in one location and wanted
these units mixed throughout the city.
A sample of other
locations on the list includes (multifamily units/affordable
units). More than 3/4 of the 4,447
affordable units are for moderate to above moderate incomes of
$59,600 to $89,400 for a family of 4. These are hardly
Old Crow Canyon/Deerwood
L Bollinger Canyon/Iron
Q Country Club
Commissioners, and Committee members all questioned the consequences
of not meeting state and ABAG requirements. ABAG is now asking
San Ramon to build a permanent homeless shelter,
which is a condition not previously required.
There could be a
loss of Measure C funds and impacts on state tax credits if the City
Dickey pointed out the Walnut Creek is only required to build 1,653
units. If the number of units is based on jobs to housing,
why does San Ramon need 2,794
Commissioner Jeff Rhoton mentioned a City in the San Diego area that
opposed their housing allotment and is now considered a "poster
child" for affordable housing.
The consensus was
that ABAG's "fair share" was unfair to San Ramon. Mayor Wilson said
this was a complex issue that will take more than one meeting to
The Aquatic Facilities Needs Committee was formed after the
City tried to take over the pool at Royal Vista Golf Club for
use as a public swim facility. This would have cost the City
approximately $300,000, including renovating the pool and the area
around it. This was voted down in a controversial 2-2 vote with
Hudson and Wilson for the pool and Dickey and Cambra against (Mayor
Tatarka was out of town). The February 12, 2002
Council meeting turned into a showdown between swim
club members and residents living near Royal Vista. The City
clearly needed more swim facilities.
Ironically one of the recommendations of the Advisory
Committee is to lease public pools for the short term (up to three
years), including Royal Vista and another at the Bridges
Community Center. This would help alleviate the waiting list for
swim lessons and swim teams, until new facilities can be
built. The centerpiece of the recommendations is an enclosed
swim facility with two pools, diving platforms, and event
seating. This could cost up to $20,000,000, but would provide
year-round activities. Mayor Tatarka pointed out that an open
pool would cost half as much, and could be built between buildings
in the City Center for protection.
Vice-Mayor Wilson wanted to be sure that such an attractive
facility wouldn't draw so many outsiders that residents wouldn't get
to use it. Jeff Eorio, Manager of the Parks and Community
Services Department, said residents would get priority.
Councilmember Donna Dickey wanted to know if the facilities in
Dougherty Valley could be expanded, or if the City had to wait until
buildout in 2020. Abram Wilson, who was on the Dougherty
Valley Oversight Committee said he was sure they could be expanded
before buildout. Councilmember Dave Hudson thought the pool
planned for Dougherty Valley High School could be put in before the
school was finished, and put into use as soon as possible.
Clearly there are a lot of possibilities to investigate,
including a temporary dome over the small pool at the current swim
center so that swim lessons can be offered year-round. The
Council accepted the report and will put a discussion of the options
on a later meeting agenda.
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