Tri-Cities Voice Newspaper - What's Happening - Fremont, Union City, Newark California

February 1, 2005 > Union City Council Meeting Jan. 25

Union City Council Meeting Jan. 25

by Jeremy Inman

The meeting began with a city resolution in recognition of Union City firefighter Michael Barry for his extensive efforts with the Toys for Tots program followed by a presentation honoring several local businesses for their contributions to aid in the South Asia Tsunami Disaster Relief.

The city council has chosen to implement an automated red light photo enforcement plan. Union City is entering a contract with Redflex Traffic Systems to provide automated video and photo enforcement capability on a number of Union City intersections. This was a response to the success of the system in other cities, such as neighboring Fremont, where red light violation-caused crashes were reduced by 40 percent. The system, which costs roughly $6,000 per month per intersection, will pose no cost to the city because it is designed to be entirely violator funded. This means the added citations issued as a result of the enforcement will more than cover the cost of the proposed enforcement plan. A portion of the extra revenue will be cycled back into the Union City Police Department.

The council received a recommendation for the Park and Recreation Commission to choose names for the city parks at the KB Trestle Glen/Johnson Property and the Pacific States Steel site. From a list of recommended names for the former park, the council chose Dry Creek Park in a 3 to1 vote with newcomer Navarro in disagreement. For the Pacific States Steel site, the council did not agree on any of the names suggested by the Park and Recreation Commission, and instead voted to send it back to the commission for further consideration.

The entire consent calendar was approved. It included:

A resolution accepting a progress report on the implementation of the housing element of the city's general plan; a resolution awarding a contract for an Alvarado-Niles Road median and pavement rehabilitation project; an ordinance amending the zoning map of Union City reclassifying the Hiramine Nursery site at 32727 Alvarado-Niles Road from neighborhood commercial to single-family residential; an ordinance removing Risk Management and Prevention and inserting a Federal Risk Management Program and California's Accidental Release Prevention to the city's hazardous materials ordinance; an ordinance changing the swearing-in date for newly elected or reelected council members and the selection of the Vice Mayor; and an ordinance placing into effect a maintenance provision that will allow the city to address any property maintenance issues that give rise to conditions that threaten the peace, health, and safety of the public.

Under section XVII of the meeting agenda, entitled "items referred by council," Council Member Navarro requested a discussion on establishing a Youth Commission instead of the city's current youth committee. Navarro was informed by Deputy City Manager Tony Acosta that problems with the current commission - like the lack of attention and productivity and the current committee's single digit active members - were reason enough not to instate something more official. When Mayor Green inquired as to the purpose of such a commission as opposed to the current committee, Acosta explained that they help "bring youthful perspective to adults who certainly mean well but may lack the necessary generational perspective." Acosta also noted that such a system "strains the generational gap." Mayor Green suggested that the council instead look into improving the current committee.

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