March 1, 2011 > Newark City Council
Newark City Council
February 24, 2011
Update of budget status and recommendations for restoration of City services related to income from Measure U. Declines in revenues over the past five years have depleted "rainy day" funds. Budget reductions of $8 Million have reduced police service, support services, and community preservation services. The Senior Center and Community Center have been closed, parks and landscape maintenance reduced, school crossing guards eliminated, reduced library hours and the summer Ash Street program.
Measure U, a 3.5% utility user tax passed by voters last November, is estimated to provide $2.3 Million revenue until it sunsets December 2015. Senior Citizens over age 70 and low income residents are exempt from the tax. Although revenue from Measure U will not fill the $8 Million gap of previous City income, staff recommends the following service restorations: 1 School Resource Officer, 1 Police Detective, Part time Police Service Aide, Part time Vehicle Abatement Aide, 2 Landscape-Parks maintenance, 1 Part time street maintenance, increased funds for park watering, planting and turf repair, reopening of Senior Center, funding for Ash Street Summer Program, restore School Crossing Guards, Part time Community Preservation Officer, Lakeshore Park Seawall design consultant, Part time Junior Accountant, funds for administrative, utility and fuel cost increases, equipment replacement including fire apparatus, contribution to Capital Improvement Fund and Fiscal Uncertainty Fund. Total of all restoration is estimated at $2,103,000. The first full month's collection of Utility Tax funds will be in May.
Although a somber reminder of continuing fiscal problems, councilmembers agreed with the restorations proposed. Public comment focused on the importance of Crossing Guards.
Presentations and Proclamations
New employee, Gloria del Rosario was introduced as a Senior Accountant with over 10 years experience in municipal finance and accounting. Previous experience includes work in the private sector, Revenue Services Manager for the City of Redwood City and the City of Fremont.
Proclaim the week of February 20 through February 27 as Rotary Week.
Rotary International, founded on February 23, 1905, was recognized as the world's first and one of the largest non-profit organizations with members in 200 countries and geographic areas. In addition to local good works, Rotary launched PolioPlus in 1985 to eradicate Polio from the world; polio cases have dropped by 99 percent since 1998. In addition, Rotary and its youth program, Interact, is the world's largest privately-funded source of international scholarships and is a leader in promoting international understanding through scholarships, exchange programs and humanitarian grants. Newark's Rotary Club will celebrate their 50th Anniversary on May 8, 2011.
Replace trellis of Community Center - awarded to ICC General Contractors, Inc. in the amount of $31,520 from a grant from State of California.
Approve Tennis Court overlay at Community Center Park by Saviano Company, Inc. $79,240.30 from a grant of State of California.
Approve a contract for an environmental review by Jerry Haag for Newark Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan to comply with California Environmental Quality Act. Cost not-to-exceed $17,000.
Second reading of ordinance to amend Newark Municipal Code.
Initiate 2011 Weed Abatement Program
Briefing of Bay Area Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) mandated by CA Senate Bill 375. This will result in a 25 year plan to identify housing and employment growth opportunities and target State and Federal grants to accomplish such goals. An Initial Vision Scenario is due to be presented by April 2011 followed by debate and modification through detailed scenarios resulting in a "Preferred SCS Scenario in 2012. Growth is expected in locally-established Priority Development Areas (PDAs); Dumbarton Transit Oriented Development and Old Town in Newark. Based on population growth projections, Newark could be asked to provide as many as 6,000 housing units in the next 25 years.
Minor changes to City Council meeting guidelines including limiting public comment to five minutes although time could be extended at the discretion of the Mayor.
Mayor David Smith Yes
Vice Mayor Luis Freitas Yes
Ana Apodaca Yes
Alan Nagy Yes
Alberto Huezo Absent