12/10/2013 Council Preview – City Manager, Financial Report, Land Use

Diverse night.  We start with two closed sessions.  The first is the annual City Attorney performance evaluation, and the second involves the appointment of an Interim City Manager (followed by an open session item on the same topic).

No presentations or special orders, and the consent calendar is pretty simple – minutes, the list of bills, and the second reading of the ordinances from last week’s meeting.  And that’s it.

Item 2 is our FY 2012/2013 year end financial report.  In short, Sunnyvale finished the budget year $744k under budget.  There were a couple of significant deviations from the adopted budget:

  • The sale of the Raynor Activity Center happened later than expected, and as a result, we did not receive the proceeds, and we did not begin to spend the proceeds as planned
  • The City did not make a RDA-related payment because of a legal challenge
  • The City received $1.8 million less than expected in tax increment because of the RDA issue

There’s a lot more that goes into the total numbers, and it makes for an interesting read to see exactly where revenue came up short (and there are some big shortfalls) and where expenditures came up less than expended (ditto).

Item 3 has us approving Friday’s panels for interviewing city manager candidates.  As with when this was done five years ago, we have five panels:

  • City Department Directors + City Attorney
  • Employee Organization Representatives – one appointed by each bargaining unit
  • Community Panel – selected by Council
  • Business Leaders Panel – selected by Council
  • City Council

A Council subcommittee recommended seven applicants for each of the Community and Business Leaders panels, and Council will decide on the final panelists with this item.  The panels will provide Council with recommendations, and then Council will make the final choice, probably in January.

Item 4 is related – appointing an interim City Manager.  Gary Luebbers’ last day is December 14th, so we need someone to act as City Manager until we can hire a replacement, likely a 3-4 month process.

Item 5 is a new one – possibly amending the Municipal Code related to bingo games.  This appears to be mostly clean-up and bringing the code into line with changes to state law.

Item 6 has us looking at changes to the way in which we consider and approve General Plan Amendments.  Sunnyvale is a little unusual, in that we have a two-step process for amending the General Plan.  First we initiate a study, approved by Council vote.  Then, when the study is completed, we decide whether or not to actually amend the General Plan.  Most cities amend the General Plan in a single step.  Our method has two advantages, in that it gives the public more notice and involvement in the process, and it also prevents applicants from going down a path that Council has no interest in pursuing (by giving the applicant an initial yes/no Council vote).  Even with our process, there is concern that we may still not be involving the public enough.  So we’re looking at possible changes.

And iItem 7 is another garbage issue – amending our Kirby Canyon contract.  We have fixed minimum waste charges with Kirby Canyon landfill, and we have to pay a certain amount whether or not we produce the minimum amount of garbage.  The amendment makes changes to the minimum quantity provisions, which generally make the contract better for all parties, and which will reduce garbage costs by $2.4 to $4.1 million through 2021.  This savings should get passed on to ratepayers, of course.

That’s it.  Friday, we have interviews for City Manager all day (treated as a closed session), and the following Tuesday will be the last meeting of the year.


12/10/2013 Council Preview – City Manager, Financial Report, Land Use — 2 Comments