06/10/2014 Council Preview – Utility Rates and Budget Public Hearing

Interesting and important night.  We start the evening with two closed sessions involving  discussion of an ongoing lawsuit and the City Attorney’s semi-annual performance review.

The public meeting starts with no less than three special orders.  The first is the swearing-in of the new boardmembers and commissioners.  The second is a fun one.  Sunnyvale student Swapnil Garg recently won the 2014 Raytheon MATHOCOUNTS National Competition, both as winner of the individual contest and as a member of the winning team. We’ll be recognizing his accomplishment.  The third recognizes Arbor Day.

The consent calendar is relatively light – a tract map and two contract modifications.  One involves our temporary planning staff contract, which is proposed to be extended for another year.  The other involves traffic signal maintenance.

Item 2 is the biannual renewal of a taxicab franchise (California Cab Company).

Item 3 is our annual public hearing for our proposed 2014/15 fee schedule.  There is a huge list of new fees and changed fees, so I won’t try to list them all.  Most of them are fees applied to developers for specific requirements beyond the simple application – if they want to explore exceptions to BMR units, if they want to try and take advantage of the affordable housing density bonus, and so on.  In some cases, we did cost analyses and are proposing increasing or decreasing fees to represent our actual incurred costs.  The most visible changes are the increase for vehicle maintenance or registration violation citations (fix-it tickets), rising from $42 to 49, and the increase in peddler/solicitor permit fees from $145 to $205.

Item 4 is probably the big one – consideration of utility rate increases for FY 2014/15I blogged about this previously.

Item 5 is our public hearing on the budget.  This tends to be dominated by comments on the proposed budget supplements, but anything goes.

Item 6 is our annual resolution for delinquent utility charges to be placed on the property tax roll.  If people haven’t paid, this is our way to make sure we recover what the city is owed.

And item 7 is a little interesting – deciding who gets to make the call on where study sessions are held.  We hold most of them in the West Conference Room, but more popular ones are held in Chambers, and special ones are occasionally held off-site.  Right now, staff just makes the call somewhat in isolation.  They’re proposing making the final call the Mayor’s (with the assumption that the Mayor will consult with staff beforehand).


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