Pretty diverse agenda, as we try to wrap things up before the holidays.
We start the evening with a discussion of the pension trust fund. There has been a lot of news on this front, mostly at the state level, as the CalPERS board is wrestling with changes to the way it determines its expected rate of return and cities’ contributions. This has become more urgent since CalPERS has had a couple of bad investment years recently, including this year. This is a major concern for cities, since the most likely scenario has cities contributing more to make up the shortcomings in investments. And that would cost cities millions that are already needed to pay for core services.
This is followed by two annual study sessions. The first has councilmembers expressing an interest in serving as Mayor or Vice Mayor in 2017. This study session became an annual tradition a few years ago, in an attempt to prevent Brown Act violations from interested councilmembers lobbying their colleagues. So now, the lobbying is done in a publicly-noticed meeting.
The second is similar – a discussion of the various intergovernmental relations commission assignments. It’s councilmembers’ opportunity to declare their interest in an assignment, or to declare their intent to drop a previous assignment and make it available. This will be a major endeavor this year, with three councilmembers being replaced, two of whom had a huge number of IGR assignments.
There are just a couple of consent calendar items. There’s a pro forma resolution to make us eligible for MTC grants. There’s a contract for a new “constituent relationship management system”. We operate a homegrown CRM system right now (what gets invoked when you click on “Contact Us” on the city’s website), and IT is proposing to replace it with a professional system. And there’s a contract for design work for rehabilitating the Lawrence Expressway sewer line (a major line in our sewer network).
Item 2 is a big one – take actions related to the Lawrence Station Area Plan. This has been in the works for some time, and we now have the final product in front of us.
Item 3 has us taking emergency action related to “accessory dwellings” (granny units and the like). The state recently passed a law that will impact Sunnyvale’s ability to maintain local control over accessory dwelling. We have until January 1 to adopt an ordinance that conforms to the new law, or else all of our regulations are “null and void”, and the state’s legislation kicks in.
And item 4 has us looking at another single-story overlay district, this one around and including the Fairbrae Swim Center. This one is a little less straightforward than other recent ones, since the operators of the swim center and a couple of parcel owners are opposing the overlay and/or asking to be excluded from it.