ABSTRACT: Three noteworthy 2 December 2008 City Council Agenda items, namely a status report on the Forest Theater Renovation and agreement with RFM Architects for architectural services in an amount of $131,000, a Resolution authorizing an interim agreement with the City of Monterey to provide Fire Department administrative and Division Chief services and Order of Council regarding options for future Carmel Fire Department management, are featured. A SYNOPSIS, consisting of selected excerpts from each Agenda Item Summary and/or Staff Report, is presented for each agenda item. COMMENTS are made on all agenda items.
CITY OF CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA
City Council Agenda
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
A. Receive a status report on the Forest Theater Renovation and adopt a Resolution entering into an agreement with RFM Architects for architectural services in an amount of $131,000.
Description: A revised conceptual plan was prepared by RFM Architects for review. Staff will present the revised plan and ask for the City Council to approve the plan in concept. Upon obtaining this approval, staff recommends entering into an agreement with RFM Architects to commence the schematic design phase.
City Funds: Total: $131,000
Grant Funds: N/A
Staff Recommendation: Adopt the Resolution.
Important Considerations: RFM Architects completed the conceptual plan under the initial direction of the Forest Theater Foundation. Subsequently, based on the public meeting, RFM Architects revised the conceptual plan under the direction of City staff. Their familiarity with the project provides continuity for moving into the next design phase.
Decision Record: A public meeting was held on June 19, 2008 at the Forest Theater site to receive input on the proposed renovation.
• RMF Architects prepared a “revised conceptual plan” that incorporated the public comments received at the June 19, 2008 City Council meeting. Hence, the "schematic design proposal" submitted by RFM Architects incorporates the following as part of the renovation:
1. Site Planning that includes perimeter fencing, on-site parking, vehicle and pedestrian access, and infrastructure upgrades to the site utilities;
2. Provides for pathways to accommodate ADA slope requirements for audience access to pre-event areas, toilet and concession facilities, audience seating, etc.;
3. Removes the existing center aisle through the audience seating and creates quarter aisles including addressing bench seating for patron comfort;
4. Plans and designs audience amenities including new toilet facilities, concessions, and site for ticket sales;
5. Designs theater equipment and operating facilities for Theater productions;
6. Includes other professional review of the renovation planning such as a surveyor, a civil engineer, a landscape architect, a structural engineer and an electrical engineer.
The estimated time to complete the schematic design is three months, according to the Staff Report.
• As part of the City’s Capital Improvement Fiscal Year 2008/09 Budget, the City budgeted $65,000 for “Forest Theater Master Plan-Design Work." Ergo, for the proposed total of $131,000, the City proposes a transfer of $66,000 from the Capital Improvement Reserve Fund to fund “the difference between the cost estimate and the budgeted amount,” an amount greater than the original budgeted amount of $65,000.
C. Consideration of a Resolution authorizing an interim agreement with the City of Monterey to provide Fire Department administrative and Division Chief services.
Description: As a result of the merger between the Pacific Grove and Monterey fire departments, the existing fire services agreement between the cities of Pacific Grove and Carmel will terminate on December 16, 2008. The City of Monterey has proposed an interim fire services agreement to offer continuity of administrative services and Division Chief (Duty Chief) coverage to Carmel. The City Administrator requests approval of the draft interim agreement.
City Funds: $ 11,250 per calendar month (funds are appropriated in the Fire Department FY 08-09 budget to cover this expense).
Grant Funds: N/A
Staff Recommendation: Adopt the Resolution to allow the Monterey Fire Department to provide administrative and Division Chief services formerly provided by the Pacific Grove Fire Department to the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea.
Important Considerations: This fire services agreement will continue to preserve the quality of the firefighting system and the activities associated with effective fire protection. Approval of this agreement will provide staff additional time to further study and recommend the best option for future long-term administrative and Division Chief services.
Decision Record: Resolution 2008-32, authorizing execution of a fire services agreement with City of Pacific Grove to provide fire administrative services.
• An Important Consideration is “approval of this agreement will provide staff additional time to further study and recommend the best option for future long-term administrative and Division Chief services.” Since formally withdrawing from consolidation negotiations with the Cities of Monterey and Pacific Grove in January 2008, the Staff has had one year to “study” and “recommend the best option" for future fire protection services. That the staff does not have a “best option” implemented by December 2008 speaks to the fact that the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea is a poorly managed city.
XI. Orders of Council
A. Receive report and provide policy direction regarding options for future Carmel Fire Department management.
Description: Staff is seeking City Council direction regarding which options to pursue regarding the future management of the Carmel Fire Department. Staff has prepared a report containing three options and preliminary findings/comments concerning each option. Staff recommends the option of “contracting” as the preferred option to pursue.
City Funds: $2.9-$3.1 million – detailed costs to be determined pending final Council policy direction.
Staff Recommendation: Staff is requesting that City Council review the options contained in the staff report and provide policy direction. Staff recommends contracting as the next best step to managing the Fire Department.
Important Considerations: Staff will diligently work towards the preparation of a report for final City Council action in early 2009.
Decision Record: At its meeting of October 2, 2007, City Council provided policy direction authorizing Carmel to participate in a joint study with Monterey and Pacific Grove concerning fire department consolidation.
“Assuming City Council approves the proposed Monterey contract at its meeting of December 2, 2008, the Monterey Fire Department will begin to provide fire administrative services to Carmel commencing on December 16, 2008, through February 28, 2009. Because time is critical, the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea must finalize its study of options for future long-term fire management services and approve a new agreement in sufficient time to become effective on or before February 28, 2009,”according to the Staff Report prepared by Public Safety Director George E. Rawson.
Options include, as follows:
1. Full Service – Stand-Alone Fire Department: This option is very expensive and is not Recommended
2. Contracting: This option is the most logical and will probably be the most economical.
3. Joint Powers Authority (Merger/Consolidation): Establishing a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) to govern a merger of fire services is a possibility, but such anundertaking is contingent on with which agency Carmel ultimately merges. The committee believes the JPA option may be more expensive than contracting due to staffing needs that are similar to Option #1 (Stand-Alone).
$2.9-$3.1 million – detailed costs to be determined pending final Council policy direction.
CARMEL FIRE DEPARTMENT ALTERNATIVES
Local knowledge (streets, hydrants, lack of addresses, etc.)
Productivity potential and increased oversight
Difficulty in recruiting
Admin. team/shared costs
Improved staffing & infrastructure of resources
Workers’ comp liability reduced
HR responsibilities reduced
Preserves local knowledge
Favorably disproportionate share of costs
Relinquish control of personnel costs
Better control of salary
Shared HR duties and responsibilities
Distribution of operational costs
Shared workers’ comp
Risk management liability exposure
Marginal return on investment
Need to hire more staff (Duty Chiefs and other admin. staff)
Partnering with agencies with uncertain financial status
Risk management liability exposure
• The City of Carmel-by-the-Sea was not acting in the best interests of Carmelites when the city prematurely withdrew from consolidation negotiations with the Cities of Monterey and Pacific Grove in January 2008. Moreover, the Carmel Professional Firefighters remain steadfast in their support of consolidation with the Monterey and Pacific Fire Departments. Ergo, consolidation or “contract” was always and obviously the “best option” for fire protection services for the citizens of Carmel-by-the-Sea.
City Council Agenda December 2008 and
City Council Agenda Packet December 2008)