It was a strange sight. The Patterson City Council meeting on Tuesday was presented to an empty room as the council held the meeting by following Gov. Newsom’s executive order restricting gatherings in light of the COVID-19 pandemic hitting the state. The public was invited to watch the meeting on television, while the public commentary period was hosted to those who wished to comment via a teleconference.
Mayor Deborah Novelli joined the meeting via a teleconference call, while Mayor Pro Tem Dominic Farinha was not present for the meeting.
The council expressed their concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. An emergency item was added to the agenda addressing the virus. The council voted unanimously on the emergency item to recognize a resolution of the existence of a local emergency. This ensures the city’s right to emergency funding possibilities.
Councilmember Joshua Naranjo expressed support for a shelter in place policy ordinance for the city of Patterson, but as of Tuesday’s meeting no ordinances have been officially passed.
“We need to do what’s best for our residents to curb COVID-19,” councilmember Naranjo said on Tuesday.
A special meeting could be held soon to address the possibility of ordinances to address a shelter in place policy, address eviction restrictions and restrictions on restaurants.
“I want to strongly urge our residents to stay home and not go out,” councilmember Dennis McCord said. “We have to stop this. We have to contain this as soon as possible. This is not trivial, what’s going on.”
Mayor Deborah Novelli stated, “because of COVID-19 we need to have social distance. This is something new for us, but we do really need to have leaders within our community. I know that we are Patterson strong and I know we have leaders and people within groups and children who will take the leadership amongst the youth and say, ‘hey we need to maintain social distance, we need to stay home,’ That is important because this is a very contagious disease, and this can be a deadly disease.”
The consensus was unanimous to bring back these items to discuss potentially Monday evening.
A total of nine items were approved on the consent calendar on March 17. One item was motioned to be moved from the consent calendar concerning Item 5.9. The item was to approve the City Manager fifth amended employment agreement between Ken Irwin and the City of Patterson. The item was moved to an open session for discussion and was approved unanimously. Items 5.1-5.8 and Items 5.10 on the agenda were also approved unanimously. Those items were:
- Motion to waive readings
- Approve city department reports for the months of Jan. and Feb. 2020
- Approve city commission reports for the months of Jan. and Feb. 2020.
- Accept all bids for communications tower project and award construction to Howell Communications, Inc. and authorize staff to execute and contract and all other documents.
- Approve the proposal from Bay Area Coating Consultants Inc., for construction engineering and inspection services for the Rogers Road Water Tank Recoating Project and authorize staff to enter into a negotiated consultant agreement with a cost to not exceed the amount of $39,600.
- Approve of surplus city I.T. equipment for the fiscal year of 2019-20.
- Approve a second reading and adoption of Ordinance No. 839. An ordinance of the Patterson City Council approving a development agreement by and between Mission NSS, LLC (Palms Plaza) and the City of Patterson with revisions as directed by city council.
- Approve the resolutions declaring the city council’s intention to initiate proceedings for the annual levy of assessments and ordering the preparation of engineer’s reports for the Landscape Maintenance Districts (LMDs) and County Service Area (CSA) for the fiscal year of 2020-21.
- Approve the first reading and introduction of Ordinance No. 841, amending Title 15-building and construction of the Patterson Municipal Code, and adopting by reference, the California Code of Regulations title 24, 2019 edition of the California Buildings Standards Code.
The council motioned to approve Resolution No. 2020-15 to authorize staff and enter a contract with the contractor selected to abate the mistletoe and authorize staff to bill the property owner’s clean-up process.
Adjustments to budget for fiscal year 2019-20 and audit reports
The financial report for the fiscal year of 2019-20 was given by City Manager Ken Irwin and Finance Director Saadiah Ryan. The city also heard a presentation from Finance Director Ryan and Pun Group Auditor Ken Pun addressing the 2018-19 financial audit report, the 2018-19 single audit report and the 2018-19 Transportation Development Act Funds financial audit report. Pun shared found no issues during the report. The financial reports were all unanimously approved.
- The council adopted Resolution No. 2020-11 approving the City of Patterson adjustments to the budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year.
- A motion to accept the single audit 2018-29 report and accept the City of Patterson’s 2018-19 Transportation Development Act Funds financial audit report.
- A motion to accept the Patterson Public Financing Authority’s 2018-19 financial audit report.
- A motion to accept the West Patterson Financing Authority’s 2018-19 financial audit report.
A motion to continue the public hearing to April 7, 2020 at the regular council meeting, first reading and introduction of Ordinance No. 840, an ordinance of the city council of the City of Patterson, adding a chapter to the Patterson Municipal Code, Title 12 “Streets and Other Public Places” establishing a street trench cut cost recovery fee to be imposed in conjunction with permits for excavation in the public right-of-way.
City Manager Ken Irwin proposed adopting resolution No. 2020-14 to approve the point of sale of an Economic Incentive Program.
Irwin shared that using economic incentives to attract more businesses would make Patterson more competitive in bringing in commerce. A potential tax sharing agreement or development agreement between the city and a potential business would be discussed during the negotiation.
“I look at this as a win-win situation,” Mayor Novelli said in favor of the resolution. All members present expressed support for an incentive program.
The council approved the resolution unanimously.
City Council reports
Five reports in total were given on various groups located in Patterson.
Councilmember Homen gave a presentation on the Stanislaus Homeless Alliance.
Councilmember McCord provided a report on the Westside Health Care Task Force.
Mayor Novelli presented four reports including: the Stanislaus County Mayor’s Meeting, League of California Cities and the Stanislaus County Disaster Council.