June 20, 2006

City Council Approves 2006-2007 Budget

In its June 19, 2006, meeting, the City Council approved the 2006-2007 unanimously. Vice-Mayor Surlene Grant presided over the meeting as Mayor Sheila Young was absent. As in the previous four years, the budget had a structural deficit, which was made up for by using reserve funds. According to City Manager John Jermanis, the good news this year was that the structural deficit was just over $500,000. For more details on the budget, see this previous item.

The City Council also unanimously approved a loan of up to $884,000 to Mercy Housing for the renovation of the former Islander Lodge Motel, which is being converted to affordable rental housing.

Santos and Starosciak both expressed a desire to fund the Cherry Festival, Sunday library hours, and hire additional police officers. Nardine asked for a clarification as to how much the Cherry Festival costs and Jermanis responded that it costs $80,000. Vice-Mayor Grant recommended that the Finance Subcommittee hold an evening workshop so that the public can help to decide what should be the funding priorities.

Public comments included complaints from business and property owners about parking issues on MacArthur Bouelvard, complaints about a neighbors' dogs, and, of course, Lou Filipovich.

One of the items on the consent calendar was the auction of 19 vehicles, four pieces of heavy equipment and one boat. Council Member Nardine asked about the details of the auction, which can be found on the Finance department section of the city web site. The auction of heavy equipment will be held June 24, 2006 at 9am with previews on Friday, June 23, 2006. The auction of vehicles will be held August 5, 2006, at 9am. with previews on Friday, August 4, 2006. For more information contact the City of San Leandro Purchasing Office at 510-577-3376 or First Capitol Auction Co. at 707-552-0739.

The item on the conent calendar that generated the most discussion was the eradication of non-native Spartina (cordgrass) along the San Leandro shoreline. Council Members Starosciak and Santos attended a meeting in which the eradication program was discussed in great detail. Starosciak expressed surprise that environmentalists were willing to use an herbicide against the Spartina. Vice-Mayor Grant expressed concern about the aerial spraying effects on the health and safety of nearby residents and the potential for the spray to drift onto vehicles. Starosciak reassured Grant that the herbicide broke down after two weeks and was so safe that no mask or protective equipment was needed when applying it.

The resolution approving the grant agreement between the City of San Leandro and the State Coastal Conservancy for Spartina Treatment and Eradication Activities at the San Leandro Shoreline was approved unanimously. The cost of $50,000 would be almost completely reimbursed from a grant of $49,996.

For more information about Spartina, see the San Francisco Estuary Invasive Spartina Project.

The meeting was adjourned in memory of two residents that recently passed away, including Lois M. McDonald, who served on the San Leandro School Board for 21 years.

Posted by Mike Katz-Lacabe at June 20, 2006 2:05 AM | TrackBack
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