Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular  Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
January 17, 2001    270 Elm Road, Bolinas

1.  Call to Order

8:00 p.m.

2.  Roll

Directors Amoroso, Bertsch, Kayfetz, McClellan, Siedman present.
Director Amoroso presiding at outset.

3.  Manager’s Report

Nominations for a member of the Governing Board of the ACWA-JPIA to its Executive committee must be received by March 26, 2001.

The Board received information on a January 23, 2001 LAFCO workshop on new laws affecting the way LAFCO administers the processes for planning and changing the boundaries of local government agencies. The changes are expected to bring the District’s annual cost allocation to approximately $500.

The Department of Public Works has scheduled several roads in Bolinas for repaving in the coming year. All underground work on the proposed roads must be completed before the repaving as only emergency work will be authorized for the subsequent five years. The Bolinas-Stinson Paths Group has suggested posting Share The Road signs along Terrace Avenue and possibly striping to delineate a bike lane along Brighton Avenue. The deadline for comments is February 2, 2001.

Tom Chesnut has offered to pay for 100 bare root redwood trees for whoever is interested in planting them.

Manager Buchanan reported that a break in the service line at the end of Canyon Road on Christmas Day that resulted in some erosion of the hillside has highlighted the potential liability to the District of continuing to use the existing line along the outer edge of the road. An earlier plan to replace the line with one on the inner side of the road was halted when a pipe containing what appeared to be sewage was encountered while trenching the road.  Although the responsible homeowner made drainage improvements it was not considered advisable to continue. Buchanan recommended shutting down the Canyon Road main, installing new meters at Terrace and Canyon, and requiring the homeowners to install copper service lines to their new meters. Director Amoroso suggested offering the owners some financial help but Director Kayfetz demurred, noting that earlier remedial action by the District had been halted by the owners’ apparent illegal septage overflow. Kayfetz asked Buchanan to indicate to the homeowners that this action was being taken in lieu of involving Marin County Environmental Health Department.

Marin County Special Districts Association invites all its members to attend the Annual Dinner on January 25, 2001.

Director Kayfetz urged the endorsement of Sharon Valentino for an upcoming Special District opening on the Board of Commissioners of LAFCO, noting that LAFCO has influence on matters of concern to Bolinas.

The Preserve Historic Olema Valley group has made a videotape of the Bolinas Museum presentation on “Cultural Landscapes in National Parks” available for any Board members who wish to watch it.

The Public Water System Statistics for 2000 indicate that Bolinas’ unaccounted for water consumption continues to decline, with the most recent figures showing a 9.7% factor.

Members of the Finance Committee are invited to attend the meeting on January 29 with the prospective new bookkeeper.

For the same cost and giving the same output as the generator the District looked at to provide backup power for 270 Elm, an alternative using battery backup is now available. It has the advantage of being completely silent, connects to PG&E to charge, gives 3-4 days of backup power, and includes a transfer switch for continuous operation.

4.  Community Expression

Barbara Kayfetz noted that a Bolinas Open Space Committee had been formed in 1996. She suggested it now seems appropriate to revive it as an extension and expansion of the work done by the Vegetation Management Committee. There were no objections to placing it on the February meeting agenda.

Amoroso suggested that anyone interested in forming a committee to investigate alternative power options, particularly in light of the current energy crisis, would be very welcome. He noted that certification was not yet in place for the wind generators presented by Bob Gold several months earlier.

5.  Election of Officers / Committee Assignments

--  Kayfetz/Siedman         unanimous     to elect Jack McClellan as President.

--  Amoroso/Kayfetz       unanimous      to elect Jack Siedman as Vice-President.

--  Kayfetz/Siedman       unanimous     to keep the existing committee appointments.

Director McClellan assumed presidency.

6.  Vegetation Management Plan Committee:  subcommittees reports

Director Amoroso suggested giving each committee thirty minutes to make its presentation, followed by thirty minutes of questions. Another meeting could be scheduled if necessary, at the end.

Dale Polissar opened by noting that copies of the proposals of both subcommittees A and B are available at the Bolinas Library.

The position of subcommittee A is that preservation of the existing eucalyptus trees in Bolinas offers many benefits; providing a windbreak for the downtown, evapo-transpiration, erosion control and soil stability, air quality pollution control, local counteraction to global warming, function as overwintering and migrating monarch butterfly habitat, providing a diverse animal habitat, and cultural and historic significance. The negative aspects cited, such as monoculturalism, rapid expansion, danger from falling trees and dropping limbs and causing the death of songbirds, are, in the view of the subcommittee, exaggerated and lacking documentation.

The original proposal that had generated the formation of the Vegetation Management Committee was to remove all the eucalyptus trees on BCPUD land, along Horseshoe Hill Road and along the lagoon. Subcommittee A, although believing that all trees not posing a direct threat to life or property should be preserved, proposes a three stage land stewardship plan. The first stage would remove trees smaller that 8” along the perimeter of the forest and create a clear border as a firebreak. The optional second stage would remove the trees under 8” in a scalloped pattern, reaching in to the boundaries of the forest in 1975. The optional third stage would reduce the scallops to the 1975 boundary. Trees larger than 8” which would involve a heavier, more expensive logging operation would be left untouched, except for trimming limbs to a height of 14’ along Mesa Road. Evaluation of a native plant restoration plan deemed it too expensive and impractical. The plan includes four-year patrols to contain new growth.

Judy Molyneux stated that, in light of the recent definition of the site as an overwintering habitat for monarch butterflies, leading to its registration in the California Diversity Database and putting it under the protection of State law, she was offering one of her paintings to monarch butterfly expert Kinston Leong in lieu of his $5,000 fee, for his assistance in a study of the site. She suggested holding off on any action until more study of the biosystem has been done.

Ray Moritz verified that the total acreage of thinning would be about 4 acres with the first phase costing about $9,000 and phases 2 and 3 costing about $2,500 each. He also felt the fire hazard on the inner side of the grove should not be underestimated

Sandra dellaValle noted that the Marin County Department of Planning would not authorize the degree of tree removal proposed in Subcommittee B’s plan or, possibly, in Subcommittee A’s plan, without a Coastal Permit and probably an Environmental Impact Report.

A videorecording of the butterflies in the grove, filmed the previous day, was played during the meeting.

Subcommittee B’s plan was presented by Ann Young. She stated that the philosophy of the committee is that plants deserve equal consideration to animals (monarchs specifically). The educational component of community involvement in the restoration project proposed by subcommittee B is vital in developing awareness of land stewardship responsibilities. She noted that although it may appear otherwise in Bolinas, the development in California as a whole is severely diminishing the quantity of native habitat. B proposes complete eucalyptus tree removal and a native habitat restoration of a one-acre test plot below the sewer lab and above the main monarch site. It’s lack of understory and exposure to wind make it less hospitable to monarchs. The proximity of the road for tree removal, water for replanting, and the Fire Department, should burning take place, and the level terrain which would minimize erosion, combined to make this the committee’s preferred location. The site also includes trees that need to be removed for operations maintenance purposes. Its high visibility will increase its educational value. The planting of native species, which will be done by volunteers from the community at large, will make it hospitable to a greater range of wildlife and the combined leaf biomass will provide air filtration greater than the eucalyptus do. In two years time, the plot would be developed enough to evaluate whether or not to adopt the further stages of the plan, and remove the entire eucalyptus grove.

Director Kayfetz asked if both subcommittees would be amenable to adopting both plans. A replied that it could not accept phase one of B’s proposal, since it was a precursor to eliminating the entire forest; if a restoration plot was the goal it would make more sense to place it in an area without trees. Ilka Hartmann stated that a restoration plot already existed on the other side of the road. Meg Simonds stated that creating a restoration plot without the removal of trees was not the goal of subcommittee B. Della Valle noted that the proposed plot has fewer trees, so is not representative of the true cost or removal of the rest of the forest. Jody Angel objected that sound from the road would no longer be baffled from her house and the sun would get in motorists’ eyes. Both A and B agreed that hazardous limbs along Mesa Road should be removed. Amoroso noted that restoration planting would always need stewardship to protect against unwanted plants. He stated that before any action could be taken, all the regulatory and permit requirements must be clarified and that the entire intended project impact must be considered in order to comply with California Environmental Quality Act. More study of the monarch and other habitats should be done.

Della Valle stated that she has been unhappy about the conflict of interest she has perceived in the members of Committee B.

There were no objections to moving the Ad Hoc National Park Advisory Committee (BCOPP) item forward on the agenda.

      -- Ad Hoc National Park Advisory Committee (BCOPP)

The Bolinas Committee on Park Planning is scheduled for a meeting with the National Park Service on Friday, January 19.

Correspondence dating back to 1997, suggesting that the Park Service had already offered the main house at Rancho Baulines to Point Reyes Bird Observatory, has recently come to light, despite repeated earlier requests from BCPUD for a statement of the Park’s intentions for the ranch. Director Kayfetz indicated that he was incensed at PRBO for conducting its affairs without complying with its required process under the National Environmental Policy Act and informing the public and the community of its plans. Geoff Geupel responded that PRBO is a non-profit and all its meetings are open to the public. It is losing its lease and has been looking at several options. No public announcements can be made before agreement has been reached and, to date, all discussions have been exploratory. Gordon Bennett, a member of the Citizen’s Advisory Commission pointed out that Rancho Baulines is not included in the Bolinas Community Plan.

--  Amoroso/Kayfetz      Four ayes, Bertsch opposed     1) to write a letter to the NPS complaining abut the lack of public process in its planning and 2) to entertain the idea of authorizing BCPUD representation in possible legal action against the NPS, provided no cost is incurred by the District.

Kayfetz indicated that, as a member of the Legal Committee, he would be happy to work with the BCOPP. Siedman concurred with the remarks of Kayfetz, Amoroso and BCOPP and emphasized the importance of including the ranch in the 1980 General Management Plan update to avoid rogue runaway situations. Kayfetz directed the letter be addressed to John Reynolds, the Regional Director for the NPS, as well as Senators Boxer and Feinstein, Representative Woolsey and Supervisor Kinsey, with a side letter requesting recommendation on the appropriate procedure for investigating criminal government actions. He noted that during ranch tenant Mary Tiscornia’s lawsuit against the Park, the Park had denied, under penalty of perjury, making any promises to PRBO.

7.  Request for Increase in Garbage/Recycling Collection Rates:  Waste Management, Inc.

Ken Foley stated that under Section 7 of the current agreement between Waste Management and BCPUD, Waste Management was requesting a 4.7% increase in collection rates, in line with the Consumer Price Index, effective January 2001.

Director Kayfetz suggested waiting until Waste Management responded to the District’s request for reimbursement of the legal costs incurred by BCPUD to defend the cross-complaint against it by Waste Management, before considering the request. Directors Amoroso and Bertsch stated that they were unrelated issues and Foley said it would be inappropriate to make any reimbursement before  the legal proceedings were finished. In response to the request to bring Bolinas’ rates in line with Stinson’s, Foley pointed out that Stinson’s rate were at the 1996 level. Foley stated that the County had received a settlement, not a refund and that BCPUD had been given financial information to justify the rates at the time in question. Director Siedman queried whether the District wanted to continue doing business with Waste Management at all.

--  Kayfetz/Amoroso       unanimous      to grant the request for an increase.

8.  Coastal Permit Application;  Expanded Water Use Permit Application:  Smith
     project location: 191 Poplar

Directors stipulated that the enclosed patio proposed to remain at the site of the applicant’s original residence be cleared within six months of the transfer of the water connection, leaving only the foundation and drainage in place. If more than six months is needed to restore the old site the applicants should come back to the Board and request an extension.

--  Kayfetz/Bertsch      unanimous     to grant an unconditional Expanded Water Use Permit, with no other negative comments for the Coastal Permit Application other than the above.

9.  Other Business

a.  Committee Reports

      -- Downtown Parking:

Director Amoroso noted that the work of the committee is continuing, but that alternative proposals were looking no more attractive than the present situation. A letter from the committee should be coming before the Board.

      -- Housing:

The confidentiality of information collected by the Disaster Council was pointed out in a letter from Barbara Kayfetz.

      -- Legal:

A status conference will be held this week with Orrick v. BCPUD.

      -- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads:  SepTAC status

Director McClellan will attend the January 18, 2001 meeting of SepTAC

      -- Park and Recreation:   Mesa Park Board of Commissioners Appointment

Director Siedman expressed concern that Bailey Green still hasn’t produced the promised report and that deadlines for the information are becoming increasingly imminent.

--  Kayfetz/Bertsch      unanimous      to appoint Arlene Allsman as BCPUD representative to Mesa Park Board.

      -- Personnel:  recommendation for staff compensation

Manager Buchanan reported that Seth Kline’s excellent annual evaluation is accompanied by a recommendation from Kate Currey and Bill Pierce that his pay be increased immediately to equal that of the lowest paid weekend worker.

--  Kayfetz/Amoroso      unanimous     to raise Kline’s pay by 86 cents an hour, effective with the; 1/26/01 payroll.

      -- Solid Waste:  2002 garbage/recycling implementation plan

Solid waste consultant Paul Rottenberg, in a letter indicating his availability for a workshop, also stated that if his fee for implementing an in-house solid waste program is not realized from the difference in fees between Shoreline’s rates and those the costs of the new program, he will absorb the difference. He doesn’t foresee any significant outlay of funds prior to startup. A Special Meeting will be held on January 31, 2001 with Rottenberg.

b.  Minutes of December 20, 2000 Meeting

--  Amoroso/Bertsch     four ayes, Kayfetz abstained      to approve minutes of December 20, 2000 meeting.

c.  Warrants

--  Bertsch/Kayfetz     unanimous     to approve warrants

d.  Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)

January 31, 2001 Special Meeting
February 21, 2001 Regular Meeting

10.  Adjournment

12.20 p.m.