By Roz Rogoff
Recap of April 28th San Ramon Council MeetingUploaded: Apr 29, 2009
Parks and Community Services Director Jeff Eorio was busy during the first hour of the April 28, 2009 City Council meeting. The Mayor proclaimed April 19-25, 2009 as National Volunteer Week, which he presented to Mary Rutherford. Mary received a "Champion of the Community" award for her volunteer work with the Parks and Recreation Department. Mary volunteers 15 to 20 hours a week at the San Ramon Community Center. She said she does it for herself because she enjoys it and urged everyone to volunteer.
Eorio presented more awards from the California Parks and Recreation Society to David Ernest, Chair of the Parks and Community Service Commission. Ernest thanked the staff and volunteers. Mayor Wilson said, "We work hard and we play hard and we deserve this," which got a big laugh from the audience.
Eorio also thanked Shapell Homes for supplying the bridge across Oak Creek to connect Forest Home Farms with the David Glass House. The bridge was made from an old flat car used for grading Gale Ranch in Dougherty Valley. It is designed to look like a bridge on the property in a photo from 1907 but with modern safety features.
Premier volunteer and former Mayor Pat Boom asked for volunteers for the school program at Forest Home Farms. Boom is Grandma in the program, which features darning socks and squeezing orange juice to recreate the days before everything came in shrink wrap. Volunteers are also needed to play Grandpa and to demonstrate gardening and canning. Boom later invited everyone to buy a shopping bag from the San Ramon Historic Foundation at the opening of the Farmer's Market on May 2, 2009.
Councilmember and cancer survivor Carol Rowley asked everyone to wear purple on May 1, 2009 as part of Paint Our Town Purple day, which will also be celebrated at the opening of the Farmer's Market on May 2, 2009. The American Cancer Society will have a booth at the Market with information on the Relay for Life, a 24-hour fundraising event at Cal High on June 27-28, 2009. Roz Rogoff announced in Public Comment that Safe-Cat Foundation will have a booth at the Farmer's Market with adoptable cats and kittens rescued from local shelters.
The Dougherty Station Library received a Commendation from the Western Association of Schools and Libraries for the innovative partnering of Contra Costa County, the Contra Costa Community College District, and the City of San Ramon in building, managing, and sharing the Library.
The Council received an update on the TRAFFIX program, which is funded by Measure J gas taxes to reduce congestion around schools. A study was conducted and the most congestion is in South San Ramon at Pine Valley Middle School, Walt Disney Elementary, and Country Club Elementary.
The TRAFFIX program will provide safe, secure, low cost buses to these schools to encourage parents to stop driving their kids in the morning and afternoon. School start times will be tiered with Pine Valley starting at 8 AM, Walt Disney at 8:35 and Country Club at 8:35. The plan is to provide 10 busses for Pine Valley, 5 for Walt Disney, and 3 for Country Club.
Contract Program Manager Aram Boyd said that testing would begin in May with one bus, and be continued over the summer. Busses will be leased and will not use regular School District busses, but traffic laws for school busses would still apply. Tickets for the busses will be available on the TRAFFIX website, www.ridetraffix.com, and the program is expected to be in operation for the 2009-2010 school year.
Pat Perry gave a report on changes in fees for city services. She assured the Council that fees will not be raised and some will be reduced. Plans for renting out a room at Forest Home Farm or the yard at the Glass House were dropped because the work involved could have increased fees. Mayor Wilson said he wants residents "to take advantage of your facilities." Wilson was attacked for raising fees by his opponent, Joan Buchanan, in his run for the 15th State Assembly District last year.
The Public Hearing on the Lodging Registration Ordinance was continued to May.