Cloverdale council preview

The council will also consider a new salary schedule for Cloverdale’s city manager, as well as protocols related to reopening city facilities and in-person meetings

The Cloverdale City Council is holding its regular meeting on Wednesday, June 23 and is slated to hold a public hearing for Pacific Gas and Electric’s (PG&E) Sustainable Solutions Turnkey Program, consider a new salary schedule for the Cloverdale City Manager, discuss updated committee appointments and consider criteria relating to reopening city facilities and holding in-person meetings. The meeting is being conducted over Zoom and will begin at 6 p.m. To view the full council agenda, including links to the Zoom, click here.

Prior to public hearings and regular business items, the council will be proclaiming approval of the Sonoma County Gold Resolution and endorsing the United in Kindness Campaign, as well as proclaiming June 19, 2021 as Juneteenth.

It will also be considering the following items as part of its consent calendar:

●    Approval of the council meeting minutes for May 26 and June 9

●    Agreement for the purchase of retired Cloverdale police canine Jimmy, by his handler John Camara

●    Agreement with North Bay Animal Services to provide all animal control services for the city of Cloverdale

Sustainable Solutions Turnkey Program

The public hearing for the city to enter into a master service agreement and work order to start the investment grade assessment with the Sustainable Solutions Turnkey Program comes shortly after the Cloverdale City Council was given a presentation about PG&E’s program.

“The program offers municipalities a comprehensive approach towards designing, building, managing, commissioning, monitoring and validating energy savings and water conservation projects,” states Wednesday’s council agenda item. “Projects are funded from energy cost savings over a multi-year term that matches the energy cost savings. No upfront payments are required. The program essentially allows for a streamlined solution to implementing energy conservation projects with the goal of implementing energy saving projects at city facilities and using the money saved from reduced energy use and operational maintenance costs to pay the debt service for the design and construction of the project.”

Projects identified include interior and exterior lighting, HVAC replacement, water pump station upgrades, wastewater aeration and thermostats.

City manager salary schedule

Cloverdale City Manager David Kelley’s salary schedule and employment agreement are being presented to the council this week. Kelley’s initial contract with the city was from March 21, 2018 to March 30, 2021. Just before the agreement was set to be up for renewal in March, the council voted to extend the employment agreement to June 20, 2021 in order to continue negotiations.

At its meeting this week, the council will consider placing Kelley in step four of a new five-step salary schedule, as well as make other amendments to his contract. According to the agenda item, the agreement will:

●    Extend the existing employment agreement by two years;

●    Increase the existing annual compensation of $159,450.26 to $162,852 (step four of a new five-step salary schedule);

●    Increase the vacation sell-back allowed to 80 hours per year (increasing from 60 hours);

●    Adjusting sick leave accrual cap to match all other senior staff members, at 1,600 hours and also providing the ability to convert unused sick leave to years of service for PERS purposes upon retirement;

●    Adding a longevity pay provision allowing for a 5% increase upon the eighth year anniversary date to match all other senior staff.

According to the agenda item, the new salary range — which caps with a fifth step of $170,994.60 per year — remains 14% below market average for the city manager position.

Committee appointments, reopening facilities and meetings

Following the recent swearing in of Councilmember Joe Palla, the Cloverdale City Council is going back to the drawing board for the third time this year to sort out which council members will be on which city subcommittees, joint committees and regional boards.

After that and to wrap up the meeting, the council will discuss creating a reopening plan for both city facilities and city meetings.

Since the start of the pandemic, the city has made some minor changes in the opening of its facilities, but the bulk remain closed to the public.

“City-owned playgrounds were reopened to public access with limitations in the fall of 2020,” states the agenda. “City staff recommend following Sonoma County public health officials’ guidance on removing limitations imposed as a result of the pandemic. City-owned outdoor parklands have remained open and accessible to the general public, with some limitations, throughout the pandemic.

“City Hall has reopened two days a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-5 p.m., with mask mandates in City Hall on June 2, 2021, for visitors and staff. However, the Cloverdale Performing Arts Center has been dormant for almost a year, and modifications and service adaptations will be necessary to enhance safety and resiliency against the ‘long tail’ of COVID-19. Due to reductions in staffing and operating budget made necessary by the economic downturn, the city lacks the operational capacity to safely reactivate all facilities and services at once and recommends a phased approach to reopening.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s June 11 order that began phasing out the executive orders that were implemented at the start of the pandemic will soon phase out the state order that suspended some requirements of the Brown Act, which allowed council members to meet from afar and hold virtual meetings for an extended amount of time. After the order is phased out on Sept. 30, if a council member wants to participate in a meeting via teleconference, they must do the following:

●    state and local bodies notice each teleconference location from which a member will be participating in a public meeting; each teleconference location be accessible to the public;

●    members of the public may address the body at each teleconference conference location;

●    state and local bodies post agendas at all teleconference locations;

●    at least one member of the state body be physically present at the location specified in the notice of the meeting;

●    during teleconference meetings, a least a quorum of the members of the local body participates from locations within the boundaries of the territory over which the local body exercises jurisdiction.

As a result, city staff is requesting that the council discuss and provide direction on the reopening of City Hall, returning to in-person meetings, whether or not it wants to consider a hybrid meeting form that would allow residents to attend and participate in a public meeting virtually, as well as procedures for in-person meetings.

Managing Editor

Zoë Strickland is the managing editor of SoCoNews. Zoë has a passion for small towns and writing articles about the people who live in them. When she’s not reporting, Zoë is passionate about baking, coffee and tending to plants.

(1) comment

Plazdagame

I sincerely hope that the council will honestly evaluate the city manager. Is he really worth a 3.5 % raise and we would like to know what the "new " salary range really is.

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