City Hall

The Civic Minute: what’s happening at Citrus Heights City Hall (Dec. 13)

Salary increases. “Shelter crisis” declaration. Closed session. Selection of new mayor and vice mayor. SacRT annexation. Street tree ordinance. New K-9 officer. Those are some of the topics on the agenda for the Citrus Heights City Council’s Dec. 13 meeting.

Here’s a brief summary of what’s included in the 147-page agenda packet:

SPECIAL MEETING: (6 p.m.)

  • Closed Session. Council members will begin with a closed session meeting related to a public employee performance evaluation of the city manager, Christopher Boyd.

REGULAR MEETING (7 p.m.)

  • Election certification. Following the official certification of last month’s election results, newly elected Councilwoman Porsche Middleton will be sworn in and the council will select a new mayor and vice mayor from among its ranks to serve for the next year, as the council does annually.
  • Quarterly Treasurer’s Report. The council will consider routine acceptance and filing of a quarterly treasurer’s report for the period ending Sept. 30th. The five-page report summarizes the city’s various investment accounts and shows the market value of the city’s cash and investments at $12.5 million, down from $14.2 million at the end of the prior quarter.
  • City Attorney Contract. Due to City Attorney Ruthann Ziegler opening her own law firm, the City Council will consider approving a contract with Ziegler’s new firm, while also authorizing a contract with Ziegler’s former firm (Meyers, Nave, Riback, Silver & Watson) in the event the city encounters a need for “specialized legal services outside the scope of Ms. Ziegler’s legal expertise.” Fiscal impact listed: none.
  • Police pay. The City Council will consider approving an agreement with the Citrus Heights Police Officers Association (CHPOA) to increase base pay by 3-4% for certain classes of police employees, while at the same time requiring employees to contribute 3 percent towards the employer contribution to CalPERS retirement, as part of a cost-sharing arrangement that many cities are adopting to grapple with escalating retirement costs for public employees. Fiscal impact listed: none for current year’s approved budget.
  • Salary increases. The City Council will consider approving various changes proposed by city staff, including increasing the salary range for management by $15,000, as well as a request from the city manager for a 3 percent merit increase for the assistant city manager and community services director, along with a 4 percent increase for the police chief. Under the agreement, the police chief would also be responsible for contributing 3 percent towards the employer contribution to CalPERS. Management-category salaries would be capped at $195,000 and the police chief’s salary would be capped at $230,000. Fiscal impact listed: none for current year’s approved budget.

ALSO ON THE AGENDA:

  • Street and Landmark Trees. Councilmembers will consider approving an amendment to the city’s municipal code related to the care and maintenance of street trees and the designation of landmark trees. In a related item, the council will consider submitting an application to the National Arbor Day Foundation, requesting the city be designated a “Tree City USA community.” To be eligible, cities must meet four standards: annual observance of Arbor Day, expend at least $2 per capita on tree-related programs, and have a tree department and a street tree ordinance. A city staff report says the city’s General Services Department fulfills the role of a tree department and states a total of $296,000 has been budgeted for tree-related expenditures.
  • SacRT annexation.  The City Council will consider approving an annexation agreement with SacRT, replacing its current contract model for public transit services. A city staff report says “the driving reason behind this proposal to annex to SacRT is to position SacRT to be as competitive as possible for limited fiscal resources,” as the transit agency has to compete with other larger areas of the state for transit-related funding.  Various pros and cons are listed in the council’s agenda packet (see full staff report).
  • Shelter Crisis Declaration. City Councilmembers will consider a staff recommendation to adopt a resolution declaring a “shelter crisis,” which is a requirement to benefit from state Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP) funds. A staff report says, “While Citrus Heights cannot be a direct recipient of funding, regionally funded programs will be available only to homeless people in jurisdictions that have declared a shelter crisis. If Citrus Heights declares a shelter crisis, HEAP would serve as another tool to complement the existing Navigator Program. If Citrus Heights does not declare a shelter crisis, regional programs funded with HEAP would not be available to homeless people in Citrus Heights.” The staff report also indicates the city favors a “scattered-site” model for housing homeless in currently vacant properties, rather than pursuing a facility-based shelter.

The Thursday night meeting will also include a presentation from the police department introducing a new K-9 officer and a department report on the Electric Greenway Trail Project. Following the regular meeting, council members will also return to closed session for discussion of two cases of anticipated litigation with legal counsel.

The City Council will convene at 6 p.m. at 6360 Fountain Square Drive on Dec. 13, 2018, for its closed session meeting and will resume with a public session at 7 p.m. The full agenda packet can be viewed by clicking here.