Approved Regular Commission Meeting Minutes for November 6, 2019


Commissioners Present
Ernie Loveless, Chair
Steve Herzberg
Susan Gorin
Rich Holmer
Lynda Hopkins
Mark Landman
Pam Stafford

Alternate Commissioners Present
Rodney Moore

Staff Present
Mark Bramfitt Executive Officer
Carole Cooper, Assistant Executive Officer
Verne Ball, Legal Counsel
Cynthia Olson, Administrative Analyst
Diana R. Wilson, Clerk

Approved Regular Commission Meeting Minutes for November 6, 2019

1. Call to Order by the Chair

The meeting was called to order by Chair Loveless at 2:01 p.m. The following voting members were seated at the dais: Commissioners Loveless, Stafford, Herzberg, Gorin, Landman, and Holmer.

2. Public Comment:

The Chair opened the public comment period and, seeing no one rise, closed the public comment.

3. Consent Calendar

Items on the Consent Calendar will be taken in one motion without discussion

  1. Approval of Meeting Minutes: October 2, 2019

  2. Report of 1st Quarter Expenditures and Revenues.
    Upon motion and second, approved items on the Consent Calendar as recommended by staff.
    Ayes:                   6   Loveless, Stafford, Gorin, Herzberg, Landman, and Holmer
    Noes:                   0
    Abstain:                0

4. Public Hearing Protest Hearings

  1. File No. 2019-15: Municipal Service Review and Sphere of Influence Study for Sonoma Valley Fire and Emergency Medical Service Agencies and Consideration of Amendment No.1 to the Sphere of Influence of the Glen Ellen Fire Protection District, adding territories of five Sonoma Valley fire agencies in anticipation of reorganization proposals

    Environmental Determination: Exempt Pursuant to Section 15061(b)(3) of the State CEQA Guidelines

  2. Staff described the agencies reviewed in the study and, after Commissioner comments, answered questions.

    Commissioner Hopkins arrived at 2:06

    Chair Loveless opened up to public comment.

    Bob Kruljak, Board member, Schell-Vista Fire Protection District, stated that the board of directors was not ready to move forward with the changes at this time. He stated that they do not want to go back to voters with another complicated process so soon after having completed a large annexation a year or so ago.

    Daymon Doss, Board member, Kenwood Fire Protection District, stated concern about losing identity in the process of combining agencies. He stated that Kenwood is not ready to move as fast as the documentation presented. He indicated that Kenwood is interested in Advanced Life Support (ALS) and sees consolidation as a pathway to obtaining ALS.

    Lisa Warner, resident of Glen Ellen at the County line, spoke in support of combining agencies and stated that she felt that a tax increase is worth the rewards. She further stated that the fire services should be serving the community first rather than focusing on identity.

    Steve Akre, Chief, Sonoma Valley Fire Rescue Authority, thanked staff and Commissioners and provided information regarding the progress made over the past year after reorganizations. He answered questions and engaged in dialogue with the Commission.

    Bill Adams, General Counsel for all the fire districts in the MSR excluding the City of Sonoma, pointed out the sphere of influence evaluation and determination criteria which the Commission recently adopted.

    The Chair closed public comment and brought discussion back to the dais.

    Chair Loveless commented on the importance of public outreach to make sure the public is aware of any changes in the affected districts.

    The Commission and staff engaged in additional discussion regarding timelines, preferences of agencies, and opinions regarding approval of the MSR and SOI, as presented. Commission members agreed that operational fit and financial sustainability were key criteria in evaluating sphere of influence amendments, a position adopted by the Commission in October.

    Commissioner Herzberg moved and Commissioner Stafford seconded a motion to approve staff’s recommendation to adopt the determinations of the Municipal Service Review and Sphere of Influence Study and amend the subject agencies’ spheres of influence.

    Commissioner Landman then moved, with Commissioner Holmer seconding, to amend the motion to accept staff’s recommendation but to strike all references to adopting the proposed sphere of influence changes at this time for the City of Sonoma (for fire/emergency services) and for Schell-Vista Fire Protection District and postpone those until the next Commission meeting.

    Ayes:                   2   Landman, Holmer
    Noes:                   5 Loveless, Stafford, Gorin, Herzberg, and Hopkins
    Abstain:                0

    The item did not pass.

    Upon motion and second to approve staff’s recommendation:

    Ayes:                   5   Loveless, Stafford, Gorin, Herzberg, and Hopkins
    Noes:                   2 Landman, Holmer
    Abstain:                0

5. Regular Calendar

  1. Contract for Municipal Service Review for Timber Cove County Water District: Authorization for contracted consultant service to perform a Municipal Service Review of the agency

    Staff provided details regarding the process of selecting a consultant to conduct the Municipal Service Review (MSR) for Timber Cove County Water District and recommended that the Commission direct the Executive Officer to initiate a contract with Plan West Partners, Inc.

    Upon motion and second, approved as recommended by staff

    Ayes:                   7   Loveless, Stafford, Gorin, Herzberg, Landman, Holmer, and Hopkins
    Noes:                   0
    Abstain:                0

  2. Staffing Analysis and Study: Authorization to issue a Request for Proposals seeking a qualified consultant to conduct a staffing analysis and study.
  3. The Executive Officer introduced the item by stating that the Assistant Executive Officer announced her intention to retire in 2020, which led to staff's recommendation that the Commission contract with a consultant to conduct an organizational and staffing study. Staff provided details regarding the scope of the study.

    Upon motion and second, approved as recommended by staff.
    Ayes:                   7   Loveless, Stafford, Gorin, Herzberg, Landman, Holmer, and Hopkins
    Noes:                   0
    Abstain:                0

6. Information/Report Items - Informational and/or Direction

  1. Legislative Report 
  2. Staff provided details regarding the status of pertinent bills of interest and answered questions from the Commission. In particular the Commission discussed issues regarding legislation for water districts.

  3. Executive Officer’s Report (Verbal)
  4. The Executive Officer opened comment for Chair Loveless to provide his report from the CALAFCO Annual Conference in Sacramento at the end of October.

    Chair Loveless provided feedback regarding CALAFCO, including results for the CALAFCO fee structure changes. Chair Loveless stated the value he received from his attendance at the Conference, encouraged all Commissioners to attend the Conference next year in Monterey, and provided dates.

    Alternate Commissioner Moore left the dais at 3:50 p.m.

    Commissioner Hopkins left the dais at 4:07 p.m.

    The Executive Officer provided details on the Board of Supervisors item regarding a sales tax measure on fire coming to a vote in March 2020 election.  The Commission engaged in conversation regarding this item.

    The Executive Officer informed the Commission that he will bring a Sonoma County Fire sphere of influence study and amendment to the December meeting and provided updates regarding various other fire district SOI studies. 

    The Executive Officer informed the Commission of a strategic planning workshop with facilitator Bill Chiat on January 15, 2020, and indicated that staff would provide additional information about the session shortly.

7. General Announcements


8. Confirm Meetings

    Commission Meeting: December 4, 2019, at 2:00 p.m.

9. Adjournment

    The meeting was adjourned at 4:19 p.m.


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