RENT STABILIZATION BOARD
Regular Meeting Minutes

Monday, December 15, 2008
7 PM

APPROVED

Video Archive

1. Roll Call  - Executive Director, Jay Kelekian called the meeting to order at 7:08PM.  Pam Wyche called roll.

Commissioners present:  Blake, Chong, Drake, Shelton, Stephens, Townley, Tregub, Webster

Commissioners absent: Harrison

2. Approval of Agenda  M/S/C (Chong/Blake) APPROVED AS WRITTEN. Voice vote.  Passed:  8-0-0-1 Absent:  Harrison.

3. Public Forum  There were two speakers:  Barbara Tengeri and Paul Barker.

4. Approval of November 17, 2008 regular meeting minutes M/S/C (Webster/Blake) TO APPROVE AS WRITTEN.  Voice vote.  Passed:  8-0-0-1  Absent:  Harrison.

5. Special Order of Business

a. Introduction of Board members-elect, Nicole Drake, Igor Tregub, Judy Shelton and Jack Harrison, and Jesse Townley by Councilmember Arreguin.   Newly elected City of Berkeley Councilmember and former Berkeley Rent Board Commissioner Arreguin was unable to attend.  Former Commissioner Overman eloquently introduced the newly elected Rent Board Commissioners.

b. Oath of Office of Board members-elect:  The Berkeley City Clerk administered the Oath of Office to Boardmembers-elect, Nicole Drake, Igor Tregub, Judy Shelton, and Jesse Townley.

c. Election of Chairperson:  The Executive Director opened the nominations for Chairperson.  Commissioner Drake nominated Commissioner Lisa Stephens and she accepted.  With no other nominations, the nominations were closed.  

Motion to elect Commissioner Lisa Stephens as Chairperson of the Rent Board.  Roll call vote: Yes: Blake, Chong, Drake, Shelton, Stephens, Townley, Tregub, Webster;  No: None; Abstain: None; Absent: Harrison.  Passed: 8-0-0-1.

d. Election of Vice Chairperson:  Newly elected Chair Stephens opened the nominations for Vice-Chair.  Chair Stephens nominated Commissioner Jack Harrison in his absence and with his prior consent.  With no other nominations, the nominations were closed. 

Motion to elect Commissioner Jack Harrison as Vice-Chair of the Rent Board.  Roll call vote:  Yes: Blake, Chong, Drake, Shelton, Stephens, Townley, Tregub, Webster; No: None; Abstain: None; Absent: Harrison.  Passed: 8-0-0-1.

e. Comments by new Chair, Vice-Chair and Board members elect:  Newly elected Boardmembers, Chair and Vice-Chair comments. 

Chair Stephens thanked her fellow commissioners for selecting her as Chair and said that it was her hope that in these hard economic times the Board will be able to do good for the entire citizenry of Berkeley, both renters and landlords, who might be facing hardship. 

Newly elect Commissioner Townley thanked all who supported him, his fellow seatmates, supporters in the audience and those watching or listening, everyone in the disabled community, and his colleagues on the Fire and Disaster Safety Commissioner.  He said that he looks forward to working with everyone to make this city greener and safer.

Newly elect Commissioner Tregub thanked his supporters, his slate mates and everybody in attendance and said that during these tough economic times, together, in solidarity, we will accomplish a lot and that he’s looking forward to serving the community and working together for the next four years.  

Newly elect Commissioner Drake thanked her friends, sister and supporters who were in attendance and especially her mentor Councilmember Linda Maio, who has been an inspiration to her and said that she looked forward to working with her fellow Board members, on issues at the state and local level, on what we can do in light of the increasing foreclosures. 

Commissioner Webster welcomed the new Boardmembers and thanked them for joining the Board and also thanked the voters for voting them in, as she sees them as a very impressive group and is looking forward to doing good work together.  

6. Special Order of Business. At the Chair’s discretion the former commissioners resolutions were read in the following order: Corie Calfee, Jason Overman, Eleanor Walden and Former Chair Jesse Arreguin.

a. Resolution to be presented to Councilmember Arreguin on behalf of the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board and staff in appreciation of 4 years of outstanding service as a Rent Board Commissioner and two years as the Board’s Chairperson.

Chair Stephens read the resolution and extended Councilmember Arreguin’s regrets of not being able to attend due to illness. 
M/S/C (Blake/Tregub) Approve.  Voice vote.  Passed: 8-0-0-1 Absent: Harrison.

b. Resolution to be presented to former Commissioner Overman in appreciation of 4 years of outstanding service as a Rent Board Commissioner.  Commissioner Drake read and presented the resolution to former Commissioner Overman.
M/S/C (Drake/Tregub) Approve.  Voice vote.  Passed: 8-0-0-1 Absent: Harrison

c. Resolution to be presented to former Commissioner Walden in appreciation of nearly 5 years of outstanding service as a Rent Board Commissioner.    Commission Webster read the resolution.  Former Commissioner Walden was unable to attend due to illness. M/S/C (Tregub/Blake)  Approve.  Voice vote: Passed: 8-0-0-1. Absent: Harrison.

d.  Resolution to be presented to former Commissioner Calfee in appreciation of outstanding service as a Rent Board Commissioner.  Commissioner Blake read and presented the resolution to former Commissioner Calfee.  M/S/C (Blake/Drake) Approve.  Voice vote:  Passed: 8-0-0-1 Absent: Harrison

e. Comments from former Boardmembers. 

Corie Calfee thanked the Board and staff for the gracious resolution and said that it had been a pleasure working with the Boardmembers and staff and wished everyone well.

Jason Overman thanked the Board, Executive Director and staff for the last four years of good work and said that it had been an honor and a privilege working with his fellow Boardmembers and that he looked forward to continuing the journey to achieving affordable housing and social justice for all.

7. Legislative update by Legislative Advocate, Christine Minnehan. Christine Minnehan presented a summary of her report regarding 2008 California Housing Legislation and discussed future housing legislative goals.

8. Action Items From Board Members, Executive Director and Committees

(1)  Review and approval of proposed 2009 Rent Board meeting schedule.   M/S/C (Chong/Drake) APPROVE AS WRITTEN.   Voice vote.  Passed: 8-0-0-1 Absent: Harrison

(2) Proposal that the Board pass a resolution ratifying a new four year Memorandum Agreement with Public Employees Union Local One for the term June 29, 2008 through June 23, 2012, as negotiated by the City.   M/S/C (Webster/Chong) ADOPT RESOLUTION RATIFYING MEMORANDUM AGREEMENT.  Voice vote.  Passed: 8-0-0-1 Absent: Harrison.

(3) Proposal to approve staff recommendation on the following requests for waiver of late registration penalties. (Executive Director)

Ministerial Waivers

Waiver No.      Property Address
3524                 1506 Russell Street
3609                 1123 & 1125 Hearst Avenue
3633                 1349 Neilson Street/1342 Northside Avenue  

Discretionary Waivers

Waiver No.      Property Address
3596                 845 Dwight Crescent
3650                 2604 Mathews/1138 Parker Streets
3661                 1204 Blake Street
3663                 1115  Addison Street, #1
3666                 2325 McKinley Avenue
3672                 1917 Delaware Street
3689                 1802 Bonita Avenue
3690                 1951 Chestnut Street

M/S/C (Townley/Drake) APPROVE STAFF RECOMMENDATIONS ON WAIVER NUMBERS 3596, 3650, 3661, 3663, AND 3672.  Voice vote.  Passed: 8-0-0-1 Absent: Harrison.

M/S/F (Townley/Tregub) TO WAIVE 95% INSTEAD OF 90% OF THE PENALTY ON WAIVER NUMBER 3666.  Roll call vote.  Yes: Chong, Shelton, Townley; No: Blake, Drake, Stephens, Tregub, Webster; Abstain: None; Absent: Harrison.  Failed: 3-5-0-1

M/S/F (Blake/Drake) MOVE STAFF RECOMMENDATION ON WAIVER NUMBER 3666.  Roll call vote.  Yes: Blake, Chong, Stephens, Webster; No: None; Abstain: Drake, Shelton, Townley, Tregub; Absent: Harrison.  Failed:  4-0-4-1

M/S/F (Chong/Townley) TO IMPOSE A PENALTY OF $266.00 ON WAIVER NUMBER 3666.  Roll call vote.  Yes: Chong, Shelton, Stephens, Townley; No: Blake, Drake, Tregub, Webster; Abstain: None; Absent: Harrison.  Failed: 4-4-0-1

AT COMMISSIONER BLAKE’S REQUEST WAIVE NUMBER 3666 WAS TABLED AND CONTINUED TO THE JANUARY 2009 BOARD MEETING

Substitute Motion M/S/F (Blake/Tregub) TO MOVE WAIVERS 3689 AND 3690 TO THE NEXT BOARD MEETING.  Roll call vote.  Yes: Blake, Drake, Tregub; No: Chong, Shelton, Stephens, Townley, Webster; Abstain: None; Absent: Harrison.  Failed: 3-5-0-1

Main Motion M/S/C (Chong/Webster) TO IMPOSE A $500 PENALTY ON WAIVER NUMBERS 3689 AND 3690.  Roll call vote.  Yes: Chong, Townley, Tregub, Webster, Stephens; No: Blake, Drake, Shelton, Abstain: None; Absent: Harrison.  Passed: 5-3-0-1

9. Information and Announcements
   
a. Reports from Board Members/Staff.

(1) Final results from the November 4, 2008 Berkeley election.  (Executive Director)  Self-explanatory.

(2) Public School Outreach Project.  Commissioner Webster informed the Board that the Outreach Committee generated a letter to school PTA’s asking if they would be interested in placing Rent Board ads in their school Directories.  Staff was instructed to forward the proposal to several local schools.  The Executive Director added that six schools agreed for a modest fee and that the ads are in both English and Spanish.

(3) November 7, 2008 KTVU and Bay City News article titled Alameda Jury Orders Landlord to Pay $5.5 Million to Tenants. (Executive Director)  Self-explanatory.

(4) November 20, 2008 Daily Cal article by Carol Yur titled City Landlords Given Alternative for Investing Security Deposits.
(Executive Director)  Self-explanatory.

(5) November 24, 2008 e-mail communication from Georgefq@aol.com concerning amending Regulation 702.  (Executive Director) Self-explanatory.

b.     Announcements of upcoming Committee/Board Meetings.  Chair Stephens announced that committee meetings could be scheduled after she receives individual Boardmembers committee preferences and she finalizes the new committee assignments.  This will be done off line and announced at the next regular Board meeting.

(1) Budget and Personnel

(2) Outreach

(3) IRA/AGA and Habitability

(4) Eviction/Section 8

(5) 4x4 City Council/RSB Housing Committee

(6) Ad Hoc Committee on Soft Story Ordinance

(7) Ad Hoc Committee on Condominium Conversion Ordinance

(8) Future Special Meetings

c. Discussion of items for possible placement on future agenda.   Committee assignments, addition of new committees, discussion of scheduling workshops and special interest item meetings on the first Monday of each month, and further discussions regarding foreclosures to possibly be assigned to a committee for review.

10. Adjournment   Commissioner Webster made a motion to adjourn in honor of James Stephens, the newly elected chairperson, Lisa Stephen’s father, who sadly passed away last week.  It was seconded by Commissioner Tregub.  Chair Stephens adjourned in her father’s memory at 10:16 PM.