RENT STABILIZATION BOARD
Regular Meeting Minutes

Monday, April 20, 2009, 7 PM

APPROVED

Video Archive 

1. Roll Call. Chair Stephens called roll at 7:04 PM

Commissioners present:  Blake, Chong (7:17), Drake, Harrison, Shelton, Townley, Tregub, Webster, Stephens
Commissioners absent:  None
Staff present:  Brown, Kelekian, Kelly, Wyche

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

3.  Public Forum.  There were three speakers: Barbara Tengeri regarding 1600 Woolsey, Vega Rogers regarding Waiver Number 3733, and Paul Barker regarding a housing article.

4. Approval of March 16, 2009 Regular Meeting Minutes.  M/S/C (Drake/Tregub) APPROVED WITH ONE CORRECTION TO ITEM 6.b. MOTION ON WAIVER NUMBER 3714, TO ADD TOWNLEY’S NAME TO THE YES VOTE.  Voice vote.  Passed: 8-0-0-1 Absent: Chong.

5.   Appeal  – 7:15 PM

Appeal T-4971 – 1260 Hopkins Street, #22.  Main motion. (Townley/Tregub) TO OVERTURN THE HEARING EXAMINERS DECISION AND HAVE LANDLORD REIMBURSE TENANT $175.24 FOR THE COSTS TO FIX THE LOCK. 
 
Substitute motion:  (Chong/Shelton) THAT THE LANDLORD REIMBURSE THE TENANT $87.62, HALF OF THE COST TO FIX THE LOCK.  Roll call vote.  Yes: Chong, Drake, Harrison, Shelton, Tregub, Webster, Stephens; No: Blake, Townley; Abstain: None; Absent: None.  Passed: 7-2-0-0.

6.  Fiscal Year 2009/2010 Budget and Registration Fee.

a. Presentation by Matt Brown, Manager of Public Information and Registration Units.  Matt Brown gave a PowerPoint presentation regarding the services provided, accomplishments and goals of the Rent Board’s Public Information and Registration Units and answered questions from the Board.

M/S/C (Blake/Tregub) MOTION TO HEAR WAIVER NUMBER 3733 OUT OF ORDER.  Voice vote.  Passed: 7-1-1-0  No.: Drake; Abstain: Shelton.

M/S/C (Blake/Tregub) TO WAIVE 100% ON WAIVER NUMBER 3733.  Voice Vote.  Passed: 7-1-1-0  No: Drake; Abstain: Shelton.

Chair Stephens asked for a show of hands from the public waiting to speak at the Public Hearing if they wanted to speak now or after the Executive Director’s report on the FY 2009/10 budget process and annual registration fee.  They voted for speaking before the Director’s report, Item 6.b.

b. Report from Executive Director concerning FY 2009/10 budget process and annual registration fee.   (Moved to after Item 7.)

7.   Public Hearing on the Annual Registration Fee and the Fiscal Year  2009/2010 Budget.  8:00 PM

a. Public testimony on the annual registration fee and 2009/2010 Fiscal Year budget.

There were ten speakers.  David Myers, Sam Sorokin, Jim Smith (BPOA), Nancy Friedberg (BPOA), Marjorie Fendel (BPOA), Robert Cabrera (BPOA), Charles Jarrett, Jean Wong, Eric Kawakami (BPOA) all opposed to a registration fee increase and Marcia Levenson speaking against passing any part of a fee increase through to tenants.

b. Comments and questions from Board members.  

6.b. Report from Executive Director concerning FY 2009/10 budget process and annual registration fee.   The Executive Director went over in detail budget graphs and charts handed out at the meeting and said that he hoped his report would address some of the comments made during public hearing.  He answered questions from the Board and Commissioner Blake asked him to respond to four specific questions brought up by speakers at the public hearing. 

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

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

Waiver No.      Property Address
3722                 2718-20 MLK Jr. Way
3723                 2632 Benvenue Avenue
3724                 1138 Addison Street
3725                 2442 Grant Street 
3728                 2314 – 10th Street
3730                 2409-15  - 10th Street
3731                 1715 Bancroft Way
3735                 2424 – 10th Street
3736                 2401 McKinley Avenue
3737                 2817 Woolsey Street
3742                 2243 Oregon Street
3743                 1349 Rose Street
3744                 2398 Hilgard Avenue
3745                 2422 Hilgard Avenue
3747                 780 Wildcat Canyon Road

Discretionary Waivers 
  
Waiver No.      Property Address
3718                 2807 College Avenue
3721                 2615 Regent Street
3733                 2432/2434 McGee Avenue
3734                 3010 California Street
3738                 1410 Cornell Avenue
3740                 2110 Spaulding Avenue
3748                 2421 Prospect Street
3750                 1810 Euclid Avenue
  
M/S/C (Drake/Tregub) TO ACCEPT STAFF RECOMMENDATIONS ON ALL WAIVERS LISTED EXCEPT NUMBER 3733, WHICH WAS ALREADY ACTED ON PRIOR TO PUBLIC HEARING.   Voice vote.  Passed:  8-0-0-1  Absent:  Chong.

b.  Rent Board Recommendation to City Council on Rental Housing Safety Program fee. M/S/C (Harrison/Drake) ADOPT RECOMMENDATION RESOLUTION AS WRITTEN.  Voice vote.  Passed: 8-0-0-1 Absent: Chong. 

9.    Information and Announcements

a. Reports from Board Members/Staff.

(1) Update on Webmethods contract and time line.  Executive Director informed the Board that the contract has been signed and the RTS review will begin the week of April 27th.

(2) Update on Berkeley Tenants Survey.  Executive Director informed the Board that the survey went out to 1900 tenants in batches beginning on April 10th and that so far approximately 350 have been completed and returned. 

(3) Rent Board staff ergonomic study.  Executive Director informed the Board that an ergonomic review of staff workstations is scheduled for April 22nd. 

(4) Copy of March 24, 2009 letter from Chair Stephens to City Council regarding Rental Housing Safety Program Fee Increase.  (Executive Director.)   Self-explanatory.

(5) East Bay Community Law Center’s announcement of Eviction Clinic move on May 4, 2009. (Executive Director) Self-explanatory.

(6) News Release Environmental Defense Fund Applauds City of Los Angeles for Approving First Municipal Program That Links Green Jobs and Green Building.  (Commissioner Tregub) Self- explanatory.

(7) April 15, 2009 Daily Cal article by Carol Yur, City Considers Joint Application for Stimulus Funds to Buy Foreclosed Properties.  (Executive Director) Self-explanatory.

(8) CNN State of the Union article by John King, Tenant evicted even though she pays rent.  (Executive Director) Self-explanatory.

(9) CNN State of the Union article by John King, ‘Defenders’ help homeowners fight eviction.  (Executive Director) Self-explanatory.

b. Announcements of upcoming Committee/Board Meetings.

(1) Budget and Personnel – To be scheduled before Special meeting on the fee.

(2) Outreach – To be scheduled off line.

(3)  IRA/AGA and Habitability – To be scheduled off line.

(4) Eviction/Section 8/Foreclosure – To be scheduled off line.

(5) 4x4 City Council/RSB Housing Committee – Next meeting Wednesday, April 22nd at a new location - the Berkeley Main Library Community Meeting Room at 2090 Kittredge Street, 3rd. Floor.

(6) Safe & Sustainable Housing – Chair Townley said that at their meeting earlier today, they had a presentation by the Berkeley Tobacco Prevention Group (BTPG), where they discussed their plans for removing smoking from in and around multi-unit buildings in Berkeley.  When this committee meets next month, they will try to come up with different ideas and proposals for the BTPG.  In June they will meet with BTPG again to hash out ideas and perhaps go to the City Council with a united proposal. 
Townley also said that the seismic retrofit issue has been pushed back by a number of months and that the committee will be updated at that time. Next meeting tentatively scheduled for May 21st  prior to the regularly scheduled Board meeting.

(7) Future Special Meetings – Special Board meeting to set the registration fee scheduled for Monday, May 4, 2009, at this same location and time.

c. Discussion of items for possible placement on future agenda.

10. Adjournment   (Tregub/Drake)  Chair Stephens adjourned at 10:31 p.m.