RENT STABILIZATION BOARD
Special Meeting Minutes

Monday, June 29, 2009, 7 PM

APPROVED

1. Roll Call - Chair Stephens called the meeting to order at 7:10 pm.  Pam Wyche called roll.

Commissioners present:  Blake, Chong, Harrison, Shelton, Tregub, Webster, Stephens
Commissioners absent:  Drake, Townley
Staff present:  Brown, Kelekian, Wyche

2.  Approval of Agenda M/S/C (Tregub/Chong) APPROVED WITH ONE CHANGE, MOVING WAIVER NUMBER 3751 AFTER THE APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES AND BEFORE THE APPEAL HEARING.  Voice vote.  Passed: 7-0-0-2 Absent: Drake, Townley.

3.  Public Forum   Three speakers: Timothy Melton on Waiver Number 3741 regarding 2727 Dohr, Paul Barker on the cost of housing, and Stuart Jones on Waiver Number 3751 regarding 2722 Durant.

4.  Approval of May 28, 2009 regular meeting minutes.    M/S/C (Chong/Blake) APPROVED AS WRITTEN.  Observation made by Chong that this agenda item reads “regular” meeting minutes instead of “special” meeting minutes, as properly noted on the minutes attached to the agenda and being approved with this motion.   Voice vote.  Passed: 7-0-0-2 Absent:  Drake, Townley.

5. Appeal Time Certain – 7:15 p.m.

a.  Appeal T- 4995 – 2311 Le Conte Ave., Unit 2B.  M/S/C (Tregub/Shelton)  TO AFFIRM  LEGAL STAFF RECOMMENDATION THAT THE PROPERTY IS NO LONGER EXEMPT FROM THE RENT BOARD ORDINANCE AND THAT THE TENANT IS ENTITLED TO A REFUND OF A PORTION OF HIS SECURITY DEPOSIT.  Roll call vote.  Yes: Blake, Chong, Harrison, Shelton, Tregub, Webster, Stephens; No: None; Abstain: None; Absent: Drake, Townley.  Passed: 7-0-0-2.

6.   Discussion and adoption of the Fiscal Year 2009/2010 Budget. 
          
a. Public testimony on the 2009/2010 Fiscal Year budget.   None.

b.Discussion and adoption of the Fiscal Year 2009/2010 budget and staffing model and revised expenditure level.  (Item distributed at meeting and available on Rent Board website at www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/rent.)

c. Authorizing the Executive Director, in accordance with the City’s layoff procedure, to approve out placement for employees in classifications affected by changes to the staffing model approved for FY 2009/10.   (Item distributed at meeting and available on Rent Board website at www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/rent.

M/S/C (Tregub/Chong) TO ADOPT RESOLUTION 09-16, ADOPTING THE 2009/2010 BUDGET AND STAFFING MODEL AND REVISED EXPENDITURE LEVEL AND RESOLUTION 09-17, AUTHORIZING THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TO APPROVE OUT PLACEMENT FOR EMPLOYEES IN CLASSIFICATIONS AFFECTED BY CHANGES TO THE FY 2009/2010 APPROVED STAFFING MODEL AS RECOMMENDED BY THE BUDGET AND PERSONNEL COMMITTEE.  Roll call vote.  Yes: Blake, Chong, Harrison, Shelton, Tregub, Webster, Stephens; No: None; Abstain: none; Absent: Drake, Townley.  Passed: 7-0-0-2.

7.    Action Items

a. From Board Members, Executive Director and Committees
 
(1) Recommendation to adopt a resolution authorizing the Executive Director to issue a purchase order in the 2009/2010 Fiscal Year with Volt Temporary Agency not to exceed $25,000.  M/S/C (Chong/Webster) TO APPROVE RESOLUTION AS WRITTEN.  Voice vote. Passed: 7-0-0-2.  Absent: Drake, Townley. 

(2) Recommendation to adopt a resolution authorizing the Executive Director to issue a contract with Berkeley Food and Housing Project in an amount not to exceed $8,000, to administer implementation of Resolution 09-04 by performing certain services upon receipt of applications by tenants for reimbursement of the pass-through of a portion of the 2009 registration fee.  M/S/C (Webster/Shelton) TO ADOPT RESOLUTION AS WRITTEN.  Voice vote.  Passed: 7-0-0-2.  Absent: Drake, Townley.

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

Ministerial Waivers

Waiver No.    Property Address
3741               2725 Dohr Street
3757               1813 Stuart Street
3760               2036-6th Street
3763               1685 Le Roy Avenue

Discretionary Waivers

Waiver No.    Property Address
*3751              2722 Durant Avenue    
*3753              2922 Dohr Street 
*3754              1217 Haskell Street
*3756              1329 – 66th Street     
3749                2831 Hillegass Avenue 
3758                1728 Berkeley Way
3759                1517 Alcatraz Avenue
3761                1332 Blake Street

* Continued from May meeting.

Commissioners pulled Waivers 3751, 3758 and 3761.

 M/S/F (Blake/Shelton) Substitute motion on Waiver Number 3751.   TO BRING BACK NEXT MONTH AFTER STAFF CHECKS TO SEE IF A LAWSUIT HAD BEEN SETTLED AND ON WHAT DATE.  Roll call vote.  Yes: Blake, Harrison, Shelton, Stephens; No: Chong, Webster; Abstain: Tregub; Absent: Drake, Townley.  Motion failed: 4-2-1-2.

M/S/F (Stephens/Harrison) Main motion:  TO WAIVE ONE HALF OF THE PENALTY  (87.5%) ON WAIVER NUMBER 3751.  Roll call vote.  Yes:  Chong, Tregub, Webster, Stephens; No: Blake, Harrison, Shelton; Abstain: None; Absent: Drake, Townley.  Motion failed: 4-3-0-2.

M/S/C (Stephens/Harrison) MOTION TO TABLE WAIVER NUMBER 3751.   Voice vote.  Passed:  7-0-0-2 Absent: Drake, Townley.

M/S/C (Blake/Shelton) MOVE TO PULL OUT OF ORDER MINISTERIAL WAIVER NUMBER 3741 AND REFER BACK TO STAFF FOR FURTHER REVIEW.  Voice vote.  Passed: 7-0-0-2 Absent: Drake, Townley.

M/S/C (Blake/Tregub) ACCEPT STAFF RECOMMENDATION ON WAIVER NUMBER 3758.  Voice vote.  Passed: 6-0-0-3 Absent: Drake, Townley and Chong recused himself.

M/S/C (Stephens/Harrison) ACCEPT STAFF RECOMMENDATION ON WAIVER NUMBER 3761.  Voice vote.  Passed: 7-0-0-2 Absent: Drake, Townley.

M/S/C (Tregub/Chong) ACCEPT STAFF RECOMMENDATION ON REMAINING WAIVERS LISTED NUMBERS 3753, 3754, 3756, 3749, AND 3759.  Voice vote.  Passed: 7-0-0-2 Absent: Drake, Townley.

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

(1) Draft Report from Software AG/WebMethods on migration and upgrade of existing RTS database.   Executive Director distributed the report and said that it was very well done, but was disappointed in their bid amount.  He hoped the next step would be that the Budget and Personnel Committee would meet to discuss the report and that he and the committee would have a plan to present to the full Board at its July meeting, as far as how to move forward and whether an RFP should be issued.
 
(2) Market Median Rent Report for the Period January 1999 – March 2009.  Executive Director and Board discussed Berkeley rent trends and how they are increasing.

(3) June 25, 2009 letter to the Zoning Adjustments Board on Whether Rental Units at 3240 Sacramento Street are “Controlled Rental Units”. Executive Director requested that the Board read.

(4) June 24, 2009 Article from SFGate.com titled “S.F> Supes Pass New Rules on Renters’ Rights”   From Executive Director and self explanatory.

(5) Letter from landlord in appreciation of services provided by Nicolas Traylor, Rent Board Public Information Unit Counselor.  From Executive Director and self explanatory.

 b.     Announcements of upcoming Committee/Board Meetings.

(1) Budget and Personnel – To be scheduled before July Board meeting to discuss RTS database upgrade and draft report from WebMethods

(2) Outreach -   Committee Chair Webster said they met last Friday and is moving forward with their work plan, which will include more outreach to students. Chong explained his thoughts on how his suggestion of more surveying would be helpful.  

(3) IRA/AGA and Habitability - No quorum last meeting.  Blake requested that committee members have the courtesy to inform all committee members in a timely fashion when they are unable to attend a scheduled meeting.

(4) Eviction/Section 8/Foreclosures - None scheduled.

(5) 4x4 City Council/RSB Housing Committee – Committee met on June 10.  Commissioner Chong reported that the Mayor expressed the importance of the soft story issues and appeared ready to proceed, as well as, discuss ways of improving the notice requirements given in the Soft Story Ordinance; and to explore the concept of surveying to collect more information on this issue. 
The committee heard a presentation on energy efficiency and recycling and discussed establishing a pilot program of best practices to target towards the highest energy efficiency savings.
The committee discussed staff begin working together to improve the Rental Housing Safety Program and the Demolition Ordinance.

(6) Safe and Sustainable Housing – Chair Stephens said they did meet and discussed the proposed smoking ordinance, which would limit smoking in multi-unit buildings. She said that rather than making specific recommendations, the committee forwarded comments and concerns of some of the issues that were raised in the discussion, which will be available for the full Board to review in the near future.

(7) Ad Hoc Committee on Waiver Process – Tregub said they should meet soon and that he will help coordinate the first meeting.  Chair Stephens reaffirmed that the ad hoc committee members consist of Commissioners Drake, Harrison, Shelton and Tregub.

(8) Future Special Meetings – None at this time.

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

9.    Adjournment   Chair Stephens adjourned at 9:33 pm.