RENT STABILIZATION BOARD
Regular Meeting Minutes

Monday, March 15, 2010
7 PM

APPROVED

Video Archive

In accordance with the Brown Act, CA Government Code Section 54953(b)(2) this meeting was also teleconferenced from the following location:  2303 14th Street, NW, #608, Washington, DC 20009


1. Roll Call  Chair Stephens called the meeting to order at 7:26 p.m.  Pam Wyche called roll.

Commissioners present:  Blake, Chong (arrived 8:20 p.m.), Shelton, Townley, Tregub (via teleconference), Webster, Stephens
Commissioners absent:  Drake
Staff present:  Barton, Brown, Kelekian, Mueller, Wyche

2. Approval of Agenda M/S/C (Blake/Townley)  APPROVED WITH THE FOLLOWING CHANGES:  MOVE APPEAL ITEM FIRST, FOLLOWED BY PUBLIC FORUM, THEN DR. BARTON’S REPORT (IF AUDIO/VISUAL PERMITS).  Roll call vote.  YES:  Blake, Shelton, Townley, Tregub, Webster, Stephens.  NO:  None.  ABSTAIN:  None.  ABSENT:  Chong, Drake.  Passed:  6-0-0-2.

Chair Stephens then moved to hear Item 5. next in order to honor the Appeal time as much as possible.

5. Appeal Time Certain – 7:15 p.m.   

Appeal T-5070 -- 2520 Durant Ave. #302.  (Continued from February 25th Special Meeting) M/S/C  (Blake/Webster)  MOVED TO DISMISS THE APPEAL WITH PREJUDICE DUE TO APPELLANT’S FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THE ESCROW ORDER.  Roll call vote.  YES:  Blake, Shelton, Townley, Tregub, Webster, Stephens.  NO:  None.  ABSTAIN:  None.  ABSENT:  Chong, Drake.  Passed:  6-0-0-2

3. Public Forum  There was one speaker, Paul Barker, on helping his friends move to their new home.

4.   Approval of February 25, 2010 Special Meeting minutes M/S/C  (Townley/Blake)  APPROVED.  Roll call vote.  YES:  Blake, Shelton, Townley, Tregub, Webster.  NO:  None.  ABSTAIN:  Stephens.  ABSENT:  Chong, Drake.  Passed:  5-0-1-2.  

 Chair Stephens then moved to hear Action Items next in order to allow time to resolve pending audio-visual issues preventing proper broadcasting of Dr. Barton’s presentation.

7.  Action Items

a. From Board Members, Executive Director and Committees

(1) Recommendation to adopt Resolution authorizing a $15,000 increase to the existing purchase order with Volt Temporary Agency for the 2009/2010 Fiscal Year in an amount not to exceed $40,000.  (Executive Director)  M/S/C  (Blake/Townley)  MOVED TO ADOPT RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TO INCREASE THE  EXISTING VOLT TEMPORARY AGENCY PURCHASE ORDER BY $15,000 FOR FISCAL YEAR 2009/2010 IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $40,000.  Roll call vote.  YES:  Blake, Shelton, Townley, Tregub, Webster, Stephens.  NO:  None.  ABSTAIN:  None.  ABSENT:  Chong, Drake.  Passed:  6-0-0-2. 

(2) Proposal that the Board adopt a Resolution approving a revised Records Retention Schedule for the Rent Stabilization Board.  (Executive Director)  M/S/C  (Blake/Townley)  MOVED TO ADOPT RESOLUTION ADOPTING A REVISED RENT STABILIZATION BOARD RECORDS RETENTION SCHEDULE IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE CITY OF BERKELEY RECORDS MANAGEMENT PROGRAM.  Roll call vote.  YES:  Blake, Shelton, Townley, Tregub, Webster, Stephens.  NO:  None.  ABSTAIN:  None.  ABSENT:  Chong, Drake.  Passed:  6-0-0-2. 

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

Ministerial Waivers

Waiver No.       Property Address
3813                  3161 College Avenue
3818                  1039 Carleton Street
3829                  2449 Acton Street
3833                  2309 Parker Street

Discretionary Waivers

Waiver No.      Property Address
3823                 4 Hopkins Court
3825                 2501 Prince Street (Continued from February 25th meeting)
3834                 2604 Fulton Street
3837                 2605 Haste Street
3842                 2100 – 9th Street
3845                 1786 Spruce Street

Commissioner Townley pulled Waiver No. 3825; Commissioner Shelton pulled Waiver No. 3834; Commissioner Tregub pulled Waiver Nos. 3837 and 3842.
         
M/S/C  (Blake/Townley)  TO APPROVE STAFF RECOMMENDATION ON WAIVER NUMBERS 3823 AND 3845.  Roll call vote.  YES:  Blake, Shelton, Townley, Tregub, Webster, Stephens.  NO:  None.  ABSTAIN:  None.  ABSENT:  Chong, Drake.  Passed:  6-0-0-2. 
Chair Stephens asked that staff please

M/S/C  (Blake/Tregub)  TO WAIVE SEVENTY-FIVE PERCENT (75%) OF THE STATUTORY AMOUNT ON WAIVER 3825.  Roll call vote.  YES:  Blake, Shelton, Townley, Tregub, Webster, Stephens.  NO:  None.  ABSTAIN:  None.  ABSENT:  Chong, Drake. 
Passed:  6-0-0-2.
 
M/S/F  (Tregub/Blake)  Main motion:  TO MOVE STAFF RECOMMENDATION TO WAIVE FIFTY PERCENT (50%) OF THE PENALTY ON WAIVER 3834.  Roll call vote.  YES:  Blake, Townley, Tregub, Stephens.  NO:  Shelton, Webster.  ABSTAIN:  None.  ABSENT:  Chong, Drake.  Failed:  4-2-0-2.

M/S/C  (Tregub/Blake)  Substitute motion:  TO WAIVE TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT (25%) OF THE PENALTY ON WAIVER 3834.  Roll call vote.  YES:  Blake, Shelton, Townley, Tregub, Webster, Stephens.  NO:  None.  ABSTAIN:  None.  ABSENT:  Chong, Drake.  Passed:  6-0-0-2.

M/S/C  (Townley/Webster)  TO MOVE STAFF RECOMMENDATION ON WAIVER 3837.  Roll call vote.  YES:  Blake, Shelton, Townley, Tregub, Webster, Stephens.  NO:  None.  ABSTAIN:  None.  ABSENT:  Chong, Drake.  Passed:  6-0-0-2.
 
M/S  (Tregub/Blake)  Main motion:  TO MOVE STAFF RECOMMENDATION ON WAIVER 3842.  **No vote on this motion.**

M/S/C  (Townley/Shelton)  Substitute motion:  TO WAIVE TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT (25%) OF THE PENALTY ON WAIVER 3842.  Roll call vote.  YES:  Blake, Shelton, Townley, Webster, Stephens.  NO:  Tregub.  ABSTAIN:  None.  ABSENT:  Chong, Drake.  Passed:  5-1-0-2.   
 
Chair Stephens requested that the term “golden duplex” be eliminated from the language used in staff recommendations and, instead, that an explanation of the term be provided.  Secondly, regarding Waiver 3823, she asked that staff look further into the issue given that the owner and long-term resident still believes that the unit is her primary place of residence.  The Executive Director said he will ask Legal staff to examine the regulation pertaining to principal place of residence and see if an exemption applies in this case. 

6.  Special Presentation to the Board by Dr. Stephen Barton, Principal Planner, with a final report on results of the Tenant Survey and preliminary report on effects of rent stabilization and vacancy decontrol on property values and rent burdens in Berkeley.  Dr. Barton took questions from the Board prior to and following both PowerPoint presentations.

8.  Information and Announcements

a.   Reports from Board Members/Staff
 
(1) Committee assignments Chair Stephens mentioned that the current Committee List was provided for review and that, if Boardmembers wanted to revise their existing assignments, they were free to discuss this with the relevant committee members and inform her of any desired changes.

(2) Update on Rent Board Deputy Director Council report  The Executive Director confirmed that the Rent Board Deputy Director position was approved by Council and that the requisition was also approved; he added that the announcement and recruitment process will begin soon.

(3) Update on procedure to select a replacement for the vacant seat on the Board  The Executive Director confirmed that a press release was sent out and that there has been interest in the position.  Staff Attorney Matt Brown then addressed the question of whether discussion of candidates could be done in Closed Session (raised by Commissioner Drake at the February 25th meeting) – he clarified that all voting and deliberation on candidates should be done at a meeting open to the public.  The Chair and Vice-Chair reminded the public of the two deadlines related to the selection process:  by noon on Wednesday, March 24th (in order to be reviewed by the Ad Hoc Search Committee); or up to 5:00 p.m. on Monday, April 19th.  

(4) Status report on Waiver Committee’s work and request for Board input.  Item was continued to the April 19th meeting. 

(5) Update on Smoke-Free Multi-Unit Housing Task Force recommendations.  The Executive Director reminded the Board that the document before them is the current draft proposal being circulated by Public Health to various City commissions for review/input.  He added that, once the City Manager’s office has reviewed the proposal and a more formal recommendation has been issued, that the report would likely come back to the Safe & Sustainable Housing Committee first, followed by a presentation to the full Board.

(6) Update on UC Berkeley Tenants’ Rights Week.  Chair Stephens asked that this item be referred to staff as the Outreach Committee is not scheduled to meet prior to the event date.  The Executive Director confirmed that staff will be participating and have already been in contact with the event organizers.

(7) Letter dated March 7, 2010 from Carol Denney, a Berkeley tenant, regarding smoke-free housing.  Letter included in Agenda packet and self-explanatory.

(8) Update on Recycling in Multi-Unit Buildings  Commissioner Tregub asked that this item be carried over to the next meeting. After discussion, it was agreed that Tregub will first submit his report to the Executive Director who will decide if it needs to come before the full Board and/or be referred to the relevant committees.  Townley said he’d like the Safe & Sustainable Housing Committee to be among those that review the report.

b.   Announcements of upcoming Committee/Board Meetings – To be scheduled offline.

(1) Budget and Personnel

(2) Outreach

a. March 12th meeting agenda

(3) IRA/AGA and Habitability

(4) Eviction/Section 8

(5)  Safe & Sustainable – Commissioner Townley said there will be a meeting  before the next Board meeting but no date was mentioned.

(6)  4 x 4 City Council/RSB Housing Committee

(7)   Ad Hoc Committee on filling vacant board member seat.

(8)   Ad Hoc Committee on Waiver Process

(9)  Future Special Meetings

c. Discussion of items for possible placement on future agenda.  Status report on Ad Hoc Committee on Waivers work/request for Board input to be put on next agenda.  Tregub’s update on Recycling in Multi-Unit Buildings may be placed on the agenda also.

9.    Adjournment  (Townley/Shelton)  Chair adjourned at 10:36p.m.