RENT STABILIZATION BOARD
Regular Meeting Minutes

Monday, December 13, 2010

7 PM

APPROVED

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1. Roll Call – Vice Chair Blake called the meeting to order at 7:29 p.m.** 
 Roll call was postponed as there was no quorum until after the swearing-in of the  Boardmembers-elect.
 Commissioners present:  Drake, Shelton, Tregub
 Boardmembers-elect present:  Blake, Dodsworth, Harr, Townley, Webster
 Boardmembers-elect absent:  Stephens
 Staff present:  Barton, Brown, Kelekian, Mueller, Siegel

**This meeting was scheduled to commence at 7:00 p.m.; however, due to technical difficulties that prevented live coverage and webcasting, the start time was delayed in order to address those issues.

2.   Special Order of Business

a. Introduction of Boardmembers-elect  The Executive Director announced the names of the six recently-elected Boardmembers:  David Blake, Katherine Harr, Lisa Stephens, Jesse Townley, Pam Webster, and new Boardmember Asa Dodsworth.

b. Oath of Office of Boardmembers-elect  The Berkeley City Clerk then administered the Oath of Office to the five Boardmembers-elect present:  David Blake, Katherine Harr, Jesse Townley, Pam Webster and Asa Dodsworth.  (Lisa Stephens was not present but was sworn in at a later date.)

c. Comments from Boardmembers  Commissioner Townley thanked the members of the public in attendance for their presence and support; Commissioner Webster also expressed her thanks to the citizens of Berkeley for their trust in the Board.   

3.  Approval of Agenda  M/S/C (Drake/Tregub)  APPROVE AGENDA.  Voice vote.  Passed:  8-0-0-1.  Absent:  Stephens.

4.  Public Forum  There were four speakers present:  Fred Dodsworth, Soul (of Berkeley Liberation Radio 104.1 FM), Marcia Levenson and Councilmember Jesse Arreguin.

5.  Approval of November 29, 2010 Regular Meeting Minutes M/S/C  (Townley/Drake) APPROVE MINUTES PENDING VERIFICATION OF THE CORRECT VOTE FOR WAIVER #3890.  Voice vote.  Passed:  8-0-0-1.  Absent:  Stephens.

6.  Action Items
 
a. From Board Members, Executive Director and Committees

(1) Approval of the regular Board meeting schedule for 2011M/S/C (Tregub/Dodsworth) APPROVE THE SCHEDULE WITH THE FOLLOWING CHANGE:  THE JANUARY 2011 MEETING WILL BE RESCHEDULED TO EITHER THE FOURTH MONDAY OR THE FOURTH THURSDAY OF THE MONTH.  Voice vote.  Passed:  8-0-0-1.  Absent:  Stephens.

(2) Authorizing an extension of the deferral of implementation of the Executive Director’s 2.5% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) which was scheduled to go into effect December 26, 2010 until June 26, 2011, as a cost-savings measure   After several Boardmembers thanked the Executive Director for setting such a great example by making this proposal, the Board took the following action:  M/S/C (Drake/Tregub)  ADOPT THE RESOLUTION AS WRITTEN.  Voice vote.  Passed:  8-0-0-1.  Absent:  Stephens.   

(3) Second reading on proposed revisions to Regulation 883 [Waiver of Penalties and Interest on Delinquent Registration Fees] and Regulation 884 [Other Waiver Requests]  M/S/C  (Harr/Drake)  APPROVE PROPOSED REVISIONS ON SECOND READING.  Voice vote.  Passed:  8-0-0-1.  Absent:  Stephens. 

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

Ministerial Waivers

Waiver No.      Property Address
3888                 2532 Regent Street
3889                 776 Arlington Avenue
3904                 1400 – 67th Street
3916                 2332 Cedar Street
3922                 1112 Allston Way
3926                 1201 Masonic Avenue
3935                 1636-½ Delaware Street

Discretionary Waivers

Waiver No.      Property Address
3877                 1613 – 6th Street
3878                 1670 Shattuck Avenue
3911                 2615 Ridge Road
3912                 1765 Le Roy Avenue

Commissioner Shelton pulled Waiver #3878 for discussion; Commissioners Harr, Tregub and Townley pulled Waiver #’s 3911 and 3912 for discussion.  

M/S/C  (Harr/Townley)  APPROVE STAFF RECOMMENDATION ON ALL MINISTERIAL WAIVERS AND DISCRETIONARY WAIVER #3877.  Voice vote.
Passed:  8-0-0-1.  Absent:  Stephens.  

M/S/C  (Harr/Drake)  HOLD OVER WAIVER #3878 TO THE NEXT MEETING TO ALLOW STAFF TIME TO VERIFY THE OWNER’S ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT THE TIME THE 2009/2010 REGISTRATION FEES WERE DUE AND TO CONFIRM WHETHER A LANGUAGE BARRIER CONTRIBUTED TO THE DISCREPANCY ON THE OWNER’S WAIVER REQUEST FORM.  Voice vote.  Passed:  7-0-1-1.  Abstain:  Dodsworth;  Absent:  Stephens. 

M/S/C  (Drake/Dodsworth)  Approve STAFF RECOMMENDATION FOR WAIVER #3911 AND WAIVER #3912.  Voice vote.  Passed:  7-0-1-1.  Abstain:  Harr;  Absent:  Stephens. 

7.   Information and Announcements
   
a. Reports from Board Members/Staff
 
(1) Update on Selection of Community Service Specialist III to supervise the PIU/Registration Division  The Executive Director announced that Nick Traylor has been selected and his first day in this role is Monday, December 13th.

(2) Update on Administrative Staff Assistant classification and recruitment  The Executive Director said the revised job description was approved by City Council on December 7th and he’s met with Human Resources to discuss the testing process.  He said this position should be announced in Berkeley Matters on December 20th and remain open through the first week of January 2011.  He also said he hopes to fill the position in February 2011.

(3) Update on other recruitments or changes to the staffing model   The Executive Director informed the Board that he has a large number of applications for both the Staff Attorney I/II/III and Hearing Examiner positions that he’s in the process of reviewing. He said he plans to meet with the Budget & Personnel Committee soon and hopes to begin recruitment for these positions in January.

(4) Updated Board Directory   Included in packet and self-explanatory.

(5) Update on RTS computer system  The Executive Director stated that he’s waiting for an updated bid from WebMethods and should have a proposal to present to the Board in January 2011.

(6) Update on Relocation Ordinance revisions  The Executive Director said the next draft of this Ordinance was expected in February 2011 and it should be on the next Eviction/Section 8/Foreclosure Committee agenda.

(7) Fall/Winter 2010 edition of Berkeley Rental News Several Commissioners commented that they had read and really liked this newsletter.

(8) Update on student outreach activities  Commissioner Tregub distributed a spreadsheet and gave an overview of several proposed outreach activities.

(9) Copy of article from Governing magazine titled Could Renting Be the New American Dream?   Included in packet and self-explanatory.

b.   Updates and Announcements regarding Committee/Board Meetings

(1) Budget and Personnel

(2) Outreach – Committee Chair Webster updated the Board on the Committee’s recent activities and said their next meeting date has not been set.

(3)   IRA/AGA and Habitability

(4)  Eviction/Section 8/Foreclosure – Next meeting confirmed for December 20th at 6:00 p.m.

(5)  Safe and Sustainable Housing  – Committee Chair Townley informed the public of their opportunity to speak on the Soft Story/Seismic Retrofitting issue at the Tuesday, December 8th meeting of City Council where there is an agendized item proposing approval for a ½ - 1.0 full-time employee for the Planning Dept. who  would be assigned to this project.   

(6)  4 x 4 City Council/Housing/RSB – Commissioner Drake said this Committee plans to meet in January 2011.

(7)  Ad Hoc Committee on Waiver Process – Committee Chair Harr updated the Board on the Committee’s activities and said their next meeting is not scheduled yet.

(8)  Future Special Meetings

c.      Discussion of items for possible placement on future agenda – Vice Chair Blake requested that the Board’s next agenda include an item to address filling the vacant seat on the 4 x 4 City Council/Housing/RSB Committee formerly filled by Commissioner Chong.

8.    Closed Session – CONFERENCE WITH LEGAL COUNSEL – Anticipated Litigation

Initiation of litigation pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 54956.9 of the Government Code:  several potential cases related to registration compliance.
 
After the Board returned from Closed Session, Vice Chair Blake announced the following action:
THE BOARD HAS AUTHORIZED STAFF TO EXTEND THE AMNESTY OFFER TO FORGIVE PENALTIES FOR FRATERNITIES AND SORORITIES THAT RENTED ROOMS DURING THE LAST THREE YEARS THAT WERE SUBJECT TO THE RENT ORDINANCE BUT FAILED TO REGISTER THEM.  EXTENSION OF THE AMNESTY OFFER WILL BE AT THE DISCRETION OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR WHO WILL GRANT AN EXTENSION IF HE DETERMINES THAT A FRATERNITY HAS CONTACTED THE AGENCY BY AND MADE A GOOD FAITH EFFORT TO COMPLY WITH THE TERMS OF THE NOVEMBER 2ND LETTER THAT OUTLINED THE TERMS OF THE AMNESTY OFFER AND WAS SENT TO ALL FRATERNITIES.  IT IS THE INTENT OF THE BOARD TO GRANT BROAD DISCRETION TO THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR IN EXTENDING THE DECEMBER 30TH DEADLINE FOR CASES HE DEEMS APPROPRIATE.

9.   Adjournment  M/S (Townley/Harr)  Meeting was adjourned at 10:08 p.m.