RENT STABILIZATION BOARD
Regular Meeting Minutes

Monday, January 24, 2011

7 PM

APPROVED

Video Archive
(3 hrs, 24 mins)


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1. Closed Session – 6:30 p.m.

Roll call – Chair Stephens called Closed Session to order at 6:35 p.m. Pam Wyche called roll.

Commissioners present:  Blake, Dodsworth (6:55), Harr, Shelton, Townley, Tregub, Stephens
Commissioners absent:  Drake, Webster
Staff present:  Brown, Kelekian, Siegel, Wyche

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, Chair Stephens announced that no action was taken.

2. Roll call – Chair Stephens called the Regular Meeting to order at 7:02 p.m. Pam Wyche called roll.

Commissioners present:  Blake, Dodsworth, Harr, Shelton, Townley, Tregub, Stephens,
Webster (7:15)
Commissioners absent:  Drake  
Staff present:  Barton, Brown, Kelekian, Mueller, Wyche

3. Approval of Agenda M/S/C  (Blake/Tregub) APPROVE AGENDA WITH THE FOLLOWING CHANGES:  MOVE INFORMATION ITEM 11.a.(2) AND INFORMATION ITEM 11.a.(4) TO ACTION ITEMS.  Voice vote.  Passed: 7-0-0-2.  Absent:  Drake, Webster.

4. Public Forum – There were no speakers.

5. Approval of December 13, 2010 regular meeting minutes M/S/C  (Harr/Blake)  APPROVE MINUTES AS WRITTEN.  Voice vote.  Passed: 7-0-0-2.  Absent:  Drake, Webster. 

6. Special Order of Business. Chair Stephens expressed the Board’s appreciation to Pam Wyche for her many years of service to the City of Berkeley and extended their best wishes to Pam for a wonderful and well-deserved retirement.  The Executive Director and Staff Attorney also expressed their appreciation for Pam; and Housing Advisory Commission member Marcia Levenson thanked Pam and wished her well. 

7. Special Order of Business

a. Election of Chairperson – The Executive Director opened the nominations.

Commissioner Tregub nominated Commissioner Stephens to serve as Chairperson and she accepted. 

With no further nominations put forward, the Executive Director closed the nominations and requested a roll call vote on the following motion:

M/C  (Tregub)  TO ELECT COMMISSIONER LISA STEPHENS TO CHAIR THE RENT STABILIZATION BOARD.  Roll call vote.  YES: Blake, Dodsworth, Harr, Shelton, Townley, Tregub, Webster, Stephens;  NO: None;  ABSTAIN: None;  ABSENT: Drake. Passed:  8-0-0-1.

Commissioner Lisa Stephens was re-elected to serve as Chairperson.

b. Election of Vice-Chairperson  Chair Stephens opened the nominations.

Commissioner Harr nominated Commissioner Townley to serve as Vice-Chair and he accepted.

Commissioner Tregub nominated Commissioner Blake to serve as Vice-Chair and he accepted.
 
With no further nominations put forward, statements by both nominees were heard and the Chair opened the floor for discussion.  Following discussion, Chair Stephens suggested that a roll call vote be held for each candidate in the order in which they were nominated; there were no objections.

M/F  (Harr)  TO ELECT COMMISSIONER JESSE TOWNLEY TO SERVE AS VICE-CHAIR
OF THE RENT STABILIZATION BOARD.  Roll call vote.  YES: Harr, Townley, Stephens; 
NO: None;  ABSTAIN: Blake, Dodsworth, Shelton, Tregub, Webster;  ABSENT: Drake. Failed:  3-0-5-1.

M/C  (Tregub)  TO ELECT COMMISSIONER DAVE BLAKE TO SERVE AS VICE-CHAIR
OF THE RENT STABILIZATION BOARD.  Roll call vote.  YES: Blake, Dodsworth, Shelton, Townley, Tregub, Webster, Stephens;  NO: Harr;  ABSTAIN: None;  ABSENT: Drake. Passed:  7-1-0-1. 

Commissioner Blake was re-elected to serve as Vice-Chair.

c. Comments by new Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson  Newly re-elected Chair Stephens thanked the Board for electing her for another term.  The Chair also discussed the current committee structure and requested that Commissioners inform her, in the following week,
of what issues they would like to see discussed in committee and on which committees they would like to serve going forward.  The Chair also mentioned that the current Commissioner seating arrangement was not permanent and asked Commissioners to notify her if they had a seating preference.

8. Presentation by Rent Board Legislative Advocate, Christine Minnehan

Christine Minnehan apprised the Board of issues related to current and pending housing legislation/ litigation, and provided a report and matrix of all relevant bills and their status in the legislative process.  Ms. Minnehan indicated that the most significant issue pending in Sacramento presently relates to proposals for responding to the State budget crisis.  Ms. Minnehan asked the Board for feedback on the Governor’s proposal concerning the possible elimination of redevelopment agencies.

After discussion and questions from Boardmembers for Ms. Minnehan, the Board took the following action:

M/S/C  (Blake/Townley)  TO CREATE A SPECIAL AD HOC COMMITTEE FOR THE PURPOSE OF MAKING A RECOMMENDATION TO LEGISLATIVE ADVOCATE CHRISTINE MINNEHAN REGARDING THE BOARD’S POSITION ON THE STATE BUDGET, PROPOSED CHANGES TO STATE LAW REGARDING REDEVELOPMENT AND SOURCES OF FUNDING FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING.  Voice vote.  Passed:  8-0-0-1.  Absent:  Drake. 

It was agreed that this new Ad Hoc Committee would be comprised of Commissioners Harr, Shelton, Tregub and Webster, and that the Committee’s thoughts would be conveyed directly to Ms. Minnehan.

9. Appeal Time Certain – 8:00 p.m.

a. Appeal T-5109 – 1951 Chestnut Street, Unit #312

M/S/C  (Webster/Tregub)  APPROVE THE HEARING EXAMINER’S DECISION TO AWARD  $154.28 FOR RENT OVERCHARGES RELATED TO HABITABILITY VIOLATIONS AND DECREASES IN SERVICES.  Voice vote.  Passed:  8-0-0-1.  Absent:  Drake.

M/S/C  (Harr/Tregub) REMAND THE REMAINDER OF THE DECISION TO THE HEARING EXAMINER TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE TENANT, ANGELA HILL, BREACHED HER LEASE AGREEMENT BY MOVING OUT BEFORE ITS TERMINATION.  IF IT IS DETERMINED THAT MS. HILL BREACHED HER LEASE AGREEMENT, THE HEARING EXAMINER SHALL DETERMINE WHETHER THE LANDLORD, CHARLES STEVENS, SATISFIED HIS DUTY TO MITIGATE DAMAGES AS REQUIRED UNDER CALIFORNIA CIVIL CODE SECTION 1951.2.  THE AWARD FOR SECURITY DEPOSIT RETURN SHALL BE ADJUSTED ACCORDING TO THESE FINDINGS.  Voice vote.  Passed:  8-0-0-1.  Absent:  Drake.  

10.   Action Items

a. From Board Members, Executive Director and Committees

(1) Discussion and approval of possible revised 2011 Calendar Year Rent Board Meeting Schedule   After discussion of possible meeting dates for February and April, the Board took the following action:

M/S/C (Shelton/Townley)  TO APPROVE THE 2011 CALENDAR YEAR RENT BOARD MEETING SCHEDULE WITH THE FOLLOWING CHANGES:  HOLD THE FEBRUARY BOARD MEETING AT THE NORTH BERKELEY SENIOR CENTER ON THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 24TH  AND HOLD THE APRIL BOARD MEETING ON MONDAY, APRIL 25TH.  Voice vote.  Passed:  8-0-0-1.  Absent:  Drake.

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

     Discretionary Waivers
Waiver No.      Property Address

3878                 1670 Shattuck Avenue  (Continued from December 13, 2010 meeting) 

M/S/C  (Tregub/Webster)  WAIVE FIFTY PERCENT OF THE PENALTY FOR WAIVER #3878.  Roll call vote.  YES:  Dodsworth, Harr, Shelton, Townley, Tregub, Webster;  NO: Blake, Stephens;  ABSTAIN: None;  ABSENT: Drake.  Passed: 6-2-0-1.    

The following two Information Items were moved to Action Items with the approval of the Agenda:

11.a.(2)   Copy of January 25, 2011 Council report on the Affordable Housing Impact Fee
 After discussion, the Board took the following action:

M/S/C  (Harr/Webster)  TO SEND A LETTER RECOMMENDING THAT CITY COUNCIL SUPPORT ESTABLISHMENT OF THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING IMPACT FEE AT THE MAXIMUM FEASIBLE AMOUNT, SETTING IT AT NO LESS THAN $28,000 PER UNIT.  Voice vote.  Passed:  8-0-0-1.  Absent:  Drake.

11.a.(4)  Copy of January 10, 2010 communication to the City Council from Jose Duarte titled “Unlawful Revision of the Good Cause Ordinance”   No action taken.

11.   Information and Announcements
   
a. Reports from Board Members/Staff
 
(1) Update on recent staffing changes and pending recruitments  The Executive Director introduced recently-hired Community Services Specialist II, Ms. Moni Law, to the Board. He also updated the Board on the status of the Administrative Staff Assistant and Staff Attorney recruitments.

(2) Copy of October 10, 2010 Affordable Housing Fee Nexus Study prepared by Bay Area Economics (BAE)  Discussed earlier during Action Item 11.a.(2).

(4) Update on RTS computer system  The Executive Director informed the Board that he is still awaiting a revised bid from WebMethods; once he receives this, he will schedule a Budget and Personnel Committee meeting to consider the proposal.

(5) Market Median Report for the period January 1999 – December 2010  In packet and self-explanatory.

b.   Updates and Announcements regarding Committee/Board Meetings

(1) Budget and Personnel

(2) Outreach 

(3)   IRA/AGA and Habitability

(4)  Eviction/Section 8/Foreclosure

a.  December 20, 2010 agenda 

(5)  Safe & Sustainable Housing 

a.  January 24, 2011 agenda 

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

(7)  Ad Hoc Committee on Waiver Process

(8)  Future Special Meetings

c.      Discussion of items for possible placement on future agenda  Commissioner Blake requested that the subject of new voting procedures be placed on the next agenda for discussion.

12.   Adjournment  M/S  (Tregub/Harr)  Meeting was adjourned at 11:36 p.m.