Regular Meeting Minutes

Monday, November 17, 2008
7 PM


Video Archive

1. Roll Call  - Chair Arreguin called Closed Session to order at 6:27 and Regular meeting to order at 7:20 PM.
Pam Wyche called roll.

Commissioners present:  Blake, Calfee, Chong, Harrison, Overman, Webster, Arreguin.

Commissioners absent:   Stephens, Walden

2. Closed Session –  6:15 PM.


Property:  Rent Stabilization Program office space at 2001 Center Street.
Negotiating parties:  Rent Stabilization Board and 2001 Center Group.
Under negotiation:  Lease term and amount.

Closed session motion announced by Chair during public meeting:

3.   Approval of Agenda  M/S/C (Blake/Overman)  APPROVED WITH THE REMOVAL OF ITEM 7.(1) AND THE ADDITION OF FINAL ITEM FOR OUTGOING COMMISSIONER COMMENTS.  Voice vote.  Passed:  7-0-0-2 Absent: Stephens, Walden.

4.   Public Forum  There were five speakers:  Barbara Tengeri,  Paul Barker, Joella Trupin,  Marcia Levenson, and Councilmember Kris Worthington.  Councilmember Worthington graciously thanked the outgoing Commissioners Jesse Arreguin, Jason Overman, Eleanor Walden and Corie Calfee for their dedication and outstanding service to the Berkeley community and gave his congratulations to Commissioner Harrison on his victory and to the other board members who will be continuing to serve on the Board.  He gave a special thanks to Chair Arreguin for his wonderful service to the people of Berkeley in his capacity as a Rent Board Commissioner and as Councilmember Worthington’s personal staff assistant.

5.   Approval of October 20, 2008 regular meeting minutes .  M/S/C (Overman/Calfee) TO  APPROVE AS WRITTEN.  Voice vote.  Passed:  7-0-0-2  Absent:  Stephens, Walden.

6. Appeal Time Certain – 7:15 p.m.

a. Appeal L-3926 – 2414 Sacramento St. #2. M/S/C (Blake/Harrison)  BOARD AGREED THAT THE APPEAL IS TIMELY AND WILL BE CONSIDERED.  Roll call vote.  Yes: Blake, Chong, Overman, Webster, Arreguin; No: Calfee, Harrison; Abstain: None; Absent: Stephens, Walden.  Passed: 5-2-0-2.

M/S/C (Overman/Harrison) TO AFFIRM HEARING EXAMINER’S DECISION.  Roll call vote.  Yes: Blake, Calfee, Chong, Harrison, Overman, Webster, Arreguin; No: None; Abstain: None; Absent: Stephens, Walden.  Passed: 7-0-0-2.

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

(1) Recommendation concerning extension of lease at 2125 Milvia Street. (Executive Director)  ITEM REMOVED DURING APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA.

(2) Recommendation that the Board accept revised wording in the Executive Director’s employment contract. (Executive Director) M/S/C (Chong/Harrison) APPROVE MODIFICATION RESOLUTION. Friendly amendment by Commissioner Calfee and accepted TO ADD TO THE SECOND WHEREAS IN THE RESOLUTION THE WORDS “…in order to clarify the negotiated terms and to avoid income tax consequences.”  Voice vote.  Passed: 7-0-0-2 Absent: Stephens, Walden.

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

Ministerial Waivers

Waiver No.      Property Address
3603                 1524 Woolsey Street 
3611                 1305 Carrison Street
3622                 1807-1809 Milvia Street
3623                 1735-6th Street
3624                 2976-82 Otis Street
3637                 1738 Stuart Street
3638                 1534 Fairview Street
3647                 2020 Blake Street
3649                 2719 Woolsey Street
3652                 3114 Ellis Street

Discretionary Waivers 

Waiver No.      Property Address
3621                 2112-8th Street
3626                 2420 Acton Street 
3627                 1615 Parker Street
3634                 1917-6th Street
3648                 1741 Virginia Street
3650                 2604 Mathews/1138 Parker Streets
3655                 2108 Stuart Street
3656                 2412 Dwight Way
3657                 2332 Fulton Street
3658                 2412/2416 Fulton Street
3659                 2209 Cedar Street

Commissioner Calfee pulled Waivers 3626 and 3650.  Commissioner Harrison pulled Waivers 3655, 3656, 3657, 3658, and 3659. 

M/S/C (Chong/Harrison) ACCEPT STAFF RECOMMENDATIONS ON WAIVERS 3621, 3627, 3634, and 3648.  Voice vote.  Passed:  7-0-0-2 Absent:  Stephens, Walden.

M/S/C (Blake/Calfee) TO APPROVE WAIVER 3626 AS AMENDED WAIVING 90% OF THE PENALTY.  Voice vote.  Passed: 7-0-0-2 Absent: Stephens, Webster. 

M/S/C (Calfee/Overman) CONTINUE WAIVER 3650, PROPERTY AT 2604 MATTHEWS/1138 PARKER STREETS, IN RESPONSE TO PROPERTY OWNER’S WRITTEN REQUEST.  Voice vote.  7-0-0-2  Absent:  Stephens, Walden.

M/S/C (Harrison/Blake) ACCEPT STAFF RECOMMENDATION ON WAIVERS 3655, 3656, 3658 AND 3659.  Voice vote.  Passed: 7-0-0-2  Absent: Stephens, Walden.
8. Information and Announcements
a.  Reports from Board Members/Staff.

(1) Preliminary election results from the November 4, 2008 Berkeley election. (Executive Director)  Chair Arreguin congratulated the newly elected Rent Board Commissioners, Nicole Drake, Igor Tregub, Judy Shelton, Jesse Townley and incumbent Vice Chair Jack Harrison. 

(2) Update on proposed changes to the Condominium Conversion Ordinance.  The Executive Director advised that Council met and held public testimony and that it was carried over until January.  Chair Arreguin said there seemed to be support for some of the Board’s recommendations and he thanked Commissioner Calfee for a great job of presenting the Board’s recommendations to Council.  She said there was some confusion as to the technicalities of the recommendations and suggested that the Board do a clarification of the recommendations before Council’s January meeting. 

(3) Report on Market Medians: January 1999 through September 2008. Executive Director agreed with the Chair’s observation that there seems to be a trend of rents starting to go up compared to last year and the year before, including studio apartments. 

(4) AGA mailing to owners and tenants. (Executive Director)

(5) Fall 2008 Newsletter.  (Executive Director)

(6) November 11, 2008 Daily Cal article by Carol Yur titled UC Berkeley Professors Face High Home Prices, Limited Housing. (Executive Director) 

b.     Announcements of upcoming Committee/Board Meetings. 

(1) Budget and Personnel – To be scheduled off line.

(2) Outreach  - To be scheduled off line to discuss creation of informational DVD or on line video.

(3) IRA/AGA and Habitability – No meeting scheduled.

(4) Eviction/Section 8 – No meeting scheduled. No meting scheduled.

(5) 4x4 City Council/RSB Housing Committee - No meeting scheduled.

(6) Ad Hoc Committee on Soft Story Ordinance – To be scheduled.

(7) Ad Hoc Committee on Condominium Conversion Ordinance. No meeting scheduled.

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

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

Item added during approval of agenda: Outgoing Commissioner Comments: 

Commissioner Calfee thanked her colleagues and staff and said it was an honor to serve the City of Berkeley briefly this year.  She said that, if anything, she learned how much work there is to be done and she would look forward to serving in a similar or related capacity in the future.

Commissioner Overman, the youngest person elected to public office in the City’s history, said it was a humbling experience and privilege to serve the voters of the City of Berkeley and to work with his distinguished fellow Boardmembers on such important rent control and housing issues.  He graciously thanked the voters, his fellow Boardmembers and staff.   

Chair Arreguin thanked his colleagues and friends on the Board as well as the Executive Director and entire staff.  He said that he is proud of the progress the Board has made during his service, and encouraged the Board to continue the struggle for more affordable housing in the community in order to protect the diversity that makes Berkeley such an important place.   He assured the Board that in his capacity as a City Councilmember, he will work to push the Board’s work on a broader level and make sure we have an ally who is going to be advocating for tenants and affordable housing.    

Eleanor Walden is also leaving the Board this term, but was unable to be at the meeting.  Chair Arreguin said that he hoped that she would be able to attend the December meeting, when there will be a special presentation for the outgoing commissioners.    

9.    Adjournment: (Harrison/Calfee) Chair Arreguin adjourned at 9:00 p.m.