Regular Meeting Minutes

Monday, December 21, 2009, 7 PM


Video Archive
(3hrs, 1min)

Teleconference location – 220 Kimbary Drive, Centerville, Ohio

1. Roll Call  - Chair Stephens called the meeting to order at 7:12 PM  Pam Wyche called roll.

Commissioners present:  Chong, Drake (by teleconference) Shelton, Townley, Tregub, Webster (7:33), Stephens

Commissioners absent:  Blake

Staff present:  Brown, Kelekian, Wyche

2.   Approval of Agenda M/S/C (Chong/Townley) APPROVED.  Voice vote.  Passed: 6-0-0-2 Absent: Blake, Webster.

3. Comments from the Chair concerning the death of Boardmember Jack Harrison.  With deep sadness, Chair Stephens announced the passing of Vice Chair Jack Harrison on November 16, 2009.   She spoke of his courage in the last few months of his life in being able to attend meetings and continuing to work right up to a month before he died.  She said how fond she was of Jack and how she will miss working with him on the Board, various committees, Peace and Freedom and Green Party and their many discussions on mutual interest subjects such as gardening and third-party politics.  She thanked B-TV staff member Arial Elizabeth, Commissioner Dave Blake and the Executive Director Jay Kelekian who together created a very special tribute to Jack that was played over the air when the Rent Board meeting would have normally been aired, the evening of his death November 16, 2009.

Commissioner Townley expressed his deepest condolences to Jack’s family and friends and read the eulogy written by Commissioner Blake, in his absence.  Other commissioners expressed their sincere regrets and deepest condolences to his wife and family.   

4.    Public Forum   Marcia Levenson read from The Dead by James Joyce in memory of Commissioner Jack Harrison.

5.  Special Order of Business

a. Election of Chairperson:  Executive Director conducts election for Chair. M/S/C (Chong/Drake) MOVE TO ELECT COMMISSIONER STEPHENS, THE CURRENT CHAIR, AS CHAIRPERSON FOR THIS MEETING.   HOLD OVER THE  ELECTION OF CHAIRPERSON UNTIL THE BOARD’S NEXT REGULAR MEETING IN JANUARY 2010.  Roll call vote.  Yes: Chong, Drake, Shelton, Tregub, Stephens; No: Townley; Abstain: None; Absent: Blake, Webster.  Passed: 5-1-0-2.

b. Election of Vice Chairperson: Newly elected Chair conducts election for Vice-Chair. Commissioner Tregub nominated Dave Blake for Vice Chair. M/S/C (Chong/Tregub) MOVE TO HOLD OVER THE ELECTION OF VICE CHAIRPERSON UNTIL THE NEXT REGULAR MEETING IN JANUARY 2010.  Voice vote.  6-0-0-2 Absent: Blake, Webster.

c. Comments by new Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson.  Opportunity for the newly elected Chairperson and Vice-chairperson to speak.  HELD OVER UNTIL NEXT REGULAR MEETING.
6. Approval of October 19, 2009 regular meeting minutes.   M/S/C (Chong/Townley) APPROVED WITH THE FOLLOWING CORRECTIONS: ITEMS 5.b. VOTE ABSENT TREGUB NOT WEBSTER, 6.A.(7) BOARD AGREED TO MEET TO DISCUSS BROWN ACT ISSUES NOT SOFT STORY.  Roll call vote.  Yes:  Chong, Drake, Shelton, Townley, Webster, Stephens; No: None; Abstain: Tregub; Absent: Blake.  Passed: 6-0-1-1.

7.  Approval of October 29th special Board meeting minutes.  M/S/C (Townley/Shelton)  APPROVE AS WRITTEN.  Voice vote.  Passed:  5-0-2-1  Abstain: Drake, Tregub; Absent: Blake.

8.    Appeal Time Certain  7:15 PM.  Appeal T-5017, T-5018 and T-5019; 1438 Fairview Street.  M/S/F (Townley/Shelton)  AMEND HEARING EXAMINER DECISION TO RAISE THE PERCENTAGE FROM 6% TO 10% DUE TO THE MASTER TENANT FOR SERVICES.  Roll call vote.  Yes: Chong, Shelton, Townley; No: Drake, Tregub, Webster, Stephens; Abstain: None; Absent: Blake.  Motion failed: 3-4-0-1
M/S/C (Drake/Tregub)   AFFIRM HEARING EXAMINER DECISION WITH  MODIFICATION TO INCLUDE THE $700 SECURITY DEPOSIT IN THE FINAL  CALCULATION OF THE  AMOUNT OWED MS. DOPPELT, AS RECOMMENDED BY  LEGAL STAFF.  Roll call vote.  Yes:  Drake, Shelton, Townley, Tregub, Webster,  Stephens; No: Chong; Abstain: None; Absent: Blake.  Passed:  6-1-0-1.

9.  Action Items

a. From Board Members, Executive Director and Committees  

(1) Discussion and possible action concerning the selection and appointment to fill the vacancy on the Rent Board created by the death of Commissioner Jack Harrison’s. CHAIR SET OVER UNTIL NEXT REGULAR BOARD MEETING.

(2) Discussion and approval of the 2010 Rent Board meeting schedule. M/S/C (Tregub/Shelton) APPROVE WITH A CHANGE TO THE DECEMBER MEETING FROM MONDAY, DECEMBER 20TH TO MONDAY, DECEMBER 13TH.   Voice vote.  Passed: 5-0-0-3 Absent: Blake, Drake, Townley (stepped out).

(3)Recommendation to affirm the job description, eligibility requirements and salary range for the classification of Deputy Director of the Rent Stabilization Program. M/S/C (Webster/Tregub) APPROVE RECOMMENDATIONS AND RESOLUTION AS WRITTEN.  Voice vote.  Passed:  6-0-0-2  Absent: Blake, Drake.

(4)  Recommendation to approve proposed changes to the Staffing Model.  M/S/C (Webster/Townley) APPROVE RECOMMENDATIONS AND RESOLUTION AS WRITTEN.   M/S/C (Webster/Townley) Voice vote.  Passed: 6-0-0-2 Absent: Blake, Drake.

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

Ministerial Waivers

Waiver No.     Property Address
3779                2906 Telegraph Avenue
3797                2520 Durant Avenue
3803                1624 Woolsey Street
3804                1518 Fairview Street
3806                1704 – 63rd Street
3810                2730 Dwight Way

Discretionary Waivers 

Waiver No.     Property Address
3784                2019 Emerson Street
3788                1547 Prince Street
3789                3200 Ellis Street
3790                1324 Alcatraz Avenue
3791                2045 Emerson Street
3793                1635 MLK Jr. Way
3794                1238 Hearst Avenue
3795                2912 Claremont Avenue
3798                2422 Hilgard Avenue
3799                2398 Hilgard Avenue
3801                2728 Haste Street
3802                3010 California Street
3815                1500 Josephine Street
3816                3105 Telegraph Avenue

Commissioners pulled Waiver Numbers 3784, 3788, 3789, 3790, 3791, 3793, 3798, 3799, and 3816 

M/S/C (Townley/Shelton) ACCEPT STAFF RECOMMENDATION ON REMAINING WAIVERS NUMBERS 3794, 3795, 3801, 3801, AND 3815.  Voice Vote.  Passed: 6-0-0-2 Absent: Blake, Drake.
M/S/C (Tregub/Townley) APPROVE STAFF RECOMMENDATION ON WAIVER NUMBER 3794. Voice vote.  Passed: 5-1-0-2  No: Shelton; Absent: Blake, Drake.

M/S/C (Townley/Chong)  MOVE TO WAIVE 30% OF THE PENALTY ON WAIVER  NUMBERS 3788, 3789 AND 3790.  Roll call vote.  Yes: Chong, Shelton, Townley, Tregub, Webster; No: Stephens; Abstain: None; Absent: Blake, Drake.  Passed: 5-1-0-2.

M/S/F (Stephens/Townley) TO WAIVE 100% OF THE PENALTY ON WAIVER NUMBER 3791. Roll call vote.  Yes: Townley, Webster, Stephens; No: Chong, Shelton, Tregub; Abstain: None; Absent: Blake, Drake.  Motion failed: 3-3-0-2.

M/S/C (Chong/Townley) TO IMPOSE $25 PENALTY 97% WAIVED ON WAVER NUMBER 3791.  Roll call vote.  Yes: Chong, Townley, Tregub, Webster, Stephens; No: Shelton; Abstain: None; Absent: Blake, Drake.   Passed: 5-1-0-2.

M/S/C (Tregub/Shelton) APPROVE STAFF RECOMMENDATION ON WAIVER NUMBER 3793.  Voice vote.  Passed: 6-0-0-2  Absent: Blake, Drake.

 M/S/F (Shelton/Webster) TO IMPOSE 100% OF OLD PENALTIES AND WAIVE 25% OF STAFF’S RECOMMENDATION OF THE NEW PENALTY ON WAIVER NUMBERS 3798 AND 3799.  With a friendly letter to the landlord offering Rent Board staff assistance in giving them ideas on how to improve on getting their bills paid on time.  Roll call vote.  Yes: Shelton, Webster, Stephens; No: Chong, Townley, Tregub; Abstain: None; Absent: Blake, Drake.  Motion failed: 3-3-0-2.

M/S/C (Chong/Tregub) APPROVE STAFF RECOMMENDATION ON WAIVER NUMBERS 3798 AND 3799.  Voice vote.  Passed: 5-1-0-2  No: Shelton; Absent: Blake, Drake.

M/S/C (Townley/Tregub) APPROVE STAFF RECOMMENDATION ON WAIVER NUMBER 3816.  Voice vote.  Passed: 5-0-0-3  Absent: Blake, Drake, Webster.

10.   Information and Announcements

a. Reports from Board Members/Staff. 

(1)  Update on issues related to tenant notification provisions of the Soft Story Ordinance. (Safe & Sustainable Committee and Executive Director) Commissioner Townley gave a brief update stating that he, Chair Stephens, and Executive Director Jay Kelekian have been working with Councilmembers Arreguin and Capitelli working to move all stakeholders forward on the soft story signage issue and that the issue will hopefully go to the City Council at its first meeting in 2010.  Progress reports to follow.

(2) Discussion of proposed changes to Regulation 702 – Payment of Interest on Security Deposits (IRA/AGA/Habitability Committee)  Held over until next meeting.

(3) Discussion of proposed changes to Regulation 1266 – Self Labor (IRA/AGA/Habitability Committee)  Held over until next meeting.

(4) Annual General Adjustment letters to landlords and tenants.  (Executive Director)

(5)  City Manager memorandum announcing the hiring of Michael Meehan as the new City of Berkeley Chief of Police. (Executive Director)

(6) Copy of Administrative Use Permit Appeal for 2412 Stuart St..  Commissioner Tregub asked for an explanation of this case by the Executive Director.  Kelekian said that this was a case the Rent Board was asked to make a determination of whether the unit was a controlled rental unit or not.  It was Rent Board staff’s opinion that it was a controlled unit.  Later, City staff determined that it was not a controlled rental unit and granted the Administrative Use Permit.  The Eviction Defense Center, representing two clients, appealed the City staff’s determination. Asked what the next steps will be, Kelekian said it will go to the Zoning Adjustment Board and then to City Council.  After that, if parties are not satisfied with the end result they can file a writ. 

MOTION WAS MADE TO ADJOURN – The remaining agenda items were not discussed.

(7) Report on Market Medians: January 1999 through September 2009 (Executive Director)

(8) Update on tenant survey and economic analysis of rental property in Berkeley (Executive Director)

(9) Update on Housing Element (Executive Director)

b.   Announcements of upcoming Committee/Board Meetings.

(1) Budget and Personnel

(2) Outreach 

a. Minutes of October 2nd meeting

(3)  IRA/AGA and Habitability

a.  Approved minutes of October 13th meeting.

(4)  Eviction/Section 8

(5)  Safe & Sustainable    

a.  October 19th 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.

11.    Adjournment   (Tregub/Stephens) Chair Stephens adjourned at 10:13 pm.