Regular Meeting Minutes

Monday, June 21, 2010

7 PM


Video Archive
(2 hrs, 41 mins) 

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1. Roll Call – Chair Stephens called the meeting to order at 7:06 p.m.  Pam Wyche called roll.

Commissioners present:  Blake (7:13), Drake, Harr, Shelton (stepped out), Townley, Tregub, Webster (7:23), Stephens
Commissioners absent:  Chong
Staff present:  Brown, Kelekian, Mueller, Wyche

2. Approval of Agenda  M/S/C  (Drake/Tregub) APPROVE AGENDA.  Voice vote.  Passed:  5-0-0-4.  Absent:  Blake, Chong, Shelton (stepped out), Webster.

3. Public Forum – There were two speakers:  Leo Stegman regarding April Green and the appeal process, and Marcia Levenson (representing the Housing Advisory Commission) regarding a proposed amendment to the plumbing code requiring automatic gas shut-offs.

4. Approval of May 24, 2010 Board Meeting minutes M/S/C  (Blake/Shelton)  APPROVE AS WRITTEN.  Voice vote.  Passed:  7-0-1-1.  Abstain:  Tregub.  Absent:  Chong. 

5. Appeal Time Certain – 7:15 p.m. Appeal T-5094 and T-5104 (1411 Kains Ave. and 1411 Kains Ave., Unit A)

Substitute Motion: M/S/C  (Blake/Townley)  FIND THE APPEAL TIMELY FILED.  Roll call vote.  YES:  Blake, Harr, Shelton, Townley, Webster.  NO:  Drake, Tregub, Stephens.  ABSTAIN:  None.  ABSENT:  Chong.  Passed:  5-3-0-1.

M/S/C  (Tregub/Shelton)  UPHOLD THE REMAINDER OF THE HEARING EXAMINER’S DECISION REGARDING SECURITY DEPOSIT.  Roll call vote.  YES:  Blake, Drake, Harr, Shelton, Townley, Tregub, Webster, Stephens.  NO:  None.  ABSTAIN:  None.  ABSENT:  Chong.  Passed:  8-0-0-1.     
6.  Special report by Rent Board Legislative Advocate, Christine Minnehan, on pending housing legislation   Christine Minnehan updated the Board on the status of current and pending housing legislation, and provided a matrix of all relevant bills and where they are in the legislative process.  After discussion and questions from Boardmembers, the Board took the following action:  M/S/C  (Drake/Tregub)  OFFER LETTERS OF SUPPORT FOR AB 1800 (Ma), AB 2337 (Ammiano), AB 2706 (Lowenthal, Bonnie) AND AB 2743 (Nava).  Voice vote.  Passed:  8-0-0-1.
 Absent:  Chong.   
 7.   Discussion and adoption of the Fiscal Year 2010/2011 Budget and Staffing Model  M/S/C (Tregub/Townley)  APPROVE RESOLUTION 10-16 ADOPTING THE FISCAL YEAR 2010-2011 BUDGET, STAFFING MODEL POSITION DETAIL AND THE EXPENDITURE LEVEL FOR FISCAL YEAR 2010-2011.  Voice vote.  Passed:  8-0-0-1.  Absent:  Chong. 

8.   Recommendation from the IRA/AGA/Habitability Committee concerning changes to the Rental Housing Safety Program   M/S/C  (Drake/Townley)  AUTHORIZE THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TO CONVEY TO CITY COUNCIL THE BOARD’S SUPPORT, AND THE IRA/AGA/HABITABILITY COMMITTEE’S RECOMMENDATIONS, FOR REVISIONS TO THE RENTAL HOUSING SAFETY PROGRAM.  Voice vote.  Passed:  8-0-0-1.  Absent:  Chong.

9.  Action Items

a. From Board Members, Executive Director and Committees 

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

Ministerial Waivers

Waiver No.     Property Address
3824                1411 Parker Street
3847                2435 – 9th Street
3849                1821 Fairview Street
3850                1631 Euclid Avenue
3861                2646 Dana Street

Discretionary Waivers

Waiver No.     Property Address
3830                1501 Virginia Street
3844                2926 Stanton Street
3853                2244 Russell Street
3854                2231 Cedar Street
3860                2010-10th Street

Commissioner Drake pulled Waiver No. 3853 and Commissioner Townley pulled Waiver No. 3830 for discussion.

M/S/C  (Drake/Shelton)  APPROVE STAFF RECOMMENDATION ON WAIVER NOS. 3844,  3854 AND 3860.  Voice vote.  Passed:  8-0-0-1.  Absent:  Chong.  

M/S/C  (Tregub/Blake)  TABLE DISCUSSION OF WAIVER NO. 3830 UNTIL THE NEXT REGULARLY-SCHEDULED MEETING.  Voice vote.  Passed:  8-0-0-1.  Absent:  Chong.

For Waiver No. 3853:  M/S/C  (Tregub/Townley)  THE BOARD STRONGLY RECOMMENDS THAT THE OWNER HAVE A MANAGER OR PROPERTY MANAGEMENT COMPANY ASSUME RESPONSIBILITY FOR MANAGING THE PROPERTY.  Roll call vote.  YES:  Tregub, Townley.  NO:  Blake, Drake, Harr, Shelton, Webster, Stephens.  ABSTAIN:  None.  ABSENT:  Chong.  Failed:  2-6-0-1.

M/S/C  (Tregub/Townley)  UPHOLD STAFF’S RECOMMENDATION FOR WAIVER NO. 3853.  Roll call vote.  YES: Blake, Harr, Shelton, Townley, Tregub, Webster, Stephens.  NO:  Drake.  ABSTAIN:  None.  ABSENT:  Chong.  Passed:  7-1-0-1. 

10.  Information and Announcements

a.     Reports from Board Members/Staff.
(1) Deputy Director Search update.  The Executive Director said that interviews have been completed and background checks are being conducted.  Of the seven people  interviewed, there were four very strong candidates.  He said he hopes to make a selection by the end of this week.

(2) Copy of May 18, 2010 memo to City Council from City Manager Phil Kamlarz, titled “Summary of Costs Related to the Initiative Ordinance Enacting New Requirements for the City Council and Rent Stabilization Board and Boards and Commissions Relating to Agendas and Meetings, Requiring Additional Disclosure of Public Records, and Creating a New Commission”  Not discussed.

(3) Update on status of the Retaliation Ordinance  After discussion, the Executive Director said we’ll be exploring the option of creating a joint committee – similar to the group we currently have working on the Relocation Ordinance – to address the issues of retaliation and harassment.  He will discuss this with Jane Micallef, Housing Director, and Marcia Levenson, Housing Advisory Commissioner.
(4)  Update on the 2009 Berkeley Housing Element  Approval is moving forward.  The Executive Director said he didn’t include the actual language in the packet because it’s a very large document that hasn’t really changed since it was first presented to the Board approximately one year ago.  Given that the Board’s original comments have already been considered, he said he will inform the Board when the document is approved by Council.

(5) Letter from PRC Chairman, George D. Perezvelez, to Hearing Examiner Lillian Mayers extending gratitude for her diligent work and enthusiasm during the three months she was Acting PRC Officer Chair Stephens mentioned the letter and the Executive Director added that Ms. Mayers’ time was paid by the City so there was no cost to the Rent Board. 

(6) Copy of letter to City Council regarding Fiscal Year 2010-2011 Budget Recommendation concerning Soft Story Buildings  The Executive Director said that this item was linked with other communications on Soft Story but was submitted to coincide with Council’s adoption of their budget.  Chair Stephens this would be a good time for any citizens concerned about this issue to call their Councilmember.

  b.   Announcements of upcoming Committee/Board Meetings.

(1) Budget and Personnel 

(2) Outreach

a. June 18th meeting agenda.

(3) IRA/AGA and Habitability

a. Approved May 20th meeting minutes.

(4) Eviction/Section 8

(5)  Safe & Sustainable 

a. Approved May 24th meeting minutes.

b. June 21st meeting agenda.

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

(7)   Ad Hoc Committee on Waiver Process – Commissioner Tregub said that the Committee had met and will be meeting again.  Commissioner Harr said that, by the next Board meeting, they should have a timeline.

a.  June 9th meeting agenda.

(8)  Future Special Meetings

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

11.   Adjournment  M/S/C  (Tregub/Drake) Voice vote.  Passed:  8-0-0-1.  Chair Stephens adjourned the meeting at 9:46p.m.