Regular Meeting Minutes

Monday, November 29, 2010

7 PM


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1. Roll Call  Chair Stephens called the meeting to order at 7:22 p.m. Pam Wyche called roll.

Commissioners present:
  Blake, Drake, Harr, Shelton, Townley, Tregub, Webster, Stephens  
Commissioners absent:  Chong
Staff present:  Brown, Kelekian, Mueller, Wyche

2.   Approval of Agenda  Commissioner Townley suggested that Information Item 8.a.(5), the Condominium Conversion program report, be moved to Action Items and be heard after the Waiver item.  M/S/C  (Tregub/Harr)  MOVE THAT ITEM 8.a.(5) BE HEARD AS AN ACTION ITEM AFTER ITEM 6.a.(3).  Voice vote.  Passed:  8-0-0-1.  Absent:  Chong.  

3.   Public Forum  There was one speaker:  Paul Barker spoke highly of his landlord and talked about the change in the Board’s last meeting date.

4.   Approval of  October 18, 2010 Regular Meeting Minutes  M/S/C  (Drake/Blake)  APPROVE MINUTES AS WRITTEN.  Voice vote.  Passed:  8-0-0-1.  Absent:  Chong.

5.   Special Order of Business

a. Resolution to be presented to Commissioner Howard Chong on behalf of the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board and staff in appreciation of his more than eight years of outstanding service as a Rent Board Commissioner.

Chair Stephens expressed her appreciation for Commissioner Chong and his many years of service on the Rent Board and, on behalf of all Board members, wished him the very best in his future endeavors.  After the Chair spoke about honorary Resolution 10-22 and the gift that the Board planned to present to Howard, the Board took the following action:

6.   Action Items

 a.  From Board Members, Executive Director and Committees

(1) Discussion and possible action on proposed revisions to Regulation 883 [Waiver of Penalties and Interest on Delinquent Registration Fees], Regulation 884 [Other Waiver Requests], and Regulation 885 [Responses to Waiver Recommendations]  
M/S/C  (Webster/Drake)  APPROVE ON FIRST READING THE PROPOSED REVISIONS TO REGULATION 883, REGULATION 884 AND REGULATION 885.  Voice vote.  Passed:  8-0-0-1.  Absent:  Chong.

(2) Discussion and possible action regarding proposed revisions to the Rent Board’s provisional classification of Administrative Staff Assistant

The Executive Director informed the Board that the revised Administrative Staff Assistant job description had been approved by the Personnel Board in November and will go before City Council for final approval on December 7, 2010.  NO ACTION TAKEN.

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

Ministerial Waivers
Waiver No.        Property Address

3883                   2502-2504 Hill Court
3906                   2508 Acton Street
3907                   1321 Ashby Avenue
3909                   3118 College Avenue
3910                   1917 Fairview Street
3913                   1428 Bonita Avenue

 Discretionary Waivers

Waiver No.         Property Address
3884                    1633 – 63rd Street
3890                    2814 California Street

Commissioners Shelton and Webster pulled Waiver No. 3884.  Commissioners Harr and Townley pulled Waiver No. 3890.

M/S/C  (Blake/Drake)  APPROVE STAFF RECOMMENDATION ON MINISTERIAL WAIVER NUMBERS 3883, 3906, 3907, 3909, 3910 AND 3913.  Voice vote.  Passed:  8-0-0-1.  Absent:  Chong.

M/S/C  (Tregub/Blake)  APPROVE STAFF RECOMMENDATION ON WAIVER NO. 3884.  Voice vote.  Passed:  7-1-0-1.  NO:  Shelton; ABSENT:  Chong. 

Substitute motion:  M/S/F  (Townley/Harr)  WAIVE $388 PENALTY INCURRED BY PROPERTY OWNER FOR WAIVER NO. 3890 AND DIRECT STAFF TO BILL DEUTSCHE BANK FOR THE PENALTY OF $194 INCURRED FOLLOWING FORECLOSURE.  Roll call vote.  YES: Harr, Townley, Tregub, Stephens;  NO:  Blake, Drake, Webster;  ABSTAIN: Shelton; ABSENT: Chong.  Failed:  4-3-1-1.

YES:  Blake, Drake, Harr, Webster, Stephens;  NO: Townley, Tregub;  ABSTAIN: Shelton; ABSENT: Chong.  Passed:  5-2-1-1.

The following Item was moved from Information Items to Action Items by an earlier vote:

8.a.(5) November 16, 2010 report to City Council regarding the Condominium Conversion Program – Annual Report The Executive Director explained this report and the Board discussed this item but no action was taken.

7.    Appeal Time Certain – 8:00 p.m.

a. Appeal D-42  (1628 Walnut Street, Upper unit)  Parties present:  Jeffrey J. Carter, Esq. (for Respondents); William Segesta, Esq. and Randi Ruden Krantz (Appellant)

M/S/C  (Blake/Harr)  THAT SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE EXISTS TO PROVE THAT BERKELEY IS THE APPELLANTS’ PRIMARY RESIDENCE SO THE HEARING EXAMINER’S DECISION SHOULD BE REVERSED.  Roll call vote.  YES:  Blake, Harr, Shelton, Stephens, Tregub; NO:  Drake, Townley, Webster;    ABSTAIN:  None;  ABSENT:  Chong.  Passed:  5-3-0-1.

8.   Information and Announcements
              Please Note:  The Board may move Information Items to the Action Calendar.

a. Reports from Board Members/Staff
(1) Update on pending recruitments and potential hiring  The Executive Director gave the Board a status update on the following positions:

Administrative Staff Assistant – The revised job description for this position will go before Council for final approval on December 7th.  If approved, recruitment is tentatively scheduled for December 20, 2010 through January 10, 2011, followed by testing toward the end of January.  The Executive Director hopes to have an eligibility list sometime in early February and will then conduct interviews and make a selection.

Staff Attorney I/II/III and Hearing Examiner – The Executive Director has received the Hearing Examiner eligibility list, and is waiting for the eligibility list for the Staff Attorney positions.  After meeting with the Budget and Personnel Committee, he hopes to present his recommendations for staffing model changes to the full Board at their December meeting.

Community Services Specialist III –  Two days of interviews have been conducted  for this position.  The Executive Director plans to make a selection soon and have the incumbent begin in December.

(2) Update on RTS computer system  The Executive Director informed the Board that the original programmer hired for this project has resigned and relocated out of the area, so the City’s Information Technology Department is currently conducting a recruitment to fill the position.  He hopes to come back to the Board with a recommendation in December.

(3) Apparent Lawful Rent Ceiling letter to landlords   Included in agenda packet and self-explanatory.

(4) 2011 Annual General Adjustment letters to landlords and tenants   Included in agenda packet and self-explanatory.

(5) article titled Empress Hotel Film Screening Included in agenda packet and self-explanatory.

(6) Update on Relocation Ordinance revisions  The Executive Director said the Housing Advisory Commission meets on December 9 where the possible revisions to the Relocation Ordinance will be discussed.  A Public Hearing will possibly be scheduled in January 2011.

(7) Uncertified results for the Rent Stabilization Board from the November 2, 2010 election Chair Stephens announced that all five incumbents – Dave Blake, Katherine Harr, Jesse Townley, Pamela Webster and Lisa Stephens – were elected to four-year terms and our newly-elected Commissioner is Mr. Asa Dodsworth. The Executive Director said the election results would not be official until certified by the City Clerk on December 6, 2010.

b.   Updates and Announcements regarding Committee/Board Meetings   These will be scheduled offline.

(1)   Budget and Personnel

(2)   Outreach 

       a. November 19, 2010 agenda

(3)   IRA/AGA and Habitability

(4)  Eviction/Section 8/Foreclosure 

        a.   November 8, 2010 agenda

(5)  Safe & Sustainable Housing    Committee Chair Townley updated the Board on the Committee’s November 29th meeting and announced their priorities for the year ahead.

        a.   October 25, 2010 agenda      

        b.   November 29, 2010 agenda

(6)   4 x 4 City Council/RSB Housing Committee   Commissioner Drake said the Mayor has selected new Committee members for the City Council portion of this committee and they would like to meet in January 2011.

(7)  Ad Hoc Committee on Waiver Process

       a.   October 25, 2010 meeting agenda    

       b.   November 8, 2010 meeting agenda

       c.   November 15, 2010 meeting agenda

(8)  Future Special Meetings

c.      Discussion of items for possible placement on future agenda

9.   Adjournment   Chair Stephens adjourned the meeting at 9:24 p.m.