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Rent Stabilization Board
Rent Stabilization Board

Regular Meeting Minutes

Monday, November 19, 2012

7:00 PM



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CLOSED SESSION at 6:30 p.m. – The Board convened in Closed Session pursuant to California Government Code § 54957(b):

Title:  Executive Director

Upon the Board’s return from Closed Session, Chair Stephens announced that the Board took no action.

1. Roll call – Chair Stephens called the Regular Meeting to order at 7:27 p.m.  (The start time was  delayed due to the earlier Closed Session taking longer than expected.)

Commissioners present:  Blake, Dodsworth, Harr (left 9:52), Shelton, Townley, Tregub, Webster, Stephens
Commissioners absent:  Drake
Staff present:  Brown, Kelekian, Law (in audience), Mueller

2. Approval of Agenda M/S/C (Tregub/Webster) APPROVE AGENDA. Voice vote. Carried:  8-0-0-1. ABSENT:  Drake. 

Prior to the approval of the agenda, Commissioner Tregub gave an eloquent and heartfelt farewell address in which he conveyed his pride in the Board’s many accomplishments and the  projects he has been a part of during his tenure, including: two internship programs which provide valuable public policy experience and college credits to university students; the congressionally-recognized Foreclosure Prevention and Resources Workshop that connected HUD-certified housing counselors, attorneys, banks, Rent Board housing counselors with homeowners, landlords and tenants affected by the foreclosure crisis; the crafting of a revised  Relocation Ordinance that now provides stronger protections for tenants and greater outreach to property owners; the successful collaborative effort to advocate for the maximum feasible Affordable Housing Mitigation Fee at the local level; strengthening of property owner compliance with Phase I of the Soft Story Ordinance; vast improvements in data collection and tracking via the ongoing upgrade of the Rent Board’s Rent Tracking System database; vital outreach and financial assistance to victims of the devastating Haste Street fire via a Rent Board grant program; and revisions to the Demolition Ordinance.  Commissioner Tregub expressed his appreciation for his fellow Commissioners, and congratulated the newly-elected Commissioners, Alejandro Soto-Vigil and Judy Hunt.  He also thanked the “awesome” staff of the Rent Stabilization Program and its Executive Director, Jay Kelekian.      

3. Public Forum  There were four speakers:  David Blake, as a member of the public, congratulated Commissioner Tregub on his four years of dedicated service to the people of Berkeley; he also stated his concern regarding the questionable financial practices of the Tenants United for Fairness (TUFF) Slate; Chris Smith, a lifetime Berkeley resident, spoke about an inspection and eviction at 1828 San Pablo Avenue and his frustration with what has transpired; Juan Maravilla spoke on behalf of Chris Smith and asked that the Board assist him with his situation; and Jamie (no last name provided) echoed Chris Smith’s statements and her concern about the behavior of the property owner of 1828 San Pablo and how the eviction was handled. 

4. Approval of prior meeting minutes:

a. October 15, 2012 Regular Meeting minutes – M/S/C  (Townley/Blake)  HOLD OVER TO NEXT MEETING.  Voice vote.  Carried:  8-0-0-1.  ABSENT:  Drake.

b. November 10, 2012 Special Meeting minutes M/S/C (Harr/Townley) APPROVED WITH ONE CHANGE:  ADD A STATEMENT REGARDING THE ACTION TAKEN BY THE BOARD DURING CLOSED SESSION.  Voice vote.  Carried:  8-0-0-1.  ABSENT:  Drake. 

5. Special presentation by Christine Minnehan, Rent Board Legislative Advocate and Michael Moynagh. Christine Minnehan and her associate, Mike Moynagh, gave an overview of current and pending housing legislation and took questions from the Board.

6.   Action Items
a.   From Board Members, Executive Director and Committees

(1) Recommendation to adopt a resolution authorizing the Executive Director to amend the contract with Software A.G. in an additional amount not to exceed $50,400, to replace and enhance the remaining portion of the Rent Tracking System (RTS) database and establish a Web-based interface to allow customers the ability to pay registration fees online  (Executive Director) M/S/C (Blake/Tregub) ADOPT RESOLUTION AS WRITTEN. Voice vote. Carried:  8-0-0-1. ABSENT: Drake.

(2) Discussion and possible action regarding Proposed Berkeley Municipal Code Chapter 13.79 – Automatically Renewing Leases (Executive Director) M/S/C (Harr/Townley) Direct staff to send a letter indicating the Board’s support of this proposed ordinance and discuss ways to conduct outreach to tenants who are not covered by its provisions. Carried: 8-0-0-1. ABSENT: Drake.

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

Discretionary Waivers

Waiver No.      Property Address
4222                 2711 Forest Avenue

M/S/C  (Townley/Tregub)  Approve the staff recommendation for Waiver No. 4222.  Voice vote.  Carried:  8-0-0-1.  ABSENT:  Drake.

7.   Information and Announcements
a. Reports from Board Members/Staff
(1) Update on the implementation of Regulation 1282  (Executive Director)

(2) Market Medians report for the 2nd Quarter of 2012  (Executive Director)

(3) 2nd Quarter 2012 report on U.S. Housing Market Conditions from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and six recent news articles related to landlord-tenant issues  (Executive Director)

(4) November 13, 2012 e-mail from Ralph McFerren expressing concern about the lack of affordable housing in Berkeley  (Executive Director)

(5) November 8, 2012 letter to the Berkeley Housing Authority Board from Tia M. Ingram, Executive Director of the Berkeley Housing Authority, regarding the Section 8 Project-Based Voucher Program  (Executive Director)

(6) October 9, 2012 letter from U.C. Berkeley Associate Vice Chancellor LeNorman J. Strong in response to the Executive Director’s September 6, 2012 communication regarding construction of additional student housing  (Executive Director)

(7) October 18, 2012 San Francisco Examiner article by Joshua Sabatini titled, “Legislation would require disclosure of bed-bug infestations”  (Commissioner Harr)

(8) Update on Waiver No. 4147 (1522 Woolsey Avenue)  (Executive Director)

b. Updates and Announcements regarding Committee/Board Meetings

(1) Budget and Personnel – Committee Chair Tregub said that all the Committee’s recent work has already come before the full Board.

(2) Outreach – Committee Chair Webster updated the Board on the Committee’s recent work.

a. October 19th agenda

b. November 16th agenda

(3) IRA/AGA and Habitability – Committee Chair Stephens updated the Board on the Committee’s recent work.

a. November 19th agenda

(4) Eviction/Section 8/Foreclosure – Committee Chair Harr said the Committee is looking forward to the Eviction Defense Center’s presentation at their next meeting on December 12th.

a. November 14th agenda

(5) Safe & Sustainable Housing – Committee Chair Townley said the Committee has not met recently.

(6) Waivers Committee – Committee Chair Dodsworth pointed out the revised Guide to Fees and Penalties was passed out to the Board this evening (off-agenda).

(7) Ad Hoc Committee on Smoke-Free Housing – Committee Chair Blake gave the Board an update on the Committee’s work and the latest movement on the draft Smoke-Free Housing Ordinance.

a. November 16th agenda

(8) 4 x 4 City Council/RSB Housing Committee

(9) Future Special Meetings

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

1. Discussion of anonymity of callers when contacting the Rent Board staff for counseling or information

2. Discussion of emergency supply cache program

8. Continuation of CLOSED SESSION – The Board will reconvene in Closed Session to discuss the following:

Pursuant to California Government Code § 54957(b):
Title:  Executive Director

Pursuant to Government Code § 54957.6:

Negotiators:  Jay Kelekian, Rent Stabilization Board Executive Director
Employee Organizations:  SEIU Local 1021, Community Services and Part-Time Recreation Leaders Association, and Public Employees Local 1

After the Board’s return from Closed Session, Chair Stephens announced that the Board approved the Executive Director’s Evaluation by a 7-0-0-2 vote.  ABSENT:  Drake, Harr.

9.   Adjournment

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