City Hall Tip Sheet: Mar. 29-Apr. 4 – Alameda, Fremont amend rent ordinances; Chabot-Las Positas appoints trustee

>Just-cause could be back on the table

ALAMEDASpecial council meeting, Tuesday, April 2, 5 p.m.
ENTIRE AGENDA HERE | Next meeting: April 9.
-RENT ORDINANCE REVIEW- Two years ago, the Alameda City Council approved amendments to its one-year-old Rent Stabilization Ordinance that included just-cause renters’ protections, also called “no cause,” since landlords can evict tenants without a reason. The move created a stir among local landlords, who moved to place a ballot measure to nullify the act. They succeeded, but the council relented and, instead, repealed the just-cause action. Another ballot measure backed by landlord was torched by voters at the ballot box last November and a new solidly progressive council was elected. The annual review of the rent ordinance could include additions, according to a staff report, such as just-cause, annual maximum allowable rent increase, removing the sunset clause, revising the relocation payment benefits, and even a policy to restrict the use of the Ellis Act, which can be used by property owners to evict entire buildings if they intend to exit the rental housing market.

-A LONG NIGHT AHEAD- In recent months, the Alameda City Council meetings have avoided controversy and hearings that run into the early morning hours. That will likely change Tuesday. In addition to the heated rent agenda item, the council will take another look at an appeal of a design review approved by the Planning Board for a 96-room hotel with 62 parking spaces on Park Street. Later, the council will attempt to correct a controversy over a package of cannabis ordinances they approved last February that the city’s Open Government Committee declared were improperly noticed. Alameda City Attorney’s Office issued an opinion that the committee did not possess authority to invalidate council actions.


>Fremont may stop ‘Source of Income Discrimination’ by landlords

FREMONT — Regular board meeting, Tuesday, April 2, 7 p.m.
ENTIRE AGENDA HERE | Next meeting: April 9.
-RENT REVIEW AMENDMENTS- Among five proposed amendments to Fremont’s Rent Review Ordinance is an “amendment [that] would prohibit landlords from discriminating against applicants based on source of income.” The council could redefine what “source of income” means in the ordinance to include “all lawful sources of income or rental assistance program, homeless assistance program, security deposit assistance program or housing subsidy program,” according to the staff report.  The Source of Income proposal is opposed by the Rental Housing Authority of Southern Alameda County. Entire staff report HERE.


>Oakland council to honor McElhaney’s son

OAKLANDRegular council meetings, Tuesday, April 2, 4:30 p.m.
ENTIRE AGENDA HERE | Next meeting: April 9 (cmte mtgs)
-VICTOR MCELHANEY TRIBUTE- The Oakland City Council will start earlier than usual in order to honor Victor McElhaney, the son of Oakland Councilmember Lynette McElhaney, who was fatally shot Mar. 10 in Los Angeles. Poetry and a music will be featured at the special tribute. “There are no words to describe the sadness we feel for our colleague in the loss of her son,” said Council President Rebecca Kaplan. “Victor was passionate, brilliant, and a gifted musician. Oakland is lesser without his light.”

-AIN’T THE BOSS WHEN IT COMES TO SALARY- Oakland City Auditor Courtney Ruby earns $145,140 a year. The assistant city auditor earns $152,006, currently the maximum that position can currently earn. In addition, when the city employees’ contracts expire on June 30, an increase in Cost of Living Adjustments is expected to further increase salaries. Ruby’s position, which is elected, does not include COLAs and has not been adjusted since 2015. The council will move Tuesday night to approve an increase in Ruby’s salary to $181,203.

-RENT PROGRAM FEE INCREASE- Oakland’s Rent Adjustment Program fee is about to increase again. In recent years, Oakland has expanded its number of rent ordinances, thereby, also increasing the number of units to be monitored by the city. During Tuesday’s Finance Committee, councilmembers will hear a proposal to increase per-unit program fee from $68 to $101. In 2016, the fee was increased from $30 to $68. According to a staff report, the increase would go toward expanding personnel, but also a refocus from a passive to aggressive enforcement strategy. Currently, enforcement is driven by rental complaints.


>San Leandro needs help with parking enforcement

SAN LEANDRO Regular council meeting, Monday, April 1, 7 p.m.
ENTIRE AGENDA HERE | Next meeting: April 8.
–PARKING ENFORCEMENT CONTRACT– San Leandro will discuss a proposed contract for parking enforcement services worth $730,000 over three years, according to a staff report. While parking revenues have increased on the city’s streets and parking garages, “it has been challenging for the City to maintain full staffing of the five budgeted part-time Parking Aide positions.” A Request for Proposals last October was bid on by two vendors, including SP Plus Corporation, which ranked highest.

>>Finance Committee meeting, Tuesday, April 2, 5:30 p.m.
ENTIRE AGENDA HERE |
-WELLS FARGO- Progressives in San Leandro have sought divestiture from Wells Fargo for two years, but a recent Request for Proposal attracted three bids, including one from Wells Fargo deemed by the city’s Finance Department as the most desirable.

>>Planning Commission/BZA meeting, Thursday, April 4, 7 p.m.
ENTIRE AGENDA HERE | New 3,539 sq. ft. retail building at 2181 Doolittle Drive


>Hayward looks to spend additional CDBG funds

HAYWARDRegular council meeting, Tuesday, April 2, 7 p.m.
ENTIRE AGENDA HERE | Next meeting: April 9 .
-CDBG GRANTS- Hayward expects to receive an addition $1.2 million in federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding. At a work session Tuesday night, staff will recommend allocating the funding as follows: “70% of additional funding to Centro Legal de la Raza for legal services related to housing rights for low-income, immigrant communities; 15% of additional funding to the Library’s Family Education for education support services for youth and families; and 3. 15% of additional funding to Abode Services for homeless outreach.”

>>Special council closed session meeting, Thursday, April 4, 5 p.m.
ENTIRE AGENDA HERE | City manager evaluation |


CHABOT-LAS POSITASRegular board meeting, Tuesday, April 2, 2:45 p.m.
ENTIRE AGENDA HERE |
-TRUSTEE APPOINTMENT- The Board of Trustees will interview seven candidates to replace long-time member Carlo Vecchiarelli, who announced his retirement last January. Two big Tri-Valley names are among the candidates to be interview Tuesday afternoon. Former Pleasanton Councilmember and 16th Assembly District candidate Cheryl Cook-Kallio and former Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti lead the pack. The others include, Dr. Yazhou (Joel) Liu, Christine Petro, Margaret Qin Zhao, Joanne Rossi Becker, Robert Tucknott. A selection for the seat, which is up for re-election in 2020 will be made late Tuesday afternoon. Chabot-Las Positas is still searching for a permanent chancellor.