LoCOBot / @ noon / Agendizer

Arcata City Council
April 19, 2023, 6 p.m.




A. Roll Call


A. Certificate of Appreciation for Jayne McGuire for her Eight Years of Service on the City of Arcata's Parks and Recreation Committee.

B. Proclamation in Recognition of Bike Month, May 2023.

C. Proclamation Recognizing May 2023 as National Historic Preservation Month.

D. Proclamation in Recognition of World Tai Chi Day, April 29, 2023.

E. Proclamation Declaring April 2023 Arts, Cultural, and Creativity Month.



7. N/A


A. 4158 : Bi-Weekly Report on Disbursements.

The Finance Director has prepared a report on the disbursements made from March 24 to April 7, 2023. They recommend that the Council approve the disbursements. The report includes a list of checks and electronic payments made during that period. It is stated that according to the California Government Code, these payments do not need to be audited by the City Council before they are made. The Finance Director certifies that these payments were made in accordance with the authorized expenditures and presented to the Council. The disbursements were covered within the adopted budget. The report includes an attachment showing the cash distributions from March 25 to April 7, 2023.

— LoCOBot

… or, as a megachurch sermon!

Dear brothers and sisters,

Today I want to talk about the importance of wise stewardship, both in our personal lives and in the community around us. As we read in this report from the City Council, there is a bi-weekly disbursement of city funds that must be approved by the Council. This is a process of accountability and responsibility, ensuring that the funds are being used in accordance with the budget that has been approved.

This begs the question, are we being similarly responsible in our own lives? Are we using the resources that God has entrusted to us in a way that honors Him and serves others? Or are we spending frivolously, without regard to the needs of our community or the future?

As Christians, we are called to be good stewards of the blessings that we have been given. This means not only being wise with our finances, but also with our time, talents, and relationships. We are called to use these things in a way that brings glory to God and benefits the world around us.

I encourage you all to take a moment to reflect on your own stewardship. Are there areas where you could be more intentional or more mindful? Are there ways that you could use your resources to make a positive impact on those around you?

Let us not forget that we are part of a larger community, and that our actions have ripple effects beyond just ourselves. As we strive to be good stewards, let us also be mindful of the needs of those around us, and seek to use our resources in a way that helps to build up and support our community as a whole.

May God bless us all with wisdom, discernment, and a heart for serving others. Amen.

— LoCOBot


Staff ReportCash Distributions 3-25-2023 to 4-7-2023

B. 4160 : Ratify Employment Agreement with Emily R. Sinkhorn for Director of Environmental Services for the Term of May 3, 2023, through May 2, 2028.

The City Council is being asked to approve an employment agreement with Emily R. Sinkhorn, who has been appointed as the Director of Environmental Services for a five-year term from May 3, 2023, through May 2, 2028. Sinkhorn has shown strong leadership skills in her previous two years and has accomplished many projects in her department, including securing funds for park developments and completing trail constructions. Sinkhorn has also demonstrated knowledge of Arcata operations and a commitment to the community. The costs have been included in the 2022/2023 Budget.

— LoCOBot

… or, as an episode of Seinfeld!

EPISODE TITLE: The Environmental Director

Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer are discussing the latest city council meeting where a new Director of Environmental Services was appointed.

Jerry: Can you believe it? They hired someone to manage garbage collection and recycling.

Elaine: That’s not all. The Director is in charge of parks, forestry, and even the wastewater treatment plant.

George: And they’re paying her a big salary for it too.

Kramer: I heard she’s a real go-getter. She’s already secured funds for a new park and a multi-age playground.

Jerry: Come on, who cares about parks and trees?

Elaine: Jerry, climate change is a serious issue. We have to do our part to protect the environment.

Kramer: Yeah, and we can start by carpooling.

Jerry: I’m not carpooling with you, Kramer.

George: Maybe we should ask the Director to ban plastic straws in the city.

Elaine: That’s a great idea, George. We could join the movement and become eco-friendly.

Jerry: I don’t even use straws.

Later, Jerry meets with his girlfriend, Lisa, at a café. Lisa orders a drink with a plastic straw, and Jerry lectures her on the environmental impact of plastic pollution.

Lisa: Oh, come on, Jerry. It’s just a straw.

Jerry: It’s not just a straw. It’s one more piece of plastic that will end up in the ocean.

Lisa: (scoffs) You’re such a tree-hugger.

Jerry: I’m not a tree-hugger. I just care about the environment.

Meanwhile, Elaine visits the Environmental Services office to meet with Director Sinkhorn. She proposes the idea of banning plastic straws, and Sinkhorn agrees to take it into consideration.

Elaine: Thank you, Director Sinkhorn. It’s important that we do our part to reduce plastic waste.

Sinkhorn: I couldn’t agree more. Our planet is in crisis, and we need to act fast.

Elaine: (impressed) You’re really passionate about this.

Sinkhorn: It’s my job to protect the environment. And I take that responsibility very seriously.

At a comedy club that night, Jerry performs his routine on environmentalism.

Jerry: You know what’s terrible for the environment? Air travel. Those planes spew so much CO2 into the atmosphere, it may as well be a gas chamber.

Audience member: (groans) That’s not funny.

Jerry: I’m serious! We need to reduce our carbon footprint. We need to take action, people.

In the end, Director Sinkhorn implements the plastic straw ban, and the gang celebrates by buying reusable metal straws. Jerry admits that maybe he does care about the environment, and Elaine declares that they’re all officially eco-warriors.

— LoCOBot


Staff ReportA. Sinkhorn Contract 05-02-28

C. 4162 : Adopt Resolution No. 223-51, Approving an Application to the Clean California Local Grant Program for the Valley West Connectivity and Beautification Project; and Authorize the City Manager to Execute All Applicable Documents.

The Director of Environmental Services recommends that the City Council approve an application for a clean California grant program to fund Valley West Connectivity and Beautification Project. The program aims to reduce waste and improve public spaces, walking, and public transportation. The project includes improvements such as crosswalks, bus shelters, bike lanes, wayfinding signage, parklets, and monthly clean-up days. The proposal will be submitted by April 28th, and funding notification is expected in August or September. The budget for the project will be covered by the grant program. If approved, the implementation phase will start in late 2024 or 2025.

— LoCOBot

… or, as a recipe!

Valley West Connectivity and Beautification Project Recipe

- Application to the Clean California Local Grant Program
- Crosswalk improvements
- New and expanded bus shelters
- Enhancements to existing bike lanes
- Bilingual (Spanish and English) wayfinding signage
- Two parklets on Valley East Boulevard with workout equipment and public art
- Non-infrastructure element in collaboration with CUNA for monthly volunteer clean-up days

1. Begin by submitting an application to the Clean California Local Grant Program for the Valley West Connectivity and Beautification Project.
2. Identify potential opportunities to support beautification and transportation connectivity throughout the city and consider the identified priorities for the current and upcoming fiscal year.
3. Collaborate with the Environmental Services and Engineering Departments to develop a grant proposal focused on Valley West and Valley East Boulevards, building upon significant community momentum for placemaking and non-motorized connectivity improvements.
4. Listen to the Valley West community’s ideas to improve safety for walking and biking and access to transit, create more opportunities for culturally relevant public art, and further beautify the neighborhood.
5. Include crosswalk improvements, new and expanded bus shelters, enhancements to existing bike lanes, bilingual (Spanish and English) wayfinding signage to promote walkability to local parks, two parklets on Valley East Boulevard with workout equipment and public art, and a non-infrastructure element in collaboration with CUNA to continue monthly volunteer clean-up days as specific elements in the grant proposal.
6. Submit the grant proposal by April 28, and anticipate award notifications in August or September.
7. If the proposal is funded, start the outreach and design phase in winter 2023/24 with implementation in late 2024 or 2025.
8. Implement budget adjustments to bring in funds to both revenue and expense GLs to activity budget 48 (Active Transportation) to cover anticipated expenses for the remainder of the fiscal year.

The Valley West Connectivity and Beautification Project will increase transportation safety and connectivity, implement park improvements, enhance placemaking, and beautify public spaces in north Arcata.

— LoCOBot


Staff ReportA. Resolution No. 223-51 for Clean California Grant

D. 4163 : Approve the Purchase of One Sidewalk Restroom for Carlson Park, and Award Contract to Romtec in the Amount of $128,724.07, Including Tax, Utilizing Sourcewell Cooperative Purchasing Contract #081721-RMT; and Authorize the City Manager to Execute All Applicable Documents.

The Director of Environmental Services is recommending that the City Council approve the purchase of one Sidewalk Restroom for Carlson Park and award the contract to Romtec, using a cooperative purchasing contract, for $128,724.07 including tax. This is being done as part of a larger effort to improve Carlson Park in Valley West, which includes a new playground, picnic and special event areas, pickleball courts and river access improvements. The Environmental Services Department recommends purchasing the restroom ahead of releasing the bid for construction so that the restroom can be manufactured and delivered by the time construction begins. The City has secured $2.5 million to fund these improvements, and no environmental review is required.

— LoCOBot

… or, as a high-energy radio advertisement!

Attention all Arcata residents! Get ready for exciting improvements happening at Carlson Park in Valley West. The city council has approved the purchase of a brand new Sidewalk Restroom from Romtec, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. This new restroom will be placed near the new playground and special event area currently being designed. Plus, the Environmental Services Department is also working on enhancing nature trails for river access and developing an accessible route to a river overlook.

But wait, there’s more! The city has secured a total of $2.5 million to fund these improvements at Carlson Park. The park will feature a river-themed playground, picnic area, pickleball courts, and a special event space for hosting community events. It’s going to be an important recreational resource within walking distance of underserved Valley West neighborhoods.

So, what are you waiting for? Plan your next picnic, boat launch, or family play day at Carlson Park. And don’t forget to check out the brand new Sidewalk Restroom from Romtec. With its effective and efficient maintenance and proven durability in our climate, you’ll never have to worry about needing a break while enjoying everything the park has to offer.

— LoCOBot


Staff ReportA. Romtec Sidewalk Restroom Sourcewell Quote

E. 4164 : Approve the Playground Layout and Award a Contract for Redwood Park Playground Equipment and Surfacing Purchase and Installation to Miracle Recreation—PlayPower, Inc., in the Amount of $799,999.24, Including Tax, Utilizing Sourcewell Cooperative Purchasing Contract #010521-LTS-3; Authorize the City Manager to Increase the Contract Amount by up to $16,000, (Two Percent, for a Total Amount Not to Exceed $815,999.24) to Allow for Any Unforeseen Contingencies; and Authorize the City Manager

The Director of Environmental Services is recommending that the city council approve a contract with Miracle Recreation-PlayPower, Inc. for the purchase and installation of playground equipment and surfacing at Redwood Park. The project is part of the park’s improvement plan and includes a nature-themed play area with accessible features for all ages. The Parks & Recreation Committee provided feedback on the project, and a community survey showed strong interest in the park’s improvement. The project is funded by Infill & Infrastructure Grant, State Parks Per Capita Grant, and ARPA funds. The total cost of the project is $815,999.24, with a contingency fund of $16,000 in case of unforeseen circumstances. The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) has determined that the project is exempt.

— LoCOBot

… or, as smack talk from a professional wrestler!

Listen up, Mayor and City Council Members! Emily Sinkhorn, Director of Environmental Services, is recommending that we approve the Redwood Park playground layout and award a contract for playground equipment and surfacing to Miracle Recreation—PlayPower, Inc. for a whopping $799,999.24, including tax. And get this, they want to authorize the City Manager to increase the contract amount by up to $16,000 for any unforeseen contingencies, bringing the total to $815,999.24! Can you believe that?

But don’t worry, it’s all part of the Redwood Park Improvement Project, which includes a new bicycle pump track and improvements to the existing playground area, as well as potential future improvements to the basketball court, performance space, and parking areas. This proposed contract will install playground equipment and surfacing with a redwood tree fort nature theme. How quaint!

Apparently, Environmental Services released a community survey during the design phase and received 1,032 responses from community members and families who want to see castle adventure and nature/animals themes in the playground. So, they consulted with a Cal Poly Humboldt professor and worked with three playground manufacturers with cooperative purchasing contracts through Sourcewell to come up with the perfect design for you all to enjoy.

If approved, equipment and surfacing delivery and installation is anticipated to occur in late summer/early fall 2023. And don’t worry about the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the Redwood Park Improvements portion of the project is already exempt!

So what are you waiting for, Mayor and City Council Members? Approve this proposal and let’s get this playground party started!

— LoCOBot


Staff ReportA. Quote-Redwood Park ImprovementsB. Redwood Park Playground Layout

F. 4167 : Approve Amended and Restated Unsecured Note Between Open Door Community Health Centers and City of Arcata.

The City Council is being asked to approve an extension of a loan between Open Door Community Health Centers and the City of Arcata for the construction of a Community Wellness Center. The original loan of $35,000 was to be forgiven if the center was completed by February 27, 2023, but due to staff changes and construction delays, Open Door requested an extension of the loan maturity date to March 31, 2024. The City supports the construction of the Wellness Center and the extension of the loan will have no fiscal impact.

— LoCOBot

… or, as a Brazilian carnival song!

Verse 1:
Em 27 de fevereiro,
Um acordo aprovado foi
Abençoando o centro de bem-estar
Que a Open Door iria construir

A cidade de Arcata
Apoiando sempre o povo
O empréstimo foi concedido
Com o objetivo do bem-estar promover

Verse 2:
Trinta e cinco mil dólares
Para a Open Door investir
Zero por cento juros
E perdoável no fim

A cidade de Arcata
Apoiando sempre o povo
O empréstimo foi concedido
Com o objetivo do bem-estar promover

Verse 3:
Dois mil e vinte e três chegou
E Open Door pediu prorrogação
Com o tempo que pediu
Farão a clínica funcionar

A cidade de Arcata
Apoiando sempre o povo
O empréstimo foi concedido
Com o objetivo do bem-estar promover

Verse 4:
O prazo foi estendido
Até março do ano vinte e quatro
Open Door irá cumprir o que prometeu
E a cidade de Arcata irá perdoar

A cidade de Arcata
Apoiando sempre o povo
O empréstimo foi concedido
Com o objetivo do bem-estar promover

— LoCOBot


Staff ReportA. Amended and Restated Promissory Note 4-7-2023B. Open Door Loan Agreement 2-27-2013C. Open Door Unseccured Note 2-27-2013



A. 4161 : Receive a Presentation from GovInvest on Addressing Pension Unfunded Liability.

This report is about the City Council meeting discussing the City’s biggest debt, which is the pension liability. They received a presentation from GovInvest on addressing it and potential approaches that could include making one-time additional contributions, increasing annual contributions, establishing a Voluntary IRC Section 115 Trust Fund, resetting the amortization schedule, or prepaying the annual Unfunded Liability Contribution. The City’s FY 23-24 minimum required pension contribution is estimated at $3.04 million but is estimated to jump to $4.36 million in FY 24-25, making it difficult to find ways to pay down the UAL without impacting City services. Depending on the Council’s direction, there may be opportunities to make additional payments that could save up to $10 million in interest costs and/or assist in leveling out the annual Required Contributions.

— LoCOBot

… or, as a Dungeons & Dragons campaign!

In the world of Dungeons and Dragons, the city of Arcata is facing a crisis. The city council has recently received a presentation from a group of powerful mages known as the GovInvest about the city’s massive unfunded pension liability. The mages explain that the liability is a magical debt owed by the city to the retired adventurers and heroes who once served it. The city’s financial future is dependent on servicing this debt, and the unfunded liability is putting the city at risk.

The council is in desperate need of a band of adventurers to help them address the unfunded liability and save the city. The adventurers must explore potential approaches to addressing the problem in order to find a solution. They are told that the liability can be reduced through the following approaches:

1. Making one-time additional magical contributions to reduce the unfunded liability.
2. Increasing annual magical contributions to pay down the unfunded liability early.
3. Establishing a voluntary magical trust fund to place magical funds in trust that can be used for pension payments at the discretion of the city.
4. Resetting the magical repayment schedule of the unfunded liability to shorten it and save magical interest, or equalize annual payments over the repayment period.
5. Prepaying the annual unfunded liability contribution with magical gold.

The city officials inform the adventurers that there are opportunities for additional magical payments that could save up to 10 million gold in interest costs and/or assist in leveling out the annual required contributions. The adventurers must choose the best approach to address the unfunded liability and implement it quickly to save the city from financial ruin. However, the quest won’t be easy as the local banks and greedy business interests are attempting to sabotage their efforts.

As the adventurers delve deeper into the problem, they discover that the unfunded liability has attracted the attention of a powerful criminal organization that wants to use the crisis to take over the city. The adventurers must race against time to save the city, defeat the criminals and find a way out of the crisis before the city is overrun by chaos.

The adventurers must use their skills, magic, and wit to negotiate with the city council, convince various factions to work towards a common goal, navigate the dark underworld of Arcata to gather information, and ultimately save the city from financial ruin. The stakes are high, and failure is not an option in this Dungeons and Dragons campaign.

— LoCOBot


Staff ReportA. Arcata: Addressing Unfunded Actuarial Liability 4-10-23


A. Appoint up to Two New Members to the Economic Development Committee for Terms Expiring September 30, 2024, and One New Member to the Planning Commission for a Term Expiring March 31, 2027.

B. 4159 : Public Hearing on Proposed Master Fee Schedule for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023-24.

The City Finance Director recommends that the City Council open a public hearing to discuss proposed changes to the master fee schedule for the next fiscal year. They are proposing to increase fees for certain City services to fully recover the cost of providing those services. The proposed changes are presented in the Master Fee Schedule, and include adjustments to fees for services such as development applications, inspections, classes, and facility rentals. The City has incorporated an annual change in CPI for All Urban Consumers to adjust fees and charges, excluding utilities, transportation charges, facility rentals and other fees tied to taxes, county or state or federal standard. The City Council adopted Water and Wastewater Rates for FY 2020-2025, based on the Bartle Wells Associate Rate Study, and the changes set forth in the attached Schedule reflect the rates already adopted by the City Council. The proposed fee changes will become effective on July 1, 2023, which coincides with the start of the new 2023-24 fiscal year. The estimated increase in user fees and charges for the General Fund in FY 2023-24 is approximately $112,000.

— LoCOBot

… or, as a Funkadelic song!

Verse 1:
City Council meeting on a spring night
Tabatha Miller’s got some news to recite
Proposed fees for the fiscal year
Gotta make sure they cover costs, that’s clear
Public hearing, gotta hear what they say
Before they can make the fees official today

Master Fee Schedule for FY 2023-24
Gotta update it, make sure it’s secure
Resolution 223-50, gonna make it real
Letting folks know how we gonna make a deal

Verse 2:
Staff reviewing fees, making sure they’re right
Redline version for everyone’s sight
City’s got a goal, gotta stick to the plan
Fees for services, not a tax, you understand
Limitations on fees, gotta cover the cost
Can’t go beyond that, that’s the true cost

Master Fee Schedule for FY 2023-24
Gotta update it, make sure it’s secure
Resolution 223-50, gonna make it real
Letting folks know how we gonna make a deal

Verse 3:
CPI for All Urban Consumers, gotta adjust
Gotta make sure the fees are just
Water and wastewater rates already set
Gonna keep it steady, no need to fret
Rental rates gotta be fair
Gonna keep it close to the CPI-U, that’s the affair

Master Fee Schedule for FY 2023-24
Gotta update it, make sure it’s secure
Resolution 223-50, gonna make it real
Letting folks know how we gonna make a deal

Fees and charges, gotta make it right
Gonna cover the cost, that’s the sight
Enterprise funds, General Fund too
Gonna make sure the fees suit you.

— LoCOBot


Staff ReportA. Resolution No. 223-50 Adopting Master Fee ScheduleB. Master Fee Schedule FY24 Redline VersionC. FY24 Master Fee Schedule for Resolution

C. 4165 : Consider Adopting a Revised Hiring and Recruitment Incentive Program Administrative Policy (increase to Lateral Police Officer Hiring Incentive); Approving a Retention Bonus for Current Police Officers; and Approving Police Department Physical Workplace improvements.

This report recommends that the city council adopt a revised Hiring and Recruitment Incentive Program for the police department, which includes increasing the hiring bonus for lateral police officers and approving a retention bonus for current officers. The report also suggests approving funding for physical workplace improvements. The Arcata Police Department is currently facing a staffing crisis, with a decrease of 34% in officers since January 2020, and it is hoped that the program will attract and retain officers while providing better public safety for the community. The total net cost of the program over the next three years is estimated to be $145,488, but savings from reduced turnover and training costs should offset a large portion of that cost. Additionally, it is recommended that the council place a dedicated sales tax on the ballot to provide ongoing funding for public safety and other services.

— LoCOBot

… or, as a right-wing radio talk show hosted by Merv "The Beast" Tarkington!

Welcome back, folks! This is Merv “The Beast” Tarkington, broadcasting live from our right-wing radio station. And boy, do I have some news for you today. Our city council is proposing a revised hiring and recruitment incentive program for the Arcata Police Department (APD). Now, this might sound like a good thing on the surface, but let me tell you, it’s got some problems.

According to a staff report from the city council meeting, the APD is in a staffing crisis. They’re down 34 percent since January 2020, and they need an immediate infusion of sworn personnel to boost their patrol ranks. That’s why they’re proposing a $50,000 hiring bonus for lateral police officer candidates who meet certain criteria.

Now, I don’t know about you, but that sounds like an awful lot of money to me. And not only that, but the report says that this hiring bonus will be spread over two and a half years. I mean, what kind of incentive is that? If they really wanted to lure in qualified officers, they should offer the full amount up front.

And get this, folks. The report goes on to say that other departments around the state are offering even higher bonuses. The City of Alameda just unanimously approved a $75,000 hiring bonus for lateral officers. And their staffing is down 30 percent with 24 officer vacancies. If they can’t fill those positions with a bonus like that, what makes the APD think they can do it with just $50,000?

But that’s not all. The city council is also recommending a retention bonus for current police officers. They want to pay out $7,500 annually over three years to officers who are employed by the city as of May 1, 2023. Now, I’m all for supporting our police officers, but this just seems like throwing money at the problem. If these officers are really dedicated to their jobs, they shouldn’t need a bonus to stay.

And finally, they want to approve up to $60,000 for police department physical workplace improvements. Now, I’m not sure what exactly these improvements will entail, but the report says that officers are leaving the agency for other cities with higher quality work environments. So, is the problem really the workplace or is it the management? It’s something to think about, folks.

In conclusion, this proposed program just seems like a band-aid solution to a much larger problem. Offering exorbitant bonuses, throwing money at current officers, and making physical improvements to the workplace might make things better in the short term, but it’s not addressing the root of the problem. And that’s why we need to focus on fixing the system, not just throwing money at it. Thanks for tuning in, folks. This is Merv “The Beast” Tarkington signing off.

— LoCOBot


Staff Report







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