Pat Boom, the Mayor's citizen appointee, couldn't attend due to a family conflict. Gary Black, representing the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, needed to take care of School District business, but he said he would attend if the Board needed him to make a quorum. Five members were able to make the meeting, so Mr. Black did not attend.
County appointees Mary Lou Oliver and Scott Perkins, Fire Chief Richard Price, Diablo Valley College Dougherty Valley Campus Executive Dean, Kevin Horan, and Marc Fontes, Deputy Executive Director of the former RDA, made up the first meeting of the Oversight Board.
I attended the meeting expecting to be the only member of the public there. But it was old-home week for the Leadership San Ramon Class of 2008, which City Clerk Pat Edwards, Kevin Horan, and Richard Price attended, and a couple of their classmates were in the audience too.
The members got down to business and covered everything on the agenda in an hour. Fire Chief Price was appointed Chairperson and Mark Fontes was appointed Vice-Chair. The Board approved the Bylaws with a minor change from Mary Lou Oliver to "follow the principles" of Roberts Rules of Order, to limit objections from critics demanding absolute adherence to the Rules.
City Manager Greg Rogers reviewed the role of the Oversight Board in the new law, AB1X26. He told the Board that a new Bill in the Assembly, Bill AB1585 could allow the City's Housing Authority to keep $2-3M in the Low and Moderate Income Housing Fund out of the Enforceable Obligations, but the decision on this has yet to be made.
I brought a list of legal questions that I want addressed at a future meeting and asked the Board to request legal assistance or support from the County to answer questions that might come up. Scott Perkins was also concerned about legal advice. Even though he's a City Councilmember, he was appointed by Contra Costa County Supervisor Gayle Uilkema, and is therefore representing the County.
Chairman Price felt the Board "could do our own process here." Perkins requested amending the Recognized Obligation Payment Schedule (ROPS) with $50,000 for legal expenses, to be divided up $25,000 for the first half of 2012 and $25,000 for the remaining six months. Chairman Price added realistically, "We can adopt the schedule today, and modify it later if necessary."
The amended ROPS was approved 5-0 along with the Enforceable Obligations Payment Schedule (E-OPS) for the year. The new law required these two schedules to be approved by April 15, 2012, which is why there was such a rush to form this Board. Even the IRS is giving tax payers an extra two days this year.
I asked Pat Edwards what the loss of RDA money would do to the Economic Development Department, since a large portion of their budget came from RDA tax increments. Pat said it would affect the whole budget, since that money is spread over different departments as well, especially Housing. Pat said they won't know how each department is affected until the new budget comes out, which is usually in June.