City Council approves purchase of six smart cover sewer monitoring devices

The following is a wrap-up of the September 18 City Council meeting. As always, you may view the full agenda here, or listen to a recording of last night’s meeting here.

By a unanimous vote, the City Council approved the purchase of six SmartCover monitoring systems for the City’s sewage system. At the moment, the City owns and maintains over 70 miles of sewer mains. Under state and federal law, sewer lines must be regularly cleaned and repaired to prevent sanitary sewer overflows. The City is also motivated by the 2016 Sewer Consent Judgement to take proactive action to safeguard reliable operation of the sewer utility.

Back in 2017, the Public Works department conducted a pilot program that deployed a SmartCover monitoring system at four manhole locations that had previous surcharges and overflows. During this pilot program, the system detected potential overflows that were prevented by field staff intervention.

The SmartCover system is a web-based technology that provides real-time remote sewer overflow monitoring via a reliable satellite communications systems. They are installed on the underside of existing manhole covers and can be moved to various locations, as monitoring needs change. The SmartCover system provides real-time security intrusion detection and monitoring of sewage levels in manholes.

With the approval, the Public Works team will purchase six SmartCovers for an amount not to exceed $28,746.22.

City Council approves update to City’s conflict of interest code

By a unanimous vote, the City Council approved an update to the City’s conflict of interest code. Designed to inform public officials and members of the public about the types of financial interests that may create conflicts of interests, Form 700 is a public document that must be submitted and updated every two years. Depending on the position, the type of disclosure category may require full disclosure to commission-related income.

The Political Reform Act requires the 2018 Conflict of Interest Code Biennial Notice to be filed with the agency’s code-reviewing body by October 1. You can view a list of positions and their classifications here.

City Council holds first reading on temporary use permits for carnival booths and casino nights

At the moment, the San Gabriel Municipal Code current prohibits casino and poker nights under a general prohibition of gambling with no exemption for charitable fundraisers. Previously at the June 5 City Council meeting, the City Council discussed the issue and directed the City Attorney to return with an amendment to the municipal code to allow casino-type charitable fundraisers. This would be done through a temporary use permit, which is approved or denied by the Community Development Director.

As a bit of background, the State Gambling Control Act allows a nonprofit organization to conduct a fundraiser using controlled games. The proposed ordinance would allow casino-type fundraisers consistent with state law with the approval of a temporary use permit.

City Council hosts first reading on amendments concerning department heads

By a unanimous vote, the City Council approved several amendments to the City’s municipal code surrounding the appointment of department heads. Over the last several years, the City has undergone several changes that require amendments to the municipal code to reflect the City’s current practices. In short, the approval of this ordinance would add a new section that creates an Assistant City Manager position and revises a portion of the code concerning the Community Development Director and the Director of Human Resources/Risk Management.

Previously, the code states that the Community Development Director shall serve as the Public Works Director and the Building Official. In practice, the City has created three different standalone positions. With the amendment, Section 32.10 will identify the Community Development Director as a standalone position appointed by the City Manager.

In addition, the amendment will also modify a portion of the code that states that the Assistant City Manager shall serve as the Human Resources Director. With the departure of the Assistant City Manager almost a year ago, a standalone Human Resources Director was appointed to the Human Resources department. The amendment would reflect this current practice.

In addition, the following items were unanimously approved by the City Council: