Modesto Council Watch
The Modesto City Council will meet at 5:30 p.m. today in the basement chamber of Tenth Street Place, 1010 10th St. The council is expected to:
• Consider authorizing city officials to enter into agreements with the citys labor groups to implement a three-tiered rate structure for health insurance premiums. The city now pays $621 a month toward the premiums of employees who insure only themselves through the city and $1,100 a month toward the premiums of employees who insure themselves and their families. Under the three-tiered structure, the city would pay $858 a month for employees who insure themselves and one dependent and $1,214 for employees who insure themselves and two or more dependents. The amount for employees who insure only themselves would remain $621. This change also would apply to city retirees. Those who now receive $1,100 a month for insuring themselves and a spouse would receive $858. The city expects to save $500,000 annually in what it pays toward retirees medical benefits. The city has been meeting with its retirees to discuss the proposed changes and alternatives to offset some of the higher costs they will face. The city also has tentative agreements with its labor groups regarding the three-tiered rate structure.
• Consider authorizing City Manager Greg Nyhoff to execute the documents related to a management agreement between the city and Kemper Sports for the management of the 18-hole Creekside and Dryden golf courses. The agreement would be effective Oct. 14 and end Oct. 31, 2015. Kemper would replace FM Golf, which has managed Creekside and Dryden since July 1, 2012. The city is replacing FM Golf because city officials say it required a more than $500,000 subsidy from the general fund for the two courses while the city had hoped to limit the subsidy to $250,000. Kemper is partnering with Valley Crest in this deal. Valley Crest maintains the citys three public golf courses, including the nine-hole Municipal Golf Course, which is managed by youth golf nonprofit The First Tee and the Del Rio Foundation. As part of the deal with Kemper, Valley Crest will reduce what it charges the city by $50,000 annually and pay Kempers management fee. The city will extend Valley Crests contract to Oct. 31, 2015.
• Meet in closed session to discuss the citys attempt to acquire six downtown parcels for a courthouse the state proposes to build. The city expects to buy these parcels, bundle them with five other parcels it owns and sell all of the parcels to the state for the courthouse. Council members also will meet in closed session to discuss two lawsuits filed against police officers by motorists, one potential case of anticipated litigation and the Modesto Irrigation Districts lawsuit filed against the city over a joint project to upgrade a water treatment plant, as well as confer with Human Resources Director Joe Lopez regarding negotiations with the citys labor groups and discuss the impending departure of City Attorney Susana Alcala Wood, who has announced she is resigning Nov. 15. Mayor Garrad Marsh has said the council will appoint someone from the city attorneys office or from a law firm to serve as interim city manager while the city searches for a permanent replacement for Wood.