News You Can Use -  April 15th, 2021

 Celebrating 34 Years of Community Service

Yes, this News You Can Use…is later than usual and longer than usual, our apology.  The following sequence puts the highlights of the 5-hour (yes FIVE hours) April 6th City Council meeting at the end.  However, we begin here with City and CRA dates and resources.

Join CRA - Out and About

  • THIS Saturday April 17th from 9AM-Noon for the CRA Beach Clean Up, for more details visit this page.  And thanks to the 36 folks (of all ages) who joined us last month!
  • Celebrate EarthDay Thursday April 22nd.   We are blessed that Mother Earth delivered us this beautiful place of Carmel-by-the-Sea!  We must care for and protect it for generations to come.
  • Thursday April 29th from 10AM-2PM at the Carmel Farmers Market stop by to meet CRA leadership where we host the Community Table each LAST Thursday monthly.  We listen, answer questions, reconnect, and give away reusable shopping bags with “Loving Carmel-by-the-Sea”.  It was great to see so many familiar faces there for the last 2 months. 

Notable CRA Items to Revisit

  • Barbara Livingston Family Memorial video.  This is must viewing, for those who knew Barbara and may have missed it.   Barbara’s family hosted an amazing online Memorial on Sunday March 21st.   This was rich with warm stories from her family of children, grandchildren and neighbors, plus personal insights from local Carmel friends and her caretakers over her last months, all interspersed with unseen photos and videos.  Plus, the CRA page dedicated to Barbara’s contributions, memories and material can be found at

  • Barbara’s Bench Memorial GoFundMe. For those wishing to further extend their wishes in honor of the February 2021 passing of our Barbara Livingston – we welcome and thank you for your contributions to this fund.  We are working with the Carmel-by-the-Sea staff to select an ideal location for a bench in her name.
  • CRA hosted My Grandfather, Sam Morse, with Charles Osborne, on March 25thThe YouTube for your enjoyment is HERE.  This was a great program on the origins of our neighboring town Pebble Beach and its founder, S.F.B. Morse – a conservationist, athlete, artist, and entrepreneur. 

A Few Upcoming Village Dates

  • NOW - Carmel Public Works is beginning the public space 50+ tree stump removals about town….readying for later replanting.
  • Early May - Outdoor Seating Survey is coming your way.  Finishing touches are being applied to a “use of public space for outdoor seating” survey covering a possible permanent offering for our Village. Today’s current outdoor public space seating program is temporary.  The City plans to publish the survey in early May; we will forward it to our CRA membership. 
  • Aug 6th – Aug 15th - Monterey Car Week is coming.  Event teams are putting plans together; adjusting for proper health considerations.  Keep checking for details as they evolve in the coming weeks.
  • Oct 23rd –  Nov 5th - Carmel Bach Festival is coming, live and in-person!  In past years, this was held in late June and early July.  Mark your calendars and visit

City Council Meeting Highlights
April 6th  
4:30 to 9:39 PM

 YouTube Video Link          Agenda PDF Packet Link  

Very in-depth coverage follows of this Council meeting findings, primarily tied to the city budget and new projects proposed.  You will find key comments by Council, images of key staff presentation slides and comments by the public.   Major topics include CalPERS liability updates, Authorizing near-term public safety capital projects, Restore voluntary compensation reductions, Requesting guidance on next Fiscal Year 2021/22 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) projects with visibility into 5 year CIP outlook, and a Report on exploring a paid parking program in Carmel-by-the-Sea. 


Proclamation on National Library Week and Library Foundation event 4/7 with Douglas Brinkley.  We love our Carmel Libraries and its Foundation for everything you do.  Thank you.

Council/Staff Open Announcements:

  • C.Rerig – Visitor population increasing so Public Works and Police are staffing to assure coverage on upcoming weekends.  Asking all visitors to treat Carmel like a local.   Beach Fire protocol to be reinforced – no beach fires.
  • J.Baron – next upcoming Climate Committee Meeting Apr 15 at 3:30 will include PG&E presentation on power supply resilience architecture efforts and reviewing key report summaries.
  • B.Richards – shout-out thank you to Police and Fire staff who, on the scene of a fire, went above and beyond in their serving this small home fire incident last weekend. 


6. Update City Ordinances related to timing of Appointments to Boards and Commissions.  B.Avrit updated Council on these updates – changes timing for appointing members of Board from October to May of each year that better aligns with the November election cycle bridging the transition post-election from old to new members.  General duration of these Commissioners are (corrected to) 4-year terms (except Library that are 3-year terms).  This topic also addressed unplanned vacancies and adjustments are needed to the quantity of commissioners with expired terms in any single annual cycle.  Motion to continue to May 4th – to address requested adjustments.

7. First reading on Special Events items to the Carmel-by-the-Sea Municipal Code for permits and other considerations.  A.Wright and S.Rudin addressed these updates to embrace First Amendment rights and others factors including accessibility.  Asks for renting parking stalls tied to an event is a bigger topic than is related to Events.  No motions required at this time.

8. Update CalPERS pension liability mitigation options; Reviewed options, including the development of a pension funding policy, and provide direction to staff.  (Video time stamp at the 1:19 hour)  Good news CalPERS is having a good year – resulting a reduction of approx. $ 5M from our liability assuming continued positive market conditions.  A comparative view of other relevant towns addressing their UAL (see image below).  

 Below are the Section 115 Trust Options

Public Comments: Dale Byrne again requests a citizens committee on managing this liability.

Council Discussion:

  • C.Theis indicates have enough info to move ahead on Section 115 Trust, deciding the quantity of funding can be a separate item. 
  • D.Potter, K.Ferlito and B.Richards also support this action. 
  • J.Baron supports this go ahead with the 115 Trust and directionally prefers the Keenan option.  
  • C.Rerig summarizes they will come back with the 115 Trust direction for formal OK and a policy and funding proposal in alignment with next fiscal year budget cycles coming in May.

9. Authorize purchases for near term essential public safety projects: including the emergency fire pump replacement at Sunset Center, renovation of the Police Dispatch Room, replacement of two Police vehicles, a water filtration system at the Public Works Yard, a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Forecast Study, and reopening City facilities per CDC Covid-19 guidelines.  Presented by Public Works B.Harary.

Council Guidance:

  • B.Richards – asks about lease vs purchase of police vehicles.?  P.Tomasi clarified lease to own on vehicles. 
  • K.Ferlito – asks if hybrids or electric is an option on vehicles and paying v. leasing?  C.Rerig clarified smaller utility vehicles that requires extra space for people and equipment, and electric vehicle options still do not meet requirements, and cash management while optimizing our great credit rating is best served by the leasing approach. 
  • D.Potter – asks how do we prevent the Sunset Center pump failure from reoccurring?  B.Harary clarifies that a ridged routine servicing responsibility will definitely be in place.  
  • J.Baron – also has a preference for purchase of vehicles v. lease option as proposed in the summary slide below.  Follow-on discussion aligned on vehicle lease as best path. 
  • B.Richards – offered his conservative budget approval criteria: safety, mandate, cost savings, enhance character of village.  If any request does not fit to one criteria, then he would not support the expense request at this time. 
  • Motion #1 to OK items except the Greenhouse Gas Emissions – Approved by All. 
    Motion #2 to OK the Greenhouse Gas budget item Approved by All except B.Richards.

10. Authorize City Administrator to restore voluntary compensation reductions for At Will Executives and the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea Police Officers Association (POA) effective June 1, 2021.   (Video time stamp at the 2:22 hour).   C.Rerig summarized – this fiscal year payroll savings totaled $158K.  Of course the Council could approve a nearer term effective date than May or June 1st – but would have to back to council for approval if todays direction is for a different time frame.   
C.Theis – requested full retroactive compensation, calling out that the POA has carried an extra heavy burden in these pandemic times especially deserving this retroactive action. 

Public Comments:  JC Meyer is in full support of this action. 

Council Comments:  

  • J.Baron –  stands with C.Theis on her prior recommendation. 
  • B.Richards – recommends effective date of May 1 2021 and thanks personnel for their contributions.  His rational links to the $’s of deferred maintenance and $’s saved by laid-off staff. 
  • K.Ferlito – supports full retroactive compensation.   
  • D.Potter – leans to support of May 1 effective date or 50% of retroactive ($79K). 
  • J.Baron – clarifies that 2 of the 4 groups made a sacrifice for the budget cause, therefore this retroactive action equalizes across all employee groups to be fair.
  • C.Theis – agrees to restore to all staff. 
  • D.Potter – tied to “fairness” clarification, he is now compelled to support retroactive pay. 
  • No required decision today. Approved by All to revisit in May with expanded time and % options delineated.

11. Requesting guidance on NEXT Year 2021/22 Capital Improvement Program projects.  C.Rerig clarified based on pre-submitted comments that there is no defunding of North Dunes but there was simply a movement of funds, and there were significant comments on lack of funding on Scenic Pathway.  List reviewed this evening will go before Planning Department and Commission for review prior to next month Council. (Video time stamp is at the 2:47 hour)

Introduced new potential recommended projects, where the priorities and budget allow. 

Below slide reflects item #15 above – that is a potential longer term item to be explored further with community input. 

Only $32k of city funding would be required on these above 6 recommended special projects.

Staff recommendations are for funding projects 1-21.   

Longer term Capital Projects projects beyond Fiscal Year 2021/2022 are as follows:

C.Rerig cautions if all $’s are applied to Capital Projects, the results would not include $’s for needed staffing who deliver valuable services to the Village.  This critical factor will be addressed as a part of the combined Capital and Operational budgets to be reviewed in the upcoming May meetings.

Questions from various Council members

  • ? priorities between Mission Trail steam stability or tank/well decommissioning;
  • ? on needed street sweeper repairs;
  • discussion on approach and prioritizations on street maintenance projects plus tied to maximizing surface life;
  • where did funding for Scenic Pathway go? (B.Harary response: with recent Carmel Cares efforts and funding, they have offset the current fiscal years canceled costs and the next major project is the barrier rails replacement which will require funding);
  • what of the shoreline assessment safety projects on the Scenic stairways and others? (5-year CIP is missing items to address these items);
  • on the plaza plan – if approved - how would this be managed? As per Chip, if this got a longer term thumbs up this could be managed in-house;
  • can updating the Design Guidelines be done inhouse?  These $’s will be in the operating plan and
  • more clarification on the digitizing property plans. 

Public Comments:

  • Margaret Byrne – CarmelCares Treasurer, calls out the critical need to increase  investments on the Scenic pathway;
  • Shirley Moon, lead volunteer for Scenic pathway project, raising the voices for ongoing city joint investments;
  • Dale Byrne – CarmelCares Chief Caring Officer, was surprised to see no $’s applied in budget; is asking the city for $100k next year and $50K in following 4 years. Plus requests a separate investment to maintaining the stairwells;
  • Jan Reimers on North Dunes funding by L.Overett needs to be closely aligned to this specific cause and continued efforts for restoration;
  • Richard Kreitman – sidewalks deterioration issues tied to appearance and safety issues encourages the businesses be accountable for this maintenance.

Council Discussion/Direction:

  • D.Potter offers: strong supporter of digitizing the files; regarding Scenic pathway funding the efforts as aligned to be partners with Carmel Cares including the City will apply $’s moving forward; the North Dunes $’s will stay focused for this purpose; these have been difficult times and we look forward to investing even in these unknown times; this council is assuming its responsibility accordingly.  
  • J.Baron offers: looking at the expected surplus there is approximately $2M can be invested; he recommends Sea Level Rise Research Project; the well removal in MTNP; the Scenic pathway stairwells, pathway and others, and the Police Station project critically needs attention.
  • C.Theis offers: concerned that prioritizing the Devendorf Plaza over the Police Station is misplaced, also supports the Scenic pathway investments; the Sea Level Rise item must be kept in the mix even with its longer term implications; and also the Mission Trail tank removal,
  • K.Ferlito offers: believes that the Scenic pathway investments need a new holistic lens tied to sprinklers, safety, access, including Seal Level Rise concerns over the long term; she generally supports the top 15 projects as reviewed, regarding the Devendorf Plaza - a big picture view of the issues and needs on downtown should be considered before OK’ing this item; regarding the stimulus $’s these should be prioritized for project(s) where the whole Village can see and benefit from this investment.
  • B.Richards offers: we have a $24M revenue stream, a large CalPERS debt and staff we’d like to add back. He asks where is our savings, while we invest in these capital projects; he finds it tough to green light many of these worthy projects; he is not a supporter of new Police Station – reinforcing that the Chief does not believe this is critical – beyond the approved dispatch center already approved today; he also encourages submitting for grants as a source for the Sea Level Rise research.
  • C.Rerig closes: reminds everyone the next fiscal year operating budget will be a part of the upcoming May Budget cycle meetings to blend with these proposed upcoming capital investments; he also recommends Scenic pathway items be incorporated; the Council will be presented with items (reviewed by the Planning Commission) for a more refined upcoming review.
  • D.Potter final comments: government rarely discovers new revenue $’s but the next agenda item may provide $’s; and emphasizing his appreciation of the public comments offered, he closes with... We all came into this situation very unknowing of what the future was going to be. We are so fortunate to be here in the fiscal condition we are now.  I credit this Council with that and the community. We understand these are tough times.”

12. Report on paid parking in Carmel-by-the-Sea.  No decision is needed in this meeting – only a red/green light on proceeding to investigate further.  B.Swanson and P.Tomasi jointly drafted this material, B.Swanson presented.   (Video Time Stamp at the 4:20 hour)

Paid parking explores multiple times back to 1950’s and various attempts to implement in both 2002 and 2014.  Benefits of increased revenue and increased control of scarce our parking resource.   In the 2002 implementation community opposition.  In the 2014 paid parking on Ocean Avenue only and free parking created.

Today free parking is everywhere except for any tour bus at Carmel Plaza on Junipero.  Commercial area (Junipero to Casanova/8th to 4th Ave) has 1,143 total spaces, not including ADA spaces.  Beach area at Del Mar lot is 116 spaces and others on San Antonio 13 spaces and Scenic 129 spaces. Potential benefits are approximately $1M depending on scope and easing of parking congestion.  Potential challenges are community opposition, regulatory issues, and implementation.  

Other local jurisdictions implementing Beach paid parking includes Monterey, and Pacific Grove is currently investigating.  More options and sites include paid parking at the north lot at Sunset Center and/or Vista Lobos.

[The Monterey Herald published a great article here  April 8th 2021]

Council Questions:

  • C.Theis – guestimate how fast could we implement in town or at the beach?  Coastal Zone parking will require Coastal Commission reviews and approval. P.Tomasi offered that it took 18 months to implement inclusive of outreach actions and then take down at 6 months after that on last implementation in 2014.  No new Walker Study is needed, so a new effort can move faster. 
  • K.Ferlito – how can paid parking help direct people?  Brandon offered that often employees take valuable spots, and they park there more than the allotted 2 hours.  Paul offered that new technology can notify driver of open slots – via an app on smart phones. A lot of traffic we see are folks driving around looking for an open space.

Public Comments: 

  • Richard Kreitman – has researched new sensor technology and items including variable rates. We could even offer an option for “no-tickets” where the vehicle is simply charged for time over the default of 2 hours etc.  He offers his knowledge and assistance to the city for next steps planning.
  • Janice Bradner – has lived here for 20 years over the course of the last two pilot projects   She mention when paid parking was in town, this increased the of parking vehicles in residential/surrounding areas.  And we didn’t take into account of added parking control staff requirements in these residential areas.  This was especially true during Car Week.

Council Discussions:

  • C.Theis – day/short term visitors are not contributing the $’s via TOT that the overnight visitors do. The last parking study and project – showed that this effort was successful.  And employees shifted to parking in the north lot of Sunset Center.  People, after 2 hours, will generally leave in preference to be searching for a new space to park.  Community objections included the meters not having a “Carmel-look" (too robot like).  With new technology, far fewer kiosks are needed and the appearance can be addressed.  She asks that we have staff look at the Beach area (only Del Mar) and Ocean Avenue to start.
  • B.Richards – technology should improve any new implementation.  ? to Chief Paul on the surrounding area.  The full parking in residential areas was addressed by more parking officers.  And zones could address peak time/access.
  • K.Ferlito – strongly supports this project overall.  Zones can even call out that moving a vehicle requires moving to a new Zone – can be explored or not.  The look of kiosks is dramatically improved compared to prior years. Visitors expect to pay in premium areas.  This approach incents business owners and employees to keep spots open for visitors/shoppers. She suggests a broader survey of other beach towns who have paid parking.  These findings can contribute to approval requests from the Coastal Commission.
  • J.Baron – more in favor of downtown paid parking than at the beach, with continued free at Vista Lobos and Sunset Center.  He is interested in a pay-as-you-go approach.  He really liked the past paid parking project on Ocean Avenue, improving the overall experience.  Not in favor of making residential parking permitted only.  Worried about paid parking at Del Mar resulting in  surrounding residential area congestion; this happened when we closed this lot and Scenic on the Pandemic holiday weekends.  He supports variable rate parking such as premium on Ocean Avenue and/or a premium on specific days of the week.
  • D.Potter – to get Del Mar lot paid parking approved by Coastal Commission, we could consider directing revenue $’s to beach & path improvements. North lot at Sunset should have paid parking. Residents should have a pass for downtown parking.  Owners/employees should be able to buy parking permits.  We should address neighborhood parking – where we should address the construction related parking and use of spaces more aggressively.  We should attack this incrementally – addressing north lot at Sunset first. 
    Unanimous “thumbs up” from Council have staff to further explore next steps and implications. 

Future City Council Agenda Items

  • Looking for updates on Outdoor Seating which will be at the next City Council.
  • A Retreat will be held on May 12th from 9-4, open to the public, at Sunset Center.

Council Meeting - End time 5:09 minutes 

May is the annual Public Review time of the proposed City budgets for fiscal year beginning July 2021.  Please make your preferences and concerns heard by your participation in the upcoming public meetings.

Please stay healthy and safe.   Your suggestions and comments are always welcome.

Carmel Residents Association
PO Box 13, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921
[email protected]  CRA Facebook Page