President of Council Marjorie Harlow called Council to order on, January 18, 2012 , at 7:00 p.m.
The governmental body and those in attendance recited the pledge of allegiance. Mrs. McNear gave the invocation.
Mrs. McNear took roll call. Present were Council members Diehl, Emerson, Hawkins, Knox, Squires, Vanover and Harlow.
The minutes of January 4, 2012 were approved with seven affirmative votes.
COMMITTEE AND OFFICIAL REPORTS
Civil Service Commission - Mr. Potts said they were doing recruitment and testing for patrol officers and firefighters. There were 360 candidates for firefighter with 285 taking the exam. The top 75 were called back for the physical agility test. The top 20 candidates will do voice stress analysis testing before developing the certified eligibility list. There were 270 applicants for patrol officer with 210 taking the exam. The top 75 will be called back for the physical agility test and then we will narrow the list down through the voice stress analysis and then have a list of the top ten candidates.
Charter Revision Mrs. Julie Matheny stated she was elected chairperson and James Bush was elected vice-chairperson. Per the recommendation of the legal department we are reviewing the Charter on an annual basis.
Rules and Laws - no report
Finance Committee - no report
Planning Commission - Mr. Vanover said there was a minor revision to the PUD plan for Hobby Lobby, 11711 Princeton Pike. That was tabled per the applicants request. The other item was the final PUD plan for outdoor advertising device at 11752 Commons Drive. That was approved 7-0.
Board of Zoning Appeals Mr. Hawkins reported the owner of 11831 Ramsdale was granted a variance to have an air conditioning unit 3 feet 4 inches from the side property line. A utility building on the property line at 11976 Tavel was denied.
Board of Health Mr. Squires said our three elementary schools were inspected with outstanding grades. Three of the motels were inspected and discussed with the board. The 2012 budget was presented to the board and approved. There were 12 animal bites this year. Nine were dogs and three were bats, which is open for concern. The Diabetes Workshop will begin February 14.
O-K-I Mr. Knox said we had a review of where OKI stood on the major issues and what they were doing to get all of us ready. There was nothing that essentially affected the City of Springdale.
Mayors Report Mayor Webster said I want to talk about the SOS Christmas project. We had a meeting this afternoon and formalized our plans for recognizing the sponsors of our program. The number of families we helped this year grew by about fifty percent from 44 last year to 61. There were over 145 kids we helped out this year. Last year we didnt get around to this before the first meeting in May so this year we have it scheduled for March 21. That will be the night we recognize not only the business community but also the residents who want to be acknowledged. We thought this years demands were going to outstrip our resources but much to our surprise, we ended up going in the hole $400, which is absolutely phenomenal with being able to increase the program to that magnitude. That is strictly due to the generosity of all you folks out there and here on the dais and in the audience. We want to thank you very much for your contributions. On December 30 I opened an envelope from Atonement Lutheran Church who has sold their property and they donated $10,000 to SOS. I cant imagine that we spend all that $10,000 but theres going to be a lot of projects throughout the community that we can now help with and we wont have to watch our nickels to make sure we have enough money to support our Christmas program. We will issue a proclamation for the church noting their donation.
Mrs. Harlow said the Atonement Lutheran Church has been such a big part of our community. For years the Boy Scouts were meeting at that location and they did everything they could to support that troop financially as well as giving them access to the building.
Clerk of Council/Finance Director Mrs. McNear said I have the 2011 year end finance report. We had a budget of $15,220,000 for earnings and we ended up with $16,057,000. That was 105 percent of our budget. Our top five sources of earnings were 92 percent of our budget through all four quarters of the year. Our ending general fund balance was $4.5 million. On the expenditure side, our budget was $16,751,000 and we ended up expending $15,149,000 which is 90 percent of the budget.
Administrators Report Mr. Parham said last week we received the legislation for the northbound SR 747 to westbound I275 road improvement project adding a second left turn lane onto the interstate. The final legislation shows a new estimate number. Our estimate has been $300,000 for the project construction. The estimate that ODOT has for construction at this point is $166,000. Construction engineering is typically ten percent of that with a total project cost of $182,600. Our share for that project is $5,478. If you recall, originally we thought our share would be $18,000 so thats a good savings for the City. Wed like to have legislation February 1.
Mr. Parham said in the 2012 budget we planned to purchase a new street sweeper for the Public Works Department. There are a number of goals we have to meet under the NPDS as well as just keeping the streets clean. The budget shows a total number of $234,000. The plan was to finance that over a three-year period with the first payment in 2012 of $78,000 and concluding in 2014. The cost is $199,997 and wed like to move forward and have legislation at the February 15 meeting. There will be two pieces of legislation; one to purchase the vehicle and one to authorize financing it. At this point we expect a delivery date of the first week in May for the Fire Department ambulance. They had estimated between 120 and 150 days to construct the ambulance. We approved the authorization in November 2011. When I received the notice from the Chief today I e-mailed back that 120 to 150 days does not add up to May. However, the plan at that time was that they could receive a 2011 chassis. They were not able to find one so they had to wait for 2012. Once the chassis was received then the clock begins to tick.
Mr. Parham stated the electric and natural gas aggregate applications were submitted to PUCO on January 10. PUCO has a minimum of thirty days to approve it. Typically, according to Mr. Marshall, they approve it on the thirtieth day so we are looking at February 9th when we should have our certificate issued to us. We also had the RFP sent out on January 11. Eight companies received a copy of it. There is a special caveat in the RFP that indicates that the companies are not to contact the individual jurisdictions but to hold that conversation with the experts of Eagle Energy.
Mr. Thamann said the Center for Local Government Benefits Pool (CLGBP) board members are requesting an amendment to the original joint self-insurance agreement. The current agreement has language in there where any profit or loss from years in the pool is just continuously rolled over but the members are requesting an amendment to the agreement be changed so that we would calculate any profit/loss of the pool on a plan year basis and determine the members proportionate share of that year based on an annual basis. We also want to clarify that a member of the pool in the plan year is only responsible for any profit/loss in that plan year they are participating. We have a request for legislation with an emergency clause to adopt those amendments to the GLCBP joint self-insurance agreement at the Council meeting on February 1.
Mrs. Harlow asked does Administration support this change?
Mr. Parham replied yes.
Law Directors Report - no report
Engineers Report Mr. Shvegzda reported the ODOT bid opening for the SR 747/I-275 project is anticipated to be March 8 with construction in late spring. The Beaver Run Creek Riparian Restoration project is underway. They are currently working on re-grading the south bank where the gabion wall failed. We are working with the Vineyard Church to develop a maintenance of traffic plan acceptable to both the City and the Church in order for traffic to be maintained to various businesses and the church during the construction on Century Circle North. The signal system upgrade project has a completion date of May 1.
Mr. Parham said I just want to let the public know we have been posting photograph images on our Facebook page of the Beaver Run project so you may want to check out the Facebook page.
Mr. Vanover said I would definitely second that. They are working diligently back there and it looks good.
Mrs. McNear read a letter from John Kasichs office from Brad D. Reynolds, who is the Director of Constituent Affairs. This letter is to confirm receipt by the Governors office of Resolution R26-2011 which was passed by the City on December 21 regarding opposition to the centralization of the municipality income tax collection. Expression of your views on this important matter is appreciated and duly noted. Right to the trash can!
Mrs. McNear said I have information from the Ohio Municipal League for a seminar for newly elected Council members. There are three dates: March 3, 17, and 24. If anyone is interested please see me after the meeting.
Mrs. Harlow stated a few of us in our neighborhood received postcards from Duke Energy that they would be out working on our meters in the next couple of weeks.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
Mayor Webster introduced Sandy Leach, Dr. Lillian Hawkins and Susan Wyder from the Princeton Board of Education. Mayor Webster said four of the five board members are from Springdale.
Mrs. Wyder said Im honored to be here. I have been in the position of observing the board for a good while and even closer since November 8. I can tell you how very, very hard this school board has worked to make things run as well as they could. They have cut the budget but then it became obvious that Princeton needs an operating levy. It would have taken 8.2 mils to keep Princeton as it is right now even with all the cuts theyve made. But they know that times are tough so they decided that was just too much. They also looked at 5.9 mils but that was not enough to keep Princeton in the black. Then they looked at 6.5 mils and it was okay but it was obvious that further cuts would need to be made. With 6.5 mils on the levy a promise was made that another $1 million will be cut from the budget each of the next three years. It was not an easy task and was done very thoughtfully.
Mrs. Leach said Princeton has not asked for an operating levy since 1999. Weve been fortunate that in the last 55 years weve only had to ask for an operating levy three times. Thats unheard of in the State of Ohio. Most school districts have to ask in a three to five year interval. We have TPP from our local businesses who pay property tax and also on their inventory. Back in 2004 the State removed the TPP and they voted in the CAT tax. At that time they promised Princeton that those funds that we were receiving from TPP would go to the general fund but then those would be allocated back to Princeton but thats not the case. With the tight budget the State has, they have had to allocate those funds elsewhere. Originally we were supposed to be phased out completely of TPP. We have lobbied very hard so we have been able to maintain
$11 million of our TPP but theyve taken a huge chunk out. If we hadnt lost TPP we wouldnt even have to be asking for an operating levy. Combined we have lost a total $39 million in TPP since 2004. When they vote in the additional operating funds it would be for a $100,000 it would be $197 a year or $17 a month. For seniors it would be $148 a year or $12 a month.
Dr. Hawkins said the big question on everyones mind is what happens if the levy fails. The district has been making cuts since 2004 to the tune of $27 million. Even if 6.5 mils is voted in we will be cutting $1 million for each of the next three years. If the levy doesnt pass we will have to cut that $6.5 million. Its not an empty threat. Princeton is not going to look like the Princeton weve all know. Where will the cuts come from? We have a task force of community members, union representatives and staff members thats been working on identifying areas where we can make cuts. They are working together with the Finance Committee which is also made up of a similar composition of residents and district personnel. They will be presenting that report to us at the Board tomorrow night. Tomorrow night we will be looking at things that have been identified as possible cuts so we will have a Plan A which is the levy passes. Then we will be looking at what the first $1miliion, second million and third million will be. Plan B is that the levy fails and we will look to see what we need to do. We want our voters to know what those things are. Starting tomorrow we will have an open meeting at Relis and our goal is to identify those cuts by the end of the month so our voters will know exactly what the consequences of their actions will be on March 6. We have material we will be distributing. We are also having school forums and community forums and we encourage you to come to those.
Mayor Webster asked how many million have you already cut the last two or three years, $23 million? (That was confirmed.) Mayor Webster said Dr. Pack invited all the mayors to Sharonville Elementary School and gave us the same presentation. One of the mayors said that they would rather not see the school district cut another $1 million a year out of the budget. He thought the board should have recommended going for the 8.2 mils. I totally disagree with that. I hate to see them cut but at the same time I think it lends a lot of credibility to what they are trying to sell to this district. They are willing to continue to cut. In lieu of that they would like us to give them the 6.5 mil levy. Needless to say I am 110 percent behind it. If you look at neighboring districts, its unheard of for a school district to go thirteen years without asking for an operating levy and thats what these folks have been able to achieve. There are charts on performance index and thats truly remarkable where the district was four of five years ago and where it is today. They are on the right track and they are doing it will less money. I think the levy is well justified.
Mrs. Leach said Dr. Pack stated we were performing at a C+ level and now we are at an A.
Mr. Vanover asked what is the millage that you are receiving right now?
Mrs. Leach said I think we are at 27 mils total. There are four other districts in Hamilton County under that but everyone else is over.
Mr. Diehl said you are great stewards of our money. The City of Springdale has always supported the school district. Maybe before you leave you want to give us an update on where you are with the construction of the school.
Mr. Hawkins said I commend you on the planning and also the foresight of having a Plan A and Plan B. I really think its a great that you guys used a broad spectrum of folks from the union and all over. Heaven forbid, if it comes to having to use Plan B, you should have a pretty united front because you have gotten input from all over. I know that was a criticism that you had heard before so I think its excellent that you are going about it that way.
Mrs. Leach said in response to Mr. Diehl, we are moving lots of ground. We go out for bid in the next couple of weeks. Everything is showing under budget with designs. Weve obviously done different designs trying to take costs out to keep us within budget. Were still on schedule and we should know where we stand with the budget in a couple of weeks.
POLICE DEPARTMENT PRESENTATION
Mrs. Harlow excused herself and went into the audience.
Chief Mathis said the City has again received the AAA Traffic Safety Award. Traffic has always been a concern for law enforcement and especially for this community with our state routes, our highway and all the retail we have around us. The Police Department has always placed an emphasis on traffic safety with the three Es, education, engineering and enforcement. Since 2001 our agency and city has been competing with other law enforcement agencies through the Automobile Association to receive these traffic safety awards. AAA didnt award the 2010 award until November 2011. I want to introduce Captain Wells to talk about this.
Captain Wells said I am pleased to present the seventh consecutive platinum AAA award from the Cincinnati Regional AAA. We have been participating in this program for ten years now, Some of our well known programs are Click it or Ticket, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over and the safety programs a lot of people in the community are familiar with such as the third grade safety belt program, DARE and the community bike safety program. We encourage the community to visit our website at www.springdale.org, click on the Police Department link, and on that page you can find a link to AAA safety programs.
Chief Mathis stated when I became chief I wanted to continue what our departments had a long history of, having a relationship with the community. Weve always strived for that and our prior chiefs have emphasized that and really created a culture within our police agency of being engaged with the community. We want to continue that and find ways to strengthen it. We were able to make a presentation to you last year about the citizens police academy. Many other agencies have done this and we took what we thought would work best and brought it here. We put that under the leadership of our new community service officer, Joe Ture.
Officer Ture said when I was tasked with the job of forming a citizens police academy I went to Colerain Township and Oxford PD to get ideas of what they were doing and we developed a very good program. The program is eight weeks long, one night a week for three and one-half hours. Due to their enthusiasm we went way beyond the three and one-half hours. Our instructors came from our department. Mr. Thamann did an overview of local government; Chief Mathis an overview of the Police Department. Chief Mathis and Melissa Abell did a presentation on domestic violence, Mark Piepmeier, Search and Seizure; Officer Grantz, OVI; Officer Zeek, speed measuring devices and traffic enforcement; Sergeant Davis, Sergeant Schulz and Officer Warren, use of force and less lethal force. The following week we set up mock scenarios: a mock traffic stop, a domestic situation, building searches and we let the students take what they had learned and apply it to these situations so they got a little sample of what our officers do on a regular basis. The following week we had Criminal and Narcotics Investigations presented by Sergeant Morris and Detective Dreyer; Crime Scene Investigations, and BCI Investigations by Detective Grindle. The eight weeks was a huge commitment from these folks and I think they received a good education. They have a better understanding of how the Police Department works. I think they will be good ambassadors for the Police Department and we have developed a very good rapport. Our two basic goals were to educate and develop rapport. I think we met those goals very well. I would like to introduce the students. Jason Campbell could not make it. The other students are Bob Apke, Ralph Colgrove, Jan Colgrove, Moises Flores, Kevin Graham, Margie Harlow, Charles Hormann, Marilyn Hormann, Max Liche, Sue Webster, Bob Weidlich and Pamm Wright.
Chief Mathis stated the next program will begin March 19 at 6:30 p.m. To register you can call the Police Department and ask for Officer Ture. There is an application on the website or you can e-mail Officer Ture which you can find on the Police Department page.
Mayor Webster said congratulations. When I was first approached in August last year we didnt have an overabundance of funds for new programs last year so I asked if we could put it off for a year or so. I was assured by Mr. Parham and the Chief that this would not cost the general fund a penny. What little expense that was involved was taken out of grant funds and now we have all these graduates of our academy. I have heard nothing but enthusiasm from the members I have chatted with. We will be calling on you in the future to help the Police Department.
Mrs. Harlow said I would like to encourage residents who are interested in this to follow through and contact the police department. I have always had a great deal of respect for our police officers and I always knew that Springdale had wonderful employees across the board, but now Im positive of it. I was really impressed with everything we learned and also the relationship building we had the opportunity to do with that department.
ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS
ORDINANCE NO. 3 -2012
AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO EXECUTE THE HAMILTON COUNTY, OHIO, MUTUAL AID AGREEMENT FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Knox seconded.
Mr. Parham said this is an opportunity that the Greater Cincinnati Police Chiefs Association has taken upon themselves to update the document that has been in place many years. It seems to clarify a number of issues such as any participating agency is responsible for the actions of their particular officer or employee and any associated costs with that officers actions when in another participating jurisdiction. Second of all, there was a SWAT agreement where many jurisdictions provide a member to participate on the Hamilton County SWAT Team. We have officers who participate. It simply took that addendum and made it a part of the body of this document. It also sought to satisfy what a serious traffic violation is. That comes into play when an officer might be off duty and witnesses an event in another jurisdiction, they have the right to respond if they see or identify a serious traffic violation. They are trying to define what would qualify you to be able to participate or make an assistance outside your own jurisdiction. A number of jurisdictions have passed the legislation.
Ordinance 3-2012 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 4-2012
AMENDING SECTIONS 155.011, 155.057, AND 155.060 OF THE PROPERTY MAINTENANCE CODE AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY
Mr. Squires made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded.
Mayor Webster said Derrick does a good job in his pending legislation report explaining the origin of this piece of legislation. I personally was on every street in this city last fall. I think throughout the City you see where people have gotten a load of mulch that comes from the City delivered by April, and in September, October, November you still have mulch in driveways. Its really unsightly. We have one lady who has up to twenty bags of mulch, still in plastic bags, placed in her front yard with PCV pipe laying around the yard. Its a deplorable sight and the neighbors have had to look at that for quite some time. There is nothing currently in the Property Maintenance Code that we can cite this lady on to get this situation cleaned up. I would urge your passage of this so we can fire up a letter to this lady to clean up the front yard. We can send friendly reminders to people who have had mulch stored on their front yards for months on end.
Mr. Knox said I observed much of what the Mayor saw. Its so rare because most of the people really keep their property up. Its really jarring to run across these things. I would like to comment on one thing in the ordinance. We define landscape materials. We define mulch but if you look at 17 at the bottom of the page we dont define construction supplies. Im afraid somebodys liable to say thats playground equipment or artistic endeavor if we dont define construction supplies.
Mr. Vanover said I too am very pleased to see this. It is an issue I have discussed with the Building Department for a couple of years. Theres still a remnant of a mulch pile that is at least two years old not far away. I welcome this and support it. It gives us a tool to work with.
Mayor Webster said Mr. Knox, why we have construction supplies in there is because we had a situation where they had trusses in their front yard for up to two years because they were building onto the house. There was not a thing we could do about that. This will create some urgency. If you want to have some building/construction materials delivered on site, fine, but you better have plans to do something with it and not just let it sit out there for two or three years.
Mr. Knox replied I wholly agree. I feel wed be on better ground if we defined what construction supplies are. People can define things different ways. As Mr. Forbes can attest, lawyers can have a lot of fun with undefined terms. I dont want to change the ordinance. I want to strengthen it.
Mr. Parham said we have given you a clean copy and a marked up copy of the exhibits. You will see that landscaping material and mulch are two new definitions that have been added. Construction material is elsewhere in the Code so it is already defined. We did not define it in this particular legislation because we are not adding anything to it nor are we changing it.
Mr. Knox said thank you. I looked for it in the definitions but I didnt see it.
Mr. Parham said we can find it and give it to you.
Mr. Knox responded okay, I withdraw my suggestion.
Mr. Hawkins asked is a violation a minor misdemeanor?
Mr. Forbes said ultimately it is but the Property Maintenance Code has its own enforcement mechanisms even before anyone is cited.
Ordinance 4-2012 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 5-2012
AUTHORIZING AN ADDENDUM TO THE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT WITH THE FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE OHIO LABOR COUNCIL, INC., FOR THE PATROL OFFICERS BARGAINING UNIT, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.
Ordinance 5-2012 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 6-2012
AUTHORIZING AN ADDENDUM TO THE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT WITH THE FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE OHIO LABOR COUNCIL, INC., FOR THE POLICE SERGEANTS AND LIEUTENANTS BARGAINING UNIT, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Knox seconded.
Ordinance 6-2012 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 7 -2012
AUTHORIZING AN ADDENDUM TO THE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT WITH THE SPRINGDALE PROFESSIONAL FIREFIGHTERS (IAFF LOCAL 4027) BARGAINING UNIT, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY
Mr. Squires made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded.
Mayor Webster said I would like to thank all three of our labor unions for the ease of negotiations we had this time around. All agreements were open for wage negotiations only and those could have been long and protracted but we decided early on to present a 2 ½ percent increase to our non-union work force so it was pretty easy to recommend the same rate for the unions and fortunately they accepted those. Its nice to have labor peace for another twelve months. Weve all had to suffer through some hard times here but hopefully brighter days are ahead.
Ordinance 7-2012 passed with seven affirmative votes.
Mr. Squires asked are we still in a holding pattern for this liquor permit for Joseph C. Perin?
Mrs. McNear said we were going to discuss that. Well do it now since you brought it up. This is unusual circumstances that we have for this liquor license. This does go to the Police Department for a background check. The Police Department rejected it because they didnt have a complete application. The Police Chief stated they were informed that the State would reject this application; however, you see proof that we have a request for a liquor license. The recommendation, after speaking with our Legal Department as well as Administration, is that we would like to request that a hearing be held in the County Seat. At that point we can talk about the fact that we did not approve this is because we dont have enough information and the application was not complete. Mrs. McNear asked if there was any objection. There were none.
Mr. Knox said yesterday I was asked about the 2 ½ percent increase for all non-union employees. My exact words were I dont know but Ill find out. My question is does that apply to part-time employees?
Mr. Parham replied it does not apply across the board to all employees. It does apply to the part-time firefighters. It also applies to a number of other part-time employees that are on the pay table called out in pay table 1. The part-time account clerk position in the Tax Department is on the pay table so when you move the pay table, that employee receives the benefit. Other employees that are employed on a part-time basis have a salary range. Those individuals have never been a part of that. Once they have concluded 2,080 hours they are recognized by their department directors and receive a pay increase at that time.
Mr. Thamann stated AARP is providing tax services to our seniors at the Community Center. They will be doing that on Friday mornings starting January 27 through April 13 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. It is free for federal and state returns. If they have any questions they can call the Community Center at 346-3910.
Mr. Thamann said the Community Center will be open on Sundays beginning February 5. Youth sport registration is underway and the residents can contact the Community Center for registration for baseball, softball, t-ball and soccer.
Mr. Parham said I was going through our web page relative to Mr. Knoxs question about construction supplies. I did not find it here. We will continue to investigate whether we have a definition. I think I was thinking of building materials. If Council chooses to come up with a definition, we will try the best we can to identify construction supplies.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Finance Committee - Feb 1
Planning Commission - Feb 14
Board of Zoning Appeals - Feb 21
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
Amendment to CLGBP - Feb 1
Left turn lane SR 747 to I275 - Feb 1
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
Street sweeper and financing (2) - Feb 15
Council adjourned at 8:23 p.m.
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Marjorie Harlow, President of Council