President of Council Kathy McNear called Council to order on March 3, 2004, at 7:00 p.m.
The governmental body and those in attendance recited the pledge of allegiance.
Mr. Knox took roll call. Present were Council members Danbury, Galster, Pollitt, Squires, Vanover, Wilson and McNear.
The minutes of February 18th were approved with seven affirmative votes. The minutes of February 19th were approved with seven affirmative votes.
COMMUNICATIONS - none
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
SWEARING IN OF POLICE OFFICER JEFF HEARD
Chief Laage said tonight we are swearing in our thirty-fifth police officer. Jeff Heard is a resident of Springdale. He was raised in Sharonville and has an associateís degree in criminal justice. He obtained his police certificate at Scarlet Oaks. Jeff has been employed with the Mt. St. Joe Police Department and with the Woodlawn Police Department.
Mayor Webster swore in Officer Heard.
PRESENTATION Ė Upcoming Public Safety Seminars - Chief Laage
Chief Laage said I just want to preview a couple of events that are coming up in March. The first one is a Survive Seminar with Mike and Debbie Gardner. We did this a few years ago and had 300 people in attendance. This one will be held on March 23rd from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. A mass mailing will go out next week.
Chief Laage stated we are offering a Safety Fair on March 27th. We will be combining with the Community Center. We are targeting those ages 6-18 but we will also have information for adults. There will be a lot of experts from different fields. Officer Al Maupin is heading this program and Officer Dave Buschman is heading the survivor program. This will also have a mailing to all the residents.
Mrs. McNear asked if there will be a 5K run this year.
Chief Laage replied yes, during Police Week in May.
Mr. Danbury said I wanted to thank the community for coming out in great numbers. I want to thank the Fire Department and Police Department who volunteered their time. A lot of comments I heard from people who were exiting were we donít want to lose our services. We want to keep the police strong. We want to keep the Fire Department strong and all the different services we have.
Mayor Webster said I would certainly like to thank the 2231 people who showed up at the polls yesterday to exercise their God-given right to have a say in our system. Iíd especially like to thank the 1547 that said yes. To the 684 who said no, I would hope that in time you will see that the 1547 were right. I think itís important that the public know that this was a collaborative effort on part of the elected officials. As elected officials we had to show the leadership on this. There was not a single dime of public funds spent on this promotion. This effort was totally financed from donations from every single elected official you see sitting here, along with Mr. Schneider, Don and Wayne from CDS, Mr. Osborn, Anne McBride, our City Planner and David Okum, the treasurer of our group. Even his mother-in-law gave us a donation. In addition to the money everyone contributed Iíd like to thank everyone for the time spent delivering fliers, putting up signs, those who worked the polls. A special thanks to Mr. Galster who started at the very beginning helping design the signs, all the way to drafting an all night e-mail to a group of our residents to explain to them what we are doing. Iíd like to thank Firefighter Local 4027 who not only delivered all the literature to Heritage Hill, but also worked the two polling places over there from start to finish yesterday. Iíd like to thank Captain Hafer along with Mrs. Beth Laage, who manned a polling place for us yesterday afternoon. Iíd like to thank John Ramp from the Community Center. Former employee Gary Thompson turned out to help. I certainly canít leave out my daughter Julie, who helped us a great deal yesterday also. I think the most important thing that made this thing go is the fact that all of us collectively did a great job in getting the message out to the people, totally explaining to them where we were and how we got there, and some of the consequences. Also, I think the residents also understood the urgency of our situation. Then they came out yesterday and exercised their desire to maintain the standard of living and level of services like the police, fire, street maintenance and recreation center, all of our city employees deliver to those residents. In the letter we sent over the weekend, the bottom line was do you appreciate the standard of living we have in our fine city and wish it to continue at the present level. Unfortunately, without this tax increase we will be unable to maintain this excellence because we have stretched the budget as far as possible. I think the people understood that and said they wanted to maintain that standard of living. Some of the comments I heard were such as I am voting for this because I trust you. I donít think it was just me; I think they trust the City. They trust the elected officials. They trusted us and believed what we were telling them. At the same time, they made it very clear, just because I vote for this I donít expect you to spend the money like a drunken sailor. I also donít want to get on a tax and spend cycle. That was very easy to respond to. I said we havenít been before you for thirty-two years for an increase so hopefully it will be another thirty-two years. They also asked us to be good stewards of their money. I assured them that we will continue to be good stewards of the Cityís money. In anticipation of laying a contingency plan in case the desired results didnít materialize yesterday, we have explored several contingencies. Some of those are items we think we can still go forward with, so not all the items that were cut will be restored. I think weíll look at a lot of those on a zero based budget to see if there is a better way of doing it. Can we not restore some personnel, programs, etc.? Thank you very much for your support on this and to the people out there, thank you and God bless you.
Mr. Vanover said Chief, you mentioned 2003 was a tough year, but itís really been about three tough years. We told the public this, that we have been running shorthanded but we never saw a shortage in service. You guys did a yeomanís job and picked up and the Fire Department too. With that, I definitely want to say thanks.
Mr. Danbury said I think the thanks for this goes to the people but mainly two people in particular, Mayor Webster and Steve Galster. They put forth an extreme amount of time. Mr. Osborn was tied up on other things and had to do his regular job as well, but I think we owe those three a bit of gratitude for the efforts they put forth.
Mr. Galster stated when the Mayor was passing out kudos, I couldnít not respond that his implementation and coordination of a successful campaign plan and involvement in carrying that out, not just by himself but also his wife, Lavonne, was extremely and tremendously important to the overall success. I just wanted to express my gratitude for that.
OLD BUSINESS - none
Mr. Osborn said we have two contracts coming up for renewal in the near future. The first is the contract with Next Step Networking, who provides the maintenance for the Cityís computer network system. We will have legislation in before you on March 17th.
Mr. Osborn continued our contract with TEC for the management and operations of the Cityís traffic signal system will expire at the end of April. We will have legislation either March 17th or April 7th.
Mr. Knox said we have a request from a motorcycle safety group for a resolution to designate the month of May as motorcycle safety month. I will bring that in at the next meeting.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Planning Commission - March 9
Board of Health - March 11
Board of Zoning Appeals - March 16
Mr. Osborn said there will be a meeting sponsored by the Ohio Department of Transportation held at the Springdale Community Center on Tuesday, March 9th from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. This is a public information meeting regarding the widening of I-275 from Winton Road to U.S. 42. You are given an opportunity to look at exhibits, to make written comments. There will be representatives from ODOT present to answer questions. The project will require minor strips of right-of-way and based on the letter I just distributed to you, the two locations in Springdale include the northeast quadrant of SR 4 and I-275, and the north side of I-275 at Chesterdale Road bridge. Noise impact will be discussed at a separate and future meeting. This project wonít go to construction until 2007.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
Mayor Webster read an e-mail, "Open letter to all elected officials of Springdale. Iím sending this e-mail before the polls close on Tuesday, March 2nd so I donít know the outcome of the tax issue. I just want all of you to know that after much thought and consideration I have voted for the issue. One reason is that we have lived here over twenty-five years and donít ever remember a tax increase. Another issue is that I like Springdale and the services that are offered. Another is that overall, I have been happy with the way the City has been run. That being said I would like to urge all of you, whether or not the issue passes, to be cautious and spend this money wisely. Maybe this should be said especially if the issue passes. Just because the money is there doesnít mean you have to spend it. Iím a veteran and I donít feel we need a veteranís memorial. If we want to spend money on veterans, give some of the money to the widows, widowers and children of those vets who didnít come home alive, not for some sterile monument to attract pigeons and vandals. I will keep you in my prayers that the good stewardship will continue to be at the forefront of every decision you make. Thank all of you for your dedication and service to the community. Signed. Bill Lindenschmidt, 11840 Neuss Avenue"
Mayor Webster said I understand Mr. Galster will be contacting Mr. Lindenschmidt to make sure that he totally understands that at least right now, thereís no public money budgeted to finance that.
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT - none
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
Next Step Networking contract - March 17
TEC contract - March 17 or April 7
Resolution for motorcycle safety - March 17
Council adjourned at 7:31 p.m.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Kathy McNear, President of Council