Vice- President of Council Tom Vanover called Council to order on
April 6, 2011, at 7:00 p.m.
The governmental body and those in attendance recited the pledge of allegiance.
Mrs. McNear took roll call. Present were Council members Diehl, Emerson, Galster, Hawkins, Squires, and Vanover.
The minutes of March 16, 2011 were approved with six affirmative votes.
Mrs. McNear read an e-mail from Joanie Rielage, 11756 Neuss Avenue addressed to Council. It was about an article in Ohio Magazine included in the Best of the Best Hometown Segment. The article was about Pre-cycle Day, a day to take out the trash. Worthington has a community-wide free exchange of reusable items during which participants place unwanted yet worthy goods at the curb and neighbors can shop for items they can use. Its an easy way to celebrate Earth Day in April. Mrs. Rielage suggested Springdale look into that.
SWEARING IN OF POLICE SERGEANT MICHAEL OTT
Chief Mathis introduced Michael Ott who has been with Springdale since 2004. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Cincinnati and is a member of the police honor guard. He was Officer of the Year in 2007 and won the Initiative Award in 2008/2009. Mayor Webster swore in Officer Ott.
COMMUNITY CENTER UPDATE
Mayor Webster said at the last Council meeting we announced to the public a series of changes/budgetary cuts we are making at the Community Center. We got some input from you folks. Some of it is incorporated into tonights document, some is not, but I guarantee you that every comment you made to us was properly analyzed. We have made some changes, not only from your input but also some we got from the Community Center and residents. Im pleased with the turnout we have from the Community Center. I see seniors and employees here. Im not sure when you leave here, that you will feel any better about it than you do now, but at least hopefully you will understand how we arrived at this. Its not something we relished doing but its something that had to be dealt with.
Mr. Parham stated a few weeks ago we didnt have the cameras with us by the time we did the presentation. I am not going to go through each item but I will go through the document, overall. I have given each elected official a revised copy of the document. As the Mayor indicated, after hearing some of your comments and some from the public, we have made a number of adjustments to the program. This is the proposed and anticipated program we are going to implement on June 5, 2011. The Centers operation of hours is currently 95 hours, 6.a.m. through 10 p.m., Monday through Thursday, Friday, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. After receiving feedback from the public we will now have the fitness center, the track and any other fitness related programs open from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., Monday through Friday. It allows those individuals who have had a lot of active use early in the mornings to use the fitness center and track prior to heading to work. The balance of the center will open at 9 a.m. and remain open until 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. Essentially there are two schedules: Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The cost savings last time showed just under $56,000. Right now the savings were showing is $44,000. We are anticipating a 37 hour per week reduction for customer service employees, 15 hours a week for custodians and for the fitness instructors, 23 hours a week. The numbers may be slightly higher or lower depending on how the employees are going to be scheduled. The Director has met with the part-time staff to inform them of the changes. Following the last Council meeting, I met with the full-time staff of the Community Center and Parks Department. When Mr. Karle and his staff begin to have discussions to figure out who is going to work where, we may not eliminate any positions for the part-timers when it comes to these three areas. It really depends on the person making the determination that they can work more hours or less hours. When we implement this plan effective June 5, from that date forward the Community Center will be closed the same holidays as the Municipal Building. This means the center will now be closed on Martin Luther King Day, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.
During the last presentation, there was a lot of discussion about the portable restrooms being removed from the three parks (Beacon, Cameron and Ross). After receiving feedback we have made some adjustments to the previous proposed plan. We have decided to keep the portable restrooms in the three outlying parks from late March until the end of May, when we have games and activities scheduled there. That will be a savings of $2,320 instead of $3,500. This year the senior citizens program has a budget of $15,000. This amount includes the $5,000 designated as a subsidy for the seniors, thus the remaining budget amount is $10,000. As indicated on the document, we are reducing the senior program budget by an additional $1,000, leaving an amount of $9,000. As for the yard sale, Mrs. McNear read about the City of Worthingtons pre-cycle day program in the letter we received from Mrs. Rielage. Springdales plan is to no longer have the centralized event at the Community Center where everyone brings their wares to sell. The plan is to coordinate a City-wide event in which individuals put things out in their own yards and the buying public stops by to make a purchase. There isnt a great deal of a difference between our program and what Worthington is doing. It boils down to whether the seller wishes to give their merchandise away or to sell it for a price. The only real differences I see are: Worthingtons program is in the spring; ours is in August. Worthingtons program is a give away, ours is one in which you sell your goods. But again, that decision is left totally up to the seller and their willing buyer.
The pool will still close on August 14. I revamped the number for the concession stand. The last time the budget number showed $9,846. We talked about the revenue side that balanced that off. In 2009, we had a loss of $2100, in 2010 a loss of $526. We had already budgeted for a loss of $3,246. Instead of experiencing that loss we decided the City will not operate the concession stand so the difference is the $3,246 we had identified. The 2011 budget reflects $9,846 in expenses and $6,600 in revenue. The Swim Club has expressed interest in operating the concession stand. Everyone knows how hard it is to get volunteers but weve asked them to try to put together a schedule so that the patrons that are using the facility have a sense of whether they will be there or not. Based on feedback that was received, you will see that the adjustment in the savings reflects an amount from $202,000 to now $182,520.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE
Rebecca Sullivan, 152 Silverwood Circle said my mother was at the last Council meeting and heard about the budget cuts that were being made. I am a member of Club Rec and we do community service. Being part of Club Rec makes me feel like I am a part of helping others in Springdale. My mom always says her roots are deep in Springdale and I think being part of Club Rec makes my roots in Springdale too. Our nights at the pool and inside the Community Center are a way to attract new members to Club Rec so that our community service will continue. I ask all of you on City Council, Mayor Webster and Mr. Parham to please consider letting Club Rec continue to have our club night so kids my age can continue giving back to the community and also so we can have a connection to the community.
Mayor Webster responded excellent presentation. One of the changes we made is that we restored two teen nights, swim 123 and ladies day at the pool. I dont know that we have done anything that will detract what Club Rec can do other than close the center at 8:00.
Meghan Sullivan-Wisecup, Springdale Youth Boosters, stated I was at the meeting last time. Being open at 6 a.m. is really big for all the business memberships, adults and seniors in the community. However, I love the kids in this community and I love the community. I feel if you are willing to give in the morning for this group and not willing to give in the evening for this group, are you saying the business members and the seniors and adults are more important than the kids are. There are twenty basketball teams and seven volleyball teams. The coaches said they would take their teams to another community if they cant have the practice schedule they have now. There will be no open gym because we have to fit in practices and games. Also, at the last meeting there was a lot time spent getting the right verbiage and thats good so that every word is meaningful, purposeful and exactly what you meant to say. You described the Springdale Community Center as a non-essential department. I understand what you mean financially but I respectfully disagree with you literally as non-essential. From the time I was one week old I have been at the Community Center. Its the heart and soul of this community for anyone who has ever walked through those doors and the employees who work there are loved. Maybe someone should take another look. Look at it as a citizen and not a politician. Thats what you were before and what you will be long after you are no longer a politician.
Mayor Webster responded that was very well done and we appreciate the work you do. Who up here doesnt love children and seniors? We are convinced that we cannot have a community center on demand. I asked Mr. Karle to check with other communities who have community centers. The hours are about the same. Our revenues are half of other communities. We take pride that we have been able to keep fees low. We have to reduce the hours to do that. Our revenues at the Community Center were $167,000. We could say we are going to double all the fees. I would rather reduce the hours than double the fees and drive some poor people who cannot afford the use of the center away. I love those poor people too much to do that to them. You talk about the number of participants. In 1998-1999, the last year we had one gymnasium, we had 446 participants. That included youth basketball where we had 228 participants and now have 173; mens basketball had 30 players then, none now. We have 13 cheerleaders versus 26 back then. Youth volleyball went from 64 to 36. Womens volleyball has greatly increased from 32 to 67. We had 66 coed volleyball players and now we have none. We went from 446 participants in one gym. Now we have 289 with three gyms.
Ms. Wisecup replied you can say you have walkers in the morning. I have children who love to play sports. I have kids who use our facilities, parents who wouldnt have a membership if their kids didnt play sports. I understand that dollars are what pay for the City and people dont. Im telling you right now if you cut the programs you cut the people. When my husband and I first looked to buy a house the first place we looked was Springdale. Yes, there are all these amenities. Would I like to pay for trash? No, but if it means I get the program back, yes. Do I want to pay more in income tax, no but if it means these people get to keep full-time jobs instead of part-time jobs when they do a hell of a job at what they are doing, yes. If you can open early for the walkers, why cant you stay open later for the programs? Im asking you to consider opening at 9 a.m. during the winter and staying open later during the sports center. If you cut two hours in the morning, you can give two hours in the evening.
Mayor Webster stated back in January, I asked City Council to look at our budget and to give me a list of what they wanted us to look at. Ive got six pages of ideas for the Community Center. The list consists of the following: sell the outlying ball fields not in use, rent the use of the fields, reduce the hours or days of operation, increase fees, cut back hours at Community Center, hire contract workers, sell facility or management of facility. Consider selling some park land for development, rent the facility to non-members, review the number of participants by hour to determine the hours of operational needs, reduce the staff, close the pool, shut the center down two to three days a week, reduce programs, use volunteer staffing where possible. The common theme was to reduce the staff and hours of programs. We spend $1.6 million per year for recreation, a non-essential service. We cant continue to do that. We need to pare that down by $200,000. When you put that on a plain with fire and police and removing ice and snow from the streets, it has to fall below that. I think it has to fall below the Health Department that tries to keep you healthy and from getting diseases.
Ms. Wisecup said the Health Department is a non-essential department. A lot of cities dont have them. We dont have to have a Health Department in Springdale.
Mayor Webster replied you are exactly right. Lets get this on the record. We could farm out to the County our Health Department services and probably save $100,000 a year. Thats half of the budget. But you get no immunizations. You get no diabetes checks, no blood pressure checks, and no home nursing services. You get absolutely nothing. You get a once a year restaurant inspection from the County. We know. Weve been there, weve done that. We look at other communities. We are unique. We, Sharonville, St. Bernard and Norwood are the only communities that have their own health departments and we pay a price for that. But its a price, if you would canvas our senior community, especially our seniors and low income communities that get their immunizations there, those people would say we want that health department. We feel very strongly about that. Wed like to maintain that health department if at all possible.
Ms. Wisecup said there are other places you can get immunizations. I understand that you dont like it that I dont agree. All I said was, instead of being open at 6 a.m. during the winter months, stay open later at night. I will work with Derrick as a volunteer. Id love to show what Im talking about and it wont cost one penny more. Last meeting you had cut $203,000. Now youre coming back with $182,520. How is that okay. You said it had to be done. I always hear that the City is cooperative. What are you going to give?
Mr. Galster said I understand your passion. My question is now that you have had an opportunity to look at the schedule, is the time about practice and games or is it about open gyms?
Ms. Wisecup said if we scaled back to ½ hour of practice one time a week it would still be hard to fit in volleyball, basketball and still have open gym. The coaches are not happy.
Mr. Galster said Id like to know what it is you really need hour-wise in order to make the schedule work. Theres a difference in being open at 6 a.m. for the fitness center and track. Theres not a lot of supervision required. Its a different staffing level to have the kids at the center. We need time to throw these numbers around. We need to have a balanced opportunity for the whole community.
Mayor Webster said Meghan, I dont want you to take this wrong. You do a remarkable job running the boosters. But we dont give you or the boosters the gym time to schedule. We have professionals. These people are the ones who do the scheduling. You do the sign-ups, you get the sponsors, you do a remarkable job on this but you do not schedule the people. Mr. Galster, its not a matter of finding hours to give them. If this professional staff that we are paying good money to tell us they can work out the scheduling, then Im not going back to the drawing board because the boosters say they need more time.
Sharon Brooks, Club Rec Advisor, said my biggest concern for the winter is that in the summertime the kids have a place to play outside but in the wintertime where are they going to go. They will be in their houses playing video games or they will be on the streets. I like the fact that they have a community center to hang out in, play basketball and do whatever they want. I have concerns because I hear that park patrol is going to be gone so now Im concerned about safety issues outside the building.
Betty Bruns, 11865 Ventura Court, said Ive lived in Springdale for seventy years and I love the City and everything the Community Center does. It helps the kids and the seniors. Why cant the people who come to the track in the morning come in the evening?
Mayor Webster said I cant answer that. I guess wed have to survey the people who come in the morning. Ive talked to enough of the seniors who have told me wed have a heck of lot more people up here now if we werent open at 6:00 a.m. It didnt save us any money and it didnt cost us any money to have the track open at 6 a.m. because we are going to pay a salaried person whom we dont pay overtime to do that three days a week. It will cost us two days a week for a part-time person. Its nothing compared to trying to keep the center open later at night. It would take a lot more staff.
ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS
ORDINANCE NO. 12 -2011 AMENDING SECTION 90.14 OF THE SPRINGDALE CODIFIED ORDINANCES REGARDING PETS IN PUBLIC PARKS AND RECREATION AREAS, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY
Mr. Squires made a motion to adopt and Mrs. Emerson seconded.
Mr. Galster said I know weve talked before about cleaning up after your pets and I know its in the regular code but if we are going to add a section about pets in public parks, it seems like we should reinforce that here, that you need to clean up after your animals or be subject to those fines. I think ultimately thats going to be the biggest problem.
Mr. Parham showed a container where a person can place empty bags in the receptacle and when someone needs a bag, he/she can take one from the receptacle. You do not deposit the used bag (of waste) back into this instrument. You place the used bag into a garbage can.
Mrs. Emerson asked will these containers be placed at entrances to the park. Also, the current signs say No Pets Allowed.
Mr. Parham replied they will be placed at strategic locations throughout the park. The No Pets Allowed signs will be adjusted.
Mr. Galster stated once again I think we need to add a paragraph about cleaning up after your pet. Also, in paragraph C, it says if a person violates . . . shall be fined not more than $25 for each offense. I dont like the word more. I think it should be fined less than $25.
Mr. Parham responded we can add a paragraph and can change the fine. The language in paragraph C is the language that is currently in Section 90.14. We didnt change that language.
Mayor Webster said I have some sympathy for what Mr. Galster is saying. Do we want to cap it at $25 or make it $25 minimum?
Mr. Hawkins said I dont mind there being a minimum fine but its important that we are clear what the maximum penalty is. We can have a floor but we need a ceiling.
Mr. Forbes said the language in there is old language. If you are going to change it, I would recommend not putting any dollar amount. You can change the last section to say any person who violates it shall be guilty of a minor misdemeanor. The reason your Loud Car Stereo signs say $100 is because minor misdemeanors used to max out at $100. A few years ago the law changed that moved it up to $150.
Mayor Webster suggested tabling this ordinance and getting the language in there.
Mr. Squires withdrew the motion to adopt and Mrs. Emerson withdrew her second.
After discussion, Mr. Forbes said I will make the changes to make this a stand alone section so if someone just looked at this section, he/she would know that he/she can have his/her pets in the park up to the limit and he/she will know he/she will have to clean up.
Mr. Galster made a motion to continue until the next Council meeting and Mr. Squires seconded. The motion passed with six affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 13-2011 AMENDING VARIOUS SECTIONS OF CHAPTER 30 OF THE SPRINGDALE CODIFIED ORDINANCES REGARDING COUNCIL RULES OF PROCEDURE
ORDINANCE NO. 14-2011 AMENDING THE CODIFIED ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO, TO AMEND SECTIONS (A)(3)(a) AND (A)(3)(b) OF CHAPTER 153 .533 OF THE SPRINGDALE ZONING CODE
Mayor Webster suggested bumping the ordinance out for a two-year exemption.
Mr. Galster said I think part of the reason there are no complaints is because we do a good job of policing the banners. I dont have a problem with doing it every year. This is a step in a different direction that Planning Commission is used to taking in regards to signage because these banner-type materials usually fall into disrepair after a certain amount of usage.
Mr. Forbes stated a one-year extension is what went to Planning Commission and what was recommended to Council. It would take a super majority to override it.
OLD BUSINESS - none
Mr. Parham said we were notified by the Hamilton County Engineers Office that our application for LTIP funding for the northbound SR 747 to westbound I-275 in the amount of $81,000 has been approved. The County Commissioners approved the MRF funding for $43,900 which will cover the design services ($33,900) and environmental work ($10,000). We dont know what the construction cost is but based on a $300,000 cost, we have already been approved for $210,000 for CMAC funding. The Citys share for construction engineering would be $9,000 so our total for a $300,000 project would be $18,000.
Mrs. Emerson said Springdale Day at the Reds game will be Monday, May 16 and our well-known Springdale Elementary Chorale will be singing the national anthem. The tickets are $10 and are view level seats. Contact Sue Webster or me for tickets.
Mrs. McNear stated there is a liquor license request for a D-5 license for Rileys. There were no objections.
Mr. Parham stated the City is making an attempt to communicate better with our residents and businesses. We are going to create a facebook page for the City of Springdale. Ill share an article with you that the Police Chief found that explains twitter and facebook. A person can sign up to be a friend of the City on Facebook. We would send information out but the community will not be able to post on our wall because we cannot control or censor something posted to the wall. The plan is to have administrators at the Municipal Building, Recreation Department and Police Department. There will be a small blurb about it in the newsletter which is scheduled to go out May 1.
Mr. Vanover asked will that be a way to get snow emergency information out.
Mr. Parham replied yes. We were meeting with IT consultants and while we were talking one of the individuals shared with me that he had received a posting about the community. I thought that was a really neat way to get information out.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Planning Commission - April 12
Board of Health - April 14
Opening Day for baseball - April 16
Taxes due - April 18
Board of Zoning Appeals - April 19
Finance Committee - April 20
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
Mrs. Emerson made a motion that Council go into executive session as a meeting of the whole to discuss economic issues. Mr. Hawkins seconded. The motion passed with six affirmative votes.
Council went into executive session at 8:45 a.m. and reconvened at 9:07.
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
Ordinance 12 - April 16
Ordinance 13 - April 16
Ordinance 14 - April 16
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
Council adjourned at 9:09 p.m.
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Marjorie Harlow, President of Council