President of Council Kathy McNear called Council to order on November 6, 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 October 16, 2002 were approved with seven affirmative votes.
COMMUNICATIONS - none
Mayor Webster said last evening we had a double fatality in Springdale. We lost a teenager who lived here in Springdale and one who lived in Sharonville. Jessica Carson lived with her grandmother and was a junior at Princeton High School. Cassandra Conrad from Sharonville was a senior. It was a tremendous loss to both communities and our condolences go out to all the families involved. Itís very tragic. Just a word to our teenagers Ė please slow down especially in inclimate weather as we had yesterday. Mayor Webster asked for a moment of silence.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
ORDINANCE NO. 73-2002 "AMENDING CERTAIN SECTIONS OF CHAPTER 94: TAXATION OF THE CODIFIED ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE"
ORDINANCE NO. 74-2002 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH JOHN H. FLESSA FOR PROSECUTING SERVICES FOR THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Squires made a motion to adopt and Ms. Pollitt seconded.
Ordinance 74-2002 passed with seven affirmative votes.
Mayor Webster stated Mr. Flessa has been our prosecutor for a lot of years. Seven years ago he was making $8,000 and we raised him to $8,200. Three years ago we raised his salary to $8,600. His hourly rate has gone from $100 to $102.50 to $110. Now heís asking that we raise the retainer to $9,000 and the hourly rate to $112.50. I donít think heís being overly compensated for what we are getting.
Ordinance 74-2002 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 75-2002 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH TERRY D. GAINES TO SERVE AS MAYORíS COURT MAGISTRATE FOR THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.
Mayor Webster said we first appointed Terry magistrate December 1, 1995 at a salary of $15,000 a year. He has continued at that rate for the last seven years so this is the first salary adjustment he has had.
Ordinance 75-2002 passed with seven affirmative votes.
RESOLUTION R27-2002 "CONSENTING TO JOIN THE CINCINNATI NORTH CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU, INC."
Mr. Knox said although this is a resolution and could be passed tonight we are not calling for a vote tonight. Itís on the agenda for people to ask questions and to discuss this further during the next two weeks. Mr. Knox said one of the reasons I asked that we put this off for two weeks is that we have not finished the agreement with the downtown convention center. I can bring you up to date but the final negotiations are not done.
Mr. Danbury made a motion to table and Mr. Galster seconded. The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.
Mayor Webster said as you read that document, all they gave us were the by-laws of the organization. I donít think they go far enough in what they are trying to accomplish.
Mr. Knox replied that is what we are working with the Greater Cincinnati Convention and Visitorís Bureau about. As it stands the Hamilton County Commissioners have stated and have put in their budget that they are going to take $500,000; $250,000 from the old tax and $250,000 from the new tax and send it to an entity in northern suburban Hamilton County. The folks downtown would like to have control over that half million dollars. We who have been discussing this for a long period of time do believe in the expansion of the downtown convention center. We donít want to stand in the way of that. We also want to make sure all the hotels and motels in northern suburban Hamilton County get a fair shake out of this. We are trying to ensure that there are salespeople dedicated to selling the hotels and motels in suburban Hamilton County. There was a meeting Monday night that I was unable to attend but the document I sent to them on what we are proposing to do seems to have been well received. The hiring and termination of any of these people in the sales department will be controlled by the Northern Cincinnati Convention and Visitorís Bureau. The job descriptions will be written by the same people. Out of the half million dollars we would pay for those people also. The location for these people would be somewhere in the suburban area. Each political division (anyone who has a hotel) can join this. Right now it looks like there will be eight municipalities. We are proposing to give two seats to greater Cincinnati, and the hotel people could get up to 25% above that. We do want the hotel people to be represented because they are the ones we are trying to help. Every municipality has one vote so this will not be directed toward any one city or the biggest city. At this moment with $500,000 there is no necessity for any municipality or hotel to pay any dues because that money would be paid out of the very taxes being generated from our hotels and motels. If, at some time, the Board of Trustees requested dues, any community could withdraw simply by passing another resolution. Forest Park and Blue Ash are on the verge of passing a resolution and Harrison possibly passed one this week. Evendale and some other communities have expressed an interest.
Mayor Webster asked how long is it totally controlled by the City of Sharonville. Right now itís the Mayor, Safety Service Director and Convention Center Manager.
Mr. Knox responded they did that in order to form the papers on it. As soon as the board of trustees is formed that will cease to be. Since they only have one vote, they would probably only have one of those positions.
Mr. Galster asked is that $500,000 until the convention center is paid off. Is that the understanding or is this forever?
Mr. Knox said we asked for a sunset provision on that tax.
Mr. Galster asked what happens if there is an excess in that fund? That seems like a lot of money to spend to advertise some local hotels.
Mr. Knox said it will take $325,000 to staff and actually have the sales office. The remaining $175,000 would be joint promotions between both convention and visitorsí bureaus.
Mr. Parham said during the last couple of meetings Mr. Osborn has brought to your attention the Community Development Block Grant program. We are in the application process. We have had discussions relative to projects we would like to attempt to solicit funds for over the next three years. We have identified a project that we would like to receive Councilís blessing on this evening. It is a project to repair and replace curbs and gutters, as well as full depth asphalt repair and resurfacing of a number of streets in the community. The project has been split into two phases. The program spans over a three-year period in which we can apply for the funds. Weíre looking at this project for the final two years. We donít think we will be able to get the project underway in the first year of the program so the request is for 2004 and 2005. The area that the first phase would cover would be on Rose Lane from Kemper Road to Forest Avenue, and on Cloverdale Avenue from Springfield Pike to Greenlawn. Phase II would cover Smiley Avenue from Greenlawn to Valley View Avenue, 236 feet of Valley View Avenue from Cloverdale to Dimmick, and on Dimmick from Cloverdale to Valley View. The last time there were any major repairs to these streets was 1972. We would like Council to have a motion to accept these projects with our first priority being Phase I.
Mr. Danbury made a motion to accept and Mr. Vanover seconded. The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.
Mr. Vanover said on this memo from Cecil about the State taking over local tax collections, it looks like they are looking for a resolution from us in opposition of this. Are we wanting to do that now?
Mayor Webster said I just skimmed over something from the Ohio Municipal League before this meeting. We would definitely want to take some action but letís wait to see what the league is doing. Iíve already talked to Springdaleís representative to Columbus about this. Thereís going to be a lot of initiatives to try to stop this thing.
Mayor Webster said weíve had a request from our Police Chief to once again offer the "Food for Fines" program. This would be the fourth year of the program. Three years ago we had 231 citations forgiven at a dollar cost of $9,275. Last year it was 395 citations with $15,815 in lost revenue. We assisted three different charities. Last year they doubled the requirement. Itís now ten cans per citation. We want to continue the program this year.
Mr. Knox said on the tax issue, last year we collected $10,800,000. Five percent of that would be $540,000. The operating expense for our Tax Department was $347,000. Therefore, the State would make $190,000 off of the City of Springdale. Thatís the magnitude of this problem.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Planning Commission - November 12
Board of Health - November 14
Board of Zoning Appeals - November 19
Ms. Pollitt said I will be out of town November 20 and will not be at the Council meeting.
Mrs. McNear said we have some boards and commissions positions that are expiring in the next few months. Edgar Smithís position on Charter Revision ends on December 31. Marcia Sherryís position on Civil Service expires December 31, and the Volunteer Firefightersí Dependents Commission also expires December 31. That is Mr. Danbury and he said he is willing to continue.
Mr. Wilson said we did have a City meeting on the coyote issue. I wonder if the Mayor would like to elaborate, not so much on the number of people who showed up but the fact that we did provide that service for the City.
Mayor Webster said itís hard to talk about the meeting without sharing how many residents. We had four residents who attended the meeting. We sent over 300 letters to residents in Oxford Hills subdivision and every home on Springdale Lake Drive that adjoins the woods, and we had four residents who showed up. It was not well attended but we made the effort and thatís all we can do. Contrary to what you may have heard on television saying that we had done away with the sharpshooters and had hired a trapper to relocate them. That is totally false. We have eliminated the Police Department sharpshooters. Trapper John is a sharpshooter in his own right and he is going in fully armed looking for coyotes. The frequency he goes is based on the number of sightings. We feel the appropriate level is for him to go in at least once a week. By state law you cannot relocate a coyote. If you trap a coyote, it must be euthanized.
Mr. Wilson said the key thing I want our residents to know is that the City did not sit idly by and ignore this issue. We expressed our concerns and are continuing to do something to eradicate this problem.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
Ordinance 73 - November 20
Resolution R27 - November 20
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
Council adjourned at 7:34 p.m.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Kathy McNear, President of Council