Council was called to order on September 3, 1997 at 7:00 p.m. by President of Council Randy Danbury.


The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by the governmental body and those in attendance.


Roll call was taken by Mr. Knox. Present were Council members Boice, Galster, Manis, McNear, Vanover, Wilson and Danbury.


The minutes of August 20, 1997 were passed with 6 affirmative votes. Mr. Vanover abstained.




Letter dated September 3, 1997 to City Council: On August 22 your maintenance people delivered a truck to our driveway. It was so large it frightened us. We discovered that 55 years of marriage resulted in an incredible amount of trash. We filled the truck. This letter is a compliment to Debbie Atwood and those involved in delivering the truck. The entire experience was delightful. Please pass on our heartfelt thanks to everyone involved. John and Mildred Beacham, 11822 Glenfalls Court






Mr. Osborn said we requested this opportunity to demonstrate to Council a system we are considering. We are in the process of completing our local area network which will allow us to move on to this type of application. The specific purpose is to convert our current time recording system from a paper driven system to an electronic based system and Iíve asked Rhonda Burton, our Finance Officer/Tax Commissioner to set up this eveningís presentation. The vendor we are working with is Mr. Jim Hall with OTS.


Mr. Hall, Business Unit Manager in Government and Education for the company introduced Jim Rex, manager of the Cincinnati office. Mr. Hall said we are going to cover automated time and attendance. The product we represent is Kronos Time and Attendance Systems. We have been a dealer since 1981. We have 45 sales and support personnel in our company and over 1,500 installations in central and southwestern Ohio and Kentucky. We have the highest Dunn and Bradstreet rating you can get for a company our size. Kronos, the company we represent, is now a nearly $150 million company. They have been on Forbes Top 200 Small Companies for a number of years now. We have about 65% of the market share in electronic time and attendance. We automate the manual process of capturing and managing time and leave hours. A typical manual system involves timecards, time sheets, supervisors or administrative folks collecting those, editing them, manually adding them up, distributing the results, sending it to payroll, having it keypunched, etc. - a very time consuming process and very paper intensive as well. Itís very unproductive and can be very inaccurate. Policies can be subject to interpretation by various organizations. Leave policies can be difficult to administer. Itís difficult sometimes to access information. The reports are all prepared manually as well. Itís ineffective and can result in redundant data entry.


We automate this process through the use of computers and information stations. After the folks enter their time into the system the supervisor can call up reports, do any edits that are necessary, send information electronically to payroll; payroll interface sends it directly to the software and the checks are printed. Why would you want to automate? A paperless system might be one of your goals. You certainly want an accurate payroll. You want to increase productivity. You want fair and impartial application of policies. These systems do nothing but objectively interpret all of the contractual obligations of the City, pay policies and leave and balance policies. Everything we do complies with fair labor standards. You can access this information instantly from any PC that happens to be on the network as long as you have the security clearance to get into the information. Time and leave management systems are basically two types, positive time accounting where folks actually use an ID badge and badge in at their jobs or for salaried or exempt types we have exception based accounting where they are paid 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week and we just enter the exceptions, vacations, sick leave, personal time, etc. Positive time management involves the PCs on the network. The employees enter their time. The software processes the information and outputs all the necessary reports and payroll information. The exception based is where we give each of the employees the allotted time for their salary schedules and only deal with the exceptions such as leave, sick leave, etc. We can also pay from scheduled time if that is necessary.


Folks are used to time sheets or time cards. This ID badge takes the place of that. They basically report to work by sliding their badges through the reader. The light comes on, it beeps, the name appears on the display so the employee knows his/her time is being recorded into the system. Electronic timekeeping systems are very widespread. Most of the big retailers in the area use them. Several hospitals and government entities use the system. Instead of using a badge you can use a PIN number like an ATM machine. They are very durable appliances. Mean time between services is about 2.3 years. They are all electronic and modular, no moving parts, extremely low maintenance in that respect. They can be connected to your network. Our software is windows based. You can use it in a stand alone or LAN environment. You would use the windows if you have no plans for a client server. Right now you probably are not a big enough enterprise to do that. The system we are showing you tonight is for the small to medium size organizations and will be an upgrade from the time clocks and time sheets you are using now.


The system is parameter driven. There are no custom applications involved. We are able to interpret all of your payrolls just by configuration in our software. This allows you to take advantage of the regular upgrades that come along every two years or so. It adapts easily to changes in policies or union contracts when necessary. It uses a vehicle called the Configuration Manager and you, yourself, can go in and make changes. You donít need to have us do that work for you. In essence, you own the software, you control the software and you tell it what to do. There is on-line help. The toolbars, help screens, etc. have to meet the Microsoft certification and configuration standards. The reports that you get from this system are the meat and potatoes of the thing. They will tell you about what the employees are doing, hours, wages, attendance, and schedules. They will help you stay within the labor budget, stay within the scheduled hours, manage your attendance pro-actively and uncover any problem areas. Any reports can be by individual, organization, location. They can be by pay period, by day, by range of date so you basically have an unlimited supply of recorded information on the system. All of the information will have the base wage attached to it so you can perform certain cost accounting functions. There is an on-premise report available so that ten minutes after the start of the business day, you can ask the system whoís here. There is tardy and absence information available and it will report all exceptions. Exceptions can be whatever you say they are: late in, early out, absence, worked through meal. It can show you accrual balances. Your payroll and accounting software does some of that already so you may not need that feature. You can get year to date data from the system at any time during the year.


The plan at this point is to do a payroll interface with your CMI payroll software. We interface with over a hundred off the shelf payroll software packages so if you should change payroll services at any time it would not affect our system at all. The folks who are going to do the install are local. We handle all the installation, training, maintenance, software support and can be here in about five minutes. We are going to develop a clear definition of your pay policies. Weíre going to use an implementation plan based on a project management system. Weíll have an implementation kit that has training videos, that has software training diskettes and tutorials. Itís going to be a guide for your folks in terms of timetables, tools that are necessary, steps to do along the way, what our folks do, what your folks are responsible for, the timetables that encompass those and if you follow this guide, there is no way implementation will not be successful. Weíll work at your speed. Frankly, we can go much faster than you can. There are there policy decisions to be made and things to do along the way that will take some time. The process normally takes six weeks to 90 days to fully implement. Weíll start with pilot groups from each department. Weíll configure the software according to the rules youíve give us, let a few of the folks in each department practice on the system and make sure everything has been interpreted correctly. This is not the kind of thing you just turn loose on the employee population one Monday morning. Weíve done about 1,500 of these and we know how to make them go well. Weíll ask you to assign a project manager and weíll appoint an account manager on our side. They will work together to develop the schedules and how fast this goes, what needs to be done.


John Rex, manager of the Cincinnati office, said a time and attendance system

is one of the few systems that touch every employee you have. Everybody gets a pay check and how they input time is what we deal with. When you are looking at installing a system you need to look for a company that is established and has many installs in your particular environment. The person you would be working with directly is Scott Zeller. He does all of our government accounts in Cincinnati. Going from a manual system to an automated system normally saves about 80% of the time. You can count on 2% of your annual payroll being saved by going to an automated time and attendance system. We are really comfortable in your area. We pay over 25% of the state employees with our Kronos System. Weíre very comfortable with a multi-disciplined environment such as a local government. If anybody would like to stop in and see the operation please feel free to do so.


Mr. Hall said the benefits of the system are: to eliminate time sheets, improve accuracy and productivity, comply with regulations, calculate and manage leave balances successfully, have all the information on the network at any time anybody needs it.


Other customers we have are the State of Ohio, City of Jackson. Butler County has just signed in the child support area, environmental services and juvenile court. We have the Blue Ash Recreation Department. We also have Krogerís, Sears, McAlpins. The systems are out there working. We hope for a positive decision and successful implementation.


Mr. Galster asked is the year 2000 software compatible for year 2000, 2001.


Mr. Hall replied it is and the hardware as well.


Mr. Galster asked what about retroactive pay? If we havenít settled a contract and we go back two months and pay, thereís no problem?


Mr. Hall replied no problem. You can set up dummy scenarios in the software.


Mr. Galster said if someone is working in the Maintenance Department and we charge the Police Department for so many hours, then he works for another department, how do we break that down?


Mr. Hall responded you can have it so you have to swipe the card before you can charge hours to another department or you can do it after the fact anytime before that pay period is sent to payroll. There are a number of ways to do that.


Mr. Wilson asked what is the backup system for computer down time?


Mr. Hall said if the computer network goes down it is not a problem for us. These independent data collection stations have their own RAM and save punches until your network comes back up and can collect them and send it to the software. Theyíll save up to 9,000 punches before you absolutely have to download them. Then you can take a laptop and down load them if your network is down for any extended period of time. Likewise, if one of these goes down thatís not an issue either. You can enter time via the personal computer that is on the network. You can do group edits. Thereís never a crisis.


Mr. Osborn said I just want to point out that beyond these very good questions that were asked there is another feature that was touched on that we need to emphasize. That is, the consistency or continuity of policy interpretation that this brings to the process. No matter how much tenure we have, if you look at our workforce, from time to time we have turnover and folks that handle the payroll change over time and we have questions that donít come up every pay period. When the right combination comes together, whether the person was off for a few hours on sick leave and then worked overtime, you have to go back and reconstruct what did you do two years ago when this event occurred. I think the advantage here is that it allows you to build into the system a guarantee that there will be consistency in interpretation. When the circumstances duplicate themselves, you as an organization, respond in the same way. You wonít be treating employees differently because of a failure of the personnel remembering what the right answer is. I think thatís a very good asset that this type of system brings to an organization. Our principal reason for wanting to bring this before you this evening is to show the direction we are going. One question that hasnít been asked is cost. I can tell you that we do have a proposal in hand for the system as we would see it configured for just a little over $21,000. Weíre still exploring our options. Weíve looked at other companies but I would hope in the next few months we would be coming before you with a formal proposal to consider this type of system.


Ms. Manis asked Mr. Osborn, do you think in the long run it will be a wash. Will we be paying more overtime, less overtime?


Mr. Osborn replied I hope we will not be paying more overtime because I hope we are paying our people what they deserve now. As was touched on there is the Fair Labor Standards Act, which we all have to deal with, and we have very specific requirements as to what constitutes paid time, when a person is allowed to start, when they have to stop working, authorized overtime, etc. Breaking the hour into one-sixth increments I would truly hope we would not see any additional payroll expenses as a result of this. If it is, it is only because we have erred to the disadvantage of the employee, and I donít think that is fair either. My hope is that we wonít see a change there. I think weíll see a dramatic change in the amount of time we have to put into processing payroll.


Mr. Hall said in terms of overtime, you can have the system have a supervisorís sign off requirement so that it will show up as unapproved overtime unless it is authorized. Frankly it will limit the overtime as much as you want to. In many jobs people will stay past the allotted time to finish up what they need but the rules are set in the system very clearly. If the time is not regular time but in excess of that, then if you so desire it is not paid unless it is approved.


Ms. Manis said it is still work. They are working the time.


Mr. Hall stated very typically, unless overtime is pre-approved, it is not work. People most of the time will go home at 5:00 if you tell them to go home.


Ms. Manis said my concern wasnít the major overtime hours. It was the extra five minutes, ten minutes people stay to finish something up.


Mr. Hall responded it is up to the individual supervisor.


Mr. Danbury said Mr. Osborn, how are we going to deal with the police officers who have to go downtown to testify? Will they have to come back here?


Mr. Osborn replied we anticipate we are going to treat the police officers as an exempt group. Weíre not going to have them swipe a card in and out every time because of their extraordinary situation. They donít punch a time card now. It wasnít our initial idea to put them on a system where they have to be a positive type entry. We were going to put them on the passive system where you enter exceptions because of the fact that some of them have schedules that will take them downtown without coming in here. Thatís the exact type of situation we want to try to deal with.


Mr. Hall said you certainly could track time spent in court with this system if that was your desire. That is a pretty typical way of handling law enforcement folks and anybody who has such an erratic schedule that you canít schedule them.


Mr. Danbury said I would think if we were to go that route, would they have to go to the port here or if they live in that area, can they just go home if they live in that area? Thatís something weíre not going to deal with; it was just a question.




Mr. Knox said as everyone here is well aware, the basis of the Springdale Tax Code is fairness, that everyone, businesses, workers, residents pay their fair share of taxes. As it turns out the people in this area have done a wonderful job of that. Almost 99% of the people pay their taxes on time, which is a very laudable record. However, we have a small minority of less than 1 1/2% who do not pay their taxes on time, which is not equitable to the people who do pay their taxes on time. Mrs. Burton and the folks in the Tax Department do a wonderful job of trying to collect the taxes in a timely way. They send out letters to people, keep them informed and they do a lot of things. I believe there are four letters they send out. But at the end of that, if the people havenít paid their taxes, we have no avenue at the moment, to find these people and get the taxes that are due. The people in the Tax Department have more than enough to do at the moment without having to get into this business of collecting overdue taxes. After quite a bit of research, I thank the Mayor, Mr. Osborn and Mrs. Burton, for the work they have done on this, we are recommending an organization known as Collectech to go look for this small minority of people who have gotten to the point that we canít even contact them in a lot of cases anymore. They are professionals at this. Iíd like to call upon the gentlemen from Collectech right, if they would come forward. I thank them for coming here on such short notice, because for various reasons we didnít contact them until yesterday.


John Dobbs, regional president out of the Cincinnati office, said this office oversees the Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Pittsburgh area. This is one of twelve regional offices. Keith Dierker is our regional manager. There are 7,000 collection agencies in the country because there are 1-4% of debtor types who wonít pay any particular direct creditor, whether it be taxes, their phone bill, whatever. The collection industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. Collectech started ten years ago with a totally different slant. I can say confidently that there are 7,000 collection agencies out there and then there is Collectech. When we started our collection agency ten years ago we realized what collections agencies do. We make contacts by phone and by mail. We make contacts and use the leverage of credit reporting debtors who have gone through a year of internal collection efforts. They have gone through our collection efforts. Itís a serious of contacts. The question always comes up as to why do they pay you when they donít pay us? Thereís a certain type of debtor that just wonít pay on a normal basis, the direct creditor. Thatís where the collection agencies come into play. Thatís called third party intervention. Somebody from the outside is coming in, taking you out of the adversary role and putting us in the adversary role. That in itself will move a certain type of debtor so of that 1% we can move 15-20% of those debtors with just a simple contact. The difference between Collectech and all the agencies out in the country is that the agencies charge a ton of money. Itís not uncommon for an agency to get 30-33%. With us it would cost the City $8.50. The fee structure is the basic difference. For each of the accounts you send us we are going to make a series of contacts by phone and by mail, use the leverage of third party and credit reporting and eventually report these debtors for a very small flat fee. Obviously we have to be very efficient at what we do. Weíre extremely highly automated. Because we are automated and we treat all accounts the same our recoveries are higher. A typical scenario with the Hamilton County Health Department is that their septic tank inspections were $40. The EPA would require the County to do an inspection every year and the County would charge people a $40 fee. They were having a 40% non-pay. We are collecting about 60% of the 40% sent to. In the collection world thatís a very high recovery. The average collection is about 20% nationally of accounts going to a collection agency. We can treat each balance equally and the same. You send us accounts, give us name, address, phone number and balance due and itís $8.50 to go through this series of contacts. The average collection agency will take 600 accounts and work the devil out of the $2,000-$3,000 balances, but might throw a letter towards the smaller balances. You can see that there is a conflict when it comes to paying on a percentage basis. Besides the fee structure and higher recovery, the third difference is when it comes to Collectech the City is still in control. The City knows what we are saying and doing, what weíre saying on the phone, when weíre contacting them. The money is coming back to the City. Itís not coming to us. When you turn it over to a commission collector youíve lost control. With us itís a controlled environment. You pre-approve the letters going out, the timing. Our collection callers are not commission. They are hourly. Our governing body is the FDCPA which is very consumer oriented. They are really leaning towards protecting even that 1% and there is a lot of exposure out there.


When you look at predictability of what youíre going to get back, weíve got $325,000 out there currently. One of the biggest factors in recovery is age and weíve got a pretty wide spread of ages in these accounts. Some go back before 1990. The predictability is not as easy as if I could take current accounts. The idea is to get through this clean up and get our recovery level where itís at. Weíre predicting 15-20% and our cost of collection is going to be 8-10%. Weíve got to get through this and then we can get into ongoing current accounts and our recoveries will be more in the 40-60%. Mrs. Burton does her internal efforts. Statistics show you that after the second or third letter there are very little results from that point forward. Then she can spend $8.50 and run them through our entire system. I have done hundreds of clean ups that can be very successful. You are going to find people, who as soon as they are contacted by Collectech, are going to write checks.


We are going to make our first contact by mail which FDCPA rules. It will be a fairly diplomatic third party contact by us. Then we get a little tougher introducing the leverage of credit reporting which is very powerful leverage. People who cherish their credit are going to react to our second leverage. There are usually 13 day intervals between contacts and then we get into a phone campaign. Weíre going to make a minimum of three attempts. We call at different times of day. Most of our calls are in the evenings and on weekends. Our fourth contact says weíre moving on to credit reporting. Itís proven a series of constant contacts will get you your highest recovery. About 40 days after our final contact we will report them to all three major credit bureaus. That basically liens their credit for the next seven years on that debt. Between the internal efforts you have done and then ours, thatís the recourse. The credit reading has Collectech Systems, our name and phone number. Three years later when this person goes to get credit, the call comes through to us and we walk them through how to get a zero balance and they have to pay you at that time. During the whole process there is no additional fee.


Mayor Webster said the $5,414.50 is derived at by multiplying $8.50 times 637 accounts . The accounts equal $325,684.


Mrs. Boice asked is the 637 an actual figure? Mrs. Burton replied yes those are returns that have been filed and we know what the balances are. We have many more non-filers on top of that. Mrs. Boice asked are they basically business or residential accounts.


Mrs. Burton said there are 255 residents, 200 business accounts and 180 are business withholding accounts.


Mayor Webster said I might add that that is money that has been stolen from the City of Springdale. If somebody withholds money on behalf of the City of Springdale and does not pass that money on to us thatís thievery pure and simple.


Mrs. Boice said I do not disagree with that at all. How soon are you able to track these presently?


Mrs. Burton said on the 1996 returns we havenít started our delinquency process with those at all. We have to have all of the returns posted before we know whoís late and whoís not. Our goal would be to get all the returns in the computer by the end of September. We have people working overtime trying to get that done. Once those are posted we will send out our first delinquency letter on 1996. We send out a series of four letters and the fifth one is a subpoena to the office. If itís delivered in Springdale itís delivered by a police officer. If they come to the office itís taken care of at that time. After the subpoena our next recourse is the letters start over again because the next thing we can do is take them to Mayorís Court. Thatís very time consuming and very few of these accounts have or will be taken to Mayorís Court.


Mrs. Boice asked with Collectech this process would be speeded up.


Mrs. Burton replied yes. The number of residential accounts is 255 at $100,000. Business net profit returns are $45,000 and there are 196 accounts. There are 186 business withholdings at $178,000.


Mr. Danbury said we are going to do the same process with the letters and subpoenas and then after we have exhausted the efforts we have in place right now, then Collectech comes in, correct?


Mrs. Burton responded yes. And when he was talking about some of these accounts being as old as 1989 they may relate to 1989 or 1990 returns but realistically it may have been someone who came in last month and filed returns for 91, 92, 93, 94, 95. That happens every day.


Mr. Dobbs stated in the collection world those would be looked at as more current so the predictability of collection would be higher.


Mayor Webster asked what would be the average time that an account would be delinquent before you would turn it over to Collectech?


Mrs. Burton responded they are probably at least nine months delinquent before we get one letter to them. We send the letters on thirty day intervals so I would say a year.


Mr. Knox said on the 255 residents, those are people who the last time we knew lived in the City? Do all those still live in the City?


Mrs. Burton replied the majority of them do not.


Mr. Knox said I wanted to point out that looking at the script they use and the letters they send to people, they are very professional. They are not insulting. They do not try to be harassing. They just tell people this is the way it is and this is whatís going to happen. Thatís why I like the approach this company takes. Itís very businesslike.


Ms. Manis said Mr. Knox, you said we donít even know where some of these people are. You donít locate people do you?


Mr. Dobbs said you are talking about skip tracing. Itís virtually not cost effective for these small balances. We skip trace by liening their credit. We donít even need their social security numbers. It goes back three previous addresses. If the mail and contacts donít go through we automatically report to the bureaus instantly. Skip tracing today you have to go through CD ROM, and most agencies wonít touch anything under $1,000 balance.


Mr. Knox said I stated that strongly but I can almost guarantee that the addresses we provide, some of them arenít going to be valid anymore, but weíre giving the best information we can.


Mr. Dobbs said even though we do service them and put them on the credit bureau weíll give 5% credit for skip tracing. The first 5% of those we canít reach we give you credit for.


Ms. Manis said they will get their first collection letter five months after they know they are delinquent.


Mrs. Burton responded this year in this case. Last year we didnít get delinquency letters sent out until January.


Ms. Manis said from the time they get their first delinquency letter from you and you send them four letters and a subpoena it will be a five month period at the minimum before you send them to the collection agency. I really donít have a problem with the businesses but I do have a little bit of a problem with the residences. People are extremely finicky about their tax information and having it go to a third person, having someone call and say Springdale Tax Department gave us your name and number and told us you owe this much in taxes.


Mrs. Burton said I guess this would have to be directed to the Law Director but it does say in the ordinances that we can collect taxes under any lawful means.


Mr. Danbury said if they paid their taxes they wouldnít be getting anything.


Ms. Manis responded Iím sure there are a lot of people who think they did.


Mr. Danbury replied that is why we have the process. We are making the effort to tell them that they are delinquent. I agree with that. Some people may feel that it is not proper for us to be sharing this information, but again you are making a lot of effort to inform these people that they are delinquent. Iím sorry but if they havenít paid it and theyĎve been told.


Ms. Manis said Iím not arguing with you but itís the way I feel about it. I think we should jump on the businesses right away. Itís nothing against your company. I think itís a great way to get this money but I do have a problem with our residents.


Mr. Wilson said we give you a list of individuals and addresses who owe taxes but we may not have their social security number, and through your attempts you get nothing and you report this to the three credit reporting agencies and the individuals apply for credit. They see Springdale taxes and itís in error, what is your process to correct that so that we are not liable?


Mr. Dobbs replied under the bureau it would say Collectech Systems with our phone number with your name underneath as the creditor. If a mistake is made, we as the reporting agency, can put out a bullís eye. We can call the agency and get that off their record in its entirety. If someone pays and it was a legitimate debt, that stays on their record for seven years. It just goes to a zero balance and shows that it was paid off. Otherwise people would just wait until they go to get credit and pay all their bills and clean up their credit. But if itís a mistake we can get it off in its entirety. Just to emphasis that point, if you think about how big TRW, Equifax and Trans Union are, all of the major corporations in America reporting to the bureaus, what kind of liability and lawsuits there would be if we didnít have that capability. We have been in business ten years and weíve never had a lawsuit over credit reporting. The courts have always ruled if they get it off quickly there is no harm. We have a complete dispute department so every one of those calls on the 800 number on report goes back to our consumer service department as a dispute. Anyone has the right to file a dispute with us and we go back to you and you say itís a mistake, weíll take care of it.


Mayor Webster asked Mrs. Burton, could you walk us through this one more time? Your individual tax return is due April 30 for residents. In a situation like Ms. Manis put forth here, where a resident is short and owes money, the resident knows he owes us money, doesnít he. If he miscalculates his taxes and pays $100 and it should have been $200 when does he find out?


Mrs. Burton replied as soon as we audit the return we send a correction notice.


Mayor Webster says the tax payer thinks heís clean, you think heís clean, heís filed but it hasnít been audited. In October you discover that he owes us $100 so you send him a letter; again in November and December. In January you send him a subpoena to the office. If he doesnít respond to that in thirty days, is that when you turn it over to Collectech? Mrs. Burton replied yes.


Mayor Webster asked then how soon would the man get a letter from your agency?


Mr. Dobbs responded our turn around time in getting accounts is 48 hours; then thirteen day intervals for contacts. The reason for the thirteen days is that statistics and research have shown that the average consumer gets some kind of payment every two weeks, either a pay check or something from the government, so the whole idea is to prioritize this bill, take it from the bottom and put it on top. We come at them every two weeks to remind them that they have to pay this bill. Our entire process as contacts runs about 45 days.


Mr. Knox stated not only are the people contacted in the schedule that the Mayor has outlined, but also if the people come in and talk to the Tax Department, reasonable arrangements can be made for them to pay that so it will never get to this point. Itís only the people who havenít responded to four letters and a subpoena delivered by a policeman who will ever get to this point. Thatís pretty far down the line. Itís almost a year from the time they are supposed to pay their taxes. I donít see that we have any other option in this because I hate to say it, but itís growing. The number gets bigger every year. If we donít do something about it, it will really start escalating and thatís one of the things weíre worried about. If word gets around that weíre just forgetting about the taxes, itís going to hurt us. We have to take some kind of action and we believe this is the most professional way to go about it at this time.


Mrs. Boice said just a comment in response to Ms. Manisí comment. I can identify with what you are saying about the resident and their tax forms and information going to someone else because that always weighs very heavily on me. On the Tax Review Board when they request a hearing, their files are given to that board because we must review them. I always immediately destroy my copies when I get home and couldnít even name the last person we reviewed because I blot it out. But I think we are living in a day and age that we would be kidding ourselves that we have this tremendous privacy. With our social security numbers all over this country I question how much privacy any of us have in any corner of this great country. That used to weigh a lot more heavily on me than it does now because I think we are living in a time that I know longer feel our private matters are as private as we might think they were.


Mr. Galster said if we send out a tax form to a 16 to 18 year old who has moved out of the City, these people have gotten a notice that they havenít filed a return. These people donít actually get into the system until they have filed a return, is that correct?


Mrs. Burton said not necessarily. We have lots of ways of finding people.


Mr. Galster said but they are not in as a delinquent if they havenít filed in the City of Springdale. As an example, my wife has been getting returns from Forest Park for three years. She keeps sending them back saying she hasnít lived there. Iíve gone over there and taken her Springdale forms and we still get those from Forest Park. If the City of Springdale was doing the same she would not get into this collection system or reported on the credit reports because there is no record that she owes a specific amount. Is that correct? Mrs. Burton replied yes. Mr. Galster said so the errors based on high school and college kids moving out really donít happen if they donít file a return and havenít worked in the City. I assume itís the same for businesses. Until they set up shop and a file saying they have set up shop in the City the same thing would apply.


Mrs. Burton replied right unless they have signed a return and we know what the amount is, they wouldnít be sent to Collectech.


Mr. Galster said thatís usually where you get the problems. What about disputed amounts?


Mrs. Burton responded we are giving them every opportunity to come in and talk to us about the disputed amounts within the framework of the letters we send out. If it is a different amount than what they filed, the first thing we send them is a correction notice stating the amount filed, the correction and stated reasons as to why we have made the corrections.


Mr. Galster said I assume the process of sending notices every thirty days is delayed if they are working on.


Mrs. Burton replied if they are working with us and we are aware of it, yes. If we get no response from them the process goes on.


Mr. Galster stated Iím just trying to eliminate people who shouldnít be in the system from being in the system.


Mrs. Burton said maybe we got a return from 1993 that was filed yesterday. We wouldnít send that to Collectech either just because it was 1993 balance. We go through the process when we get the return.


Mr. Dobbs said even in the process when the account has been turned over to us, one of the advantages of Collectech over an agency is, if a dispute surfaces, thatís part of what weíre hoping to do. We want to bring it to the surface and get it paid.


Mayor Webster said the information given to Collectech would include name, address and amount due.


Mrs. Burton said yes, no returns, no correspondence.


Mr. Dobbs said we have all kinds of non-disclosure responsibilities. Even as our mail goes out, the letters say personal and confidential. They donít say Collectech on the outside. That way the mailman or a neighbor wouldnít know itís a collection agency. Thatís all federal government controlled.


Ms. Manis asked do you service any other citiesí tax departments.


Mr. Dobbs replied around the country but not in this area. This region is three years old. We havenít got to that phase of development yet. Cities are a tougher market. When I was in California at our corporate office I had many cities as clients.


Ms. Manis asked do any other cities around here use collection agencies and who?


Mrs. Burton responded Silverton is using another collection agency that we did check into but they were one of the group that he talked about earlier that charge 30% of the balance. In some cases if they kept it long enough they wanted 50%. I have a list in my office but I canít specifically name cities. I am aware of about ten. The Government Accounting Agency recently did a survey of city governments that are considering using collection agencies or are currently using them, and of the ones who are not using them about 50% of those are considering using them in the next six months.


Ms. Manis asked are they using them for their tax departments or building fees?


Mrs. Burton replied both.


Mr. Dobbs said the State of Ohio about six months ago put out an RFP throughout the state and the state hired nine or ten collection agencies to do all their taxes.


Mr. Galster asked is it possible to customize your program? No disrespect. I know in the voice demand, we have a sample script but weíve dealt with sample scripts with Warner Cable. Your sample script starts out fine but there is no interaction yet. There is no escalation of feelings. Itís hard to script being polite. Is it possible to keep the mail aspect of it and not the voice or is this an all or none package?


Mr. Dobbs responded there is no question that mail produces more payments. The value of phones is a couple is sitting at home in the evening and one answers the phone. The other one doesnít realize they havenít paid their taxes. Thereís real value in it. Keep in mind that this script is just the introductory. We introduce ourselves and we have to tell them we are trying to collect the debt. If the person says I have contacted the City time and again and canít get this resolved, we tell them they need to contact the City. To avoid further contact from us we need to hear that from the City. We are trying to drive that call back to the City to get it resolved. Thatís our first response.


Mr. Galster said I just have a hard time with trying to police and control every person who is on the phone in every situation and making sure it doesnít get out of hand. If we eliminate the voice and itís all in writing, we have the ability to approve or disapprove of wording and there is no question as to what is being done out there.


Mrs. Boice said Mr. Galster, have you ever done any collection work? He replied yes and Mrs. Boice said so have I. Mrs. Boice said I did it on a smaller basis for a much smaller company. I think any company worth their salt will certainly have people on the phone who are properly trained because you can get pretty irate people on the other end of the phone. There are a lot key phrases and words you must use with these people and get back to the agency or the company you are working for. I really think that a company that deals in this type of thing would certainly have the proper people.


Mr. Galster said I have done collections for three years. It is not a fun job. Iíve had some things said to me that made me respond and I consider myself a pretty even tempered person. There are people who can say things to a well intended collection person that can get under their skin or fire them up and something can happen. Iíve said things and then said Iím sorry instantly.


Mrs. Boice said it takes a certain temperament to do this and also you are going to run into people who just need a little patting on the back and understanding. I really hope that a company of this size would be monitoring their people on the phones. Some are cut out for this and some are not. When you are dealing with a professional collection agency they know what to do.


Mayor Webster said we are asking Council to approve a contract with Collectech, a professional collection agency. I donít think we ought to dictate to them what script they use and what methods they use, other than they are going to use the phone and letters. If weíre that much of an expert on what we should be saying to them, then we probably should hire you, Mr. Galster, to come over and run our collections for us. If we are going to farm it out to an agency letís do it. If we donít want to do it, fine, letís forget it. I donít think we ought to hire a professional concern and then say donít say this and donít say that, do this and do that.


Mr. Vanover said we are talking about people whom we have given every fair chance to contact the Tax Department if there is a dispute and bring that dispute to the table. They are willing to work with them. The people were given a four or five month grace period before the process even started. If we file our taxes and there is a mistake made thatís fine. Most of the people are aware that they are not filing their taxes or if they are, they are not paying their taxes. Itís not a big surprise. I donít have a problem with this. The operation is professional and I tend to agree with Mayor Webster. How can we dictate? If we are going to hire them to do the job, let them do the job. You donít hire a contractor and say I want you to use these forms or this color, etc. We give them the specs that we want and as long as the job is up to those specs we donít dictate how many left handed carpenters they hire or how many right handed cement haulers they use. We leave that to them.


Mr. Galster stated we have not gone to a collection agency before. We are going into unchartered territories. My question is can we change it a little bit and see if this works. As the gentleman said he gets a tremendous amount of response from the mail. Iím just questioning about changing the specification as opposed to whether itís left handed or right handed phone callers. How far do we need it to go in order for it to be effective? Weíre not doing anything beyond our own tax department right now.


Mr. Vanover said we have $325,000 outstanding.


Mr. Galster replied I understand but do we proceed full bore. Iím just asking if that was an option. I didnít even express an opinion on whether or not I agreed with the fact that we should or shouldnít be doing it. I may be totally behind it. I just questioned whether we can do this or canít we.


Mrs. McNear said Iím going to sound like a broken record and say why donít we leave the experts to do their jobs. Obviously this is a professional company. They know what they are doing. Some of us have some experience of dabbling in collections. Let these people do their job. Itís not an expensive procedure - $8.50 for a letter. Itís probably more cost efficient than having our own people do it. Secondly, I pay my taxes and pay them on time. My sixteen year old paid his taxes. I have a fourteen year old who is already registered with the City to pay his taxes. If you donít pay your taxes, Iím sorry. I donít feel sorry for you. Take whatever consequences come from that.


Council recessed at 8:40 p.m. Mr. Galster had to leave the meeting for business reasons. Council resumed at 8:50 p.m.



Mrs. McNear made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded.


Ordinance 66-1997 passed with 6 affirmative votes.




Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Wilson seconded.


Ms. Manis said in Section 2 where it talks about paying in cash within thirty days or four semi-annual installments, are the four installments the assessment on the taxes. Mr. Osborn replied yes.


Mr. Danbury asked is this figure of $87,595 about what we anticipated?


Mr. Osborn replied itís a little lower than we originally projected but it still represents just under half of the driveway aprons that were originally identified as requiring replacement. The other 50% had the work done by some other contractor.


Mr. Knox stated one person has already paid by check.




Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mrs. McNear seconded.



Office of the MAYOR



WHEREAS, the Fire Explorer Post 211 sponsored by the Springdale Fire Department just recently won First Place at the eleventh annual "Junior Emergency Services Excellence Award" contest which is sponsored by the Volunteer Firemanís Insurance Services (VFIS), who insures fire departments across the country; and


WHEREAS, in the last ten years that our exploring program has existed, we have been awarded the third place (twice) and fourth place awards for programs nationwide; and


WHEREAS, we have a group of young adults who work for and give a lot to the program; and


WHEREAS, at the "Volunteer Summit" recently held in Philadelphia, PA, President Clinton talked about how the youth of today should do more to help the community and he thanked those who take the time to make this country a better place. This exploring program has many young people who show and put forward what President Clinton wanted to accomplish with his summit; and

WHEREAS, the Explorer Post 211 Awards Banquet will be held on Tuesday, September 9, 1997 at 7:00 p.m. and the Hampshire House Hotel and Conference Center.


NOW THEREFORE, I, DOYLE H. WEBSTER, Mayor of the City of Springdale, do hereby proclaim Tuesday, September 9, 1997 as


"Springdale Fire Explorer Post 211 Day"


in the City of Springdale and call upon all citizens to join with me in recognizing the efforts and accomplishments of the Springdale Fire Explorer Post 211 and all junior emergency service groups across the country not only on this day, but all through the year as well.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the City of Springdale to be affixed this second day of September in the year of Our Lord, Nineteen Hundred Ninety-Seven.





Mr. Vanover said my brother-in-law is involved in this in one of our eastern communities and he is in awe of our explorerís post. We have a lot of people out there who should be very proud and take their accolades very well.


Mr. Danbury said this shows great teamwork and great leadership. This post has just excelled for a number of years and itís not always the same people. I know that they have people coming through but itís still achieving a degree of excellence. I think it needs to be noted once again that a lot of the accolades need to be pointed at Mr. Randy Hormann. Without his leadership and devotion to the young men and women, we wouldnít be where we are today. We keep saying this all the time. This is one group that is always coming back. I donít think itís going to go away and I think Mr. Hormann needs to be recognized for being the leader that he is.


Mrs. Boice said as you look through our resolutions that we pass throughout the year we have various groups and individuals who come in. I think the crown of Springdale is getting so heavy with jewels at this point. Every week, every month we seem to have an outstanding individual or group. We are very fortunate. This is a very special community and all of us who live here know that. These types of things call our attention to it even more. I agree with you completely Mr. Danbury, that the work Mr. Hormann has done has been absolutely outstanding. The group of young people he has been working with are outstanding. All of these young people who come in here are our future and I would say our future is looking pretty rosy. And as I say a million times arenít we lucky. My congratulations to all of them and particularly Mr. Hormann.


Ms. Manis said I want to echo about Mr. Hormann. He does a lot of extra work. They also have a web page on the internet. Iím sure Mr. Hormann did it all on his own with no help. Thatís the kind of guy he is. You can e-mail him and tell him good job. I donít have the address but itís under Springdale.


Mr. Knox said as I mentioned about a year ago I was an Air Explorer Scout when I was younger and I can remember those days. Iím not going to take anything away from Randy Hormann because heís done a wonderful job but we have a very special group of young people there because at that age they are at now, a lot of things pull them in a lot of directions and it takes a phenomenal amount of stick-to-itiveness, intelligence and determination to do what theyíve done and I personally salute them.


Resolution R19-1997 passed with 6 affirmative votes.




Mrs. Boice made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded.


Mrs. Boice said Mr. Mitchell served on the Board of Zoning Appeals which both Mrs. McNear and I are the Council representatives. We enjoyed working with him and he did serve as both vice-chairman and chairman and did a very good job. We had a lot of signs come in front of us and Mr. Mitchell used to get a little perturbed with me when I would be trying to cut off an extra inch on one side or six inches on the bottom of it but he was always there supporting all of that. We will miss him on that board. He did a very good job and he was very knowledgeable. We have his address in-house and it is my intention at our next Board of Zoning Appeals meeting to bring in a little note that we all have an opportunity to sign and send to him because we did not have that opportunity of saying farewell to him on the board. He served us well and I wish him well in his new ventures in North Carolina.


Mr. Wilson said Iíve know Mr. Mitchell since 1985 prior to him coming to Springdale. I knew a lot about his background because we were members of the same college fraternity. He came to us with excellent credentials in zoning laws from his previous job. I personally am very proud of him as the City is. He did an excellent job. He complemented what we already had on the board. I and the City will miss him and weíll have to look for somebody like him to replace him.


Resolution R20-1997 passed with 6 affirmative votes.




Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mrs. McNear seconded.


Mr. Osborn said I was able to address a memorandum to Council yesterday. I hope you have had an opportunity to see it. It highlights the key factors related to these three projects and why we have selected them and the priority we have assigned them. We would suggest that the first priority go to the East Kemper Road lane addition. While this is not an item on our current capital budget, if you recall, weíre doing a corridor study and everything I hear from the Engineerís Office indicates that this will be a very strong recommendation coming out of that report, that we add an additional eastbound lane on Kemper Road east of S. R. 747 to Tri County Parkway. Because this is a regional type thoroughfare and it has an impact on a very large segment of the motoring population we believe itís going to have a higher value in terms of attracting support for funding. As a result weíd like to put it up towards the front of our priority listing. For that same reason weíre looking at carrying this as an 80-20 application, 80% SCIP, 20% local. The other two projects are ones you are familiar with. Both the West Kemper Road storm sewer project and the West Sharon Road rehabilitation project are currently under design and are tentatively scheduled for construction in 1998. The West Kemper Road storm sewer project was previously unsuccessful in obtaining funding under another category. We are now trying it under SCIP. Unfortunately, West Sharon Road has been submitted under SCIP and has not been successful. Just to give you a scale of the size of the projects weíre talking about, the lane addition on eastbound Kemper Road is estimated to be $326,000. The Kemper Road storm sewer project, Phase I is estimated to be $483,000. The Sharon Road improvement is $520,000.


Before we can submit applications we need Councilís authorization. These are the projects which we feel still have the most likelihood of success, but again, because of our past experience with a couple of them, we are reducing the amount of funding for which we are asking to a lower amount. The memorandum contains that information relative to the individual projects and if anyone has any questions either the Engineer or I would try to answer them.


Ms. Manis said so they wonít come back and say you donít have enough for 80/20 but weíll give you 50.


Mr. Osborn said they typically look at what youíre proposing to spend on it. Itís not a barter situation. I wish it were in some cases. There is a technical committee. Beyond just the amount you are willing to put in as the local agency, they are also looking at other factors. I think there are 7 or 8 categories used in the evaluation and how much you are putting into the project is only one of those, but itís one of the few we can influence as part of the application. Thatís why in a couple of cases we suggested we drop our request down to a 50% match.


Ms. Manis asked you donít know which of the 7 or 8 things they were in favor of?


Mr. Osborn replied they show you your score. On Sharon Road we have not been close and I think a big part of it is because we donít let our roads get into such bad shape that when they come out to score them, they grade them on their condition. As you know, we do a lot of crack sealing, resurfacing, etc. We donít let our streets deteriorate. Weíd be in a much better competitive situation if we didnít put so much preventative maintenance in place so we handicap ourselves in that respect. That is one of the factors they look at and weigh very heavily and unfortunately, thatís why weíve not been too successful lately. Our streets arenít in such bad shape as other communities. The one factor we can try to influence is the amount of money we request. I also think in the case of East Kemper Road, the fact that itís a capacity issue for a major artery also ought to be to our advantage because there is clearly insufficient lane capacity now for the traffic it has to handle.


Ms. Manis said say we request money for East Kemper Road and we get it and then we decide not to do the project.


Mr. Osborn responded then we would not get the money.


Mr. Danbury said if we donít get any funds are we still going to go through with these projects?


Mr. Osborn replied thatís up to City Council. As I said earlier East Kemper Road is not even in our budget yet. Right now we are at the front end of putting together the five year capital budget that will be the precursor to the 1998 budget. Mr. Shulerís office and my office are working jointly on putting those numbers together right now. We obviously will roll this lane addition into that mix. The second and third projects are projects that have been on the budget cycle for some time and if you follow the five year budget, would be coming up for funding in 1998. They clearly are going to be under consideration, particularly since we are spending money right now to do the design work for those two projects.


Mr. Danbury said I am looking at item 2, West Kemper Road storm sewer improvement. Eventually ideally weíd like to have a bike path going down in that area. Would it be prudent for us to try to incorporate the entire project right now?


Mr. Osborn responded no, that was the funding mechanism we attempted to go under before. Itís called an enhancement program under ISTEA. That program is no longer available. Nevertheless, because the storm sewer improvements were such a major part of the bike path, they saw it for what it was, a storm sewer project with a bike path on top of it. We were turned away. I think what we are doing now is in a straightforward manner. We need to make improvements to the storm sewer system on Kemper Road. Itís a major project and weíd like outside assistance in doing it. The problem is that a storm sewer project of this nature is pretty typically a local project in sense of whom it benefits. Weíre not certain how well itís going to do even on its own.


Mr. Danbury said I understand that we have a better chance of getting it if itís just a storm sewer. But if we get this, weíre going to put a storm sewer in, put dirt on it, grade it, put seed on, then come back and tear out the seed we just put down.


Mr. Osborn said no. We donít have a bike path scheduled right now to follow on the storm sewer project. We have a second phase of this storm sewer project yet to do. This phase weíre discussing goes just past Greenlawn to the west which will allow us to pick up the major run off that now floods some of those properties on Greenlawn. We will try to collect that and carry it on down to the creek. The next phase of this project is yet to come and thatís Greenlawn up to Kenn Road. Weíre still at least two years away if everything goes the way we had hoped. We construct Phase I in 1998 and Phase II in 1999 so weíre two or three years away from even considering a bike path. The right of way would be graded in such a manner that in the future should we come back with a sidewalk or bike path we would not have to disturb the grading. The grading would be in place.


Mayor Webster said if we get these two phases behind us then I think weíre in a much better position to try to get some funding to actually do the bikeway.


Resolution R21-1997 passed with 6 affirmative votes.




Mrs. Boice asked whatís going on at Lawnview and Kemper? They poured the cement for the bus shelter and some other sidewalk but I see some outlines where more cement is going. Frankly, itís a mess. Whatís happening?


Mr. Osborn replied the problem originated as a conflict between two projects; one being our sidewalk project, the other being the improvements to the signalization at the intersection. We had to hold off on our concrete work while the state contractor put in the base construction for the mast arms on the traffic signals. By the time that part of his construction cleared our contractor was full bore on the driveway aprons. We chose not to pull him off the driveway aprons and we will be getting back and completing that sidewalk. Truly we gave him the direction that we wanted those driveway aprons finished first and we felt he could come back to this after the push to get the driveway aprons done. You should see him back there in the next few weeks.




Mayor Webster said I was handed this note yesterday although it was verbally communicated to me months ago. The letter reads: "Dear Mr. Webster: Iím writing to you today to inform you that I am no longer able to sit on the Parks and Recreation Commission due to the fact that I am no longer residing in Springdale. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for allowing me to sit on this particular commission. Sincerely, Diane Brunswick"


In light of this pending letter I have filled that vacancy. I try to create as much autonomy on these boards as possible. I appoint people who will be objective in their thinking and donít mind disagreeing with me if that needs to be. Iím very pleased to say Iíve found someone whom I think can do an excellent job on the board, Michele Miller. I coached Michele in softball and soccer and she never listened to me in all the years I coached her and I know darn good and well sheís not going to listen to me on the Parks and Recreation Commission. I would like to request that we bring a resolution in for Diane at the next meeting please.


Mr. Vanover said I have had a request from Mr. Winfough, the Health Commissioner about opening the cholesterol tests to the public. Originally there was some discussion but to get things off the ground we asked to keep it within the confines of the employees. There was also discussion about just charging the residents for the test supplies. The cost of the test is $10.95. He has gotten several calls on this and asked that I query Council on how we want to proceed from here.


Mayor Webster recommended that we charge a flat $10.


Mrs. Boice asked if there are requests from outside the City are you going to make it clear that itís only residents?


Mayor Webster replied I think we should keep it to Springdale residents unless Council feels strongly otherwise.


Mr. Vanover said that is for the lipid profile plus the glucose.


Ms. Manis said the trucks that were working in our area, when they were finished, would park on the street, generally in the wrong direction from other traffic and too close to stop signs. If you were coming down the street you couldnít see the stop signs.

Ms. Manis said people might recognize Michele Miller as Michele Nabel Miller.


Mr. Osborn said there was a bid opening on August 28 for a sprinkler system for the Municipal Building. The lowest and best bid was submitted by Clean Cut Lawn and Irrigation at a cost of $34,940. We recommend that the proposal be accepted. The sprinklers right now are all hand distributed and hoses are dragged. You can appreciate on a piece of property this side with the amount of landscaping we have, thatís quite a bit of time and effort. We request that Council favorably consider an ordinance at your next meeting awarding a contract to Clean Cut Lawn and Irrigation.


Mr. Knox said each of you has received a letter from Ray Hodges, the City Manager of Forest Park, who is also chairman of the Forest Park Records Commission. On September 22 Forest Park is going to hold a presentation on open meetings and open records and they are inviting anyone who would like to attend from our Council. We are welcome to be there. I am going to be there. If you want to call me and add your name to that I will make the phone call or you can call him directly.




Board of Zoning Appeals September 16, 7:00 p.m.

Fire Explorersí Banquet September 9, 7:00 p.m.

Hampshire House

(If you plan to eat you need to get in touch with someone in the Fire


Planning Commission September 11(Thursday) , 7:00p. m.

Board of Health September 11, 7:00 p.m.

Special Council Meeting September 24, 7:00 p.m.

(Traffic study)






Updating the Springdale Building Code deferred to October

Proposed development for Target October 15




Ordinance for Clean Cut Lawn and Irrigation

Resolution for Diane Brunswick

Ordinance for contract with Collectech


Mrs. McNear said during the break I was talking with Mrs. Pollitt and she is in the collection industry. She made a very good point that I think we should add on to that ordinance. She said it is within our legal rights to charge the person weíre collecting from the $8.50 fee.


Council adjourned at 9:38 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,





Edward F. Knox

Clerk of Council/Finance Director


Minutes Approved:


Randy Danbury, President of Council




__________________________, l997