President of Council Kathy McNear called Council to order on August 15, 2001, at 7:00 p.m.
The governmental body and those in attendance recited the pledge of allegiance. Mr. Knox gave the invocation.
Mr. Knox took roll call. Present were Council members Danbury, Galster, Pollitt, Squires, Wilson and McNear. Mr. Vanover was absent.
The minutes of July 18, 2001 were approved with five affirmative votes. Mr. Galster abstained.
Mayor Webster said I would like to thank all of you for showing up tonight and for all your beautiful landscaping work. The City really looks great. We judged the awards this year about thirty days later than what we normally do. It gave the plantings time to mature and the City really looks great. We have added a couple of new wrinkles to the awards this year. At Christmas time we designated a street in the City as the most decorated street. Cloverdale is the winner of the most beautifully landscaped street in the City. Mayor Webster presented the awards. He said the Ketring family of 403 Vista Glen has been a four-time winner of the Fay Howard Memorial Award so this year we took the Ketring family out of the running. The Ketrings were presented with a special award.
Area #1 Ė Beacon and Oxford Hills
Kenn Rd. (north of I-275)
1st Place 677 Coxbury Circle The White Family
2nd Place 12085 Greencastle Drive The Sherry Family
3rd Place 12030 Chardon Lane The Belcher Family
HM 850 Summerfield Lane The Roberts Family
HM 886 Clearfield Lane The Johnson Family
HM 12039 Cantrell Drive The Rausch Family
Area #2 Ė Springdale Lake Dr.
Ray Norris Dr.
Glensprings Area (including the five cul-de-sacs)
1st Place 737 Glensprings Drive The Sinks Family
2nd Place 12065 Springdale Lake Drive The Turner Family
3rd Place 675 Glensprings Drive The Hall Family
HM 667 Glensprings Drive Annie Greene
HM 689 Glensprings Drive The Stahlgren Family
HM 11809 Ashmore Court The Bassett Family
Area #3 Ė Cloverdale Area, Smiley, Park, and Allen
West Kemper (west of Route 4) (north side)
Kenn Rd. (south of I-275)
S.R. 4 (north of Kemper)
1st Place 616 Cloverdale Avenue The Laage Family
2nd Place 495 Cloverdale Avenue The Piening Family
3rd Place 467 Cloverdale Avenue The Reckner Family
HM 672 Cloverdale Avenue The Skirvin Family
HM 695 Cloverdale Avenue The Blankenship Family
HM 687 Cloverdale Avenue The Whitaker Family
HM 483 Dimmick Avenue Edna Poynter
HM 11677 Greenlawn Avenue The Hucke Family
HM 496 Cloverdale Avenue Harold Burkholder
Area #4 Ė Observatory Area, Grandin Area
West Kemper (south side)
1st Place 563 Lafayette Avenue Otis Poindexter
2nd Place 562 Lafayette Avenue The Clark Family
3rd Place 518 Lafayette Avenue The Harper/Mastrullo Family
HM 367 Plum Street The Lutts Family
HM 519 Lafayette Avenue Kathryn Crockett
HM 595 West Kemper Road The Miller Family HM 560 Observatory Drive The Cain Family
Area #5 Ė Glenview Subdivision
Cameron Road Area
West Sharon Rd.
1st Place and winner of the Fay Marion Howard Award Ė
486 Vista Glen The Swope Family
2nd Place 489 Vista Glen The Wolff Family
3rd Place 457 Rockcrest Drive The Hammel Family
HM 10901 Fallstone Drive The Davis Family
HM 263 Centerbury Court The Tholt Family
HM 10960 Fallstone Drive The Moore Family
Area #6 Ė Springdale Terrace Subdivision
Royal Oaks Subdivision
West Kemper (east of Rout 4)
1st Place 202 Diston Lane The Sayegh Family
2nd Place 11700 Lawnview Avenue The Butrum Family
3rd Place 11823 Van CleveAvenue The Buehler Family
HM 203 Harter Avenue The Shteiwi Family
HM 11825 Lawnview Avenue Rachel Bourne
HM 115 Silverwood Circle The Carroll Family
HM 11718 Lawnview Avenue The Connor Family
HM 150 Balsam Court The Gowans Family
Area #7 Ė Heritage Hill Subdivision
East Crescentville Rd.
1st Place 979 Pilgrim Place The Stover Family
2nd Place 877 Tivoli Lane The Farmer Family
3rd Place 815 Ledro Street The Dixon Family
HM 903 Ledro Street Flora McMannis
HM 922 Castro Lane The Janzen Family
HM 707 Ledro Street Robert Starkey
HM 11989 Tavel Court The Klemas Family
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN COMMUNITY BEAUTIFICATION
403 Vista Glenn Ė The Kettering Family
MOST LANDSCAPED STREET Ė CLOVERDALE AVENUE
Maple Knoll Village 11100 Springfield Pike
Bahama Breeze 325 North Commerce Way
Executive Plaza III 135 Merchant Street (Managed by Duke Realty)
Dave & Busterís 11775 Commons Drive
Arhaus 35 Tri County Parkway
Princeton Hill 30 Merchant Street
COMMITTEE AND OFFICIAL REPORTS
Civil Service Commission - no report
Rules and Laws - no report
Public Relations - no report
Public Health, Safety & Welfare - no report
Public Works Ė Mr. Wilson stated the 2001 street program is substantially completed with the exception of the pavement repair on SR 747 near I-275.
Public Utilities - no report
Capital Improvements Ė Mr. Danbury said the SR 747 CSX grade separation right-of-way acquisition will be completed next July with bid in September 2002; award the project in December 2002. Construction will be in 2002 and 2004. The East Kemper Road improvement at SR747 is basically complete. The guardrail and handrail near Princeton Plaza need to be set up. The Walnut and Pear Street improvement is almost completed. It should be open for traffic by August 20. The Springfield Pike Streetscape upgrade Phase I plans are scheduled for completion in September this year for ODOT review. We are looking at construction of spring next year. We will have a separate bid to purchase the decorative sign poles. The detail plans for Phase II Kemper Road Old Commons Drive to Chesterdale Road have been completed. An application for municipal funds has been submitted to Hamilton County. An application for SCIP funds for the Ohio Public Works Commission will be submitted next week. Weíre looking to do the right-of-way drawings complete in September 2001 with negotiations complete in January 2002. Construction will be next spring unless funding is approved. That will require summer construction. The West Sharon Road bike path project stage 2 plans have been submitted to ODOT. We are looking for review comments in early October. We will be submitting the stage 3 plan to them in November 2001, final tracings submitted in December and construction for next summer. The Ross Park bridge replacement contract will be awarded in early September with construction in October to be completed by mid December. The Glensprings Drive culvert extension cut-up plat is being prepared to allow the property owner to convey the required property to the City by warranty deed. Weíre looking for an ODOT permit application by mid December this year. Construction should be in April with a July 2002 completion date.
Finance Committee - no report
Planning Commission Ė Mr. Galster reported that they met last night. A public hearing to reconsider the conditional use permit to allow a day care center at 11285 Springfield Pike was continued from our previous meeting. After many months the applicant did install the items requested by the Planning Commission, including some fence and landscaping. The City Planner did take field readings for decibel levels. Originally Planning Commission had said 95% of the time the decibel level had to be below 65 decibels. The readings indicated that on that particular day they were within compliance. The tenants were talked to to make sure that they abide by the guidelines that were set forth for the conditional use permit but based on the readings that were taken there was no action taken at that meeting. Tires Plus requested a change of a roof color. They will be painting the roof and garage doors to a more neutral earth-tone color. That was approved 6-0. Alexander Patterson Group requested approval to put a trailer on the property. There was no representation and that was removed from the agenda. Globe Furniture requested approval of exterior elevations and signage. They are looking to move into the southeast corner of the Roberds facility. That was approved 6-0. Approval of a revised plat for Lot 4, proposed Papadeaux at Pictoria Island was requested. The applicant had requested to reposition the restaurant lot so that the pond was a stand alone lot. That was modified and approved to incorporate the pond into the two remaining restaurant sites so we donít have a problem with maintenance. The last item was approval of a pylon sign for Pictoria Island. This will be along the interstate, has about 100 square feet for each of the four restaurants. That was approved with a 6-0 vote.
Board of Zoning Appeals - no report
Board of Health - no report
O-K-I - no report
Mayorís Report Ė Mayor Webster said Iíd like to read a letter. Itís one of the most heartwarming letters Iíve ever read as Mayor or in my twenty-four years as Clerk of Council. "Dear Mayor Webster: I am compelled to write this letter because of the extraordinary kindness and acts that went beyond the scope of their duties of several of the finest employees in this city.
I am speaking of Public Works employees David Butsch and Tim Green and Clerk of Council/Finance Director, Edward F. Knox. I have a reoccurring problem with utility companies and the easement rights of my property. Every year, sometimes twice a year, our family must endure having our front and side lawn dug up for one reason or another. Without fail, the lawn is left in a worsen state and we must repair the mess ourselves. As a result, we have several sunken areas in our front lawn and lots of crab grass/weeds. It is like pulling teeth (unlicensed) to get these companies to respond and put our yard back in its previous condition. The utility companies do not keep their equipment in good condition consistently and when telephone repairmen complete their jobs, they leave wiring discarded by their box that I must throw away.
Therefore, yesterday as I was mowing the lawn, I was nearly in tears again over the state of my recently dug yard by Time-Warner. First, I received no required prior notification that any work was to be done on my property. Secondly, my yard was left in a totally unacceptable state. I had to stop and scoop small mud piles and rocks as I mowed. My frustration level was extremely high by the time I went inside to call Springdale for help. I spoke to Mr. Butsch who was so cordial and reassuring, that I immediately felt better. I did not know if he would be able to do anything, but he listened and said that he would try to contact Time-Warner and get them to take care of the situation. As I stated, I was stressed but he was the consummate professional.
I returned outside to finish mowing feeling so much better. To my surprise, Mr. Butsch came to my home to see my lawn and, shortly afterwards, Mr. Tim Green arrived. I felt like crying again to see such a response from the city. They totally inspected the work of the contractor and told me that they had contacted them and they would be here today. Within a couple of hours, Mr. Green was back along with two Grooms & Sons reps getting this matter resolved. This morning, Grooms & Sons had five men here putting my yard back together. This would not have happened had not Dave and Time intervene on our behalf. I think they are two truly exceptional people and Springdale is so privileged to have such conscientious, caring employees. They made my day!
Now I would like to tell you a brief story before I talk about my wonderful neighbor, Ed Knox. In October, my family will have lived in Springdale for thirteen years. However, before we moved in, there was a note taped to our front door that a neighbor had left us. The letters were cut out from a newspaper and it said that they did not want any salt and pepper in Springdale and for us to move back to Forest Park. What a welcome! So over the years, my family never attended any block parties or got involved with most of our neighbors. But time can heal wounds and change hearts.
Three years ago, my husband was nearly killed in a car accident while we were vacationing in Hawaii. He had to learn to walk and use his left arm again because of the severity of his injuries. I had never met Ed or his wife, but that didnít matter to him. He simply saw a need and was so filled with compassion to help us. Many of my neighbors (Maupins, Turners, Okums, etc.) were so wonderful to us by bringing food, etc. But Ed (and Joan) went beyond that. Yes, they brought us food, but they would periodically stop by to see if we needed anything and Ed brought his lawn mower over and would mow our lawn. He didnít just do this after we returned from our extended stay in Hawaii, but upon hearing about our plight, he began mowing our lawn then. Ed Knox is truly an extremely capable city official of the highest level of integrity and compassion. He is to be commended highly for his acts of servitude to others.
Mayor Webster, it is my practice to generally call a supervisor or manager if I feel that an employee deserves special recognition. As I stated, I felt compelled to write a letter because these gentlemen deserve it, they donít expect it, and neither did they feel that they were doing anything extraordinary, but THEY DID! They are just good people who go the extra mile regardless. They have set high standards for themselves influencing others to follow their wonderful example.
In closing, I have only had positive experiences with our cityís employees, from the Police Department to the Building Department. I think you are doing a fine job for our city. But this letter is to recognize Mr. Butsch, Mr. Green, and Mr. Knox for going above and beyond. Thank you. Sincerely, Mary J. Martin, 525 Ray Norrish Drive"
Mayor Webster said Mr. Butsch and Mr. Green arenít here tonight but on behalf of the City I would like to say thank you very much. Itís nice to know we have residents who do appreciate your dedicated efforts. Mr. Knox, to you and your wife, to those of us who know you well, weíve come to expect things like this, but you really went the extra mile with these folks and itís rewarding to me to know people like the Martins do acknowledge and appreciate your wonderful contributions.
Mayor Webster continued this afternoon I got a letter from the Metro. Weíve had a couple of presentations from Metro Moves and the letter reads, "I want to let you know that the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, which operates Metro has announced that it will not, and I repeat, will not seek a sales tax for Metro Moves Regional Transit Plan in November 2001." Mayor Webster said thatís good news but the letter goes on to talk about some of the great things they are doing and they very well may be back at some time in the future.
CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR Ė Mr. Knox said I am passing out a copy of a letter I received from the Auditor of Hamilton County. The State has frozen our funding level for local government funds at the level that it is now. It will not increase in the next two years. The estimate we have is that it will be $35,000 less than it might have been. This has been included in our budget by Mr. Osborn and Mr. Williams. This letter from Mr. Rhodes gives the further hit that we are going to receive and it amounts to $8,752 less than we would have normally received. Iím not complaining about this. The total is $43,000. Itís not what we wanted but it will not cause us a lot of problems. Itís just regrettable that it is happening.
ADMINISTRATORíS REPORT Ė Mr. Osborn reported the FEMA assistance centers that were set up in July following the flash flooding that occurred the evening of July 17/18 will be closing tomorrow for Hamilton County. After tomorrow inquiries and claims can still be filed with the Small Business Administration by contacting them at 1-800-359-2227. While SBA may seem an unusual place for things to be filed for residential claims, that is, in fact, the case. There are both grants and loans available for residential property loss as a result of the flooding on July 17 & 18. Residents can contact us or the SBA for information on the grants and loans.
LAW DIRECTORíS REPORT - no report
ENGINEERíS REPORT - no report
Presentation Ė Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) - Jeff Williams
Mr. Knox said Mr. Williams has been with us since last April and is doing a wonderful job. One of the things he is doing is bringing to us the Comprehensive Annual Finance Report.
Mr. Williams said I put in everyoneís mailbox a copy of our latest report for the year ending 2000. If you reference the handout I am going to describe whatís in the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) and whatís in it, and how it differs from the reports we have issued in the past. Itís broken down into three sections, introductory, financial and statistical. Within the introductory section you have a letter of transmittal, which is a letter from management to Council and the Mayor, which describes a little history of the City. It says what capital projects we have done in the last year and where the City is going as far as major initiatives. There is also a listing of elected officials and administrative personnel, index of funds that the City uses, and the organizational table. The next section is the financial statements. The financial statement at the combined level is what you are used to seeing. You donít see an individual fund financial statement. That is the general purpose financial statement, which includes a balance sheet, an income statement for governmental entities, statement comparing the budget to actual, the statement regarding the cash flows, and also the notes to the financial statements. The purpose of that is to give further definition to the numbers in financial statements. If you are familiar with the notes you can better understand what the numbers in the financial statements mean. Not only does it present the combined level of financial statements, you also have those financial statements for each individual fund. That is required for CAFR, but not what we issued before. The last section is the statistical section, which basically gives a lot of required tables, a lot of information on the City as it currently is and also over the last ten years; for example, the general government expenditures for the last ten years, also revenues by source for the last ten years. This provides a much more detailed picture of the City.
Mr. Osborn said weíve been working towards CAFR for several years and Jeff was the one who was finally able to pull it all together for us. It was not only a benefit to us in terms of accountability, but in the event we want to go out for short or long-term debt and a financial rating service wanted to look at the fiscal picture of the City, a CAFR will be a much more valuable tool to them and we get a much better chance at a good rating with a CAFR in our pocket. Also, CAFR is as close as you can get to a certification process in governmental accounting to say youíre doing it at the highest level possible. They donít really have a certification process for finance departments. This recognition is a big deal. We will probably see a high ranking state official come down and present our fiscal officer with a certificate confirming that the CAFR has been issued. I donít want to let this pass without recognizing Jeffís efforts here and the benefit the City will see form it.
Mr. Knox said we have two communications that go together. We have one from Jim Petro, Auditor of State, saying be advised that the enclosed letter regarding the audit of the City of Springdale for the year ending December 31, 2000 was sent to your public accountant, Berg & Co. Ltd., and it goes on to say that a desk review of the audit has been performed for the City of Springdale for the year ending December 31, 2000. Based on the desk review the report is acceptable and requires no modification. There are three things in Berg & Co.ís report. One is in the Cityís payroll system, on occasion, when there are changes made to the time that is electronically recorded, sometimes there were changes made without comments so you could not document and backtrack. We have already instituted that. Secondly, they are suggesting we do a fixed asset inventory, which we were planning to do anyway. Third and least, there are the then and now certificates. They are wonderful things that say that when the commitment was made to pay the money, the money was in the treasury and appropriated by the legislative body to do that at a maximum of $1,000. Anything over that requires a purchase order. They found one that did not have my signature on it and I will take the hit for that. I think we did very well this year, thanks in part to Mr. Williams, who does deserve the praise that was given to him by Mr. Osborn.
Mayor Webster said I would like to congratulate Ed and Jeff on a fine job. The one that you missed was one out of a huge number of requests.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
ORDINANCE NO. 41-2001 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO FILE A DRUG ABUSE RESISTANCE EDUCATION (DARE) GRANTS PROGRAM APPLICATION AND TO ENTER INTO AN AGREEMENT WITH THE OHIO ATTORNEY GENERAL, BETTY MONTGOMERY, TO CONTINUE A DARE PROGRAM AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Squires made a motion to adopt and Mr. Wilson seconded.
Mr. Osborn said we have adopted similar legislation in previous years. Last year we made an application for 50% of the DARE officerís salary during the 36 week school year. That translated into $16,721. We did not get that full amount. We got $13,378. This application that we will be making will be the same. If you do consider this ordinance this evening and approve it we will file the application.
Ordinance 41-2001 passed with six affirmative votes.
RESOLUTION R7-2001 "RECOMMENDING, ENCOURAGING AND SUPPORTING THE HAMILTON COUNTY PARK DISTRICT IN TAKING IMMEDIATE ACTION TO DEVELOP AND IMPLEMENT A COMPREHENSIVE PLAN TO CULL THE DEER POPULATION IN THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE AND BRING ABOUT A SAFER BALANCE WITH THE ENVIRONMENT"
Ms. Pollitt made a motion to adopt and Mr. Danbury seconded.
Mayor Webster said this resolution before you this evening is the result of a letter I received from the City of Forest Park dated June 22 in which they had enclosed a copy of the resolution they had passed and asked us to join with them in petitioning the Hamilton County Park District to take immediate action to develop and implement comprehensive plan to cull the deer population.
Resolution R7-2001 passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Webster asked Mr. Galster, back to your report from Planning Commission on the day care center, did you say no vote was taken? Is that off your agenda now? Does the original approval still stand?
Mr. Galster replied there is a modification to the original approval with restricted hours, etc. As of right now that stands. They are still required to comply with the hours of operation, the days of operation, the noise decibel level. What was before us was a consideration for revoking it and, with no action we did not go through with revoking it. That does not mean that there is not the opportunity to monitor it, to bring the issue forward even again. But at this time based on the information and situation there was no vote to revoke the license.
Mayor Webster asked what would they have to do or not do for us to have a valid reason to bring the issue back to Planning Commission?
Mr. Schneider responded I was present last evening and had previously reviewed the facts that had been presented to Planning Commission and it appears that they have determined that that permit is valid and will continue to be valid and they will continue to operate. If there are complaints as there have been in this entire proceeding relative to the licensing provisions involved here, I think the neighbors who are involved and concerned about whether there is compliance of license need to go to the licensing authority. They were given the name of that authority last night but for any reason they donít have it, Mr. McErlane has that. I have that as well and will be glad to give that information to them. From what I can see itís a private matter at this point by the people who are concerned and I think they need to pursue it as individuals. The business does have the right to continue to operate under its permit. The Planning Commission has acted. This body has no action to take.
Mr. Osborn said but I think the question the Mayor put forward was more what responsibilities does the City have related to continuing monitoring and enforcement. My perspective would be that we would still take scrutiny of the hours of operation, the amount of outdoor playtime that is allotted under the permit issued by the City and also periodically evaluate the decibel levels that are out there. From what Iíve heard from the presentation, the action by Planning Commission last night doesnít put this issue to rest forever. It just addresses the most recent series of questions that came up that culminated in a sound test or decibel level test, but that doesnít eliminate or relieve the obligation of the operator to comply with the standards set down by Planning Commission. It would be the responsibility of the Building Department to monitor and enforce this.
Mr. Wilson said my understanding is if they violate any of those conditions it could come back before Planning and you could revoke their license. Is that what you are say, Steve?
Mr. Galster replied if at any time the Building Department feels that the conditions that Planning Commission has put on the owner of the facility to allow them to have the conditional use, if they have not complied with that, then the Building Department would have the ability to bring that non-compliance to Planning Commission, and then Planning Commission would have the ability to act on it in whatever manner they thought was appropriate.
Mr. Wilson asked do the residents have that same option? They can come and complain to the Building Department and the Building Department will act.
Mr. Galster responded I donít want to speak for the Administration on how that process would happen but it would seem to me that if I was the resident thatís where I would start.
Mayor Webster stated that is exactly right. If it continues any violations of the conditions as we understand them, you call the police, call the Building Department and weíll start all over again with the Mayorís Court and if that doesnít resolve it, we will escalate it back to Planning Commission.
Mr. Danbury asked Mr. Galster, was this a mandate from Planning Commission since they came back in compliance? If they do extend the hours, exceed the decibel levels, etc., we could be back to square one. Are the applicants and owners aware of the gravity of the situation?
Mr. Galster said that was made very obvious, very pointed to the owners and tenants that violations of the conditions would result in them being before us again. I think they understand the gravity of the situation but I canít say how they are going to react and respond. Based on the information we had and the conditions Planning Commission put on the conditional use permit, at last nightís meeting those conditions were in compliance. Thatís why no vote was taken to revoke.
Mr. Parham said at our last Council meeting I discussed very briefly the issue that Mr. Danbury brought up, which is updating the audio visual system here in Council Chambers. I drafted a memo to you and I can go over the proposal for the work to be performed. As the memorandum points out, the system that is currently in place has been in the building since its opening in 1992. We currently have a Sony projector system that parts are no longer being provided for by the manufacturer. We are looking to replace that system with a NEC LCD projector. It too would be a rear screen projector just as the system we have in place. As a part of the proposal, additional wiring would have to take place in Council Chambers. Right now the system we are using has an RGBS cabling system. If you are familiar with projectors, there are three primary colors that are associated with them, red, green and blue. The S is for black which is the sync system. Those systems have four cables. Todayís systems are now using RGBHV. I imagine the h is for horizontal and v for vertical. This is to provide a higher resolution. In the past we have had presenters come to Planning Commission or Council Chambers to present something. Because the system we have in place did not have a high enough resolution, a number of times they were unable to provide that presentation. This upgrade would move us up to that higher resolution and give us a lot more capabilities and bring us up to todayís standards. We would have two locations to view the images that appear on our projector screen. One image would be sent to the projector screen. The other image would be sent from the system here on the dais through cabling back to the cable system. Right now, to capture images on the screen, the operator of the cable system would have to point one of the three cameras directly at the screen. This carries the image directly to their system. We plan to relocate the presentation stand to where Barbara Thetford is sitting. Many times you have presenters making a presentation and their back is to the screen. We hope to relocate them here so they can address the elected officials as well as see what it is they are presenting. The other part of the proposal is for the remote control system. Right now I have five remote controls before me and they are all for different purposes. One is for the slide projector, one is for the volume for the overall system, one is for the Time-Warner cable system, another is for the VCR and the larger one is to operate the overall system with the exception of the volume. Part of the proposal is to combine all of those into one simple remote and get away from making a switch in the back or pointing at a target. The new remote will be configured so that you donít have to point at a target. The final part of the proposal is a convenience, a wireless mouse keyboard. It makes it easier and serves as a pointer for making presentations. Norcom installed our original system and to date has continued to service our hardware in the building. They are planning to install the projector and provide the remote control system. The second contractor we have is Brady Electric Contracting who will handle the wiring for the Chambers.
Mr. Danbury said I was reluctant to agree to this when Mr. Parham discussed this with me. I came in and heard the presentation. The first paragraph really says it all. This is an outdated system. This was state of the art but it is a system that is very antiquated and we canít get parts for it. In the presentations we have had, the colors arenít true colors. We may have an applicant before Planning or BZA who has footage he/she would like the members to see. It can really benefit the presenters. The remote controls are very cumbersome. It does make sense that if we are going to have a system that we use something that is not necessarily the best, but something that is a very good system. I would endorse this.
Mr. Galster said at Planning Commission last night a couple of members brought up an idea that I will pass along. That is pop-up LCD displays on the dais. No matter what you do with resolution, by the time you blow it up you have lost a lot of it. A lot of cities have monitors on the dais. I donít know if I support it because I donít know how many dollars are involved but I did say I would pass along that request.
Mayor Webster said Derrick, I know you have done a lot of work on this and spent a lot of time getting to this point but have we had anyone else look at this system or gotten any other proposals?
Mr. Parham replied no, I did not seek any other proposals, primarily because weíre changing some main parts to the system; however, there are a lot of pieces to this system that are going to remain. Because Norcom has serviced this piece of hardware in our chambers, they are extremely familiar with it. Part of the problem we had earlier in the year is that we had the three cameras installed by ICRC, and I think some of their personnel may have pulled some of the cabling, which may have added to some of the distortion of the images we receive. I was trying to stay consistent with those who are familiar with the system.
Mayor Webster responded I totally agree that we need to do something but I just take exception to the one statement, "the quality of the images these days is extremely poor." I think it has been poor since day one. I donít think the system has ever performed the way we anticipated it to be performed. I was 100% behind your proposal until you made the comment that weíre dealing with the same firm that put the original one in. I have a real problem with spending more money with that same firm that didnít do the job the first time around.
Mr. Parham stated I have 100% confidence in their ability and their response time. We have a system that they installed, but they did not manufacture the pieces. My experience with them has been good but if the direction is to find someone else, I can always do that.
Mayor Webster replied I would really prefer that we look for another vendor. I just donít think they performed well. They may be very nice and cooperative people but the bottom line is we spent a lot of money putting that system in and itís never worked to our satisfaction. I totally disagree with spending more money with them.
Mr. Wilson said when they installed the system it was state of the art. Like any other system it goes out of date. Whomever we choose to do the work, is it possible to put in the contract that as new gadgets become available that we have the option of having them installed to keep this up-to-date, as opposed to waiting eight years and having to have this kind of expenditure?
Mr. Parham answered I donít doubt that they would put it in their contract and I would put in my contract because it guarantees me continued new business. Right now you donít know what those gadgets are going to be, what costs would be associated with those items. I think this hardware is just like when we took a look at our computer system. Hardware in this technological industry doesnít move as fast as the software in a lot of instances. It becomes outdated very quickly. I donít think they will guarantee that theyíll do it for free but theyíll probably guarantee that theyíll come back and change it with cost associated with the changes.
Mr. Wilson said itís outdated within a year of being installed. Something new comes up thatís even better. The new system may not last as long as what we have now, and as the Mayor said, it never really worked well.
Mr. Parham said over the years that I have been here, itís been more of sounds, tweaks, hums and buzzes. Twice this year we have had to get Warner Cable out here. It wasnít because of our system but something was wrong with their line. If I turn the system on right now you will see that the colors arenít good and you will see a lot of flickering on the television set. That has happened over the last year. The sound has been what Iíve heard since Iíve been here but theyíve always been able to solve those things. The picture is the issue right now. In order to get the updated projector you have to also change the cabling.
Mr. Danbury said there are always new innovations in this field but I donít want to keep spending money. We are looking at something for presentation purposes. I want something that will work today. I donít care if there is something better or faster out there; as long as it works and the colors are true and the sounds are true. I donít want to put anything into a contract.
Mr. Squires said Mr. Parham, you said you were quite confident with Norcom because they were the original contractor and familiar with the system that we have. According to Norcom, you said that the problems we were having were due to parts over which they had no quality control. Thereís no way they could get better parts now, is there?
Mr. Parham replied, no that is why we are suggesting not putting a band aid on the system. Youíre pulling out the projector, which is the primary issue right now. We want to replace the system.
Mr. Squires said you are quite happy letting them do it, correct?
Mr. Parham replied I am, but if it is the wish of Council and the Mayor to find someone else to install this system we can do that. I donít have a problem with that, but the other issue is who is going to service what we have remaining here. Then you have one service provider providing service over parts of the system and another provider for the new parts.
Mr. Knox asked is there a location that this company can direct you to that where this system is in operation today where it could be viewed to see that it is acceptable?
Mr. Parham responded I have not asked that question. The first time we looked at it, we brought in a projector. They connected it to what is there now and showed us what the images would look like. The images werenít totally clear because we didnít take care of all the things that need to be done when you add the new projector. We can ask them if they have installed this system elsewhere and is there somewhere we can take a look at it.
Mr. Osborn said I would like to support Derrickís comments about the degradation and quality of this system over time, and also point out that the system we have in place is not something that Norcom brought to us and said we ought to put in. As part of the building process for this building, the architectural team put together specifications for us. We used those to go to a general contractor who subbed it out to Norcom. Norcom built what was requested of them to build. My opinion is the observations that Derrick made about the degradation and reduction in quality over time is true, particularly within the last year. I would have to also say that we canít fault Norcom. Any complex system has real potential for problems. This is a highly integrated, multi visual/audio system that takes a lot to coordinate and maintain. We shouldnít miss the point that Derrick is making that if we go away from Norcom, then we really should look at taking the entire system out of Norcomís hands and putting it in another vendorís. I think itís fair to look at a second vendor to get an idea if we are paying the correct cost, etc. and at that point we can make a decision. I think we will be deciding if we want to move the entire operation away from Norcom.
Mr. Danbury said one of the reasons Mr. Parham felt very comfortable with Norcom is the level of service that they have provided over the years. Mr. Parham, didnít they do something at Paul Brown Stadium?
Mr. Parham said they installed the big screen that you watch the replays on. They have done a lot of work there and also in the City. They installed the system that is in the Community Center. Itís beginning to appear to me that when you have a prime contractor and they are looking for someone to install audio/visual equipment, many times Norcom is the one providing the installation. Eagle Electric was our electric contractor at the Community Center and they hired Norcom, just as the primary here hired Norcom. A number of school districts and government agencies are using their services.
Ms. Pollitt said I donít understand what we are looking at for a subtotal of $11, 568 and what we would be keeping in the current system. Would you please explain that to me?
Mr. Parham stated the $11,568 is associated with replacing the projector unit itself? The screen will remain. In the back there is a huge cabinet that has a lot of gadgets in it. That system is not a part of this replacement. I would look at that system as the equivalent of the CPU unit for a computer. Itís the brains and guts of the system. We are talking about replacing the projector and the cabling. The remote control system is $3430.
Ms. Pollitt asked when we talk about the existing hardware that we would integrate into the new system, what is the potential for problems with that down the road?
Mr. Parham replied Iím not that technical.
Mayor Webster said to follow up on replacing the projector for $7260 plus all the other things to go along with it. I donít know how many times Planning Commission has used that projector but I bet we have not able to successfully run that projector in there for ten hours. The majority of the time when someone comes in and tries to use the projector, it doesnít work and we look like idiots. I canít support dealing with the same people who have given us subpar equipment over the years. If thatís the only game in town I suggest we run our Council without audio/visual because thatís what weíve been doing anyway. Weíre looking we have a microphone system that works, that the cable people can plug into and pick up. I probably hear complaints from the residents about the quality of the sound in our Council meetings more than any other. I donít listen to other Council meetings so I donít know if thatís unique to Springdale or whether itís something with ICRC but itís a common complaint.
Mr. Osborn said I just want to point out that part of the reasons we run into problems with people trying to use our system is that they are incompatible in terms of software. Thatís probably the single biggest reason why we have people coming in trying to run a presentation and it canít run. Itís not a matter that our hardware is faulty; itís that their software is a higher grade than our system can now accept, and thatís been true for quite some time. As far as the sound I agree with Mayor Webster but a lot of that falls back on the Warner Cable system and not the internal operations here. We can certainly go out and look at another vendor. When we do that we need to look at the entire package and moving the entire audio/visual system to a new vendor if we do that.
Mrs. McNear said I would like to see a new vendor just for a cost comparison. We typically donít spend this kind of money without making sure weíre in the ball park.
Mr. Osborn said I would have to defer to Mr. Danbury but I understood that you took these numbers to somebody in the industry and had them check them.
Mr. Danbury stated I did not share the name of the company, but my question to him was the NEC model. He said the figures seemed fair. I think the evaluation should include the installation but also the service afterwards. We may get a sweetheart of a deal to get something in here, but then pay more down the road to get it serviced.
Mrs. McNear asked do we have guarantees that this system will actually work?
Mr. Parham replied I feel very comfortable that the system will work once the installation has been provided. As Mr. Osborn said if Council wants to look at going away from this particular vendor, then we probably need to be looking at the entire system. I see this as equivalent to the Community Center project with five primes working on one system. Everybody is pointing their fingers and no one wants to solve our problems. If we leave the guts in and replace parts of the system, then we will have those two vendors pointing at each other. We wonít get anything solved, yet weíve spent our money.
Mr. Galster said as someone who deals with general contractors as well as clients I just think itís different given the fact that this time they are picking what they would like us to purchase. When we tell them we want a much better quality system they are picking the product that they think will fit our needs. What they were doing before was matching what we told them we wanted to buy. Somebody wrote the specifications and told Norcom what we wanted to put in here so we became the "experts" instead of letting them be the experts. Sometimes you get in trouble doing that so I think itís important that we get something that they are comfortable with and are designing to meet our needs as opposed to just meeting a price. Ultimately if we canít get it worked on that will be more of a headache. They have good response time and have shown us that they are willing to service our needs and thatís extremely important. I hate to discount the service aspect when they are trying to service something that we told them to put in here as opposed to something that they told us we should be looking at.
Mr. Danbury said I just donít see a problem with us getting a second bid though, just so Council knows the whole price.
Mrs. McNear said Council is in agreement that they would like to see an additional quote.
Mr. Parham said he would contact the architect team and have them assist us in putting specifications together and try to find other vendors.
Mr. Osborn said we will have to put a whole package together, not just buying this equipment. We canít just change out part of it to one vendor.
NEW BUSINESS - none
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Board of Zoning Appeals - August 21
Teen Pool Party and Dance - August 17
Community Yard Sale - August 18
Recycle Days - August 18
Ladies Day at the Pool - August 29
Fall/Winter Sports Sign Up - Sep 8, 9:30-3 p.m.
And Sep 11, 8-9 p.m
Mr. Knox said we have one liquor license request for QLLC doing business as Famous Daveís. They are taking the place of Remingtonís.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE
Mike Sharkey, 355 Naylor Court said the issue with the Creative Kids Day Care was at Planning Commission last evening. Mr. Galster was there. Mr. Okum saw the children outside in the yard playing in the driveway. This has been an on-going thing. They canít control the kids. They canít control the noise. We call them Camp Run-Amok. Iíd like to know why in over two years why this hasnít come to a head. They were out there carrying on, screaming when they know they are coming up before the Grand Jury so to speak last evening, and no one seems to worry about this. Last night was the biggest dog and pony show I ever saw, Mr. Galster. That was the biggest song and dance Iíve ever seen in my life. You ought to get an academy award for that. Fantastic acting from you and Mr. Okum.
Mr. Schneider said Iíve been to the scene with you.
Mr. Sharkey said most people have. Iíd like for some people to come by and see. They think Iím kidding them that this noise is a joke. Itís not a joke. Itís irritating.
Mr. Schneider said I didnít take it as a joke, did I?
Mr. Sharkey replied no, you didnít, but everyone else, Mr. Galster, some of the other folks.
Mr. Schneider stated I donít think Planning Commission took it as a joke either.
Mr. Sharkey said you arenít listening to what Iím saying, obviously, because nothing has been done in over two years. You got the floor.
Mr. Schneider stated I was present at the last two meetings. I did visit the site with you and your wife. Iím familiar with the facts there and in my opinion the Planning Commission did a thorough review of the matter. They reached a decision last evening and I didnít notice anything that was out of the ordinary in their handling of the proceedings. They made it quite clear to the tenant what their responsibilities were as far as Planning Commission was concerned. Then they made a decision which was not to reject the permit. So the people do have the right to continue as a business there. They have obligations to meet. I thought it was made quite clear last evening the obligations that were expected by the Planning Commission. Some of the issues you raised including the one you just now raised are not a matter before Planning Commission at all. Itís a licensing issue that you must take up if you are concerned about whether they are complying with their licensing requirements. You are to handle that directly with the licensing authority. As I mentioned earlier Mr. McErlane has that name and heíll be glad to give it to you. If for any reason you want to call me instead I have that in my office. Iíll be glad to give that to you to pursue. But I think the City has done everything it can do at this point for that matter. The decision was made by the Planning Commission. There is no appeal from that decision to the Council. Your only appeal is to the Court of Common Pleas. If you disagree with that opinion and wish to pursue it further you need to file suit at the Court of Common Pleas and try to see if you can get that decision overturned by the Court. Itís a final decision when it is made by the Planning Commission. Itís a matter that you need to pursue individually if you continue to feel that your rights are being violated by this adjoining business. I think the Planning Commission really did a thorough job. They determined the decibels. They made the business operator invest in excess of $7,000 to try to improve the site by putting a fence there and installing substantial shrubbery there and then meeting the requirements that had been set out by the Commission. If they are in violation of their licensing requirements by not having facilities, by allowing people to be beyond those facilities, lighting requirements arenít met, etc., those are licensing issues that you must take up and thatís not the Cityís obligation or responsibility. In fact, the City has to be cautious about being involved in those areas because the City doesnít want to be faced with a suit against the City for violation of someoneís civil rights under color of law. Individuals who perform functions there could be liable if they exceed their authority. If you feel you should pursue it further, that certainly is your right and you can do that.
Mr. Sharkey asked since when donít the citizens of the City have rights? I spent $20,000 putting new Anderson windows in my home to keep the noise down and it still doesnít work. When Iím on the phone indoors people can still hear the kids screaming in the backyard. Last evening this idiot with the lady mentioned 190 feet. Weíre only 95 feet from the property. He measured out 190 feet and said there are no houses within 190 feet. Heís crazy. The Planning Commission created this thing. Why is the burden upon me to go to court and make it right. Why is it my problem now because the Planning Commission allowed it to happen?
Mr. Schneider replied the only response I can give you is that the Planning Commission issued a conditional use permit that is permitted within the code.
Mr. Sharkey stated for the last year and a half she has not done anything on time down there. The shrubs werenít put in. The wall was messed with. That wasnít done. They piddled around with the shrubs. They piddled around with the wall. We canít get the shrubs on time. We canít get eight feet. We can only get six feet, ya, ya, ya. Iíve been trying to live here in peace and quite for 29 years and in the past 28 months she has made my life a miserable living hell. All you guys say is you got to take it to the court. You are the guys that created this nuisance, Mr. Galster, Mr. Okum, Mr. Vanover whoís not here again tonight. You are the ones who created this thing and Iím guilty. I got to go to court, file a suit or whatever, because you guys donít have the kahoonies to kick them out. Right?
Mr. Schneider replied no, they are in compliance of the law.
Mr. Sharkey answered they are not in compliance. How many times were they sited to court? Four times. Building violations four times. Check the records. I havenít had a building violation on my property since Iíve been there 29 years. She got four violations in six months. Thatís a perfectly good neighbor, isnít it? Someone you want to have in your backyard with 164 kids. According to the specifications sheís 14 kids over. Do your homework on that.
Mr. Schneider said I understood that they had the authority for a lot more than that.
Mr. Sharkey said no sir, 9,000 feet divided by 60 is 150. Do the math.
Mr. Schneider said as I stated earlier, the appeal to that issue is not to this body. Itís not the Building Department, not anyone in the City. Itís the licensing authority. If you donít want to take it to court on this decision by the Planning Commission, your situation is that you have to redirect your efforts and Iím not pooh-poohing your efforts, I think you should pursue what you think your rights are.
Mr. Sharkey said I donít have all this money.
Mrs. McNear said Mr. Sharkey, please donít interrupt when someone else has the floor. I understand your frustration and your anger.
Mr. Sharkey replied you donít even begin to understand my anger and frustration but thank you.
Mr. Schneider continued you do have the right to appeal to the licensing authority if there are violations. Their responsibility is to investigate and if the investigation reveals that the violations are sufficient and not corrected, they have the right to remove the license from the facility and they would have no right to function further at that site. Again, I think your direction should be to the licensing authority if you are concerned about the various elements you have raised.
Jerome Sharkey, 746 West Kemper Road, said my father is Mike Sharkey. All this that I have been through with my garage and my property and how the City wants to work with me. Why wonít the City work with my father whoís been here for 29 years? Why wonít you all work with him to help resolve this thing? Youíre going to stick him out on his own to fight this battle that you all have created. Why wonít you work with him like you want me to work with you?
Mr. Wilson said Mr. Sharkey, I think weíre dealing with two different issues. Youíre dealing with two different boards. Let me explain, sir. Your issue came before the Board of Zoning Appeals. It was a zoning issue. It was cut and dry. Our guidelines state a certain amount of square footage for a garage. Those that exceeded that came before the board. We at the Board of Zoning Appeals wanted to work with you within our guidelines.
Mr. Sharkey responded this isnít the issue. You all wanted me to work with you but why wonít you work with my father? This has been going on for two years.
Mr. Wilson said we are dealing with two separate issues. Realizing that we were at an impasse I asked you three times could we sit down and work it out. You chose not to so we voted. Itís my understanding that the last conversation we had in a public arena that you were going to produce some pictures showing that someone four houses down had a garage that was larger than yours and was built within the last two years so I assume thatís what weíll see next week when you come to visit us.
Mr. Sharkey answered Iím not coming back next week. Iím busy. Iíve been busy with my work. I donít have time to sit down and even look at any plans. I havenít done anything in regards to building that garage and thatís not why Iím here. I put my garage on the back burner because you all denied what I wanted. We donít want to open that can up, do we?
Mr. Wilson said itís your prerogative. You have the floor.
Mr. Sharkey said my garage isnít the issue here. The issue is that you want me to work with you but you wonít work with anybody else.
Mr. Wilson said we are talking about two separate issues, two separate bodies.
Mr. Sharkey asked why wonít you work with my father to resolve this issue?
Mr. Wilson stated Iím not on Planning Commission.
Mr. Sharkey said I canít remember the woman who was here last night complaining about mosquito bites. My dadís back yard is a swamp now. I grew up on that property. It was never a swamp like that until they built that place and the mosquitoes are terrible now. It holds the water back. There is a PA system back there, not an intercom, a PA system.
Mr. Wilson said the Board of Zoning Appeals has the authority in your situation to go to whatever limits we are allowed. If we canít get it resolved you still have the same option of trying to overrule what we are doing. We havenít gotten to that point yet and it may never if you decide not to do what you said you were going to do in terms of putting up the garage.
Mr. Schneider said you are not trying to appeal your case here, are you?
Mr. Sharkey replied Iím just here for him. Nobody else will.
Mrs. Sharkey, 355 Naylor Court said last night when we went to the Planning Commission last night we spoke with Mr. Galster briefly in the hallway and we went into the Planning Commission meeting and we sat there. Nobody made any eye contact with us whatsoever and I said to my husband, itís like youíre on trial and youíre the defendant. The jury comes back into the court room and nobody looks at you. Youíre guilty. I said well, weíre toast. Weíre invisible here. Nobody made any eye contact with us the entire evening. They made their decision and we left. I thought whatís going on that nobody can even look at us the entire time we were sitting there.
Mr. Danbury made a motion that Council go into executive session as a committee of the whole to discuss possible real estate and personnel matters. Ms. Pollitt seconded. The motion passed with six affirmative votes.
Council went into executive session at 8:54 and resumed at 9:48.
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
Amending Tree Preservation Code - Sep 5
Amending the Zoning Code - Sep 5
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
Ross Park bridge replacement & parking lot resurfacing - Sep 5
Issuance and sale of renewal notes - Sep 5
Council adjourned at 9:52 p.m.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Kathy McNear, President of Council