President of Council Kathy McNear called Council to order on December 21, 2005, 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, Vanover, Wilson and McNear. 

 

            The minutes of December 7, 2005 were approved with seven affirmative votes.

 

            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 – Mr. Wilson said the curb replacement and resurfacing in the Observatory area is complete.  The city-wide concrete repair completion has been extended until spring 2006.

                                                                                           

Public Utilities                                                                          -           no report

                                                                                           

Capital Improvements – Mr. Danbury said there is no change in the CSX project.  The signal work at the Glensprings and Springfield Pike area has been completed.  The installation of street lights on the west side is approximately 75% complete.  The installation of pavers is 75% complete.  There is no change on the SR4/Crescentville project. Kemper Road Phase III construction will start in spring 2006.   The Fire Department HVAC replacement bids are being rejected tonight and will be rebid next year.

                                                                                           

Finance Committee – Mr. Wilson reported that we will be reviewing the annual budget tonight.

                                                                                           

Planning Commission – Mr. Galster stated there was a request for modifications to the dumpster enclosures for the Springdale Town Center.  There are four dumpsters across the rear of the property.  They will continue to enclose the one to the north of the property; however, the other three will not have doors because it will interfere with the flow of traffic.  They have added about thirty feet to a screen wall that will help block the view of that when you come down Peach.  That was approved 7-0.  Approval of a storage container at 11911 Sheraton Lane was extended until May 2006.  John Morrell brought in a concept plan of a proposed new building addition.  It was concept discussion but there was concern because right now the building meets the setbacks as Kemper Road exists.  However, with the right-of-way acquisition for Phase II it is possible that there would be an encroachment on the 100 foot setback from the right-of-way.  We did give them a favorable recommendation because it was a concept plan.  The next item was a concept plan for a proposed parking lot addition at the Church of the Nazarene, 11177 Springfield Pike.  There is an additional parking lot that would be on the west side of the existing south parking lot.  That was recommended by a 7-0 vote.  A Zoning Code amendment for house cleaning issues was forwarded to Council.

 

Mayor Webster said on the Nazarene Church parking situation, right now they are able to trade parking with the Maple Knoll Senior Citizens complex.  Sunday morning about 100 of them park over there and for the Thursday bingo, the bingo players park in the church parking lot.  With the senior center going away they will be short on Sunday mornings.

                                                                                           

Board of Zoning Appeals – Mr. Squires said Dave Okum was re-elected chairman, Bob Weidlich, vice-chairman and Jane Huber, secretary.  Temple Baptist Church wants to purchase the residence at 11981 Kenn Road for use as a library.  Under residential single household – low density, churches are allowed to have activities there.  However, churches and affiliated ministries are treated a bit differently than single households would be.   There are issues with lot size and setback requirements.  The board felt that that should not be used as a library.  In March 2005 Temple Baptist Church asked for a variance to allow the construction of a 4,500 square foot library on their lot.  That was granted.  The application was denied.

 

Springdale Church of the Nazarene wanted to purchase three properties on Glensharon and West Sharon for parking.   The variance would create substandard lot sizes.  It was pointed out to the church delegation that they would not need a variance if they only purchased seventy feet from these properties. 

 

Mr. Squires continued the John Morrell Company requested to build a cold storage warehouse on their lot 77.8 feet from the front.  The code requires 100 feet.  If that facility were to be built today they would not need a variance.  However, the City is in negotiation to obtain additional right-of-way there. This variance was highly recommended by Planning and it passed with six affirmative votes.

 

Mr. Galster said nothing at Planning Commission in reference to the parking lot for the Church of the Nazarene included any of the residential property that was asked for in BZA.

 

Board of Health                                                                   -   no report

                                                                                           

Veteran’s Memorial Committee -                                       -   no report

 

O-K-I – Mr. Knox said he learned a new word – megaregion.  We are part of a megaregion that reaches from Chicago to St. Louis to Louisville to Cincinnati to Pittsburgh to Buffalo to Cleveland, Detroit and back to Chicago.  The Los Angeles area is discussing putting in a 120 mile road from the ports that does nothing but carry trucks toward the east. In order to do this they need the megaregional approach.

 

Mayor’s Report – Mayor Webster said there have been 236 requests for debris removal trucks through December 8, 2005.  The total expenditure for snow removal for the 2005 winter is $18,753. Our salt supply is in good shape.

                                                                                           

Clerk of Council/Finance Director – Mr. Knox said on January 14, 2006 at 9:00 a.m. there will be a meeting held by the Tax Department to allow residents to look at the tax form and make suggestions on how to improve it.  If you have suggestions we would like you to call the office ahead of time so we can be completely prepared to answer those questions.

                                                                                           

Administrator’s Report – Mr. Osborn reported we have received funding for the SR 747 repair project.  It’s a $919,000 project, of which $367,000 will come from the State government and LTIP program, and $183,800 will come from the Municipal Road Fund.  We will be paying $367,600.  Later on when we talk about the budget, you will hear me lament that we can’t continue to spend like this, but I think this is an indication of why we have been doing it.  We have been very successful.  We have the right team in place.  We have the right people to make arguments for funding.  I think we will have to taper back on that in the next year or two.

                                                                                           

Law Director’s Report                                                        -               no report         

Engineer’s Report                                                              -               no report

 

COMMUNICATIONS                                                           -               none               

 

COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE                  -                none

 

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS

 

Public Hearing

ORDINANCE NO. 63-2005 “APPROVAL OF MODIFICATION TO PUD PLAN FOR TRI-COUNTY MALL PUD LOCATED AT THE NORTHEAST CORNER OF PRINCETON PIKE AND WEST KEMPER ROAD

 

Bob Rich, DHBP, said Mike Lyons, mall manager is here with.  I brought some drawings that exhibit the character of the mall.  The previous owner had come to you with modifications to the PUD that included incorporating two new restaurants flanking the existing main entrance to the mall and an out parcel located at Princeton Pike and Kemper.   The new drawings include modifications to the old JC Penny Store.  We are also proposing that we update the graphic identity of the mall by incorporating two monument signs at the major entrances off of Princeton Pike and Kemper Road and a new large pylon sign next to the easement of I-275.  Previously you had approved adding two new entrances flanking the mall.  Mr. Rich explained the drawings to Council. 

 

Mr. Galster said the top right drawing with signage has not been approved at Planning Commission yet.  I’m not sure the number of graphic panels on the south elevation are the same as what Planning Commission approved.   I just wanted to make sure you don’t think this is what you are going to see when Planning Commission hasn’t made any recommendations on those items yet.  There will be one new signalized entrance into Tri-County Mall from Kemper Road that will line up with Cassinelli Square.  The two westernmost entrances to Tri-County Mall are eliminated and combined with this one here.  Previously in the PUD process  they had approval for an outlot on the corner but that has now been moved to line up with the new entryway off Kemper Road.

 

Mr. Vanover said I recommend that Council forget the upper right-hand board because it has not even been presented at Planning.  The south elevation looks more finished than what we had previously seen and I like that.

 

Mr. Wilson asked about the sign at the corner.  We usually have something at that corner seasonally.

 

Mr. Vanover replied that’s their choice.

 

Mr. Osborn said I think the sign is just part of what they are talking about at the corner.  I think there would be additional enhancement with landscaping.  What we see here this evening is representative of what we will see in the final plan, not the final plan itself.  I think they did a good job of trying to convey to us the scope and nature of the changes they are proposing to make to the mall.  I think also because it’s fair to say this is still at a concept level, such things as tenancies haven’t been concluded.  There undoubtedly will be changes when they come back with the final plan.  I think Bob Rich has done a great job and we look forward to you bringing in the final plans.

 

Ms. Pollitt said I think you have brought a mall out of the last century and brought it forward.  Looking at that beautiful entrance way with the greenery and the paving is going to be such a face lift.  If you pull that off, that’s fantastic.  I love the lines you have on the south and west elevations.

 

Mr. Danbury stated we are in competition with other malls.  I like it.  I had discussions with the previous management.  They said sales suffered at the Macy’s area when they reconfigured the north entrance by the tire store to wrap it around to the parking garage.  I wonder if that’s something you are going to be addressing.

 

Mr. Rich responded the current proposal does not consider that, although we have had numerous discussions about that.  Macy’s also has a lot to say about what happens at that end of the mall.  The current owners are anxious to implement these improvements and they are concerned that entering into a discussion on that right now might delay some of this.

 

Mr. Galster said I wanted to express Planning Commission’s feel for the update.  It’s a major improvement to a major facility here in Springdale.  There’s going to be a pylon sign; there’s going to be some kind of entry feature at the corner.  There is going to be identity signage around the mall.  But the applicant has shown that they are willing to work with Planning Commission.  Thank you for your submittal. 

 

Mayor Webster said we appreciate what you are doing.  It probably will not come back before Council unless Planning Commission deems it a major change.  We have indicated from the outset that the message board had to be a cornerstone.  We have also conveyed to them that there needs to be a lot of thought and consideration going into that.  We want to have some input into it but we don’t want to slow down the renovation.  We have encouraged them to make it a two-phase process if necessary.

 

Mr. Vanover said the mall is one of the unique existing because of its longevity but it’s also one of the few where the anchors own their pads. 

 

Mr. Danbury made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.

 

Ordinance 63-2005 passed with seven affirmative votes.

 

ORDINANCE NO. 64-2005  “TEMPORARY APPROPRIATION ORDINANCE FOR THE PERIOD JANUARY 1, 2006, UNTIL THE FISCAL YEAR 2006 APPROPRIATION PERMANENT ORDINANCE IS ADOPTED BY CITY COUNCIL”

 

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

 

Ordinance 64-2005 passed with seven affirmative votes.

 

ORDINANCE NO. 65-2005  “SUPPLEMENTAL APPRORIATION ORDINANCE TO MAKE APPROPRIATIONS FOR CURRENT EXPENSES AND OTHER EXPENDITURES FOR THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO DURING THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING DECEMBER 31, 2005”

 

Mr. Galster made a motion to read Ordinance 65-2005 by title only. Mr. Danbury seconded.  The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.

 

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

 

Mr. Knox said most of the changes are caused by the fact that we received more funds than we expected to receive.  The only ones that don’t fall into that category are the Annual Residential Recycling Fund which we know in advance is not going to be totally funded because the City always puts money into that so recycling can be done in the City.  The other ones are the Northwest Business TIF fund where we decrease the appropriations by approximately $10.5 million because the bonds we expected to issue were not issued during fiscal year 2005; and the Community Center Debt Fund with a small change of $1,999.71.  Those are the only changes involved here other than increased revenue and increased spending based on the needs of the citizens as approved by the Administration.

 

Ordinance 65-2005 passed with seven affirmative votes.

 

ORDINANCE NO. 66-2005 “AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO AMEND THE CONTRACT OF CDS ASSOCIATES, INC., FOR ENGINEERING SERVICES TO THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY”

 

Ms. Pollitt made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.

 

Mr. Osborn said I did provide you a summary and review by the Law Director’s office.  His conclusion was that there were not any major issues raised by the changes.  Derrick and I do have one item we want to discuss a little further with CDS, but I believe it’s of a nature that even amending it post the ordinance would not alter your approval of the ordinance.  We are looking to better define some new language they put into the contract.

 

Ordinance 66-2005 passed with seven affirmative votes.

 

ORDINANCE NO. 67-2005 “REJECTING ALL BIDS FOR CONSTRUCTION OF THE FIRE STATION HVAC REPLACEMENT PROJECT AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY”

 

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

 

Mr. Osborn said we were very disappointed by the outcome here.  We budgeted $275,000 in 2006 to replace the HVAC equipment at the thirty-year old fire facility.  This came in grossly over the estimated cost, almost double.  We have asked the architects and design folks to look at what happened.  We’ve also advised them that we are not going to rush to do something here.  At best, we will break the project down maybe into phases or with a primary repair and some alternates that we can cut out so that no matter what, we can stay under budget.  There’s also the option that we not do this this year.  We have a thirty-year old system that takes a pretty high level of maintenance and is prone to break down.  That’s why we wanted to replace it but if we can’t get a good resolution as to why these bids came in like this, or we don’t feel we can segment the project effectively, then we may shelve this project for a year.

 

Ordinance 67-2005 passed with seven affirmative votes.

 

ORDINANCE NO. 68-2005  AMENDING ORDINANCE NO. 64-2004 AND ORDINANCE NO. 61-2005 TO PROVIDE FOR WAGE INCREASES AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY”

 

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

 

Mr. Osborn stated this ordinance provides for a 3.5% increase for all non-public safety, full-time employees of the City and the part-time members of the Fire Department.  Based upon labor agreements the firefighters will receive a 3% increase and the members of the Police Department will receive a 4% increase.

 

Ordinance 68-2005 passed with seven affirmative votes.

 

RESOULTION R17-2005 “COMMENDING WAYNE SHULER FOR HIS DEDICATION AND 30 YEARS OF SERVICE AS CITY ENGINEER OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO

 

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

 

Mr. Danbury said it’s really sad when you’re saying goodbye to one of your team members.  Wayne has been a very key member of our team and he’s always had a very good demeanor.  He’s been wonderful to work with.   You have taken your business to a level that you should be very proud of and I’m honored to have worked with you.  We will miss you.

 

Mr. Osborn said I don’t have the words to express how important Wayne Shuler has been to this City and to me personally.   We started here together and during the early years this was a pretty lonely job.  Since Wayne didn’t work for me he was someone I could allow myself to get a little closer to.  Over that time our relationship has developed into a lifelong friendship.  It is very difficult to think of Springdale without Wayne Shuler.  He has displayed such character.  I have a lot of respect for him.  I have relied on him for advice throughout my career.  My success here would not be anything like it is without Wayne Shuler.

 

Mr. Wilson said when I was first elected to Council one of my duties was Chairman of Capital Improvements.  I would get reports that I didn’t understand.  I would call Wayne and he would give me an answer.  He is going to be missed.

 

Mr. Vanover said Mr. Osborn hit it right.  The ultimate compliment when someone makes the transition from work partner to friend.

 

Mr. Knox stated a person is known by his work.  Mr. Shuler’s works are many and good.  One of the good things he’s done is train a lot of the people who work with him and will still be here after he leaves.  I can’t say Mr. Shvegzda will be an exact replacement for you but he will be a good replacement so we thank you for that.

 

Ms. Pollitt said thank you for your thirty-years of dedication to this City.  I always felt so comfortable that when a question was asked, you had the answer.  You will be missed but we will see you in all the buildings that were designed and the streetscapes. 

 

Mayor Webster said thank you for everything you have contributed to this City.  I’m probably the only person sitting up here who remembers Wayne’s first encounter with the City.  Wayne worked for Don Spencer.  I can remember when things weren’t all that great with the City Engineer and Council’s relationship with the Mayor and Engineer.  In 1970/71 the residents passed the earnings tax and all of a sudden we had money.  We hired a planning firm called Dalton Dalton and Little to look at our road systems, municipal buildings and community center.  I think Don Spencer was God sent and made a wise decision when he hired Wayne Shuler to come in.  Within a year he was ready to turn the company over to Wayne and the rest is history.  Not only has he trained someone to step in here, but he’s responsible for making CDS what it is today.  You can’t find a municipality in this area that doesn’t use CDS.  We were the first and we are very proud of that.  We will be forever grateful for your contribution to this great City.

 

Mr. Galster said enjoy retirement.  Thirty years with the City is a long time.  I hope you are as proud of this City when you drive through it as I am as a resident.  You are a major contributor to the City in its entirety. 

 

Mrs. McNear said you are the consummate professional.  If we asked any kind of question, we never felt we were asking a dumb question.  You put everyone at ease and answer our questions in layman’s turn.

 

Resolution R17-2005 passed with seven affirmative votes.

 

Mr. Shuler stated I appreciate your comments and am most gratified with the wording in this resolution because I feel it brings out a couple of the principals I’ve always tried to live by and work by.  One of those is to always leave something better than you found it.  This was a law beat into me by my scout master that you always leave a campsite better than when you arrived at it.  I’ve tried to expand that to everything I’ve done.  Hopefully I’ve left Springdale’s infrastructure better than when I started.  The second one is that it’s not as important what you do but how you do it and who you do it with.  As you noted in this resolution, I’ve always tried to approach things with the highest degree of integrity and honesty that I can.  The second part of that is work with people you enjoy working with.  I can truthfully say I’ve enjoyed working with all of you, some longer than others.  We’ve had some highs and lows.  As with any relationship we have worked through the lows and tried to learn from it.  I’m very appreciative of the opportunity you gave me thirty years ago for allowing me to be a partner with you and accomplishing many of the things that the City has accomplished over this time period.  There aren’t many working relationships that I’ve had that I have felt as much a part of the family as I do here. 

 

RESOLUTION R18-2005 “CONFIRMING THE MAYOR’S APPOINTMENT OF GEORGE KELLNER AS A MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF HEALTH”

 

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

 

Resolution R18-2005 passed with seven affirmative votes.

 

RESOLUTION R19-2005 “CONFIRMING THE MAYOR’S APPOINTMENT OF LYNN JONES AS A MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF HEALTH”

 

Ms. Pollitt made a motion to adopt and Mr. Wilson seconded.

 

Resolution R19-2005 passed with seven affirmative votes.

 

RESOLUTION R20-2005 CONFIRMING THE MAYOR’S APPOINTMENT OF PAM WILLIS AS A MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF HEALTH”

 

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

 

Resolution R20-2005 passed with seven affirmative votes.

 

RESOLUTION R21-2005  APPOINTING TONY POTTS AS A MEMBER OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION”

 

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

 

Resolution R21-2005 passed with seven affirmative votes.

 

Mr. Wilson nominated Ernest Jackson to serve on Board of Zoning Appeals.  Mr. Wilson said Mr. Jackson is a graduate of Stillman University in Alabama.  He is a Vietnam veteran, married and has two children.  He moved to Springdale in 1980.  He has expressed an interest in doing something for a city he really appreciates living in.

 

Ms. Pollitt nominated Bill Reichert.  Ms. Pollitt said Mr.  Reichert has lived in Springdale since 1974.  He is a teacher and teaches at Finneytown School.  He has coached football, basketball and track at the high school.  I know him through scouts and youth sports in the City.  He is the chapter president for the Greater Cincinnati Fishing Group (Fishing Without Boundaries), an organization that makes sure underprivileged and disabled children have an opportunity to go fishing.  He has served recently on the Charter Revision Committee.  I think when anyone serves on a committee here in Springdale and they desire to move up to a different activity level, I would like to see this person honored for their work at that committee level and offer him the nomination for Board of Zoning Appeals.

 

Mrs. McNear said Mr. Reichert is a retired teacher.

 

Mr. Reichert was nominated by a vote of 4-3.

 

RESOLUTION R22-2005 “APPOINTING WILLIAM REICHERT AS A MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS”

 

Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Ms. Pollitt seconded.

 

Resolution R22-2005 passed with seven affirmative votes.

 

RESOLUTION R23-2005  APPOINTING  _______________________ AS A MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF CHARTER REVISION”

 

Mr. Vanover made a motion to table and Mr. Galster seconded.  The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.

 

BUDGET REVIEW

 

Mr. Wilson said the Finance Committee met last week and went over the budget.  There were some minor revisions made to everyone’s expectations.  I’d like to ask Mr. Osborn to give us an overview of the letter he wrote to us.

 

Mr. Osborn said if you look at this year’s budget we look pretty good.  We are going to be bringing in as much in revenue as we’re spending.  After another week of revenues our revenues are going to exceed our expenditures.  The budget should not have gotten to that point.  If you look at our operating expenses, the Police Department, Fire Department, Recreation Department, Community and Environment, Public Works, Economic Development, Legislative, Commissions and Contractual Services and Tax Department are coming in under budget.  The Health Department, Waste Collection, Administration and Finance Departments are over budget.  When you get to General Administration we’re $982,199 over budget.  That’s basically two increased transfers, $882,000 transfers to the Capital Improvements Fund and $100,000 for additional costs associated with our Health Insurance Fund.  If you look at the overall General Fund numbers comparing budget to estimated expenses, you’ll see that the difference is about $585,000.  If we did not have the additional transfers I just mentioned, we’d actually be coming in around $400,000 under budget.  We have been very aggressive about projects and we’ve been very lucky in getting funding, but no matter how much money we get in from the Feds, State or County, there’s always that local share that’s accompanying it.  That’s starting to mount up.  In 2006 we have two major projects underway.  Over a two-year period it will cost us over $1 million.  At the same time, we were successful in getting the funding for SR747.  That’s almost a $1 million project that we are going to pay just under $400,000.  We will not be able to continue this pace of outside funded projects and also make the other necessary repairs to facilities or replace rolling stock that we have had to postpone during those three or four years when things were pretty lean.  In 2007, unless revenues improve we will not be able to be aggressive in this manner.  Another objective we are meeting in 2006 is the accelerated payment of our debt.  By 2007 all of our short-term debt should be paid off.  I don’t think that debt pay-off should be looked at as found money.  Another objective is a build up of cash reserves to protect us from future down turn in revenues.  The difference in expenses for 2006 over 2005 is about six percent.  That is a growth factor I would like to have avoided, but keep one thing in mind.  Had we not pursued the more aggressive pay-down of our debt, we would have come in just about at inflation.  The other part driving that six percent is employee raises for next year and the addition of three personnel that we are re-implementing in the organization, two replacements and one new person, and also facility repairs.  The Fire Department will not be adding any personnel but to better organize the management of that department and the frontline supervision, we are requesting that three of our firefighter/paramedic positions be promoted to that of fire lieutenant.  This will give us some redundancy in the frontline supervision and our hope and intent is to schedule their off days so that they are not off on the same days.  That would give us better coverage.  If you only take half of what we paid for acting supervisors this year, it dramatically reduces the true cost of promoting those three people.  We are proposing to add two positions at the Recreation Department.  One is the third assistant director’s position that has been vacant for two or three years.  Also, we are adding the position of Senior Adult Program Manager as a result of our commitment to expand the senior programming at the Community Center in 2006.  We are recommending that the Assistant Superintendent of Public Works position be staffed next year.  I think Dave Butsch has done an excellent job at trying to cover both positions but we keep demanding more and more of him.  I think it’s not an efficient way to operate that department.  We need more on-the-street supervision and day-to-day oversight.  At the same time we are pulling him away to do major projects for us.  I think it’s very important that we staff that position.  We were on track to add two more police officers this year.  I prevailed upon Chief Laage and he agreed to postpone that for a year.  We are also holding a maintenance position in the Maintenance Department.  We have a $20 million operating budget and this year we are going to have an $11 million capital budget.  That’s too much of a drain.  Of that $11.5 million in the budget, $3.5 is attributable to the grade separation project. We have another $2.6 million in state and federal programs.  That leaves a balance of $5.7 million and of that, $2,283,000 is set aside for debt reduction.  Another $200,000 is netted out because we show it on the expense side as real estate purchase and on the revenue side as a source of income.  The remaining $3.2 million is what we pay out of our own coffers.  That’s a big bite.  We have a long term debt at the Community Center that will run through 2017.  The short term debt will be paid down at the end of 2007. Next year we will spend just under $1.5 million in debt reduction and interest on debt.

 

Mayor Webster said we spent $6.5 million in capital projects in 2004.  We were scheduled to spend $12.3 million this year and we are estimating $11.5 million in 2006.  That’s over $28 million in capital projects and I would defy you to find a community of 10,500 that spends $28 million in three years on capital improvements.  Had we not had the increase in income tax we would not have been able to leverage our way into this kind of capital improvements spending.

 

Mr. Osborn stated this is a big effort.  This year we diversified the work and I want to thank Derrick and Jeff Williams.  Both of them have really stepped up and taken on a more critical roll in the budget process. 

 

Mr. Wilson asked Council to review this again and vote favorably in January.

 

COMMUNITY CENTER CUSTOMER SERVICE STUDY

 

Mr. Osborn reported earlier this summer we engaged the firm of Management Partners to help us do a study on the customer service performance at the Community Center.  The director had to take on programming responsibilities which took him away from looking at umbrella issues of the organization and there was not enough continuity in communication between the director and assistant directors regarding policy matters.  The subordinate employees might get one answer from one person and another answer from another person or they might not go to anybody because nobody’s there.  We had some herky jerky activity going on down there in response issues.  It only manifested itself sometimes in customer dissatisfaction, but we believe that was a major problem.  Management Partners produced a report in October that helped identify the nature of the problems at the Community Center regarding customer service and has outlined that the source can be traced back to principally oversight in management; and secondly, not sufficient effort in customer service training for our people who have daily contact with our customers.  Management Partners put together a recommendation that contained thirty-one different issues that help us address what they identified as the individual issues.  I’ve mentioned the major ones but those are made up of smaller components made up of specific ways we do things.  The Recreation Department led by Greg Karle began reviewing the recommendation in October.  He started with his two assistants and then brought in the rest of the supervisors and has tried to do an indoctrination with all his employees.  He’s about 80% done.  In response to this report, I think Greg has shown a real embracing of the idea of coming up with a better managed department.  The responsibility falls to Greg but the issue identified was that he wasn’t given the proper resources.  Greg is very anxious to do a good job and he has been one of the principal leaders in implementing these recommendations.  Greg provided a summary that extracts all the recommendations out of the report; and then identifies the steps that are being taken.  Some of the steps have been accomplished; some are in progress, and in other cases, they are being postponed because we want to delay until we get the third assistant and program manager on board so that we can do all the training simultaneously.  The new third assistant will be responsible for the front desk operation, managing the sports programs, etc.  Before, the director had too many people reporting to him and there was not enough ownership by subordinate managers as to their areas of responsibility.   An organization table has been created that shows and delineates clear lines of responsibility.  We believe this improved oversight and communications will help things along down there considerably.  We are adding two additional secretaries but you’ll see that one of the recommendations is to try to break off the roll of secretary from that of customer service person at the front desk so that we don’t have somebody who is supposed to be covering the front desk sitting at a workstation back in the office and unavailable to the public.  After we get the two new positions on board we will have Greg Karle in to make a full presentation.  I’m very encouraged by the buy-in I see from Greg and he tells me he is getting full cooperation from his two assistants.  I’m pretty optimistic that there will be a payoff as a result of this.

 

OLD BUSINESS                                                         -           none

 

            NEW BUSINESS                                                        -           none

 

            MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

            Crime Watch – Baldwin/Royal Oaks/Terrace            -           January 3

Board of Health                                                           -           January 8

Planning Commission                                                -           January 13

Board of Zoning Appeals                                             -           January 20

 

COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE            -           none

 

Mr. Vanover made a motion that Council go into a meeting as a committee of the whole to discuss possible litigation.  Mr. Wilson seconded.  The motion passed with six affirmative votes.  (Mr. Danbury was absent).

 

Council went into executive session at 9:17 p.m. and reconvened at 10:01 p.m.

 

UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT

Amending Zoning Code                                              -           January 18

Resolution R23-2005                                                  -           January 4

 

RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED

Annual appropriation ordinance                                  -           January 4

 

Council adjourned at 10:03 p.m.

 

                                                                        Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

 

                                                                        Edward  F. Knox

                                                                        Clerk of Council/Finance Director

 

Minutes Approved:

 

Kathy McNear, President of Council

 

 

 

__________________________, 2005