President of Council Marjorie Harlow called Council to order on January 19, 2011, at 7:00 p.m.

    The Springdale Honor Guard presented the colors.

    The governmental body and those in attendance recited the pledge of allegiance. Mr. Vanover gave the invocation.

    Mrs. McNear took roll call. Present were Council members Diehl, Emerson, Galster, Hawkins, Squires, Vanover and Harlow.

    The minutes of January 5, 2011 were approved with six affirmative votes. Mrs. Harlow abstained.

    Mayor Webster said this is a very happy occasion. This will Springdale’s fourth police chief and I think we will all be very pleased with the leadership of our Police Department.

    Chief Laage introduced several area police chiefs in the audience tonight as well as other law enforcement officials. Both of these men have made a lifelong commitment to the profession and department. They will be an excellent leadership team. Chief Laage invited everyone to the Police Department for an open house after the Council meeting.

    Chief Laage stated Captain Tom Wells was raised in Clifton and graduated from UC with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. He attended the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Police Academy and graduated in 1988. He came to Springdale on March 27, 1990. He became a sergeant March 1, 1998 and was promoted to lieutenant in 1999. Captain Wells graduated from the FBI National Academy in March 2009. Only one percent of law enforcement officers nationwide are afforded this opportunity. He is a member of the honor guard and has been part of the County honor guard since 2000.

    Mayor Webster swore in Captain Wells.

    Captain Wells expressed his thanks for everyone that came out tonight. I’ve learned so much from everyone and I look forward to giving back everything that’s been given to me.

    Chief Laage said Chief Mathis began his career in Springdale on April 16, 1986. He graduated from the Great Oaks Police Academy in May of that year. He attended Eastern Kentucky University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. Mike was transferred to the Investigations Unit in 1990. He became a sergeant in 1993 and lieutenant in 1998. In 2000 the Chief was selected to receive the Don Stamann award at the department dinner. He graduated from the Police Executive Leadership College and then attended the year long Law Enforcement Certified Executive Program and graduated from there in 2002. Chief Mathis is a very good person. He’s a good family man and he will take the department to a new level of excellence within the law enforcement community here in the Greater Cincinnati area.

    Mayor Webster swore in Chief Mathis.

    Chief Mathis said I thank you for the opportunity to work here with this wonderful city and the blessing that has been to my family. We are going to provide the best services we can for this community.

    Mayor Webster said we have a couple of gentlemen in the audience who were also part of the selection process. I don’t want them to think they don’t have these qualities but the two things that jumped off the page for these two individuals were their sense of family and strong moral compass that they both displayed in the interview. God is a big part of their lives and it should be a big part of our lives. I want to thank you both for opening expressing that. You are to be commended for doing so. Good luck to both of you.

    Members of Council offered their congratulations.


    Civil Service Commission                      -     no report

Rules and Laws - Mr. Hawkins reported they have completed looking at changes to the document and it has gone to the Law Director. We hope to have those in Council’s and Administration’s mailboxes in February so we can start to discuss those at the second meeting in February.

Mrs. Harlow said we will work through it the best we can each Council meeting until we get through the whole document.

Finance Committee        -    no report

Planning Commission - Mr. Galster reported Don Darby was elected chairman, Dave Okum, vice-chairman and Rich Bauer, secretary. Dave Okum was appointed to the Board of Zoning Appeals. Wall signs for First Financial Bank, 225 Pictoria Drive were approve. David Okum was appointed to the regional Planning Commission. The board approved some zoning code changes. We would appreciate you approving those changes as well.
Board of Zoning Appeals – Mr. Hawkins stated Dave Okum was elected chairman, Bob Weidlich, vice-chairman and Jane Huber, secretary. A ground sign variance for 1329 East Kemper Road was denied. A solar electric power facility at 11965 Kenn Road was approved.

Mayor Webster asked if the sign that was denied was the church.

Mr. Hawkins responded it was Kemper Pond leasing area. Their current sign is six feet tall. They still have room within Code to go up to seven feet.

Mayor Webster asked are they just proposing one big sign for all three buildings?

Mr. Hawkins said they will have another sign by Chesterdale but we were just dealing with the one sign right now. The major interest was westbound traffic on Kemper Road looking across several lanes of traffic. I don’t think a twelve foot sign would help with visibility from there. They don’t suffer that much going eastbound.
Board of Health – Mr. Squires said the public hearing for food fees was held. The Health Commissioner read a letter she had sent to Cincinnati City Council imploring them not to close their laboratory. She said it is a reliable, affordable reference laboratory for Springdale and other health departments in southwest Ohio. The Health Commissioner shared the food sampling report. About one in six Americans get sick each year from foodborne illnesses. The nurse is leading a Healthy U Diabetes Workshop.
O-K-I        -    no report
Mayor’s Report – Mayor Webster stated I cut the ribbon for Morris Furniture last Tuesday. This is a marvelous development. The outside looks like a little village and the inside has been nicely refurbished. Administration is continuing to work diligently on potential budget cuts. We are trying to look for other efficiencies and I have received written reports from Mr. Squires and Mr. Diehl. If the rest of you could try to get those to us by the end of the month we’d appreciate it. I would like to congratulate our Street Maintenance Department for a job well done. They have been put to task this winter and have done a remarkable job in keeping our roads open and passable.
Clerk of Council/Finance Director    -    no report
Administrator’s Report – Mr. Parham said I think we mentioned earlier that Duke Energy is beginning to institute their smart grid program where the resident would have the ability to log onto the Duke Energy website and monitor your electrical usage to have a sense of where your high energy use items are and how you can begin to look at ways to decrease your costs. For the City of Springdale they will come out with the program between October and December 2011. I received an e-mail from the Community Affairs Director with Duke today and I will send a copy of it to each of you. It shows the various communities throughout the Cincinnati area. If you click on one of the communities it will show you information on how they plan to proceed with the process. Some of the information they will talk about is about providing a digital meter at your home. The digital meter allows Duke to simply read your usage without their personnel coming to your home. For the first twelve months they will read the meter as well as reading through the digital process just to make sure the information is accurate. After that, Duke will read it and you will have an opportunity to go on the website. I found out if you go onto Duke’s website now you can get a sense of your usage on a month to month basis. This program will allow you to look at it on a daily basis to see what kind of usage you experience. They’ve already rolled it out in some communities. Prior to the program going into effect the resident should receive a notification postcard that they will be out to install the meters. If they are unable to access your meters, they will leave a door hanger and attempt to contact the homeowner by phone. They will be using contractors to assist in this project so the individuals who come to your home should have the proper identification to indicate that they are working along with Duke on this program.

Mayor Webster asked can a resident opt out of this program.

Mr. Parham replied no. The meters are owned by Duke just as the poles are. If you choose to not have this service they would shut your power off.

Mrs. Harlow stated I imagine this is what Waterworks did years ago. In our subdivision almost all the meters are on the inside so for a small fee you could have the reader put on the outside of your house. They then drive by and read it with a laser. You can always check it with your inside meter when you get your bill.

Mayor Webster said I find it very intrusive for someone to hook up a gadget anywhere on my property where they can monitor from afar. It’s the first step to Big Brother. The next thing will be a feed coming from that to your thermostat so someone in Washington can say your temperature cannot exceed a certain amount.

Mr. Vanover said when they pull that meter the house is shut down. If we have people on respiratory aids they need more than sometime this week warning. You will have to reprogram all your electronic devices. Mayor Webster, they term it the smart grid and its their intelligence and not ours. It’s headed that way but for years they’ve had the ability to cut down your air conditioning units and give you a credit during peak operations. This is much more intrusive and invasive because it is a step towards control. I, like you, am very concerned but unless we go to our own power generating we’re tied to that. We need to stay on top of some of this.

Mrs. Harlow asked are they going to be replacing our existing meter or adding to our existing meter?

Mr. Vanover replied they will replace the meter because the old one is analog. I’ve seen the digitals. They have the capability to reach inside your electrical system inside your house. Right now it’s snapshot but the long range potential is that they could very well control your devices and modify the way you choose to live your life. That’s nowhere for government to be.

Mr. Parham said the representative from Duke has said they are more than willing, and in fact, want to come out and make a presentation to us to go into more detail as to how it will function. Mr. Vanover is correct that they will be removing the current meter to install the digital meter. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to raise any concerns you have right now relative to how that system will work. Some communities are already up and running.

Mr. Parham said in my Pending Legislation Report there are two additional items. On page 2, item III is the request for an ordinance to amend the supplemental appropriation ordinance. An incorrect number had been entered for the Police and Fire Pension expenditure in the Fire Department. You can see an increase of $100,000 to $379,173. The effect of this does not change our General Fund or the overall budget. The General Fund is controlled at the departmental level, then broken up into payroll expenditures and all other expenditures. We cannot have a situation where the actual expenditures exceed the budget expenditures, whether we’re talking about payroll or other expenditures. We just balance them out. In this instance it would be internal to the Fire Department. By adding in the $100,000, it puts us $47,000 out of kilter as far as payroll expenditures. That’s why we need to make a $50,000 adjustment from other expenditures to payroll expenditures. That would put us in compliance.

Mr. Parham said the other item is item 5 on the third page. The new Police Chief and Assistant Chief are well tuned to the conversations we have been having throughout the organization as well as the economy. In an effort to assist with this process they have recommended that instead of promoting one of the current sergeants to lieutenant, that we fill the one vacant space for sergeant and create on a temporary basis, one additional sergeant. There would be two lieutenants and five sergeants. Sergeant Dale Morris will become supervisor of the Investigations Department. Sergeant Davis will serve similar to the two lieutenants on patrol. If we create the fifth sergeant we will have a supervisor on duty eighty-five percent of the time. They have asked that we do this on a temporary basis as we work through our financial challenges and at some point in the future they would like to have the lieutenant position filled. If you concur we will request legislation at the next meeting.

Law Director’s Report     -         no report
Engineer’s Report – Mr. Shvegzda said we were successful in receiving funding for the Beaver Run Creek riparian restoration project from the OEPA. We will probably bid that in the fall of this year. We received information that the structure on the property at 454 Grandin Avenue will be removed from the flood zone. A letter has been sent to the owner notifying them of that change. By the end of January we expect to have the rest of the response from FEMA. The Building Official and I are scheduled to have a meeting with the property owner at 463 West Kemper to review the results of the flood study.    

    COMMUNICATIONS                         -     none




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

Ordinance 2-2011 passed with seven affirmative votes.

Mr. Parham said there is a copy of the exhibit in the Clerk’s office and we can make a copy of it for you if you like.


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

Mr. Parham said when we began to explore where to purchase additional rock salt, the Public Works staff determined that there was an opportunity still remaining as part of the bid process that we participated in with Hamilton County last fall. Originally, we were led to believe that each community had to identify the exact amount that they were going to purchase and that was the amount you had to purchase. The industry is now requiring that you identify a minimum amount of purchase. We found that there is an opportunity to purchase twenty percent above the amount we purchased. As we began to check throughout the industry we were able to secure salt through another supplier last January or February we were able to purchase salt from another supplier. Those rates were $72-$75 a ton. We thought getting the extra twenty percent at $68 a ton was a bargain so hence the change order before you this evening. We’ve also had further discussion with Cargill and they have indicated that they would be willing to sell us additional tons of salt at this same rate and you have to let them know within a certain period of time. We have let them know we have this legislation.

Mr. Squires how much has salt gone up?

Mr. Parham replied three years ago it was $48 a ton. Two years ago some jurisdictions began to receive $150 a ton as bids. Then Springdale put a bid out and received no bids because we did not agree to purchase a minimum amount of salt. This year we decided to bid with Hamilton County.

Mrs. Harlow asked where will this purchase put us with our total of rock salt?

Mr. Parham replied we are at 800 tons. We have the ability to purchase 350 tons. After that we’ll have to put together a specification or be part of the County process. We started with 1500 tons.

Mayor Webster said you don’t have to go back too far to see that we were paying $34-$36 a ton. Inflation drove it up a little bit and then when Katrina came along and all the salt mines flooded in Louisiana, that was an excuse to raise it up. Once the market will bear $68 it’s not going to go back down. Unless we have a catastrophic couple of months with this PO and what we know we can get, we should be okay for this winter and still have a decent amount of money left for the fall if we want to replenish.

OLD BUSINESS                         -     none


    Mr. Vanover stated we have a D5/D6 liquor license transfer from Whiskey Willie’s to Rib City. There were no objections.

    Mr. Diehl said Rose Fehr’s term on the Tax Review Board expires January 31. She would like to continue and I recommend that to happen.

    Mrs. Harlow said we’ll address any other nominees for the Tax Review Board at our February 2 meeting. I agree Mrs. Fehr has done very well with the Tax Review Board. She has an accounting degree and is certified to do taxes.


    Planning Commission                         -     Feb 8
    Board of Health                         -     Feb 10
    Board of Zoning Appeals                     -     February 15

    Mr. Vanover said the Ohio Ethics Commission Financial disclosure packet is due back April 15.

    Mrs. Harlow said we have an invitation from the Hamilton County Municipal League. Mayor Webster, do we have any representatives who will be attending this evening with Dusty Rhodes, Hamilton County Auditor on the 2011 reappraisal process? Tim Ingram, Hamilton County Health Commission will also be there speaking.
Mayor Webster said the Commission has six meetings a year. Mr. Parham, Mr. Thamann and I are going to attend. If anyone else would like to attend, the City will pick up the cost of $10 a person. It will be a very interesting meeting as Dusty Rhodes is going to talk about the re-evaluation. Tim Ingram is going to talk about some of the services the Hamilton County Health Department offers. They are very actively working with our legislators in Columbus to try to stop the repeal of the estate tax which will cost the City $500,000 a year. The newly elected governor has promised to take a meat ax to the Local Government Fund of which we received $420,000 last year. I think we need to support the League and try to make sure that doesn’t happen. I tried to contact Mrs. Pillage and have not heard back from her office. I contacted Mr. Blessing, who is Pro Tem of the Senate and have not heard back from him. I also contacted our State Senator, Mr. Bill Seitz and within a half hour, his staff got back to me and said he personally started to have some reservations about this. The action originates in the House so we need to let Mrs. Pillage know the devastating effect this would have on the City’s budget if that legislation is introduced and passed and signed by the governor.



Amending supplemental appropriation ordinance        -     Feb 2             Appointment to Tax Review Board                 -     Feb 2
Temporary Increase of Police Sergeants             -    Feb 2

Zoning Code Change                         -     Mar 2

Council adjourned at 8:52 p.m.

                        Respectfully submitted,

                        Kathy McNear
                        Clerk of Council/Finance Director

Minutes Approved:
Marjorie Harlow, President of Council

__________________________, 2011