President of Council Marjorie Harlow called Council to order on March 2, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.

    The governmental body and those in attendance recited the pledge of allegiance.

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

    The minutes of February 16, 2011 were approved with seven affirmative votes.

    COMMUNICATIONS                     -     none


    Chief Mathis said Mike Schulz graduated from Wright State University in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Urban Affairs and Criminal Justice. He attended the Scarlet Oaks Police Academy and joined the Springdale Police Department in 2000. He served as part of the honor guard, bicycle patrol and as assistant property room manager. Officer Schulz is married and has two children.   

Mayor Webster swore in Michael Schultz as Springdale’s new police sergeant.


Public Hearing

The public hearing was opened. There were no speakers from the audience.

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

Ordinance 8-2011 passed with seven affirmative votes.


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

Jeff Tulloch, Economic Development Director, introduced Dr. Troy Holoday, College Source, Inc. president and Paul Broadhead representing the property.

Mr. Tulloch stated the agreement is similar as those used for Cincinnati Bell Technology Solutions, Cincom and First Financial Bank, but has a few different terms and conditions. It is a forgivable draw on a line of credit. The agreement calls for the creation of fifty initial jobs with a payroll of $2,637,000 growing to 100 jobs with a payroll of $5,337,000 over ten years. A line of credit draw of $7911 can be awarded for job creation during 2011 which would be paid in 2012. Then that line of credit draw amount grows to $24,000 by 2022. The amounts were calculated based on 20 percent of the earnings tax generated in years 1 through 5, and 30 percent in years 6 through 10. I believe this incentive program is ideally suited to this type of firm as inducement to locate in Springdale because of the creation of jobs, and it helps contribute to a more diverse economy in Springdale. It also generates earnings tax.

Dr. Holoday stated I had worked at Ball State University and joined College Source in 2007. The CollegeSource systems are on the desktops of about 2000 institutions of higher education nationwide and some international. We provide data services and software solutions to higher education both hosted and installed. The goal of our company is to generate a more employable student, a more educated student and to support the processes of planning and degree attainment. We are very interested in pursing growth here in Springdale and we are looking to sign a long-term lease with Kemper Pond Office Park.

Mrs. Harlow said I am employed at the University of Cincinnati and am familiar with the product. I do not have any connection with the product or with the University acquiring the product. If anyone has an issue I would be more than happy not to vote.

No one on Council had an objection.

Mr. Galster questioned the number comparisons on Exhibit A to the ordinance and Exhibit1 of the agreement.

There was discussion among Council members and Mr. Tulloch about whether the numbers are correct between Exhibit A and Exhibit 1.

Mr. Galster made a motion to modify Section 9 of the ordinance to include the revised numbers as discussed, the $11,014 going to $8,811; $14,389 going to $11,511; $9889 going to $7911. Part of my motion would be to make sure that we include Exhibit 1 that shows those corrected numbers. Mr. Vanover seconded.

Mr. Tulloch said I will change the numbers.

I don’t think it would hurt to include the formula for the first five years is the payroll times 20 percent times 1.5 percent in order to get to that LOC number. Council agreed to just change the numbers.

The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.

Mr. Galster asked in paragraph 3 of the exhibit, if the company fails to meeting 90% of the payroll, should that be changed to aggregate payroll?

Mr. Tulloch replied if College Source drops below $2,637,000 they would not get the credit amount. They have an obligation to grow. The threshold amount is 90% of $3.8. If that threshold amount isn’t met in year five, then the agreement terminates.

Ordinance 9-2011 passed with seven affirmative votes.


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

Mr. Thamann said the current bargaining unit agreement will be carried forward. There were changes to articles: 10 – Wages, 15 – Vacation, 16 – Holidays, 25 – Bereavement Leave, 29 – Health Insurance and 39 – Duration. Current pay rates will continue in 2011 and a provision for a wage re-opener in 2012 and 2013 was agreed upon. The officers agreed to our City global health insurance plan that all non-bargaining union members are participating in as well as the sergeants and lieutenants in the Police Department and soon to come, our firefighters.

Mr. Galster stated when we have ordinances with exhibits, I’d like to have the exhibits actually attached.

Ordinance 10-2011 passed with seven affirmative votes.


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

Mr. Thamann stated all 41 articles from the previous agreement are going to be carried over into this new agreement with the exception of changes to Articles 11 – Wages, 36 – Health Insurance, 31 – Duration. There will be no pay increase in 2010 and 2011 with a provision that allows them a wage re-opener in 2012. The health insurance is the City’s global plan that everyone else is participating in.

Ordinance 11-2011 passed with seven affirmative votes.

Mayor Webster said I would like to express my gratitude to Mr. Parham, Mr. Thamann and Paul Berninger, our Labor Counsel, and also to Local 4027. This was an elongated, contentious negotiation and was finally brought to conclusion after it was submitted to the arbitrator. All parties involved in this really spent a lot of time and effort, five and six hour meetings. It was very physically and emotionally draining on everybody concerned, not just the City’s bargaining team but also the Firefighters’ bargaining team.

In conclusion I’d just like to ask, going forward with these, if the unions reach out to you folks it would sure help not to have Council involvement in negotiations. I think we pay these guys, especially our Labor Counsel to do that. These guys are trained in what they’re doing and I really don’t think it’s Council’s job to have negotiating sessions with the fire union or any union.

Mr. Squires asked is this actually happening? Mayor Webster replied absolutely. It happened this last negotiations with the Fire Department.

Mrs. Harlow and Mr. Squires said they were not called.

Mr. Vanover stated nor was I. Our charge on this body is legislative.

Mayor Webster said I don’t want to indict every member on Council. I would hope that the person who had the private negotiating session would stand up and acknowledge that.

Mr. Galster said I did have a conversation with the Fire Department. They called me at home. I did inform the Mayor when I received that phone call. I had a subsequent conversation with the Mayor a couple of days later and a subsequent conversation with the firefighter later on that evening. While I generally agree, I also believe that given the fact that the negotiations were already turned over to binding arbitration, and that the contact was relayed to Administration, I believe in this case it was the proper thing to do.

Mrs. Harlow said I am confused. Why is it the proper thing to do, Mr. Galster?

Mr. Galster replied all the information had been submitted to the fact finder. As everybody knows, if the binding arbitration mediator had followed the fact finders’ recommendation, I think the impact on the City was tremendous and I think everyone on this dais would agree that it would have had a major impact on the City. All that information had already been submitted. When they contacted me, it was my understanding and my impression to try to get them back to the bargaining table as I expressed to the Mayor and the Mayor expressed back to me on that Sunday conversation and subsequent Tuesday conversation. The reason for the contact was to try to get them back to the bargaining table. That was accomplished on Tuesday. On Wednesday they came in and signed a new deal. Would it have happened without it, I don’t know.

Mrs. Harlow asked what would have happened if it had pushed them farther away?

Mr. Galster replied it was already submitted to binding arbitration. I didn’t have a meeting with the binding arbitration guy who would have made the decision. I had a meeting with the firefighter, an employee of the City who called me at my home to ask me if I would talk to him. I told him no, I was not comfortable talking to him. I had a conversation with the Mayor that explained the details of that conversation. I had an additional conversation with the Mayor a couple of days later. Actually the Mayor called me and had additional conversation about trying to get them back to the bargaining table. After that conversation with the Mayor I had another conversation with the firefighter, actually two conversations. Eventually they came back to the bargaining table on Wednesday morning. While I agree it’s not the best case scenario, I believe given the situation, in my mind it was the right thing to do.

Mayor Webster said I totally disagree with that. In two or three of the conversations you and I had, the bottom line was I told you you should be telling them to get in touch with Derrick. I even went so far to say if they had a problem with Derrick personality-wise I’d be more than happy to meet with them myself, but I thought in all cases, they should go back to the people they are negotiating with. The report back from you indicated that Derrick had been very professional and they had no problem with Derrick, so there was really no reason for them to go outside that bargaining team. You say it’s okay for you to do that. What happens if all seven of these people decide next time around, they call every one of these elected officials along with the Finance Director? We have the professional negotiating team trying to get a deal done, then we have private negotiations going on with another seven or eight people. That doesn’t make any sense to me. That’s not in your job description to negotiate labor contracts.

Mr. Galster replied I understand it’s not in my job description. I didn’t negotiate a contract with them. I didn’t change any terms or provide any information that was separate.

Mayor Webster said we don’t know that.

Mr. Galster said my conversation with him on Sunday was to say that it wasn’t my place to have any conversation with him. My subsequent conversations with you on Sunday and Tuesday facilitated an additional call to them to ask them and try to encourage them to go back to the bargaining table, and that’s what those follow up calls were, to try to facilitate getting them back to the bargaining table to get them to settle before the binding arbitration was rendered.

Mayor Webster said it took a meeting outside the City in a bar in Sharonville late in the evening, a two-hour meeting for you to get them back to the bargaining table.

Mr. Galster stated just because the representation wasn’t really accurate based on where the firefighter was coming from and where I was at the time, that was a convenient location for both parties. I had a soft drink beverage in a location that was convenient for both.

Mayor Webster responded our negotiations took place in a City conference room with professional counsel there and plenty of witnesses. You go off at night outside the City. We have conference rooms here. You have a key to the City. There are conference rooms at the firehouse. Lenny French has a key to the firehouse. The whole thing just doesn’t look good to me for one Council member to go outside the City to meet the union rep in a bar in Sharonville in the evening instead of using the facilities and everything else that’s here. You can say we didn’t discuss this, we didn’t discuss that. We don’t know what you discussed, Mr. Galster. We know what was discussed in these negotiating sessions because we discussed it in light of day in City facilities with plenty of witnesses. We know exactly what was said. If some allegations come out of the fire union that you made some promise or this, that or the other, there’s no way to substantiate that. There’s no way to defend what you said or didn’t said.

Mr. Galster replied, first of all I don’t have the ability as one member voting on City Council to make any representation on what City Council would vote for. I’m one vote out of seven. I informed Administration of the steps that were happening as they happened. The conversation that I had with him was at his convenience based on his schedule and trying to get it done beforehand. There was no negotiating back and forth. It was all about everything I talked to you about on the phone which was to get them back to the bargaining table, which is what happened on Wednesday morning.

Mrs. Harlow stated we had an executive session Wednesday evening and this conversation that happened outside wasn’t brought up at all in that meeting. Was there a reason for not informing us during that meeting?

Mr. Galster stated I believe the Mayor said there was contact made between myself and a firefighter and I acknowledged the fact that there was, even though I’m not comfortable even saying that happened because it happened in executive session.

Mr. Diehl said we could make the statement in this case that all’s well that ends well but that’s not the point. The point is these things shouldn’t happen this way. Just because it ended in a really good way for both parties this time doesn’t mean that this should take place. Mr. Parham and Mr. Thamann did an outstanding job in getting this accomplished.

Mr. Vanover said that’s outside of our scope. I think we’re getting into conflict of interest because we hold the purse strings. That’s a slippery slope and I would thoroughly agree with Mr. Diehl because there is too much of that going on right now that the means justify the ends. That’s not the case. It’s dangerous territory to be in. I have no intentions myself of involving that. That’s what we pay the Administration to do. If they didn’t want to talk to our Administration, I have to sit and wonder what was said that would get them back to the table. They indicated that they didn’t have any problems with Mr. Parham and Mr. Thamann and the execution of these negotiations, then why suddenly. We were days, maybe hours away from the final binding arbitration coming down. In this case, it worked out good. If it went the other way we could have a legal mess on our hands. That’s not a position I want to put myself in, nor would I want to put the City in.

Mr. Squires said it seems to me when we were in executive session that we made a pledge to one another that if we were contacted by any member of either party in these negotiations we would automatically refer them back to Derrick and Jerry. I thought that’s the way it should be. If one of us goes out and meets with one of the antagonizing parties, it just seems to me that we are playing a role in undermining the very authority that we have given our two City Administrators. I just don’t think we had any business doing this at all.

Mr. Diehl said I think enough said on the subject. I think we should move on.

Mrs. Harlow said under New Business we will be looking at Council rules and I think this is something we need to ask the Rules and Laws subcommittee to take a look at. We don’t want to have to address this again. We’re going to ask them to add something or look at Rules and Laws to see how we can address this in the future.

OLD BUSINESS                     -     none


Mrs. McNear stated tax returns are due April 18 and the Tax Department is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and will be open Saturday, April 16 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Mr. Thamann stated I don’t know how many elected officials received an invitation to the United States Army Community Covenants Signing. They were before Council several months ago regarding this. They are having the ceremony at the Sharonville Convention Center from 9 a.m. to noon on Friday, March 11. The communities involved are Sharonville, Springdale, Colerain Township and Forest Park. I just received my invitation yesterday and they are asking everyone to RSVP by March 4. I also asked about those who work, if they could show up and not stay the whole time. They said they could but I just don’t know when we are going to be official announced.

Mr. Thamann said I just received an invitation to join a newly created organization called The Council to Protect Ohio’s Communities. Mike Hennenkamp, the administrator for Springfield Township notified me. This organization with a lot of southwest Ohio communities as well as others throughout the State is being formed to protect local governments from the adverse impacts on the proposed repeal of the estate tax in Ohio. The Administration is in the process of reviewing this organization and the agreement they sent us. I will pass out that agreement to everyone so you can take a look at it. We may request legislation at the next Council meeting. Nevertheless, if we decide to join or not, we may want to consider legislation to denounce the repeal of the estate tax and the local government fund. Those two funds make up approximately $1 million of our general fund.

Mrs. Harlow asked, to join this cost $5,000? Mr. Thamann replied yes.

Mrs. Harlow asked how long has this organization been around. Mr. Thamann replied they are in their infancy.

Mayor Webster said the Hamilton County Municipal League has made a donation to the Ohio Municipal League to speak on our behalf in opposing the elimination of the estate tax. We reached out to Mrs. Pillich, our House rep and also Senator Seitz expressing our concerns to them. It’s not like we don’t have any representation in Columbus. Maybe the townships feel they don’t and it may be why they formed this group. I’m not saying I’m opposed to it but it might be redundancy to what has already taken place. I suspect things to be moving rather quickly in Columbus. Senate Bill 5 passed committee this morning and it also passed in the Senate late this afternoon. I think this will be marshaled through the House of Representatives rather quickly and I think this will be a companion bill. They are going to give us the elimination of binding arbitration and take away $1 million of revenue which is not a fair trade.

Mrs. McNear said Mayor Webster and I attended a joint meeting of Hamilton County Municipal League and Warren County Municipal League on February 19. In attendance were representatives and senators and the topic of discussion were those two things, estate tax and local government fund. I think it came in loud and clear to them what the communities want and need. I’d say there were probably a couple hundred people in attendance for a meeting on Saturday morning at 9 a.m. People were pretty vocal about how desperate the cities are to retain those sources of income.

Mr. Vanover stated I attended the Hamilton County Regional Planning meeting Saturday and this topic was frequently side barred. Was that a potential request for legislation, Mr. Thamann, to denounce the repeal of the estate tax and the local government funds?

Mayor Webster replied I think we’d like to discuss that. Instead of jumping in and joining this group and committing to $5,000 plus a share of any expenses over that, the prudent approach would be just to pass a resolution asking the State not to repeal the estate tax or the local government fund. They have whittled away at the local government fund over the years. I’d suggest we ask the Law Director to bring in a resolution and certify copies of that to maybe all members of the legislature along with the governor.

Mrs. Harlow said Administration is going to look into this to see if there is any reason we would want to be part of this.

Mr. Hawkins began discussion of Chapter 30 of the new Rules of Council. There are a lot of housekeeping items

Changes made included changing the term of vice-president to 2 years, adding the authority to appoint a Council member as liaison to the Board of Health, removal of Public welfare, safety and education, Public relations and Capital improvement from standing committees.

There was discussion about who handles the duties of Finance Director if he/she is out of office. Mr. Forbes stated the duties of Finance Director is handled by the Charter.

There was discussion again about whether three members of Council can have a Council meeting. The purpose of that is so that if three members want to have a meeting and the president does not want to call one, then the three Council people can try to get at least one other member to attend to make a quorum.

Mr. Forbes said you first look to the Charter. If the Charter doesn’t give you an answer, then you can have Council rules on how you want to conduct your business. Mr. Forbes said the Charter says a majority of the members of Council shall constitute a quorum to do business but a lesser number may adjourn from time to time to compel attendance of absent members. Whether it’s the Council president that calls it or three members, you give the notice, you show up, you open it and take a roll call. If there are less than a majority they can’t do anything but adjourn and rely on whatever laws there may be to try to make somebody else to show up.

Mr. Forbes said if you want me to do research on what “conduct business” means I will. I think at a common sense level it means you really shouldn’t be doing anything that this body would be doing had you had a quorum.

There was question as to what a CIC is?

Mr. Forbes stated a CIC is Community Improvement Corporation, is incorporated as a non-profit entity generally comprised of elected officials of the community. They can be developed as an economic development agent of the community. If they are, then a certain percentage of the board has to be comprised of elected officials and it is subject to sunshine laws to a certain extent.

Mayor Webster said if you don’t have elected officials, you are not subject to the sunshine law. There are a lot of things in huge developments that you just can’t have out to the press. The City can give that corporation property and they can dispose of that property without going through public bids.

Council stopped discussion at Chapter 30.05 (K).

Mrs. Harlow stated I would like to wrap this up and vote on it at our next meeting.


    Planning Commission                     -     March 8
    Board of Health                     -     March 10
    Finance Committee                     -     March 15
    Board of Zoning Appeals                 -     March 15
    Lions Club Pancake Breakfast             -     March 19



Resolution to denounce repeal of estate tax        -     March 16

Council adjourned at 8:52 p.m.

                        Respectfully submitted,

                        Kathy McNear
                        Clerk of Council/Finance Director

Minutes Approved:

Marjorie Harlow, President of Council

__________________________, 2011