President of Council Marjorie Harlow called Council to order on
November 4, 2009, 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 Danbury, Diehl, Galster, Squires, Vanover, Wilson and Harlow.
Mrs. Harlow reported that the wife of Randy Campions wife, Janice, passed away suddenly after a brief illness. Wed like to extend our sympathies and prayers to the family.
The minutes of October 21, 2009 were approved with six affirmative votes. Mr. Squires abstained.
COMMUNICATIONS - none
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS
ORDINANCE NO. 26-2009 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO AN AGREEMENT WITH CINCINNATI BELL TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS RELATED TO A JOB RETENTION INCENTIVE AGREEMENT AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Danbury seconded.
Mr. Parham stated the amount of $28,800 listed in the Pending Legislation Report was an old number. I indicated to you that we forwarded a copy to Cincinnati Bell for their review. There has been a slight adjustment to the agreement. I am asking Jeff Tulloch to explain those changes and what were proposing.
Jeff Tulloch said the agreement with Cincinnati Bell Technology Solutions is similar to the Cincom agreement. Roger Smith is the person who selected the building. Cincinnati Bell Technology Solutions provides IT services to national and international companies. They will be occupying 42,000 square feet at the 111 Tri County Parkway building. They will initially employee 90 people at the facility with the anticipation of growing to over 200 employees over ten years. The new agreement took into account growth and provides for a base amount of incentive based on payroll at 1 ½% and 30% of that amount. It is structured as a line of credit which legal counsel advises is tantamount to a forgivable loan which is acceptable under the Ohio Revised Statutes. That is paid out in arrears annually based on a level of payroll that they anticipate hitting. If they get to within 90 percent of that number they get to draw on the line of credit and its simultaneously forgiven. This agreement allows this incentive payment to increase by ten percent over the terms of the lease.
Mr. Wilson pointed out a typo on paragraph two that refers to $31,500. Mr. Tulloch said that should be $31,590 and I will correct that.
Mr. Galster made a motion to adopt Ordinance 26-2009 as amended. Mr. Vanover seconded. The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.
Ordinance 26-2009 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 27 -2009 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH DONALD W. WHITE TO SERVE AS MAYORS COURT MAGISTRATE FOR THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Galster seconded.
Mayor Webster said Mr. White has been our magistrate for five or six years. The compensation is $17,500, the same as 2009. Hes done a marvelous job. I urge you to vote favorably for this as well as Ordinance 28 approving the contract with Mark Piepmeier as prosecuting attorney and Ordinance 29 for Jonathan Smith as public defender.
Ordinance 27-2009 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 28-2009 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH MARK E. PIEPMEIER FOR PROSECUTING SERVICES FOR THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.
Ordinance 28-2009 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 29-2009 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH JONATHAN SMITH FOR PUBLIC DEFENDER SERVICES FOR THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY
Mr. Squires made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded.
Mr. Danbury asked how many cases are there?
Mr. Parham replied I dont know the exact number but the numbers vary anywhere from one to six per year.
Mayor Webster said it is $150 a case, no retainer.
Mrs. Harlow said I do want Council to think about nominations for the boards and commissions that will be addressed at our first Council meeting in December.
Mr. Parham stated we have identified 233 single family homes as rental properties. We have inspected all of those. There have been 337 re-inspections where a problem had been identified and the inspector had to go back. We have issued 189 rental permits at $50 per permit.
Mr. Parham said the City has received $20,000 for 2009, and will receive another $20,000 in 2010 and 2011 for the home improvement repair program for exterior home improvements. We have received 27 applications. One was denied because the income was too high. Twenty-three were approved but one was revoked. The applicant had roof damage and had received $7,000 from their insurance company. They expended that money thinking that we would reimburse them the full $7,000. The applicant couldnt get the contractor to do the work so we revoked the application. There are three backup applications. Not everyone who is approved finalizes the project. Of the $20,000 allocated for 2009, all but $54.58 has been allocated. Of the $19,945.42 allocated, $10,696 has been reimbursed to applicants. To date we have received $4,181 back from the County. We just sent three requests for a total of $2,556 to the County this week. The 2010 program will begin in March or April 2010.
Mayor Webster said on two occasions when the applicant did not have the money upfront to pay for the improvements, SOS paid the money upfront and will be reimbursed by the grant money.
Mr. Galster asked if the three pending cases will roll into 2010 or will they have to reapply.
Mr. Parham answered I believe they have to reapply.
Mr. Galster asked will we send those three a notice?
Mr. Parham responded yes, we can do that.
Mr. Diehl said you said we have 233 rental properties. How confident are you that we got 100% of the rental property?
Mr. Parham replied it is challenging to know if weve captured them all. There are some that we believe to have been a rental property that a child owned the home and the parents were living in the home and not paying rent. In those instances we do not charge. Some you know because some people have multiple rental properties, others you know by some other involvement with the homeowner, or maybe someone has notified us.
Mr. Galster said I have noticed more For Rent signs out so I assume our inspectors note that and check it against our list.
Mr. Parham said yes, and some of the forty-four that have not had permits issued, may not have anyone there and you dont have to pay if you dont have tenants.
Mayor Webster said I apologize for the H1N1 presentation two weeks ago so we pulled the information together and Mr. Parham will give you that information.
Mr. Parham stated we ordered 1600 doses of vaccine. As of November 3 we have received 1,010 doses. Nine hundred of those were injectables and 110 were the nasal spray. The priority groups are first responders, pregnant women, children six months to 24 years old. We have administered 29 doses to our Springdale paramedics, 16 doses to police officers, 250 doses at Springdale Elementary, 300 at Heritage Hill Elementary and 66 at Calvary Christian School. The EMTs helped administer those shots at the schools. We will go back 21 to 28 days later to administer the second dose to those children under ten years old. Over time the Health Department has received calls about the vaccine. We have taken their names. We dont want to hold onto the vaccine so if there is an opportunity to get it out we will do that. The eleven providers in the City of Springdale have not received their doses so we are having some discussion about whether to loan them some of our vaccine and then when theirs arrive they reimburse us. Thats not finalized but one idea. We have to make sure we have enough doses for those children 21-28 days out. We did administer 45 doses on October 30. Tomorrow we will have an in-house administration of the H1N1 for people on the first tier, pregnant women, young children and young adults. We are looking to have a clinic for the general public at some time, perhaps two weeks from this past Friday. The City of Sharonville has notified us that they do not need our assistance in vaccinating the high school and middle school students.
Mr. Galster said based on the numbers you have given me for what was administered at Springdale Elementary and Heritage Hill Elementary, it seems like an awfully low percentage for a pandemic type and the amount of press out there. I understand the risks and conflicts the parents are going through deciding whether to get their children vaccinated. If were only vaccinating that small a percent it seems were not quite doing the job. I know thats not our control but when 45 percent are not getting vaccinated, it seems like there is a lot of risk out there.
Mayor Webster said I dont think thats a reflection of what were doing. If we dont have the permission slips we cant give the vaccine. Maybe the state health departments and Health and Human Services out of Washington need to do a better job of educating the people. Some people are dead set against doing it.
Mr. Parham said with all you see on television, there are people who are fearful on both sides of the issue. You have those who are fearful of their child getting H1N1 but you also have those fearful that it is not a safe vaccine. CDC says they developed the vaccine the same way they developed the seasonal vaccine.
Mr. Parham said I stated we ordered 1600 doses. We have received 1010. They trickle in. We are looking at whether Maxim, the company that helped with the seasonal flu shots, will have access to H1N1 vaccine and perhaps they can come and administer vaccine for a small charge to our residents once we have exhausted our supply.
Mr. Wilson asked is the authorization form that goes to the children bilingual?
Mayor Webster replied I would bet the ranch it is. Theres no way they would send out a form that wasnt bilingual.l
Mr. Parham said one of our most recent hires at the Fire Department speaks Spanish as well and was assigned to assist with Heritage Hill that day. I understand he was a tremendous help for the staff.
Mrs. McNear said Council, you received a liquor license request for Tacqueria Azteca, 322 Northland Boulevard for a D-1 license. There were no objections.
Mrs. McNear said we had a request to dispose of municipal property, a 1994 Ford Crown Victoria that has not been roadworthy for quite some time and it has been used for parts even longer. The total value is less than $200. A company will haul it away and pay us $200 for it.
Mr. Vanover said Sunday sales was on the ballot in our area. I assume we will be getting notification of those licenses as they come in or are being issued. Im still perturbed that this is the second year in a row that this has popped up and we dont get any notification.
Mrs. McNear said I dont know but Ill check it out.
Mr. Parham said as we are preparing for our 2010 budget and looking at revenues over the next five years, the numbers are not coming in as strong as we would like. With the economy as it is, a number of employers are instituting measures to assist them in cost savings. We have found ourselves in that same predicament and we are going to put a number of things in place and want to bring legislation before you at a later date to request a plan that I refer to as cost containment measures. Under that plan we are looking at implementing furloughs, unpaid days off work for an individual. Weve identified with our hourly employees ten days that were going to implement a furlough. Five of those ten days will be a general furlough where the individual schedules that time off and will not be paid for those days. Last year we implemented a voluntary program. In 2010 it will not be only a voluntary program. The other five days we are looking to close down those public buildings that can be closed. The Police and Fire Departments will remain open. Public Works and Parks employees will be required to report in for duty if we have a snow emergency on those days in order to clear the roads. I have had a number of PR meetings. I have met with the administration of the Police Department as well as the union representatives of the Police and Fire Departments. I even had a meeting with all the patrol officers who fall under the police contract to make a request to them as well as identify to them what we plan to do in the year 2010 as we are trying to find ways to save costs which translates in the long run, saving jobs. Weve identified five days that the municipal and other buildings will be closed. They are April 2 (Good Friday), May 7, August 6, October 22 and the day after Thanksgiving. All of these dates are on Friday. The holiday schedule for 2010 includes eight days which are New Years Day, Martin Luther King, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Christmas and New Years Day in 2010 will be observed on Friday. The other five days will be observed on Monday. Four of those five are always on Monday. It just happens that Independence Day is on Sunday and will be observed on Monday so I wanted to focus more on Fridays because when we close the building it will have an impact on the residents we serve and we want to have the least amount of negative impact. I have tried to identify Fridays that did not precede Council meetings. With these types of measures I think it is important that we have all our resources available to us the Friday before that meeting in case something comes up. We will have an article in the newsletter that goes out in December so we can begin to inform the public that the office will be closed on those particular days. We will have legislation before you to outline that plan. We also will be going before the Civil Service Commission to have them adopt rules for a vehicle that allows furloughs. We are not exempting non hourly employees but the Fair Labor Standard Acts prohibits us from reducing by way of furlough, the salary of a salaried employee. As a salaried employee it doesnt matter how many hours you work, you receive that salary. For those on salary we will do a salary reduction plan reducing our salaries by the equivalent time that we are going to implement for all the other employees. I have a meeting scheduled for next Monday and will meet with any and all employees to answer any questions and concerns they have and also to continue to outline the program. I have met with department directors and shared the information with them. They have held meetings with their individual departments. If there are any other questions employees may have I will be there from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. to answer those questions.
Mayor Webster said this is not very pleasant to have to talk about but I think Derrick, Jerry and the directors have done a marvelous job in putting this together and trying to identify all the ramifications of this and there are many. You will see requests for legislation as we go forward with this program. We wanted to try to make sure that we didnt lay anybody off. Weve had a hiring freeze and we will continue that freeze. We have several retirements coming up next year which will help the situation through attrition. Were going into 2010 several employees short. We have several police officers retiring next year and we are going to ratchet that number of officers down. We hope by not replacing these retirees and by implementing things such as the furlough program it will negate having to lay people off. We have been trying to be open and fair with the employees by saying were asking you to make these sacrifices but if we put the numbers together and we still have a deficit budget were not going to have any choice but to start cutting programs, cut back on services or cut back on the number of employees. In the Police Department we have an authorized complement of forty officers. We have several programs that are community pleasing efforts. The block watch programs and DARE are feel good programs. Those are great things to have in a community; however, when push comes to shove you have to start prioritizing and were not going to be able to continue some of those programs. We had a fine Police Department with 35 or 36 police officers so we will just have to roll back expenditures until the revenues catch up.
Mr. Galster asked is there any consideration of hourly employees having a percentage pay cut as the salaried employees do? Could they take a percentage over the course of a year and make that less of a burden on them or will they only have the option of taking the five unpaid days?
Mr. Parham responded we thought briefly of a rollback in salaries. Sometimes I think the perception in reducing my pay rate is a little different than days off. Were doing our best to eliminate overtime. There will be times that we generate overtime but we plan to let the employees use it as comp time. I think shutting down the office for those particular days gives us other savings as well.
Mr. Galster said absolutely. My concern is the other five days. Different peoples perception of a rollback might be a bigger issue to you than someone else. Is that creating too much of an accounting nightmare?
Mr. Parham replied I think it begins to get too complicated. We are trying to be as consistent as we can through the entire organization.
Mr. Galster said if you got most of the people to take a rollback rather than furlough our staffing will stay up. Were not running short on all those days. If I were an employee in some of those departments it would be a benefit to be running full strength as opposed to always being a man down. Id like the employees to have that option because then the departments are operating at full levels.
Mr. Parham said I appreciate what you are suggesting but there are often times when an employee takes vacation, comp time or sick leave. I think we will still be able to provide the level of service we are targeting. The goal is to continue providing the top quality service that weve always provided to our residents and at the same time trying to retain positions. I dont think that will affect the level of service. We do have a few challenges with public safety because they are open 24/7 but we are also looking at different programs with them to have a minimum impact on them today as well as when they begin to project out into their retirement because it does have a negative effect on the individual looking at retirement.
Mr. Diehl asked did a large percentage of employees take advantage of the voluntary furlough in 2009?
Mr. Parham stated we are operating under two different retirement systems, the Police and Fire Pension System and PERS. Some employees in the Police Department are in the Drop Program, the program that requires the Chief and other employees to retire in January 2011. If you are in the Police and Fire Pension System and you take a day off in a voluntary program, it costs severely. It pushes back their date, reduces their amount tremendously so none of those individuals have taken advantage of the opportunity, only the people in the Drop program have because their number and their date has already been identified. A number of employees in the PERS system have taken advantage of it. Just about everybody in the Health Department has taken advantage of the program on a voluntary basis. One of the officers who is also in the Drop program has submitted his resignation. He is planning to take advantage of this program this year and in 2010 just prior to his retirement. We also want to offer the voluntary furlough in 2010 as well as the mandatory furlough.
Mrs. Harlow said I know it has not been an easy task but anything we can do to save jobs. I know Council and Administration have been very prudent about our expenditures and cutting programs we do not have to have.
Mayor Webster said I would like an ordinance at the December 2 meeting confirming my appointment to replace Mr. Hawkins on Planning Commission.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Planning Commission - November 10
Board of Zoning Appeals - November 17
Finance Committee (tentative) - November 23
50th Year Celebration - November 15
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT - none
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
Replacing Lawrence Hawkins on Planning - December 2
Cost Containment Measures - ?
Council adjourned at 8:12 p.m.
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Marjorie Harlow, President of Council