President of Council Marjorie Harlow called Council to order on
December 2, 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 Diehl, Emerson, Galster, Hawkins, Squires, Vanover, and Harlow.
The minutes of November 18, 2009 were approved with five affirmative votes. Mrs. Emerson and Mr. Hawkins abstained.
Mrs. McNear read a letter: Now that the election is over and I look at the various committees serving the City, it concerns me that Holly Emersons husband sits on the Board of Zoning Appeals. I know that it is not illegal but to use Mrs. Emersons own words, does it make right to be related to someone on Council and serve on a committee. Mr. Emerson, who was Mayor appointed and is paid to be on that committee will sooner or later become an issue. I see too much opportunity for conflict of interest to arise and I feel it only proper that Mr. Emerson give up his seat on the Board of Zoning Appeals immediately. Thank you for reading this. Sincerely, Sarah Welch, 203 Ruskin Drive
Mrs. McNear said Duke Energy wrote regarding an increase of $7.4 million. It is estimated it would be an additional $1.04 per month for residential customers. They are replacing the cast iron and fair steel mains with plastic and they expect it to be much more energy efficient.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE
Thomas Fehr, 3783 Donado Drive said Id like to read a prepared statement I have on behalf of the police officers. I also have a copy for Council. We the officers of the Springdale Police Department would like to offer a written explanation for not accepting the Citys request for concessions. On October 19, 2009 Derrick Parham presented the union members of the Police Department bargaining committee with the following concessions. Each officer would postpone their 3.5% raise for 2010 with the possibility of receiving it in 2011. Each officer will take ten days of furlough leave. Although I have 85 hours on here, some officers would only be 80 hours. Each officer will give up their right to cash in holiday, vacation and compensatory time. After carefully reviewing these concessions, our decision to not accept the concessions was not only based on substantial financial loss to each officer, but more importantly the loss of manpower to our City. We found that by accepting the cash out of holiday, vacation, and compensatory time, along with the loss of our raises, the average officer would lose up to 11.7% of their financial earnings. For senior officers, the financial loss would be up to 15% of their salary. More significantly, the loss to the City would supersede any of our financial loss because the citizens of Springdale would be losing actual manpower. If every officer took ten days of furlough time as requested, it would equal one officer being removed from our streets for 58 weeks, which is basically reducing manpower by one officer. In addition, requiring every officer to use all of their holiday, vacation and compensatory time would result in one more officer being removed from our city streets. Upon serious consideration we asked Mr. Parham to provide us with certain assurances before we could accept the above concessions. We simply asked for the security of our officers jobs by insuring no layoffs. If layoffs were unavoidable we ask that we would get our original benefits reinstated. We also requested Mr. Parham would provide us with some sort of a plan to maintain our holiday, vacation and compensatory time if it is not used by the end of the year. Lastly, we requested no new hires while concessions are in place. Unfortunately, Mr. Parham was not able to accept any of our requests. In closing we took an oath to protect and defend the City of Springdale as well as the citizens within it. Law enforcement is a unique profession, one of honor and integrity. It also comes with sacrifice. We sacrifice our time without our families and friends, sleep, safety, and if necessary, our lives. We are no strangers to being asked to make sacrifices. We feel that our requests are reasonable and we only ask for a solid plan and some assurances that our sacrifices will not be in vain. Above all, we need a plan that does not remove officers from our streets, leaving our citizens and remaining officers vulnerable and unprotected.
Mrs. Harlow stated we have heard what youve said. We will read the letter. As with my previous discussion about putting this on the agenda I declined to do that because this is a bargaining unit issue. We have a bargaining unit set up to handle this matter and we would respectfully request that the officers use the bargaining unit to do so. If Council would like or chooses to discuss personnel issues, we will need to go into executive session. We do not discuss personnel issues on the floor of Council.
Mr. Feher said Id certainly like to address your comments because thats not the way things were presented to us but in light of what youve said, I wont make any comments. We also agree that negotiations should be handled in negotiations and our contract expires next year so this shouldnt even be a topic of discussion.
ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS
ORDINANCE NO. 31-2009 ADOPTING COST CONTAINMENT MEASURES (A FURLOUGH PLAN AND A SALARY REDUCTION PLAN) FOR THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.
Mr. Parham said Id like to request that we treat this as a first reading. It will not need to go into effect until the first of January and it will give you enough time to digest this document as this is the first time you have had a chance to see it. At the same time we want to make sure that we get it right.
Mr. Galster said in this document is there any quantity of furlough hours? Originally we were talking about five city-wide holidays and an additional five days. Is that in here or is that just part of no employ should be on furlough, voluntary or otherwise in excess of four standard work weeks? Are we at twenty days now?
Mr. Parham replied we left the document with some flexibility, thus the four weeks. At the same time, we have not put the specifics of the plan which I shared with Council and the employees in the legislation. The plan I presented to Council at a previous meeting that there would be five days we would use as cost containment days in which we would shut down the offices and then five other days scheduled with the supervisor is still in effect. We have also made a part of this document the option of voluntary furlough time. Our intention is not to have anything mandatory more than ten days. Thats the combination that the offices are closed with the other five additional days. With the Community Center we are talking about four days that the center is closed so they would have six floating days. There are no specific hours outlined here but our intentions are simply to have it as I previously described to you.
Mr. Galster responded but this ordinance does not specify a specific number of days.
Mr. Parham said just the four weeks. It allows flexibility. For instance, because the officers have decided not to accept the furlough plan and the language does say it doesnt apply for the bargaining units, one of the officers has already requested to take furlough days next year. Until this is approved he cant take furlough days but as long as we have the voluntary opportunity in there he has the ability to take those furlough days.
Mr. Galster said I understand. Im just a little concerned that the mandatory days are not included in actual numbers. Nowhere in here does it say anything other than not to exceed four weeks. So if its not voluntary it still says up to four weeks which is twenty days.
Mr. Parham said again, we didnt put that in specifically but our plan is not different than what I communicated to you previously and as I have now reaffirmed tonight. Our plan is ten days. As we get through the budget process, if we find ourselves where we drastically needed more than ten days, at least we have that flexibility because again it gives you four weeks which is twenty days. I prefer to ask you for more today, at the same time committing to you that Im only looking at the ten days. If I desire to have more Ill come back to Council and say we need more days.
Mr. Vanover requested to withdraw the motion to adopt Ordinance 31-2009 and Mr. Squires withdrew his second.
Mayor Webster said I think Mr. Parhams first suggestion was very poetic. I think we need to put this off for two weeks. I think Mr. Galster brought up a good point. I personally would not be opposed to entertaining a motion to insert something here to say that there would be no more than X number of days or hours that would be mandatory but we would like to have the upper limit of no more than four weeks in there also. There has never been any thought or any talk of asking people to take four weeks worth of furlough. If you adopt this as it stands we could go up to four weeks and that is not the intent of it. Some departments would be hours and some would be days. Municipal building closings would be part of it also.
Mrs. Harlow stated I think it would make our employees more comfortable knowing it is only a mandatory ten days.
Mr. Parham said I have never said to anyone other than the ten days. Ive described the plan to every employee group Ive met with the same as I have explained the plan to you. The Civil Service rules do permit for 216 hours. For an employee who works a 40 hour work week, its 80 hours for two weeks and 160 for four weeks. For the 8 ½ hour officers you have 85 and 170. The reason for 216 hours is for the Fire Department who are in a bargaining process. They work 24/48 with a 28 day cycle which is four weeks for them or 216 hours. If I had to ask for more than the ten days I would come to Council and would talk to the employees.
Mr. Galster said you have been extremely forthright about the ten days. I did not mean to call into question whether those numbers were changing. Everything has been about ten days. Thats why I was surprised not to see the ten days in the ordinance. If we find out we need to change that number I would prefer to see an amendment to the ordinance or an additional ordinance authorizing additional days if the budget process or the actual flow of revenues into next year dictate that.
ORDINANCE NO. 32 -2009 REPEALING ORDINANCE NO. 6-2006 AND ESTABLISHING THE RATE OF COMPENSATION FOR AUXILIARY POLICE OFFICERS WITHIN THE POLICE DEPARTMENT OF THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.
Mr. Parham said this is to adjust the pay rate of the six auxiliary officers. An officer who has retired and through the Police and Fire pension fund has the ability to become employed with us as an auxiliary. They do not run any patrol as our full-time officers do but they perform background investigations, work festivals and parades and deliver warrants. This frees our officers up. The current language indicates that their pay rate is tied to the first step of the police officers who are entitled to a 3 ½ percent increase. We are not providing an increase to other employees and I dont feel it is fair to provide it for the auxiliary officers. What this legislation does is establish the pay rate for an auxiliary officer but does not give them that automatic increase that is achieved through the bargaining process.
Ordinance 32-2009 passed with seven affirmative votes.
Mayor Webster said while were talking about pay reductions and furloughs this fits into the flow. Some time ago I had a conversation with Mr. Diehl regarding the salaries of elected officials and whether elected officials shouldnt make the same sacrifices were asking our employees to make. A sitting Council cannot vote themselves an increase. If we decided tonight we wanted to increase the salary of the elected officials wed have to pass it and make it effective for a date that none of us would be sitting here. It would have to four years and a day since the new people were elected. If we arbitrarily decrease the salary of everyone up here then were stuck with that for the next four years. Thats not what were saying to the employees. Were saying we need relief for 2010. Based on the conversation Mr. Diehl and I had, I then talked to the Legal Department and asked if there is a way we can temporarily decrease the elected officials salaries for 2010 and have them restored to the current levels for 2011. They assured me we could do that. I have an ordinance that would accomplish a 3.8 percent decrease in the salary of every elected official sitting up here for 2010. In 2011 their current salaries would be restored. We can act on it tonight or put it on the agenda for the December 16 meeting.
Mr. Diehl said I think it is important that we act upon this quickly to let all the employees of the City know that we are strongly behind our effort to reduce budget costs and salary containments. I would like to see this brought before us for a vote at the earliest possible convenience, if not tonight at least at the next Council meeting. I am going to support that and ask that everyone else support it.
Mr. Vanover said I dont have a problem. If Council is in agreement Id be happy to make a motion to bring it forth or we can set it for December 16.
Mrs. McNear said I think we should put it on the agenda for December 16 because we have not had an opportunity to read this and we have two new Council people. I think the result will be the same and everyone will support it because it is very needed but I think we should do it properly and read it at the next meeting.
Mrs. Harlow said I think it is important that we support our employees by leadership and leadership is taking a pay cut as we ask them to do.
RESOLUTION NO. R21-2009 CONFIRMING THE MAYORS APPOINTMENT OF DONALD DARBY AS A MEMBER OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION
Mr. Galster made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded.
Mayor Webster said I am very pleased to announce that Mr. Darby has agreed to return to public service. Mr. Darby had a long and rich history with the City serving on the Civil Service Commission and Planning Commission and he was Superintendent of the Princeton Public Schools for some period of time.
Resolution R21-2009 passed with seven affirmative votes.
Mrs. Harlow said Mr. Reicherts position on BZA expired on November 30, 2009. We need to accept nominations for that board.
Mr. Diehl nominated Mr. Reichert for reappointment to BZA. He was appointed by acclamation.
RESOLUTION NO. R 22-2009 APPOINTING WILLIAM REICHERT AS A MEMBER OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION
Mr. Galster made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded.
Resolution R22-2009 passed with seven affirmative votes.
Mrs. Harlow said we were going to look at nominations for Civil Service but we do not have those resolutions prepared for us. Mr. Colemans term ends December 31, 2009 so we will need to address nominations for that on December 16 as well as for Charter Revision. Mr. Knoxs term expires December 31, 2009.
Mrs. Harlow said we need to replace two Council people on Board of Zoning Appeals, Randy Danbury, and Bob Diehl, who has asked for a leave.
Mr. Vanover nominated Mr. Squires as the at-large representative with the term expiring November 30, 2011. Mr. Diehl seconded. Mr. Squires was appointed by acclamation.
Mr. Squires nominated Mr. Hawkins as the district representative. Mr. Vanover seconded. Mr. Hawkins was appointed by acclamation for the term through November 30, 2013.
Mr. Squires nominated Mr. Vanover to be reappointed to Planning Commission. Mr. Diehl seconded. Mr. Vanover was appointed by acclamation.
Mrs. Harlow made the following appointments:
Civil Service Commission Review Board - Mrs. Emerson and Mr. Vanover
Volunteer Firefighters - Mr. Hawkins, chair and Mr. Galster
Finance Committee - Bob Diehl, chair and Mrs. Emerson. Mrs. Harlow said I will sit on Finance Committee as an observer. I would like to be fully informed on the budget. I would like them to meet once a quarter with Administration and Mrs. McNear.
Mrs. Harlow said I am going to charge the Housing Committee of Mr. Galster, Mr. Diehl and Mr. Vanover of meeting once a quarter. I would like to see Housing Board be more active.
Veterans Memorial Committee Mrs. Harlow said we lost two of our members, Mr. Danbury and Mr. Wilson. Considering where we are with it basically completed, Mr. Galster, do you feel comfortable working with Administration and just finishing out the final touches for that?
Mr. Galster replied I have no problem with that. I just wonder if Robert Wilson and Randy Danbury shouldnt be involved in the final stuff just as citizen representatives since they were on that board originally. I know we are working on some story stones. Both gentlemen were pretty heavily involved in that.
Mrs. McNear said if we are going to bring in some citizens then perhaps Mr. Osborn should be included as well.
Mayor Webster said we really dont have any money in the budget and I dont anticipate anything being in the budget for 2010. Its hard to object to volunteers wanting to do something but you can come up with grandiose ideas but unless you have some way of funding them, they arent going to go anywhere. I think weve laid out what still needs to be done. Weve already talked to the engineer about trying to honor the additional people who were killed in the service of their country. Thats the biggest thing along with the story stones to recognize the minority groups that have served over the years. I think we could get that wrapped up with Mr. Galster and the engineer but if you want to bring in former Council people thats fine.
Mrs. Harlow said I already talked to the Mayor about getting some residents who had a military background to serve and thats when he indicated that the funding had been spent. Mr. Galster, you could finish that out and perhaps in a year we could have the story stones completed and have the recognition for military personnel who were killed while serving but not in combat.
Mr. Diehl asked do we need to have a termination of this committee for December 31, 2010 and then turn the responsibility over to the Parks and Recreation Department?
Mrs. Harlow said this is a Council appointed committee and Council can disband it when they choose to.
Mrs. Harlow continued with appointments:
Rules and Laws - Mr. Hawkins, chair and Mrs. Emerson
Mrs. Harlow said I will be working with you in early January because we need to look at a couple of things. Apparently there was a document called Rules of Council. A lot of us have heard of it but have never seen it. We dont know if we can find the document so wed like either see this document found and brought back to Council with some recommendations on it, or Id like you to do some research and look at other communities to see what their Rules of Council would be. Our boards and commissions that are appointed by the President of Council often have our hands tied because of term limits. Mr. Squires Board of Health appointment is term of office and it doesnt address these committees or Board of Health in our Charter. The only ones addressed by Charter are Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals, Parks and Recreation and the Mayors appointments to Board of Health. Im going to ask Charter Revision to take a look at Planning and BZA to see what is the best length of term for those Council members serving on those boards and commissions. Then were going to ask Rules and Laws to look at the length of term for the other committees and see if every two years might not be a better option. You elect a new President of Council every two years so it would seem to fit that President of Council would have room to move people around. Mr. Diehl had asked to be removed from BZA and moved to Finance. I did approach Mr. Squires and asked him if he would be willing to go to BZA because I didnt have room to move people. Well take care of the OKI representative in January.
Mrs. Emerson said I have a copy of the Charter and I dont see anything where they say a term limit of four years.
Mrs. Harlow said this is something we have looked at and discussed with Administration and Legal. In the Charter the Board of Health doesnt even mention having a representative from Council on there. The people mentioned are the Mayors appointments and those are for two years. We are following policies and procedures that other Councils have run and that has been a four year term. According to Mr. Parham and the Law Director, if you dont have written procedure you fall back on practice, and the practice has been that Council members have been appointed to the committees or boards for a term of four years or to fill out their term.
OLD BUSINESS - none
Mayor Webster said I have three positions to appoint or reappoint to the Board of Health. I would like legislation on December 16 to reappoint George Kellner and Lynn Jones for a two year term. Id also like an ordinance appointing Noreen Jean Mocsny to the Board of Health for a two year term.
Mr. Galster said we talked about the 3.8% decrease in salary for elected officials. Im wondering how were handling boards and committees. I know in private conversations with Planning Commission members they have been open to a reduction in compensation. I dont know if they are handled in the first legislation we read as employees of the City.
Mayor Webster said I thought about that too but the highest paid board is $80 a month.
Mr. Galster said its $150 for the Planning Commission chairman and $100 for members.
Mayor Webster said some of these committees make $50 so youre going to go through the paperwork for $1.50.
Mr. Galster said I brought it up because there have been conversations with Planning Commission members so if they want to not take a salary that would be okay and they would make a contribution to the Citys general fund.
Mayor Webster stated if they wanted to do that theyd have been doing that all along. Weve had some people say that when some of these salary increases have gone through and I think we are still waiting for our first donation. I personally thought it was not cost effective.
Mr. Parham said Mr. Williams requested we bring forth an ordinance for the annual audit contract for a five year agreement covering the years 2009 through 2013. In addition, I did want to share some information with you. As we get prepared for our newsletter to go out, there is an article that speaks to the cost containment measures we are taking. We contract with a couple of organizations to bring that document together. One is Audio Visual Impact and the other is Quality Publishing Company. I received a letter today from the president of one and Director of Creative Services of the other and they have indicated that they too want to participate in this process with the City so for their rates in 2010 they are going to reduce them by 3.8%. I thought that was pretty outstanding for a couple of vendors we deal with. They have been with us for fourteen years and enjoyed the relationship and Im sure they want to continue the relationship.
Mayor Webster said so far we have 43 families in need. To date we have nine sponsor families. We do have money and food donated. Some have donated food but we desperately need support families so if anyone would care to adopt a family, it comes out to about $50 a person in the family.
Mr. Parham said Chief Laage will return to work December 7 on a limited basis.
Mr. Vanover said you mentioned the newsletter. Maybe for a future one I would lean on our Police Department. Our street width necessitates that we only park on one side of the street. Somewhere along the way courtesy of who yields to whom has fallen by the wayside. Maybe its time to give drivers a refresher course on the rules before some property damage or bodily injury breaks out.
Mrs. Harlow said I have noticed that in our neighborhood. People dont understand who is supposed to pull over. If you are driving on the same side as the parked cars you are supposed to pull over and let the other car come through.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Planning Commission - December 8, 2009
Board of Health - December 10
Board of Zoning Appeals - December 15
Finance - December 11
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE
Jim Edrington, 639 Cloverdale Avenue said I hope you take serious consideration in reduction of your Civil Service employees. I have been in the fire service for thirty-seven years. I know what budget cuts do to the morale of employees.
Mrs. Emerson made a motion that Council go into Executive Session as a committee of the whole to discuss economic development. Mr. Galster seconded. The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.
Council went into executive session at 8:10 p.m. and reconvened at 8:20 p.m.
Council made a motion that Council go into executive session as a committee of the whole to discuss personnel. Mr. Galster seconded. The motion was approved with seven affirmative votes.
Council went into executive session at 8:22 p.m. and reconvened at 8:52 p.m.
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
Ordinance 31-2009 - December 16
Overtime and Compensation Pay - December 16
Board of Health Appointments (3) - December 16
Resolution for Pam Willis - December 16
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
Compensation of Elected Officials - December 16
Audit Contract 2009-2013 - December 16
Council adjourned at 8:58 p.m.
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Marjorie Harlow, President of Council