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City Council Meeting Minutes

May 18, 2011

CALL TO ORDER: City Council convened in a General Committee meeting on May 18, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers, 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, York, PA, to receive general public comment, with the following Council members present: Renee S. Nelson, Henry Hay Nixon, Toni Smith, Carol Hill-Evans, Vice President, and Genevieve H. Ray, President, with President Ray presiding.


 
GENERAL PUBLIC COMMENT

 
Nancy Shue shared her complaint about being towed from Martin Library's parking lot and how she was aggrieved by the situation and the alleged lack of courtesy she received.

 
Steve Young announced that the owner of the National Grill restaurant passed away. He paid his condolences to the family. He then stated that heavy lighting is shining in through is Newberry St. window. Lastly, Mr. Young said he was turning his computer business into a garden center.

 
Michael Helfrich thanked members of Keep York Beautiful for their beautification efforts throughout the city.

 
Matthew Mann said he does not support building a new fire station. He feels the Goodwill Fire Station is in good condition and only needs some cosmetic repairs and upgrades.

 
Joanne Borders invited residents to attend the Salem Square Block Party scheduled for Saturday from 12 noon to 5pm. She also announced the “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” campaign kick-off in York, which is an initiative where men walk a mile in high heels to raise money for sexual crimes awareness.

 
There being no further public comment, President Ray adjourned the General Committee meeting and reconvened in Legislative Session at 7:00 p.m., in Council Chambers, 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, York, PA, with the following members present: Renee S. Nelson, Henry Hay Nixon, Toni Smith, Carol Hill-Evans, Vice President, and Genevieve H. Ray, President, with President Ray presiding.

 
Members of the Administration in attendance included: Jim Gross, Director of Public Works, Kevin Schreiber, Director of Economic and Community Development, Wes Kahley, Police Chief, and Michael O’Rourke, Business Administrator. Also present was Assistant Solicitor Don Hoyt.

 
Members of York City Council staff in attendance included: Dianna L. Thompson, City Clerk.

 
Pledge of Allegiance: The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

 
Approval of Minutes: Council dispensed with the reading of the Minutes of May 3, 2011 and unanimously approved them as written.

 
Correspondence and Announcements: President Ray read correspondence and announcements.

 
PRESENTATIONS

 
York High Boys' Basketball Team: Vice President Hill-Evans presented a letter of recognition to the York High Boys' Basketball Team, coaches and staff for winning the PIAA District 3 AAAA Championship. Coaches and members of the team were in attendance to accept the recognition. Coach Sowers accepted the recognition on behalf of the team and spoke kind words about the team members. (Recognition)

York County Convention & Visitors Bureau(YCCVB) - Presentation received from Anne Druck, President of YCCVB, on tourism in York County (Fact Sheet). She said YCCVB is the official tourism and promotion agency for the county. After a brief presentation from Ms. Druck on tourism efforts, Mr. Rick Cunningham, YCCVB Board Member, presented the Director of Public Works with a $100,000 check for the Hoffman Stadium renovation project and a $15,000 to the Director of Econ. & Comm. Development to support new positions for Downtown Inc.

 
COMMITTEE MEETINGS SCHEDULED / REPORTS

 
  • Fire Committee, Councilwoman Renee S. Nelson, Chair: Councilwoman Nelson reported that the Fire Committee met this evening, Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 5:30 p.m. in Council Chambers, 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, York, PA, to discuss relocation of the proposed new fire station and related funding. She said Arles Park was recommended as the location of the new fire station.

     
  • Public Hearing – President Ray reported that York City Council convened in a public hearing tonight, Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers, 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, York, PA, for the purpose of receiving additional testimony on a request received from petitioner Walter L. Randall and Split Your Wig, LLC, to transfer PA Eating Place Retail Dispenser License Number E-3012 from the Borough of Wrightsville to the City of York for the sale of malt beverages at 41 E. Jackson St., York, PA. Council will plan to vote on the request at tonight's meeting. (Petition)

     
  • General Committee, President Genevieve H. Ray, Chair: President Ray reported that the meeting scheduled for Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers, 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, York, PA, for the purpose of hearing a presentation and update on the Northwest Triangle Project from representatives of LSC Design (Rob Kinsley and Kathy Conley), has been CANCELED at the request of representatives from LSC Design. President Ray said Council will reserve this date for a future committee meeting.

 
  • General Committee, President Genevieve H. Ray, Chair: Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, June 7, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers, 1 W. Market St., 3rd Floor, York, PA 17404, to hear from postal representatives discussion on relocation of the York Main Post Office currently located at 200 S. George St., York, PA.

 
SPECIAL AGENDA

 
Motion to consider agenda item #14. A motion was made by Ray, seconded by Nixon to move agenda item #14 (Resolution No. 69) to the top of the agenda for immediate consideration. The motion was approved unanimously.

 
Resolution No. 69, Session 2011,(View)(Petition) A Resolution approving a liquor license transfer request submitted by Split Your Wig, LLC., to transfer liquor license E-3012 from the Borough of Wrightsville to 41 E. Jackson St., York City, was introduced by Ray, read at length, and on motion of Ray, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 69 came up for discussion.

 
President Ray announced that two public hearings were held to discuss and receive public testimony and public comment on this request. (Hearings held on April 16, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. and Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers.)

 
Director Kevin Schreiber said he appreciates Council authorizing an extension of time on this request. He stated that the recommendation is that Council approve the transfer as there is no legal grounds to deny the request. He said they understand the concerns of the neighbors and church parishioners, however, they hope that the applicant will take into consideration the concerns expressed and will ensure the establishment compliments the neighborhood.

 
Police Chief Wes Kahley added that they have evaluated crime statistics related to this establishment and could not find anything. He said although it has been shown that liquor establishments have a higher crime propensity, there were not statistics directly related to this establishment to support rejection of the application. Chief Kahley said he will work in accordance with the law to be sure this establishment is held to the legal standards.

 
Vice President Hill-Evans asked what the consequences would be if Council denied the request. Assistant Solicitor Hoyt responded that the applicant would have legal grounds to appeal, and would probably be successful, which could place the city in a position of liability.

 
Councilman Nixon said although he supports entrepreneurs, he is opposed to a liquor establishment opening up in this neighborhood especially since it would be located a block away from an elementary school and across the street from a church. However, he said because of the legal ramifications, he would support this request but hopes the applicant is a man of his word and will ensure this establishment is managed appropriately.

 
Councilwoman Smith said she is vehemently opposed to this request because of the concerns expressed by the residents and the church parishioners. She said she feels it is a bad idea. Councilwoman Smith said she genuinely likes the applicant and her feelings on this request is not a reflection of her feelings toward Mr. Randall personally.

 
Councilwoman Nelson said she asked neighbors about their concerns and she said the ones she spoke to were more concerned about parking and whether there would be adequate parking for patrons of the sports bar, church parishioners and neighbors.

 
Franklin Williams, resident, said he believes the decision is up to Council and Council could vote to reject the application. He then questioned the zoning code and whether this property is zoned RS2 and whether the zoning is not a use by right. He said he has nothing against Mr. Randall but that he doesn't expect this establishment will be as problem-free as Mr. Randall anticipates. He did say he believes zoning is at issue here and it should be revisited.

 
President Ray asked what does the state regulation mandate with regard to protecting the interest of the residents.

 
Assistant Solicitor Hoyt answered that unless the applicant has had a direct problem with the current property, Council has no legal basis to refuse the request to transfer the liquor license. He said you cannot determine possible problems at this property based on the previous owner nor can you base your decision on the applicant having problems at another location. He said a few years ago, Council denied the request of Fat Daddy's to transfer a liquor license based on how they operated their business in another municipality. He said in that case, the applicant appealed and won.

 
There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 69 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Ray – 4; Nays – Smith - 1.

 
SUBDIVISION / LAND DEVELOPMENT / HARB: None

 
FINAL PASSAGE OF BILLS / RESOLUTIONS

 
Final Passage of Bill No. 16, Session 2011, (View) An Ordinance establishing a comprehensive towing ordinance, which was introduced by Nixon at the May 3 meeting of Council, came up for final passage.

 
Motion to refer to committee. A motion was made by Nixon, seconded by Ray, to refer Bill No. 16 to committee for further discussion. The motion to refer Bill No. 16 passed unanimously. Therefore, Bill No. 16 was referred to General Committee. Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers.

 
Final Passage of Bill No. 17, Ordinance No. 16, Session 2011, (View) A Bill amending the 2011 budget by appropriating revenue and expenditures in the amount of $622,949.17 for improvements to community centers, which was introduced by Smith at the May 3 meeting of Council, and read by short title, came up for final passage. On motion of Smith, seconded by Hill-Evans, Bill No. 17 came up for discussion.

 
Public Works Director Jim Gross explained that this amendment will put money in place for the community center projects which Council had previously approved.

 
Business Administrator Michael O'Rourke further explained that during the 2011 budget process, the amount entered for improvements to the community centers was the anticipated first year cost of repayment for the issuance of debt and not the actual cost for these improvements. He said we must therefore put into place permanent funding.

 
President Ray said to be clear, Council is not being asked to increase the borrowing. Administrator O'Rourke said that is correction. No increase in borrowing is being requested. He said each project will come to Council for approval before expending the funds.

 
Michael Helfrich, resident, asked how much are we adding to the taxpayer debt with this borrowing. Administrator O'Rourke said he didn't have the spreadsheet with him but said he could send him a copy. Councilwoman Smith and resident Matthew Mann also requested a copy.

 
Administrator O'Rourke reminded Council that Bill No. 17 is a budget amendment to pay bills for projects Council already approved.

 
There being no further discussion, Bill No. 17, Ordinance No. 16, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

 
Final Passage of Bill No. 18, Ordinance No. 17, Session 2011, (View) A Bill amending the 2011 Budget in the amount of $73,000 for an Injury Prevention grant, and $20,728 for a Cholesterol grant, which was introduced by Hill-Evans at the May 3 meeting of Council, and read by short title, came up for final passage. On motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Nixon, Bill No. 18, Ordinance No. 17, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

 
NEW BUSINESS

 
Introduction of Bill No. 19, Session 2011,(View) A Bill authorizing a supplemental ordinance to the $14 million line of credit with Fulton Bank regarding capital projects to include the new firehouse project in said borrowing, was introduced by Nixon, read by short title, and came up for discussion.

 
President Ray said she would like to refer this Bill to General Committee. Councilman Nixon questioned why the Bill needed to be referred to committee when its not authorizing additional funding or authorizing us to build the station. He said this Bill merely adds this project to the already existing funding. After discussion, Council decided to not refer the Bill to committee. Therefore, Bill No. 19 will be considered for final passage at Council's June 7 meeting.

 
Introduction of Bill No. 20, Session 2011, (View) A Bill amending Article 333 "Peddlers & Solicitors” to establish additional licensing and location requirements for food vendors within continental square, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read by short title, and came up for discussion.

 
Motion to refer to committee. A motion was made by Ray, seconded by Hill-Evans, to refer Bill No. 20 to committee. The motion passed unanimously. Therefore, Bill No. 20 was referred to General Committee. Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers.

 
Introduction of Bill No. 21, Session 2011, (View) A Bill amending the 2011 CDBG Program Budgets to appropriate revenue and expenditures in the amount of $89,000 to reflect changes resulting from adjustment of funds from 2010, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read by short title, and deferred until the June 7 meeting of Council.

 
Resolution No. 70, Session 2011, (View) A Resolution supporting Anti-Bullying initiatives, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Nixon, Resolution No. 70 came up for discussion.

 
Vice President Hill-Evans said this Resolution is to support the intent of anti-bullying initiatives but does not necessarily endorse any specific legislation.

 
Councilwoman Smith said she spoke with the family and attended the vigil of a 14 year old girl who committed suicide because of bullying. She said you can write all of the legislation you want but you need to be about it, not just talk about it.

 
Marakay Rogers, resident, agreed that there were very few public officials at the vigil for the little girl.

 
Evan Mentzel, resident, said he finds it ridiculous to establish anti-bullying laws because it limits free speech.

 
Manuel Gomez, resident, supports the attention anti-bullying efforts is receiving, however, he feels government has no business mandating regulations dealing with this issue.

 
Matthew Mann, resident, said he's not sure what government can do to address bullying but it touches his heart to hear that efforts are being made to address this issue.

 
Joanne Borders, resident, clarified that the Resolution clearly is not establishing any law and that it merely supports the intent of anti-bullying initiatives. She said she is glad to see this is being brought to the forefront but that she does feel there are not enough laws in place to deal with this issue. She also said not everyone can attend each event and although Councilwoman Smith was at the vigil, other officials may have had obligations elsewhere although they sympathize with the family.

 
President Ray said she has some reservations about the ability of legislation to control behavior but she does support anti-bullying initiatives. President Ray also said that she recognizes that Councilwoman Smith chose to attend the vigil but that some people choose to not express their condolences publicly.

 
There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 70 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

 
Resolution No. 71, Session 2011, (View) A Resolution reappointing Stewart Cluck as a member of the Construction Board of Adjustment and Appeals, which term shall expire March 1, 2014, and reappointment Noreen Freeland as a member of the Nuisance Abatement Board of Appeals, which term shall expire April 1, 2012, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Smith, Resolution No. 71 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

 
Resolution No. 72, Session 2011, (View) A Resolution authorizing the purchase of (1) 2012 Camel Model 200 Vactor Truck for use by the WWTP, at a total cost of $363,290.28, with the vendor for said purchase being H.A. Dehart & Son, and financed through a 5-yr. municipal lease through M&T Bank, was introduced by Smith, read at length, and on motion of Smith, seconded by Nelson, Resolution No. 72 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

 
Resolution No. 73, Session 2011,(View) A Resolution authorizing use of the Police Departments Probationary Police Officers' candidates list containing 343 candidates for consideration of appointment as probationary police officers, was introduced by Nelson, read at length, and on motion of Nelson, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 73 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

 
Resolution No. 74, Session 2011, (View) A Resolution authorizing a transfer in the 2011 Budget of $90,000 for the Bureau of Housing Services to cover Section 108 expenses, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Smith, Resolution No. 74 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

 
Resolution No. 75, Session 2011, (View) A Resolution terminating the membership of Anthony Cucuzella on the Zoning Hearing Board due to nonfeasance related to absences at board meetings, was introduced by Ray, read at length, and on motion of Ray, seconded by Nelson, Resolution No. 75 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

 
Resolution No. 76, Session 2011, (View) A Resolution appointing Eric Kirkland to fill the unexpired term of Anthony Cucuzella on the Zoning Hearing Board, which term shall expire January 1, 2012, was introduced by Ray, read at length, and on motion of Ray, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 76 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

 
FUTURE MEETINGS

 
  • General Committee – The meeting scheduled for Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers, 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, York, PA, for the purpose of hearing a presentation and update on the Northwest Triangle Project from representatives of LSC Design (Rob Kinsley and Kathy Conley) has been CANCELEDat the request of representatives from LSC Design.

     
  • General Committee – Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers, 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, York, PA, to discuss Bill No. 16 (View) – A Bill establishing a comprehensive towing ordinance; and Bill No. 20 (View) - A Bill amending Article 333 "Peddlers & Solicitors” to establish additional licensing and location requirements for food vendors within continental square.

 
  • General Committee – Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, June 7, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers, 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, York, PA, to hear from postal representatives discussion on relocation of the York Main Post Office currently located at 200 S. George St., York, PA.

 
COUNCIL COMMENT: None

 
ADMINISTRATION COMMENT: None

 
There being no further discussion, President Ray adjourned the legislative session of Council at 8:35 p.m. and resumed public comment.
 

 
RESUMPTION OF PUBLIC COMMENT

 
Franklin Williams, resident, apologized for criticizing the Complete Streets initiative discussed at the last Council meeting. However, he did say the new bike lanes increased traffic congestion and may even be more dangerous.

 
Mike Helfrich, resident, shared his story about being a victim of bullying and how he turned to the wrong crowd for comfort. He said government can't fix bullying and that the community must get involved.

 
Matthew Mann, resident, applauded firefighters and said they are more than firefighters. He said they also go on calls outside of the city and respond do medical emergencies. Mr. Mann is aggrieved that employees, except police, are responsible for paying for medical coverage. He feels the police should also contribute. Lastly, Mr. Mann stated that he was opposed to the proposed location of the new firehouse. He said Arles Park should remain a park and the firehouse, if built, should be located elsewhere.

 

 
NEXT MEETING: The next regular meeting of City Council is scheduled for June 7, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. (Public Comment commences at 6:30 p.m.) in City Council Chambers, 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, York, PA.

 
ADJOURNMENT:There being no further business, the May 18, 2011 meeting of Council adjourned at 8:50 p.m.