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City Council Meeting Minutes

January 17, 2012

Signed Resolutions

(No Bills)

 

CALL TO ORDER:  City Council convened in a General Committee meeting on January 17, 2012 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: Joanne Borders, Michael Ray Helfrich, Renee S. Nelson, Henry Hay Nixon, Vice President, and Carol Hill-Evans, President, with President Hill-Evans presiding. 

 

GENERAL PUBLIC COMMENT

 

Dawn Squire, Crispus Attucks Youth Build, announced Crispus Attucks' Fortitude Crew Mentoring Program. She said the program is geared toward youth and young adults ages 16-21 years. The goal is to pair a student with an adult who will serve as a role model in getting the youth involved with school work, community activities, and post secondary education efforts. This is a two year program with mentors serving at least four hours a month with the students. She said they have about 45 students who have volunteered to sign up for this program. Ms. Squire said anyone interested in becoming a mentor to contact Crispus Attucks at 848-3610 or email her at dsquire@crispusattucks.org.

 

Robert Brunner, resident, invited Council and residents to attend a community event on March 10, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Sovereign Bank Stadium. The event will offer free medical screening, lead poisoning testing, and information booths. Doctors and nurses will be available to answer questions. The event is free of charge. For more information, please contact Mr. Brunner at (717) 434-7656.

 

Mark Nixon, resident, said he speaks to a lot of troubled youth who have the potential to be viable members of the community if given an opportunity. He asked business owners and residents to open their hearts and give these youth a chance.

 

Franklin Williams, resident, agrees with Mr. Nixon in that he believes people who have made mistakes in the past should be given a second chance. He then discussed the city's administration and their lack of attendance during public comment. Mr. Williams asked Council to adopt a resolution requesting that the administration have at least one director present during the public comment period to hear citizens concerns and suggestions. He then discussed the budget and the recent 17% tax increase. He said residents cannot afford any more tax increases and that the budget process needs to begin earlier and a more fiscally responsible approach must be enacted.

 

Paul Doudrick, Dover, PA, complained about taxes and parking problems. He said the tax increase is hurting residents especially the elderly. He then discussed parking and said the city wants to encourage new businesses yet patrons can't find parking to support these businesses and when they find parking, they end up ticketed.

 

Steve Young, resident, spoke about a friend of his who had her purse snatched this week while she was in front of her home. He said it is up to residents to be more vigilant and alert because when his friend called 911, she was told by the dispatcher to call the police desk and file a report. He said his friend called back and demanded a police officer.  Mr. Young said that is unconscionable and we need to be more conscious about victims.

 

There being no further public comment, President Hill-Evans 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: Joanne Borders, Michael Ray Helfrich, Renee S. Nelson, Henry Hay Nixon, Vice President, and Carol Hill-Evans, President, with President Hill-Evans presiding. 

 

Members of the Administration in attendance included:  Jim Gross, Director of Public Works,  Steve Buffington, Fire Chief, David Michaels, Assistant Fire Chief, Michael O’Rourke, Business Administrator, Steve Douglas, General Manager of the WWTP, and Tom Ray, Human Resources Director.  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 December 29, 2011 and approved them as written as follows: Yeas – Nixon, Nelson, Hill-Evans; Nays – 0; Abstained – Helfrich, Borders – 2.  Borders and Helfrich abstained as they were not seated members of Council at the December 29, 2011 meeting. Council then dispensed with the reading of the Minutes of January 3, 2012 and unanimously approved them as written.

 

Correspondence and Announcements

 

Vice President Nixon announced vacancies on the Fire & Health Civil Service Board and asked that anyone interested in volunteering to serve on this board to forward your resume to the City Clerk. Next, he discussed Officer Scott Rohrbaugh, a 25 year police veteran, who is in need of a bone marrow transplant. He said although a match has possibly been found, he urged citizens to register on January 21st as a bone marrow donor. For more information on the bone marrow drive, please contact the York City Police Department.

 

Councilwoman Borders invited residents to attend the Stand up for Our Community meeting to be held at Lincoln Charter School on Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. to show your support and share your concerns.

 

PRESENTATIONS: None

 

COMMITTEE MEETINGS SCHEDULED: None

 

STATUS OF PRIOR COMMITTEE REFERRALS: None

 

SUBDIVISION / LAND DEVELOPMENT / HARB

 

Resolution No. 20, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution accepting the recommendations of HARB in issuing a certificate of appropriateness to Rosey and Luis Maldonado of Gibbor Construction for work to be done at 287 W. Market St., and 315 E. Locust St., was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Nixon, Resolution No. 20 came up for discussion.

 

Steve Young, resident, objected to the application for work to be done at 287 W. Market St. with regard to installing a fence because of an existing legal matter. He said the project area abuts the rear of his property located at 9-11 N. Newberry St. He stated that the request by Gibbor Construction to build a fence 4 feet off of his wall intersects a spot where a set of stairs he built use to be located but were removed because people were illegally stashing items under the platform.  He said if Gibbor Construction installs a fence, it will not only alter his egress, but will prevent him from reinstalling those stairs in the future.

 

Furthermore, Mr. Young said the Gibbor's proposal will violate the long standing shared access to the rear of this property.  As such, he explained that the neighbors next door (3, 5, 7 N. Newberry St.) will not be able to exit the rear of their properties in the event of an emergency without being caged in by the fence and emergency vehicles and responders will not be able to get to the rear of the property until the gate can be opened.

 

Mr. Young stated that he filled out a right-to-know request and feels he has been kept out of the loop about what's going on behind his property. He presented Council with a copy of his deed, which in part, outlined boundaries and clearly reads the boundary to the rear is 34 ft. “more or less.” He asked Council to table this Resolution because he needs to consult with his attorney on whether the job to be done is legal, or if its inappropriate and violates his deed.

 

President Hill-Evans said she received Mr. Young's email outlining his concerns and she has consulted with HARB members, the Zoning Officer, and city staff and the plans that were presented to the city were in order and that the job is about 4 feet away from Mr. Young's property. She did say that HARB was unaware of Mr. Young's concerns prior to her email.

 

Mr. Young said his deed reads that his property's boundary is 34 ft. “more or less” and because of this clause, he feels there may be some trespass issues on the part of Gibbor Construction. He said this is just a fence and there is no reason to push this through and asked Council for a 90 day reprieve to deal with the issue.

 

President Hill-Evans said by law, Council has to act on the recommendations of HARB within 30 days (See Article 1731.12{b} of the codified ordinances). 

 

Councilman Helfrich asked Mr. Young if he feels his property is within the project boundaries.

 

Mr. Young said all other measurements in the deed are specific, however, when the deed refers to the rear of his property, the “more or less” clause leaves room for interpretation.

 

President Hill-Evans recommended that Council vote on the application for work to be done at 315 E. Locust St. but table the vote on 287 W. Market St. until the February 7th meeting of Council. She urged Mr. Young to meet with HARB and city officials between now and February 7th.

 

Motion to table. A motion was made by Borders, seconded by Nixon, to table the vote on 287 W. Market St. until the February 7th meeting of Council. The motion passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Borders, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 5; Nays - 0.

 

There being no further discussion, the application submitted by Gibbor Construction for work to be done at 315 E. Locust St., passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Borders, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 5; Nays - 0.

 

FINAL PASSAGE OF BILLS / RESOLUTIONS: None

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

Introduction of Bill No. 1, Session 2012, (View) A Bill amending Article 338.02 “Imposition of Tax” of the Codified Ordinances to reflect an increase in parking tax for non-residential parking places which was approved in the 2012 Budget, was introduced by Helfrich, read by short title and deferred until the February 7th meeting of Council.

 

Introduction of Bill No. 2, Session 2012, (View) A Bill amending Article 338.03 “Annual License” of the Codified Ordinances to reflect fee changes recommended by the Early Intervention Plan, Phase II, for non-residential parking lots, was introduced by Helfrich, read by short title and deferred until the February 7th meeting of Council.

 

Resolution No. 21, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution reappointing Michael G. Miller and Eric D. Kirkland as members of the York City Zoning Hearing Board to each serve in said capacity until January 1, 2017, was introduced by Nelson, read at length, and on motion of Nelson, seconded by Borders, Resolution No. 21 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Borders, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 5; Nays – 0.

 

Resolution No. 22, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution awarding a contract to Polydyne, Inc. in the amount of $498,403.59 for cationic polymer to be used to aid in the dewatering of biosolids at the Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP), was introduced by Borders, read at length, and on motion of Borders, seconded by Nixon, Resolution No. 22 came up for discussion.

 

Steve Douglas, WWTP General Manager, explained that liquid emulsion polymer is needed for the biosolids dewatering process. He said we have been using Polydyne for two years and have been very satisfied with their performance. Manager Douglas said that the WWTP Operations Manager corresponded with eight vendors with only two indicating interest, and after repeated attempts to encourage more vendors, Polydyne was their choice. He said this will be a three-year agreement.

 

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 22 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Borders, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 5; Nays – 0.

 

Resolution No. 23, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution accepting a conveyance of property from the York County Industrial Development Authority situated along and off Pennsylvania Avenue in the City of York and being located in the York Industrial Park along and off Pennsylvania Avenue, known as Tract 1 – Sewage Pumping Station Site – UPI# 14628160106B; and Tract 2 – Detention Basin –1- UPI#14628160106A, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Borders, Resolution No. 23 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Borders, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 5; Nays – 0.

 

Resolution No. 24, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution accepting an Assistance to Firefighters Grant in the amount of $11,780.00 for the purchase and installation of vehicle exhaust extraction systems to be installed in Fire Stations 1, 5 and 9, and purchased through Air Cleaning Systems, Inc., was introduced by Nixon, read at length, and on motion of Nixon, seconded by Borders, Resolution No. 24 came up for discussion.

 

Assistant Chief Dave Michaels explained that this program has been in place since 2001 and this is the first time we have received this grant. He said FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security will provide 90% of the funding ($106,020.00), and the city will provide 10% matching funds ($11,780.00).  He said there is already one system located at Station 2 and it's doing well. He stated that installation in Fire Stations 1, 5 and 9 will be a big step toward firefighter assistance and safety.

 

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 24 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Borders, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 5; Nays – 0.

 

Resolution No. 25, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution authorizing an agreement with The Waters Consulting Group to undertake a comprehensive compensation, classification and benefits study, was introduced by Helfrich, read at length, and on motion of Helfrich, seconded by Borders, Resolution No. 25 came up for discussion.

 

Councilman Helfrich thanked Administrator O'Rourke for answering his preliminary questions related to this agreement through several email transactions over the past few days.

 

In a memo, which was reiterated in part by Administrator O'Rourke, he explained that “the Human Resources Department solicited RFP's for a comprehensive classification, compensation and benefit study for all employee groups. The City's goals are to maintain effective organization, employment, classification, and compensation guidelines and structures that facilitate recruiting, rewarding and retaining qualified employees and maintaining competitive and equitable pay practices for its employees.”

 

Administrator O'Rourke said that to his recollection, a comprehensive study of this magnitude has never been done and will assist them greatly in classification and compensation structures, as well has help to establish effective pay step plans, merit increase pay plans, skill-based pay, and/or other options that would benefit the City of York.

 

Councilwoman Borders asked how long the study will take. Administrator O'Rourke said it should take about 3-4 months to complete.

 

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 25 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Borders, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 5; Nays – 0.

 

Resolution No. 26, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution authorizing an agreement with Chartis for stop loss insurance provider services for the year 2012, was introduced by Helfrich, read at length, and on motion of Helfrich, seconded by Borders, Resolution No. 26 came up for discussion.

 

Administrator O'Rourke explained that stop loss insurance is what reduces the financial risk for the City should a covered employee, retiree or dependent experience very high healthcare expenses under the self-insured medical plan. He said due to extremely high claims in 2011 and the year-to-date reimbursements of about $400,000.00, five of the seven carriers in which quotes were sought declined to provide renewal quotes. He stated that by increasing the stop loss deductible and using an aggregating deductible design, the City will save about $50,000. The premium quoted by Chartis is $183,797.00.

 

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 26 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Borders, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 5; Nays – 0.

 

 

REQUESTS FOR FUTURE MEETINGS 

 

President Hill-Evans asked Council of their availability to meet with representatives from the city's accounting firm Maillie, Falconiero & Company, LLP, to hear a presentation on the 2010 City of York audit. After discussion, Council provided the following dates to choose from:

 

February 14, 2012 at 6:30 p.m.

February 28, 2012 at 6:30 p.m.

 

Update: Confirmation has been received that representatives from Maillie, Falconiero & Company, LLP, will do a presentation before Council on the 2010 City of York audit on February 14, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. in City Council Chambers, 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, York, PA. This is a public meeting.

 

COUNCIL COMMENT

 

Councilwoman Borders said that during public comment, resident Franklin Williams had suggested that each Department from the City's Administration be present during public comment to answer questions from the public. 

 

Administrator O'Rourke responded that they will be here anytime Council requests their attendance. 

 

President Hill-Evans added that each time a resident speaks during public comment, she fills out a public comment form, and if inquiries are made, the form gets forwarded to the Administration for a response.

 

Councilman Helfrich stated that he has heard comments from the public about their concerns and interest in keeping money here in York. He said he agrees and would like to see more effort made to include city businesses in the RFP process. He then complimented those involved in the Martin Luther King Day celebration at Crispus Attucks.

 

ADMINISTRATION COMMENT: None

 

NEXT MEETING: The next regular meeting of City Council is scheduled for Tuesday, February 7, 2012 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 January 17, 2012 meeting of Council adjourned at 8:00 p.m.