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City Council Meeting Minutes

July 26, 2012

 

CALL TO ORDER:  City Council convened in a Special Session on Thursday, July 26, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. in Council Chambers, 101 S. George St., York, PA, 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. 
 
Members of the Administration in attendance included: Wes Kahley, Police Chief.
 
Members of York City Council staff in attendance included:  Dianna L. Thompson-Mitchell, City Clerk.
 
President Hill-Evans announced that Council has opted to meet in special session to further discuss Resolution No. 83, a resolution approving the leasing of vehicles for the Police Department. She said this Resolution was originally introduced at Council's July 17 meeting, however, there were several unanswered questions. At that time, Council moved to have the Resolution discussed in a Police Committee. As all members of Council were seated, President Hill-Evans made a motion to withdraw Resolution No. 83 from committee and immediately place it on the special meeting agenda for consideration. The motion was seconded by Nixon, and passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Borders, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 5; Nays – 0.
 
Resolution No. 83, Session 2012 (View), A Resolution authorizing the leasing of 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander SE Sport vehicles from York Mitsubishi, in the amount of $269.00/per month, per vehicle, which was introduced by Nixon at the July 17 meeting of Council, came up for final passage. On motion of Nixon, seconded by Helfrich, Resolution No. 83 came up for discussion. (Note: The Resolution authorizes the leasing of 11 vehicles although the Police Chief said the Department plans to lease 10.)
 
Chief Kahley apologized to Council that the information was not made available to them at the July 17 meeting and he thanked them for meeting in special session to resolve this issue. He then explained that about every 5 years or so, they send out bid requests for vehicles, with minimum specifications because of the costs involved with fully equipping police vehicles. He said of the requests sent, four dealerships responded, with York Mitsubishi being the lowest bidder. Chief Kahley described that the vehicles will be 4-wheel drive, which was important because of winter travel. Unfortunately, in the past, he said they would have to borrow vehicles from the Public Works Department just to be able to travel in inclement weather. He explained that last year, officers responded to a shooting and had to park a block away because they couldn't get their sedans through the snow. He said that officers then had to carry the victim to an awaiting ambulance because the ambulance couldn't get close to the scene because of the snow. Chief Kahley said we are under budget with this lease as we are leasing these vehicles at prices we paid 10 years ago. Additionally, the Outlanders get better mileage than the Gallant sedans. 
 
Vice President Nixon asked why the need for 10 vehicles. Chief Kahley responded that we have experimented in the past with borrowing vehicles from Public Works, which sometimes left us stranded. Therefore, he said sharing vehicles was not feasible because of emergency situations, equipment, etc. He said having our own vehicles will increase response time, reliability and efficiency. 
 
President Hill-Evans asked if the vehicles are occupied for 24 hours. Chief Kahley said it really depends on the staff person. An administrative assistant would use the vehicles during the day, patrol would use the vehicles pretty much 24 hours around the clock, and the detectives and QRT staff use them at odd hours. President Hill-Evans then asked where the vehicles are stored. Chief Kahley said, unfortunately, there is not enough space at the police station so some vehicles stay on-site and some are driven home by employees. President Hill-Evans then asked what is the liability associated with taking these vehicles home. Chief Kahley stated that Captain Russ Tschopp estimated that it costs about an extra $3,000 a year for employees to take vehicles home. 
 
Jeremy Holtzapple, resident, asked if this is a municipal lease option or is a down payment attached. Chief Kahley explained that there is no down payment and there is an option to buy. He said if we choose to purchase, grant money is normally used for that purpose. Mr. Holtzapple asked Council to keep in mind that at the end of the lease period, we may still have to pay out money. Chief Kahley responded that as mentioned by Director Gross at Council's July 17 meeting, leasing is a better option because of the wear and tear on these vehicles. He said it would be costly to maintain older vehicles.
 
Councilwoman Borders asked who will maintain the vehicles. Chief Kahley said that the vehicles are under warranty but will be maintained regularly by Public Works staff. 
 
Franklin Williams, resident, thanked Council for addressing these leases now instead of waiting until budget time. He said he feels this is a prudent and practical expenditure.
 
Councilman Helfrich asked Chief Kahley to explain the cost savings. Chief Kahley explained that York Mitsubishi has agreed to waive our August lease payment. So that cost savings, coupled with the fact we came under budget, he said the savings to the city is about $2,700.00.  
 
There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 83 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Borders, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 5; Nays – 0.
 
ADJOURNMENT:There being no further business, the July 26, 2012 special meeting of Council adjourned at 5:27 p.m.