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City Council Meeting Minutes

September 18, 2012

 

CALL TO ORDER:  City Council convened in a General Committee meeting on September 18, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers, 101 S. George St., York, PA, to receive general public comment, with the following Council members present: Joanne Borders, Michael Ray Helfrich, and Carol Hill-Evans, President, with President Hill-Evans presiding. 
 
GENERAL PUBLIC COMMENT
 
Jeremey Holtzapple thanked the WRCT staff for fixing the website links and posting Council videos quickly. He then encouraged citizens to celebrate Constitution Week (September 17-23) by reading our U.S. Constitution and PA State Constitution.
 
Leo Lunger complained that no Directors are ever in attendance during public comment period.  He said he received a posting on his door stating that he needs to repair his house and that he would be fined each day the work isn't done. He said he feels he is being persecuted because he complained about issues in his neighborhood. Mr. Lunger then said he would like the speed limit changed to 20 mph in the Avenues neighborhood. He then asked why city employees are allowed to take city vehicles home. 
 
Robert Diehl agreed with Mr. Lunger that the Directors should be in attendance during the public comment period to answer questions. Next, he said he and his neighbors have started a petition to designate the area a residential permit parking area. He then asked how some cars are able to park on the street without being registered. 
 
William Bolt said he had a fire on his block that was discovered during a neighborhood patrol. He applauded the fire department for responding quickly and for working hard to get the fire under control. He then discussed the amount of vacant homes and asked that the city crack down on these blighted and abandoned properties. 
 
Michael Helfrich, speaking for disabled citizen Mike Rhine, said Mr. Rhine complained about a police officer harassing him and calling him names and that he wrote a letter to the Mayor but didn't receive a response.
 
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, 101 S. George St., York, PA, with the following members present: Joanne Borders, Michael Ray Helfrich, and Carol Hill-Evans, President, with President Hill-Evans presiding. 
 
Members of the Administration in attendance included: Wes Kahley, Police Chief, and Michael O’Rourke, Business Administrator. Also present was Assistant Solicitor Mark Elion.
 
Members of York City Council staff in attendance included:  Dianna L. Thompson-Mitchell, City Clerk.
 
Pledge of Allegiance: The Pledge of Allegiance was recited. 
 
Approval of Minutes: Council dispensed with the reading of the Minutes of September 4, 2012 and unanimously approved them as written.
 
Correspondence and Announcements: President Hill-Evans announced the new committee structure in that all items to appear on the agenda must go through committee first. She said Council's first series of committee work sessions will begin at 6:00 p.m. on September 24, 2012 in Council Chambers. The sessions will not be televised. 
 
PRESENTATIONS: None
 
 
COMMITTEE MEETINGS SCHEDULED
 
Council Work Sessions - Scheduled for Monday, September 24, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers to discuss items for the October legislative agenda.
 
 
STATUS OF PRIOR COMMITTEE REFERRALS: No reports.
 
 
SUBDIVISION / LAND DEVELOPMENT / HARB
 
Resolution No. 96, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution accepting the recommendations of HARB in issuing a certificate of appropriateness for work to be done in the applications submitted by York City Public Works for work to be done at 50 W. King St., YWCA of York for work to be done at 330-334 Reinecke Place, and York Academy Regional School for work to be done at 32 W. North St., was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Borders, Resolution No. 96 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Borders, Hill-Evans – 3; Nays – 0.
 
FINAL PASSAGE OF BILLS / RESOLUTIONS
 
Final Passage of Bill No. 28, Session 2012 – A Bill vacating a portion of W. Hope Alley, Stone Alley and other unnamed public alleys (Homes at Thackston Park), was pulled from the agenda as four votes are needed to pass said legislation and only three members of Council were in attendance.
 
Final Passage of Bill No. 30, Ordinance No. 29, Session 2012, (View) A Bill Amending Article 333 "Peddlers & Solicitors” to exempt arts and street performers from registration under certain conditions, which was introduced by Helfrich at the September 4 meeting of Council and read by short title, came up for final passage. On motion of Helfrich, seconded by Borders, Bill No. 30 came up for discussion.
 
Motion to amend. A motion was made by Helfrich to amend Bill No. 30 to add the following text:
 
1. Section 333.02(6)(B), remove “downtown area” and replace with “CDB.”
2. Add the following sections:
 
  • 333.02(6)(E) For the purpose of this ordinance, "original" means those artistic works, creations, wares, or services sold on-site by the artist, artisan, or performer who hand-crafted or created them.
  • 333.02(6)(F) This exemption does not apply to firearms, explosive devices, fireworks, swords, knives or other weapons.
  • 333.02(6)(G) This exemption does not apply to tattoo or permanent body art services.
 
The motion to amend was seconded by Borders, and passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Borders, Hill-Evans – 3; Nays – 0.
 
There being no further discussion, Bill No. 30, Ordinance No. 29, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Borders, Hill-Evans – 3; Nays – 0.
 


NEW BUSINESS
 
Introduction of Bill No. 31, Session 2012, (View) A Bill mending the 2012 Budget in the amount of $11,697.00 through a donation from Peoples Bank for purchase of a T3 Segway for the downtown neighborhood police unit, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read by short title, and deferred until the October 2 meeting of Council. 
 
Introduction of Bill No. 32, Session 2012, (View) A Bill amending the 2012 Budget in the amount of $117,800.00 for purchase of vehicle exhaust extraction systems for use by the Department of Fire/Rescue Services, was introduced by Borders, read by short title, and deferred until the October 2 meeting of Council. 
 
Resolution No. 97, Session No. 2012, (View) A Resolution authorizing an agreement with Metropolitan Edison Company to install 3 company-owned, 100-watt sodium vapor streetlights at 215 Irving Rd., 124 S. Pershing Ave. (rear) and 250 Liberty Court, was introduced by Borders, read at length, and on motion of Borders, seconded by Helfrich, Resolution No. 97 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Borders, Hill-Evans – 3; Nays – 0.
 
Resolution No. 98, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution authorizing the purchase of 7 vehicles for use by the detectives and support and administrative staff of the Police Department, with the vendor for said purchase being York Mitsubishi, at a cost of $6,500.00 for each vehicle for a total purchase price of $45,500.00, was introduced by Helfrich, read at length, and on motion of Helfrich, seconded by Borders, Resolution No. 98 came up for discussion.
 
Police Chief Kahley explained that every 5 years we sign a new lease for 10 vehicles to be used by the detective division and the administrative staff. When the new lease is signed we then purchase a few of the leased vehicles to replace older vehicles in the fleet. The vehicles are 5 years old and have in the area of 25,000 miles on them. He said the vehicles they replace are much older with high mileage. For example, he explained that the vehicles we are choosing to replace have 147,000 miles, 92,000 miles, 118,000 miles and 83,000 miles on them. Chief Kahley stated that this system allows us to continually rotate the fleet of detective and admin vehicles at a lower cost. The Police Department will receive 4 of these vehicles and 3 will be used for parking enforcement officers. The funding for the purchase of these particular vehicles is coming from a JAG grant and is not coming from the budget or from City taxpayer dollars.
 
There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 98 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Borders, Hill-Evans – 3; Nays – 0.
 
Resolution No. 99, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution authorizing the purchase of 2 Dodge Charger Police Sedans through the PA State COSTARS program in the amount of $23,493.00 each vehicle, with the total amount being $46,986.00, to be purchased from Susquehanna Auto, Wrightsville, PA, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Borders, Resolution No. 99 came up for discussion.
 
Police Chief Kahley explained this purchase is being made using donated funds and that no taxpayer dollars are being used. He added that a request to purchase a 3rd vehicle will come at a later date. 
 
There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 99 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Borders, Hill-Evans – 3; Nays – 0.
 
Resolution No.'s 100-102 were introduced by Helfrich as follows:
 
Resolution No. 100, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution approving year 2013 Minimum Municipal Obligations (MMO) contributions for the Firefighters' Pension Fund in the amount of $1,521,930.00.
 
Resolution No. 101, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution approving year 2013 Minimum Municipal Obligations (MMO) contributions for the Police Officers' Pension Fund in the amount of $3,428,955.00.
 
Resolution No. 102, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution approving year 2013 Minimum Municipal Obligations (MMO) contributions for the Officers' & Employees' Pension Fund in the amount of $757,667.00.
 
Resolution No.'s 100-102 were read at length, and on motion of Helfrich, seconded by Borders, the Resolutions came up for discussion. 
 
Business Administrator O'Rourke explained that Minimum Municipal Obligation (MMO) contributions for the O&E, Fire, and Police Pension funds are basically the state-mandated smallest amount a municipality must contribute to any pension plan established for its employees. The amount is calculated using actuarial science to ensure that municipal pension plans are sufficiently funded.
 
There being no further discussion, Resolution No.'s 100, 101 and 102 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Borders, Hill-Evans – 3; Nays – 0.
 
REQUESTS FOR FUTURE MEETINGS: None
 
 
COUNCIL COMMENT
 
Councilwoman Borders invited residents to attend the September 22, 2012 Stand Up meeting which will be held on the corner of King & Pattison Streets at 6:00 p.m. Also, a city-wide clean up is scheduled for September 29 beginning at 8:00 a.m. Participants are to meet outside of City Hall.
 
Councilman Helfrich shared his tour experience of the Penn Waste recycling facility. He urged residents to properly recycle trash because our trash is charged by weight so if we start recycling, we can save thousands of dollars. 
 
ADMINISTRATION COMMENT 
 
Business Administrator O'Rourke provided a report on the status of the sewer and refuse delinquent accounts collection process. He said clients had to make an initial payment in order to qualify for the payment plan. Of the payment plans established, about half of the plans are being honored. He stated that they are working on providing more concrete numbers but so far he estimates about $882,000.00 has been received. Administrator O'Rourke said he is working with our Information Services department on developing a spreadsheet of abandoned buildings and trying to determine if there is water connection service to those buildings. (See collection numbers)
 
NEXT MEETING: The next regular meeting of City Council is scheduled for October 2, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. (Public Comment commences at 6:30 p.m.) in City Council Chambers, 101 S. George St., York, PA.
 
ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business, the September 18, 2012 meeting of Council adjourned at 7:50 p.m.