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City Council Meeting Minutes

November 7, 2012

 

CALL TO ORDER:  City Council convened in a General Committee meeting on November 7, 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: David Satterlee, Michael Ray Helfrich, Renee S. Nelson, Henry Hay Nixon, Vice President, and Carol Hill-Evans, President, with President Hill-Evans presiding. 
 
GENERAL PUBLIC COMMENT
 
Joseph Beltrante stated that he received a letter in March from Captain Ronald Dennis of the Department of Fire/Rescue Services informing him that his property at 620 S. Queen St. was found to be a tenant occupied property and he would therefore need an occupancy permit as he was in violation of Article 1761.09. He said an application was also included in the letter. Mr. Beltrante said that he contacted Captain Dennis and explained that this is not a tenant occupied property at which time Captain Dennis said he would take care of it. A few weeks later, he said he again received a letter from Captain Dennis saying that he would need to complete a vacant property registration form as any property not occupied for a certain number of days would require registration. Mr. Beltrante said he informed Captain Dennis that this property was neither vacant nor tenant occupied and once again Captain Dennis said he would take care of it. He said letters were sent back and forth between him, Captain Kimes, Captain Dennis and Mayor Bracey. He said since then, he has received two citation and feels this was retaliation. He provided Council with a folder of correspondence related to this matter and asked for a resolution to this issue.
 
Marie Rohleder complained that 329 E. King St., which is one of the several houses that burned a few years ago, is still not secure. She then spoke about three swimming pools that are not fenced in, which is a violation of the zoning code. 
 
Councilman Michael Helfrich read a letter on behalf of Michael Rhine, disabled citizen, who wanted to update Council on a complaint he had about mistreatment by certain police officers. He said he met with Police Chief Kahley – who showed him photos of members of the police force – and he was able to pick out the officers he wanted to file a complaint against. 
 
Edgar Rodriguez, wHoly Chicken, 320 E. Philadelphia St., York, PA invited residents to attend the 2012 Thanksgiving Holiday Meal Giveaway. He said they will be serving free meals on November 21, 2012 from 12:00 noon - until. For more information, please contact wHoly Chicken at (717) 854-5424.
 
There being no further public comment, President Hill-Evans adjourned the General Committee meeting and convened in Legislative Session at 7:00 p.m., in Council Chambers, 101 S. George St., York, PA, with the following members present: David Satterlee, 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: 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 October 15, 16, and 22, 2012 and approved them by the following vote: Helfrich, Nixon, Nelson, Hill-Evans - 4; Nays – 0; Abstained – Satterlee – 1. Councilman Satterlee abstained as he was not a member of Council during said meetings. 
 
Correspondence and Announcements: President Hill-Evans read correspondence and announcements.
 
PRESENTATIONS: None
 
COMMITTEE MEETINGS SCHEDULED
 
Committee Work Session: Scheduled for Monday, November 26, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers, 101 S. George St., York, PA, to discuss items for the December legislative agenda.
 
STATUS OF PRIOR COMMITTEE REFERRALS: No reports.
 
SUBDIVISION / LAND DEVELOPMENT / HARB: None
 
FINAL PASSAGE OF BILLS / RESOLUTIONS: None
 
NEW BUSINESS
 
Resolution No. 117, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution appointing William D. Guntrum as an alternate member of the Zoning Hearing Board to fill a vacancy which term shall expire January 1, 2013, was introduced by Nixon, read at length, and on motion of Nixon, seconded by Helfrich, Resolution No. 117 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 4; Nays – 0; Abstained – Satterlee – 1. Councilman Satterlee said he abstained because Mr. Guntrum is his partner. 
 
The City Clerk then administered the Oath of Office to Mr. Guntrum.
 
Resolution No. 118, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution awarding a refuse and recycling collection services contract to Republic Services d/b/a York Waste Disposal for the period of 2013-2017 in the amount of $1,468,741.42 annually, was introduced by Satterlee, read at length, and on motion of Satterlee, seconded by Nixon, Resolution No. 118 came up for discussion.
 
Scott Wagner, President, Penn Waste, who was not awarded the contract, objected to the bidding process for this contract. He said that bidding regulations mandate that bidders are not allowed to contact the municipality. Mr. Wagner alleged that city officials made contact with a contractor which was a direct violation. He said he knows this is a violation because a member of his staff violated this provision in the past and their bid was rejected because of it. Mr. Wagner then read part IFB-5, Section 1.15, of the bidding contract in that after the bid opening and continuing until the city formally awards the contract, there is to be no contact with city officials orally or in person and that failure to abide by this restriction may result in disqualification. Mr. Wagner said an article in the newspaper lead him to believe that contact was made with a bidder. As such, he stated that his attorney sent a letter to Public Works Director Jim Gross inquiring if contact was made to any bidders but the letter went unanswered. He asked that all bids be rejected and re-bid. Mr. Wagner proceeded to review the bid specs and how the elimination of fuel escalators could save the city money. He then went on to explain how removal of the fuel escalator would lower his bid and he provided information on alternative cost savings measures that could save the city thousands of dollars. 
 
Assistant Solicitor Elion interjected and asked that Mr. Wagner's presentation be halted. He argued that Mr. Wagner is himself now in violation of the bidding contract because he's making oral contact with the city. Section 1.16 of the regulations state that the bidder shall not make contact with the city, however, he said, the city is authorized to make contact with bidders in order to perform investigations to determine the lowest responsible bidder. The Pennsylvania Purchasing Handbook and case law places the duty on the city to determine who is the lowest responsible bidder and if we did not do this, we could be subject to a lawsuit. Assistant Solicitor Elion said by allowing Mr. Wagner to make contact and do a presentation is an unfair advantage and clearly out of bounds. 
 
On the advice of Assistant Solicitor Elion, President Hill-Evans asked that Mr. Wagner cease his presentation.
 
Councilman Helfrich said that Council never had an opportunity to review the contract specs and that he had cost reduction ideas with regard to recycling that he wanted to discuss with Director Gross; however, he received no response from Director Gross. He said there are potential savings that we may be missing out on.
 
President Hill-Evans stated that this item was discussed in committee, voted out, and the question of specs never came up. She said we don't always receive contract specifications.  
 
Councilman Helfrich said he contacted Mr. Wagner about recycling options and that Mr. Wagner refused to speak to him because of Section 1.15 of the contract bidding regulations. Councilman Helfrich briefly reviewed the bid tabs and said if we can revisit recycling options we can potentially save thousands of dollars. He said he would like specs on recycling options from each bidder before voting on this contract. 
 
Don Isabella, Republic Services, defended the bidding process and feels there are ways to reduce costs, however, they bid accordingly and was not asked to expand on that issue. 
 
Jeremy Holtzapple, resident, asked Council to take into consideration the discussions this evening and to table the vote on this contract.
 
There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 118 FAILED by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans – 2; Nays – Helfrich, Nixon, Satterlee – 3. (Resolution No. 118 did not pass.) 
 
Resolution No. 119, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution authorizing a budget transfer for the Bureau of Housing Services in the amount of $10,000.00 in the 2012 CDBG budget for RDA acquisition to RDA stabilization, was introduced by Nelson, read at length, and on motion of Nelson, seconded by Helfrich, Resolution No. 119 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Satterlee, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 5; Nays – 0.
 
Resolution No. 120, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution approving the 2013 Annual Action Plan and authorizing its filing with HUD, was introduced by Nelson, read at length, and on motion of Nelson, seconded by Nixon, Resolution No. 120 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Satterlee, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 5; Nays – 0.
 
Resolution No. 121, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution authorizing a budget transfer in the 2012 Budget for the Bureau of Health for the an HIV testing/counseling grant ($14,187.00), injury prevention grant ($45,633.00), and Safe and Healthy Communities grant ($4,000.00), was introduced by Nelson, read at length, and on motion of Nelson, seconded by Helfrich, Resolution No. 121 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Satterlee, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 5; Nays – 0.
 
Resolution No. 122, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution amending fees for the Treasurer's Office (tax certification, returned check, and duplicate bill fees), effective January 1, 2013, was introduced by Nixon, read at length, and deferred until the November 20 meeting of Council. President Hill-Evans explained that fee legislation must sit for at least one meeting prior to consideration of passage. 
 
SUPPLEMENTAL AGENDA
 
A motion was made by Helfrich, seconded by Nelson, to waive the provisions of Resolution No. 215 of 1969 to permit consideration of a supplemental agenda containing one Resolution. The motion passed unanimously. 
 
Resolution No. 123, Session 2012, (View) (Supplemental Agenda) A Resolution authorizing a budget transfer for the York City Human Relations Commission (HRC) in the amount of $9,861.39 to cover salaries effective November 15, 2012, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Helfrich, Resolution No. 123 came up for discussion. 
 
Councilman Helfrich explained that Council had previously authorized a transfer of funds to cover salaries (Resolution No. 112) and although we know these numbers have been moving slightly, this transfer should put the proper funding into place. He said there were some increases in salaries that were common practice in the General Fund but that the HRC was not included. He said he does not agree with the dollar amounts stated by the Business Administrator but he hopes this transfer will resolve this salary issue through year end 2012.  
 
Vice President Nixon asked why this $9,861.39 was not included with the $10,322.00 salary transfer approved by Council in its special meeting of October 11, 2012, which was called to specifically deal with this salary shortfall. (Resolution No. 112)
 
Councilman Helfrich said the 2012 approved budget included salary reductions for the HRC staff, however, when the 1% COLA was approved and FICA increases calculated, existing funds were not enough to cover salaries through year end 2012. 
 
There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 123 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Satterlee, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 4; Nays – Nixon – 1. 
 
 
REQUESTS FOR FUTURE MEETINGS 
 
Committee Work Session: December's committee work session date to be determined.
 
2013 Proposed Budget Hearings: Meeting dates and times to be determined. 
 
COUNCIL COMMENT: None
 
ADMINISTRATION COMMENT: None
 
NEXT MEETING: The next regular meeting of City Council is scheduled for November 20, 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 November 7, 2012 meeting of Council adjourned at 8:15 p.m.