City Council Meeting Minutes
April 15, 2014
CALL TO ORDER: City Council convened in a General Committee meeting on April 15, 2014 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.
I. Public Comment: 6:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Lester Abbott, Jr., applauded the city on its snow and trash removal services. He then commended Council on adopting regulations for keeping of portable toilets.
The following individuals spoke in favor of adopting legislation that would allow residents to keep chickens on their property: Brent Inners, Abbi Ferree, David Brinker, Sandra Kennedy, Franklin Williams, and Steve Kurtz.
There being no further public comment, President Hill-Evans adjourned the general public comment session 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: Mayor C. Kim Bracey; Cherie Alwine, Finance Director; Captain Steve Butler, Police Dept.; and Assistant Solicitor Don Hoyt.
Members of York City Council staff in attendance included: Dianna L. Thompson-Mitchell, City Clerk.
II. Legislative Meeting Called to Order: 7:00 p.m.
III. Roll Call
IV. Pledge of Allegiance
V. Moment of Silence observed
EXECUTIVE SESSION: President Hill-Evans called for a recess at 7:03 p.m. to convene in Executive Session.
President Hill-Evans reconvened the legislative session at 7:15 p.m. and announced that Council met in Executive Session with Mayor Bracey and Assistant Solicitor Don Hoyt to discuss a personnel matter.
VI. Action on previous meeting Minutes of April 1, 2014: Council dispensed with the reading of the Minutes of
April 1, 2014 and unanimously approved them as written.
VII. Presentations, Proclamations and Awards: None
• Sewer/Refuse Collection Program Update: Finance Director Cherie Alwine gave a brief update on the sewer/refuse collection program.
VII. Committee Meeting(s) Scheduled
• Committee Work Sessions – Scheduled for Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers. Committee items due by 12 noon on April 16th.
IX. Status of Prior Committee Referrals: No reports
X. Legislative Agenda: (Order of Business – Action on Subdivision/Land Development & HARB Resolutions; Final Passage of Bills/Resolutions; New Business.)
Subdivision / Land Development / HARB
1. Resolution No. 40 - A Resolution accepting the recommendations of HARB. (View)
Introduced by: Carol Hill-Evans
Originator: Historic York
Resolution No. 40, Session 2014, A Resolution accepting the recommendations of HARB in issuing a certificate of appropriateness to Frank Herring for work to be done at 29 N. Duke St., and David & Lori Gowe for work to be done at 465 W. King St., was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Helfrich, Resolution No. 40 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Satterlee, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 5; Nays = 0.
2. Introduction of Bill No. 10 - A Bill amending the 2014 Budget. (For a JAG award - $51,748.00) (View)
Introduced by: Henry Hay Nixon
Note: Bills sit for at least one meeting prior to voting. Therefore, this Bill will be considered for final passage on or after May 6th.
Introduction of Bill No. 10, Session 2014, A Bill amending the York City Budget for the year 2014 by appropriating revenue and expenditures for the York City Police Department in the amount of $51,748.00 for the enhancement of law enforcement operations through acceptance of a Bureau of Justice Assistance Grant (JAG), was introduced by Nixon, read by short title, and deferred until the May 6, 2014 meeting of Council.
3. Resolution No. 41 - A Resolution appointing a candidate to serve as the City of York Director of Economic & Community Development.
Introduced by: Carol Hill-Evans (View)
Resolution No. 41, Session 2014, A Resolution appointing a candidate to serve as the City of York Director of Economic Development with an annual salary of $95,500.00 effective June 2, 2014, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Nixon, Resolution No. 41 came up for discussion.
President Hill-Evans said that although she supports this appointment, she questioned where the extra money will come from since this position was only budgeted for about $79,000 and the proposed offer is $95,500.
Mayor Bracey explained that as this candidate will be joining our ranks mid-year, the salary breakdown will essentially be less than $95,500.00 for year 2014. However, next year they will have to creatively work with the 2015 budget to continue to fulfill this salary. She then gave a detailed background about this position and the efforts the Administration undertook to select a qualified candidate.
Councilman Helfrich explained that this candidate’s name is not being publicly released at this time as protection until he is able to notify his current employer. He then stated that although he is not pleased with the salary being offered, this candidate’s credentials are impressive. Councilman Helfrich did say that he is concerned about how we will be able to continue this salary commitment in our future budgets. He then discussed various projects this Director will take on in his dual role as Director of Economic & Community Development, such as our increasing dilemma on disposition of blighted properties.
Councilman Satterlee stated that it is time that we make some bold moves to propel our city into the future and that he is very excited about this appointment.
Vice President Nixon also commented on the outstanding credentials of this candidate and feels he will be a great asset to the city.
President Hill-Evans said although she is concerned about meeting this salary commitment in the future, she supports this appointment because she feels this will produce a valuable return.
Franklin Williams, resident, said he understood why the candidate’s name was being withheld and that if we want talent and skill, it’s worth the money.
Lester Abbott, resident, said he is concerned about this candidate being brought in at the top of the pay scale. He said this will leave no incentive to keep him here.
Sandra Kennedy, resident, stated that increased benefits can also be an attractive incentive.
Jeffery Kirkland, resident, feels it is unfair that residents continue to get stuck with high taxes in order to accommodate these high paid directors. He questioned how on one hand the Administration can say they checked this candidate’s credentials then on the other hand want to protect his identity until he notifies his employer. He said this tells him that the Administration didn’t contact his current employer for a reference. Mr. Kirkland pleaded with Council to reconsider the salary offer and think about the burden to taxpayers to continue to fund this position.
There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 41 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Satterlee, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 5; Nays – 0.
Mayor Bracey departed the meeting at 7:52 p.m.
4. Resolution No. 42 - A Resolution accepting a 2012 JAG award. (View)
Introduced by: Henry Hay Nixon
Resolution No. 42, Session 2014, A Resolution accepting a 2012 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) in the amount of $45,036.00, was introduced by Nixon, read at length, and on motion of Nixon, seconded by Satterlee, Resolution No. 42 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Satterlee, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 5.
5. Resolution No. 43 - A Resolution approving a conduit funding project to be undertaken by the York City General Authority. (Lutheran Social Services – Village at Sprenkle Dr., 1802 Folkemer Circle., York, PA.) (View)
Introduced by: Carol Hill-Evans
Originator: York City General Authority
A motion was made by Hill-Evans, seconded by Satterlee, to read Resolution No. 43 by short title. The motion passed unanimously.
Resolution No. 43, Session 2014, A Resolution approving a conduit funding project to be undertaken by the York City General Authority on behalf of Lutheran Social Services for development of Village at Sprenkle Dr., located at 1802 Folkemer Circle., York, PA, was introduced by Hill-Evans and read by short title. On motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Nelson, Resolution No. 43 came up for discussion.
Attorney Jonathan Cox of Rhoads & Sinons, LLP, briefly outlined that this project is to be financed by the issuance of a note of the City of York General Authority that consists of acquiring, constructing, equipping and furnishing alterations, renovations, additions and other improvements for the development of a residential living facility known as “The Village at Sprenkle Drive,” located at 1802 Folkemer Circle, York, Pennsylvania. The project will include addition of a one-story, approximately 45,000 square feet addition that will contain 32 new assisted living units and 24 new memory support assisted living units, to be owned and operated by Lutheran Social Services of South Central Pennsylvania, a nonprofit corporation. Proceeds of the note will also be applied to payment of all or a portion of the costs and expenses of the financing. He said the property is physically located in Manchester Township and they are still waiting for approval from them on the project.
Councilman Helfrich said Council intentionally held off on voting on this legislation until Manchester Township approved the project which he said was to have taken place by now.
Attorney Cox explained that a requirement of the Municipal Authorities Act is that the governing body must make a determination that the project will benefit the residents of the area to be served.
Councilman Helfrich responded that he is not comfortable making such a determination especially if Manchester Township hasn’t done so at this point.
Attorney Stacey MacNeal of Katherman, Heim & Perry, and attorney to the York City General Authority, explained that the General Authority has done its homework. She briefly outlined how this project would benefit the community and said that all of the pieces have to come into play in order to move this project forward. She explained that if Manchester Township doesn’t approve, then they can’t get the funding as both municipalities have to agree that the project benefits the public to be served.
There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 43 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nixon, Satterlee, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 4; Nays – Helfrich – 1.
Final Passage of Bills / Resolutions
6. Final Passage of Bill No. 9 – A Bill amending Article 705 “Keeping of Animals” of the Codified Ordinances. (To define and establish regulations for keeping of wild animals – publicly referred to as the “feral cat ordinance.”) (View)
Introduced by: Carol Hill-Evans
Originator: Solicitor’s Office
Final Passage of Bill No. 9, Session 2014, A Bill amending Article 705 “Keeping of Animals” of the York City Codified Ordinances to define and establish regulations for keeping of wild animals, which was introduced by Hill-Evans at the April 1, 2014 meeting of Council, and read by short title, came up for final passage. On motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Satterlee, Bill No. 9 came up for discussion.
President Hill-Evans stated that since Council introduced this legislation, they have been inundated with phone calls and emails from the public. She said because of the overwhelming interest in this legislation, she is inclined to refer it back to committee.
Councilman Helfrich said he is not in favor of this convoluted piece of legislation. He said he hopes all the feedback Council has received and ongoing research will help create a cleaner piece of legislation. Councilman Helfrich said he is in favor of forming a Feral Cat Coalition because he doesn’t want random people going around caring for these cats.
Councilman Satterlee stated that he is appreciative of comments received by city residents. He said the debate seems to be whether trap, neuter, and return (TNR) is appropriate and that many city residents are not in favor of this method. He said he is open to more discussion but is not in favor of a compromise with non-city residents. Additionally, he said he is concerned about the legal ramifications of the legislation as presented.
Vice President Nixon feels the current draft is unenforceable. He too said he has been contacted by city residents who are not in favor of TNR. He said most of those in favor of this method live outside of the city.
Councilwoman Nelson feels there are some benefits to having stray cats such as their ability to control the rodent population; however, she favors referring this back to committee for further discussion.
The following residents spoke in favor of TNR: Vicki Russell, Jane Heller, Patricia Dwyer, Christine Arnold (The Nobody’s Cats Foundation), Kim Feldman, Tiffany Raylin, Marie Rohleder, Ed Clasure, Margaret Reese, and Marcy Gladfelter. They all shared various experiences and expertise in caring for feral cats.
Vice President Nixon departed the meeting at 8:46 p.m.
Gene Johnson, resident, stated that we need to stop non-city residents from coming into the city feeding these cats.
Alicia Bligen, resident, said the city is not a dumping ground and she wants a law in place to protect the residents.
Katherine Reese said supports prevention and education programs.
Carol Molina, Feline Services & Solutions, offered to assist residents with getting these cats spayed and neutered. She may be contacted at (717) 792-9347.
Referred to committee. There being no further discussion, a motion was made by Helfrich, seconded by Nelson, to refer Bill No. 9 back to the Rules & Administrative Code Committee. The motion passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Satterlee, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 4; Nays – 0.
XI. Requests for Future Meetings: None
XII. Council Comment: None
XIII. Administration Comment: None
The next regular meeting of City Council is scheduled for May 6, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. (Public Comment commences at 6:30 p.m.) in City Council Chambers, 101 S. George St., York, PA. There being no further business, the April 15, 2014 meeting adjourned at 9:06 p.m.
XV. Resumption of Public Comment Period (at the discretion of the presiding officer): No additional public comment.