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City Council Meeting Minutes

June 3, 2008

CALL TO ORDER: City Council convened in a General Committee meeting on June 3, 2008 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: Genevieve Ray, Cameron Texter, Toni Smith, Carol Hill-Evans, Vice President, and Joseph R. Musso, President, with President Musso presiding. Mayor John Brenner was not present.

GENERAL PUBLIC COMMENT

Charlotte Bergdoll, 515 W. Market St., York, PA, thanked Council and the Administration for its quick response to her suggestion that the YMCA of York take part in the city's recycling program.

Stephanie Seaton, Director, York City Human Relations Commission, attended a NUSA Conference in Spokane, WA and was thankful for the funding provided to allow her to attend. She then shared the information gained from attending said conference. For more information on NUSA, please visit: www.nusa.org/index.htm.

There being no further public comment, President Musso 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: Genevieve Ray, Cameron Texter, Toni Smith, Carol Hill-Evans, Vice President, and Joseph R. Musso, President, with President Musso presiding. Mayor John Brenner was not present.

Members of the Administration in attendance included: Jim Gross, Director of Public Works, and Kim Bracey, Director of Community Development. Also present was Don Hoyt, Assistant Solicitor. Matt Jackson, Director of Economic Development, Mark Whitman, Police Commissioner, John Senft, Fire Chief, and Michael O’Rourke, Business Administrator, were absent.

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: A motion was made by Smith, seconded by Hill-Evans, to dispense with the reading of the Minutes of May 20, 2008, and approve them as written. The motion passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

PRESENTATIONS

Stephanie Seaton, Director, York City Human Relations Commission, and Tonya Thompson, Complaints Investigator, were onboard and presented the 2007 York City Human Relations Commission Annual Report. The report described in detail the responsibilities and achievements of the YCHRC Board of Commissioners, and the services provided by YCHRC employees in providing citizens with services that promote and safeguard the rights of individuals in public accommodations, housing, and employment regardless of race, color, familial status, religion, ancestry, sexual orientation, age, sex, disability, use of a support animal, or national origin. Director Seaton stated that the YCHRC is vested with the authority to administer and enforce the city's anti-discrimination ordinances (Articles 183 & 185) and may initiate, receive, investigate, and adjudicate complaints charging unlawful discriminatory practices.

Ms. Seaton then answered questions from Council. Council thanked Ms. Seaton for her report.

COMMITTEE MEETINGS SCHEDULED

Community Development Committee, Genevieve Ray, Chair: C.D. Committee meeting scheduled for Tuesday, July 8, 2008 at 7 p.m. In Council Chambers to discuss Bill No. 32 (View) a Bill amending Article 307 “Exemption from Dwelling Improvements” to change the definition of improvement to include construction of new dwelling units and to expand the definition of dwelling units; and Bill No. 33 (View) a Bill establishing Article 1729 “Vacant Property Registration” to establish guidelines for the registration of vacant properties in the city and payment of related fees.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Community Development Committee, Genevieve Ray, Chair: Councilwoman Ray reported that the Community Development Committee met this evening, Tuesday, June 3, 2008 at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers to hear from residents who attended the 2008 NUSA Conference in Hampton, VA. Committee members heard from attendees the experienced gained from the conference and ideas they brought back for the York Community (22 persons, including some city employees, attended). She said attendees felt the conference was a great success. For more information on NUSA, please visit: www.nusa.org/index.htm

SUBDIVISION / LAND DEVELOPMENT / HARB

Resolution No. 94, Session 2008, (View) A Resolution accepting the recommendations of HARB in issuing a certificate of appropriateness to Martin & McClean Construction for work to be done at 252 E. Princess St., and Pam & Michael Jarrett and Amy & Nathan Carrossa for work to be done at 131 & 133 S. Newberry St., was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Texter, Resolution No. 94 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 95, Session 2008, (View) A Resolution approving the final land development plan submitted by Apple Automotive for the construction of a collision center at 1090 Marbrook Lane, with a variety of contingencies, was introduced by Ray, read at length, and on motion of Ray, seconded by Smith, Resolution No. 95 came up for discussion.

Kathy Conley, LSC Design, and John Yinger, were onboard and outlined the project. This project will be to construct a new 28,872 square foot auto collision center on the same lot as the new car wash, which was recently constructed. Along with the collision center will be a customer parking area and a fenced in area for vehicles awaiting repair. The property is in both the CH-Commercial Highway and IL-Light Industrial zoning districts. As the use is permitted in both districts, and about 75% of the property is located in the IL District, the plans have been reviewed under the requirements of the IL District. Ms. Conley and Mr. Yinger then answered several project questions from Council.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 95 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 96, Session 2008, (View) A Resolution approving the final subdivision plan submitted by the York City Redevelopment Authority to combine several tracts of land as part of the Northwest Triangle (NWT) project, bounded by N. George St., W. North St., N. Beaver St. and the Codorus Creek, was introduced by Ray, read at length, and on motion of Ray, seconded by Texter, Resolution No. 96 came up for discussion.

Kathy Conley, LSC Design, was onboard and outlined the project. This project will combine five parcels (parcels 01, 02, 03, 05 and 06) for the purpose of redeveloping the site. The site is part of the NWT project. A use for this site has not yet been finalized. As part of the reverse subdivision process, a street vacation request has been submitted for N. Cherry Lane, and railroad rights-of-way have been adjusted. A new storm sewer easement is proposed where the street vacation has been requested as there is an existing storm sewer present in the center of the existing street right-of-way.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 96 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 97, Session 2008, (View) A Resolution approving the final subdivision plan submitted by the York City School District to combine tracts of land as part of the Ferguson Elementary School redevelopment project, located at 525 N. Newberry St.

Resolution 98, Session 2008, (View) A Resolution approving the final land development plan submitted by the York City School District to redevelop Ferguson Elementary School located at 525 N. Newberry St.

Resolution No.'s 97 and 98 were introduced by Ray, read at length, and on motion of Ray, seconded by Texter, Resolution No.'s 97 and 98 came up for discussion.

Rob Walsh, EI Associates, 2001 Front St., Harrisburg, PA, was onboard and outlined the project. The subdivision plan will be to combine two parcels for the purpose of redeveloping the site. As part of the reverse subdivision process, street vacation requests have been submitted for portions of Grant St. and Juniper St. Also, 519 N. Newberry St., a residential property, has been acquired. The land development plan will be to build a new elementary school on the west side of the property. The existing school, which sits towards th east side of the property, will remain occupied until the new school is complete. Once the new school is occupied, the old school will be demolished.

Arlan Hollinger, EI Associates, 2001 Front St., Harrisburg, PA, was also onboard and outlined energy savings initiatives associated with this project, codes standards, and attempts to obtain LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification.

Councilwoman Smith expressed concerns about taxpayer costs associated with this project. Additionally, she opined that with charter schools on the rise, she feels spending millions of dollars on a new school is wasteful. Councilwoman Smith believes that student attendance at the charter schools will eventually lead to other schools, such as Smith Middle School and Ferguson Elementary School, becoming virtually obsolete thereby causing these schools to eventually become vacant. She said she cannot support this project because she fears the repercussions associated with this expense, as well as the possibility of schools becoming vacant in the future.

Gerry Turner, 1201 S. Pine St., asked Council to consider waiving fees associated with this project as the school district and the city share the same tax base.

Hiawatha Powell, School Board Member, 656 W. Locust St., York, PA, feels this is a good plan, however, he stated that financial concerns brought up by Councilwoman Smith are valid. Mr. Powell presented Council with a copy of the Ferguson School project background and needs feasibility synopsis done in November 2006. He said he looks forward to meeting with city officials on June 15 as part of the School District – City of York open communications forum.

Attorney Greg Gettle, Solicitor for the York City School Board, urged Council to vote on this project based on fact, and stated that Mr. Powell does not have the authority to speak on behalf of the School Board.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 97 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Musso – 4; Nays – Smith – 1 and Resolution No. 98 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

CONSENT AGENDA

Introduction of Bill No. 28, Session 2008, (View) A Bill amending the 2008 Budget to appropriate revenues and expenditures in the amount of $51,620 for a Bioterrorism Grant, was introduced by Ray, read by short title, and deferred until the July 15 meeting of Council.

Introduction of Bill No. 29, Session 2008, (View), A Bill vacating a portion of N. Cherry Lane between North St. and the Codorus Creek, was introduced by Ray, read by short title, and deferred until the July 15 meeting of Council.

Introduction of Bill No. 30, Session 2008, (View) A Bill vacating a portion of Juniper St. between Curwood Ave. and a property owned by the York City School District, Block 455, Parcel 18, in the 13th Ward, was introduced by Ray, read by short title, and deferred until the July 15 meeting of Council.

Introduction of Bil No. 31, Session 2008, (View) A Bill vacating a portion of Grant St. between Curwood Ave. and a property currently owned by the York City School District, Block 455, Parcel 18, in the 13th Ward, was introduced by Ray, read by short title, and deferred until the July 15 meeting of Council.

Pulled from Agenda. Agenda Item #6, a Bill establishing Article 355 “Realty Transfer Tax” of the Codified Ordinances was pulled from the agenda at the request of Councilman Texter. (View)

Introduction of Bill No. 32, Session 2008, (View) A Bill amending Article 307 “Exemption for Dwelling Improvements” of the Codified Ordinances to change the definition of improvement to include construction of new dwelling units and to expand the definition of dwelling units, was introduced by Texter, read by short title, and came up for discussion.

Motion to refer to committee. A motion was made by Texter, seconded by Smith, to refer Bill No. 32 to the Community Development Committee. The vote passed unanimously. Councilwoman Ray, Chair of the C.D. Committee, scheduled a committee meeting for Tuesday, July 8 at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers.

Introduction of Bill No. 33, Session 2008, (View) A Bill establishing Article 1729 “Vacant Property Registration” of the Codified Ordinances to establish guidelines for the registration of vacant properties in the city and the payment of related fees, was introduced by Texter, read by short title, and came up for discussion.

Motion to refer to committee. A motion was made by Texter, seconded by Smith, to refer Bill No. 33 to the Community Development Committee. The vote passed unanimously. Councilwoman Ray, Chair of the C.D. Committee, scheduled a committee meeting for Tuesday, July 8 at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers.

FINAL PASSAGE OF BILLS / RESOLUTIONS

Resolution No. 99, Session 2008, A Resolution amending Bill No. 24 “Park Conduct”, was introduced by Texter, and read by short title. On motion of Texter, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 99 came up for discussion.

Councilman Texter outlined his proposed amendments to Bill No. 24 as follows:

Amend 741.02(g) to read: Ride or drive any motorized vehicle except on highways.

Amend 741.02(m) to remove the prohibition relating to the playing of musical instruments in city parks.

Amend 741.02(q) to include required posting of smoking prohibitions in city parks.

Amend 741.02(q) to remove the prohibition on smokeless tobacco.

741.02(q) to change the penalty for smoking to include a warning for a first time offense.

Motion to amend: President Musso then proposed further amendments to Resolution No. 99 to include Exhibit A in Section 741.02(q), which is a list of the city's public parks.

Gerry Turner and Charlotte Bergdoll each separately provided testimony in support of Bill No. 24, along with these amendments.

Vice President Hill-Evans stated that she does not agree with smoking being allowed at Memorial Park and the Memorial Park Ice Skating Rink. Smoking anywhere around our children should be prohibited, she said. She explained that research has shown that second hand smoke is extremely damaging and to expose non-smokers and especially children to these harmful fumes is inexcusable. Vice President Hill-Evans further stated that several people she has spoken to about this legislation have expressed concern about enforceability and possible selective enforcement. The concept of the legislation is noble, she said, however, when it comes down to enforceability, she questions its effectiveness and because of that, should could not support this Bill.

President Musso said park rangers will be policing the parks and with a first warning being included in this legislation, he feels this will show offenders the city's attempt to actively enforce this legislation.

Councilwoman Smith echoed President Musso's comments and said she supports this legislation and feels we need to give it a chance. If we find out down the road that we need to make some changes, then Council has the power to make those changes, she said.

Councilwoman Ray said she would also vote against this legislation because she feels we do not need another piece of unenforceable legislation on our books. She feels there are more user friendly methods to discourage smoking such as “please do not smoke” art that could be done by children and posted throughout our city parks. She stated that with this legislation, we will be hanging our hats on Park Rangers. She said she would rather have Rangers interact positively with residents and visitors instead of spending time banging them over the head about smoking. Plus, the Park Ranger initiative is a temporary measure and will only last as long is the funding lasts.

There being on more discussion, Resolution No. 99, as amended, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Texter, Smith, Musso – 3; Nays – Ray, Hill-Evans – 2.

Pulled from Agenda. Agenda Item #10, a Resolution amending Bill No. 24 to remove the insurance requirement for large gatherings, was pulled from the agenda at the request of Councilman Texter. (View)

Resolution No. 100, Session 2008, A Resolution amending Bill No. 24 “Public Parks” to make technical changes to Section 741.99 “Penalties”, was introduced by Texter, read at length, and on motion of Texter, seconded by Smith, Resolution No. 100 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0. (Note: Resolution No. 100 incorporates the amendments made in Resolution No. 99 into the penalty section of Bill No. 24)

Final Passage of Bill No. 24, Ordinance No. 22, Session 2008, (View) A Bill amending Article 741 “Park Conduct” of the Codified Ordinances to update language, add a non-smoking provision, remove provisions for “security deposits” and to include language to require insurance provisions for events involving 100 or more people, which was introduced by Smith at the May 6 meeting of Council, read by short title and deferred to the Public Works Committee for discussion (mtg. Held 5/13/08 @ 7p.m.), came up for final passage. On motion of Smith, seconded by Texter, Bill No. 24, Ordinance No. 22, as amended by Resolution No.'s 99 & 100, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Texter, Smith, Musso – 3; Nays – Ray, Hill-Evans – 2. (View final version of Article 741 “Park Conduct”)

Final Passage of Bill No. 25, Ordinance No. 23, Session 2008, (View) A Bill amending the 2008 budget for the Public Works Dept. to appropriate revenue ($500) and expenditures ($400) for a cardio fitness tennis program, which was introduced by Smith at the May 20 meeting of Council and read by short title, came up for final passage. On motion of Smith, seconded by Texter, Bill No. 25, Ordinance No. 23, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

Final Passage of Bill No. 26, Ordinance No. 24, Session 2008, (View) A Bill amending the 2008 budget for the Police Dept. to appropriate revenue and expenditures for a police camera system, which was introduced by Texter at the May 20 meeting of Council, and read by short title, and briefly discussed, came up for final passage. On motion of Smith, seconded by Texter, Bill No. 26, Ordinance No. 24, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 4; Nays – Ray – 1.

Final Passage of Bill No. 27, Ordinance No. 25, Session 2008, (View) A Bill Authorizing a Guaranteed Sewer Revenue Bond for the York City Sewer Authority in an amount not to exceed $10,000,000.00, which was introduced by Musso at the May 20 meeting of Council and read by short title, came up for final passage. On motion of Musso, seconded by Texter, Bill No. 27 came up for discussion.

Attorney Stacey MacNeal, Sewer Authority Solicitor, and Attorney Steve Hovis, Bond Counsel, were present and answered annual debt service and lease terms questions from Council. Attorney Hovis explained that the York City Sewer Authority has authorized an additional $10m to be borrowed for its sewer plant renovation project. This is part of the overall $27m project discussed with Council last year when the Authority borrowed the first $10m. With this Bond, the City is agreeing to guaranty debt and enter into a supplemental lease agreeing to pay the Authority an additional lease payment equal to the debt service due and owing on the note. He said this is identical to last year's transaction.

There being no further discussion, Bill No. 27, Ordinance No. 25, passed by the following vote: Yeas

NEW BUSINESS

Resolution No. 101, Session 2008, (View) A Resolution authorizing a budget transfer within the state health grant in the amount of $6,000 for the Health Bureau to cover office equipment/furniture purchases, was introduced by Ray, read at length, and on motion of Ray, seconded by Smith, Resolution No. 101 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Musso, Smith – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 102, Session 2008, (View) A Resolution authorizing an agreement with the York County Economic Development Corporation (YCEDC), owner of 435 W. Philadelphia St., to rent space to the York City Bureau of Health, for a five year period, at a rate of $6,490.62 per month, was introduced by Ray, read at length, and on motion of Ray, seconded by Smith, Resolution No. 102 came up for discussion.

Dr. David Hawk, Director, York City Bureau of Health, explained that the clinically focused nurses will be moving from 227 W. Market St. into 435 W. Philadelphia St. as the expansion is critically need. He said the 435 W. Philadelphia St. location is double the size of the 227 W. Market St. and will more adequately meet the needs of staff and patients as services are in demand and continue to grow. Dr. Hawk went on to explain that Bureau of Health employees now located at One Marketway West, 3rd Floor, will then relocate to 227 W. Market St.

Councilwoman Ray said the $6,490.62 per month rent seems fairly steep. Dr. Hawk explained that renovation costs are being incorporated into the rent because improvements will be needed to fully meet the clinic's needs.

Assistant Solicitor Don Hoyt added that this is a standard lease, however, he said he would like to further explore the insurance component of the operating expense because he would like to research whether the city's current insurance could be used instead. Therefore, he requested the Resolution be amended to include a clause that would allow the solicitor office to give final approval before the lease is finalized.

Motion to amend. At the request of Assistant Solicitor Hoyt, a motion was made by Texter, seconded by Musso, to amend Resolution No. 102 to include the following statement in the last paragraph of the Resolution: “...the Controller is authorized and directed to enter into an agreement, as approved by the solicitor's office, a copy of which....” The motion to amend passed unanimously.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 102, as amended, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

REQUESTS FOR FUTURE MEETINGS

Community Development Committee, Genevieve Ray, Chair: C.D. Committee meeting scheduled for Tuesday, July 8, 2008 at 7 p.m. In Council Chambers to discuss Bill No. 32 (View) a Bill amending Article 307 “Exemption from Dwelling Improvements” to change the definition of improvement to include construction of new dwelling units and to expand the definition of dwelling units; and Bill No. 33 (View) a Bill establishing Article 1729 “Vacant Property Registration” to establish guidelines for the registration of vacant properties in the city and payment of related fees.

COUNCIL COMMENT

Councilwoman Ray called Council's attention to Rule 5(5) and Rule 5(8) of the Council Rules and Procedures with regard to referring agenda items to committee. She said the way the Rules are currently drafted, all legislation would automatically be referred to committee unless waived by a 4/1 vote of Council to immediately consider passage. She said Council's common practice is to automatically consider passage of legislation unless referred to committee. She said we are doing the opposite of what the rules state. Councilwoman Ray said that Council should be consistent with its own rules and that if Council wishes to continue its current practice, that the language should be changed to accommodate this practice.

Next, Councilwoman Ray invited residents to attend the opening of Foundry Park on June 12th at 4 p.m.

ADMINISTRATION COMMENT: None

NEXT MEETING: The next regular meeting of City Council is scheduled for July 15, 2008 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 June 3, 2008 meeting of Council adjourned at 9:50 p.m.