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City Council Meeting Minutes

January 6, 2009

CALL TO ORDER: City Council convened in a General Committee meeting on Tuesday, January 6, 2009 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

Joe Stein, of Bring on Play (BOP), encouraged residents to purchase bricks for the Lincoln Park renovation project. For $100, an engraved brick (by Glen-Gery Brick) may be purchased, which will include two lines with 16 characters on each line. Proceeds from purchase of the bricks will be used to renovate the playground equipment at the park. Bring on Play or BOP is organizing the fundraiser. (Brochure)

Henry Nixon, Newberry St., York, PA, commended Council for a very good 2008 year. He said he hopes Council will continue to work for the good of the community in 2009.

Franklin Williams, 528 W. Market St., York, PA, said he has not heard back from the city on his inquiry about why a “left turn only” sign was posted at the intersection of Ridge Ave. and Philadelphia St. and a “no left turn” sign was posted a few months ago at the intersection of Carlisle and Florida Aves. Mr. Williams also commented on the 2009 Budget and reminded public officials to be frugal with its spending as taxpayers cannot afford to take on any more financial burdens.

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

Members of York City Council staff in attendance included: Dianna L. Thompson, City Clerk.

Pledge of Allegiance: Led by Henry Nixon, the Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

Approval of Minutes: A motion was made by Texter, seconded by Hill-Evans, to dispense with the reading of the Minutes of December 16, 2008, and approve them as written. The motion passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

Correspondence and Announcements: President Musso read correspondence and announcements. Specifically President Musso asked that it be noted in the record that a letter was received from P.H. Glatfelter Company, 228 S. Main St., Spring Grove, PA, dated December 18, 2008, notifying the City of York of the type and quantity of regulated substances stored at their facility in Spring Grove. Questions regarding these substances may be directed to Jeff Hamon, Assistant Environmental Director, P.H. Glatfelter Company, at (717) 225-4711, ext. 2309.

PRESENTATIONS: NONE

COMMITTEE MEETINGS SCHEDULED

· Police Committee, Cameron Texter, Chair: Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, January 13, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers to discuss Bill No. 58– (View) A Bill amending Article 725 “Firearms & Weapons” to establish regulations for failure to report lost or stolen firearms.

· General Committee Meeting, Joseph R. Musso, Chair: Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers to hear from Michael Gibson, Chairman of the York City Human Relations Commission (YCHRC) and other members of the HRC, discussion on the direction, mission and goals of the YCHRC.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

· Fire Committee, Genevieve Ray, Chair: Bill No. 56 – (View) A Bill amending Article 149 “Fire Department” to establish the “Bureau of Fire Prevention”, was tabled at the December 16, 2008 Council meeting, at the recommendation of the Fire Chief, to allow for further review and amendments. (Note: A committee meeting was previously held on Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 6p.m. in Council Chambers)

Motion on Bill No. 56. Councilwoman Ray moved to keep Bill No. 56 off the agenda and tabled until such time another committee meeting is scheduled or action is to be taken on the legislation. The motion was seconded by Texter and passed unanimously by Council.

SUBDIVISION / LAND DEVELOPMENT / HARB

Resolution No. 1, Session 2009, (View) A Resolution approving the final land development plan submitted by CODO 26 to redevelop 26 N. George St. into 11-market rate apartment units with first floor commercial space, was introduced by Ray, read at length, and on motion of Ray, seconded by Texter, Resolution No. 1 came up for discussion.

President Musso outlined the project. He said the applicant is proposing to renovate the vacant building located at 26 N. George St. into 11 market-rate apartments, which will be created along with a commercial storefront along N. George St. The portion of the building recently demolished (eastern façade) will be reconstructed in accordance with HARB guidelines and recommendations.

Councilman Texter then briefly discussed the Concept Design Study proposal submitted by Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects in that they will be working with the city in providing architectural and planning assistance for the development of a vision plan for the improvement of a number of minor streets located in the downtown area. These streets now function primarily as vehicular alleyways. The Concept Design Study will examine options including the improvement of some of these alleyways to encourage pedestrian traffic between key downtown locations. In other cases, the enhancements would be primarily visual. Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects will provide this service to the city in lieu of paying a recreation fee of approximately $21,245 as regulated by Article 1336.10 “recreation space” of the Codified Ordinances.

President Musso said he’s not so keen on the idea of waiving the recreation fee as he feels this money could be used in our recreation fund. However, as our subdivision and land development ordinances are such a mess and are currently being revamped, he said he would vote to approve this Resolution but would continue to research this type of effort for future reference.

Councilwoman Ray stated that she supports the Concept Design Study as she feels this is in keeping with the Keep York Beautiful plan. She did say she agrees that our subdivision/land development ordinances are quite muddled and are definitely in need of restructuring.

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

Resolution No. 2, Session 2009, (View) A Resolution accepting the recommendations of HARB in issuing a certificate of appropriateness to Frank Dittenhafer & Matthew Campbell, Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects, for work to be done at 1 (One) S. George St.; and Alex Frederick, Stress Free Carpentry, for work to be done at 34 S. Penn St., was introduced by Ray, read at length, and on motion of Ray, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 2 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

CONSENT AGENDA

Introduction of Bill No. 1, Session 2009, (View) A Bill amending the 2009 Budget for the Department of Community Development, Bureau of Housing Services, in the amount of $125,162.37 to fund Permits Clean & Seal and $279,303.07 to fund Section 108 Repayment, was introduced by Ray, read by short title, and deferred until the January 21, 2009 meeting of Council.

FINAL PASSAGE OF BILLS / RESOLUTIONS

Final Passage of Bill No. 60, Ordinance No. 1, Session 2009, (View) A Bill amending the Codified Ordinances to update and upgrade fines and penalties within the York City Codified Ordinances to have the maximum fines imposed within the ordinances comply with the maximum amounts authorized pursuant to Article III, Section 303 (2.1) et. al. of the Optional Third Class City Code and to make technical changes within the ordinance, which was introduced by Texter at the December 16th meeting of Council and read by short title, came up for final passage. On motion of Texter, seconded by Hill-Evans, Bill No. 60 came up for discussion.

In an email and memo from Councilman Texter, he explained the following:

“Attached to Bill No. 60 is a memo dated October 13 to Mayor John Brenner explaining the first draft of the legislation. All those changes mentioned in the memorandum still appear in the Bill.

The second attachment to Bill No. 60 represents a December 10 memo to Mayor John Brenner that explains the additional changes made to the legislation after meetings and other discussions took place among the Mayor, Business Administrator Mike O'Rourke and myself.

The third attachment to Bill No. 60 represents Article III of the Optional Third Class City Charter Law. The General Assembly amended Section 303 of the law in 1998 to change the maximum fines and penalties that an Optional Third Class City can establish in its ordinances. Much of the changes in the Bill occur to have our maximum fines comply with this state law. The City never made the required changes after the legislature passed its amendment in 1998, except for those sections that it further upgraded or established since that time. All maximum fines will become consistent.

We can further discuss the other changes in fines, many of which haven't gotten changed in two or three decades. Most of these changes follow recommendations of the pre-Act 47 report that stated fees and fines would become upgraded according to inflation. Other changes would make city fines consistent with those set for the same or similar offenses within state law.

Please note that an email went out to the Mayor, all department directors and the assistant solicitors that included copies of the original legislation and the Oct .13 memo. Therefore, all those in charge of a department had ample opportunity to review, research and discuss this legislation.

Further changes occurred to the legislation based on specific requests made by the Mayor and Mr. O'Rourke and based on discussions that the Mayor and Mr. O'Rourke had with me.”

(Note: Copies of said attachments are attached to Bill No. 60 located in the City Clerk’s Office.)

Motion to amend. Councilman Texter made a motion to amend the following Sections of Bill No. 60:

Section 14: To correct from Section 333.99 to Section 351.99
Section 26: To correct from Section 509.99 to Section 705.99
Section 44: To correct from Section 15127.99 to Section 1512.99
Section 53: To correct from Section 1709.08(d) to 1709.99

The motion to amend was seconded by Ray and passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

Business Administrator Michael O’Rourke said the projected revenue with implementation of these new fines is estimated at $160,000-$170,000.

There being no further discussion, Bill No. 60, Ordinance No. 1, as amended, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

NEW BUSINESS

Resolution No. 3, Session 2009, (View) A Resolution authorizing a borrowing in anticipation of current taxes and revenues, by the issuance of a $7,000,000 aggregate principal amount tax and revenue anticipation note, Series of 2009; Determining to sell the note at a private, negotiated sale; Approving a certificate as to taxes and revenues to be collected; Approving the number, date, maturity and interest payable on the note and the form of the note; Appointing a paying agent and sinking fund depositary and establishing a sinking fund; Accepting a proposal of Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company, to purchase the note and authorizing the sale thereof to Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company, providing security for the note; and Authorizing execution, sale and delivery of the note and other necessary action, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read by short title, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Texter, Resolution No. 3 came up for discussion.

Business Administrator O’Rourke explained that this is a process done every January to provide us with operating funds until real estate tax revenue is received. He said Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company was the only proposal received though we normally receive approximately 5-8 proposals, which may be a sign of the tight economy. Administrator O’Rourke explained that we are faced with a $2.5m debt service with our first payment coming due in February. This is a variable rate debt equal to 1.961% plus 65% of 30 day LIBOR and this rate shall not exceed 10% nor less than 2.00%.

A brief discussion on rates and caps ensued among Council and Administrator O’Rourke.

Councilwoman Ray questioned the letter dated December 30, 2008 from M&T Bank. She asked what the following (italicized) first 12 words of the letter meant: “For all but not less than all of the up to $7,814,654.00 principal amount of the Tax and Revenue Anticipation Note…” She questioned how much we were actually borrowing.

Administrator O’Rourke responded that Council is authorizing the borrowing of $7 million as outlined in the Resolution. The $7,814,654.00 noted in the M&T letter is merely showing how much we could borrow.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 3 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 4, Session 2009, (View) A Resolution adoption the 2009 schedule of stated Council meetings, was introduced by Musso, read at length, and on motion of Musso, seconded by Texter, Resolution No. 4 came up for discussion.

Councilman Texter asked for consideration in changing the Tuesday, January 20, 2009 meeting to Wednesday, January 21, 2009, as there may not be a quorum of Council on the 20th. He said several Council members have expressed interest in attending the Presidential Inauguration in Washington, DC on January 20, 2009.

President Musso said he would consider changing the date but not for political purposes. He said he would agree to change the date because there may not be a quorum of Council. Council agreed that it is Council’s intention to change the date due to lack of a quorum.

Motion to amend. As Council has agreed that there may not be a quorum on January 20, 2009, a motion was made by Ray, seconded by Hill-Evans, to change said Council meeting to Wednesday, January 21, 2009 instead of Tuesday, January 20th. The motion to amend passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

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

Resolution No. 5, Session 2009, (View) A Resolution appointing Bill Schell as a member of Downtown, Inc. (York Business Improvement District Authority) to fill the unexpired term of Mark Clossey, which term shall expire January 1, 2013; and appointing W. Craig Zumbrun as an alternate member of the Historical Architectural Review Board, to fill the unexpired term of Tom Dragoone, which term shall expire the first Monday of January 2011, was introduced by Musso, read at length, and on motion of Musso, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 5 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 6, Session 2009, (View) A Resolution consenting to the following reappointments:

1. Reappointment made by the Mayor of Joseph T. Hand as a member of the York City Sewer Authority Board, which term shall expire January 1, 2014.
2. Reappointment made by the Mayor of Joseph J. Stein as a member of the York City Planning Commission, which term shall expire January 1, 2013.
3. Reappointment made by Council of Jessica Fieldhouse as a member of the Zoning Hearing Board, which term shall expire January 1, 2014.
4. Reappointment made by Council of Gary Geiselman as a member of the Historical Architectural Review Board (recommended by the York County Heritage Trust), which term shall expire the first Monday of January 2014.

Resolution No. 6 was introduced by Musso, read at length, and on motion of Musso, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 6 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

Council thanked all appointments and reappointments for their service to the City of York.

Resolution No. 7, Session 2009, (View) A Resolution authorizing a budget transfer for the Solicitor’s Office in the amount of $528.81 from “litigation” to “books/subscriptions” to fund online legal database access for legal research, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Texter, Resolution No. 7 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

REQUESTS FOR FUTURE MEETINGS

· Police Committee, Cameron Texter, Chair: Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, January 13, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers to discuss Bill No. 58– (View) A Bill amending Article 725 “Firearms & Weapons” to establish regulations for failure to report lost or stolen firearms.

· General Committee Meeting, Joseph R. Musso, Chair: Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers to hear from Michael Gibson, Chairman of the York City Human Relations Commission (YCHRC) and other members of the HRC, discussion on the direction, mission and goals of the YCHRC.

COUNCIL COMMENT

Vice President Hill-Evans invited the public to attend Council meetings and take part in our legislative process.

Councilwoman Smith reiterated Vice-President Hill-Evans comments and said that she has many residents contact her with questions and concerns and she wants our citizens to remember that she is always here to help.

President Musso stated that this is an election year and in the past, there have been people who have used White Rose Community Television during Council’s legislative sessions to hijack our meetings to promote their political agendas. He reminded candidates that Council is a legislative body here to do the business of the people and he said he plans to remain the legislative body of the city without any political shenanigans.

ADMINISTRATION COMMENT: None

NEXT MEETING: The next regular meeting of City Council is scheduled for Wednesday, January 21, 2009 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 January 6, 2009 meeting of Council adjourned at 8:10 p.m.