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City Council Meeting Minutes

May 5, 2009

CALL TO ORDER: City Council convened in a General Committee meeting on Tuesday, May 5, 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

Wylene Sweeney, 135 E. South St., York, PA, said public safety needs to be changed with a sense of urgency because crime is on the rise. She said she has spoken with the Mayor and Police Commissioner regarding concerns she has with crime but has not seen any results. Ms. Sweeney discussed a situation where two checkbooks were found in her mother's yard and she called the police but they didn’t respond. She said she was extremely disturbed by the actions of the police department because she felt a lost and/or stolen checkbook was a serious situation that warranted police attention.

Paul Kicklighter, 431 Linden Avenue, York, PA, spoke about his property located at 431 Linden Avenue, at the corner of North Penn Street. It has been a common occurrence for people to park along the south side of Penn Street, adjacent to his property. Illegal activities often take place there resulting in litter and damage to his property. This area is not paved, but grass has not grown due to the constant vehicular activity. Mr. Kicklighter requests the ability to install a chain and post along the street edge to keep vehicles off of this area. He would also landscape the area at his own expense and provide for continued upkeep. President Musso said that he was aware of the problem and had done an on-site inspection of the site along with the Public Works Director. He stated that since Linden Avenue is scheduled for repaving in 2010, that this problem could possibly be addressed at that time. If not, Mr. Kicklighter could apply to the city for an encroachment agreement to install the requested improvements. President Musso offered to consult with the Public Works Director and inform Mr. Kicklighter of the results.

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.

Executive Session: President Musso announced that Council met in executive session to discuss the Swine Flu and the city's preparedness plan to deal with said virus. Councilwoman Ray was not in attendance for the Executive Session but was later briefed on discussions.

Members of the Administration in attendance included: Dan Robinson, Director of Community Development. Jim Gross, Director of Public Works, Kevin Schreiber, Director of Economic Development, Mark Whitman, Police Commissioner, John Senft, Fire Chief, and Michael O’Rourke, Business Administrator, were absent. Also absent were Assistant Solicitor’s Shaleeta Washington and Don Hoyt.

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

Pledge of Allegiance: Led by George Moore, the Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

Approval of Minutes: A motion was made by Texter, seconded by Ray, to dispense with the reading of the Minutes of April 21, 2009, 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, he announced that the draft Comprehensive Plan can be viewed on the City's website. View Plan

Councilwoman Smith then announced that the city is in receipt of a letter from the U.S. Dept. of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) notifying us that we are in full program compliance and they congratulated us on our accomplishments during the 2008 program year.

PRESENTATIONS

Letter of Recognition: Community Progress Council (CPC) Head Start Program – Councilwoman Genevieve Ray read and presented a Letter of Recognition to Community Progress Council congratulating them for being in full compliance with federal regulations governing its Head Start Program. (Read Letter)

George Moore, Executive Director of CPC and Cathy Kipp, Director of Head Start, were onboard and accepted their letter and thanked Council for the recognition. Mr. Moore and Ms. Kipp then answered questions from Council regarding the Head Start Program.

Pandemic Preparation: Swine Flu – Canceled at the request of Mayor Brenner.

President Musso said he was extremely dismayed by the Mayor's action to cancel this presentation because he feels the public should be made aware of this virus.

Councilman Texter stated that the Mayor had already submitted a press release outlining the Swine Flu and that more information on the virus can be found by visiting the PA Department of Health website at: www.health.state.pa.us.

Councilwoman Smith said the Mayor canceled the presentation because we don’t have all the facts in about this flu. Before full disclosure can be shared, we must get all the facts, she said.

Councilwoman Ray assured residents that there is no need for alarm as there is a framework in place to handle situations such as the Swine Flu.

Vice President Hill-Evans said information on the Swine Flu can also be found on the city's website. (Read about the Swine Flu)

COMMITTEE MEETINGS SCHEDULED: None

COMMITTEE REPORTS: None

SUBDIVISION / LAND DEVELOPMENT / HARB: None

CONSENT AGENDA

Introduction of Bill No. 15, Session 2009, (View) A Bill vacating as a public street right-of-way Kyle Alley between Kurtz Ave. and Dalton Alley, in the 8th Ward of the City of York, was introduced by Ray, read by short title, and deferred until a future meeting of Council. (Note: In accordance with §2916 of the 3rd Class City Code, street vacations must sit for at least 28 days prior to consider of final passage. Therefore, Bill No. 15 will be considered for passage on or after June 3, 2009.)

Introduction of Bill No. 16, Session 2009, (View) A Bill amending the 2009 CDBG Budget for the Bureau of Housing Services in the amount of $113,364.68 to reflect changes resulting from actual funding levels rolled over from 2008, was introduced by Ray, read by short title, and deferred until a future meeting of Council. (Note: Proposed date for adoption is slated for May 20, 2009.)

Introduction of Bill No. 17, Session 2009,(View) A Bill amending the 2009 Budget by appropriating revenue and expenditures in the amount of $175,000 for the Weed & Seed Strategy (WSC) grant for 2008-2009, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read by short title, and deferred until a future meeting of Council. (Note: Proposed date for adoption is slated for May 20, 2009.)

Introduction of Bill No. 18, Session 2009, (View) Amending the York City Budget for the year 2009 by appropriating revenue and expenditures for the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) Weed and Seed Program for 2008-2009, in the amount of $182,000, in three separate grants -- Micro-Enterprises for $23,000; Quality of Life for $84,000; and Delinquency Prevention for $75,000, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read by short title, and deferred until a future meeting of Council. (Note: Proposed date for adoption is slated for May 20, 2009.)

FINAL PASSAGE OF BILLS / RESOLUTIONS

Final Passage of Bill No. 14, Ordinance No. 15, Session 2009, (View) A Bill amending the 2009 Budget to appropriate additional revenue in the amount of $300,000.00 for the Public Works Department for the 2009 Street Improvements Project, which was introduced by Smith at the April 21, 2009 meeting of Council, read by short title, and briefly discussed, came up for final passage. On motion of Smith, seconded by Texter, Bill No. 14, Ordinance No. 15, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

NEW BUSINESS

Resolution No. 62, Session 2009, (View) A Resolution authorizing conditional letters of employment as probationary police officers be sent to candidates as selected from the Police Civil Service Eligibility List, which reflects 276 candidates, was introduced by Texter, read at length, and on motion of Texter, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 62 came up for discussion.

Councilman Texter outlined the procedures involved with police officer appointments and said Council has voted on this type of legislation many times in the past. He said the city and school district are currently in discussions on employing additional police officers in the schools. If an agreement is approved, then additional officers will be hired.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 62 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 63, Session 2009, (View) A Resolution authorizing a sidewalk cafe agreement with the Yorktowne Hotel to erect a sidewalk cafe within the improved sidewalk area adjacent to the building line of 48 E. Market St., was introduced by Ray, read at length, and on motion of Ray, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 63 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 64, Session 2009, (View) A Resolution authorizing the filing of a proposal for funds in the amount of $693,600.00 with the U.S. Dept. of Housing & Urban Development for Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program funds, was introduced by Texter, read at length, and on motion of Texter, seconded by Smith, Resolution No. 64 came up for discussion.

Director Robinson explained that these funds will be used to provide financial assistance and services to prevent individuals and families from becoming homeless and help those who are experiencing homelessness to be re-housed and stabilized. He said we are currently researching our needs to allow the maximum return on these dollars. Some of the services that could be provided include short to medium term rental assistance, utility payments, moving cost assistance, and case management. The application deadline is set for May 18th, which is why this legislation appears on the agenda this evening, stated Director Robinson.

President Musso added that program guidelines stipulate that at least 60% of the $693,600.00 must be spent within two years of the program with all funds being spent within three years.

A brief discussion ensued regarding homelessness in York City, prevention programs, related services, and how this program could impact the city as a whole.

Director Robinson said qualified individuals interested in receiving services may contact the Bureau of Housing Services at (717) 849-2264.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 64 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

REQUESTS FOR FUTURE MEETINGS: None

COUNCIL COMMENT

President Musso announced that the next Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, May 20, 2009 as Tuesday, May 19th Council will be observing the Primary Election.

ADMINISTRATION COMMENT

Director Robinson relayed that the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced that the City of York was awarded CDBG funds in the amount of $1,691,884.00 and HOME funds in the amount of $553,096.

Director Robinson also reported that the City of York is partnering with Capitol Copy Services to make the draft Comprehensive Plan available on CD at a cost of $5.00 each. The draft plan may also be viewed on the city's website FREE at www.yorkcity.org. (View Plan)

NEXT MEETING: The next regular meeting of City Council is scheduled for Wednesday, May 20, 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 May 5, 2009 meeting of Council adjourned at 8:02 p.m.