Follow us on Twitter Friend us on Facebook Receive City Updates
{ Live, work, play in York. }

City Council Meeting Minutes

October 20, 2009

CALL TO ORDER: City Council convened in a General Committee meeting on Tuesday, October 20, 009 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. Note: The meeting began late as the 6:00 p.m. Business Administration Committee meeting went longer than anticipated.

GENERAL PUBLIC COMMENT

Steve Young, 9 N. Newberry St., York, PA, said the Oyster Fest celebration was moved to the Agricultural Warehouse and there was a great turnout. Unfortunately, he said the raising ceremony didn't take place. Mr. Young feels there needs to be a flag flying in the historic district and offered to hoist one if given the opportunity. Next, Mr. Young spoke about a 20 year old young man that will spend the next 20 years in jail for beating a 73 year old man. He discussed the circumstances behind the crime and the consequences. He said the beating took place at a property owned by the victim, in which he is a landlord, and now the victim might be assessed points under the nuisance abatement law. He said this is one of the unfortunately consequences of that law and he feels the law should be revisited. Mr. Young said giving sole discretion to one person in assessing points under this law is not appropriate.

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. Also present was Assistant Solicitor Shaleeta Washington. Dan Robinson, Director of Community Development, Kevin Schreiber, 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: Led by Police Sergeant Craig Losty, the Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

Approval of Minutes: A motion was made by Texter seconded by Smith, to dispense with the reading of the Minutes of October 6, 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.

Vice President Hill-Evans read a letter from a resident discussing problems with the Mayor's ticket and tow program. The resident, in part, discussed the financial hardship it causes residents and the lack of transportation to and from work as a result of being ticketed and towed. The resident was under the impression that the ticket and tow program was an ordinance.

President Musso said he did reply to this resident as he also received a copy of her letter. He said City Council has not implemented a ticket and tow ordinance though we do have a general towing ordinance. He said the ticket and tow program was created by the Mayor and that the resident should share her concerns about the program with the Mayor and Mayoral candidates.

PRESENTATIONS

Councilwoman Smith asked Mrs. Ramona Lopez the widow of Mr. Angel Blanco-Hernandez to approach the podium. Mr. Blanco-Hernandez was tragically killed in a car accident when his vehicle was hit by a man fleeing in a stolen car. Councilwoman Smith presented Mrs. Lopez with a monetary donation which she collected to help the widow and her family during this trying time. Mrs. Lopez thanked Councilwoman Smith for the donation and said she wouldn't wish this kind of pain on anyone.

COMMITTEE MEETINGS SCHEDULED

Councilwoman Ray announced that a public meeting will be held on November 10, 2009 beginning at 7:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers, 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, York, PA, to discuss and receive public comment on the York City Strategic Comprehensive Plan 2030. City Council will hold a subsequent public hearing to further discuss the 2030 plan at 6:00 p.m. on November 17, 2009 in City Council Chambers with consideration of adoption of the plan at Council’s regularly scheduled meeting on the same night beginning at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers. (View Plan)

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Business Administration Committee, Vice President Carol Hill-Evans, Chair: Vice President Hill-Evans announced that a B.A. Committee meeting was held this evening, Tuesday, October 20, 2009 at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers to discuss Bill No. 37, Session 2009, (View) - A Bill amending Article 169 “Police Officer's Pension Fund”; Bill No. 38, Session 2009, (View) - A Bill amending Article 171 “Firefighter's Pension Fund”; and Bill No. 39, Session 2009, (View) - A Bill amending Article 167 “Officer's and Employees Pension Fund” of the Codified Ordinances to comply with the requirements of the Internal Revenue Code as they pertain to the deferred taxability of the pension benefits accrued. Vice President Hill-Evans reported that Mr. David Killick of Conrad Siegal, the city's actuary firm, and Business Administrator Michael O'Rourke, were present and added to discussion. She reported that questions still exist and, therefore, Council will schedule a subsequent committee meeting to further discuss these ordinances. A meeting date has not been determined at this point.

SUBDIVISION / LAND DEVELOPMENT / HARB

Resolution No. 126, Session 2009, (View) A Resolution accepting the recommendations of HARB in issuing a permit to Steve Cottrill for work to be done at 309 E. Market St., Dr. Kelly Hollis for work to be done at 484-486 W. Market St., Dan Hevner for work to be done at 319 W. Princess St., and Dennis Kunkle for work to be done at 442 W. Philadelphia St., was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Texter, Resolution No. 126 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 127, Session 2009, (View) A Resolution denying a Certificate of Appropriateness for work to be covered in application 47-09H-A as filed by Strategic Investments LLC for work to be done at 135 S. Queen St. to wrap facade windows and door surrounds with aluminum; and approving a Certificate of Appropriateness for work to be covered in application 47-09H-B as filed by Strategic Investments LLC for work to be done at 135 S. Queen St. to install new fencing, was introduced by Musso, read at length, and on motion of Musso, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 127 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 128, Session 2009, (View) A Resolution denying a Certificate of Appropriateness for work to be covered in application 48-09H filed by Wallace Street Associates to install 17 vinyl windows at 19 N. Broad St., was introduced by Musso, read at length, and on motion of Musso, seconded by Ray, Resolution No. 128 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

CONSENT AGENDA: NONE

FINAL PASSAGE OF BILLS / RESOLUTIONS

A motion was made by Texter, seconded by Ray, to have the following Bills remain in the Business Administration Committee for further discussion:

Bill No. 37, Session 2009, (View) - A Bill amending Article 169 “Police Officer's Pension Fund”; Bill No. 38, Session 2009, (View) - A Bill amending Article 171 “Firefighter's Pension Fund”; and Bill No. 39, Session 2009, (View) - A Bill amending Article 167 “Officer's and Employees Pension Fund” of the Codified Ordinances. All Bills are being amended in order to comply with the requirements of the Internal Revenue Code as they pertain to the deferred taxability of the pension benefits accrued.

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

NEW BUSINESS

Resolution No. 129, Session 2009, (View) A Resolution consenting to the appoint by the Mayor of Richard L. Miller as an alternate member of the Nuisance Abatement Board of Appeals, which term shall expire April 1, 2010, and Kerryn E. Fulton as a member of the Construction Board of Adjustment and Appeals, which term shall expire March 1, 2011, was introduced by Musso, read at length, and on motion of Musso, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 129 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 130, Session 2009, (View) A Resolution authorizing a 20-year land lease agreement with Wellington Youth Sports and Recreation, Inc. for a portion of Allen Park, was introduced by Smith, read at length, and on motion of Smith, seconded by Texter, Resolution No. 130 came up for discussion.

Public Works Director Jim Gross explained that this is a 20-year land lease agreement for the portion of Allen Park situated along Hay and Tremont Streets. He said it is contemplated that Wellington will construct an artificial turf football field with bleachers, a restroom / concession stand and related facilities. Wellington will have 30 months to obtain enough funds to construct the football field and related facilities. If they are unable to meet the terms of the agreement, Wellington nor the City will have any further rights or obligations under this agreement. Mr. Gross further explained that Wellington will pay to the city annual rent in the sum of $1.00.

President Musso asked who will have specific rights to the field. Director Gross said Wellington will have specific rights to the field.

Vice President Hill-Evans asked what happens if Wellington disbands. Director Gross said that is outlined in the lease agreement whereby Wellington would have to restore the land back to its original condition and anything left on the lot would become the property of the city.

Councilwoman Ray asked what is the public interest in allowing Wellington to lease this land and does the neighborhood know they will be losing the use of this field. Director Gross replied that the public interest is the improvements because currently this lot is in bad shape and is unsafe. He said other recreation organizations, as approved by Wellington, will be able to use the field as well.

Councilwoman Ray asked if a developer's agreement should accompany this lease. She said she admires Wellington for what they are doing but feels a development plan is needed. Councilman Texter interjected that this is a just a lease agreement, which is similar to the lease agreement with the YMCA for the pool. Councilwoman Ray responded that this is a major proposal and she feels we should have a written plan.

Discussion ensued on the lease agreement and possession of the land and whether the city would lose its rights to the property.

Assistant Solicitor Shaleeta Washington said there are many opportunities for the city to terminate the agreement, which is basically covered in Article 16 of the agreement. She said we have an equitable interest once Council approves but Wellington won't have control of the land until they have met all terms of the agreement.

Councilwoman Smith asked Assistant Solicitor Washington if the city was protected under this agreement. Ms. Washington responded that the city is protected.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 130 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Musso – 4; Abstained – Smith – 1; Nays – 0. Councilwoman Smith abstained as she serves on the Board of Directors for Wellington Youth Sports and Recreation.

Resolution No. 131 Session 2009, (View) A Resolution authorizing an agreement between the City of York and Drakontas for the York County Quick Response Team (QRT) project for the amount of $290,000.00 in grant funding from the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) and an agreement between the City of York and the County of York for $10,000.00 in grant funding from the USDOJ to administer said grant, was introduced by Texter, read at length, and on motion of Texter, seconded by Smith, Resolution No. 131 came up for discussion.

Sgt. Craig Losty, York City Police Dept., was onboard and outlined the grant and the QRT program. He said this is a $300,000.00 USDOJ grant through Senator Robert Casey's office which will be used to implement programs under the York County Quick Response Team (QRT). He said $290,000.00 of these funds will used to purchase laptop computers, and DragonForce software and licensing from Drakontas. Additionally, the remaining $10,000.00 of the grant will be used to secure an agreement with the County of York to administer the grant – basically meaning they will do all of the paperwork. Sgt. Losty said the city is in essence serving as a bank of sorts for this money and no taxpayer dollars will be utilized. Sgt. Losty then outlined the benefits of the computer system and software and said York will be the first tactical team in the county to use this technology. Sgt. Losty then answered a few questions from Council about the QRT program and grant funding.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 131 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 132, Session 2009, (View) A Resolution authorizing an encroachment agreement with White Rose City Cafe for a sidewalk cafe to be situated within the public right of way adjacent to the building line of 1 E. Market St., was introduced by Ray, read at length, and on motion of Ray, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 132 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

REQUESTS FOR FUTURE MEETINGS

A public meeting will be held on November 10, 2009 beginning at 7:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers, 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, York, PA, to discuss and receive public comment on the York City Strategic Comprehensive Plan 2030. City Council will hold a subsequent public hearing to further discuss the 2030 plan at 6:00 p.m. on November 17, 2009 in City Council Chambers with consideration of adoption of the plan at Council’s regularly scheduled meeting on the same night beginning at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers. (View Plan)

Business Administration Committee, Vice President Carol Hill-Evans, Chair: Meeting pending to further discuss Bill No. 37, Session 2009, (View) - A Bill amending Article 169 “Police Officer's Pension Fund”; Bill No. 38, Session 2009, (View) - A Bill amending Article 171 “Firefighter's Pension Fund”; and Bill No. 39, Session 2009, (View) - A Bill amending Article 167 “Officer's and Employees Pension Fund” of the Codified Ordinances. All Bills are being amended in order to comply with the requirements of the Internal Revenue Code as they pertain to the deferred taxability of the pension benefits accrued - PENDING

Council's 2010 Proposed Budget Meetings – PENDING

COUNCIL COMMENT: None

ADMINISTRATION COMMENT: None

NEXT MEETING: The next regular meeting of City Council is scheduled for Wednesday, November 4, 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. (Tuesday, November 3, 2009 is the General Election, therefore Council will hold its meeting on Wednesday, November 4th.)

ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business, the October 20, 2009 meeting of Council adjourned at 8:47 p.m.