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City Council Meeting Minutes

November 4, 2009

CALL TO ORDER: City Council convened in a General Committee meeting on Wednesday, November 4, 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, Carol Hill-Evans, Vice President, and Joseph R. Musso, President, with President Musso presiding. Councilwoman Toni Smith was absent due to illness. Mayor John Brenner was not present.

GENERAL PUBLIC COMMENT

Jeff Kirkland, 465 W. Market St., York, PA, discussed predatory towing and suggested that the police use a loud speaker to warn cars to move.

Howard Carter, 21 S. Pine St., York, PA, pleaded with the city to replace the parking meters on Pine St.

Patricia Maher, 147 S. Pershing Ave., York, PA, said the problem she discussed at the September 15th Council meeting regarding her neighbor has been resolved and she thanked Council for addressing the issue.

Michael Helfrich, Cookes House, York, PA, announced an open house for his Cookes property located on King Park on November 15th which will take place after the Colonial Courthouse events. For more information please call 779-7915. Next, Mr. Helfrich expressed dismay over a newspaper article in which he read that public access television is being cut from programming. He said he's outraged about this development and pleaded with the city to save public access.

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, Carol Hill-Evans, Vice President, and Joseph R. Musso, President, with President Musso presiding. Councilwoman Toni Smith was absent due to illness. Mayor John Brenner was not present.

Members of the Administration in attendance included: Dan Robinson, Director of Community Development and Brian Davidson, Deputy Director, Bureau of Housing Services. 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 Solicitors Shaleeta Washington and Don Hoyt.

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

Pledge of Allegiance: Led by Michael Helfrich, 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 October 20, 2009, and approve them as written. The motion passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Musso – 4; Nays – 0.

Correspondence and Announcements: President Musso, Vice President Hill-Evans, and Councilwoman Ray read correspondence and announcements. Specifically, Councilwoman Ray discussed HB1858, an Act authorizing counties to impose sales, use and occupancy taxes by granting a county the power to levy, assess and collect the sales and use tax on tangible personal property and services at a rate of 1%. She asked if Council would be agreeable to sending a letter supporting this legislation. Council agreed and Councilman Texter said he would draft a letter as soon as possible on behalf of Council.

President Musso then discussed SB900, an Act amending Title 53 (Municipalities Generally) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, providing for neighborhood blight reclamation and revitalization. He said he would send a copy of the Bill to Council and asked for their feedback in support of or against the legislation. If in support, he said he would seek approval to send a letter on behalf of Council supporting this legislation.

PRESENTATIONS: None

COMMITTEE MEETINGS SCHEDULED

Comprehensive Plan 2030: 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. Council will consider passage of the Plan at its November 19, 2009 meeting beginning at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers. (View Plan)

COMMITTEE REPORTS: None

SUBDIVISION / LAND DEVELOPMENT / HARB
Resolution No. 133, Session 2009, (View) A Resolution accepting the recommendations of HARB in issuing a certificate of appropriateness for work to be covered in the following applications as recommended and approved by HARB: Slonaker-McCall Architects for work to be done at 381 W. Market St., was introduced by Ray, read at length, and on motion of Ray, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 133 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Musso – 4; Nays – 0.

CONSENT AGENDA: None

FINAL PASSAGE OF BILLS / RESOLUTIONS: None

NEW BUSINESS

Resolution No. 134, Session 2009, (View) A Resolution authorizing a budget transfer in the amount of $3,320.00 for the Department of Fire/Rescue Services to cover expenses for vehicle repair services, was introduced by Ray, read at length, and on motion of Ray, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 134 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Musso – 4; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 135, Session 2009, (View) A Resolution approving the Consolidated Plan 2010-2014 and the 2010 Annual Action Plan, was introduced by Ray, read at length, and on motion of Ray, seconded by Texter, Resolution No. 135 came up for discussion.

Brian Davidson, Director of the Bureau of Housing Services, outlined the Consolidated Plan and Annual Action Plan. He said these plans represent community eligible programs that are being recommended for funding. Any changes to the plans may be made before the deadline. He said our allocation would probably come in around March or April 2010. He stated that staff will work to readjust dollar amounts once we realize how much money we will actually be granted. He then discussed the allocation process.

Motion to amend. Councilwoman Ray discussed changes should would like to recommend to the Consolidated Plan and therefore made a motion to amend the plan as follows:

Page 2 of Section #1 – Bottom of page, under Community Development Needs, add language as follows:

7. Micro-Enterprise Assistance and other Economic Development Initiatives

Add 8. Preservation of Historic Resources

Page 43 ,under Identify Any Obstacles to Meeting Under-served Needs

3rd Bullet from bottom: change the word “duplicitous” to “duplicative”

Last bullet: strike this paragraph, as it appears to be an undocumented opinion


The motion to amend was seconded by Texter and came up for discussion.

President Musso questioned why Council received the plans so late and that the copy he received was missing pages.

Director Davidson apologized for the missing pages but said the primary person working on the document caught the Swine Flu, which was the cause for delay.

Blanda Nace, 144 Roosevelt Ave., York, PA, commented on the changes and asked if these amendments would also be made to the Action Plan. Councilwoman Ray requested that if this information appears in both documents then both documents should be amended.

Tom Foust, York, PA, said his concern is that HARB must comply with the Secretary of Interiors Guidelines for Historic Preservation and that the use of block grant funds must be expended in compliance with Section 106 and therefore there should be no issues.

Vote on motion. After a brief discussion on the changes, the motion to amend passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Musso – 4; Nays – 0.

Councilwoman Ray then discussed the 2010 Annual Action Plan. She asked exactly what is to be done at the Dutch Kitchen that would warrant $60,000.00 for a rental unit. Staff from the Dutch Kitchen outlined that these funds will be used to rehabilitate the structure, not a unit. Specific renovations were then discussed.

Motion to amend. A motion was made by Ray, seconded by Texter, to amend Appendix “O”, Page 6: to change “number of rental units” to “number of structures” (Dutch Kitchen). The motion passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Musso – 4; Nays – 0.

Next, Councilwoman Ray suggested removing funding from First Tee Youth Recreation Program in the amount of $1,500 and from Wellington Youth Program in the amount of $500. She said she would like to shift this funding to support activities at the Northeast Neighborhood Association as they provide a food and clothing bank serving 4,500 to 5,000 families annually, and provides youth programs serving 31 to 41 children weekly/monthly.

Councilwoman Ray went on to say she is having a hard time justifying the use of funds for First Tee and Wellington Youth Programs when we aren't providing any funds to the Northeast Neighborhood Association. She said Wellington serves 40 children annually and First Tee serves 15 children annually, whereas the NE Neighborhood Association serves nearly 5,000 people annually and 41 children monthly. Councilwoman Ray said she just does not understand how the NE Neighborhood Association wasn't recommended for funding when they provide services to a larger group of people.

President Musso defended First Tee and explained that they teach kids to golf and he has found it to be a worthwhile program as it serves many inner city youth. He said this program also requires matching funds in order to qualify for funding under the Tiger Woods Program. As for Wellington, he said they also provide needed services to inner city youth. He said we have given money to the NE Neighborhood in the past and they do receive other funding. Though he agrees the NE Neighborhood Association does a fantastic job, he still would like allocations to remain as-is.

Discussion ensued on these organizations and the programs offered.

Vice President Hill-Evans said if we were giving the NE Neighborhood seed money in the past, why stop now.

Director Robinson said if additional funding is received the NE Neighborhood Association would be on the top of the list to receiving funding.

Vice President Hill-Evans said she would like to fund the NE Neighborhood now and place Wellington and First Tee on the waiting list should we receive additional funding.

Tom Foust, York, PA, discussed the services and staff that make up the Northeast Neighborhood Association and provided a funding history. He said they have brought so much into this impoverished neighborhood and the association has proven itself over and over again. He said he feels there is adequate funding in Program Income to fund all of these programs.

Mr. Foust then discussed the Citizen Participation Plan process, which needs to more proactive and more specific in outlining low income needs. Additionally, he said any amendments to the plan should require a public hearing, which should be publicly advertised and held during hours in which the public can actually attend. Mr. Foust stated that the Consolidated Plan and Action Plan should be consistent with both coming before Council for approval at the same time.

President Musso asked if there was a list of recipients to receive funding should we be granted additional money. Director Davidson said there is a list. President Musso requested that Council receive a copy of that list. Director Davidson said he would comply.

Director Robinson responded to Mr. Foust's comment about advertising and public participation and said they have gone through extensive measures to ensure the public was notified of the public hearings and adoption process, with little attendance.

Councilwoman Ray said that after hearing discussion, she feels Wellington and First Tee could be placed on the waiting list for funding and therefore, would like to follow through with a motion to amend.

Vice President Hill-Evans asked if we could designate the $500 (Wellington) for a particular use. Director Davidson said funds would be used for eligible activities as determined by staff.

Director Davidson said Wellington was not recommended for funding by the Advisory Council but was given $500 as a show of good faith. He said they were actually asking for a lot more.

Councilman Texter said he just received a phone call on his cell from Councilwoman Smith who said Wellington serves children in the Northeast Neighborhood and would indirectly receive funding anyway if this money was given to the NE Neighborhood Association.

Councilwoman Ray asked if the next administration would be able to amend the plan. Director Davidson said he feels the amendment earlier to add “economic development” is so broad that amendments can surely be made.

Motion to amend. A motion was made by Ray, seconded by Texter, to remove $1,500 in funding from First Tee, and $500 from Wellington, and allocate $2,000 to the Northeast Neighborhood Association. The motion to amend was defeated by the following vote: Yeas – Ray – 1; Nays – Hill-Evans, Texter, Musso – 3. Therefore, the motion to amend did not pass.

Vice President Hill-Evans said she voted against Councilwoman Ray's amendment because Council approved a 20 year lease agreement with Wellington for Allen Field in which they said they can raise $1 million in donations and sponsorships to renovate Allen Field so why give them $500. She said it just doesn't make sense. She said if we remove the $500 allocation from Wellington, where would the money go. Director Davidson said wherever Council sees fit or we could submit the plan to HUD without the $500 allocation.

Councilman Texter said appropriating Wellington $500 shows a good faith effort and commitment on the our part. He said we should not be arguing over such a small amount of money.

Motion to amend. Vice President Hill-Evans made a motion to remove $500 from the Wellington Youth Program based on her previous comment. The motion to amend was seconded by Ray, and defeated by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans – 2; Nays – Texter, Musso – 2. As there was a tie, the motion did not pass.

Next, Jake Roming, Liaison to Foundry Plaza, thanked the city for their support and asked if Recapture the Riverfront could be mentioned in the plan.

Director Davidson asked Mr. Roming to email him more information on the project for his review and consideration.

Council agreed that it would be appropriate to make Recapture the Riverfront part of the plan.

Motion to amend. A motion was made by Ray to add Recapture the Riverfront to the plan, which was seconded by Hill-Evans, and passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Musso – 4; Nays – 0.

There being no further discussion, on motion of Ray, seconded by Texter, Resolution No. 134, as amended, came up for passage. The motion was defeated by the following vote: Yeas – Texter, Musso – 2; Nays – Ray, Hill-Evans – 2. As there was a tie, the motion to approve did not pass.

President Musso asked what needs to be done to get this plan approved. Councilwoman Ray said if it is guaranteed that amendments can be made to the plan and that she would commit herself to make needed changes, then she would change her vote.

Therefore, on motion of Texter, seconded by Ray, Resolution No. 134, as amended, finally passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Texter, Musso – 3; Nays – Hill-Evans – 1.

Councilwoman Ray asked Bureau of Housing Services staff to submit applications, amounts, staff notes and recommendations to Council to help them make decisions on programs to be funded. Director Davidson said he would provide that information to Council.

Craig Zumbrun, Housing Authority, stated that they also go through a similar process and that it is difficult to cast a long, wide net. He encouraged Council to come up with a long-term strategy for housing and economic development.

REQUESTS FOR FUTURE MEETINGS: None

COUNCIL COMMENT: None


ADMINISTRATION COMMENT: None

NEXT MEETING: The next regular meeting of City Council is scheduled for Thursday, November 19, 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 November 4, 2009 meeting of Council adjourned at 9:08 p.m.