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City Council Meeting Minutes

December 15, 2009

CALL TO ORDER: City Council convened in a General Committee meeting on Tuesday, December 15, 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

Henry Nixon, 165 Springdale Rd., York, PA, congratulated Council President Musso and Councilman Texter for their years of service to the City of York and wished them well on their departure from city government.

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 also present.

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

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

Pledge of Allegiance: Led by Catherine & Joey Musso, 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 December 1, 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.

PRESENTATIONS:

Vice President Hill-Evans and Councilwoman Genevieve Ray read at length and presented Council President Musso and Councilman Texter with Letters of Recognition for their years of service to the York Community. (Read Musso Recognition)(Read Texter Recognition) Councilwoman Ray then presented both Councilmen with farewell gifts given on behalf of herself, Council Vice President Hill-Evans, Councilwoman Smith, Councilman-Elect Henry Nixon, and City Clerk Dianna L. Thompson.

Councilwomen Hill-Evans, Ray, and Smith and City Clerk Dianna L. Thompson briefly reminisced on years past and congratulated both for their outstanding service and dedication to the City of York.

Mayor Brenner then presented Council President Musso and Councilman Texter with Keys to the City plaques and spoke many kind words. He applauded their professionalism and contributions in making York a better place to live, work and play.

Council President Musso and Councilman Texter individually thanked Council, Council-Elect, Mayor Brenner and the City Clerk for the recognition and gifts and both spoke about their years of service and gratitude to the citizens of York for their support over the years.

COMMITTEE MEETINGS SCHEDULED: None

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Realty Transfer Tax: Councilman Texter gave a brief report on the Realty Transfer Tax legislation, which he introduced in June 2008. Though the legislation will be allowed to die, he encouraged the new Council and Mayor to reconsider this legislation. Councilman Texter said the purpose of the Realty Transfer Tax is to impose a 1% tax on qualified properties as a means to generate revenue. He said it is hoped the revenue generated from this tax would be used to secure more public safety positions or other desirable services.

SUBDIVISION / LAND DEVELOPMENT / HARB

Resolution No. 153, Session 2009, (View) A Resolution accepting the recommendations of HARB in issuing a certificate of appropriateness for work to be covered in the applications filed by Washington & Dowling Contractors for work to be done at 469 W. Market St., and L&M Rentals, LLC for work to be done at 32-40 W. King St. (former Central Public School), was introduced by Musso, read at length, and on motion of Musso, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 153 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

CONSENT AGENDA: None

FINAL PASSAGE OF BILLS / RESOLUTIONS

Final Passage of Resolution No. 152, Session 2009, (View) A Resolution amending a list of fees to be imposed for Article 1105 “Licensing” of the Codified Ordinances relating to licensing and inspection of food products, which was introduced by Ray at the December 1, 2009 meeting of Council, read in brief, and deferred, came up for final passage. On motion of Ray, seconded by Texter, Resolution No. 152 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 154, Session 2009, (View) A Resolution amending Bill No. 33 of Session 2009 to define “Halfway House” was introduced by Texter, read by short title, and on motion of Texter, seconded by Ray, Resolution No. 154 came up for discussion.

Councilman Texter said this Resolution will amend Bill No. 33, which will be considered next on the agenda. The amendment will define Halfway House, which was not defined in the original Bill.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 154 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

Final Passage of Bill No. 33, Ordinance No. 40, Session 2009, (View) A Bill amending Article 1761 “Licensing & Inspection of Tenant Occupied Residential and all Institutional Occupancies” of the Codified Ordinances to establish restrictions on the operation of halfway houses, prisons, jails, and similar facilities, which was introduced by Texter at the September 1, 2009 meeting of Council, read by short title and amended (Resolution No. 154), came up for final passage. On motion of Texter, seconded by Hill-Evans, Bill No. 33 came up for discussion.

Councilman Texter explained that this legislation seeks to place restrictions on facilities for criminals, including halfway houses and prisons, within the City of York. The Bill would ban the operation of such facilities within 500 feet of a residence or 1,500 feet near a park, library, community center and other facilities. He said York has more than done its part in the rehabilitation field with the existing facilities licensed and operating in the City and that these facilities can best operate elsewhere outside of York's historic areas, business districts and neighborhoods. Additionally, with the adoption of Resolution No. 154, the definition of “Halfway House”, which was defined by the Solicitor's Office, is now included in the legislation.

Chief Senft said his concern with this Bill is the codification and its relationship to Article 1761. He said he believes that if adopted, this should be placed in Part 13 as the regulation of this type more closely resembles a zoning issue rather than a building issue. Chief Senft stated that another option may be to make it a free standing article. However, he said it should not be incorporated into Article 1761 because doing so would only provide confusion to what is now a reasonably definable and clear standard as referenced by the International Code Council.

Councilman Texter asked Assistant Solicitor Hoyt if there would be any problem incorporating this legislation into Article 1761. Assistant Solicitor Hoyt said there would be no problem doing that.

Leanne Strine, Continental Rd., York, PA, spoke in support of Bill No. 33. However, she said she feels facilities such as those outlined in the ordinance would best be served in a county atmosphere as this would best serve the tenants and their treatment and/or rehabilitation needs.

There being on further discussion, Bill No. 33, Ordinance No. 40, as amended by Resolution No. 154, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

Consent Agenda. A motion was made by Texter, seconded by Hill-Evans to consider Bill No.'s 40-41 as a consent agenda. The motion passed unanimously. Therefore, Bills 40-41 came up for final passage.

Final Passage of Bill No. 40, Ordinance No. 41, Session 2009, (View) A Bill adopting the year 2010 York City Budget with appropriations totaling $37,575,057.00, which was introduced by Hill-Evans, at the November 19, 2009 meeting of Council, and read by short title, came up for final passage.

Final Passage of Bill No. 41, Ordinance No. 42, Session 2009, (View) A Bill fixing the tax rate for the year 2010 (.01546 mils on each dollar of assessed valuation - $15.64), which was introduced by Hill-Evans at the November 19, 2009 meeting of Council, and read by short title, came up for final passage.

On motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Texter, Bill No.'s 41 and 42 came up for discussion.

Mayor Brenner thanked Council and his Budget Team for the entire year 2010 budget process and said he hopes Council will support it.

President Musso stated the 2010 Budget does not include a tax increase and that he is pleased to consider its passage.

Councilman Texter outlined the budget process and asked that the new Mayor and Council consider reopening the budget in 2010 to consider the Realty Transfer Tax discussed earlier. He said tough decisions have been made over the years and the budget process is never easy. He said he feels the city has also made sure we remain in the best fiscal position possible to retain services that our residents have come to expect.

Business Administrator O'Rourke added that he is very pleased to present this budget, especially since there is no tax increase being proposed. He said it is a challenge to provide services without increasing taxes but he's pleased that they were able to do so.

Councilwoman Smith said she is also pleased with this budget and although she would have liked to have seen more public safety positions secured, she's very happy to approve a budget with no tax increase.

A brief discussion ensued with the Mayor providing budget highlights, revenue streams, and future redevelopment projects.

There being no further discussion, Bill No. 40, Ordinance No. 41, and Bill No. 41, Ordinance No. 42, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

Motion to table Bill No. 43. A motion was made by Texter, seconded by Ray, to table Bill No. 43, (View) A Bill amending Article 1731 “Historic York” of the Codified Ordinances to update HARB requirements, amend enforcement provisions, and establish minimum maintenance, violations and penalty requirements, which was introduced by Texter at the December 1, 2009 meeting of Council, and read by short title, came up for discussion.

Councilman Texter explained that he and Councilwoman Ray have been in discussions with Historic York and based on additional comments and recommendations from the HARB, which included changes recommended by the state historical preservation office, it was felt that it would be best to allow this legislation to die with further review and reconsideration in 2010.

There being no further discussion, the motion to table Bill No. 43 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0. Therefore, Bill No. 43 will be allowed to die.

Final Passage of Bill No. 44, Ordinance No. 43, Session 2009, (View) A Bill amending the 2009 Budget and Action plan to reflect changes resulting from previous years for Community Housing Development Organization Corporation funds for the Y-Community Development Corporation (Salem Square Project) from 2009 HOME funds ($217,036.00), which was introduced by Ray at the December 1, 2009 meeting of Council and read by short title, came up for final passage. On motion of Ray, seconded by Hill-Evans, Bill No. 44, Ordinance No. 43, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

NEW BUSINESS

Note: Items were considered out of sequence from the printed agenda.

Resolution No. 155, Session 2009, (View) A Resolution authorizing a Redevelopment Contract between the York City Redevelopment Authority, Kinsley Equities, and Enterprise NWT, related to the Northwest Triangle Project, was introduced by Musso, read in brief, and on motion of Musso, seconded by Texter, Resolution No. 155 came up for discussion.

President Musso explained that Council was emailed three documents regarding the development of the Northwest Triangle (NWT). The first was a Memorandum of Understanding (MOA) that was signed by all parties and approved by City Council in 2006. That document laid out the ground rules for site preparation of the NWT that would prepare it for development. Site preparation is now coming to fruition, he said, and it is time for the next step in the process, the Development Contract, which details the responsibilities of all parties and binds them legally and financially to the project. The second document showed the additions and deletions during the process. The third was the recommended final version that is being presented by the RDA tonight for Council's consideration.

Further, President Musso explained that Kevin Schreiber, Director of Economic Development, has been negotiating this contract for well over a year now with the parties involved – those being Enterprise Homes (residential developer), Kinsley Equities (commercial developer) and the York City Redevelopment Authority (RDA). As in any contract negotiations, there are terms that are requested by one entity that may not be acceptable to another. Therefore, President Musso asked if the Administration is happy with this contract.

Mayor Brenner responded that this has been a long process with negotiations having been made in good faith. He said the city is ready to move forward and he feels this is a great project that will help to make York a better community.

Director Kevin Schreiber outlined the contract, MOA and obligations. He said to date, obligations have been met and it is with great pleasure that they present this contract to Council.

Bob Kinsley, Kinsley Equities, introduced his staff and thanked Council for their consideration. He said Kinsley will be doing the commercial phase of this project and they are anxious and ready to move forward.

Mr. Kinsley and his staff answered project questions from Council.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 155 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 156, Session 2009, (View) A Resolution establishing the Reorganization meeting of Council for January 4, 2010 at 4:00 p.m. in Council Chambers, 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, York, PA, for the purpose of reorganization and certain business as may come before Council, was introduced by Musso, read at length, and on motion of Musso, seconded by Ray, Resolution No. 156 came up for discussion.

Councilwoman Ray said that after discussing dates and times with Council and Council-Elect, they decided that a 4:00 p.m. meeting time would be appropriate as there will be various evening celebratory events taking place on this day in which the Council is invited and would like to attend. As required by law, she said, the reorganization meeting of Council must take place on the first Monday in January following a municipal election, which is why they will be meeting on Monday, January 4, 2010.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 156 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 157, Session 2009, (View) A Resolution consenting to the appointments made by the Mayor to the York Business Improvement District Authority (aka Downtown Inc.): Michael Heine, which term shall expire December 31, 2014; Juddson A. Lando, which term shall expire January 1, 2015; and Greg Vojtanek, which term shall expire January 1, 2015, was introduced by Musso, read at length, and on motion of Musso, seconded by Texter, Resolution No. 157 came up for discussion.

Kim Lentz, Chair of Downtown Inc., thanked Mayor Brenner and Council for considering these appointments. She said all three candidates have impressive backgrounds and they look forward to Council approving them. She then relayed that they have changed their monthly meeting schedule and will now meet the 2nd Wednesday of each month at the Stock & Leader Building, 221 W. Philadelphia St., York, PA.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 157 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 158, Session 2009, (View) A Resolution authorizing an agreement with Metropolitan Edison Company for the upgrade of 112 streetlights, was introduced by Smith, read at length, and on motion of Smith, seconded by Texter, Resolution No. 158 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 159, Session 2009, (View) A Resolution authorizing a budget transfer in the amount of $61,000 within the 2009 Intermunicipal Sewer Fund for the Waste Water Treatment Plant to cover unanticipated electrical costs, was introduced by Smith, read at length, and on motion of Smith, seconded by Texter, Resolution No. 159 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

REQUESTS FOR FUTURE MEETINGS: None

COUNCIL COMMENT: None

ADMINISTRATION COMMENT: None

NEXT MEETING: The Reorganization meeting of City Council is scheduled for Monday, January 4, 2010 at 4:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers, 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, York, PA.

ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business, the December 15, 2009 meeting of Council adjourned at 8:57 p.m.